DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Six years ago I had an affair -- one six-month affair which just piddled out due to lack of interest. Then I was happy just be with my wife. I learned my lesson. Well, last week this mistake person from six years ago came to the lobby of my office and called me down to talk to her and she was standing there with a child. She whispered in my ear she had a baby by me and this was him. I looked at the boy in shock. His first name is my first name. He thought that was funny. The little boy, I must admit, looks like me, right down to the tell-tale hair colour and he's cute. He said, "Want to shake hands?" and how could I say no? She asked me to take a paternity test to be sure for myself. She's out of work and wants child support. Anyway, I'm getting tested and I will pay child support if the tests come back positive. She's not asking for fathering and visits -- yet. But now, how do I tell my wife? -- Facing The Consequences, Winnipeg
Dear Consequences: This much is clear. There are lots worse things in life than a new life. This little fellow may be yours and he deserves to know who his dad is and not be denied by him, or live in poverty when he could have decent financial support. Does this child call somebody else daddy? Maybe he's already bonded to another fellow, and your former affair lady won't want you around regularly. As for dealing with your wife, wait until after the test. When you have the results, you need to tell her. She may forbid you to have anything to do with this child, but you owe it to the boy to do what's right for him, even if it's uncomfortable for your mate. At least you can tell your wife the affair was six years ago and you realized only she was the one for you, and she may forgive you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Down at the lake I have a lady friend who sees me for six months of the year and then she goes away up North to work for the winter months. I don't see her for half a year, and then when the weather breaks and I can go back to the lake, she comes back when her work is over. Then we see each other every day, though we both have our own places, and I would say we are definitely in love, very passionately, very much in tune with each other. I want more, but she is happy with this. She is a person who loves the land and the outdoors work and the tough northern weather. For part of the winter I go south as I'm retired. Last night she said on the phone she looked into the future and it couldn't be with me because she will never give up the six months up North and would like to live there permanently. I am in my 60s. Should I break up with her now? -- Love Her To Pieces, North End
Dear Pieces: It's an unusual arrangement, but if you have love and passion for each other and you're both happy going your separate ways in the winter months, why do you have to break up? When the time comes that she wants to move north permanently, that's a different thing.