A Gentle Breakup …

but be prepared to run for your life.

Dear Carolyn,

I just started seeing a new gal I’ll call Jean. On paper, she’s got it all. She’s smart, pretty and tons of fun to hang out with. All my friends like her. The problem is, now that the newness is wearing off, I’m starting to notice a few odd things about her.

For starters, she’s completely unpredictable. I’ll come home from a week on the road, and sometimes she’s warm and loving and other times she’s cold as ice. Her constant mood swings keep me in a state of confusion. Last week, when I got home, she had painted all the walls in the house — black. The worst thing she did was take my elderly dog and two old cats to the pound where they were put down without my consent! I know they were old, but that was my decision to make, not hers.

The list goes on and on. She walks around the backyard in the nude, disappears for days at a time and spends an insane amount of money on her souvenir spoon collection.

I’m starting to think I might need to break up with her before the neighbors start to complain.


Dear Rick,

You broke one of my unbreakable rules: Never sleep with someone crazier than yourself. Seriously, you have bigger problems than worrying about what the neighbors say. You already know that, don’t you? First, break up with her as gently as you can. I give you permission to use something lame, like “It’s not you, it’s me.” If she reacts badly, be prepared to call for backup. She needs help. You need help getting her help. Then paint your walls, get a puppy and, for heaven’s sake, change the locks.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I know you get a ton of letters from lonely truckers during the holidays. I’m sorry to say that I’m one of them. It really gets me down to see all the guys excited about getting home to their wife and kids for Christmas. I would give anything to have a family I could buy presents for. I’ve had some girlfriends over the years, but they never wanted to stick around for the long haul. I’m sure it’s my fault because I’ve chosen to make trucking my career. But I never expected it would be my life! In spite of my best efforts, here I am again, eating Christmas dinner at a truckstop.

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I’m not asking for advice, I just wanted to let you know that some of us do try to build a family life, but it doesn’t always work out.


Dear Brian,

What they don’t tell you when you sign up for this is that the trucker’s life is a lot like my mother-in-law’s biscuits — hard.

I know you didn’t ask for advice but I’m going to dish it anyway. Don’t give up! Keep putting yourself out there. Try online dating, ask friends and family to set you up, join a club, take up a hobby or go to a church group. Don’t let the past dictate your future. I hear from as many lonely single women as I do men. Trucking makes it harder to meet people but not impossible. Here’s wishing you a happier new year!

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

Every year my husband and I drag our four kids across two states to go to my parents’ house for the holidays. We have to mail the presents ahead of time, and frankly, the whole thing stresses me out. By the time the holidays are over, I’m a physical and emotional wreck. I’ve begged them to come to our house, but they refuse and expect us to come there. I’m an only child and my husband’s family is all scattered around the country.

I can’t imagine Christmas without my parents, but I think they are being unreasonable. I also think they are bluffing about not coming to our house if we decide to stay home.

Please help.


Dear Suse,

Call their hand. That’s what I would do. And there’s no reason to wait until next year. Tell them what you told me and then invite them to come to your house. I don’t think you realize you hold all the cards. If they want to be with their grandchildren, they’ll come. As long as you allow them to treat you like a child, they will.

I’m just say’n.

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