DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I started university this fall and my roommates all have a man except me. One is dating a millionaire, the other is always with a different guy, and the other stole my best guy friend. I don't mean to sound conceited but I, too, am very attractive. I've gone on plenty of dates, but I don't have an attraction to any of them. Now rumours are going around that I'm with a guy, when I'm not, which makes plenty more guys "back off" from going after me. I thought university life was going to be filled with guys that I'm attracted to and want to be with. Is it weird not to have that yet, even though everyone around me has? -- Lost at Love, Winnipeg
Dear Lost: No problem at all being picky, if there are good people coming your way. Romance is pretty much a numbers game, and far too many people jump on the first person who crosses their path. If dating has slowed for you because of the rumours you're already taken, send a counter-message out on the grapevine that broadcasts your freedom. Enlist your girlfriends and the guy in the rumour to do the same -- unless he's the guy who's been spreading it in the first place.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: That man Dazed and Confused, who's suddenly raising three children alone and looking for resources, should address the fact that the mother of these children should be contributing financially. I'm an experienced paralegal in Winnipeg, and it sickens me to see single parents, male or female, unaware of their rights and the children suffering as a result. It is about the welfare of the children that BOTH parents contributed to creating. People often seem to think of fathers as payers of support, as opposed to mothers. This man should seek the assistance of a lawyer. Even if the mother has given up all rights to her children, she has an obligation to pay support and contribute. If she's "voluntarily unemployed or under-employed" to avoid child support, the courts can impute a full-time minimum-wage income to her if she is physically capable of working, and order that she pay support in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines. Dazed and Confused may be financially OK, but when factoring in raising three children, he may even qualify for Legal Aid Assistance. Worst-case scenario, he will spend $25 on a Legal Aid application to find out if this is an avenue worth pursuing. Even if he owns a home, Legal Aid can just file a lien against the property for the monies expended. Income tax refunds, GST refunds and wages can be garnished. Driver's licences can be suspended for non-payment. Also, plenty of lawyers in this city offer free consultations and are willing to accept retainers or payment for services in instalments. It sounds to me like a few applications or phone calls inquiries couldn't hurt, given the circumstances. -- Worried for the Children, North End