http://www.slate.com/id/2234587/ (orig. 11/05/09) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There
Hey there shippers! How the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! All here is well enough, I suppose, and I know that the world won’t fall off its axis, but, I am a bit disturbed by something that has nothing to do with the Prudie Letters. I know, I know, I’m not here to bitch about anything else. And, too, since I know that you come for the letters, I’m going to address them first. But then, after I’m done with them, I’m going to answer a bonus letter, too, if I may? If I play my cards right, it might give you some insight into my worked up state. But that comes last as it wouldn’t be fair otherwise. First up, to the letters!
LW#1: Prudie, I’m 16-years-old and wanting to buy a vibrator. I’d like to talk to my mom about this. We have a close relationship and can talk about anything, but I’m afraid that she’ll be uncomfortable and feel awkward about this particular subject. I’ve tried talking to a friend, but she was repulsed by the idea. What should I do? Unfortunately, in this case, you are the best judge of how your mother will react. And if you’re concerned about her reaction, you’re probably correctly reading her. But, at the same time, if she’s always been there for you, openly and honestly, even though the conversation may make her uncomfortable, it may be one she’d be honored to have with you, discomfort be damned! And, part of being a kiddo to a good parent is being able to be open and honest and never fear undue reproach. Ultimately, you have to decide which is more important to you emotionally: having the conversation with your mom, or, taking the plunge solo. Either way, in this case, it sounds like things will work out. Prudie’s correct in that masturbation is pretty much point and click. You’ll absolutely figure it out. That much, I promise. The trick is the emotional part. And your mom may be able to help you navigate that better than anyone else. Even if you don’t talk to her before, perhaps later it’s something you can bring up. Leave open that option, but, listen to yourself on this one. You’re the best judge of what to do next.
LW#2: Prudie, I’m a woman who’s probably a bit too over-worried about all things, but specifically regarding my upcoming nuptials and subsequent life with a man who’s much older than I am (I always tell people our age difference because it’s vitally important to my story). My soucis de la journée, though, is his fertility. He had an infection on his testicles that may have rendered him infertile. Before we get married, I’d like to know exactly how many little guys he’s shooting, how potent they are, how long they’ll be there and if they’re genetically superior to those at the sperm bank. I mean, it’s not like I won’t marry him or anything, you know, if he’s shooting blanks, but I keep my calendar updated, to the minute, for about five years out. Every detail has to be perfect and I don’t know if I can stand the not knowing. Please help me justify trooping him down to the sperm clinic to see I’m going to need to schedule appointments at the adoption agency and sperm donor center in 18 to 21 months--I don’t have too many open appointments left for that timeframe and we need to get moving! Whoa there, Little Miss Holy Batshit Crazy Woman! Calm your jets for a sec. Have you ever heard of living in the moment? I agree you can’t live your entire life in the moment. You have to plan for retirement at some point. And it’s nice to have a down payment on a house before buying. Those things do take a little planning. But you’re looking way too far ahead here (at least if you’re being honest and you’d marry this guy even if he is sterile). Listen, here’s how it works: when (and only when) you’re ready to start a family, you have sex without birth control. You do this for awhile and see what happens. If you get pregnant, holy shit, problem solved (at least for you--truth is, I’m not sure that your husband and child may not be living in ‘schedule hell’ for the rest of their lives, but, sadly, they didn’t write in to ask for advice). If you don’t get pregnant, then, and only then, should you worry. Hell, you might be the problem! What if you’re infertile and he’s not? Wouldn’t that just put your panties in a twist? Oh my, appointments at the OB, appointments at the alternative medicine doc... (sigh).
LW#3: Dear Prudie, I’m 27. When I was 14, I “severed ties” with my dad. That’s a euphemism for treating him like shit, threatening to call the cops on him, trying to injure his wife and baby, screaming, yelling, peeing on his furniture and just generally making a complete and total asshole of myself. But, now that I’m older and getting married, I’d like to have him back in my life. What can I do? Hey chicky, I have two portions of advice for you. The first is to go slow. Look at the letter above. This thing can’t be put on a schedule. Prudie has some wonderful advice for you and I think you should follow it. But (and here’s the second part), what kind of insensitive, crazy, lunatic bitch do you think you are by asking this man and his family to your fucking wedding after having not been in touch with him all this time? Like, “Hey dad, sorry about the shit earlier, but, you know, could you come to my wedding?” Holy fuck?! How about you slow the fuck down and meet on his terms, not yours, on his turf, not your? How about you express your unbelievable, extreme, gut-wrenching sorrow over how you treated them? Yes, you were young and you should not be held completely accountable. I agree. Your mom seems to have played some crazy nut-job role and your dad should come to understand that, but, it’s not like he’s going to just say, “Hey, sweetie, so glad to have you back! Let’s go to your wedding!” It’s going to take years, not days. It’s going to take tears and sorrow and pain. And if you’re not willing to admit to yourself that the effort is going to be extremely hard, if you’re thinking you can just show up, invite him to a wedding and all will be okay, well, you’re well on your way to reaching your mom’s level of craziness. And he can see that. Your wedding is not the place for a family reconciliation, idiot. This isn’t about you. It’s about the two of you. And your wedding ain’t that.
LW#4: Prudie, I’m a woman whose work is incredible. Not only that, it’s so good, the increased revenue for the firm that I work for is clearly measurable and has increased the workload of others! Isn’t that great? In terms of the bottom line, I’m a goddess. My problem is with my male co-worker, who, for obvious reasons (you know, because he’s lazy), hates me. He leaves stinky socks in our shared bathroom and even leaves the seat up as a “final protest” to my being there. What can I do? Holy fucking batshit on the windshield of your brain, you fucking vapid idiot! How about you put down the goddamned seat?! Is your back hurting you? Are you a double amputee (arms)? Do you put the seat up for him when you’re done, you double-standard, crazed, lunatic freak? You may be good at your job, but you’re a fucking idiot as a human and that usually doesn’t go over well in the workplace. Not for long. If I were you, I’d spend less time gloating and more time trying to be a fellow human being.
Bonus LW: Prudie, I live in Maine. I was full of hope and happiness and wonder that we, Mainers, would be the first voting population to allow gays and lesbians to marry. And things were absolutely heading that way! But, sadly, over the last several months, literally tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars have poured into the state from outside, funding sickening advertising that claimed things like “voting for gay marriage means they’ll teach kindergartner’s about anal sex.” Seriously! That’s a paraphrase, but not an exaggeration. Prudie, this is 2009. When will people get over thinking that they should be allowed to choose how other people live? I’m sorry, Mainer. I really am. I, too, hoped that at least one state's electorate would allow for gay marriage. And though you didn’t say it, I know good and damned well it was the Bible-thumping, Nazi, righteous, fuckstains out there in full force over the last few weeks. Just like in California. Fucking assholes. What a shame, too, and ironic, in that they want all the rights of practicing their religion, tax-free, with no limitations, but, you know, if someone is different than them, or if someone lives in a way that they can cherry pick a verse from Leviticus and use it to condemn them, they will. I can't say that I'm surprised by this. It’s not new. But it does hit me hard each time this happens, because it's just devastating, actually, the irony and ignorance and arrogance of these fucking asshats. But hold up your head, Mainer. Even if it didn’t happen on Tuesday, it will. Kids today are more and more tolerant of homosexuals. Eventually these asshat idiots will be the ones in the minority. It’s actually closer than it feels. And when that day comes, oh sweet baby Jesus in swaddling clothes, they’d better hope like hell that those of us who believe in true equality won’t vote to ban religion outright. Because, you know, when we’re in the majority, what’s to stop us enforcing our will on them?
Well shippers, that about wraps it up for another week. I’m off to a swim call in the lagoon. We throw a cargo net down the side of the sub and dive in from the turtle back. Then we can use the net to climb back aboard. It’s great fun and good exercise, and, too, I hope to get a visit from my bestest diving buddy while there! And that’s always a treat. So, ‘til next week shippers, keep your dive-to-surface ratio at one, and fair winds and following seas.