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 15, 2009

...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...

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