DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I screamed my head off at my husband in front of a room full of hockey parents for being late again, and my kid doesn't want to go back to hockey now. He is ashamed of loudmouth me and my husband feels pretty much the same way. I'm not going to apologize to a room full of hockey parents and kids. The problem is my son is broken-hearted and feels he needs to play hockey so badly because he is a really good player and goal scorer. What can we do? -- Completely Lost It, Winnipeg
Dear Lost It: You could apologize to the coach, who will have heard about this outburst by now, and explain what's going on and that it will never happen again. See if he would be able to talk to your son about coming back. That may be all he needs -- a phone call inviting him back, saying the other kids need him. Those other kids won't be thinking about what happened, past the first time he's back again, so he really just has to get through that. It'd be best if your husband went with him that first time in the change room and you stayed home. Once this blows over you can both go to the games together, as long as you have a rule of one parent in the change room only.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I brought this big pumpkin home and my husband and his friends were sitting around watching a Bomber game and drinking. They made fun of my jack-o'-lantern and I slammed out of the house. Then they got so drunk they carved a rude face that was supposed to be me, put one of my wigs on top, antlers from the costume bag and red lipstick around the mouth. It had to be my husband who snatched the wig off the top shelf of the bedroom closet and got the costume stuff out.
When I came home and discovered the violated pumpkin, I went straight to the bedroom and found my husband passed out on his back, with both feet sticking out of the covers. I got my red nail polish out and painted his toenails. He got up the next morning, and with his eyes shut as always, pulled on his gitch and a pair of socks. I snickered because I knew he was going to the gym later.
He came home for supper tonight and was furious. After driving a truck all day at work, he went to the gym to work out with the same buddies. When he pulled off his socks to shower, somebody spotted his red toenail polish and started to laugh and tease him, and alerted all the other idiots. He's seriously mad and says he's going to get even. Should I be quaking in my boots, or planning my next trick? -- Not Afraid of That Jerk, Elmwood
Dear Not Afraid: Sometimes people have fun playing tricks on each other back forth for years, and it's the source of a lot of creativity and fun, but one-upping, especially between couples, can get way out of hand. They start with clumsy, stupid pranks and move to nasty ones that can really hurt feelings. You'd be better off -- now that you're even -- to have a talk and call a halt to this mean-spirited interaction. Better to make up and say you're both sorry than break up over this foolishness.
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