DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm unmarried with a special-needs son, and must live with my dad. On Sunday, I found my brother, who was visiting, going through my boxes. He got angry and starting making excuses saying I have too much stuff and that he's doing me a favour. I cried, and begged him to stop. When that didn't work, I started name-calling, but backed off because he's hurt me before, physically. He stole an empty purse, many out-of-print books my deceased mother left me and a lot of historical papers, and some complete boxes. Not much monetary value, but the theft is the point. Dad asked him to stop, but my brother refused. My dad is begging me not to go to the police because my brother will be fired from his job and waste his years of education. I can't stop him from visiting because this is my dad's house, but he comes over every week and emotionally abuses me as well. -- Violated, East Kildonan
Dear Violated: Go to the police. If you don't, what's left of your worldly goods will soon be gone and you'll continue to be abused by this brother whenever he comes over. This week go to Social Assistance and look for a place of your own for you and your son. Everyone will be happier. Your dad is obviously not stronger than his bullying son, and he can't protect you. It's time to get out, and that's the real message for you from this incident. You, your vulnerable son, and your things are not safe in that environment. You need your own place with a big lock and then you can start to breathe more easily. If dad wants to see you, he can come over and visit. But, you should get a court order to keep your brother far away from you, and never open the door to him.
Dear Ms. L: I'm really disappointed with your response t o S.O.S Halloween, who was unhappy with sexy costumes. While I agree that costumes are getting more provocative all the time, I think you completely ignored a very important part of her letter: "I'm a bigger girl, and I don't want to try to be something I'm not -- sexy." Big women are just as sexy as any other women, but you decided to just let her continue thinking that she's not desirable. What's with that? Thanks for telling the world that fat people aren't sexy. Like we don't get enough of that already. -- Fat Guy, Winnipeg
Dear Guy: You should have signed your letter Sexy Big Guy instead of Fat Guy. You're half right about sexiness extending to all sizes of people. People can be sexy at almost any size, though there are upper limits. And you have to feel some sexiness inside, to show it outside. The woman who wrote wasn't feeling like the sexy costumes out there in great number this year were going to achieve that feeling for her. There have been some great plus-size Halloween costumes available for women in recent years -- some of the larger witches and female pirate outfits are hot-looking -- but that's not what this woman feels about herself. And why should Halloween costumes have to be so much about sex now? Very scary was the original idea for this celebration.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org