Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,
I'm a recently divorced woman in her mid-forties. I bought a fixer-upper and have hired a carpenter—an incredibly HOT carpenter—to help with some of the fixing up. Goodness, when he picks up a hammer and starts banging away… We have a great time together, if you know what I mean. ;) He does wonders for my bruised ego. But, there is a problem. He's not that good of a carpenter. Great at everything else, just not at what I'm paying him for. Truth be told, the place is in worse condition than before he started. I desperately need to hire a new carpenter but I'm afraid of letting go of my very own Ty Pennington. I don't want him to think I'm just using him for his other skills. I really need a roof though. Do you think he'll notice if someone else is doing the house work?

Enjoying A Sexy Young Man, Arlington, Kentucky

Well, this is a pickle. You've got your carpenter nailing you instead of a 2x4! He's banging you instead of his hammer! He's really got you bent over a barrel my dear. Literally. I have heard about these Carpenter Casanovas, these Labor Lotharios, these Roofing Romeos, but I thought they only existed in my twisted dreams of a naked Bob Villa.

My advice: don't let your personal handyman finish the job, if you catch my drift. Find another (less attractive) carpenter to finish the roof and then give your personal Pennington an easy task, like putting up shelves in your bedroom. How convenient!

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,
I have a problem that I need an answer to quick! My father dropped dead in 1975. Around that time, my husband, Bud, promised my mother that she could come and live with us in an apartment over the garage. Bud promised he would build it just for her. Well, if you do the math, that was 30 years ago and he's never so much as picked up a nail! My poor mother is 95 and still living alone with her ten cats. She stares longingly at the garage every time she comes over so I know SHE hasn't forgotten Bud's promise. Now I am starting to believe that my husband lied and had no intention of ever building an apartment for Mother, though he did take some measurements one day back in 1984. Am I wrong to doubt my husband's good intentions?

Afraid Lonely Mother will Outlive Spouse, Then Demand Expensive Apartment, Denver

I hate to say it but I think your instincts are dead-on about ol' Bud's "good intentions." The question I'm wondering is why haven't YOU found someone else to do the work. Seems to me that it may not be just Bud that is a little hesitant about having Mother live over the garage. If you believe that's not the case, then go out and find a contractor to do the work. Hell, you might get yourself a really nice deal (see EASY MARK's letter). But, I guarantee that the mere mention of hiring someone else to do the job will get ol' Bud off the couch. Your letter reminds me I need to get my keg refilled.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

Is it rude to want to renovate someone? My roommate seriously needs to be completely re-done. She dresses like a boy. Seriously. Underneath the Dickies, I swear she's probably wearing tighty-whities. I don't want to hurt her feelings because she's really nice, but I really want to write Oprah a letter and get my roomie on her show for a makeover. Maybe they'll give her some new designer clothes I can borrow. Even though she's happy and has lots of friends—who are just as fashion-challenged as she is, I might add—it bothers me that she doesn't have any fashion sense. I mean, I thought roommates were supposed to shop together and borrow each other's clothes. Who wants to borrow crappy clothes? Am I being mean? Shallow? Selfish? Well, I don't care what I'm being. What should I do?

Annoyed and Testy, Saint Elmo, Alabama

Dear AT SEA:
Girl, your gay-dar must need a tune-up because your roommate sounds like a big 'ol Diesel! Oprah can't help you change your roomie, this is just who she is. In some circles, workpants and boy's underpants are considered quite attractive on a female.

Moving on to your other problem of mooching, you must be an only child or you were raised in an all-girls boarding school. Have you seen the film Lost and Delirious, where our favorite fashion plate Mischa Barton (from The O.C., duh!) plays a shy girl who gets caught in a lesbian web of seduction with her boarding school mates? No? Never saw it? It's a terrible movie, but you might like it and Graham Greene is in it too. Love him!

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