DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 16, a hard worker, good student and a lover of dance. I took ballet classes for several years as a child but stopped. I clearly remember that I was frustrated because I couldn't dance with the "big girls" and felt it was going too slowly. I was eight, and I left during the year. I'm taking a beginner class now and love it, though I understand that becoming a professional ballerina is impossible at this point, but it's awakened a resentment for my parents I can't shut out. I can't believe they let me drop out in the middle of the year like they did, which let down my teacher and is very rude. Someone should have lovingly explained to me, "You might be restless, but you can't leave your class before the year is over," and "You need to learn the basics first, your body isn't ready for adult dancing like pointe," and then maybe put me in gymnastics classics to cure my boredom. If they had supported me more, it easily could have gone somewhere. I'm determined to work with what I have and become a pole dancer, but it's still very difficult and the people who started young will always have an advantage. I can't make up for lost time and I have a bitter taste in my mouth. I should have been taught more discipline and focus. How can I concentrate on the positive, and let this grudge go? -- Shake It Till I Make It, Winnipeg
Dear Shake It: Something doesn't make sense here. If ballet is what you truly love, why divert your energies into pole dancing? Take modern dance and ballet and choreography -- all the challenging formal dance classes you can. As for your parents, they had no way of knowing you would one day want to be a serious dancer when you were crying with frustration at eight years old. Parents don't go into training to become parents. They make mistakes. If they had forced you to keep dancing when you were so frustrated, you might have resented them terribly. Talk to the most understanding parent first, and then the other other one and get this out in the open. If you need help building up to that confrontation, talk to your guidance counsellor at school and get this all out in the open, and resolved.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I bit my boyfriend's cheek when I was mad at him on the weekend, and now he has teeth marks in a moon shape across his cheek. He told me, "You're nuts and we're through." At university, he won't talk to me. He says he hasn't bad-mouthed me but my actions speak louder than words. He says his mother hates me for this. Why won't he forgive me? It was a fight, for God's sake! I cried, and said I was sorry after. What more does he need? He says I need to see a shrink. I don't! -- Sorry, But Not Crazy. Winnipeg
Dear Sorry: Biting someone's face is a serious red flag. You do need to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. You went over the line of normal behaviour, and you're not really remorseful. This guy is finished with you -- you can't blame him and you must respect his wish not to see you. The sirens went off in his head and he's done. That is the consequence for your violent action, which is a form of assault. See your family physician and get a referral to a therapist. Get the help you need, and be as co-operative as you can be.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm 47 and have been dating younger women, in their late 20s or early 30s who I meet online, no problem. They have a hard time keeping up to me and they all want relationships with me. I'm sick and tired of older women complaining about my not looking for someone my own age. The reason is simple, but women won't like it -- younger women are better looking. I keep myself in excellent physical shape -- go to the gym six days a week and run long distance five days as well. I deserve a woman with a great body and the brightness that goes with getting lots of exercise. I don't want an older, overweight woman. If older women want a guy like me to look at them, they have to do the work to stay young. Now someone has finally told the truth. What do you say to that? -- Never Fitter, 47, South End
Dear Never Fitter: If, as you believe, people should only get what they deserve, then you deserve someone who is fit like you and shallow enough to find the way you think attractive. It's interesting you never have a relationship going with any of these bright, attractive young women. Are you really doing all the rejecting? It's doubtful! It would be interesting to hear responses from other people to your ideas -- both men and women. Readers, please feel free to write in and we'll publish your responses in an upcoming column.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6