DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: A hot guy just moved in my block. I spent all day watching him unload and appeared at his door with cookies for him and the movers in the afternoon. I didn't see a girlfriend in evidence and he's not wearing a wedding ring.
I'm in my first apartment and my family just moved out of the province, so this is looking like a very sad Christmas for me. Visions of sugar plums and more about his body are dancing in my head. Would it be so bad if I went after him this December and it didn't work out? We could just pretend it didn't happen in the new year. -- Short-Term Solution?
Dear Short Term: You'd be better off to befriend this new neighbour than try to and tie him up in a bow to save your Christmas. What if he thinks you're a desperate problem child, or he turns out to be weird or a dreadful bore? He may not be wearing a ring but may have a girlfriend here, coming home for holidays or online -- or he may even be gay for all you know at this point.
Go easy! Get to know him casually. Have a Christmas party and invite your apartment neighbours. Be the Christmas elf everybody gets to know by baking treats and leaving them on your neighbours' doors a week before Christmas morning. Don't try to make this hot-looking guy your in-house solution to loneliness. You may become great friends, hot lovers or not even want to know him past the first chat.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was disappointed with your response to Furious With Neighbours, who was angry about a blinding Christmas-light display next door and sent a nasty note along with a bill for blackout curtains. Furious should ask the neighbours. They may not have realized the impact their Christmas lights had. Given that the damage has been done, I would suggest he/she take a peace offering to the neighbours and apologize. She could explain he/she's been under a lot of stress (from lack of sleep!), had over-reacted and ask if they can resolve the matter. It may be as simple as installing a timer -- a win/win for both sides: Furious would get some sleep, the neighbours would save on hydro and peace would return to the neighbourhood. -- New Solution, Winnipeg
Dear New: Your idea would have some merit if the person with the blackout drapes was the least bit sorry, but that's not the case. The lit-up neighbours who ripped up the bill and sent it back are a fiery lot themselves. Telling the people with the light display they need to work out a curfew for the lights when the blackout curtains were already in place would have presented a second battlefield. It's a short season and it's dark out there. This house lights up part of a neighbourhood. As a well-known Beatle suggested, "Let it be."
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