http://www.slate.com/id/2236537/ (11/25/2009) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There
Greetings Shippers! And Happy Holidays and a merry four-day weekend to you all! Too, Happy Prudie Day, one day early! And what a fine, fine Prudie Day it is, eh? Do you have visions of early-morning shopping dancing in your heads? Is Friday a day of competitive shopping for you? :-) No matter how you plan on spending the day, or any of your holidays, I hope that you’re all happy and healthy and warm and that there’s nothing but good coming your way for the holidays and beyond. But, before all of that, and before I get ahead of myself, let’s have a crack at these letters, shall we?
LW#1: Prudie, I have the bestest, most awesomest, greater-than-greatest boyfriend in the whole entire world! He’s absolutely the bee’s knees, Prudie, all wrapped up with a silver bow, dipped in honey, and then lightly dusted in powdered sugar to make him into Perfection Boyfriend with a side of stewed apples! The problem? Well, he’s withholding sex from me. Okay, wait, that sounds like a dichotomy. Let me start from the beginning. We’ve been dating for three years and he’s been all about having the sex every which way, all the time, telling me that he loves me, etc. Then, awhile back, when we moved in together, he decided that, on religious grounds, we needed to stop having sex because, due to his relationship with God, he’s decided that pre-marital sex is bad. Prudie, I admire his relationship with God, but that is pretty messed up right here. What can I do? Well, first off, and most importantly, you have to realize that this has nothing to do with God. Or religion. Sure, that’s a handy crutch that people have been using for millennia for doing/not doing whatever in the hell they want, but, it’s not what’s at work here (nor has it ever been). For whatever reason, this guy isn’t interested any more. Is it because, now that you’ve moved in together, he’s seen your dirty undies or maybe he’s realized that you do, on rare occasion, fart, or some other equally domestic thing that has turned him off because he’s not quite the bee’s knees you thought he was? Is it because, now that he can get it anytime he wants, it’s no longer appealing to him? No one can know that answer but him, but, you’ve got to know that, a) it’s not about religion, and, even more importantly, b) what it is about is manipulation. I’m not saying he’s manipulating you on purpose, but, I’m not saying he’s not. You know those women in terrible relationships you hear about on Oprah where, after twenty years of putting up with some douche bag, finally leave and say things like, “I never realized how controlled and manipulated I was.” That’s your future. This guy, conscious or not, is blaming God for his own change of mind. That’s bullshit with a capital shit and you need to leave him. Now. But, you’re not willing to do that are you? Because he’s already got you doubting yourself. And honey, that’s the first step to controlling you. I hope you read this because you’re about to become a Hallmark Sunday movie--well, 20 years from now (if ever) when you finally figure out what a spineless assmunch this guy is.
LW#2: Prudie, there’s a new girl in our small office. She’s lovely and wonderful, but, when a cute little laugh at the end a sentence would be just the kind of manipulative thing to affect to perfectly convey the right amount of vulnerability and nervousness, she snorts like a pirate. It’s a horrible snort. Terribly unladylike. I believe I should tell her about it because everyone notices it. How can I tell her that she needs to “nip it in the bud before it becomes a crazy habit that she carries through the rest of her adult life”?? Hmmm, so, this fresh, young, just-out-of-college girl snorts a bit sometimes and you’re worried about how it might affect her career if this “habit” continues? Condescend much? Why is it that I completely doubt that your motive is philanthropic? If you’re male, I’m going to say that you want to bed this fresh young thing but that you’re afraid that the girl’s snort will make you discernibly less turgid than you already are with your wife, and therefore even less able to perform than you currently are. If you’re a woman, I’m going to say that you’re the kind who thinks that looks, the right shoes, and appropriate hair-flicking are more important to climbing the corporate ladder than actually producing good work. Regardless, you’ve obviously never looked at Donald Trump’s hair. Talk about an annoying habit! Maybe he should change it so that he’ll be even more successful? My thought is that you should spend less time worrying about this girl’s “career” and “habits” and more time on your TPS reports. And if you’re genuinely worried, why not have a neutral third party observe you for a few days and then they can produce a report for you about your annoying habits. Once you fix all of those, then worry about this girl’s. Kay? Kay.
LW#3: Prudie, my father has been out of work for over a year. He left his last job due to personal issues with a petty and vindictive boss. As a result, he can’t use his last boss as a reference and has decided to put down my name instead. He’s asked me to act as if I was his supervisor and praise him to the heavens when I’m called. The problems with this idea are too copious to detail here, but, the most obvious is that I know nothing of his business (and second is that he raised me not to lie)! What should I do? Well, first off, you’re right, you know nothing of his business, which includes what type of worker he actually was. Secondly, why does he have to list his supervisor at all? He can enter “co-worker” or “colleague” or “shift supervisor”, etc. on his résumé and completely avoid the “boss”. No, there’s more to it than what you’ve been told. As for what you should do, though, I’d suggest being very frank with him and explaining that he’s put you in a terrible position by asking you to do this thing for him. Explain that you don’t know the first thing about his work, that you’re unwilling to participate in the ruse. Explain that you love and support him and that you know that if he does things the right way (the way he raised you), he’ll find a job. Finally, if you do get a call from a perspective employer, you can state that they have the wrong number, or that you now work for XYZ company and that you don’t wish to discuss anything about any other companies. Neither are complete lies and the strategy will allow you to beg off answering the questions without calling out your father to his potential employers. Good luck.
LW#4: Prudie, about six months ago, my wife and I moved into a new apartment. We can hear the neighbors fighting almost every night. Loudly. Perhaps violently? The language and attitudes are very abusive and we are worried for the wife. Also, the couple has a new baby, which makes us feel even more like we should say something. Should we call the police? If we do, they’ll pretty much know it was us who did as only one other couple shares a wall with them. What should we do? Should you call the police? What, as opposed to writing the Internet Lady? Listen, how will you feel if the wife and/or child end up dead? What if the wife gets a gun and shoots the husband for fear of her life? What if the bullet comes through your wall? If you’re just thinking a couple is fighting, you don’t call the police. However, when you’ve got proof of abuse, of course you do. I respect privacy as much as the next guy, but they’ve brought their fight into your home. Since you haven’t been specific about what you’re hearing, I can’t say for sure what you should do, but, I can say that once it went from suspicion of fighting (maybe someone saying something that indicates things aren’t rosy), to you actually knowing there’s fighting (black eyes, walls banging, abusive, threatening noise invading your space), you need to do something. Again though, I don’t know what you’re hearing, so I don’t know what’s appropriate. You can drop anger management pamphlets on their stoop, you can call CPS if the child’s in danger, and/or you can call the police if you feel a crime is being committed (abuse, beatings, etc). Regardless, start with talking to the apartment management because, even if this just how they “get along” it’s not fair for you to have to listen to their shit. Let management know what you’re hearing and how often. And don’t stop at telling them once if it continues. You have a right to not have your space invaded, too. Do the right thing.
So, Shippers, that’s it. May your gravy boats be full, your turkeys be stuffed and your cups runnething over and then over again. I’m off to decorate the lagoon and to BBQ a turkey (I’ve also caught some red snapper and mahi-mahi, and kept it raw, for my bestest diving buddy, MM). Happy weekend all. Fair winds and following seas... And drive safely!