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 Dinners w/ Former Lovers (orig. 7/2/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Good morning Shippers! How the heck are you this fine, fine Prudie Day?! I was doing just peachy today until I read one of these letters, almost causing my head to explode right here in front of my computer (more on that particular letter in a minute). Don’t worry, though, I’ll get over it. To be honest, I sort of expected 4th of July-themed letters today--you know, ones with concerned parents talking about drunken adults playing with fireworks around their kids, etc. You know, normal 4th of July stuff. :-) Regardless, these letters will do, so, here we go…

LW#1: A friend of mine from another country is coming to the US to work for a few months. When I was in his country, where we first met, he helped me immeasurably to navigate the culture and even some of the ins and outs of his country. I would like to return the favor (sans the ins and outs), but my fiancée is being a flaming, fucktard, shithead asshole douche bag about it, and has actually threatened to contact his old girlfriends if I even see my friend!?! Yes, very adult of him. For some totally fucking unknown reason, I’m completely confused as to what to do. Can you help? (Interestingly, this isn’t even the letter that got me pissed off).

Okay, chicky-doodle, here’s what you do. Stand facing your fiancée. Got that? Okay, hold up your hand, fingers extended, palm facing you. Now, this next part is tricky, so be careful not to hurt yourself. Fold in all of your fingers toward your palm, save the middle one. Leave it extended high and proud for several seconds. Then, remove your engagement ring, spit on it, or, if you’re willing, rub some shit on it, and then drop it on the floor. Think I’m kidding? Okay, fine, have a shitty marriage, but, don’t say that I didn’t warn you. However, to make things 100% clear as you do seem to be a bit slow, your fiancée is a controlling asshole of the Hallmark Movie of the Week caliber, wherein an abused woman finally snaps and kills the bastard or dies due a beating she took from him while he was in a jealous rage. Don’t be that woman.

LW#2: My 13-year-old daughter and her friends recently had a party that excluded a girl who’d, up until recently, been part of their group. They didn’t invite the now-ostracized girl, and even went so far as to make sure she was humiliated about it. I’m heartbroken that my daughter is participating in this ‘mean girl’ mob mentality and I want to nip it in the bud right now. Further, the ostracized girl’s mom is a friend. What should I do?

First up, I’m thrilled that you are actually offended by your daughter’s behavior. You’d be surprised by how many parents are not. Seriously. :-( At any rate, you’ve got to tell her what you think she and her friends did wrong (try not to use the phrase “you’re all being little fucking, bratty-assed bitches”--you may want to take a qualude first to keep your cool because that kind of talk will only cause a sanctimonious crying jag and put you on the defensive--trust me on that, I have a teenage daughter myself). Then, ask her how she’d feel if the girls ostracized her (and don’t worry, they will at some point in the coming years). Anything else that you do is just going to fall on deaf ears, but, having a mother who actually points out these issues is hugely important and it will make an impression, even if it doesn’t show. Also, give her a copy of “The Hundred Dresses.” Ask her to read it. It’s short. Don’t worry if she doesn’t seem affected. She will be. And in the end, with a mother that actually gives two shits about how her daughter acts, she’s going to be fine.

(Believe it or not, that letter wasn’t the one that got me going, either…)

LW#3: My in-laws are rich. Way richer than me and my husband. I’m a money-grubbing, entitled, selfish, bitchy, fucking stain on the asshole of humanity who thinks that my in-laws ought to get off of some of that money, if, for nothing else, the act of spoiling my brat kids into little money-grubbing, entitled, selfish, bitchy stains on humanity. I mean, after all, they can afford it, right?

Listen here you horrible fucking bitch. That money they have? It’s theirs. Not yours. You don’t get to spend it for them or even suggest how they should spend it, you gaping, sucking chest wound. Ever wonder how they got that much money (and have managed to keep it in this economy)? Here’s a hint: it ain’t by spending it on a fucking bitch or her little shitty demon spawn. How in the hell your husband managed to keep it up long enough to make kids with you is amazing. Or was it him? Likely not. Probably some poor bastards that you paid to give you tennis lessons, or a manicure, or to clean your pool, you fucking succubus. (Woman, I don’t use the “c” word, but, if I did, you’d be a prime target--oh my god...).

LW#4: I’m a young public defender, so most of my cases are representing the indigent. Rude ass bastards (like that fucking bitch LW#3, and, LW#1’s husband) ask me all the time how I can represent these people, as if, somehow, the people I represent are less human or less worthy of defense than, say, the questioners themselves. This line of questioning is extremely offensive to me, and rude. What should I do?

With all of the resources available to us nowadays to help us learn and understand how and why our legal system is so skewed against the poor, if a person can’t have some compassion or at least understanding of the situation for those you represent, they are not worth your time. At all. I’d skip directly to Step 4 of Prudie’s advice. Walk away. Spend your time with good people. Real people. They are out there. Yes, admittedly, they may use the word “fuck” a lot, but they’re far better company than the assholes you seem to be hanging around in your off hours.

Well shippers, that’s it for another week. Smooth sailing to you all, and Happy 4th of July! Don’t get drunk and shoot fireworks at your neighbors' kids as we don’t want to be answering questions about you next time around. ;-)

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