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 Pre-death Funeral Plans  (orig. 9/3/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! Greetings and salutations! It’s another fine, fine Prudie Day and here we are, smack dab in the day’s first hours, sipping coffee and enjoying the view. It’s so misty here in the lagoon that, even though the day is about to get going full speed, I feel a calm and mellowness that only a morning mist and a cup of coffee can provide. But, there are letters to be addressed, so, let’s get crackin’...!

LW#1: My wife just got some texts about an acquaintance’s upcoming funeral. Thing is, he’s still able to raise his head from the cart, claiming, intermittently, “I’m not dead!” and, “I’m getting better!” or, “I feel fine!” His wife immediately whacked him in the head with a club and he fell quiet again. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. In truth, he really is mostly dead. Here’s my concern, though, “most of those I have spoken to believe that the setting of the date should have waited until there was an actual death.” What do you think, Prudie? See, I’d like to feel for you. I’d like to say, “Wow, she’s jumping the gun a little, ain’t she there, mate?” But I can’t. Why? Well, two things. First off, you don’t know anything about what’s motivating this. Perhaps he had a living will directing certain actions be taken at certain times? Perhaps the man’s children have come to help, and, based on the doctor’s prognosis, have made appropriate arrangements. Perhaps Bob’s Funerals and Go Kart Shop was having a half-off sale lasting only ‘til midnight tonight? Point is, you don’t know and it’s none of your damned business! But, here’s the second thing that bugs me. Who are you, the freakin’ town gossip? What do you mean, “most of those I have spoken to”? What the hell, shipper? Is it your place to go ‘round critiquing the funeral plans of others? Are you going to sit there at the funeral and say to anyone who’ll listen, “You know, I really do think this was planned too soon. I mean, look at him! He’s barely dead!” Dude, starting living your own life and quit worrying about how other people conduct theirs. You’ll be a lot happier while alive, and, when you’re about to die, maybe people won’t shuffle you off before you all the way done...

LW#2: My husband and I are expecting our first child. Problem is, my grandfather molested me as a child and I haven’t told my dad about it. As you can imagine, my husband and I don’t want our baby anywhere near my grandfather. Ever. How can we achieve this and not hurt my dad? Okay, you’re starting to figure out this parent alarm bell thing, but let me just dial it in for you, okay? The most important thing in your life once your baby is born is taking care of that entirely helpless and vulnerable child! They are completely and totally helpless and dependent and the two people in the world who are charged with that child’s care and welfare are its parents. You’re worried about your dad’s relationship with his dad (the man who molested you)?!?! Stop it! STOP! IT! I suggest having a sit down with your dad and mom (and any other adults who you might ever leave your child with who might trust your grandfather alone with your child) and tell them exactly how you feel and why you feel that. You don’t have to give details, but you have to be 100% clear about what happened and how your child is to never be in the same house as you grandfather. Then, and this is vitally important, you tell your grandfather that in no way EVER is he to be in the same house as your child. And tell him that if he ever even accidentally is, that you will not only go to the police but that you will work harder than you ever have in your entire life to find other victims and have him locked away for the rest of his life. You are responsible for your child. Do not lose sight of that. Ever.

LW#3: I recently tweeted that my friend is ugly, wears ugly clothes and that her hairstyle is soooo 2005. Amazingly, she found out and got angry?! So, first thing I did was set my page to private and eliminated any mutual friends so that she can’t see when I tweet about her from now on. But, can you believe that mean girl has now turned the office against me? So, like, how can I make them like me again? Or should I just forget it and tweet about them, too? You honestly don’t realize how wonderfully ironic this letter is? You dissed your co-worker and now blame her for the office thinking you’re a heinous meanie pants. Fortunately, though, I can help you! You need to address the person at fault in all of this. It’s easy. Do you have a compact in your purse? Of course you do. Take it out. Look inside. She that fluffy vacuous twit? Say to her, “You’re mean. You’re a cliché. You need to grow up. And eat a fucking burger. And don’t throw it up when you’re done. For once. Jeez!” There. See? Easy.

LW#4: I moved to the US from my home country. My parents have visited me each time I’ve had a child and they were very helpful and I was very grateful. They really are great parents! My sister lives in the same town as my parents, though, and now that she’s had children, my mom is there most every day, helping my sister. I’m jealous beyond belief and am considering confronting my mom when I go home on vacation soon. What do you think? I’ve tried to go two weeks without cursing in my responses, but holy hot fucking tamale on a poker stick! You have got to be kidding?! You are the type of person who has logged, probably to the minute, how much time your mom spent with you for your children and how much she’s spent with your sister, aren’t you? You’ve likely worked out that you’re mom has now spent four times as much time with your sister and her kids as with you and yours! Further, you don’t do anything else with your life than call “home” and when not on the phone, pine for equal parental time with your sister (who, in your eyes, is surely also more beautiful and has a more handsome husband than you). Listen up, chicky, you need to get out of the house. Pronto, fast-o! Engage in this country! Your community here! Get a hobby! Make some friends! Set up play dates. Find a job, or take the kids for a walk, or go birdwatching. Anything, anything, anything other than sitting around keeping score on a game in which you’re the only one playing. The sooner you get a life here, the sooner you will quit worrying so much about your sister’s life there. Keep this up, chicky, and watch what happens when your own kids grow up and move a few thousand miles apart. Won’t you feel like crap when one of them says, “Mommy, how come you love me less?” Holy shit, woman! Grow up!

Whew! That last chick is in dire need of a boot up the ass, isn’t she? Shippers, I’m feeling fall in the air. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a time of change, and all of it good.

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