DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: A few days ago, my wife fired a dozen wine glasses on the floor and screamed at me that I'm a "common wino." I just looked at her and said, "You'd better clean that up," and went into my study and finished the bottle of wine out of the bottle with no glass. I heard her crying, but I didn't go to her; she didn't deserve it. I'm not a common wino. Yes, I drink wine with dinner every day, as does any sophisticated person in civilized parts of the world, and yes, I often finish the bottle over the evening. I used to drink Scotch every day, so I don't know what she's complaining about. I'm totally responsible; I don't drive at night after dinner wine. I'm a person who loves to read and talk about what I read, usually with my wife. Right now I can hear her packing. She's banging everything around so I'll know. I love her but I'm not about to give up who I am to be with her. I'm a sophisticated, intellectual man who loves a fine drink when he's reading. I didn't ask her to stop being a common housewife, did I? -- Livid, Tuxedo
Dear Livid: You are telling me you're a functioning responsible alcoholic, and happy about it, but it's not working for your marriage. Your wife is desperately unhappy and frustrated with you. Breaking the wine glasses was symbolic, as you must know. You're saying you like how you are -- a daily drinker -- and won't change. She's saying she has to leave because of that fact. Unfortunately, you love this woman! You'll find out how much when she leaves you. To be fair, you must realize it can't be fun to live with a man who can't leave the house after dinner because he's going to finish a bottle of wine from dinner and be too stewed to do anything. Her choices are to sit and talk with you about what you're reading that night or go out by herself -- or with other people. That's not much of a marriage.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm 16 and my girlfriend is 15. She likes hanging with me and having fun and making out and staying up drinking, and other fun stuff. But, she won't say she loves me. I ask her and ask her and it just makes her mad. She says she "loves me as a friend," and that she will only be "in love" once in her life and she will marry the guy. Can you believe that? This sounds like a big BS story to me. Do you think she's putting me on? My first girlfriend always said she loved me, no problem. Why would I waste time on a girl if she didn't love me? Girls I just like are just friends. -- Need To Hear It, North End
Dear Not So Dumb: She's not putting you on; she's just OK with liking you a lot more than other guys. The kind of love you want her to express is a kind of young dating love, not the forever love she's talking about. Your ex traded the "I love you" thing easily and now you aren't together. So was that really love? How many people are you going to say "I love you" to in your dating career over the next 10 years? This girlfriend doesn't want to cheapen the words, so she's saying "love you like a friend" to pacify you. Try saying "I adore you" or "I'm crazy about you" which sounds warm, especially if she can say it back with enthusiasm. Otherwise, this relationship is going to get supremely irritating for both of you.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6