Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My ex-lover's wife is a nurse at a local hospital, but I never knew what ward. I have now figured that out: it is a ward where a loved one of mine is currently a patient. I'm scared it's only a matter of time until she figures out who I am. I am sure she knows her husband and I had an affair and I'm worried she will either recognize my face or hear my name, as it is not a common one. As far as I know, it has been a long time since she has seen me. I don't straighten my hair any more and I wear big, bold glasses now, but I don't think it's enough to masquerade my looks.
I don't know the woman's schedule and I can't stop going to the hospital. I am there every day or evening for long periods of time, which increases the chance of me being identified. I don't know how to disguise myself and stay under the radar, or in general, dodge this one. I don't want to be ratted out in front of the people I care about. Help me please! -- Not the Place for a Scene, St. Boniface
Dear Not the Place: What is the worst that can happen? She is not going to create a fuss and lose her job over seeing you. She may give you some bad looks, or she may avoid you. She may be hurting and hiding it. Just look after your loved one as well as you can and let the chips fall where they may. You can't change the past. She is not going to call you out on the ward, and if she is professional, she won't do anything differently with your loved one. There is no need to try to mask your looks. Just go see the person who is ill and give your best loving care. It's not about you right now, although it's understandable you're nervous.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband is very romantic and leaves love notes for me in crazy places. I just found one in his pants pocket when getting ready to wash his work pants, but I somehow don't think it was meant for me. I'm not being paranoid. It is very cute and funny, but it refers to her "crazy red hair." I have smooth blond hair, and it is not crazy. What should I do? -- Stumbled On His Screw Up? Winnipeg
Dear Stumbled: Keep your first response minimal. Hand him the note and say, "I found this in your work pants. Read it to me." Watch him closely as he responds. Does he try to buy time, stutter, say, "This isn't what it looks like," or turn and walk away so you can't see his face?
The trouble with flirts who are getting a great reaction with a certain technique is they sometimes feel a growing sense of power and a desire to test it out where there's more of a challenge. How intimate was that note? Write back and elaborate on that and how he reacted to your confronting him as I've suggested.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was at Safeway the other day when this guy came up to me with a pot belly, no hair and bad glasses. He said, "Don't you remember me from high school?" I looked more closely and recognized the eyes: it was the guy who broke my heart in Grade 12 and ruined my whole first year at university. I cried a river over that guy, but now he looks like a twit. Luckily I was looking great that day, and he told me so, with his tongue hanging out. Then he said, "Too bad I'm married," and raked his eyes over my body." I wish I had said something smart, but what? -- Speechless Idiot, Westwood
Dear Speechless: "You're married? Your poor wife!" springs to mind.
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