DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I took a new woman downtown for dinner to a nice hotel restaurant and we had a great time. We went dancing afterwards and someone managed to pick my pocket. I had three $20 bills in my pocket and somebody bumped into me. A few minutes later I went to pay for our drinks and my money was gone. I told my date about this and she looked at me like I was a liar who was just trying to get out of paying for the rest of the evening. She bought us the round, drank hers fast and made excuses that she had to leave. I had a real crush on her previous to this date and it isn't all gone. Is it worth trying again to get her to believe me? I know it didn't sound very believable but I don't know what to do. I did pay for the dinner and it was fairly expensive. -- Not a Cheapskate, South St. Vital
Dear Not a Cheapskate: This woman thought the worst immediately. There's little you could say to convince her to have a second date now, and you must never go begging. The beginning of a relationship should run pretty smoothly, or it's not worth an emotional investment. If you simply can't forget about her, you might mention the incident to a gossipy friend who will pipe it back to her -- and that might give you new credibility. But listen, If she were really a good-hearted person she would have given you the benefit of the doubt in the first place, sympathized, had some fun dancing with you, and then gone home. She'd have considered a second date to see how things went. But she didn't.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I recently saw a TV show that was just WRONG. It was about a woman who ran way with her husband to escape their relatives and had a terrible life afterward. The moral of the show was you can't leave your past behind. Well, my husband and I ran away from our bad relatives two provinces away and it was the best thing we ever did. They were in our faces constantly when we lived in Calgary. They sponged off us, drank our liquor, told us how to raise our kids and talked about us behind our backs. We up and moved here three years ago, and both got good jobs quickly. Winnipeg is a wonderful city and people here don't appreciate it! We have affordable housing and a happy life with our two kids. We left the jerks behind and they will never come to visit us because they never have any money left three days after payday. We are safe! Our neighbors are great, too. You CAN leave your family troubles behind and we highly recommend it. -- Happy In Winnipeg
Dear Happy: Welcome to Winnipeg. It's nice to have people move here who like what they see and hear. Winnipeggers are given to kvetching about this city, though less so since it got so expensive to live elsewhere. Gather a nice, warm neighbourly group around you with some barbecues and put down real roots. One word of warning; it's usually better not to amputate family totally even if they are annoying, so get in the habit of sending birthday cards and keeping casual lines of a communication open. You know they're not coming to visit, but one day there might be grown nephews and nieces you could meet who are nice people like you. One generation should not be the next generation's curse. And, they may need to get away too! Winnipeg's a great place to run to.
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