Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m a guy with some pretty stupid, rude tattoos I had done in my teens and 20s. Now that I’m in my 30s and have a career, I just make sure I wear a long-sleeved shirt, and the bit that peeks out of a suit is kind of stylish these days.
The issue is with my personal life — like getting naked. I can’t afford expensive good-quality laser removal right now. When I’m dating a woman, I try my best to hide the worst ones, but they always eventually find out — I mean, they’re on my body.
The worst of them are pretty sexist and I have changed quite a lot since I first got them. I can’t go to the beach with women because they’re embarrassed, and I can’t really blame them.
Also, I want to have kids one day and I know I can’t be a good role model with some of the stuff drawn on my body. What should I do? — Embarrassing Tattoos, Winnipeg
Dear Embarrassing Tattoos: It means a lot to you to have the disgusting tattoos removed, so instead of thinking "all or nothing," keep saving up your money and have them redone incrementally, from most to least offensive. Your new motto is "one at a time."
Some tattoo removal places may even let you pay it off monthly, if they feel they can trust you.
A woman might be disgusted by a tattoo, but if she knows you’re embarrassed and it’s on its way out, that’s a different thing.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My young daughter is heartbroken after her first boyfriend recently cheated on her. I hate to sound like a know-it-all, but I saw this coming.
The guy she dated was a classic meathead, and if I had the chance, I’d just love to ream him out.
I guess what they say about girls liking the bad boy is true, because this guy was a real moron, has been in trouble with the law and is too good-looking.
My daughter has been crying every night for a week. I wish there was a way I could make her believe she is better off, but I’m her dad, and everything I say seems to just bounce off her.
I love her, and it’s killing me to see her this way. What should I do? — Furious Father, St. Vital
Dear Furious: Your preaching should take this tack: "Nobody should treat a girl or woman this way!" Then go on to talk about how they should be treated.
Don’t call this bad boy names, or she will come to his defence. Let her know how worthy she is as a person and as a better guy’s girlfriend.
Build her up! Tell her how proud you are of her, and that you know she will meet a great guy and look back on this time and just shake her head.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m a man in his early 60s and I just retired. I’m starting to feel like I may have wasted a good deal of my time working, but at the same time, I don’t know what to do with myself.
So, I just keep wasting time. I spend all day reading the news and playing poker online. I feel depressed.
I’m single, but I would really like to meet a woman. I just know they won’t be interested in the current version of my lifestyle. Please help me out! — Running Out of Time, West End
Dear Running Out: You’re right! You need to develop more facets of yourself. That’s how you offer ways for new friends and possible dating partners to hook onto you and form relationships — common interests.
Because of COVID-19, you still have some months ahead of you to build yourself up. For instance, you could learn how to play a decent game of pickleball, which is all the rage right now for people in their 40s and older — a combo of tennis and ping pong played on a badminton-sized court over a lowered net.
If you like dogs and have a place to keep one, you’ll have a loving friend and a reason to get out walking. Plus, young people laughingly refer to dogs as "chick magnets," as friendly doggies like to visit with everyone along the path. Great excuse to strike up a conversation!
Also, get involved with a charity that has personal appeal for you and offer to do whatever they need. You’ll meet good-hearted people there and usually more women than men.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: When it comes to entertaining, I’m gracious and fun, but my husband grows very embarrassing the more he drinks.
I love having people over to enjoy each other’s company (less so now with the pandemic), but my husband always thinks it’s a green light to get drunk and then says embarrassing things or uses shocking words.
He’s not an angry drunk, but he says private things to guests, swears way more and ends up making everyone uncomfortable except other drinkers.
I’ve talked to him numerous times and it never seems to change anything once he’s into the booze. I love him, but I just want things to be normal and nice. — Embarrassed Wife, Southdale
Dear Embarrassed: People who are drunk at a party can easily be tricked into having their behaviour recorded. Film other people laughing and waving at the camera earlier so he doesn’t suspect anything, and then wait until he is well into his drunken behaviour for the rest of the recording.
Show him the tape much later when he’s not hungover. Let his sober self see how he sounds to other people when he thinks he’s actually being so entertaining — the life of the party! Let’s hope he’s embarrassed, and not proud.
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.