Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tell mom about your auntie 'cougar'

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My young aunt came to visit for two weeks. She just got out of a long, bad relationship and she was looking for fun. At first it was a blast -- I introduced her to all my friends when she arrived and some of them live in this block. But then I had to get back to studying at the university. Well, unbeknownst to me, she got busy back at our apartment block and found herself several of my friends (younger men) to visit while I was at the school. I got wind of this when one of them made a crack to me in the elevator -- as if I had sent her over for sex. "That's quite the auntie you've go there. Thanks!" he said and winked as if I'd already know. She leaves in a few days and I don't want her to come back. Should I tell my mother on her? Mom is her older sister by 15 years and she would let her have it. -- Embarrassed by Single Aunt

Dear Embarrassed: Call Mom after she leaves and let her deal with it strongly. As a young woman, you shouldn't have to confront your auntie about her inappropriate sexual behaviour, but she needs to be told and she needs to know she's not going to be asking come back for a return visit with the college boys. If that's what she wants, she should show up in Florida at Spring Break and take her chances as a beach country cougar.

Dear Ms. Lonelyhearts: This is in response to Unusual, who struggles with her height, and the rudeness of others. I have a very tall niece who's 6-5. She was teased her whole life, and when she was about 23 she decided her height was other people's problem, not hers. When anyone said something derogative about her height, especially men she didn't know, she would playfully walk right up to them, bend down, stare them uncomfortably close in the eye and say, "You got a problem with that, tiny boy?" Then she would laugh and skip happily along. She embraces her height and how unusual she is, and her confidence is a wonderful sight to behold. If you're comfortable in your own skin, others will see that. It's the way to make your height a non-issue. Use some self confidence and humour. Maybe that will shut people up. You go girl! -- A Proud and Short Aunt.

Dear Proud Aunt: I think "Tiny Boy" is a tad rough, and doesn't reflect so well on the person saying it. Perhaps -- "Do you have a problem with that, Little Napoleon?" would be better, especially if others are listening. (But then, you never know what he said to her first and maybe he deserves the tougher shot.) Saying anything like that would certainly get the point across and she'd get no further teasing from anyone within earshot. There are really just three choices: You bully back, you walk away and ignore the shot, or you turn around and say loudly, "Do you really get off on bullying other people about their appearance?" And then, stare that person down, waiting for your answer, instead of slinking away.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2011 D5

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