October 17, 2018

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Opinion

Let's play the name game

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’ve been lying about my name to people ever since I moved to Winnipeg to go to university. People at school think it’s a cool name, but it’s not the one my parents gave me. My real name is very uncool.

My family is from another country and settled in Quebec. Now they are coming to visit me in Winnipeg. They’re going to find out I changed my name, because all my Manitoba friends and my roomies don’t know me by any other name than the one I made up. To give you a hint, my new name belongs to a well-known movie star, but my given names are the names of ancient kings from my home country. They just sound unbelievably stupid here in Canada. Should I tell my friends the truth or just let them find out from my family when they visit?

— A Big Liar, Winnipeg

Dear Liar: Warn your friends as soon as you can and let them get used to the name. Tell them your family calls you by this name, but you don’t use it anymore in Canada. They are likely to say, “Oh, that’s interesting” and then tell you about names they or their friends have endured or changed.

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’ve been lying about my name to people ever since I moved to Winnipeg to go to university. People at school think it’s a cool name, but it’s not the one my parents gave me. My real name is very uncool.

My family is from another country and settled in Quebec. Now they are coming to visit me in Winnipeg. They’re going to find out I changed my name, because all my Manitoba friends and my roomies don’t know me by any other name than the one I made up. To give you a hint, my new name belongs to a well-known movie star, but my given names are the names of ancient kings from my home country. They just sound unbelievably stupid here in Canada. Should I tell my friends the truth or just let them find out from my family when they visit?

— A Big Liar, Winnipeg

Dear Liar: Warn your friends as soon as you can and let them get used to the name. Tell them your family calls you by this name, but you don’t use it anymore in Canada. They are likely to say, "Oh, that’s interesting" and then tell you about names they or their friends have endured or changed.

I have one friend who hated her first name and ended up legally changing her full name. She’s been much happier ever since. You might want to change your name legally, or at least your first name, since you feel so strongly about this.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met an oily character on an airplane recently and thought, I’ll just endure him for the trip, and be done with him and he’ll slither away. Imagine my surprise when we were both back in Winnipeg, and he phoned me to go out to lunch.

I looked him up on Facebook and his cover photo showed this jerk with his arm around his wife.

I turned him down, saying I didn’t go out with married men, and didn’t like him to boot. That’s when he said, "You’re not so innocent" and told me he knew I was planning to move to another company and hadn’t told my boss. He overheard me on the plane talking about it on my cellphone.

Luckily, I told my boss I was leaving the day after arriving home. But, this guy still made me sick. It galls me that he’d threaten to reveal my secret because I turned him down for lunch — and he’s a married man! I want to get that slimy worm in trouble, but I don’t know how! What do you think?

— Disgusted With the Worm, St. Boniface

Dear Disgusted: Forget going after him. This is the kind of worm you need to get far away from. Don’t work on any kind of revenge scheme, as that requires giving him space in your brain. Don’t engage with him on the phone, either. If he calls you at work and you recognize his number, quietly hang up or say, "Don’t call again" and cut him off. He’s likely go looking for someone who gives him more attention — positive or negative. It may not matter which.

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.

Read full biography

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