http://www.slate.com/id/2229334/ (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...