At­tend church for fam­ily’s sake un­til kids grown

SundayXtra - - LIFE / TECH -

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My wife hauls me to church, and I hate go­ing. I try to fall asleep with my eyes open, but she keeps pok­ing me. The kids know I don’t want to be there, but she says it’s still good for them to see me there. I’m be­ing a hyp­ocrite by go­ing. Is that what I should be show­ing my chil­dren? — Daddy the Fake, West Kil­do­nan

Dear Fake: A lit­tle hypocrisy won’t kill you. Most adults have had some prac­tice. There are things in life you do that you don’t par­tic­u­larly like, but you par­tic­i­pate for the greater good. Go­ing to school ev­ery day is one of them, and many times in a child’s school ca­reer, they would love to skip. Ditto for fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties such as go­ing to church. We all knew my mom liked church bet­ter than my dad, but he went and counted the lady’s hats and made jokes af­ter pass­ing the col­lec­tion plate to my mom’s friends like, “Lola, how much did you get?” Our fa­ther sang hymns off-key, with en­thu­si­asm, and we loved him for it.

We would have felt some­thing “off” in the fam­ily if he didn’t come with us. Some­times, we didn’t like to go ei­ther, but we got dressed up and went and took part in choir and Sun­day school. Part of a child’s char­ac­ter-build­ing is see­ing their par­ents carry out things con­sid­ered im­por­tant even if they are some­times bored. When your kids are grown and gone, they will make their own choices about their spir­i­tu­al­ity and how to hon­our it. Then have a big talk with your wife about what you want to do. Maybe you’ll want to change re­li­gions, or not go at all, but you did your bit for the fam­ily on this front.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: It was al­ways cock­tail time at our house when I was grow­ing up. My mother and fa­ther never missed a happy hour at 5 p.m. and then had wine with din­ner. Af­ter that, they has a liqueur with their cof­fee, then took a lit­tle break and drank scotch for read­ing and TV. I was sur­prised when I stayed for supper at other kids’ houses and dis­cov­ered there was no liquor, and the kids didn’t even get a sip of wine at din­ner.

Now I am in my late 20s and a re­cov­er­ing al­co­holic who had to clean up my se­ri­ous drink­ing prob­lem or lose my fiancée, the love of my life. My par­ents still drink from five to mid­night and don’t see why I both­ered to go to Al­co­holics Anony­mous when they never had to. They both hold down im­por­tant jobs.

My girl­friend is in her early 30s and says she would like to have a baby soon. We’re get­ting mar­ried this year. Last night we were at my par­ents’ for din­ner and my fa­ther had the wine bot­tle at the top of my glass and said, “Want a small one?” My girl­friend leapt across the cor­ner of the ta­ble, grabbed the bot­tle and my fa­ther’s wrist and yelled at me to get in the car. “We’re leav­ing!” she said. I’m glad I wasn’t there to hear what was said af­ter that.

Now I’m afraid my par­ents will never speak to her again, although they have al­ready tried to talk to me by phone. I told them I was very an­gry and needed time to think. What should I say? — Caught in the Mid­dle, Tuxedo

Dear Caught: Your fiancée pro­tected and de­fended you like a she-wolf. Don’t apol­o­gize for her — stand up and sup­port her. She is your fu­ture, and your chil­dren are in her eyes. From now on, your dad will keep the bot­tle to him­self. Tell him you and your wife-to-be are a pack­age deal, and it would be wise to skip the drink­ing din­ners and do other ac­tiv­i­ties. Please send your ques­tions and com­ments to love­[email protected]­ or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Win­nipeg Free Press, 1355 Moun­tain Ave. Win­nipeg,

MB, R2X 3B6

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