DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have a constantly pounding head thinking about the way I was duped by my sister-in-law. She comforted me when my husband (her brother) split for parts unknown in his truck. She was over every day with tea and sympathy, pretending to agonize with me over my missing husband. She said the only thing the family knew was that he was in Alberta working, but they didn't know where. She babysat my kid so I could go to the store. She helped me find a job.
And then, she hit on me. You heard me. She kissed me right on the mouth and said, "Come on, you know you want me, too." I pushed her away and the chair almost fell over.
I'm not a lesbian, and if I were, I wouldn't want the sister of the guy who left me to be my new partner, for God's sake! He left with half the furniture in his truck and a just a note taped to the fridge saying: "I can't do this anymore." I was so weak and vulnerable I let her in my door. My friends say she probably knows where her brother is, but she didn't tell because she had designs on me.
Today I saw a lawyer for the first time and told her everything. She said, "Even if you are dead lonely, get this sister-in-law out of your life." My friends and family, who are good people living out in the country, have always suspected her of being a phoney. So how do I tell her to get out of my face for forever? She keeps on coming over.
-- Twice Stupid, Winnipeg
Dear Twice Stupid: Precipitate a fight with her on the phone -- it shouldn't be difficult -- and tell her to get away from you. Then, don't open the door to her again. Every time she phones say, "Don't phone me!" and hang up. If you are renting, sublet and move across the city; if you own, you need to sell your house. Your lawyer will know how to have your ex's whereabouts traced quickly. Then you proceed with selling the dwelling and filing for divorce.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a regular reader, and today as I was reading your column, I took special interest in Snapping Bit by Bit's letter. In addition to the suggestions you have offered her, I wanted to let you know that Hospice & Palliative Care Manitoba offers a number of grief-support services that would be helpful in helping this lady to deal with her grief and other issues. Their phone number is 204-889-8525.
-- Want To Help, Winnipeg
Dear Want To Help: This information will be good to pass on to the husband who is grieving his recently-deceased brother, but Snapping needs to get her own private stress counselling. She has had to stifle her own feelings and needs for months, looking after the family alone, so her man could spend as much time as possible with his dying brother. Now she is at the "snapping bit by bit" stage and needs relief before her husband's grief is really processed.
Going to grief counselling with him and hearing more about his pain would add to hers. Counselling, exercise, a break from the kids -- those are the kinds of things she needs, and perhaps medication for her anxiety.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I punched a friend in the face and he punched me back and my nose bled. Then it was over and we ended up laughing and we were friends again. We're both 19. Why can't people just bop each other -- not too hard or too often -- and let bygones be bygones like me and my buddy? It would be a better world if they did -- it clears things right up.
-- Two Buddies for Life, West Fort Garry
Dear Buddy: Everybody's different. You and your friend have a rough-and-tumble relationship, like two brothers below the age of 12. That's OK for you. Most people wouldn't have the same relationship because they don't share the deep brotherly affection and the pioneer values about fist-fighting. And they're not usually as evenly matched.
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