DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I suspect my dad is up to something. My parents are in their 60s and I'm living at home right now, for financial reasons, in a basement bedroom. My dad always makes phone calls on the main floor. But every Friday, when my mom is outside or busy, he sneaks downstairs, and calls someone. This morning I overheard him saying he "wants to meet for coffee but will have to phone a bit later." He came out of the rec room and looked surprised when he saw me. Every Friday my mom goes to an art class. We have call display. I pressed redial, got the phone number, looked on computer and it's a women's first name along with last. My dad doesn't treat my mom and myself that well. He's always grumpy, but with buddies he's Mr. Friendly. I haven't told my mom. Maybe it's none of my business, but if there's something, it makes me uptight. Any advice? -- Worried, St. Vital
Dear Worried: It's not the duty of a son or daughter of any age to keep secrets for a parent who's wronging the other. Some parents, who don't have the guts to break up themselves, let one of their offspring know by being careless, and that's how the situation cracks open. Dad, with the loud voice, has been taking the chance of being heard by you on Fridays by coming downstairs where you sleep to do his secret phoning. So what do you do? Tell Mom what you have seen and heard and let her work it out from there. Your parents will need privacy to work this out and you're too old to stay at home for this. Call a sibling or friend and pack.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met an online guy at The Forks today and it was magical. We walked and talked for two hours but, when it came time to part, he wouldn't give me anything -- not his phone number or where he lives or assurances of another get-together. What's that all about? -- Confused and Disappointed, Fort Garry
Dear Confused: There are three main possibilities: 1)You got along well from your point of view, but not his. He's a good talker/listener, but it was a one-time thing for him; 2) He likes you but he's cheating -- either he's married, living with someone, engaged and panicking, or dating someone else and fooling around; or 3) He told you a pile of lies online and in person and can't afford to spend any more time with you or you'll catch him out. Take the hint and cut bait.
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