DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My best woman friend confessed to me the reason she goes to so many funerals is because she's shopping for a new husband. Apparently widowed men, who otherwise stay home a lot, will show up solo to pay their respects to an old buddy. I think what she's doing is ghastly! She says they are open and willing to chat, and there's lots of hugs and comforting words. She thinks such emotional openess could lead to something romantic. Ugh! Isn't she disgusting? -- Shocked By My Friend, Tuxedo
Dear Shocked: it's calculating, but if she's a loving woman who would make a great second wife for someone, it's almost amusing. If she's a gold-digger, or simply out to use somebody for social status, then it's not so funny anymore.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to the woman grieving over her mom. My rabbinical father used to say that the mourning for a parent never disappears, it just slows down and comes with reduced frequency and intensity. It has been more than four years since mine passed away. I am coping quite well. But, time and again, something (view, smell, book, trip to the store) hits me as having been shared -- and the tears come. -- Natural Grief, Winnipeg
Dear Natural: Thank you for sharing experience with this. In my own life, a younger brother died a few years ago, and I still get ambushed by memories, music by Van Morrison (his favourite), seeing his beautiful children. But it's OK. It would be a sadder world if people we love had no effect on us when they died.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have liked this guy for over a year, but three or four months ago, I really thought he didn't like me and that I had no chance, so I put my feelings on the back burner. Well, after that, a nice, sweet, and funny guy friend started asking me out (I said yes). I like him very much. I'm very happy, but I stayed friends with the other guy, and now I think he may like me. I still like him a lot. What should I do? -- Torn, Winnipeg
Dear Torn: You have to make a choice and take the risk. If you want to try things out with this other guy, and he truly wants to start dating you, then you have to say goodbye to the present guy if you're seeing each other exclusively. You could see the new guy at the same time if he says he only feels casually about you, and he is also up for seeing other people. But, what makes you think the first guy is interested now? Has he said anything? Has he asked you to see him on a date? Ask him! You need to know. If he's just feeling free to be a little flirtier because you are with another guy, he's just a player.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6