DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I play the piano in the middle of the night, which was fine up to now because my girlfriends never lived with me. Now, my precious one has moved in, and I thought we would get married. When we lived apart and she stayed over, she put up with my weirdness -- even seemed to think it was cool. But now she's moved in, she's telling me she really thinks "it's time" I stopped getting up and waking the household. That would be waking me, the five fish, the dog who loves my music, and her. You have no idea how disillusioning this is to me. I thought I'd finally found a woman I loved who accepted this part of my life which I love. In the fight we just had, she says I love my piano more than her, which is ridiculous. I love many things and people: her, my piano, my dogs, my mother and sisters and my dead father who was so great. Is there a way to solve this, or not? -- Hanging On But Disillusioned, Winnipeg
Dear Hanging On: Don't give up playing in the night or resentment will kill your love, sour note by sour note. Let me state a prejudice here: I'm a fan of protecting joyful eccentricity. It's part of what makes people special. If she wanted a run-of-the-mill boyfriend, she should have gone after one, instead of you. Remedies? If your girlfriend is willing to use industrial earplugs, you can still get up and play your moonlight sonatas. You could also soundproof a room, and make a real musician's studio out of it. If your fiancée needs to stop you altogether, and make you into something you're not by taking away this great experience, it's quite another problem. It sounds like there are no children to keep awake in this mix, so hold the line, and offer every "fix" you can think of. You could even marry and live in a duplex with a thick wall down the middle and her bedroom walls to the far opposite side of your piano room walls.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I ran into a man's new car with my car and he turned out to be the cutest guy I ever met. He wore no ring, but he seemed kind of angry. I got all his particulars and phone number. Then I screwed up my courage and called him and asked him out, so I could buy him dinner "and try to make up for hitting his new car." There was dead silence on his end of the phone. Then he said, "You have a lot of nerve," and hung up in my ear. He's got a lot of nerve himself, and no sense of humour. Car accidents happen, so big deal. Why did he treat me like dirt? -- Miffed, Garden City
Dear Miffed: Your timing seems to be off, in driving and social situations. A new car means a lot to most guys. For some it's an extension of their manhood, and a statement to the world on how successful he's become. You're the last person he wants to see as he drives a replacement vehicle around while waiting for his new vehicle to be patched up or replaced. And, believe me, he's still dining out on the story of the stupid woman who rammed into his shiny new baby. As for ramming someone with your car, it is a big deal. One or both of you could have gotten killed. You need a change of attitude on that score, too.