Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My extra-special ring with the big diamond is gone from our house. I have an idea who took it, but I don’t know how to confront him. It’s my gambling-addicted boyfriend. I have an idea he needed to pawn it. He bought it for me when he had a big win at the poker table. He always has a job, but recently he’s been down on his luck at the tables. I think he’s in trouble with gambling debts again.
He can be violent and I pretend to be sad about the theft, not angry, and he’s expressing some pretty phoney sympathy and awkwardly patting my back. If he really thought somebody came into our house and stole from me, he would be on the hunt for the person, find them, and they would wish they had never touched anything belonging to us.
So now I have no beautiful diamond. What can I do from here? Should I go look in the pawn shops? What if I bought it back and it just started being on my finger again? I could say somebody had the guilts, recognized it as mine and must have slipped it back. Do you think I could get that one by?
— Miss My Diamond, Elmwood
Dear Miss My Diamond: You could not get that one by, and you know it. Slipping the ring back into place on your finger fools no one and might get you a beating. The ring was a wake-up call.
Why are you choosing to stay with this violent, addicted, dishonest man? That’s the real question. You need to talk to people from Gamblers Anonymous (204-582-4823). For your other problems , you should see a personal counsellor. You could find one through Klinic, which has almost-daily free drop-in counselling at 545 Broadway. Call 204-784-4067 for hours. They will see you and then suggest longer-term counselling appropriate for your problems, including living with a man who is dishonest and violent.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I distinguished myself by puking twice at the rides at a recent fair and now my boyfriend is telling everyone. I know some dirt about him, like he sometimes wears his shorts for four days before putting them in the wash. I’m so sick of his story I feel like telling that one. Should I?
— Furious Girlfriend, Manitoba
Dear Furious Girlfriend: A man who teases in this nasty way only gets worse. You obviously have let him get away with it and tit for tat isn’t going to cure him, only escalate his nastiness and desire to humiliate you. Let’s hope you have no permanent ties or kids together. Time to dump this abusive guy.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have to disagree with your answer to Concerned Mama, whose 20-something sons and their girlfriends went against her wishes and shared beds at the lake. (Miss L. suggested she look the other way.) This is less about her own attitude regarding premarital sex and more to do with the fact that both sons disregarded her feelings and explicit wishes without any discussion. Of course, she’s aware they are in sexual relationships, but it is her cabin and therefore her right to decide sleeping arrangements, if that’s what she wants.
If she’s offering them the opportunity to enjoy a weekend away with their girlfriends, and they know that sleeping together makes her uncomfortable, they should either decline her invitation and explain why, or join her while following her wishes. To go behind her back is both disrespectful and greedy. This is a case of sons who want to have their cake and eat it too by weekending on their parent’s dime, while at the same time disregarding her feelings and house rules.
It goes without saying her peeping was inappropriate, but neither son can take the higher moral ground after they and their girlfriends snuck around behind her back first. Also, it was the sons who initially put their girlfriends in an awkward situation with their potential mother-in-law by encouraging the girls to be implicit in their own deceit and disrespectful behaviour. If they are old enough to sleep as couples, they should be mature enough to discuss the situation with their mother in an adult conversation and make the decision to stay at the cabin, or not, based on the outcome of that.
— Talk First, Act Second, Manitoba
Dear Talk First, Act Second: Yours is a logical argument, but it ignores one likely outcome: the kids who are partnered and sleep together at home will never stay the night again at your cabin.
I once asked my wise brother John why his cabin was full every weekend with their three teen and 20-something kids and their boyfriends, girlfriends and buddies. It was a wonderful, joyful place to go. I reminded him of my own mother writing up sleeping lists separating all the couples, which people ignored.
My brother said you have to be permissive. He said he and his wife looked the other way and the young adults could decide for themselves where they slept. Under your suggested model, parents could be saying goodbye to their 20-something young adults and their partners every summer and missing out on what is important: love, fun and togetherness. As for "weekending on their parent’s dime" — where did a snarky remark like that come from? Not from family loving and kindness.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.