DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm sad to say I've been left with a deathbed confession rattling around my poor brain since burying my grandmother. We were very close. I haven't told anyone. Miss L., I find this hard to believe of my proper little grandma, but two of her children were the babies of another man. She had a longtime lover and her youngest two children -- my mother and her younger sister -- belong to another man biologically. My grandmother had an affair, and the man looked very much like my grandfather so she could get away with it, although both my mom and aunt have the brightest blue eyes and my grandparents' eyes were both brown. The man who was my grandmother's "true love" had eyes "blue as the sky, just like Paul Newman," she said. I know this man. He was a handyman and did repairs around my grandparents' farm. That's how they met. We live in the country and he lives in the next town and he's still alive. I don't blame Gran entirely, because my grandfather was a bad drinker and their marriage was arranged. Should I tell my mom or my aunt? -- Totally Stymied
Dear Stymied: The truth needs to come out and your grandmother knew that. Tell your mom, and let her tell your aunt. Step back and let them work it out, however they want to. Grandma wanted them to know, but was probably feeling too weak to face them. She told you because it wouldn't hurt and upset you so much. But, you have to know she expected you'd leak it to your mother, and you should do just that -- soon -- so you don't get yourself into too much of a knot. It won't be easy news to hear but you never know if your mom hadn't wondered, or have seen something as a kid, or knew at some deep level of her being. It's usually best to know the truth about your parentage, so if there's something you suspected a long time, you find out you weren't crazy thinking it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm loose and relaxed with women I don't like too much and end up dating them because I can't cope with the ones I really like. I can't think straight, eat without dropping things or make a joke to save my life. I get flustered and the date ends badly and the peck I offer lands halfway off her mouth, and that's that. At that point, I go back to the girls in my life I think are just OK, and maybe good in bed. At age 34, I'd like to be able to find some degree of confidence in romancing a woman I actually could love, but there seems to be no hope for me. Am I doomed to be with a woman I don't really love in order to establish any kind of relationship? You'd never guess this about me because I seem so confident, but I turn into a scared, bashful little boy in the face of a really great woman. Please advise. -- Shy Idiot, Winnipeg
Dear Shy: Sometimes an honest confession from a bashful man is quite charming. Next time you meet a woman who blows you away, consider saying something like, "Usually I know exactly what to say to a woman, but I find you so attractive I'm feeling tongue-tied. How about you ask the questions for a few minutes and I'll answer them so we can get to know each other?"... This second tip may seem a tad shallow, but unfortunately it's based on physical facts of life, and it gives an edge to shy guys. If you want a woman to do all the chasing, get yourself into great shape, wear with-it clothes, get a nice haircut and smell sexy -- very faint cologne you have to get close to smell. Believe me, women can detect that smell especially if it's mixed with pheromones -- and doubly so if the lady is also starting to feel attracted to you, too.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email email@example.com