Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

I am ten years into writing my doctorate dissertation on "The Use of the Comma in the Works of James Joyce." (I can hear you yawning now.) It seemed like a perfectly reasonable topic when I began and now, ten years later, I am no closer to finishing than I was five years ago. Meanwhile, my advisor retired then died, the University told me to move off campus, and now I spend my days building paperclip houses in my mother's basement. I can't bring myself to look at the 4,632 pages I've written, especially when I am well aware that no one will read the damned thing. What do you suggest that I do?

Signed,
Academic Rendered Catatonic Around New England


Dear ARCANE,

At least you're not wasting your time. Your letter reminds of the day I tried to reform myself and gave up all my wicked habits. Oh Lord! Was that a joke! I woke up in the morning and attempted to get in shape by doing the Jane Fonda workout. That lasted all of five minutes. Then I tried to give up smoking the very same afternoon I found out my fourth husband J.R. had taken up with some harlot in his bowling league. You just know I bought myself a carton of Marlboros on the way back from the police station. That night I went to church only to discover that people don't take too kindly to bringing your own booze for communion.

Anyway, my point is, this dissertation is obviously a burden on you. Take it from me, a woman who knows, if you want to be happy in life, just forget it and take up something more worth your time, like this hobby you've developed in your mama's basement. Follow your bliss and it could lead you to a whole new life. Ever think about selling your paperclip houses on eBay?

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

Do you ever dream of winning the lottery? Well it happened to my husband, Stan, and me three years ago. We won over five million dollars (we took a lump sum) and I thought our life was going to be a boat floating down a river of happiness. Fat chance. Within a year we had every aunt, uncle, and deadbeat sister-in-law living in and around our house like it was Graceland! Everyone wanted a piece of the money. We never took the vacation to Paris I'd always dreamed of. Instead my brother insisted we purchase a fleet of motor homes and drive to the Grand Canyon. Then we hit Vegas and I don't need to tell you the details. I thought that the lottery was going to give us a life of luxury and leisure, but now the money is gone and we have nothing to show for it. And what of our families? Gone. I'm heartbroken and unemployed. What do we do?

Signed,
Got All My Brothers Living Easy in Reno

Dear GAMBLER,

Girl, I play lotto every week and I haven't won squat! Good for you! Listen, your first mistake was letting people know that you won. These kinds of things must be kept secret or, you got it, family coming out of the woodwork. Your second mistake was taking the lump sum. Everyone knows it's better to take the "Money for Life" deal. Third, investing in motor homes? Their value depreciates the moment you drive them off the lot! I wish you had written to me sooner. Oh well. What's done is done. You're reached the point in your life when all you can do is start over. It happens to everyone and that's why I suggest you start watching the daytime TV show Starting Over. They got these women from all walks of life going through the same thing you're going through and they got these life coaches that give just the greatest advice on how these sorry-ass women can overcome their pathetic lives. It gets real emotional and the fights between the women are better than anything you'll ever see on Jerry Springer. Yep, seeing these losers get through what they went through will make you feel like you can do it, too!

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

How can I break it to my boyfriend I don't like how he wants to spend our leisure time together? He's all into romantic stuff like taking long walks around the neighborhood, browsing flea markets, hanging out in the park all day, and buying matching scarves. Booorrrring! When I'm not working I have things to do. I got laundry, apartment cleaning, errand running. And after I do all that, I'm tired. But noooooo! He wants to cook a freaking gourmet meal together! What's wrong with doing just nothing? Why does it always have to be go, go, go with him? But I do love him so I want to make this work. What's the best way to tell someone they sometimes suck?

Signed,
On the Verge of Expiring Relationship In Toronto


Dear OVER IT,

Here's a trick that just might fix your problem: Put an ad in the personals listing the things you like to do with your boyfriend, it can read something like, oh I don't know, "If you like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain, if you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain, if you like making love at midnight..." etcetera. See if your boyfriend answers your ad. If he does, then you were truly meant to be together. If he doesn't, then I think you need to inform him you will no longer be the Will to his Grace and that he had better come up with some mutually interesting activities before you hoof it outta there. Good luck dear.




GOT A PROBLEM ONLY MISS LONELYHEARTS CAN SOLVE? SEND HER AN E-MAIL.

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