Don’t let lovelorn buddy make you his go-between
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was out fishing with my best fishing buddy — single all his life — when he told me, over about the 10th beer (he was really drunk) that he is in love with my sister, who is married to our third fishing buddy, who couldn’t make it last weekend. He has never done anything about it except he has been silently in love with her and suffering for years. They were high school sweethearts 20 years ago and we all come from a small town in the Interlake. He says there’s no fear she loves him back, except as a friend and “that’s why it isn’t a problem.” It may not be a problem to him, but now it’s going to be a problem for me the next time the three of us are in the boat. That idiot has been hearing all about my sister’s life through me and her husband. He even bought a little cottage close to hers and mine, ostensibly to be near his fishing buddies. Right! Why didn’t he speak up years ago when he could have still married her? Instead he went away to Europe for two years while she cried for him — and then found another guy. This is such a mess and I have a sensitive gut. How can I handle this? — Ham in the Sandwich, Interlake
Dear Ham: If he hoped, in his drunken stupor, that you would tell her, disappoint him by saying: “Your secret is safe with me, buddy. I’ll never tell her.” That puts the ball back in his court for good. It’s not your problem. Tell him to shut up about it and not involve you. He didn’t fight for your sister when he got back to Canada, and he hasn’t gotten a new love life in place in 20 years. It’s kind of creepy that he lives vicariously through you guys, so you may want to back off talking about her. Now for the drinking lecture: Nobody should be drinking like a fool when they’re in a boat on the lake and I doubt this buddy was the only one with his snoot in the suds. He could fall in, and at his level of supreme drunkenness, not know what to do and never be seen again, or he could pull down somebody who tried to rescue him. And there’s a drunk guy driving that boat, isn’t there? Horrors. Do you at least wear life jackets? I’m betting you sit on them instead. Get them on!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Every weekend, we pack up and go to the lake and I have to leave my “other man” back in the city. Weekends are the only time I get to see him. Don’t feel sorry for my husband! He has been fooling around on me since Day 1. I didn’t leave him because, in my own way, I love the dope, and he has lots of money to help raise my boys (second marriage for both of us). Last spring, I found a younger sex buddy of my own and I don’t feel the least bit guilty. The trouble is he’s working opposite shifts to me during the week and then my husband takes me off to the lake every weekend, all weekend. I can’t say, “Hey, how about my sex life back home?” because we would never talk about such things. I am a great mother and I’m not much bothered by my husband’s cheating now that I have a young and sexy partner. I just can’t work out how to see my side dish. What do you suggest? — Missing Him a Lot, Lake of the Woods
Dear Missing Him: I’m not giving out lessons on how to cheat, but I will say this: Compared with all the other lake-season cheating I hear about, you are not a very creative weekday thinker. ’Nuff said. Now, what’s the chance your husband is on to you and that’s why he insists you go the lake? If you know about him, he probably knows about you, and it looks like he has pretty much outfoxed you. How about considering an open marriage and cutting the subterfuge — or is that a big part of the excitement?