Don’t meet former boyfriends behind partner’s back
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I saw several gorgeous old boyfriends at a concert in Winnipeg recently, and it made me wonder what kind of a life I left behind five years ago. All of these men were still appealing sexually, in their late 20s, and perfectly pleasant and funny. They all asked me something like, “Are you feeling better now?” At first I thought they were maybe referring to our breakups, and my recoveries after they were gone. What male egos, I thought.
Then I realized they were actually referring to my tendency to be nutsy — happy and euphoric for periods of time and then really down on the ground and crying a lot. I was like a roller-coaster. At one time or another, they had all asked me to get help. I was insulted at the time and absolutely refused. My next boyfriend after them — with whom I am living with happily now — insisted I get diagnosed right at the beginning of our relationship, and now I take medication for my bipolar disorder. I’m pretty much levelled out and love him dearly.
On puzzling this over, I’ve decided I would like to interview these old boyfriends on how it was for them dealing with me so I can get a grip on my reality back then. I always thought there was something wrong with them, such as lack of empathy, lack of maturity or something cold in them. It never occurred to me I was the common denominator until I got home from that concert and thought about it for a few days.
Is it disrespectful to my present guy to talk to these old loves? That’s what I want to do and maybe even tape the interviews. Should I even tell my guy, or sneak? — Ex-Roller-Coaster Babe, St. James
Dear Ex-Roller-Coaster: It must have felt good to have these guys come over and ask about your health. They obviously cared a lot at one time, but didn’t understand what was happening. Though it’s tempting to check out these old boyfriends in private — even if it’s a short list — it wouldn’t be fair to the guy who really loves you now. How would you like your man to go off to “interview” several attractive old girlfriends about their former relationship with him, and to make amends?
Common sense tells me your new boyfriend is not going to be happy about your sneaking off to see several old boyfriends with the purpose of interviewing them about your past relationships. “Really?” he will say. “Sounds like an excuse to see them alone.”
If you’re sincere about doing research, just call the old boyfriends on the phone and apologize for being a difficult girlfriend. Tell them you appreciated them caring enough to ask about your health. Tell them that your bipolar condition has been diagnosed and treated. Later that night, tell your boyfriend what you did on the phone, and thank him for being caring enough and strong enough to get you to a doctor for proper treatment.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m crazy about ani- mals and am considering papering the walls to the roof with pictures of adorable baby animals. It’s my first apartment and I have roommates. I should be able to do what I want with decorating my room, right? My roommates think it will scare people off, like I’m a crazy woman. One of them said to me, “I doubt any guy will want to sleep in here with 200 pair of eyes staring from the walls at his bare butt!”
I may never get a chance to do this again when I’m older. I’m 18 now and just moved into the city with my girlfriends. I’m going to college next year and working full time until January when my course starts. What do you think? — First Apartment Problem, Downtown
Dear First Apartment: Get it out of your system. So what if no guy sees the inside of your bedroom for the first months? You’re young and fancy free and this is your first place.
Suggestion: you might want to affix the animal pictures onto large rolled-out pieces of mural paper so you can take them down without wrecking the walls. When you grow out of this decorating faze, and you will, things will change, but for now, why not decorate it when your roomies are out, and keep the door shut when uptight company comes over.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is regarding Spiritual Lady whose husband feels that the neighbours celebrating Halloween “looks like the devil’s work” and they will burn in hell. The reality is that Halloween is a Christian celebration, so I would suggest he live and let live because there is a lot of ignorant hatred in this world, and as a spiritual man, he need not be part of it. I’ll bet his neighbours will forgive him when he apologizes. I enjoy your column. Best regards. — SY, Winnipeg
Dear SY: When he apologizes? That’s a good one! Actually, there’s a lot debate over whether Halloween started as a pagan or Christian custom, although it did precede the Christian All Hallows celebrations by one night and end up called All Hallows Eve. Others say Halloween first had to do with fears and beliefs about the dead and warding off evil spirits by dressing up and beating them at their own game, rather than anything Christian.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Since I have become a guitarist and singer with a band, I find I idolize my favourite singers and songwriters more and want to ask them questions. I see their pages online, but am too shy to contact them and ask them questions. Will they think I’m coming on to them? — A Million Questions, Fort Garry
Dear Questions: Surprise! People who are always on buses or planes spend a lot of time on their laptops and you may even get some conversations going with them on social media. Don’t expect too much, but it can happen. Keep your questions about music, and don’t use them as a way to sneak in as a rabid groupie. Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winni
peg, MB, R2X 3B6