DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm sitting here desperate because my common-law wife just left me and took the baby to her mother's house to live. She said there was no food in the fridge and she was living at her mom's place most days anyway to eat so she could make breast milk for the baby, so she just "formalized" it, and moved back in with her parents.
It's not my fault I can't find a decent job. I can't get anything more than a minimum-wage job because I have no training, so I thought I'd get more money on E.I. and then I could be with her and help with the baby. I am very close to our baby. She said: "Close doesn't mean anything when you aren't feeding and clothing the child properly."
Now that she's gone she won't answer my phone calls. I don't know what to do. I used to be a waiter before my last steady job. I was good at it, but hated it. My "wife" kept bugging me to go back to serving, but I would have hated it. She wanted me to work in a fancy restaurant like I did before, but I never got the hours like the more experienced guys did. -- Totally Miserable, Winnipeg
Dear Miserable: Nothing is going to impress the mother of your baby except real work and making a decent wage to support the family. Collecting E.I. doesn't cut it. It may suit you, personally, but there is a much greater issue here: your young family needing food, clothing and shelter.
Servers at restaurants get tips to augment their minimum wage, and you have experience, so that's the way for you to go for a time, even if you don't like it. Sometimes work is not about job satisfaction, but about sacrificing for your family. As you know, even the fanciest restaurants don't always bring in the best tips as they don't always get steady traffic. Apply at popular steak houses and medium-priced restaurants with high traffic and turnover of tables throughout the whole day and evening. That's where the steady money is. Money and a mature attitude could help solve your family problems if you get out there and find a job -- or even two jobs -- right away.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My fiancé is a great guy and I love him, but his sister is just plain weird. The closer we get to the wedding, the more clingy she becomes to him. It feels like she's jealous of the closeness he and I share and wants to be a part of every single thing we do. She is in the wedding party, and it's a big mistake. I finally asked her not to call me three times a day at work about wedding details and had to tell her she couldn't wear a dress different from the rest of the girls.
Now she is miffed and getting nasty. My guy is caught in the middle and very tense and upset, although he has not yelled at me or anything -- just gone silent. I had a thought this morning that she might like to break us up now she can't push me around, and I'm panicking. What should I do? -- Nervous Bride, Winnipeg
Dear Nervous Bride: To a degree, it's true you marry the family when you marry your man or woman, especially if you live in the same city. Some people resort to moving to get rid of clinging relatives and only visit on holidays. You don't need to go that far, but you really need to sit down and have a big talk with this sister-in-law-to-be and see her reactions in full. Ask her what she is afraid of, because you should know she has plenty of fear about "losing" her brother.
Let her know the day after the honeymoon is not going to be any different than the days before the wedding planning started. This may be a new thought to her: the wedding itself doesn't determine or change the relationship with siblings. In fact, newly married people spend more time together in the months before the wedding and settle back into a normal routine with friends and relatives afterwards. Also, talk to your future husband very openly and kindly about his sister. Maybe he will shed some light on their parents, his relationship with his sister and why she clings to him so hard.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6