DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have an old-fashioned laundry line and like to put my undies and other clothes out in the springtime to get that great fresh outdoor smell without chemicals. Plus, the sun naturally bleaches the whites. But someone has been stealing from my laundry line -- and only the underwear. Usually the panties and bras are taken when I'm at work. I can't stay home to see who is filching things from my line and they aren't going to come if they see my car is home anyway. Do you have any ideas? Why should I have to put my panties in the dryer? It's MY damn yard! -- Stubborn, Elmwood
Dear Stubborn: Ask a stay-at-home neighbour to come to your house and play Sherlock. Bait the thief with a bunch of thrift-store undies you don't mind losing, and drive off to work while a neighbour or a relative watches throughout the day. It's important your "detective" gets down a good description or takes a photo and see where this person is heading. Though it's a small thing, it's a crime. Alert the police on the non-emergency number in case this panty raider is hitting a lot of different houses in your area and might be caught.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to Broken Spirit, the young woman whose gambling husband told her he wanted to be single again after just one year of marriage. She shouldn't be ashamed because the problem was not with her. Even at 31, he wasn't prepared for marriage -- his mind was always on gambling. I have a niece whose man left her while she was expecting, and she nearly died on the delivery table. Today the baby is a five-year-old sweet little boy, she owns her own home, has an amazing career and is in a relationship with a solid man who has a little daughter. They're happy and she's come a long way. Rise above this, get a better education, change your job if you must. There's a good life for you, but you must make it happen. Hang in there! -- Seen It All, St. Francois Xavier
Dear Seen it All: This encouragement from caring strangers never fails to amaze me. Your letter was much longer, carefully worded and hand-written and walked to the mailbox. I'm only sorry I couldn't have printed the whole thing, but I was able to include all your points. Thank you for taking the time to write Broken Spirit and boost her up.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press ,1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org