DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My brand-new husband is over the moon about our marriage. His ex-wife was not into sex at all after the babies were born. In my case, I can't have kids and sex is a happy hobby. I'm glad my husband is euphoric about our sex life, but did he have to tell his married brothers? Now they look at me at the lake like I'm something to eat, as in dessert. I caught one staring, and said, "What are YOU looking at?' and he said, "Your nice, uh, bathing suit." I looked down, and he smirked. I blew it. What should I say next time? -- Not a Morsel, River Heights
Dear Not a Morsel: Talk to your darling bugle boy and tell him about the problem he caused. Say you want it fixed. This suggestion from you will encourage him. He can tell his brothers to put their eyes back in their heads, or you will ask their wives to do it. Tell him that's "a promise, not a threat," as if there's any difference.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Two points occur to me regarding "Enough of Loud Talkers" in restaurants. Perhaps the writer encountered someone losing their hearing. If so, it may be they can't hear their own words if they don't speak loudly. A discreet word or two into the ear of the "offender" would spare embarrassment.
But I question not telling the server or manager if a diner is simply rude. A tip could be lost, but if my comfort was ignored, the likelihood of my returning is poor, and I'm not going to recommend the place either. -- Just Saying, Winnipeg
Dear Just Saying: The manager's job is to look after situations like that, as an intermediary between tables. But too often they wait to see if anyone complains before doing anything. Canadians are not good at complaining -- so the noise goes unchecked to everyone's annoyance. Sometimes you have to insist or act on your own.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This summer, after an almost five-hour drive to Nestor Falls, Ont., we'd arrived at a quaint diner with a deck overlooking the harbour. A group of four men were already using two tables, had their laptops open, and were commenting to each other about emails they were catching up on.
One of them had a voice so loud that we couldn't ignore it from the other end of the deck. Worse, the thread of emails he was reporting to his buddies about was clearly regarding some sort of conflict. His comments were filled with profanity.
I walked over to calmly say: "We didn't drive most of the day to have dinner at this beautiful spot, just to listen in on your conflict. Would you please lower your voice?"
While I was speaking, the others were nodding, as if to say: "We thought this was a problem for others on the deck."
The response from the loud one was: "Well, isn't that nice. You people are SO cool." That's all he said. But, after returning to our table, the volume of the group was appropriately quiet until they left. -- Proud of Her Move, Winnipeg
Dear Proud: Your complaint was calm and clear, and you made a request that could remedy things. The loud guy was sarcastic, but who cares? He couldn't argue with your reasonable request and his pals were on your side.
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