Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My neighbour walks around his backyard naked, watering his roses. Not just shirtless, straight-up naked. He does it at night, so I’m assuming he’s trying to be somewhat polite, but we still see him. I find it annoying, but my wife finds it amusing.
He’s out there as soon as the sun is down (there’s still enough twilight to see every little thing!) and I find it unnerving. It’s his yard, so I’m sure he has some right to be that way, but we have a two-storey home and can see him from our bedroom window. Luckily, we don’t have kids yet, but we want to, and I don’t want them seeing this weirdo next door!
My wife wants me to leave him alone, as he’s a quirky thing in our staid neighbourhood, and she likes to gossip with her girlfriends about his antics. She calls him Mr. Buff because he’s built. I’d like to say something so he’d stop. How do I do that without coming off as a jealous jerk husband?
— Too Much For These Eyes, River Heights
Dear Too Much: There’s a small chance he doesn’t know you can see him out the windows, but I’m betting he’s actually aware and enjoying being so daring. He knows you’re not asleep in bed when it’s not really dark out and he’s getting a thrill out of shocking you.
To do this the easy way, drop a card in his mailbox that says: "You know my wife and I can see you in your back yard, walking around nude. Would you please put some shorts on, as we’re shy and want to be able to look out our windows again." What’s he going to say? No? He may just ignore you. If that’s the case, put some light-permeable curtains in the top-storey windows, ignore the silly exhibitionist and spoil his fun.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My uncle always complains about being single, yet he does nothing to take care of himself. The man is in his late 50s and while he isn’t overweight, he’s just kind of droopy in the arms and gut. He could use a gym and some new clothes.
He’s kind of your classic blue-collar guy and has worked as a carpenter most his of life. How can I bring it up to him without his getting defensive? I’m just tired of hearing about it at every family dinner: "Blah, blah, blah, no women worth chasing!"
— Losing Sympathy For Unc, West End
Dear Losing Sympathy: It’s not Unc’s lack of stomach muscles. He’s lost his hunting muscle. He’s no longer hoping, or trying, so he’s trashing the whole idea, blaming it on the women being "not worth chasing."
Here’s how to get him to stop complaining in your presence. On a plain recipe card, you write this and slip it to Unc: "How about you try these two singles groups, meetup.ca and Adventures for Successful Singles (204-775-3484)." Rather than listening to him complain, challenge him to do something about his problem, quietly. If he still does nothing, at least he won’t feel comfortable complaining in front of you again.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m a female university student who’s having a hard time finding a summer job, and here we are in July already! I live with my parents as I’m still young, so I don’t worry about rent, but they’re getting annoyed with me being home all the time. I feel like it’s tough because I’m not your classic "hot chick" and while I don’t believe it’s the only reason I’m still unemployed, all my "hot friends" had jobs almost immediately. What do I do?
— Don’t Have Hot Looks, Wolseley
Dear Looks: When you’re not looking for jobs in clothing shops or serving drinks, the question of how sexy you look won’t even figure. A greenhouse job, with work watering and tending plants, might still be possible, now that this is high-growing season.
Or you might try pet sitting for neighbours with dogs, cats or birds that need love and tending while their owners are away on holidays. Some people just need plant-tenders in their homes, and that’s dead easy. Older people who aren’t mobile just want their restless dogs walked for exercise and company, and enjoy a little chat with you.
Circulate flyers advertising your business and see what you can find. If you feel unsafe working alone, team up with a friend and get a bigger business going. Get moving in a big way and your parents will regain respect for you, in a hurry!
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.