DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My husband likes to do things to me in front of friends at social functions that annoy and humiliate me like pinching my fat cheeks or slapping my butt, or "playfully" sucking on my nose. He is very immature, which is one of the reasons I married him. I was immature myself until we had two kids right away. Now I am the mother and he is the third kid. How should I handle this? I want to slap his face when he does these things. -- Not a Toy To Abuse, North End
Dear Not a Toy: Slapping back won't help. Next time he pulls a power play like that, back up two paces and say assertively, "Why did you pull a stunt like that? Who are you trying to impress?" If his friends are standing there smirking, ask them "Are you impressed, because that hurt me and I'm not laughing." Make things good and uncomfortable, then go back to partying. Don't go home crying. He won't try that again. The point? Don't suffer in silence and wait until you get home to complain. He needs to be called on these tricks in front of his friends to get him stopped.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My mother is seeing a man I think is handsome and adorable. Unfortunately, he hasn't a penny. She is a wealthy widow after my dad died a slow death to cancer. He willed all his money to mom. I imagine it was with the idea she would will it to us kids later. I don't know if this penniless new man of hers is out for her money, but I haven't seen her this happy in years. When I brought up the wealth disparity last weekend, she blew sky high and said she'll give me my inheritance right now if that's what I'm so worried about. She said, "Don't you know there are some things in life that are more important than money? She said she hadn't had those things in 10 years. Should I just shut up about this? Maybe he's in it for the money and maybe he's not, but there are millions involved. Should I take my inheritance now? -- Concerned Daughter, Winnipeg
Dear Concerned: Do you have a job and good health and enough money to live on? That money your mom was given by your dad is not "your" inheritance or your dad would have willed it to you directly. It's your mother's money to keep, or give to people, or squander as she pleases. Back right off this topic now. You have achieved your goal of warning her. Say you're sorry and let it be. Maybe her adorable man is in love with her and broke. Maybe she is in love with him and wealthy. So what if they share the money and the love? It's not a bad deal, unless he's a cad and faking it.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg, R2X 3B6, or email firstname.lastname@example.org