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Ask Ellie: Widower should tell others he wants company

Dear reader: As I noted in an earlier column, my daughter, Lisi, will be handling the writing duties a few times a week. Enjoy her take on today’s questions. — Ellie I’m 85 and my wife died six months ago.

Dear reader: As I noted in an earlier column, my daughter, Lisi, will be handling the writing duties a few times a week. Enjoy her take on today’s questions. — Ellie

I’m 85 and my wife died six months ago. We had the most beautiful marriage. We were best friends. We still have some friends around; we’re fairly close with our kids though they live in different cities than us, and we adore our grandchildren. One day my wife just seemed off…. she was disoriented, headachy, and tired. We went to the doctor, who thought we should just watch her for a day or so. She went downhill quickly. About two months later they found an inoperable brain tumour, and two months after her diagnosis, she was gone.

Now I’m left alone and with everyone’s pity. Don’t misunderstand — I’m devastated, and lost, and find myself calling out to her in different parts of the house. It’s still very fresh. But I don’t want pity.

I want friendship, camaraderie, companionship. I want someone to watch tv with, go for dinner with, go for walks with. I don’t want people to come over just to tell me how sad they are. I don’t want people to keep sending in food for one. I want company!

How can I explain that to my friends/family?

Sad and Lonely

You just did. Show this column to anyone and everyone. Feel free to tell them it’s you. But if that makes you uncomfortable, just say something like: “Wow! This person is going through the same thing as I am. He was really able to articulate exactly how I feel.”

And call your kids. Explain that you need a little more of their time right now. Tell them it won’t last forever, that you’ll find your footing, but right now you need them. I have a good feeling they’ll understand and want to be with you, too.

I’m worried about a friend of mine. She’s 24, fun, high energy, warm and a hard worker. She lives at home with her parents (whom she’s told me are dysfunctional) and her two younger sisters, both still in high school.

She’ll come out with us on the weekends, and she’ll flirt like crazy with all the guys. She’s very provocative in her dress and her body movements when we’re out. But we always all leave together. I’m not judging —she can dress any way she likes — I’m just worried that someone else will mis-judge.

I know that she’s never had a boyfriend and is still a virgin. Her sexual actions aren’t my business, but I feel she’s playing with fire and is too immature if someone makes a move.

I just want to protect her from a worst-case scenario.

Concerned Friend

I had a friend like that — tall, thin and gorgeous, attractive to all the guys, but innocent and not ready for anything. You’re a good friend to want to protect yours.

Ask her to come over one time and get ready together. If you think she’s showing too much skin, tell her, and explain your reasons why. Help her tone it down. Turn on the music and get your dance on. Maybe she just has a lot of energy to burn. Ask her how she’d feel if a guy grinded up against her. Show her what her moves look like from the other side.

Then just talk it out. Maybe she just needs a big sister ­herself.

My boyfriend is driving me crazy. He makes plans, but then he either cancels last minute, or shows up late, really late! Not just 10 minutes, more like an hour! He always blames it on his parents — did I mention we’re 15? But that doesn’t seem right to me. Shouldn’t he be able to figure out his own plans?

Frustrated girlfriend

I think you’ve answered your own question. You’re both very young. So young that you’re both completely dependent on your parents. Neither of you even drive. So, yes, it could be that his parents can’t/won’t drive him at the times he needs. Your longer letter gave me more info and I get the feeling that your boyfriend doesn’t discuss his potential plans with his parents with enough time for them to make it work without a fuss. You also only ever mentioned him coming to your house, and being available on your schedule. Why don’t you make it easier on him and go to his house?

Even at this young age, it will help you to learn how to compromise — and take responsibility.

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: ellie@thestar.ca.