http://www.slate.com/id/2224290/ (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.