DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I saw something terrifying when I looked in the mirror last night. It was a ghost standing behind me looking over my shoulder from a distance. I have never believed in ghosts in my whole life, but this person was known to me -- my dead grandfather -- and he was standing behind me shaking his finger in warning. I'm not a kid anymore, but I felt like a very bad girl as he was doing this.
I know why he was doing it. Back in my bedroom was a man who is my lover, but is married to my cousin. I know that's terrible, but she doesn't sleep with him any more and I'm lonely and he's a sweet guy. I want to defy the ghost, but I'm shaken. My grandfather knows how dangerous my affair is. He got into an affair and lost his whole family because of it, even his daughter -- my mother. Am I imagining things? It was a little misty in the mirror, but it was definitely my grandpa I never saw again after he got kicked out of the family. What should I do? Is it real or just a figment of my imagination? -- Freaking Out, North End
Dear Freaking Out: If you had been napping and this was the middle of a dream sequence, or if there really was a "ghost," the same message is coming through. You're feeling guilty and worried about your affair, especially since it's within the family. You know the consequences everyone suffered over your grandpa's affair. The vivid memories of your grandfather is bringing all this up. So, stop taking the same chance your grandfather took, which ended with his losing many people he loved including grandchildren like you.
By the way, the guy you're sneaking around with is "weak" not "sweet." Those are two very different concepts often confused by people who are lonely and lust-blinded. If he were truly sweet, he would have worked it out with his wife or parted honourably instead of cheating on her.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I ate so much at a dinner with my new girlfriend, she said, "There's something wrong with you." Hey, I was up for a pig-out and I found out she's a great cook. I went back for second and third helpings and could barely do anything but watch TV and sleep the rest of the night. I do a have a weight problem. I'm only about 30 pounds overweight now, but I was 85 pounds overweight before I went to my weight-loss group. I was pretty fat. I'm 19. I lost the weight so I'd be more attractive to girls, and it worked. My girlfriend says she's afraid I'm going to stop losing now because she cooks so well. Before we went to sleep she said she wasn't cooking for me any more. Isn't that extreme? -- Food Lover, St. Boniface
Dear Food Lover: Extreme or not, this girl is determined not to have a re-fattened boyfriend. You freaked her out with one of your old-style pig-outs. Could you have been testing your girlfriend, as in, "Will you still love me if I overeat like this and become obese again because you're such a good cook?" See the convenient blame off-load in that thought process?
You've been warned: If her cooking for you causes you to make a U-turn and gain back the weight she is not going to join you on that journey. You need to have a serious talk with your weight-loss leader and discuss the reason you pigged out in front of this young woman to the point where you could barely move, let alone have a sexy evening. Also, talk to your doctor about referring you to a psychiatrist to work out your deepest reasons for overeating.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I must have walked 100 miles this last weekend because I found out my wife has a relationship with her old lover -- a guy -- she has been hiding. My wife and I are a lesbian couple. I knew something was up, so I went through her drawers. There I found a printed-off email love letter, dated (last) month, under her socks in her second drawer. What was she thinking? Does she want to start seeing him again? His last sentence was "We have to keep seeing each other because, as you said to me last week, we will never stop loving one other." What now? -- Broken-Hearted, Winnipeg
Dreams Shattered: The 100-mile walks accomplish nothing except to make you tired enough to get through another night. Just hand your wife the letter and say, "We have to talk about this. You go first." No answer? Say: "It's obvious you've started seeing your old boyfriend." She may deny everything, in which case ask her to see a relationship counsellor with you where the truth will inevitably come out. Also ask her why she saved the letter -- open like that -- in a place that could be so easily found. She may break down and confess she wants out of your marriage. Then you need professional help. Breaking up a marriage still hurts terribly, but a good counsellor can give you tools to make the hurting shorter.
Please send your questions and comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6