Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Send a parent out to talk the next time she shows up

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was walking home the other night when a hot-looking girl I know from school, who has her own fancy car, asked me if I wanted a ride. I said, "No thanks" and kept walking along and she followed me and kept telling me. "Get in! Get in!" I finally told her to eff off and she squealed out mad. The next day she came and parked near my house and watched for an hour and then, when I really had to leave for work, she followed me to the bus stop trying to make me to "get in" with her again. I think she is very weird. Her parents are rich and she doesn't work. I think she's beginning to stalk me. I know she stalked another guy before. (She never has a real boyfriend.) How do I get rid of her? -- Creeped Out, Winnipeg

Dear Creeped Out: She may be bored and spoiled, and think it's a big game and she may have a feeling of entitlement from getting every material thing she wants. But, it's also likely she's missing more important things like friends, meaningful activity like work, and the love of a boyfriend. That doesn't mean you have to give anything to her. What she's doing is inappropriate and strange. Next time she shows up at your house, send a parent out to talk to her about why she's bothering you and what she wants. That will stop her game from being fun because it's no longer private. Your parents should finish up by suggesting he or she will make a call to her parents and the police if she continues.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was out walking on Gimli beach when I ran into the "friend" who stole my first wife when I was only 22 and she was 18. He was with her for about six months after she left me, and then they were finished, too. This guy tried to apologize to me right there on the beach, saying he always felt guilty and horrible about it ever since. I said, "There are some things that can't be forgiven." Then, as I turned to walk away, he said," She came after me, you know. She came to find me in my trailer in the morning in my parents' backyard, and got right into bed with me. It was Aug. 1 weekend." I was shocked. She told me he had chased her in the fall and she gave in around Halloween. I still see her, as we live in the same town. What he said kept bothering me. Finally, I took her aside at a baseball game last week and asked her. She said, "I'm sorry to tell you it's the truth," and she started to cry. "I was so young and I hated being tied down. I just got married to get out of the house." All my life I hated that guy for stealing the love of my life. Now I know he didn't steal anything and she wasn't the love of my life. I tied my guts in knots hating both of them and had a lot of health problems after that. Please warn your readers of this kind of mistake. -- Hate Destroys You

Dear Hate: Consider the readers warned. Active hate is toxic -- terrible for the health, particularly the gut, and the blood pressure. The antidote is working on the situation with a mediator. If all three of you had gone to the same counsellor -- though not necessarily at the same time -- the truth would have come out. You would have understood your young wife hit on your friend to get free from a too-young marriage. You'd still have been angry with him for allowing her in, but you wouldn't have thought a friend plotted against you. The value of a mediator is getting at truths from all sides and putting them on the table in a safe environment to be worked out.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was walking through a big-box hardware store, feeling very angry over getting fired and someone wrecking my car and taking off on the same day, when I felt the strong urge to wreck a big fancy display. I just wanted to clear it right off onto the floor and break everything and rip up the sign and set fire to it. I felt the urge to vandalize, and now I finally understand that senseless act. I was generally angry and wanted to generally wreck whatever was in sight. It wasn't personal. By the way, I didn't actually do it. I kept on walking. But, I am worried. Am I beginning to lose my marbles? -- Former Winnipeg Salesman, St. James

Dear Salesman: Clearly, you have a life and didn't want to wreck anything to the point where you got hauled off to jail and horrified loved ones. Some vandals don't have anyone who cares about them and what they do. They have nothing to hold them back from acting out anger and resentment on other peoples' property. Your marbles are intact, but your brain is warning you, saying you need to get some counselling to reduce your anger levels. Klinic offers free walk-in counseling most days of the week (call 784-4067 for summer hours) and many psychologists are on sliding rates and available without a waiting list. P.S. That day you could have done with a punching bag and 30 minutes to pummel it, so buy one second-hand. Hang it up and use it.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2011 G9

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