DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I've been seeing a creative-type man for three years who can do almost any kind of art or music well. Unfortunately, he doesn't make much money. I'm close to 30 and think I might like to get married but that's not going to happen without any money, is it? Along comes this guy at work who hasn't a creative bone in his body except the obvious one, and he's cute and got all the money and security in the world. He has a house and a car and money in the bank and he's not even cheap! I know he really likes me, but I keep telling him I have a boyfriend. I'm thinking of jumping the fence to see if the grass is greener, but what if it isn't? This is where I wonder if I should experiment quietly, and see. My creative boyfriend has always wanted to experiment with an open relationship but I think he is picturing another woman. I'm thinking if I let him see another woman, I could see what it might be like with this guy who is so crazy to get with me. My best friend foresees disaster all round and says "Don't do it, you idiot!" What do you think? -- Looking For the Marriage Thing, St. Vital
Dear Looking: You don't love the creative guy enough to marry him, so there's no need for all these manipulations. You also don't need to test drive the guy from work -- he's just a big fat paycheque to you. If you marry a guy for money, it will soon fall apart and you'll end up a single mom anyway. The support will be higher but it's still a tough go. You need to get yourself free from the artsy guy, build a career and start saving some of your own money. Then start looking for a guy who is fairly creative (if that turns you on) and makes decent money. There are such combos. But you'll never find him if you keep muddling along like this. You're better off becoming financially independent and marrying a guy you really love, with the hope that it will last.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm furious! My husband has bought me a "wet vac" as my Christmas present. I am so stunned by the absolute lack of romance that I sat down in the garage where I found it and had a cry. Yes, I have been saying for three years we need a wet vac, but I can't believe the lunkhead would actually think I wanted one for Christmas. Should I tell him to take it back? I know his heart was in the right place and we need it, but I don't want this to be my Christmas present from my husband, for God's sake. -- Wet Face over Wet Vac, The Basement
Dear Wet Face: Tell him you found the wet vac and you really don't want it as your Christmas present. It'll save a terrible experience on Christmas morning. It reminds me of the time my mom wanted a fur coat and my dad, the joker, put a mousetrap in a pair of fur slippers that said, "Trap your own!' She couldn't see for the tears and when he said, "Look inside! Look inside" she was already running to the bedroom crying. Deep inside one slipper was a cheque for the fur coat of her choice. Still it was a bad Christmas for us all. So don't risk a sombre scene. Tell your guy to please return it and get you something personal and romantic instead. You can buy the wet vac yourself some other time.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I don't want to go anywhere for Christmas this year. I am sick of travelling to his parents or my parents. So I invited them both come to our house and they both refused, saying the families were all getting together. My French husband wants to go to his family's on Christmas Eve and go to mass at midnight and then to my family's the next day, same as always. What should we do? Our very young kids would be happy to stay home and play with their toys. -- Want Our Own Christmas, Selkirk
Dear Want Our Own: Denying your husband the big visit with his family and mass on Christmas Eve is selfish and unkind. Go there, and enjoy it with him. And decide now if you want to go to your family's Christmas. It won't be putting anyone out but them. Maybe this is a year you could skip, making up some very nice excuses so as not to hurt people too much.
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