DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m a young middle-aged woman, thinking about going to college. My biggest fear is my husband, who acts like he thinks I’m stupid and laughs at me when I bring it up. He acts like I must be kidding, but I’m dead serious!
I got pregnant by him, and we got married young. I never had much of an education and worked minimum-wage jobs here and there, while raising our kids. My husband works at a trade and is proud of "supporting his family" which his no-good drunk of a father never did.
I also think my husband is happy to have me at home, barefoot at the kitchen sink. He feels secure, like I can never leave. He thinks I’m sweet, but kind of dumb because I let him be the boss and don’t argue.
I’m not! In fact, I quietly do the books for his side business, for heaven’s sake, and hand them to the accountant, as I’m good at figures. (I had great math marks coming out of Grade 12.)
How can I take back some control of my life and go to college, while not causing a stir at home? I don’t want to ask my husband for the money and I can’t save much from my part-time job. Please help me!
— Ready to Dig In My Heels, West End
Dear Ready: You wrote me on a computer. Can you research your career path online and then take preliminary courses by computer at home? Once you get the first one or two under your belt, your husband will see you’re serious and won’t be able to laugh it off. But you must be strong, and you need friends who support you, even if he doesn’t. Make a short list of women you know who are working at jobs that required post-high school learning, and talk to them about your ambitions. Write back with more information about what you want to study so I can point you to a number of educational possibilities in the city.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My daughter is getting into acting and I am filled with dread because of all of the "Me Too" stuff that has gone on in film and music centres like New York and Los Angeles, where she says she wants to go. I just worry about her, as she is beautiful and young and somewhat naive — but very talented.
I’ve talked to her a few times about being safe, and she just tells me, "Stop worrying, Daddy!" Am I wrong? What can I do here?
— Her Nervous Father, South Winnipeg
Dear Nervous: Do the research and become an expert on what goes on. Steel yourself to read up on Me Too incidents and testimonies at harassment trials. With some real knowledge on the subject, teach your daughter what to watch for, how to react to overtures and how to defend herself from a predator who has a juicy script in one hand and another paw ready to stroke more than her ego.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My mother and stepfather are in their 60s and they are more than hot for each other. They just got married a year ago (his third wife, mom’s second husband). They make out like teenagers in the kitchen at family dinners, and I am so tired of it. It has been two years they’ve been together. Since their marriage made it legal, Year 2 has seen a lot more "loving" (and I mean ad nauseam) than the first year.
I guess I should be happy for them, but it’s too much. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. How do we get them to stop putting on this show, without hurting their feelings?
— Too Much Public Display, Tuxedo
Dear Too Much: Take your mom aside and say, "I’m happy for your having a new relationship, but the makeout sessions — past kissing and hugging — are causing us all to feel uncomfortable when we visit. It’s becoming X-rated and we don’t want to watch it!" Your mom may be upset by this criticism, but she’d be more upset if you quit coming over for special dinners and holidays because of it.
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