DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was walking at the zoo all by myself, thinking out a problem at work. I had the bad luck of running into my ex-husband and his new wife, whom l’d never seen before. I was shocked. She looked like my double! We nearly bumped right into each other physically at one of the animal exhibits, so my ex felt he had to introduce us.
She and I stared at each other! It was like looking in the mirror, except she has a much bigger chest, which was spilling out in a low-cut red top. I muttered, "I guess size does count!" and walked away. I know it was rude of me, but I was shocked. I can’t get this out of my head and it’s driving me crazy. Please advise.
— B-Cup, River Heights
Dear B-Cup: It’s not just about the chest size. A good percentage of the population has a built-in "imago" — a vision of how their loved one will look, talk and walk — which is a composition of features and colouring of people they have loved, including family members, babysitters, teachers and childhood crushes.
If your husband one day marries a third wife, she may look somewhat the same as his first two. Singer Rod Stewart is well-known for his similar-looking wives. Your ex-husband didn’t do this to spite you. Tell yourself "the man lacks imagination" or "he couldn’t get over my stellar looks" and move on, to find what you are looking for. If you can’t dislodge this obsession, do see a counsellor for help.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: With regard to Nasty Name-Calling — and the woman named Charlotte, who hates it when her man calls her nicknames like Charlie — I happen to think that Charlie is a very sexy nickname for a lady, if it fits with her given name. So if the couple can agree to stop the nickname war, as you suggested, the boyfriend might rise to the occasion and tell his lady that he loves her and he thinks Charlie is endearing. If his lady love isn’t buying it, then they should agree to resist any attempt at nicknaming. Just sayin’.
— Fearless, Winnipeg
Dear Fearless: That stubborn man has already worn out trying the nickname thing with his lady Charlotte, to the point where he should back off, and fast. It feels bad to her. It seems he doesn’t like her real name. That’s an insult to do with identity and runs deep, unless the person you’re nicknaming doesn’t like their given name themselves, and wants a different name. It’s important to respect the name of your love partner. If that person wanted to change their name, they’d have done it long ago, themselves. If a person doesn’t like using their partner’s given name, they can just say Darling or Sweetheart.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I live with two other women. We’re in our early 20s. I have a boyfriend and they don’t have any real boyfriends, although they go to dance clubs a lot and "date" regularly. They may or may not end up spending the night at the guy’s house. We have a deal where we don’t bring guys home. That changed since I got a steady boyfriend they really like, so he’s allowed to stay over. They say he "looks real good in the morning."
Over too many drinks last week, they suggested a plan for his birthday. They thought it might be "a hoot" to come to us in the bedroom with a birthday cake and candles, and join in, as a surprise foursome. I told them what I thought of that rude and ignorant idea, and they backed right off!
Now I’m not bringing him home to the apartment anymore. It’s gotten uncomfortable here, now I know they are also attracted. I’m wondering if I should move out with him. He’s suggested it, now that things are so tense for me. The thing is, I can’t afford my own place. Please help me decide.
— Upset Roomie, Downtown
Dear Upset: You can lose a lot of freedom when you move in with a guy too fast and for a reason of convenience, rather than living together with a view to marriage. Can you talk things out with the roommates and stay until you can find another group of roomies, while continuing to spend romantic nights at your boyfriend’s place? When you have your own place, you can just go home if things turn bad, and you won’t put up with hurtful behaviour because you don’t want to lose the roof over your head.
Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
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.