Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband loves outdoor sex in the summer sun, and I despise being bitten in intimate places by the bugs. The other day, my 18-year-old daughter and I were changing into our bathing suits in the same cubicle by the beach and my daughter said, "Mom, why do you have mosquito bites all over your bum?" and then she blushed and said, "Never mind." I stuttered and then tried to cover up by saying, "I go commando under my summer dresses." She was not buying that and said "Riiiight." I don't exactly know what she's thinking now but I told my husband that was the end of fooling around outside. He says I'm being a prude and spoiling something that has always been special for him in our marriage. What should I say? -- No More Sex With Insects, Grand Beach
Dear Sex With Insects: After all these years of outdoor sexual adventures, it's not fair to blame your ban on your daughter's question. Tell him exactly how you feel about getting bitten, and that you're tired of it -- but that you have a better idea. You can carry mosquito netting in the car to drape over a tree with a beach blanket underneath you. At this point you may even want an inflatable mattress in the trunk that you blow up medium-full ahead of time. It kills the moment to have to stop and blow it up (and fully inflated ones are too bouncy anyway). If you don't want to reek of bug spray you can slip the new neon coloured rubber expansion bracelets coated with citronella on your ankles and wrists. Have fun!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I went to see my favourite doctor at a drop-in clinic near my place. I had not seen him since Friday and it was Monday. He said, "You don't need to come here every day, you know!" I was very embarrassed and I started to cry. That is what medicare is for. You are not to be turned away.
I am old and I have aches and pains all over my body on various days and in various parts. I know you should always tell your doctor as soon as something starts happening so it doesn't get a chance to get worse. He used some big words on me that I didn't understand because English is my second language, so I asked my neighbour. That doctor had called me a faker or a hypochondriac, although he put that word with other words to hide it. I am not a faker. I am just old. Is that a problem in Canada now? If it is, we have come to a bad, sad place when you are old and can't get help. -- Old Lady, Winnipeg
Dear Lady: Every-day visits are a little too much. You are right about being alert to the need for help when you need it, but you need to talk to a doctor who will talk to you about expected pain when you get older. You also need to talk about better control of the daily aches and pains you have, and when to see the doctor about different pains that signal a problem. For instance, a lot of older people feel stiff and sore with arthritis almost every day when they wake up in the morning and then with a little movement they are good again. You may have different pain experiences that you need to understand, and a clear idea of the warning signs when something that could be more serious.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband is an emotional cripple. He won't tell me anything. He acts like a robot. Why? He says everything he says "goes in my ear and out my mouth," so he can't take the chance of confiding to me anything from his work or the bank or anything. As a result, I am treated like an errant teenager. He says I'm terrible at money, so now I give all my paycheques to him instead of direct deposit to my account. He says I put him in the hole once with the wedding, and he will never allow me to do that to him again. As for his feelings, don't even go there! I haven't heard about his feelings since the wedding ceremony. Sex? Oh, he'd like to communicate that way twice a day, if possible. He never says he loves me or gives me any compliments.
We have only been married three years, but he is older and wants me to start the conveyor belt at the baby factory, which, thank God, is my body and he can't control it. He's so stupid he has no idea why I'm not pregnant or even worrying about it at this point. I don't even know if I love him anymore. Deep down, I want to go travelling, without him. Should I jump the fence while I'm still in my mid-20s and capable of getting a new husband and babies some day? I can't picture being pregnant and delivering a baby with my cold-fish husband. -- Trapped By Controller, River Heights
Dear Trapped: Are you feeling deep anger, or have you fallen out of love with this man and just feeling coldness and disinterest? Are you subconsciously doing things to get free of him? Does he perhaps feel trapped himself with a young woman he can't trust not to tell secrets and make him go broke?
With or without him, you need get yourself to a relationship counsellor and get all the problems out on the table, everything you think and feel on all aspects of the marriage and your life. Once you know exactly how you feel and where you stand, insist that he go with you to that counsellor or one of his choice (who won't be prejudiced towards you). If he doesn't think it's necessary, let him know it's crisis time, your thoughts are organized and you are ready to talk or walk.
If that won't fly, just ask the hard questions like: Where do you stand, emotionally? Are you still "in love" with me?; 2. Will you never trust me financially again?; 3. Do you really think you can never confide in me about work or your feelings, or it will get out to my girlfriends? and; 4. If trust and respect are gone, what do we have left?
Perhaps you are too young to be married. Could you have sabotaged this relationship so it couldn't last forever? A counsellor will help you sort out your part in the disintegration and that situation and help you clarify what it is you want with your life. At the very least, deposit your cheque into your own bank account, pay your portion of the mortgage and bills, and start living like an adult again in this marriage.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6.