DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: The woman who sits beside me at work has a bottom drawer packed with deodorant, hair spray, and a small stash of underwear for dates after work. I couldn't help myself and stole one of the thongs from her drawer for a last-minute date. Now she's asking everyone who did it -- even the guys -- and she's really mad. What should I do? Don't tell me to confess. I can't afford to lose my job. -- Scared Now, Winnipeg
Dear Scared: Not going to confess? Then shop this entire city until you find an identical new thong and put it back in her desk with price tickets attached to prove it's new and a typed note that says, "So sorry, this will never happen again." Then hope for the best.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just spent the weekend at a lake doing something that makes me feel so guilty. I told my husband I was going with some old friends from college -- left no number -- and went away with my ex-husband to his cabin. I know it's a terrible thing to do, but I'd been toying with going back with him. Online and at coffees recently, he hinted he'd learned everything he didn't know about lovemaking over five years. In some ways, the weekend was a good idea because it turned out badly. He was just as bad in bed as he ever was, though he's the nicest, sweetest, smartest guy, and he's very successful. The sex was short and awkward -- he's never gotten the hang of it. My present husband is excellent in bed, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. I'm an intensely physical, very sexual woman. I will now stay with him and put up with this inane conversation for life. The trouble is my conscience is bothering me and I can't sleep. If I tell him I cheated, he'll leave me and take the dog, the only "kid' I ever had. -- The Experiment, Winnipeg
Dear Ex: The guy you're with -- the one you consider stupid -- needs to be freed from a false marriage with a woman who's only using him for sex and rolling her eyes when he speaks. And, your first husband, who was carrying a flame all this time, needs the truth too, as he's probably hurting all over again. (It's hard to hide sexual dissatisfaction.) Since there's no kids to consider, how about you take a rest from the love game -- where you've missed the point completely? You keep marrying guys you don't love, except that they serve one purpose in your life. Is that insecurity talking? Fear of being alone for the rest of your life? Love is not a game of musical chairs. You don't just grab a guy, any guy, every time the music stops. Consider telling the truth, and getting intensive therapy to figure out why you think and behave the way you do. Then consider looking a long time for Door No.5 or 6, if necessary, which finally reveals a guy you love on all levels.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org