Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My parents gifted me a home. Yes, a home! I’m 26 and have a great job, but my friends know I can’t afford a home right now, and I’m a little embarrassed to say my parents sprung it on me.
My parents are not rich, but they have always supported my brother and me no matter what. They work very hard for us, and the trips, cottage and lifestyle we have are more than we could have ever asked for.
My brother and I are both responsible, young, humble adults. I knew they would help me get into a home, but I didn’t expect them to invest in it and tell me to contribute when I can. I’m so grateful, but I feel I’m giving off the wrong impression, like I expected this home and I get whatever I want. That’s far from the truth. I just want my friends to respect me and look at me the same. All their parents helped with their rent or condos and I never judged.
— New Home, Cold Friends, Winnipeg
Dear New Home, Cold Friends: You need to tell your closest friends the whole story. Set them straight on the fact you never asked for the house, and you will be paying your parents. Tell them, even though it bugs you to have to do that.
If you stay silent and act chippy or embarrassed, you might prolong this awkward situation. After you tell them, be sure to gently compare the situation of their parents who helped them with their condos or rent. Make the point that you all have generous parents — but you will all pay them back. (Some of them will inwardly blush, as they didn’t pay back any rent.)
Once they fully understand your house is not a straight-out gift, they’ll be happier to come over. Have a dinner party, celebrate Halloween nights, share the fun of having this house now. But if they’re still jealous and cold, then they are false friends and you’d be better to cool things with them, too, and find yourself better friends.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met a guy at a social last weekend. When I left to go home, and he was sitting in my car half-asleep. I screamed at him to get out, and he stumbled out and said, "Whoops, sorry, wrong car." He apologized all over the place and went and sat in his own car, which is identical to mine. I was curious and went over and asked him why he didn’t go home and he said, "Because I’m too drunk."
He was cute, so I told him to lock his car and I would drive mine. I volunteered to take him back to his car "if he wanted to stay at my house for the night." He did, but he just kissed me good night and voluntarily slept on the couch. I took him to his car in the morning, and I gave him my phone number and he’s never called. My feelings are actually quite hurt. Should I call him?
— So Soon Forgotten? Windsor Park
Dear Forgotten: You did him a favour, with a condition attached, that he sleep at your house. He did that, gave you a little kiss, slept all night and now he’s moved on. He may even have a girlfriend who was away and didn’t go to the social with him. Did you ask him if he was in a relationship? I’m thinking not.
This kind of one-night experience, where you flash your lights at each other and are gone, would be like the phrase from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "ships that pass in the night." Phone him if you need to ask him out. It’s a long shot, but sometimes, you have to take it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I want to unload my girlfriend on my best friend. I know she likes him, and he’s crazy about her.
Frankly, I’m tired of her and he is quite aware of that fact.
How can I accomplish this?
— Need To Move Her On, St. James
Dear Need to Move Her: Your girlfriend is not a commodity to be passed around. To be a standup guy, you have to say goodbye to this young woman because you are no longer interested in the relationship.
Then she may take time for herself to be free and look for a better guy. Clearly, you weren’t her best experience, especially of late.
Then, if time passes, and your buddy still wants to, he can ask her out. But don’t you mention anything about him, intimating he’d be a great consolation prize. That won’t be any help to his cause, believe me.
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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.