Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Thanksgiving was a big problem at my mom’s house. Only five of us were invited. My oldest brother thought he didn’t need to use the protective masks handed out before dinner. He refused one in the living room. Like Trump, he’d take his chances.

My 13-year-old sister called him an "irresponsible clown" and headed off into the sun room.

My mother, who’s a chicken, asked me to tell my brother he had to leave, if he wouldn’t abide by the rules. I asked her to please do it herself, as it was her house.

So she dumped an extra mask in his lap, and pointed at the chair he was to remain seated in — which was the recliner in the living room or "dad’s chair."

Mixed messages! Dad went upstairs, and didn’t come down again.

My ignorant brother followed us outside to eat. It was a silent and awkward dinner in the backyard.

It could have been nice, if that clown hadn’t come and acted out. He ate and slammed out the door, without saying goodbye.

How do we handle Christmas? This was horrible. — Family Divided By COVID, St. James

Dear Divided: Your family is not divided by COVID. You’re divided by old family problems. Your mother tried to speak through you — and even fed you the words — instead of standing up to her arrogant son. Then she gave dad’s "power chair" away to the oldest son who’d just flouted the rules designed by her to protect the family.

Dad didn’t have the guts to stand up and assert himself and slunk off upstairs. Little sister made an effort, but needed some backup and didn’t get it.

Your divided family could easily use this Thanksgiving fiasco as an excuse to do family Christmas online, with no need for masks. You still honour the occasion, but you are not stuck for hours annoying each other in person.

If you really want the rest of the family together to celebrate under one roof, then the brother who would thoughtlessly endanger the family needs to be told he’s not invited.

Chances are he would ignore whoever told him not to come anyway, as he only cares about himself.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a big problem. I met this girl through Tinder and we’ve been getting together and having sex, and it’s been great.

Nobody knows, and I like it that way. She seemed to like the secretiveness of it too, like it’s our own special world. She knows about my girlfriend, who’s away doing an advanced degree.

Last night, my out-of-town girlfriend phoned to say she’s driving home as soon as possible, because she wants to be near me and volunteered she’s willing to quarantine for two weeks when she gets here to keep me safe.

I smell a rat. She’s not generally that generous and thoughtful. I have a hunch now she had a guy down there, and they broke up. She’d be nervous of transmitting anything from him.

I told my girlfriend here about this, and she started to cry inconsolably. She confessed she’s fallen in love with me. I know she broke up with her crazy-jealous boyfriend recently.

Now what? This is about to blow up in the next two weeks. Help, please! — Too Many Moving Parts, Fort Richmond

Dear Moving Parts: You’re the one who’s about to get in the most trouble. You have two women focussed on you, and both will be in the same city soon.

Your sweetie in Winnipeg has dumped her boyfriend for you, and says she is in love! How do you feel about her? If it’s not love on your side, that has to end ASAP.

And if you and your university girlfriend are no longer in love, that also has to end. That means everybody will be starting over, and maybe that’s the way it should be.


Please send questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.


Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts
Advice Columnist

Each year, the Free Press publishes more than 1,000 letters to Miss Lonelyhearts and her responses to the life and relationship questions that come her way.

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