DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm nuts about Halloween and create big, scary yard treatments for the kids who come by my house. I'm a single mom, and a popular one. Everybody likes coming to my witch's house and I have a big cauldron going outside and treats for adults, too. This spring I met a guy. I did all this summer stuff with him, such as kayaking, camping, and even hiking, which I hate. Along comes Halloween -- my favourite time of the year -- and he doesn't like it, so he says I should "stop making it a big stupid deal."
Instead of humouring me, he's trying to make me feel like an idiot. He's been mocking me to the point where I'm thinking of breaking up with him. I've also noticed he mocks my children when he thinks I can't hear him. I asked my boys last night what they thought of him. The older one said, "Uh... he's OK, I guess. I know you like him." But the little one said, "Mommy, he's mean!" Should I try to smarten this jerk up, or give him up? My friends say it's almost impossible to find any guys at 37 and I should hang onto him and change him. -- Big Witch? South End
Dear Witch: It doesn't matter if there's only 10 single guys left in Manitoba, this bully is not for you. Your oldest is trying to be nice for your sake. The littlest guy's opinion is the one to be trusted, so listen to him. Mockery is a method of control disguised in the lowest form of wit. Mocking will soon lead to all-out criticism and nastiness the minute this kind of guy thinks he owns you and those kids.
Fade this clown out -- and here's a touch of irony -- use this "stupid" Halloween business as an excuse, rather than fighting it out over the real issues with this overgrown bully. Tell him you need a guy who's into Halloween. He'll laugh with disbelief, but insist. Let him call you a flake, or whatever, over this, because when he walks out that door in disgust, you win. And your friends are wrong. Check out the activities club Adventures for Successful Singles. To join, you have to pass an interview and get a membership. Call them at 204-775-3484.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife had an affair and we have just split up. It's Halloween now and I was always the one to take the kids out and I want that role to continue. My wife says she always resented that she didn't get to go out with the kids, so she wants me to stay at her door and give out candy, and she'll take the kids out.
I don't even want to be under her roof again, let alone manning the door. My God, the neighbours would think I moved back in. What a thought. My new girlfriend is really ticked and says she will go to the bar with her friends if I hand out treats on my ex's doorstep. What should I do? -- S.O.S. Newly Single, West End
Dear S.O.S.: Say no to your ex-wife like this: "I won't be playing the in-house daddy role. You can either greet the neighbourhood kids at your own door or hire a babysitter to do it so you can take the kids out." Hold that line. She needs to learn she can't boss you around or play the "pretend family" head games. That's why the little word "over" is present in D-I-V-O-R-C-E. There's a good chance this was just a ploy, she will give in, and you'll get to take the kids out.
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