DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This is in response to letters about flowers being sent out anonymously. It is nice to get a surprise on Valentine's Day, but if you really want to know who the flowers are from, you can find out. Even though a courier delivered them, there must be a florist identified on the parcel. I am a florist, and this has occurred at our shop. You can send anonymous bouquets to people, but if the recipient wants to know who sent them, we have to, BY LAW, tell them who sent the flowers. In this day and age of stalkers etc., the florist must identify the sender and the recipient must be protected and informed. In the meantime, enjoy your beautiful flowers. -- Small Town Florist in MB.
Dear Small Town Florist: That's how it'd work in most cases. But, in the city a person could buy the flowers at a large grocery store with cash, and no identity given, call a courier, and have them sent over. The recipient would have no idea who they came from. Anonymous flowers are only fun when the anonymous part is over quickly and the people can enjoy talking about it, and possibly going out. Otherwise, they can be creepy.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: What makes this presumptuous stud muffin think the flowers are from a female admirer he hasn't seduced yet? Perhaps they're from a male who hasn't seduced him yet! -- Open Mind, Wpg.
Dear Open: Touché!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: In 2011, there are still men who cling to the belief that they're entitled to sex if they spend money on a woman. And some men still believe they're entitled to make judgments about women's sexual availability and make passes at those women, or make crude comments about them, based on the way those women are dressed? Why is this still happening? Are we doing everything we can to teach our young women that a certain backward minority (we hope) of men DO hold these beliefs; and that the best way of protecting themselves is to dress and behave modestly, think strategically, and know how to defend themselves? I'm a devoted feminist -- but at the same time, I think female empowerment rhetoric leaves something to be desired. Telling women they can be (what they want) and do what they want, and go where they want when they want is great -- but it leaves out that troublesome percentage of men who don't share those beliefs and who will do everything they think they can get away with doing to assert their presumed "superiority." -- Concerned About Weirdo Element, Wpg.
Dear Concerned: Having to cover up modestly to avoid rape seems like a step backwards. But the super-sexual clothes worn by a high percentage of younger women at the bar come with a price, requiring they be super-aware of the weirdo element in the crowd. If they are approached by someone who seems a little off, or they are asked to dance by a stranger when everybody's "grinding" (dirty dancing) and they feel uncomfortable, the answer has to be a flat no, just to be on the safe side. Plus, scantily dressed girls at the bar need to stay sober to be watchful. As for having to pay for everything so a guy won't think he's earned the right to touch you? Nonsense! That's means you've bought into the food-for-sex notion yourself and are paying to prevent it.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org