Running out of luck

Carolyn Magner
[email protected]

Dear Carolyn,

Two years ago I had it all. A great wife; two healthy, sweet kids; my truck paid off; and a nice little house in a good school district. Somehow, I got involved with gambling. I can’t explain how it happened. I’d never even played cards before, but once I stopped in a casino and got that rush from winning, I couldn’t stop. I tried. I got counseling, I promised my wife I’d stop, but eventually, I couldn’t resist one more game. I lost everything and deserved it, too.

My wife and I are now divorced, the bank foreclosed on the house, and I can barely pay my bills. If I didn’t have my truck, I’d be living under a bridge. The good news is I don’t play anymore. The bad news is my life is lonely and I don’t see any way it will get better. What woman would ever want to go out with a loser like me? Will Lady Luck ever send the right woman my way?


Dear Justin,

Well, dear, there are plenty of women who go for losers. They write to me all the time! But this is what you do: You work on getting out of debt, keeping up your child support, keeping close to your kids, making amends, staying in whatever program that seems to work, working hard, and then the rest of it will have to fall in place. And please leave Lady Luck out of any decision-making.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I’m a 30-year-old company driver who is dating another driver in the same company. This guy is too good to be true. Seriously! He’s smart, funny, handsome, charming. I could go on and on. Every time I introduce him to anyone, they always tell me later that he can’t be for real. He never gets mad at me, follows all the rules, picks up his socks and is good in every other department you might imagine. Help. I’m just feeling sort of insecure. Like, how can I live up to such perfection?


Dear Julia,

Turn off the computer, pack up your stuff and run for the hills. If he’s too good to be true, he is, he is! I have never heard someone say that without feeling a little shiver come over me. “Too good to be true” is a big old red flag in the advice-giving business. Maybe you’ve not uncovered the thing that is creeping out your friends, but honey, they are telling you what I’m telling you.

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Sigh. But you aren’t going to listen to me, are you? I didn’t think so. I’ll talk to you later.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

My teenage son is driving me crazy. He locks himself in his room and does who knows what. I’ve threatened him with everything, but he just ignores me.

My husband is no help. He’s on the road all the time, and when he’s home, there are no problems. I’m at my wit’s end. What would you do?


Dear Janice,

I’d do what my dad did when I locked my door after being told not to. I came home from school and he’d taken the whole door OFF. Yep. Removed the door. I pitched a fit, but he didn’t care. Finally, I followed the family rules and he put it back on. I never locked it again. Tomorrow, when he goes to school, get out the tool kit, take off the door and hide all the hardware. And remind him that he’s living under your roof.

You gotta be tough with these brats or they’ll own you.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

My boyfriend is on the road and won’t return my text messages. We’ve not been getting along lately, but this isn’t fair. How can I make him reply?

Desperate Della

Dear Della,

You text. He ignores. You text. He ignores. You text again. He ignores again.

Sweetie, you sound like a nice gal, but what you are doing is called stalking. Now put on your big-girl panties and stop sending him messages. No, not even the one where you tell him you aren’t sending anymore. You didn’t think I’d know about that one, did you?

I’m just say’n.

Carolyn Magner is not a professional therapist, shrink or even a very nice person. Her advice is meant to entertain you, not solve your terrible, desperate problems. Nothing shocks her. If you are really in trouble, please call someone who has gone to school for a long time. E-mail Carolyn at [email protected].