From a Submariner's Perspective is a weekly column, written in response to the letters sent in to advice columnist "Prudie" at Each week, The Submariner responds to the letter writers in a way that author, Emily Yoffe, probably can't (but perhaps would like to...). Each entry is headed with a link to the orginal questions and Yoffe's answers. Enjoy!

Also, if you have questions that you'd like answered by The Submariner, or anyone here at "The Fly", just write to me at and I'll forward to the appropriate party/parties for an answer (or you can write to them directly via the e-mail addresses on their pages)! Once the answers are published, I'll drop you a note letting you know.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

...on Tickling, Jackass Boyfriends (orig. 10/29/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Ahoy there Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this absolutely fantastic and fine, fine Prudie Day? I hope that you had a great week and that the weather wasn’t too bad for you? I’m enjoying the new lagoon here, all its visitors, old and new, and the relaxed mojo of the whole place. I do apologize for having to post a bit later in the day than what you grew accustomed to in The Fray. Working in a new lagoon sometimes forces new schedules and rules, so, we just have to do our best with what we’ve got, eh? Anyway, enough of my blubbering. On to the letters!

LW#1: Prudie, I’m ticklish. Not the kind of ticklish where I laugh, maybe pee myself, and then attack back, but rather the kind that actually feels painful, both physically and emotionally. The kind that gives me headaches after someone tickles me. The kind that is genuinely miserable. Regardless, my jackass boyfriend likes to tickle me. A lot. Even though I’ve explained to him that not only do I not like it, but that it makes me feel vulnerable and not in control of my body. He says that I must like it because I’m laughing when he does it. Further, he says I need to learn to control my mind better. Other than these tiny flaws, though, oh, wow, he’s a sweet, caring love muffin! What can I do to convince him to stop with the tickling and the jackass Zen master advice? If I were you? I’d kick him in the nuts! As hard as I possibly could. At some time that he’s completely not expecting it. Tell him that it can’t possibly hurt since all he has to do is learn to convince himself that the pain is actually pleasurable. Tell him that he might actually be able to learn to reach orgasm in this manner. Further, if I were you, I’d look up the meaning of the words “sweet” and “caring” and learn the definitions, because currently you have absolutely no clue what they mean. Oh, and in case you didn’t hear Prudie, I’d also leave this jackass.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, my mom is celebrating 6 years of sobriety this month and would like to have lunch out to talk about my childhood--something she missed entirely due to living in an alcohol-induced stupor. I was put off by what seems like a cursory request (I mean, who can go over their entire childhood over lunch?!) and suggested instead that I write it down for her. Well, I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to write it down. The effort is not going to do me any good and it might even piss me off! Hell, it’s pissing me off just thinking about doing it! I’m happy for my mom’s sobriety, but, I’m not ready to tell her about my childhood. What should I do? If I were you? I’d kick her in the nuts! No, just kidding. Listen, there are two people here who need some healing (at least two) and you can’t possibly unconditionally help your mom find hers until you’ve found yours. I’m not saying you can‘t be supportive. I’m not saying that you can’t be a friend and a daughter. But anyone who could ask you to go over your childhood “over lunch” still has some issues to address with their disease. She’s minimizing your childhood because, considering she missed it all, it’s emotionally easier on her to do so. It’s easier to feel less guilty about something that can be discussed over lunch versus something real that would take, literally, months or even years to really get into. There is a lot of emotions and experiences to be hashed over there. So, until you’re healed, or a lot closer to it, this is simply a road that you can’t help your mother navigate. Tell her that. And why. She needs to hear it. And I think you need to say it, too.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I’m new to “grown-up” socializing and I want to throw a dinner party for all of the gang from grad school. My apartment is small, though, and I can’t have them and their spouses/significant others over all at once. Plus, I don’t like their spouses/significant others! How can I do an invite that will let it be known that I only want my friends to come, but not their freeloading parasite partners? If I were you? I’d kick myself in the nuts! Seriously. Dude, what the fuck is your major malfunction? You went through grad school, eh? How on god’s green Earth did you manage that feat around a handful of people who seem to like you and who didn’t kill you due to your assholism? The solution to your problem is so simple as to be (almost) a waste of electrons in typing it, but, in case you really are a complete and total dumbass and not just trying to get a rise out of me, I’ll share. Either have the party at a restaurant or some other large place that can accommodate everyone, or, invite them in more than one group, on more than one night, but with their spouses . However, you’ve already figure that out on your own, haven’t you? You’re just a selfish shit who wants your friends to come over by themselves. Fine. Invite them exactly how you want to. Put on the invitations “Grad School Buds Only! No Significant Others!” See how many people show. But hey, next time you won’t have to worry. Your “friends”, most of them anyway, won’t be taking your invitations, so this may work out just fine for your “problem”.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, we adopted our daughter when she was five. We’ve been able to allow her to meet and communicate with her birth family through a really great, wonderful therapist. Now that our daughter is 12, though, she doesn’t really want to communicate with them. We want to have a nice, peaceful, open adoption plan so that we can brag to everyone who’ll listen that my partner and I are such wonderful adoptive parents--oh, and, too, because keeping in touch with her family will be good for her. To that end, should I force the issue of calls and visits? Do I hear a two-person nut kicking coming on? Holy hot fucking hell, asshole. Are you honestly that clueless? You’ve raised your daughter for the last seven years, but have no more respect for her feelings and emotions than that? Where did that really great therapist go? Or did you drop him/her when bragging about your daughter’s emotional progress had no more effect on your friends? Your daughter is one big screaming hormone right now. She’s entering the most difficult stage of childhood and she’s going to need the ability to set boundaries for herself. And she’s going to need parents who support her in all things. She’s always had that need, but at this age, it’s absolutely essential. You can gently express your concern, but, at the same time, a few years of missing calls and visits won’t prevent a relationship later. Further, why are you more worried about what her family might think and what other people might say than what your daughter’s emotional needs are (just go on ahead and admit that’s what’s at work here and deal with it)? You can’t possibly be that ignorant? Quit treating your daughter as a pawn in your game of Yuppie Status Idol and start acting like she’s your daughter. Damn.

Sorry about that shippers. I had to take care of some issues there, and sometimes it’s not pretty. Anyway, with winter fast approaching, I hope that you’re all readying the hatches, checking all your seals, and ensuring that you’re ready to weather the cold. Just remember: any hull penetration is a potential leak! I know we’ll all get through it together. So, until next week, fair winds and following seas to all of ya!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

...on Loving Thy Sister (orig. 10/22/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! How in the heck are ya?! I hope that you’ve found your way here easily and that the extra effort to arrive doesn’t take away from the enjoyment? These are calm and pleasant waters and the snark fish are very active here (have a look around at all of them!).  And that’s just the way I like it. If you like it, too, please spread the word as there’s plenty of room for us all! The water’s fine here at “The Fly”, trust me. :-) But, that aside, let’s get to the letters, shall we?

LW#1: I’m engaged to my boyfriend of four years and our wedding is scheduled for next year. Everything is peachy keen except for one thing: his relationship with his sister, which is, frankly, creepy! They giggle like schoolgirls when together, they share intimate secrets with one another, and, they actually touch one another’s feet! There’s something so not right about it all. I mean, I would never, ever, ever act that way with my brother. What can I do? Is it normal for siblings to act that way? Hot dog! I love opportunities like this to point out something very fundamental in life: you don’t have to marry the person you’re engaged to! I don’t care if the announcements have been printed, the cake has been made, and the guests are on their way to the wedding site; you don’t have to marry someone if there are issues! You don’t even have to stay with them another day! I’m not saying you should leave this guy. Far from it. But, the idea that you’ve got to suffer through something that angers you, something that doesn’t seem like it’ll change, is just silly. And yet so many people go into marriage thinking that things will magically change once the vows are spoken. I’ve got news for you, sister. They don’t. So, before you get married and have kids and invest anything else into this tragic E.A. Poe story, figure out what I’ve said about the fact that you can leave. Understand it. Digest it. Live it.

Then, absolutely talk to your boyfriend about his relationship with his sister! How hard is that? If he’s more attached to his sister than you, and unwilling to change, you can leave him. Easy as that. If you’re a bitch about his relationship with her and it’s all actually perfectly normal and you’re the one with the problems, hopefully he’ll get angry with you and send you packing. Eithere way, win-win for both of you. Or, if what’s going on is just friendly sibling affection, maybe he can explain it to you in a way that you can live with. But I doubt that because, let’s face it, you’re completely and entirely jealous of his sister, right or wrong. You’re thinking, “Why be part of a secret threesome when I can be part of a committed relationship with someone else?” So go on ahead and act on that. You’ll both be better off for it.

LW#2: I have a wonderful nude painting of myself (from the neck down) that I’d like to hang in my house. Unfortunately, I can’t stand the thought of hanging it anywhere that anyone could see it due to the inevitable questions it’d inspire. Conversely, I feel terribly about keeping such a beautiful work of art hidden away, collecting dust. What can I do? Wow, this is a tough one. Let’s see. Okay, I thought about it for all of one-tenth of one second. Hang that painting! Proudly! Listen, if you want to hang it, hang it! If you want to tell someone who it’s of, you can, that’s your choice. And do so proudly!  But, if you don’t want to (i.e. if you’re uncomfortable with telling them), have a most excellent story handy about your wonderful great-great second cousin (twice-removed), Cleopatra (tell them, “yes, that most certainly is her real name!”), and how she was painted by a friend of hers. Say in hushed tones how it was “very scandalous at the time”, but be sure to state, too, “how wonderful it is that we now live in an enlightened society that understands that things such as nudity and boobies are nothing to be ashamed of.” At all (regardless of what Alberto Gonzales thinks). Got it? Good. :-)

LW#3: I am a single mother of the bestest best 4-year-old ever! She’s so wonderful that I figured lying to her would be the best way to just cement our relationship and make her grow up with good moral fiber. I’m so ashamed of/angry at/completely over her father that I like to pretend he doesn’t exist (except for my acceptance of the monthly checks he sends). As such, when she asked about him (and, holy smokes, I just never imagined in a million years that she would, so I was, like, completely unprepared for such a crazy and off-the-wall question as who her daddy is--I mean, who’d ever ask that?!), I instinctively lied and told her that her father is dead. He’s not. Now what? Listen up, chicky doodle. This is the first in a long line of questions that you’re going to get from her that you’re uncomfortable with. And the more you lie, the more you shut down, the more you keep from her, the less she’s going to trust you, the less she’s going to come to you, the less she’s going feel like you’re a haven in a storm. Do you understand that? Kids are not stupid. She already knows that you’re wildly uncomfortable about this subject and naturally that piques her interest. She’s four, for crying out loud. Curiosity is like oxygen when you’re four. You need to steel yourself for life’s questions and promise yourself you’ll never lie to her again. You can always say, as Prudie suggested, that he lives far away because you two don’t get along any more, and that you’d like to talk about it more later. You can give her info little by little as you’re comfortable, but don’t lie. Ever. And don’t bad mouth her father. Neither practice will endear you to her in the long run. Now go hug your daughter and apologize for lying. Explain to her that we all make mistakes sometimes, even those of us old enough to be adults...

LW#4: Prudie, my 80-year-old mother-in-law is a thief! I take her on a weekly grocery shopping trip as she can no longer safely drive. As we go through the store, though, she just eats candy from the bulk bins and fruit from the produce section like it’s nothing! Like it’s her own personal smorgasbord! Of course she doesn’t pay for this snacking, and she even has the gall to accuse me of harshing her mellow by calling her out on the behavior. What should I do? Wow. At 80, she’s clearly not an adult, and, at 40 to 60-something, you’re clearly not either. How hard is this? You tell her that what she’s doing is stealing and that if she doesn’t stop it, you’re not going to take her shopping anymore. Period. Hell, if she steals enough, it’ll be a felony and you’ll be the getaway driver! Okay, just kidding on that part, but still. She’s not going to stop without you putting your foot down. And she still may not stop. But you don’t have to be a party to it. Are you worried about what your husband will say? Tell him that he can take his thieving mom shopping himself if he doesn’t like it. If he balks, so what. You’ve got the power sister, as you own the wrench in that relationship. And you know what wrench I mean. Good luck, as you’re gonna need it.

Well shippers, that’s about it. I can’t believe that we didn’t get any penises or diapers or masturbation in this week’s letters. How depressing is that? But, such is life. We take the good with the bad and we move on, right? I hope that you all have a wonderful week. Fair winds and following seas to you all...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

...on Boinking the Professor (orig. 10/15/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! How in the heck are ya?! I hope all’s going well in your neck of the woods and that you’re having a grand weekend! I’m going to re-address these letters because, frankly, the abbreviated column that I posted in The Fray was only meant as an appetizer for the real deal. If you’re here, that means that you followed our navigational charts and I hope to reward you for that effort with some scathing Smagsnarkery. So, without further ado, let’s get crackin’!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m a senior in college and, when I was younger, I had an affair with a much older professor. He’s like 30 years old or something. Well, we broke it off and he’s now my advisor and all was peachy until I recently stuck my finger up my current boyfriend’s butt during fellatio. He was pretty shocked because he thought I’d only had one boyfriend, back in high school, and he was pretty sure I hadn’t learned that move back then. He immediately asked me if I’d had any other partners! Out of fear for the ruination of my as yet non-existent career, I blurted out, “no!” Now what do I do? If I tell him the truth, I’ll lose him. How can I clear the air without full disclosure? Oh my god! You’re a senior you say? In high school? No? In college?! Holy shit. Where, some college for the extremely mentally challenged and/or legitimately brain-damaged? Good gravy, woman, why on Earth did you lie? What would have been wrong with saying, “Well, one or two over the last few years...”?

First off, let’s get on thing perfectly straight, Ms. I Wish I Was Adult Enough To Have Real Worries: you don’t have a career. Got that? You likely haven’t worked a day in your life, and you damn sure have never had to think too hard. That’s obvious! But, because you’re young, and still learning (even though you are an adult and ought to know better), I’m going to give you a break. The only thing you owe your boyfriend (any boyfriend) is to not lie to him. You certainly do not owe him full disclosure about your past sexual partners, or any other details of your past. At all! The idea that you owe a list to him (or anyone), if you don’t want to give it, is antiquated, controlling and irrelevant (with the obvious exception of STDs and, even then, you don’t owe names or details, only the fact of the disease). So, since this is weighing on you, you need to come clean and tell him you lied in the heat of the moment. Tell him you were worried he’d think badly of you. But don’t, under any circumstances, tell him any details that you don’t want to. Your past is your past. Not his. He doesn’t own you now, and certainly didn’t then (nor you, him, btw). You owe him the truth in the present, but that’s it. I remember once at age 16 chastising a girlfriend for something she did at the age of 13. That’s about the age this sort of bullshit should stop (and, for the record, it wasn’t even acceptable then). Remember that fact. Good luck, and, if you lose this guy, think of it as a lesson in why not to lie. You’re an adult now. Start acting like one.

LW#2: My wife and I have a two-year-old daughter. She’s cute as a button! She calls her grandma “Nana”. My wife’s brother and his wife have a three-year-old son who calls his other grandma “Nana”, but the in-common grandma “Grandma.” The BIL and SIL are afraid that my daughter’s use of the name “Nana” for the in-common grandma will confuse their precious little snugglebumkins. They’ve confronted us and even called on the phone and gotten quite nasty about this fact! They demand that we cause our daughter to call the in-common grandma by the name their son has chosen. What do we do? Wow. Seriously, man. Wow. What kind of motherfucking, ass-munching, butt-licking, fucked-up, backwards, shit-stained assholes are these people?! Is this letter serious? I mean, seriously serious? This has got to be a fake, right? Listen, here’s what you should do. Absolutely nothing. At all. We’re talking about a two and three-year-old here! Have your BIL and SIL never heard of different kids calling the same person by different names? As The Sage so aptly asked in her weekly offering of sagely sagery, how does this kid reconcile other kids calling his parents Aunt and Uncle Asshole when all he knows them as is Momma Asshole and Daddy Asshole? If he can handle that difference, he can surely digest the Nana/Grandma divide. Holy shit on a corn tortilla!

LW#3: My boyfriend’s dad’s new wife has told my boyfriend’s younger brother that he should not “be selfish” in his college choice like my boyfriend and their older sister were in picking expensive colleges and then working in cruddy jobs after. She indicated that it’s just not fair to my boyfriend’s dad, who has funded college for my boyfriend, his older sister, and now plans to do the same for their younger brother. My boyfriend wants to confront the gold digging wench. What should he do? Well, first off, that’s your boyfriend’s business, not yours. Why isn’t he writing in to Prudie? Or, on second thought, why isn’t he just talking to his dad and this woman? Or, on third thought, why does he even give a shit? I mean, what’s he going to say to her, “You’re wrong! We work in great jobs, you meany mean person?!” All that does is acknowledge and empower her asshattery. What ought to have happened is that the younger brother ought to have said something to dad directly and immediately, dad ought to have grown a pair and set this lady straight, and, that’d then have been that. Your boyfriend engaging this woman now only empowers her and it doesn’t sound like she needs any more empowering. In the end, little bro should go wherever dad is willing to send him, and be grateful for the ride! And your boyfriend needs to let it go. This isn’t his fight and you should both just thank god that he doesn’t have to live with this bitch. I used to have to deal with her when I was growing up and trust me, it’s no fun.

LW#4: I’m in a wedding party and went to a bachelorette party that I feel I paid too much for and, as I’m pregnant, I want that money back for my baby because otherwise I may not be able to afford diapers or formula. Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah, a whole slew of other wholly unimportant details that just demonstrate what a clueless, out-of-touch twit I am, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. What should I do? Nothing. You’re an idiot. I’m hoping that this entire letter is just due to your hormones being all wack-a-doodle because you’re pregnant or postpartum. You shouldn’t have paid for entrance to a bachelorette party in the first place if you couldn’t afford it. If you could afford it, but are now pissed about the shittyness of the party, then you just learned a valuable life lesson. Or not. That’s your choice, but, in the end, what are you going to gain from this? Your $60 back? Or, no, you’re after your dignity, aren’t you? Well, hon, you won’t get that back from the bachelorette party people. They don’t have it, either. Never did.

Well there you go, shippers! I’m officially all caught up! I had to dig deep into the snark reserves to do three week’s worth of letters in three days, but, I didn’t want to disappoint. This is the opening of The Fly, and I want to make it an incredible one! Please browse around and check out the other writers. You’re familiar with them all, I’m sure. Please spread the word, and, most of all, feel free to comment at any time! I love the feedback. Fair winds and following seas to you all, and see you here this coming Thursday!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

...on Big Penises! (orig. 10/08/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Foud There

Hey there shippers! How in the hell are you this fine, fine Saturday Day? I realize it’s not a fine, fine Prudie Day, officially, but can’t Saturday be just as fine a Prudie Day as Thursday? And, since I’m just now getting to this set of letters, I think it’ll work just fine for us, eh? :-) So, how do you guys like our new lagoon, “The Fly”? I think it’s wonderful! Thanks again to everyone who made it possible, and thanks to you guys from coming over here and reading our stuff (please feel free to tell your friends)! But, enough of that. It’s the letters you want, right? So, with that in mind, here we go...

LW#1: Prudie, I’ve got a huge dick. No, I didn’t say that I am a huge dick; I said that I have a huge dick. Let’s not mix words here. No puns. No dick jokes. Okay? Okay. My problem is not my dick (obviously). It’s my wife. She likes to tell her friends, her acquaintances, people she meets in the checkout line, kids on the street, phone solicitors, the handyman, etc., that my dick is just huge. I’m not kidding about this! She tells everyone. And, even though I’ve asked her to stop, she says that because she’s being complimentary, she shouldn’t have to. What can I do, short of just accepting her happy over-sharing? Well, dude, it’s not your fault that you’ve hit the genetic version of Power Ball. So, I’m not going to waste your time with some excellent dick jokes because I know that you’ve heard them all already. Just like blondes have to hear every blonde joke ever told. But dude, I’ve got so many dick jokes, it’s going to be difficult to resist. But I shall.

Listen, you’ve got two choices here. First, you can act like an adult and explain to your wife that her over-sharing bothers you and that you’d appreciate her restraint on the subject. Unfortunately, you’ve already tried that route and it didn’t work. So, now you’ve got to pull out the big guns (no pun intended). Prudie’s on the right track with the nipple advice, but, after you’ve asked your wife nicely and she hasn’t stopped, you’ve got to show her how it feels. And starting in the shallow end won’t cut it. So, next time you’re around your friends and your wife is in earshot (or sitting right there), say, “Guys, you know, I’m the luckiest guy in the entire world. As you may know, I’m pretty well-endowed. I’m not bragging or anything.  It is what it is.  But, in my wife, I’ve found a woman who can take my entire member! And then some! She loves it! Listen, I’m not saying she’s loose. Or cavernous. Or that there’s an echo or anything! I’m just saying that she can take it all and wants more. What a great thing! Most girls run and hide, but she actually likes it!  All of it!” She can’t protest, either. After all, she’s all but already verified every word of this with her loose lips (again, no pun intended). I mean, you’re saying something nice about her, right? You may have to sleep on the couch for a few nights, but, I’m guessing she won’t talk about your dick any more.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, my wife and I are insufferable twits. We aren’t sure how to handle our three-year-old’s tantrums about putting on his jacket, so we’ve decided to write in to the Internet Lady (that’s you) to help us. See, thing is, our son doesn’t want to wear his jacket. At all. He throws an absolute hissy about it when we try to put it on. We don’t want to give in to him, though, because then he’d have the upper hand on us! My parents think we should beat his little ass and tell him to put on the fucking jacket or else! But, my wife and I don’t want to do that, either. We will if you say, so, but we don’t want to. So, we worry. A lot. We’re thinking of putting him on Ritalin. Is there any alternative? Holy shit, if ever there was a poster case for the licensing of parents prior to child rearing, this is it. Okay, no, that’s too harsh. At least you’re asking for help. So you’re not the poster case. But, dude, wake up! Something is obviously bothering him about the jacket. It doesn’t take a fucking genius to figure out that he doesn’t want to wear it. So, don’t make him wear it. You’re smart enough to form sentences and use a computer, so, surely you’re smart enough to figure out some other clothing options without making it seem to world and him look like he got one over on you. Sigh. Prudie’s suggestion of a sweat shirt or sweater is a great start. You could even put a blanket in the car and offer him the choice of his jacket, a sweater, or the blanket. You tell him that he has to use one of the three, but that the choice is his. It ain’t rocket science, dude. Remember, you’re smarter than him for now. Or should be. Use that fact to your advantage. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to last long, so you’d better do it now while you still can.

LW#3: Prudie, my parents are broke. Worse than that, they’re in crippling debt. I like to pretend this is all about my father because he’s the one who lost his job and borrowed a bunch of money from the bank and stole money from my uncle and my mom, but, fact is, it affects both of them. Why do I only talk about my dad when I mention this?  I don't know.  Further, the only reason I even know any of this is because my mom told me, then immediately swore me to secrecy. My dad keeps giving me gifts and paying for things. I feel really bad. Especially because now I don’t even respect him anymore. What should I do? Wow, what a dysfunctional nutroll this shit is! Listen, the first thing you need to do is explain to your mom that you left middle school behind years ago and that you aren’t going to play the I’m-going-to-tell-you-this-secret-but-don’t-tell-so-and-so game. You don’t need that. At all. Second thing is, you’ve got to stop accepting things from them. Period. I don’t give a shit if they try to force gifts on you, you stop them! I quit accepting over-generous gifts from my parents at about age twenty. After that, if I needed help and they offered, I paid them back. In full. You need to adopt the attitude that you’re a functional adult and act like it. Finally, if you’re worried about their financial future, you could put money aside each month, if you can (but only if you can--you going into debt to help them doesn’t help anyone in the long run). Don’t give the money to them directly, but, keep in touch enough to know if they’re in need. If, for example, their car needs new tires, just go out and get the tires. Don’t ask. Just do it. When they protest, say, “You’ve always been so generous with me, now that I have a chance, and can, I want to return the favor.” Finally, this shit about not knowing if you can now respect your dad? Fuck off. That’s bullshit. We all make mistakes. Be big enough to understand that your dad is just a human being and recognize that he was never perfect. He, like you, was just doing the best he could. Sorry you had to learn this way that your dad’s a normal guy. That’s life. Get over it.

LW#4: Prudie, I recently broke up with my boyfriend and, though I don’t want to talk with him anymore, I just love his mom. And I want to keep in touch. Should I send her a note, asking if we can keep in touch? Is that wrong? Let’s see. Do you like her? Does she like you? Well enough that you feel you can actually talk about things like real live adults? Well enough that her absence in your life will hurt you? If so, you’re an idiot if you can’t just call her up and say, “Hey Joy, how are you?” That’s it. Easy. No mention of “I so hope we can stay in touch!” like you’re in some sort of damned chick flick. Just call. But, no mention of the son. Ever. You don’t say a word about him. You don’t ask about him. If she ever brings him up, you say, “Joy, I love you. I think you’re incredible and I love that we can be friends, but, I think it’s best we leave conversations about John out of the relationship. That way we don’t ever have to worry about motives, games, issues, etc. I hope we can do this because I really value your friendship.” I figured all of that out in about thirty seconds and I don’t even know the woman! Is being a grown up really so hard, or are you still in middle school and writing about your elementary school boyfriend? If you are in middle school, my hat’s off to you for being right on target. If you’re an adult, though, grow the fuck up and actually be an adult. I mean, really!

Well shippers, that’s it for another week’s worth of letters. I’m almost caught up! Woohoo! So, I’m liking this new lagoon more and more. I hope you are, too. Did you see that my diving buddy, Mermaid, has joined us? That makes the move here to our new lagoon all but complete. I hope that you’ll check back regularly and spread the word about The Fly and all the great stuff here. I have one more column to do and then I’ll be on schedule for an every-Thursday post in response to Prudie. Thanks for reading! Write in and tell me how I’m doing and offer feedback if you want things to be different (just add a comment after this post). This column is for you, so, feedback is always welcome. Fair winds and following seas to you all, shippers!

Friday, October 16, 2009

...on Dad's Love Child  (orig. 9/29/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! How the hell are ya? I know this is late. I know that it’s in a new location. I know that I was gone for a couple of weeks. I apologize. I really do. But sometimes, life’s just that way. Truth is, as I was moving the submarine to patrol new waters, we lost all coms and we’re only just now surfacing in what was once The Fray. What a shame what’s happened there. But, all is not lost! Oh, far from it! Seems Schuyler and Messy and Mermaid and SeoulSister and IncogNeato and Dumb_Blonde and SpaceCadet and MistPanther have been hard at work on this wonderful new home, The Fly! My cover (hat) is off to them all, in a hardy and well-earned salute! But, lest I forget why we’re here, let’s get to these letters! I’ve got some catchin’ up to do!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, my dad had an affair some years ago and a child was born as a result. My dad told broke off the affair and told my mother all about it. They worked through it and stayed married, but, they didn’t tell me or my sister about any of this. Now that our half-brother is a teenager, my dad laid this news on us. To make it worse, my dad’s been seeing this little bastard all along! And taking him on vacations and stuff! And he’s even taken the little shit to see our grandparents--with our inheritance money! My dad wants things to now be all hunky dory since he’s come clean with us (because we do have a right to judge, you know), but my sister and I are, well, pissed off. How can we tell our dad that he sucks eggs and that we don’t want to be nice to him anymore (although, we do want our inheritance)? Okay, so, let me get this straight. Your dad did what, exactly, to you and your sister? Didn’t tell you that you had a younger half-bro? Well, you two don’t seem to be tripping over yourselves to be decent big sisters, so it must not be that. Hmmm, what else? Are you pissed because he cheated on you? No, that’s what he did to your mom, not you. Hmmm? Oh! He lied to you by omission! Okay, yeah, that’s it. So, what are you going to do about it? Sure, it sucks. A little. Big fucking deal. People are getting their limbs blown off by bombs while they’re on their way to go shopping. You and sis need to grow the fuck up and recognize that you aren’t the only, or even most vulnerable, “victims” here, you self-absorbed little shits. Jesus H. Fucking Christ! Oh, and, by the way, how do you tell your dad things won’t go back to how they were? How about telling him that right about the time you two are living perfect, blame-free lives. Kay? And, too, don’t tell him ‘til your ready to not taking any money from him for a car or college or in inheritance either. Just sayin’.

LW#2: A long time ago, when I was another person, I stole $3,000 from my employer. Upon being confronted, I got a lawyer and beat the rap (though I was fired, which, in retrospect, was pretty fair I guess). Now that I’m an upstanding citizen, though, I feel really bad about this theft. What should I do? If you’d have just read your E. A. Poe when you were growing up, you’d have known this was going to happen. Crime doesn’t pay! Listen, I’m not going to slam you. What’s the point in that? All you have to do is figure out who was financially hurt by your theft. Was the money from someone’s account? Was it someone’s personal money? Is there any way to identify who you hurt? If so, draft a money order from a 7-11 or some other untraceable place and pay back the money, with, say, 7% interest per year. If the money loss didn’t hurt a person, but rather the business as a whole, find out what charity the business supports, or find a worthy charity on your own. Give them the money, yes, plus the interest (don’t get cheap now Mr. Happy Fingers!). You’ll feel better. Honest. As for the lawyering up, just pretend it was your young Kennedy phase. If you still feel guilty, run for Senate next term. Trust me, if you win and have to put up with that shit, your conscious will be clear.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, my sister is a horrible heinous bitch who abused me as we grew up. Physically, emotionally, all the time. I’m over her now. No, honest, I really am! I’ve even broken off all contact with her. But, for some reason, she wants to be buds now. My mom even went so far as to give my sister my e-mail address. Now my sister wants to get together when I got to visit my mom for the first time in years. My mom endorses this plan. If I refuse, it’ll hurt my mom. What do I do? Well, first off, you know that no matter what you say, you sister is going to be there at your mom’s place when you show, right? If you didn’t already know that, you’re a dipshit. But dipshittedness is curable. Listen, your mom is manipulating you and guilting you and treating you poorly. Perhaps not in a way as direct as your sister did, but she is doing it and you shouldn’t take it! So, you need to “get over” your mom, too. Except for real. Put on your big girl panties and tell your mom in no uncertain terms, “Mom, listen here, my sister is an abusive terrible fucking bitch! You let her shit all over me growing up. I.WILL.NOT.TAKE.IT.ANY.MORE. If you ever, and I mean ever, give her my contact info again, you will no longer have my contact info. Have I made myself perfectly, 100%, crystal clear?” You won’t say that stuff because you’re not actually over your sister like you think you are. So, what you really need is counseling. But, my method will work if you’ll just try it and mean it. Trust me. You can take out the cursing if you want, but you have to keep the attitude. That’s the important part.

LW#4: Prudie, my husband has lost a bunch of weight, is looking super hot, and has been in constant contact with an ex-girlfriend. Clearly. I mean, holy shit, it’s right there on his cell phone and on his Facebook and on the cell phone bill. He denies the contact. He says underwear gnomes are doing it all. What should I do? Um. Are you really asking? Seriously? Or are you just playing around. Because, if I were you, I’d be getting my coochie checked for visitors. Seriously. Because I guarantee you that your husband is dipping his shilalie in more than one pot. There, does that shake you out of your ridiculous stupor, you fool! Your husband’s cheating on you! Plain and simple! Holy shit! What, do you think he’s just going to up and tell you? Woman, you’ve got the proof. Right there in your fucking hands! Get a lawyer. That’s what you should do.

Okay, shippers. How was that? Worthy of the new home or no? You can tell me. I can take it. ;-) It was a tough batch of letters, so, here’s hoping that the next batch that I missed will be more fun. I hear that one of them has to do with a giant penis?! Now, the last bit of business here in the new waters is to figure out how to lure a mermaid here to my new digs here at The Fly... I mean, what good’s a submariner without a guide? Do mermaids like fried fish? Catfish, maybe? Or, oh, what about roasted chicken on tortillas?! Send your thoughts in and let’s see what the consensus is. Until next time, shippers, fair winds and following seas to you all...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

...on Revealing His Sex Doll Fetish (orig. 9/24/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Greetings, shippers, and a hardy “How the hell are ya?!” to each and every one of you. And, by the way, happy Prudie Day! Other than a day of slightly choppy seas yesterday, I’ve had such a wonderful week in the lagoon, communing with the local sea creatures as they frolic in the mist, sipping tea, enjoying myself, that I almost hate to look at the letters today because they’re sure to disrupt this blissful tranquility and happiness. But, as it’s what we do here, let’s get to it!

LW#1: I’m not thinking straight. At all. I was engaged to be married to some guy that I barely know, but he left me just one month before our wedding because, get this, he couldn’t handle my grief over my mother’s unexpected death! He even went so far as to call my father “a drama queen” for how my dad reacted! During all of this, at the height of my grief, I found out (via snooping in his e-mail) that my fiancé engages is doll sex play. Because of what he’s done to me, I want to e-mail the proof of his heinous perversion to all of his friends and contacts. Please talk me out of it “as I would very much like justice to be served”. Wow, that last sentence is a dichotomy if I’ve ever seen one! You might want to analyze it and figure out what you really mean. Look, you’ve got two issues here (at least), and they are not related to one another. First and foremost, you need to put to rest the idea of sending out this information to your ex’s friends and contacts. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but you snooped in his personal stuff, and that puts you squarely in the wrong. No! You don’t get a free pass due to your mom’s death or his assholery! I don’t want to hear shit about your mom dying as it relates to you finding out this information. Your mom’s death is irrelevant to this. To send the information to your ex’s contacts would be little and petty and über evil and unless you are an evil, shitty, manipulative, truly small person, you’ll long regret doing it. Second, on a completely different note, you need to recognize what a favor this guy has done for you by revealing himself to be an idiot prior to your wedding. No, not because you think he’s a pervert (which, there’s no indication that he is, btw), but because he’s an asshole if he can’t figure out that people need to grieve unexpected deaths. And also because he clearly has no issue with belittling you and your family, which speaks to respect and so many other character flaws, that, frankly, you should have already known about. Don’t think of it as losing a fiancé. Think of it as gaining a future. And with that future, I’d suggest getting to know someone well enough before getting married so that you know how they’ll treat you when you’re down. And, too, so that you’ll know if their sexual habits will offend you. Finally, and this is important, don’t ever threaten to send information like that to someone’s contact list. That’s the kind of shit that needs to stay in middle school where it belongs (and it’s out of place there, too, just in case you were wondering).

LW#2: I recently married the perfect man! He’s so wonderful and perfect and great and incredible, and...he has an 18 year old daughter who he’s spoiled completely rotten. I want to be a positive influence on her. Her mom was never around (hiss-hiss) and I think I can swoop in and provide some strong maternal and adult influence. I think she needs my help and support to be a better person (even though I have no parental experience). What should I do? Hmmm, an 18 year old. With her own life and habits and ways of living and relating to the world. Here’s a suggestion for what you can do: nothing. You are not her mom and you hold absolutely no authority over this girl. Nor should you! The only thing you can control is her interactions with you and yours with her. As adults. You need to treat her like an adult. Period. That’s it. You show her respect and expect it from her. But it’s not for you to judge how she interacts with anyone else. Especially your husband. Did you get that last sentence? You need to turn a blind eye to their relationship because you have no rights in it. As for you doing things for her because she feels entitled? Ha! Next time she rudely expects something of you, you can simply explain that you do not respond to entitlement and that you are neither her mom nor her servant, but, that if she respects you, you’ll happily help her when you can, just as you will expect from her. Beyond that, good luck. You’re gonna need it.

LW#3: I am a divorced mom with three kids. My ex is a worthless piece of shit. My kids lead very active lives and, except when I’m at work, I’m there for them, 24/7. There are all sorts of after-school things going on and weekend competitions, gifted classes and board meetings with the PTA, etc. That’s not my problem, though, and other than the divorce, three kids and shitty ex, I just listed that other stuff to show how involved I am and how great my kids are. My actual problem is that my boss says to me that my situation inspires him because he realizes, by looking at my life, that his could be so much worse. This kind of statement offends me because, well, my life doesn’t suck! What should I do? Well, first thing I’d do when he says that shit is to ask for a raise! But, really, what question are you asking? Yes, you’re in a shitty situation what with the dead beat dad and the busyness, but, the busyness is on you, so you can’t claim that. The main thing is dad not helping support your kids. Which sucks ass. And I’m with you. But your question? Really? Is it that hard? Just say, “Boss, my life is hard, but I like it. A lot. I have great kids and an enjoyable life. You could certainly make it better with a generous raise or bonus, but, either way, please don’t use me as your inspirational example of a shitty life. I think I do pretty well and it actually hurts my feelings when you do that.” Was that so hard?

LW#4: My mom made me a great quilt as a wedding present when I was married the first time. She embroidered my wife’s and my name on the back. The marriage didn’t last and the quilt was never used, but, now that I’m happily married to someone else, I’d like to use the quilt. The problem is the names on the back. Short of asking my mom to make a new quilt, what can I do? You really are just a huge, incredible dumbass aren’t you? Just ask you current wife to change her name to your ex-wife’s. There, solved. No, just kidding. There’s a thing called a seam ripper that you can buy for about a dollar. You give that and the quilt to someone with some experience, and, about ten minutes later, holy shit, your problems will be solved. Do it yourself and you may make a mess, but you’ll figure it out...oh, no, wait, we’ve already determined that you’re dumbass, so don’t do it yourself. Oh, here’s a freaking thunderbolt of an idea! Ask your mom (or someone else with an embroidery machine--in order to save time) to embroider new names on a piece of fabric that matches the quilt back, and ask her, or someone else, to blind stitch the patch right over the old names. Amazing! In case you’re wondering, that’s a minimal effort, too. Might put you out $20 or so if you hire a seamstress to do it. Or, unless your new incredible wife is into drama, why not just use the quilt as is?

Well, shippers, I guess that’s it. I’m transferring lagoons after this week. Communications Division tells me that, due to the time zone change and setting up new coms, etc., there may a delay (or possible interruption) in normal transmissions and sea-grams. Here’s hoping the change will cause only minimal interruptions. Have a good one, shippers. Fair winds and following seas to all of ya. ‘Til next time...

...on Dead Hamsters (orig. 9//17/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Ahoy there shippers! How in the hell are you all on this fine, fine Prudie Day? Fall is a beautiful time of year, isn’t it? The evenings are cooler, the morning mist lasts longer and longer and my early tea tastes that much better when sipped from the conning tower, peering across the misty lagoon, enjoying the cool breeze, welcoming in the day. But, even though I enjoy this time of day, and I sincerely do, we have work to get to, so, let’s get crackin’!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m a man with a lot of emotional problems (or life stressors, or family issues, or, just something), because, golly gee willikers, even the smallest things in life seem to be insurmountable anymore! Recently, my two kiddos (five and six years old) accidentally killed their pet hamster. I’m devastated over this loss. To the point of being unable to sleep and actually crying about it. I lied to my kids, telling them that the vet had let their hamster go play with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. But, now everyone’s calling me a bastard and accusing me of lying to my kids, which, of course, is getting me quite depressed and I’m thinking I may have another two-day crying jag over it all. Prudie, “I find it absolutely abhorrent to think of my children discovering that they were responsible for their pet's death.” What can I do? Holy smokes! Dude, are you some sort of fart-holding, no-crotch-scratching, manicure-and/or-pedicure-getting, way-too-in-touch-with-your-feminine-side, effete, pansy? No, that doesn’t work at all because it’s an insult to femininity! Listen up and hear me good because there are two kids at stake here: you need help. You’re not dealing with your emotions very well at all! It was a fucking hamster, dude?! Get a grip! And yes, you are projecting. Big time! And unless you want your kids to be as emotionally fucked up as you currently are, you need to get that help soon. I don’t know if this is normal for you or if you’ve recently divorced or lost your job or there’s been a recent death in your immediate family (which may explain this, maybe), but your emotional gauge is way out of whack, dude, and you need it recalibrated. Your responsibly to your kids is to let them know that there are consequences for their actions. You place a rock on a hamster and jump on it, the hamster will die. Your statement to them only caused them to dream of bigger rocks and sending more hamsters to play with super-intelligent rats. Stop the cycle. Get help.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, my boyfriend has a “prestigious” job that keeps me in the latest fashions, driving the best cars, eating in the finest restaurants, and traveling to the most exotic destinations. All I have to do is get off a piece of ass now and then. Now, okay, he’s a “retarded, selfish” pothead drunk, but, fact is, I can overlook that because he keeps me quite well off. If I didn’t have him, I’d be like Cinderella, slaving away, having to live with roommates making far less than I deserve and the nicest thing I’d ever eat would be from the (shudder) grocery store. Whatever shall I do? Listen here you spoiled little shit-for-brains whore. Yep, I said it, whore. What, you going to challenge that classification? Didn’t think so. Because you can’t. Further, you’ve managed to insult in your letter anyone who’s ever worked for anything in their life (which includes those who stay at home and actually contribute to a household with sweat and time and energy and effort while their significant others goes out to win the bread, unlike what you do, which is, what, keep yourself pliable for Mr. Dillweed Goodjob?). This isn’t about your dipshit boyfriend. Who gives a shit about him? He’s a fuckwit of the nth order. This is about you and your entitlement. You want advice? Learn what it’s like to actually work for a living. Learn what it’s like to actually earn what you have. Do that and you’ll never ask such a ridiculous, dumb-assed, fucked up (although very self-illuminating) question again. I promise. Want inspiration? Look to LW#4. Think she’ll ever whore out herself like you?

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I recently got promoted over several folks, two of whom are my good buddies. Problem is, my buddies don’t do any work, at all. They come in late, they act like pissers to our customers, and, in the end, my boss wants me to let him/her know about the performance of all those working under my charge. I don’t want to rat on my friends, but, I need to do something. What do I do? (Ah, back to putting the real letter in slot #3, I see) Okay, this sucks, but, it’s one of life’s lessons that you have to learn. And the sooner, the better. You can’t always be friends with the people who you supervise. Sometimes you can, but, sometimes you can’t. These two may likely be in the latter category. The answer is as simple as the nose on your face, though. You have to talk to these two, tell them that you have to report to your boss what everyone does. Tell them you’ve received complaints about them, and list their other offenses for them. Tell them you know that you’re friends, but that you not reporting their behavior is a threat to your own job (which, by the way, it is), and that they need to shape up. Tell them what you expect. You don’t have to be specific with your boss when you first report that you have a couple of folks you’re dealing with. Just let him/her know that you’d like a little time to get everything shipshape. Sometimes this behavior is normal testing of a new boss (especially a friend), sometimes it’s just who a person is. Did you act this way before your promotion? I hope not, because, if you did, you’ve got a long row to hoe as that behavior will be thrown in your face by your “friends”. Good luck!

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m a 16-year-old girl and I work in a super market shagging carts (no, Brits, not that kind of shagging!). Adults frequently make comments to me about how “girls shouldn’t be out in this heat getting carts” or “shouldn’t boys be doing this” or “I’m going to complain to your manager about the fact that you have an actual job, little missy!” It makes me angry that they say these things, but I feel I have no recourse as I’m a minor and adults get angry when I confront them. What should I do? There are two things at work here. First is that they think they’re being friendly and looking out for you. I know that’s not how it feels, but, I promise, they’d be shocked to hear that you’re insulted. Second, though, is that they’re backwards, fucknut, sexist, idiots. Yes, we as a society want women to grow up feeling like the sky’s the limit. We’ve had women astronauts! We’ve got female CEOs! Female professors, Nobel Laureates, presidential candidates, but, by golly, we can’t have females doing any actual labor (ironic, no?). Shagging carts is too hard!

You can tell them that you like to think of yourself as the Rosie the Riveter of the super market. They’ll like that. I promise. You can tell them that you believe that everyone has to work their way up in any organization and that you want to be the big boss of (insert your dream job here) someday and you couldn’t live with yourself if you felt shagging carts was too hard for you, or beneath you. You could simply say, in your sweetest girly voice, “Ma’am, I’m sorry that you don’t feel I’m capable of this job, but, believe me, I am quite strong and quite capable. Thank you for asking though.” No matter what, though, don’t demur. You are in the right here. Keep strong. And, worst case scenario, give them a copy of LW#2’s letter to Prudie. Ask them if they want you to turn out like her.

Well, shippers, that’s another week down. I’ve got some maintenance planned for the boat, so I’ll be in port for awhile. It’s hard to resist this weather! Reminds me of a description of the waterfront in Ontario I once heard. Morning mists rolling in off of the Hudson. Chill in the air. Magic in the water. Beautiful... Until next time, shippers, fair winds and following seas to you all...

...on SIL That Wants to Bang the LW (orig. 9/10/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Greetings shippers! How in the heck are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? Holy smokes, it’s a beautiful, spectacular, perfect day today, ain’t it? The weather is cooling, football is back, and Brett Favre has completed his annual pilgrimage to the gridiron. What could be finer?! A good batch of letters, you say? Well, though we may not have an entire batch, it just so happens we have at least one or two good ones right here...

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I am a man god. Seriously! One look as my physique is enough to make women weak in the knees. One smile from me usually causes them to become so wet with desire that they leave puddles in their wake (even the old broads). I recently knocked up my skanky ass wife (who was pretty fat to begin with, though I always claim she’s cute so as to save face for having hitched myself to her), and, from that moment on, her hot sister started practically throwing herself on me! Prudie, I’ve tried to do the right thing and only stare at my sister-in-law while fantasizing surreptitiously, but, when you look as good as I do, it’s hard to keep things like this from happening. And, based on the way my SIL barely even “glances” at me (to avoid giving away her true feelings), she’s clearly not going to take no for an answer. I’ve told my wife how attracted to me her sister is, and how much her sister wants me. My wife responded that her sister is repulsed by me and that she brings her own husband around every time they visit specifically to keep me at bay because I’ve recently started acting so asshole-ish, but I know my wife is lying (probably because she’s worried about losing me because she looks so stretchy and blobby after having our kid). Her sister wants me bad and has made that clear. Matter of fact, it’s the only reason I want to be “a part of my wife’s family”. How can I hook up with my SIL without feeling shitty about it? Sometimes I read a letter and I’m amazed that a person can even form full sentences with a brain so full of shit. But then a letter like this one comes in and I realize there’s a whole new level of shit-for-brains that I had never even imagined existed! So thank you for that. Dude, here’s my advice to you: don’t confront your sister-in-law about her obvious desire for you. Instead, I want you to go “confront” her husband and your father-in-law about it. That’s the honorable thing to do. Explain to them exactly how your sister-in-law feels about you and how, as men, you all need to work out this problem together. I’d suggest taking some vodka with you. I’m certain that, with the two of them, you’ll be able to find a happy agreement by which you can get screwed all you want.

LW#2: My mom reads all the time. I’m talking, she reads in bed. She reads at the table. She reads in the car. She actually reads the shampoo bottles in the shower because she can’t take a book in there. I’m not kidding. She reads to the point of ignoring everything and everyone else around her. If she’s read everything in the house, she’ll read food package labels! I’m her only daughter and I’m starting to think her reading is my fault as a way to avoid me. What have I done to her to make her so angry with me? I’m really sorry to hear this, kiddo. Listen, first off, your mom’s obsessive reading isn’t your fault. And, too, here’s where it’s going to get kinda hard to hear, it’s not entirely her fault, either. I’m guessing your mom’s reading is a symptom of free floating anxiety (possibly combined with depression). Reading is very calming and those who suffer from anxiety often find it’s the only thing that will calm them (aside from anti-anxiety meds). If your mom learned this coping mechanism early in life, she may not even realize how pronounced it is. I think Prudie’s advice is good, but, too, it’s important to realize that it’s very likely that your mom won’t be able to address this issue without professional psychological help. This shouldn’t be seen as a weakness! It happens. It’s okay. But, most important of all, you must realize that your mom’s reading is not a reflection on you. You are only responsible in this life for you own actions. Don’t take on someone else’s as your responsibility as well. I know that’s a hard pill to swallow at your age, and I’m sorry you’ve been given it, but, please know, this isn’t your fault.

LW#3: Prudie, I don’t engage in office gossip, so, I have no clue how I found out all of this, but, one of my co-workers, that slut, Beth, is sleeping with our boss (who’s married, by the way, did you know?). I normally wouldn’t care, as I don’t gossip (obviously), but, Beth and our co-worker Steve and I are up for a promotion and my boss will decide who gets the position. Steve doesn’t know about Beth’s bopping of the boss, and I so desperately want to tell him so that he’ll say something (because, as you know, I don’t engage in the gossip), but, I’m afraid of what’ll happen if any of the inevitable fallout gets on me. What should I do? Wow, we’ve got a regular ol’ episode of Love American Style going on, don’t we? What should you do? Hmmmm. Let’s see, here’s an idea: make sure that your work is better than Beth’s and Steve’s. Make sure that you’re the most qualified person for a promotion by working on your professional qualifications, your education and on the quality of your work. Then, if you’re clearly the most qualified person in the group and you’re passed over for promotion, you’ll know why. Then you can request a meeting with HR to review the selection process and the measures used for selection. However, if you aren’t absolutely certain that you’re the most qualified for the job, Beth’s boss bopping is just that thing that you attempt to avoid so unsuccessfully: gossip.

LW#4: Prudie, I bring my lunch to work every day. I keep condiments in the break room fridge that I’ve clearly marked as my property. This arrangement works out just fine save for the fact that one of my co-workers is using my mustard! She’s used nearly half the bottle already! I’m not particularly pleased about this, but I don’t want to offend her. What should I do? Remember in the first response where I talked about people with shit for brains? Well your coworker...ain’t one of them. She’s just rude. Or, perhaps just mistaken about whose mustard she’s using. Perhaps your initials are the same as her cubicle mate’s and that person has given her permission to use their stuff? The problem is, you haven’t even asked the mustard-stealing offender what’s up. I mean this right here ain’t the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, you know?! This is not even the Hatfield and McCoy conflict. This is just you getting so worked up over a $2 bottle of mustard that you’ve actually written an advice columnist about it rather than deal with it! Remember the shit for brains moniker? I’m not ready to tag you with it (yet), but holy shit, dude/dudette, you’re walking a thin line here! How about you go talk to Ms. Molly Mustard and figure out what’s up. My bet is that she thought the “FM” you so carefully wrote on the top of the bottle meant “free mustard”.

Well shippers, that was a stinky bunch of poo for letters if the goal is to poke fun. I don’t like it when they get too serious, but, such is life. We take the good weeks with the bad, eh? Here’s hoping your weekend is beautiful, your commute is uneventful, and all of your travels are blessed with fair winds and following seas. Until next week...

...on Pre-death Funeral Plans  (orig. 9/3/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! Greetings and salutations! It’s another fine, fine Prudie Day and here we are, smack dab in the day’s first hours, sipping coffee and enjoying the view. It’s so misty here in the lagoon that, even though the day is about to get going full speed, I feel a calm and mellowness that only a morning mist and a cup of coffee can provide. But, there are letters to be addressed, so, let’s get crackin’...!

LW#1: My wife just got some texts about an acquaintance’s upcoming funeral. Thing is, he’s still able to raise his head from the cart, claiming, intermittently, “I’m not dead!” and, “I’m getting better!” or, “I feel fine!” His wife immediately whacked him in the head with a club and he fell quiet again. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. In truth, he really is mostly dead. Here’s my concern, though, “most of those I have spoken to believe that the setting of the date should have waited until there was an actual death.” What do you think, Prudie? See, I’d like to feel for you. I’d like to say, “Wow, she’s jumping the gun a little, ain’t she there, mate?” But I can’t. Why? Well, two things. First off, you don’t know anything about what’s motivating this. Perhaps he had a living will directing certain actions be taken at certain times? Perhaps the man’s children have come to help, and, based on the doctor’s prognosis, have made appropriate arrangements. Perhaps Bob’s Funerals and Go Kart Shop was having a half-off sale lasting only ‘til midnight tonight? Point is, you don’t know and it’s none of your damned business! But, here’s the second thing that bugs me. Who are you, the freakin’ town gossip? What do you mean, “most of those I have spoken to”? What the hell, shipper? Is it your place to go ‘round critiquing the funeral plans of others? Are you going to sit there at the funeral and say to anyone who’ll listen, “You know, I really do think this was planned too soon. I mean, look at him! He’s barely dead!” Dude, starting living your own life and quit worrying about how other people conduct theirs. You’ll be a lot happier while alive, and, when you’re about to die, maybe people won’t shuffle you off before you all the way done...

LW#2: My husband and I are expecting our first child. Problem is, my grandfather molested me as a child and I haven’t told my dad about it. As you can imagine, my husband and I don’t want our baby anywhere near my grandfather. Ever. How can we achieve this and not hurt my dad? Okay, you’re starting to figure out this parent alarm bell thing, but let me just dial it in for you, okay? The most important thing in your life once your baby is born is taking care of that entirely helpless and vulnerable child! They are completely and totally helpless and dependent and the two people in the world who are charged with that child’s care and welfare are its parents. You’re worried about your dad’s relationship with his dad (the man who molested you)?!?! Stop it! STOP! IT! I suggest having a sit down with your dad and mom (and any other adults who you might ever leave your child with who might trust your grandfather alone with your child) and tell them exactly how you feel and why you feel that. You don’t have to give details, but you have to be 100% clear about what happened and how your child is to never be in the same house as you grandfather. Then, and this is vitally important, you tell your grandfather that in no way EVER is he to be in the same house as your child. And tell him that if he ever even accidentally is, that you will not only go to the police but that you will work harder than you ever have in your entire life to find other victims and have him locked away for the rest of his life. You are responsible for your child. Do not lose sight of that. Ever.

LW#3: I recently tweeted that my friend is ugly, wears ugly clothes and that her hairstyle is soooo 2005. Amazingly, she found out and got angry?! So, first thing I did was set my page to private and eliminated any mutual friends so that she can’t see when I tweet about her from now on. But, can you believe that mean girl has now turned the office against me? So, like, how can I make them like me again? Or should I just forget it and tweet about them, too? You honestly don’t realize how wonderfully ironic this letter is? You dissed your co-worker and now blame her for the office thinking you’re a heinous meanie pants. Fortunately, though, I can help you! You need to address the person at fault in all of this. It’s easy. Do you have a compact in your purse? Of course you do. Take it out. Look inside. She that fluffy vacuous twit? Say to her, “You’re mean. You’re a cliché. You need to grow up. And eat a fucking burger. And don’t throw it up when you’re done. For once. Jeez!” There. See? Easy.

LW#4: I moved to the US from my home country. My parents have visited me each time I’ve had a child and they were very helpful and I was very grateful. They really are great parents! My sister lives in the same town as my parents, though, and now that she’s had children, my mom is there most every day, helping my sister. I’m jealous beyond belief and am considering confronting my mom when I go home on vacation soon. What do you think? I’ve tried to go two weeks without cursing in my responses, but holy hot fucking tamale on a poker stick! You have got to be kidding?! You are the type of person who has logged, probably to the minute, how much time your mom spent with you for your children and how much she’s spent with your sister, aren’t you? You’ve likely worked out that you’re mom has now spent four times as much time with your sister and her kids as with you and yours! Further, you don’t do anything else with your life than call “home” and when not on the phone, pine for equal parental time with your sister (who, in your eyes, is surely also more beautiful and has a more handsome husband than you). Listen up, chicky, you need to get out of the house. Pronto, fast-o! Engage in this country! Your community here! Get a hobby! Make some friends! Set up play dates. Find a job, or take the kids for a walk, or go birdwatching. Anything, anything, anything other than sitting around keeping score on a game in which you’re the only one playing. The sooner you get a life here, the sooner you will quit worrying so much about your sister’s life there. Keep this up, chicky, and watch what happens when your own kids grow up and move a few thousand miles apart. Won’t you feel like crap when one of them says, “Mommy, how come you love me less?” Holy shit, woman! Grow up!

Whew! That last chick is in dire need of a boot up the ass, isn’t she? Shippers, I’m feeling fall in the air. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a time of change, and all of it good.

...on Dirty Bras and Racist Grandmas (orig. 8/27/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Here

Mornin’ shippers! How’s everyone out there in Prudie Land on this fine, fine Prudie Day? I hope that all’s well and that you’re all having a great week and month. It’s an interesting batch of letters this week, so let’s get right to ‘em!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m somewhat inexperienced in the ways of women and you’re a real live woman on the Internet, so I hope that you can help me. I’ve had a girlfriend for several months and noticed that she hasn’t changed her bra in, like, two whole weeks! What should I do (I’m thinking she may have some psychological issues)? Here’s a check list for you, dude. 1) Does her bra smell bad? No, shipper, don’t go seeking it out to smell it like some pervert! I’m talking, is your GF’s bra emitting an odor that you can smell while standing next to her? No? Okay, you’re an idiot. When I say “idiot,” I mean it in a really gentle, kind, and non-demeaning way, okay? 2) Is it possible that this isn’t Week #2 with the same bra, but rather Week #3? In other words, when did you start tracking your GF’s bra-wearing behavior? Is that something normal for you? If so, well, yeah, you’re an idiot. I mean it that time in a slightly less-kind, more-demeaning way, but I’m still being friendly. Honest! Finally, 3), Sometimes women (especially larger-breasted ones) have a really hard time finding a bra that actually fits and that doesn’t hurt them (due to the support that they need). When they do find one that fits and is comfortable, they buy several because it’s a wonderful thing and rare to find them (unless they want to pay through the nose)! Is it possible that instead of the same bra, your GF is wearing one that looks the same to a below-average-bra-experienced, slightly-strange boyfriend? Regardless of your answers, dude, bra-wearing is not an indicator of psychological health (unless coupled with other, much more obvious and indicative signs). Why don’t you go learn those before questioning your GF’s psychological health? Although, hanging out with you for six months might just indicate...

LW#2: My daughter is getting married to a great guy (who just happens to be black--I know, right?!). Well, though my family and I are quite accepting of this fact, my wife’s grandmother, a very rich old bag who’s going to give us tons of cash when she croaks, is a crazy racist nut job. The family doesn’t want to tell Gramma Moneybags about my daughter’s choice. I do want to tell her! Badly! Is this because I secretly don’t approve of my daughter’s choice, but don’t want to show that I’m a closet racist, so, telling gramma is my way of subterfuge? Or is it simply that I want to cause drama? Who knows?! But, regardless, I’m not going to lie to Gramma Looney Toons if she asks me what race my daughter’s husband is. What should I do? Okay, dude, what’s your question again? You’ve said you’re not going to lie. The family has said they’re not telling Gramma Helmsley. So, what’s the issue? Are you afraid that if she finds out, you’ll be complicit and therefore...what, exactly? Lose out on the love and affection of Granny Nut Job? Or, oh, that you’ll lose out on the gobs of money? What’s more important, dude, your daughter knowing that you love her, regardless of what Gramma thinks, or, inheriting money from Abuela Racist Lady? You already know your answer. You just don’t like what it says about you.

LW#3: My lifelong best friend married into money and has become an elitist snob. It’s quite off-putting, Prudie, seeing as we both came from less affluent roots and I still appreciate and understand that fact. My girlfriend, on the other hand, now uses phrases like “poor people’s stores”. I don’t like it. At all. What should I do? Okay, chicky, I’m going to resist every urge in my body to rant here. That attitude of entitlement your friend is exhibiting gets my back up quicker than just about anything in the entire world. Doubly so when the person exuding it hasn’t even worked for the lifestyle they feel magically entitled to, but rather have had it given to them. I’d try Prudie’s approach and hope it works. You owe it to your friendship to have a clear, concise talk about this issue. Then, if that doesn’t work, leave. And don’t look back. Ever. Listen, your friend’s attitude is poison. When a person starts demeaning others, for any reason (gender, religion, sexual orientation, social status, etc.), it’s time to leave. Or else you’ll be next (and here’s a sad hint: she probably already refers to you as her “poor” friend when you aren’t around--for all you know, you’re her philanthropic “project” now).

LW#4: What’s the best way to respond to people who don’t answer invitations? We’ve invited some friends to our getaway bungalow for four, but they keep putting off saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on if they’re coming. What should we do? You say to your friends, “Dudes, we’ve got two open slots there, so we need to know if you can come or not. If you can’t make it, that’s cool, but we’re going to invite someone else. So we need to know today because, frankly, we have to make plans.” See? Easy as that. What occurs after that announcement to your friends is what the President calls a “teachable moment,” so pay attention to how they react to you, and how you react to their reaction, and learn something about both the non-committers and about yourselves.

Well shippers, that’s it. We’re currently sailing the seven seas, frolicking with the dolphins and the waves and all of the lovely creatures of the sea. It’s a beautiful thing! Until next week...

...on Sex Before or After Nice Gift? (orig 8/20/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! How in the heck are you this fine, fine Prudie Day?! I hope all’s well and that the week has treated you with kindness and sunshine (or rain, if you prefer). Either way, I hope it’s been good. Does your office get crazy in late August/early September as the fiscal year comes to a close? Seems the fiscal crazies are out in my office, but, at least it’s not a perennial problem. That said, we always get some crazies on Prudie Day, and today’s no exception. So, without further ado, on to the letters...

LW#1: I am a severely damaged woman who equates sex with affection and affection with gifts and gifts with obligations and obligations with sex... As such, I have a messed up romantic past filled with shrapnel at every turn. I’ve finally met a guy who seems to appreciate me for me, but, the bastard has decided to buy me a super-expensive bracelet for my upcoming birthday! I know this because a “friend” told me. I was going to have sex with him on that day, but now, with a bracelet entering the picture, I’m afraid he’ll think that I only had sex with him because of the gift. What should I do? Holy freaking crap lady! Seriously? I’m amazed you have actually managed to have sex with anyone? How wonderful the experience must be (sex with you, that is) when your primary concern while having it is what the guy is thinking of you and your motives in having it. I’m not sure what craziness befell you during your formative years, and I am sincerely sorry that it happened, but you’ve got some counseling to attend. I’m serious! Holy smokes! And, too, what kind of “friend” tells you what your boy friend got you for your birthday? Was the “friend” perhaps you, snooping? If not, this is no friend. This is an asshole. Man there is just messed crap happening all around you, isn’t there? Listen, if you want to have sex with your boy friend, you don’t need a special occasion. Just have it! Right now! People have been having sex for years, and will continue to, even cramped and contorted in the front seat of some sub-compact auto while parked on the side of the road at night. So, trust me, it doesn’t require a special place or event or gift. What makes it special, the only thing that makes it special, is the two people involved. That’s it. That’s all. Wrap your head around that nugget of wisdom and then wrap yourself around his. Gifts be damned.

LW#2: I’m a recent college grad looking to buy a house with my boyfriend. For various reasons, my family has never had a house of their own and live with my grandparents. My boyfriend and I want to buy a house big enough for ourselves and my family to move into to so they can move out of my grandparent’s. We think it’s the right thing to do, but everyone says we’re crazy. What do you think? Well, instead of putting the serious letter in slot #3 this week, Prudie’s pulled a fast one and has put it in slot #2. It’s a decent buyer’s market right now in a lot of areas and this may be a good idea on the surface, and certainly might work. But, consider that you’ve just started your job. Buying a big house like you’re suggesting may push your finances and if the job doesn’t work out, that could be problematic. And the job market is not what I’d call stable right now. Further, you’re buying with your boyfriend. You don’t say how long you’ve been dating, but, god forbid, if that doesn’t work out, you could find yourself under a mortgage that’s too much for you to pay for and with your parents not contributing, that, too, could be problematic. The main concern that people voice, though, is about all of you under one roof, yes? That’s just their ignorance talking. Plenty of cultures do it and find it to be wildly successful and stress-reducing. The older generation can take care of the toddlers and the house while the middle generation works, etc. It can work just fine and does. The Polynesian culture in the Pacific Northwest (due to sailors being station there, brining home Polynesian wives, etc., is a fine example). So that’s not the concern if you all get along well, it’s the other unknowns that worry me. Think long and hard about the financial burden you’re signing up for.

LW#3: Several years ago, my dad cheated on my mom with some terrible whore of a home-wrecking bitch woman! I hate her for what she did to me! It was personal and I have every right to hate her! That whore! Now I’m an adult and have to work with her and the very sound of her voice grates my last nerve. Since I’m pure and sweet and innocent and have never made a mistake in life, may I kill her? Holy fuck! Listen up you nosey bitch! Have you noticed that your parents have moved on? Have you noticed that they’re over this? Why in the fuck aren’t you?! I mean, sure, I’m not going to sit here and tell you what to be angry over, but, have you ever considered that your dad may have lied to this woman? What if she was completely unaware of his marital status/family and broke it off with him the moment she found out? You don’t know shit about this woman except that you assume she’s a terrible, home-wrecking whore. You need to learn to take a cue from your family. They got over it. It’s none of your business. At all. It’s their business, not yours. Understand? Maybe with all of your nerve (and you’ve got some fucking nerve, lady) you should run for public office or something? But don’t bring that shit to work with you because this woman’s done nothing to you. At all. And you need to get the fuck over your self, sister! And pronto.

LW#4: My girlfriend recently hosted a party. She is an unprepared ninny and ended up having to borrow glasses from a neighbor (how many times do I have to tell her that she’s wholly inadequate?). In washing the borrowed glasses, she broke one. Turns out the glasses the neighbor loaned her were used by Jesus Christ and his holy disciples during the last supper and, as such, are quite valuable. The neighbor wants her to replace them. All. My girlfriend wants to replace the broken one with one of equal value. She’s wrong. She should replace them all. And I’ve told her so. Of course, she’s always wrong and can’t do anything right, so, no surprise there. Why am I the one writing to you, Prudie? Well, I’m a nosey, controlling ass-munch who just loves denigrating my girlfriend, and who can’t even be made to help with the dishes after a party. But that’s irrelevant. What about my problem? Am I (and the neighbor) correct? Listen here you fucking ass-munching, holier-than-thou, talking-down-your-nose mother fucker. This is Butt the fuck out, over. I hope you lose your girlfriend over this fiasco. Maybe you can go spend time with the neighbor and his five glasses. Sounds like you two deserve each other.

Well shippers, that’s it for another week. Things started slow, but really got going there in the end, eh? I hope this week treats you well and that your winds are always fair and that your seas are always following. ‘Til next time...

...on Hubby Thinks Sis Has AIDS (orig. 8/13/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Ahoy there shippers! How in heck are you guys on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! Holy smokes, what a glorious morning, eh! Why is it so great? Well, I can’t say exactly. It just feels damned good today. Something in the air I guess. Coffee? Maybe. Preseason football? Well, that could certainly be a part of it, but, who knows? It doesn’t do to overanalyze these things. What I do know is that it’s Prudie Day and so it can’t be too terribly bad, right? At least for us. For the letter writers? Well, let’s find out what’s going on in those poor saps’ lives...

LW#1: Prudie, I’m a horrible, horrible liar. I mean, think of the worse lie you could ever tell someone about your own sister and then multiply it by about 100. That’s me. That’s what I did. I told someone my sister has AIDS! And who did I lie to in this way about my own sister? My then-future, now-current husband! Why? Because I was scared if I didn’t, he’d choose her, you know, once he met her. But now that I have him sufficiently ensnared, I’m really needing to rid myself of this guilt that’s eating me up on the insides like, well, AIDS (oh, Edgar Allen Poe, where are you when we need you?). What should I do, Prudie? Help! Wow! Chicky, you are the winner! I don’t know what competition you’ve won, but you are the winner! My first and immediate thought for you is one word: counseling. You need it. And I’m not talking about some minor chat with a hotline volunteer, either. I’m talking about highly professional, inpatient, research-like counseling with probes and wires and Rorschach tests that will get to the root of whatever in the hell your malfunction is! Holy shit! If there’s solace in anything, it’s that you didn’t tell your hubby that your sister routinely visits the state prison and “services” prisoners through the chain link fence--but you came awfully close, didn’t you?! Listen, come clean with your husband. Just like Prudie said. Be prepared that he might be just a tad bit upset--as in, “What the holy fuck, you crazy nut job?!” But you know what else? Here’s the funny thing: your husband already knows. Yep, he does. Unless you guys live on the other side of the country and have never interacted in any meaningful way with your family, he knows. And, if not, are you keeping him from them, too, so that he doesn’t fall for your mom or aunt? And if he has met everyone and genuinely doesn’t know, he’s about as clueless as a door knob. So, if that’s true, perfect. He can be your prize! Either way, though. Counseling. Pronto!

LW#2: Prudie, I’m so, so, so happy in my marriage to the world’s most perfect man, except... He’s fat. And naked. And he touches his dick all the time! I mean, I know his girth has nothing to do with my letter because it’s all about his nudity, and his giblets, and the touching, but, I just thought I’d mention the fat part because, well, you know, he’s fat! But, I also don’t like the naked part. Or the non-pocketed pocket pool he plays! Other than that, he’s soooo perfect. What should I do? Okay, so, does this guy work? I mean, by your description, it sounds like if he’s at home, he’s naked, wanking, and eating. All at the same time. Does he even bother to stay dressed between the car and the house? Look, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but you’re an adult. And, you’re married! That’s like a doubly adult state to find yourself in, even if you haven’t grasped that yet. So, why can’t you say to your hubby what you’ve said to Prudie and, by extension, all of us here in Prudie-land who now have to think about your husband’s corpulent weiner tossing? Do you think Southern-Belle and the ladies in her office want to read that stuff (well, okay, they do find it funny, come on ladies, admit it). But still! Sit down in a non-nude moment (you may have to take him out to dinner to get him to put clothes on) and read to him the letter that you wrote to Prudie. If he’s any bit of a decent man and husband, he’ll understand (provided he’s paying attention to you and not tossing the salad under the table).

LW#3: My cousin is a mentally-imbalanced, racist, extremist, pro-gunist, anti-liberal, birther, whack job whose rants on the web are bordering on Unabomber Manifesto-style ramblings. His singular focus on these issues is doubly concerning because it now seems likely he’s going to go kill an abortion doctor or someone like that in the hopes of pleasing his higher power. Should we tell his daddy on him? (Another LW#3 with problems too serious for me to just blithely dismiss--damnit!) I just love the current level of thinly-veiled racist frothing some folks have worked themselves into of late, crying on FOXNews about the lost “America they grew up in.” Unfortunately, it’s guys like your cousin who can’t see past the fact that most of this is just manufactured, hypocritical bullshit, and, sadly, he might actually go out and hurt someone. If you’re worried enough to write in to an Internet Help Lady, you should have already called someone, if not the authorities, to at least have your cousin questioned. If he’s in control of his faculties and is just doing some healthy venting (whatever), then they’ll leave him alone (hey, if he supports the Patriot Act, he can’t decry his ass being questioned!). But, if he’s about to go shoot up a school or immigration center, though, maybe it can be prevented.

LW#4: I’m a 14 year old who likes to sleep with the stuffed doggy that I’ve slept with all my life. I like to bring him along with me when I go places. My friends or family or some other rotten bastards are encouraging me to knock it off because they say “only babies play with stuffed animals.” I really like my doggie, but am worried that it’s a problem. What should I do? I’m going to tell you the most important lesson you can learn as a person and it takes some people a lifetime to learn it. Don’t you ever give a rat’s ass about what anyone tells you is “cool” or “grown up” or “how to be part of the in-crowd”. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, you should do exactly as you please with regard to those issues! Do you know how wonderfully rare and precious and incredibly inspiring true individuality is? If someone makes fun of you or ostracized you, not only are they not worth your time or effort, but they’re hollow little shits of human beings and I promise you that the cool exterior that they put on is something that hides the painful hollowness inside. If your doggie makes you happy, keep him with you. Even if you’re 100 years old and you put in your will that you want to be buried with him!

Well, shippers, until next week. Thanks for all of the good wishes on the ankle (and the occasional razzes at my wimpiness--yes, MM, I’m looking right at you, chicky!). It’s healing quite nicely. Until next week, shippers, fair winds and following seas!

...on Money From War Lord Dad (orig. 8/6/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Ahoy there shippers! It’s another fine, fine Prudie Day today and I find myself, in my gait, anyway, resembling an old-fashioned pirate with a wooden peg leg. I managed to break my ankle during the seven days since we last met and I’m none too happy about that fact. Damned hard to get around the submarine this way. Ladders aren’t as easy to navigate in a temporary boot. And the crew, oh the bastard crew, think they can let me live this down?! Not a chance. Irony is, I was just walking! I wasn’t even doing anything difficult like chewing gum, so, really there’s just no damned good excuse for it! I suppose I’m getting’ old, shippers. I hope that you won’t mind if I take out a little of my aggression on these dumb assed letters?

LW#1: My wife and I have a two-year-old in day care. My wife’s in school full time. I work full time, but my job sucks and the pay is mediocre at best. My wife has recently been in contact with her heretofore estranged father and he’s offered us an incredible amount of money. Enough to where I’m writing in to an Internet Advice Columnist! Well, okay, it’s actually about the same as a year’s worth of my current salary (which, although my job sucks and I get paid for shit, really seems to intrigue the hell out of us because, apparently, even though the pay sucks, a year’s worth of it is enough to get us worried over the disposition of our souls seeing as her daddy’s money comes from his being a violent, murdering war criminal in a third world country). What should we do? Take the shitty amount of money and live it up Vegas-style, or continue to live in squalor and pain and suffering? Listen up you limp-dicked son of a bitch. You act like your life is so goddamned bad. I mean, seriously, we’re supposed to feel bad for your situation because your job is in a declining industry (and doesn’t pay well to start with), your wife is in school full time and your child actually has day care? And you’re getting by? Give me a fucking break! Have you looked at the news recently, asshole? Listen, this may seem extreme, but, how about your wife work her school schedule around your work schedule so that day care is not required? Holy shit! What a concept! College is amazing that way in that they have classes all day and into the evenings, seven days a week sometimes! And, too, news alert, she can work, too, regardless of when here classes are! I worked 40 hours per week while going to school full time, assmunch. Don’t you dare tell me she can’t do it! Have you thought of a second job? Amazing what a little motivation and lack victimhood will do for your outlook. As for dad’s money, you did notice that he’s a violent, murdering war criminal, right? And you have a two-year-old son? Look over those last two sentences and see if you can’t figure out what’s the right thing to do. I know you’re feeling all bad and stuff, but this ain’t rocket science.

LW#2: My boyfriend recently and (supposedly) temporarily moved into my place when his apartment suffered some damage. His apartment’s now fixed, but he’s still here. Most people would be fine with a significant other moving in (I mean, otherwise, why would they be our significant other?), but, mine is a fucking slob. I mean, to the nth degree! He actually can’t aim his urine into a huge fucking hole and leaves mystery smells and stains all around the apartment. He also ruins my laundry while “trying to help.” I’m afraid if I ask him to leave, I’ll lose him, but, damn, I don’t like my place smelling like the dark abyss that is The Octomom’s soul. What should I do? Okay, chicky-doodle, first of all, why are you scared of losing this piece of shit asshole mother fucker? He can’t even hit the toilet and he can’t do laundry. He leaves a mess around your apartment and appears to have no motivation. Sounds like a real winner yourself got there, lady! Listen up, and hear me loud and clear: laundry is not difficult (peeing, even less so). It’s really not. Any person, man or woman, who can’t do laundry past the age of 14 is just being a lazy shit or coddled. He’s all like, “Sorry, honey, I tried, but, I’m just a guy.” Shut the fuck up, you asshole! How hard is it to separate laundry? To clean up after yourself? To wipe up fucking urine? Prudie was way the fuck out of line with you. You are not a neat freak. A neat freak would have kicked this guy out on his ass at Day 1. You are a doormat. An asshole-coddling door mat. Stop it! Quit being a door mat and his enabler! Kick him out. And, next time you’re at his place, pee on his toilet. Or his bed. I know you think that’ll take a little effort, but I assure you it takes no more effort than for him to ignore the fact that he missed your toilet.

LW#3: I have a teenaged niece who is undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma. As a result, she’s lost all of her hair. Her mother, my sister-in-law, a fucking unbelievable, appearance-conscious, shit stain, soulless, feeling-less, fashion whore is insisting that my niece wear a wig, not only in public, but in the house?! My niece has called me in tears, saying that her mom thinks she’s ugly now. Her mom says the wig is only to keep other people from being uncomfortable?! I realize that I ought to beat the ever-loving shit out of this woman and take her daughter into my own home and love and protect her, but, that would likely wind me up in prison (or, seeking asylum on a submarine, where I’ve been assured that I’d be hailed as a hero). Short of that, though, what can I do? I am so sorry to hear about this. I wish that I had a pithy response. I don’t. I would enlist the help of your husband (unless he’s a clone of the boyfriend above, in which case, holy fuck, what are you doing with him?...but I digress), and I would also enlist your brother-in-law, and your parents-in-law and, together, come down on this woman like a fucking atom bomb. Tell her to get the fuck off her self-obsessed trip and realize that her daughter is the one who’s sick, not her, and that this is.not.about.her! Okay, no, first, sigh, I agree with Prudie. You should try to talk to this bitch privately yourself. Tell her about counseling and support groups. She needs that knowledge. Badly. I don’t know if she’ll hear you, though. And if she doesn’t? Bring in the entire in-law cavalry and the heavy artillery. But listen, most important, most important of all, please, please, please remember to be there for your niece. She obviously trusts you. No matter what sort of hell spawn the rest of her family is, be there for her. She needs you and if you do nothing else, being there is more important than any of the rest.

LW#4: I’m getting married soon. All is going well with the planning, save for the cake. I’m allergic to chocolate. Eating even a tiny bit will literally put me in the hospital. Should be an easy solution, though, right? No chocolate cake. Easy. My heinous future mother-in-law, however, is having a cow over this fact. She and her daughters, my future sisters-in-law, have actually said to me that they “will refuse to enjoy the wedding without a decent chocolate cake.” What should I do? HAHAHAHAHA! Oh my! Isn’t life grand? How often does life allow you a glimpse of your future before you make a huge, life-altering decision? Most of the time, we find that hindsight is 20/20 and we’re stuck with “..would of, should of, could of.” Here’s that rarest of rare opportunities to see, with perfect clarity, your future. Get me? And, I’m not even talking about your sorry-assed, fucking terrible, attention-hungry terrible bitch of a future mother-in-law! If your fiancé hasn’t absolutely brought down the hammer on this woman and his sisters (including informing them how easy it would be to un-invite them to the wedding), you need to run for the hills lady! Do not look back. Do not even pause. You have seen with crystal clear vision where his priorities are. If you’re allergic to chocolate, and he’s not made that fact perfectly clear with his mother, without exception, and, too, made clear that she needs to shut the fuck up, your health is in danger, lady. Perhaps not your physical health, but certainly your future emotional health and the happy lives of your future children. Leave. Right now. This is a dead end. This guy is a momma’s boy and you’re headed to Hell. Trust me. Run!

Well shippers, until next week. I’m off to see the orthopedic surgeon today. Wish me luck. The boat’s left the lagoon after all of the maintenance we’ve been doing and we’ll be looking to make port near your hometown soon. Here’s hoping to see you soon... Fair winds and following seas to you all.