DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This is so embarrassing! I just made a big fool of myself at work. I'm relatively new to the office and mistakenly thought this man was crazy about me at work. He acted and spoke so intimately with me, and called me cute names like "sweetie." We planned ahead to stay late to do some work last weekend. I pulled out a bottle of wine and some appetizers and made a picnic on the desk, and he looked at me kind of funny. We started working and sitting close to look at the papers, and we both turned to talk to each other at the same time. So, I kissed him. He jumped up, put his hands to his lips as if he'd been burned and said, "Don't you know I have a husband?' I said, "No! Oh my God! I'm sorry! Nobody told me you were gay or married; you don't even wear a ring!" He quickly put on his coat and took off. Now, when I see him, he can't laugh it off as I have. He just acts curt. What was I thinking? Why did he talk to me like that? What now? The tension from him is awful. -- BIG Mistake, Downtown
Dear Kissing: This man may feel like he inadvertently cheated on his husband. Acting like it was nothing, or a little joke to you, is making things weirder. So, talk about that mistake and give it the importance it deserves. Ask for a private conversation where you can apologize properly for what you did. When he asks why you did it, tell him how you got the idea he was crazy for you. A gay man may feel it's OK, and not misleading, to call a woman terms like "dear" or "sweetie" -- although sweet talk is not heard much in workplaces anymore because of harassment possibilities. In your talk he needs the chance to tell you about his man, his marriage and its importance. A lot of gay men take their marriage vows more seriously than some hetero men do. The right to marry is something they had to fight for, and they are dedicated. Warning: from now on, in all work situations, you must keep your kisses to yourself, or you could land in big trouble with workplace and/or human rights authorities.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read your column today and felt for "Crying At Work." Your reader can try to contact Age & Opportunity Inc. if she is over 55 years of age. They can be found at www.ageopportunity.mb.ca or 956-6440 (ask about a program called This Full House). There are also professional organizers in Winnipeg that work with chronically disorganized people within a team setting and they can be found at www.organizersincanada.ca. This will bring up contact information for the Professional Organizers in Manitoba. -- In the Business, Wpg.
Dear Wanting: Thanks for your help. Many hoarders will peek online for the website suggestion. People who want to help loved ones in trouble with hoarding should also make an in-depth study of it online or through books before they do an intervention and try to shame a person who can't let go of their things. The reasons for hoarding are complex and need to be addressed differently in each case. They can range from an inability to sort, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dealing with emptiness and loneliness, loss of a partner, memories of extreme poverty in childhood, and various forms of depression.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org