Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I found my missing biological mother and she's a real dud. She's ditzy, takes a lot of pills, and drinks hard liquor. Now she wants to introduce me around to all her big loser family and friends. I have met some of them, and that's enough -- a bunch of drunks and druggies. My adoptive mom was worried about my meeting her, and now I know why. I don't call my bio-mother Mom, for good reason.
I'd like to say goodbye to my bio-mother now -- just like she did to me years ago. My adoptive mom says I should have an occasional visit with my bio-mom, so if I have any questions, I can ask. What do you think? -- Disappointed in "Real" Mother, Winnipeg
Dear Disappointed: Your mom could be right, but if continued contact means danger or freeloading, you say goodbye. At this point, you can at least tell your bio-parent you don't want to meet the outer realms of the big family, and you just want to keep in touch with her sometimes. It's OK for you to set boundaries on her role in your life. Before you say goodbye make sure you take some notes about medical history and family tree, as those are the kind of things that are valuable to know throughout life.
The good part of this? Now you can show your undivided love to your adoptive mom, as you know for sure there is no other mother figure in your life. You have satisfied your curiosity and visited; you can put to rest that hunger to know your bio-mom.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I spent a lot of time at the beach with this one girl this summer and we were acting like boyfriend and girlfriend. Now she has gone back to the city and I'm still at the lake for a bit. When she left, I told her I'd be true to her, and she got a funny look on her face. She said she was going back to her life in Winnipeg and she has a boyfriend!
Why didn't she mention that before I fell for her? We were kissing and making out and everything and now that's it? Was she using me as her substitute boyfriend? -- So Messed Up, Lake of the Woods
Dear Messed Up: It sounds like she was doing that, and she lied by omission -- by not telling the truth about her love life. Clearly she doesn't come from your neighbourhood, as you didn't have any human "pipelines" to tell you she had another guy in the city.
Yes it hurts badly now, and you will be angry for awhile. BUT, don't waste you time chasing her and trying to win her when you're back in the city. Would you really want a girlfriend who's dishonest? Look for someone better when you're back in school.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've been having a running feud with my ignorant neighbour across the street all summer. She and her many friends party at the pool in her backyard -- screaming, yelling, laughing! I have no pool. When they party past 11 p.m., and I need my rest, I bang on her door and tell them to shut it down. I called the police on her last time, and she came over after the police left and told me to "Shut the f@#% up!" and leave her and her friends alone. "At least I have friends!" she said. I used to entertain my friends and family all the time, but I quit when my husband died. That insult really hurt. Now I don't know what to do. -- Lonely Lady, Winnipeg
Dear Lonely Lady: Create fun on your side of the street, instead of hating the people across the street. Treat that insult as a wake-up call. Fix things in your own life by getting social again. Start inviting people over to your house. Make a list of all your family and friends from every stage of your life -- from high school through different jobs you had and places you lived. Make your parties big and small, and always more fun than a conversation circle. Start cooking ethnic recipes, research crazy frozen drinks, check out new board games and card games, string up party lights outside, buy new dance music. If you have nieces, nephews or grandchildren, have them over in groups. String up a badminton net and hammer in a croquet set for guests. You can be the hub of your social circle and make your own happy noise.
On nights when you're home and the neighbour parties across the street, soft, spongy earplugs and a fan will drown out her noises so you can get your beauty sleep and prep for another social occasion of your own.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg R2X 3B6.