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.

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!


  1. So nice to read you at full strength, Smag! Worth following the nav charts!! Thank you!

    - skoorbza

  2. Hey skoorbza! Thank you for following us! I'm glad you're here. Please check out the other writers here and spread the word. Smooth sailing... :-)

  3. I'm so glad you guys found a new place to post. I never posted on that other forum (which shall remain nameless), but it was the highlight of my Thursdays to read your responses to the inane letters, along with Schuylercat, Messy, Mermaid, and the others. I don't think they realized how many readers they were chasing away with their heavy-handed moderating.

  4. Long-time lurker just surfacing to say, "Glad you're back!" I look forward to my weekly doses of snark and common sense. :D

  5. I'm going to have to disagree with you Smag about LW 4. She trusted a friend of a friend during an event for their mutual friend, that wasn't that idiotic. However, that friend of a friend used her in order to make a profit. That is asshole behavior and she has a right to be upset about it. It isn't the money (although sometimes $60 IS a big deal), its the principal of the matter.

  6. weekend is now complete (just in time for Monday) I got the Submariner's perspective on the idiocy! WOOHOO!

  7. Amy, Corey and Madd Libby, welcome! I'm glad that you found the waters here and I hope that you'll continue to enjoy this column and *all* of the writers here! Please nd spread the word!

    SusanM, I agree that $60 can be a big deal. And, too, I agree that the principle is what's upsetting. But, she needed a good snark torpedo for trying to make a federal case of this. Sometimes bad stuff happens to good people. That's life. Now, had she not acted like the $60 was going to affect her child, I might have given a little more leniency. But, as she acted like these unscrupulous ladies were stealing food from her child's mouth, I sort of felt the need to give her a little kick in the pants. Especially since she gave them the money willingly. There is a lesson there, yes? But, you do know that I love ya none-the-less, right? ;-)

  8. Well I love ya too Smag but that's never stopped me from disagreeing with anybody ;)

    See I read the 'I'm pregnant' just to mean that she wasn't going to be running up a $100 bar tab that she needed to cover. If she can't drink then yeah, it is reasonable for her to kick in a couple bucks for the bride and call it a day. She shouldn't be expected to contribute like somebody that was drinking. I speak from experience, I'm always shocked at what a cheap date I am when I'm also the designated driver for the group.

  9. Well, yes, but, then she shouldn't have paid in the first place, right? I mean, okay, if she thought it was going to be a nice night out that took her condition into account, and then it ended up sucking (and only some of the people drank and that was where all the money went), then she has some grounds to complain, sure. But, to me, it's still just a life lesson. Stomping her foot and demanding compensation, to me, is just an example of the ol' "two wrongs don't make a right" axiom.

  10. Yay, the Smagster is back in full force!

  11. I'm forever grateful that people just - KNOW - not to invite me to be in their wedding parties! And I'd have no problems questioning a hefty bill before accepting a bachelorette thingamajig.

    LW2: I wonder if it's not actually a concern about the kids getting confused, but the wicked aunt and uncle themselves? I think THEY would get confused about Nana v2.0. They're just using the kids to cover their own short-term memory problems.

  12. Hey Flyingroo! Welcome! Glad you found 'The Fly'!

    herdthinner, regarding LW#2, agreed. It *definitely* is all about the aunt and uncle, but, I don't think it's a short term memory issue. I think it's a head-in-own-asshole issue! ;-)

  13. I'm so glad I can read the Submariner again. :)

  14. Hey there, IphigeniaGoesShopping! Great to see you here! Thank you for reading, please come by often, and, too, spread the word. :-)