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, December 17, 2009

...on Two Big Gay Nuts! (12/17/09) <--Original Prudie Letter Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! How the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! Man, the holidays are essentially upon us, as well as the requisite craziness that comes right along with them. How else to explain these letters? Or the fact that if you’re like a lot of folks, you’re still disproportionately worried about those last two or three items that you just have to buy before Christmas? Even though you’ve already gotten that person plenty of gifts and they've told you time and again to not worry about it? Well, put those thoughts aside for a minute, have a tea, and perhaps even a nap. Naps are always good. Stretch a little, read these replies, then go back to tackling your gift list. You’ll be happy you did. Trust me. So, without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we?

LW#1: My partner and I are adopting twins, Prudie! We’re so thrilled! We’ve decided that we’ll raise them in the most Nouvelle Vague way possible. If it’s new, and trendy, and fashionable, we’re doing it! Diapers? No way! They’re so, 20th century. We’re all for letting the little ones poop and pee as they see fit and they'll be better people and less traumatized for the effort, too! Synthetic clothes? Nope. Synthetic toys?! No way, José! But that's not even our problem, Prudie. Our problem is that we’re having a baby shower and don’t know how to let our preferences be known for all of the gifts we’ll receive? We don’t want to seem uncouth (god forbid) by putting out a wish list, but, at the same time, we don’t want to give away or donate the gifts that we do receive because that seems wrong, too. What ever can we do? Well, first of all, I’m going to say that Prudie was way out of line in her response to you. I don’t think she remembers all of the bizarre and crazy and woefully ignorant thoughts and ideals and dreams that new parents have prior to the arrival of their first kiddo (or kiddos, if they're twins, etc.). She should have been kinder. That said, though, you need to know from a non-biased party that you are, in fact, being bizarre, crazy and woefully ignorant. You need to calm the fuck down, over? But, you won’t take my word for that. And that’s fine. You’ll learn. Look, parenting is a lot of fun, but please know that it is its most fun when you’re sincerely enjoying your kids and not trying to engage in performance art for the sake of your community or friends. It’s not a competition or a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ endeavor. Also, just so you know, the more ridiculous your proclamations are now, the farther you’re going to have to fall when you give in to reality. And you will fall. Kids are powerful destructors of ideals and bringers of reality. Don’t worry, though. They won’t destruct the important ideals. Those they’ll learn directly from you and how you treat others. And trust me when I tell you that the important ones have nothing to do with clothes or toys or methods of catching poop. As for your problem, since, like I said, you’re not going to listen to me about any of the stuff above, anyway, why not just make a very specific registry list at a store that caters to your special brand of new parent ideals and ask everyone to please look there when shopping because you have some very specific desires for your kiddos. They’ll laugh, but, hopefully they’ll understand. And maybe even reminisce a little. Good luck. Heh-heh.

LW#2:  Prudie, my mom recently died.  She'd been ill and, as an only child, I had to pay for her surgery and funeral expenses.  I've learned since then that numerous friends and family members made donations to my mom's sister to defer those costs, but my aunt kept the money?!  I would sure like to have that money, Prudie.  What can I do to get it?  Hmmmm.  This is one of those problems that's so hard, it's, like, well, almost impossible to answer.  Or not.  Sigh.  Let's see.  You either, a) make damned sure your aunt was given money to defer your mom's expenses (and that it's enough to even bother with) and then ask your aunt, "What the hell, you heathenous bitch?!", or, b) you really, in truly, forget about it and move on with your life.  But don't choose some pansy-assed passive-aggressive third choice like talking about her behind her back and encouraging family members to ostracize her.  Okay?  Okay.  Here's what bothers me, though.  What did you mean by you "had" to pay for your mother's surgery?  No, you didn't have to do anything, actually.  Are you saying that she needed life-saving surgery to live and, without it she'd die, but that no one would perform it unless she paid for it up front?  And, too, that she had no insurance, no government assistance, no assets?  And, you know what?  Even if all of that is true, you didn't have to do shit even then.  Got it?  You "chose" to pay for your mom's surgery and funeral.  What would you do if no one had given your aunt any money?  Would you shake her down for money anyway?  Or hit up other family members?  Would you be bitter with your mom for costing you all that cash and then dying anyway?  Or, would you just move the fuck on with your life?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  You didn't have to do anything.  Remember that the next time you start to get all worked up about what you had to pay for.

LW#3:  Dear Prudie, I have a friend who sounds mysteriously like Tiger Woods.  He plays the same sport as Tiger Woods (you know, using his "club" to get it in the "hole"), as well as the same games that Tiger plays (texting, voice mails, cheating).  I wish I could think of a more original letter to write, Prudie, but I really want to be featured on your page and you only publish letters from the other, more clever interns, so I thought I'd give this angle a shot.  Let's say, to add color to this story, that my friend, "Jason", asked me to lie to his wife and to provide an alibi for him for when he'd been out with one of his many "golf friends" getting his balls cleaned and the shafts of his clubs polished.  What should I do?  So, okay, remember in the last response when I sarcastically said that the question was so difficult that it was almost impossible to answer?  Well, I'm dropping the sarcasm here.  Are you such a fucking dense, stupid, ignorant, shit-for-brains idiot that you can't figure out the answer to this middle school-inspired question (or perhaps you've just been watching too much "Tool Academy")?  And worse, you silly prick, do you think the readers of this column are so dim as to not know their being fucked with?  If you're real (and you're not, but if you are), the answer is simple, tell the guy that he's not your friend (friends don't treat friends that way), that you're not lying for him (regardless of what kind of magical "I already told her, so you have no choice" logic he uses on you), and then turn your body in the opposite direction from his, put one foot forward and then walk away.  It'll be hard with limited brain function, but I'm guessing you can manage it.  Maybe.

LW#4:  Dear Prudie.  I'm in my 20s and dating a wonderful guy whom I plan to marry in a few years.  Our problem?  He's an atheist and my parents are devout Christians.  They like him except for this one "character flaw."  We're spending Christmas Eve with my folks and I want him to come to church with us.  He doesn't want to.  For me, it wouldn't be a big deal, honest, except my dad is a musician and he plays in the church band.  If I tell my boyfriend that it's important to me that he come with us, he'll will, but, I don't want to force him to.  Prudie, I'm conflicted.  How can I manipulate him into wanting to come with us without, you know, manipulating him?  Well, chicky doodle, there are just tons of contradictions in this letter.  First of all, if your parents like your boyfriend, and already know he's an atheist, they probably won't be that surprised about his desire not to go.  So, your worry about that is a bit of a contradiction right off the bat.  Further, as you point out, his atheism isn't why he doesn't want to go.  That has absolutely nothing to do with it, actually, and you shouldn't have mentioned it (except that I suspect that you're intern #3 and have been frequenting The Prudie Fray, too).  See, as an atheist, he doesn't believe a god exists.  Any god.  So it's not like it's a big deal to go to a church where Jesus is being worshiped versus a synagogue or mosque (like it might be for a devout Jew or Muslim, etc.).  He doesn't believe in any of it.  It's not different than attending a play to him.  And you even said that he'd be "bored" and "uncomfortable".  Not that he'd be deeply "offended" by the religious goings on.  So, if it's important to you that he go, just ask him.  What, he can't get over a little boredom and discomfort for you?  But, that isn't what's really at issue, is it?  No.  You want him to want to go.  And you might want to think about why that's so important to you?  I think that you're the uncomfortable one with his atheism, not him (as I said, it isn't even a point of contention and shouldn't have been mentioned in this letter).  If you can mange it, you need to try really hard to analyze why you want him there so badly and see if you can't get off the manipulation and start just being honest with him.  If he's worth marrying "in a few years", he'll understand.

Okay, shippers, that's it for another week.  I hope that you've enjoyed this batch of fun?  All here in the lagoon is extremely festive, with multiple Christmas cards being sent back and forth, lots of happiness and love and frivolity and even some heavy snarkiness that isn't necessarily holiday-related, but fun none-the-less.  Have a great week and we'll see you soon!  'Til then, fair winds and following seas to you, shippers!


  1. As always, well put. I like how you honed in on LW #4 making it all about her parents, not her, really.

    Excellent job spotting the fake letter too. I'd missed that cue.

  2. you ever struck by how no one even makes an attempt to be reasonable anymore? they fly off they handle with crazy pettiness and have forgotten every bit of manners and morals they have been taught? we just had ethics training at work. my employer, after years of trying various kinds of seminars, games, and powerpoint presentations to remind us of ethical behaviour, this year resorted to a good old fashioned sermon on the golden rule. even a garden variety heathen like myself was struck by its eloquence and effectiveness. and i gotta tell you, i think more of these letters are real than we would like to believe. i'm truly beginning to belive that there really are that many clueless, unreasonable people out there. cranky as i am most of the time, i am probably even one of them. :-)

  3. and btw, as someone who has lived in a remote african villages and has seen babies trained to "go" on demand, i can tell you that when i became a mom i used diapers. while there, i also chipped teeth on organic, locally grown whole grains, and saw my locally made clothes (from locally grown cotton)rip and tear fast when washed in the local river. modern conveniences are just that: convenient. thosedudes need to get over themselves. fast.

  4. You know what? I think LW#3 is concerned that while her parents know her bf is an atheist, they don't really totally get that he is an atheist, and he's going to stay an atheist. And by atheist, I mean "asshole."

  5. Hey Libby. Thank you for stopping by the lagoon. :-) I agree with you on LW#4 but uh-oh, Spacey does not!

    Spacey, would you feel the same way if the guy was a Muslim? or a Budhist? If not, why now? The LW said, flat out, that he'd go if she asked. So, why is it that (some) women think guys should just *know* that something's important to them without them saying. There ain't no magic fairy men out there that can read minds. Sure, this guy should know it's important, but the letter indicates he's in his early twenties. He's just a baby. That doesn't mean he's not an asshole, it's just that I don't see any definitive indication here that he is.

  6. Hey Sandy! It's great to see you here! I do know what you mean about folks flying off the handle as opposed to making an attempt to be reasonable. I encourage reasonable-ness, but, I hope you'll understand that I fly off the handle each week at these letter writers as a character. I'm not really unreasonable in the really real world. ;-)

    I also love your take on modern conveniences! Direct hit! :-)

  7. Hey SmagBoy,

    Have you seen the replies on the Fray. People are up in arms over boyfriend's not wanting to go to church at Christmas. I, like you, don't think it's a big deal at all. He's invited. If he doesn't go, they still have a wonderful time worshipping with fellow believers. There was on poster (I wish I could remember who) who mentioned that it would be better for the once-a-yearer's to not go, as it would allow for the devout believers to worship without the crowds.

    I mostly agree with your response to the gay couple adopting twins. But I for one don't believe in gift registries. Just be happy with your friend's gifts, and if you don't want them give them to someone who does.

    As for the greedy aunt, I don't see anything wrong with the LW telling anyone who mentions their contribution to the surgery or funeral that she is totally unaware of their generosity.

    I think you were dead-on with the cheating friend. Stay true to your principles, but don't impose yourself where it will be of no help.

    Thanks again for another wonderful read.


  8. As usual, Sir Smag, you have done a marvelous job. I have hope for human beings when I read your reasoning.

    For any child rearing questions, all I can say is you parents are a brave lot! Anyone who gets their kid to adulthood in one piece has done a job right there, let alone as a good citizen. Now, for LW #1 to want to forego All Mod Cons, ESPECIALLY the modern advances on pee/poop mitigation, I think they'll come around, at least in private. Those couch cushions can be Megalosorbant!

    I am torn on the atheist in pews--have to put myself back at the beginning of my marriage 25 years ago. With us, it was me wanting not to rile the in-laws with any non-concurrence, my husband enjoying telling his mom "All religion is bullshit." (That kind of talk seems a little tough on Catholic moms). Over the years, we've certainly been in churches for the usual weddings/funerals, but it's been a bone of contention between them as she thinks he should go when she visits because it's important to her. He won't. She stopped asking me because, I believe, she doesn't like to have anything like an argument with me.

    I can't sign off without thanking you for enriching my vocabulary--how many years had it been since I had seen "Assmunch" in use? Not to mention "Fucktard". Now I don't leave home without them!


  9. So, reading LW1, I started wondering how in the world you could actually raise a baby diaperless. Then I found this article:

    So, it not only sounds like a difficult way to raise a baby, but something that is really only feasible for stay at home parents. I thought, "Well, okay, I suppose that's cool for being at home with your kid and avoids toilet training." At least, up until this part:

    Isis Arnesen, 33, of Boston, has a 14-week-old daughter, Lucia, who is diaper-free. She said it can be awkward to explain the process to people, such as when she helped Lucia relieve herself in a sink at a public restroom.

    Um, WTF? No matter how you raise your kids, when is it all right to "let go" in a public restroom SINK? Accidents I can understand, but to do it as a matter of course?

  10. Eh, you're probably right, but even if you switched out the religions, I think, why not just go and play anthropologist? It's what I do when I go to church, even though I'm christian. And if Astronaut were going to synagogue, mosque or temple, I'd do it then, too.

    I go to church to make Astronaut happy, my parents happy and to kind of soak up holiday atmosphere and talk to neighbors.

    I'm not saying the LW shares no blame, but I wonder why she's nervous about asking him in such a way that might confirm he'll dig in his heels or not. It's like she doesn't want to know what her battles are going to be or is just in denial about something.

  11. I don't think the religion makes a difference. The key is that they're spending the holidays with her family. If I had a kid bring home a date for the holidays, I'd expect them to hang out for the holidays, whether that means going to church or having a nice diner, or getting drunk around a bonfire. Admittedly, its a little easier for a church goer than a church abstainer. "I'm having a great time but I'm gonna take off for an hour" comes off a little better than "I'll just stay here, in your house, watching your tv, and raiding your fridge. You guys have fun." Well, tough shit, life ain't always fair.

  12. Greetings everyone...a fine Smaggie/Prudie day to you...oh, and happy holiday's to boot.

    I needed a good laugh and here I am being provided for once again.

    The new parents of twins are in for a rude awakening. Do they even have any idea of the amount of poo and pee comes out of just ONE little person? I think not. It's an AMAZING amount of foreign looking material! Can you see them now disagreeing and one parent hiding the Huggie's for one moment of sanity while the other parent makes the tenth trip to the store for more PROZAC? I'll just slip this on the babies while he/she goes to the store, so I can shower to get the poo out of my hair. (Two babies without diapers would make me go to the store often) They'll both be doing drugs, organic or not within a week. Oh, don't get me started on pee'ing in the sink! Moron's abound.

    Speaking of moron's...what friend in their right mind would ask you to lie for them TO THEIR SPOUSE, whom you have a relationship with? Another moron wishing to add to your need of additional drama in your life. I agree Smaggie...kick em' to the curb and fast!

    I must say I did like the last fellow idea's of staying at her parents house rifling through their things while they go to church, creative. I always ask myself what the hell women are thinking when they sign up for marriage without thinking things through....we spend more time picking out a good melon. Sheesh.

    I can do any religion as long as they aren't promoting good behavior through guilt, but if they bully and start pounding hell and damnation from the pulpit I'm gone, dashing for the door, so I doubt I'd be signing up to go every year once I found this style out nor would I be attending the snake loving chanting folks event either as interesting as they may be. In laws or not. Flight or fight kicks in when I'm the receiver of someone elses power trip, my fuck you kicks in when I am bullied in any way, religion or not. Freedom, I like it...I like it a lot.

    Happy trails everyone...Smaggie a fond farewell!

  13. Aqualad,

    Sorry I'm late. Too many shiny objects at work to distract me yesterday and today. I got a good annual review, though! Oddly enough, not one where they could tell me what the merit raise would be. I'm told that it'll be coming sometime in January. They just don't know what it will be.
    The recession's a hell of a drug, eh?

    But enough about me.
    LW1: The Organic Wonder Twins remind me of Mitchell and Cameron from "Modern Family"... if both of them were Mitchell. It's tempting, but they won't get a swat from the rolled-up magazine, because trying to raise the kids the way they think they will be, will soon be punishment enough.

    LW2 - Sub-Mariner, I believe that too many torpedoes were launched here. I took all the "had"s for taking care of Mom as Familial Duty fueled by Organic Diesel Love. "Had" in the sense of: "It's Mom! You do whatever it takes!" (I'd do the same for my Mom, what can I say. I would "have" to, dig?)
    And without getting all political and shit, Mom probably had the kind of health care that many Americans have: the kind where not getting treatment(s) paid for happens more than they do get paid for.
    My aunt is, um... reeeeeeeeallly "funny" about money, too. As much as I love her, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if she did the same thing, given the same situation. And God help anyone who tried to get her to either admit to having received money, or to give it up!

    LW3: I'm far too trusting. I naturally assume that all letters are real. ((sigh))
    That said, I've also been in the dreaded, "dragged into a lie" situation. When I first moved across the country, I had a housemate whose relationship with her boyfriend was duplicitous, for lack of a better term. In a nutshell, Housemate decided that her mother, a devout Jew who happens to be an invalid and had nothing to do day and night but lie in bed and worry about her kids, would (per Housemeate) >literally< worry herself to death if she found out that Housemate's bf was/is not Jewish. So from the very start - and maybe even still - the nature of their relationship was hidden from all family members.
    Needless to say I disagreed with this approach, but their behavior didn't otherwise affect me. Until one night, she got in a car accident on the way to her bf's, and while he was the one she'd called, she told family members that I had been the one to help her. And then forgot to tell me. A few days later her father was thanking me at length for being such a good friend to help her through the accident. I didn't know what to make of it. THEN she told me that everybody thought I'd raced to the scene. So, I told her in no uncertain terms that she was never to involve me in her Big Lie again. Or I would tell - period. She started pleading, so I repeated myself.
    The moral of the story is that I wasn't dragged into her Big Lie again (other than the big lie of omission), and I moved out eventually, anyway.

    LW4: Oh, for God's sake, invite him to watch Dad perform, if nothing else! He wouldn't be agonizing and fretting about making you join him for school reunions, work events and crap like that.

    A whack of a rolled-up Cosmopolitan all around, folks! It's the holidays snd I'm feeling generous!
    God smack us, everyone!

  14. Ahoi Captain Smag!

    You're perceptive as usual so I don't have much to add. I'm a bit seasick, rocked back and for on a sea of ... what!?

    Baby Poo!

    Those guys better contain the noxious stuff in disposable diapers and bury them in landmines, oops, I mean landfills....

    I haven't kept up with the no-diaper crowd but I've been told that in those countries without diapers a baby is usually held all the time by parents or members of extended families so they can tell when she/he is about to poop (I don't know about pee, though. Just look at pics of mom working in the fields with babies on their backs... And then I saw picture of Indonesian cribs made out of wood with an opening where baby's butt would be so that the stuff just flows out to the ground for happy parents to clean... lovely!

    I hope the future parents's friends get together and gift them with ten thousand disposable biodegradable chlorine free diapers you can order on line at reasonable cost...

    In my distant baby raising days, we had to use cloth diapers. You took the soiled diaper and first rinsed it in the toilet. You held in firmly while you flushed and then wrang it out and put it in the diaper pail. But these things are sometimes pretty slippery....

    I used to live in South Pasadena eons ago in a cul de sac, compound sort of place and we were renting a little house at the end of it. There was a septic tank to serve most of those houses. There was also an extraordinarily cranky landlord who terrified the older kids (and even their parents!).

    One day I noticed the presence of the septic tank company's giant truck. I was told something had plugged up the works and affected all the houses in the compound except ours. I still have a clear memory of this landlord coming to my house brandishing this cloth diaper "you're the only ones with a baby, you know how much this has costs me! I'm going to up your rent!" I didn't dare ask him to give me back the diaper....

  15. PS: Anyone heard from Schuyler? I hope he's ok, he had so many worries piled up on his head...

  16. PS more: oh me god, I mispelled "Ahoy"! Is this the beginning of the end? Oh well, who the hell should worry about sanity when there's the prospect of endless senior hilarity!

  17. Hey Pooham! Thanks for stopping by the lagoon. :-) I think I understand what you mean about gift registries, but, they're so ubiquitous now that I think we're going to have to accept them. We don't have to like them, or use them ourselves, but, sometimes things do become so accepted that they become the norm. I think that Dear Abby or Ms. Manners reminded someone recently that telephones used to be considered rude, too, as they were bound to cut down on written correspondence. Oh well. :-)

    Hey Deb! It's great to see you here. :-) You and your husband sound great, and I have a feeling that I'd get along with him very well, although, like you, I don't argue with my mom, either. I just don't go with her. ;-) As for the vocab tweaks, I'm always glad to help. Did you catch "fecal macaroons" last week? I was rather proud of that one! ;-)

  18. Hey Corey. Yeah, until they have some control over their bowels, utilizing this method in public is criminal (in my humble opinion). I'm not suggesting jail time, just a time out and a stern talking to for parents who do boneheaded stuff like that. Idiots!

    Hey Spacey! Yepper, I don't know what her deal is, either. Especially since she says he'd go if she asked? So, who knows? I'm curious about *why* it's important to her, though? I don't mean in a general way, I mean, specifically, WHY? If we can get that answer, then we'll know a lot more. I mean, if it's to see dad perform, that's a good and reasonable thing. If it's so that her folks won't give her crap, though? Not so much. Oh well, I guess we'll never know.

  19. Drekab, I'm with you in spirit, but, when you said:

    "I'm having a great time but I'm gonna take off for an hour" comes off a little better than "I'll just stay here, in your house, watching your tv, and raiding your fridge. You guys have fun." Well, tough shit, life ain't always fair.

    you lost me. I reckon if you're comfortable enough with someone to allow them to be a guest in your home, you shouldn't have a problem with them watching "your" TV, or thinking of their eating your food as "raiding." If I thought that way about someone, I'd not have them a guest in my home as to me guest can make himself at home in my house, always! :-)

    And my beef is that it sounds like the kid will go if the LW just expresses that it's important to her. I mean, would you go to a Pagan animal sacrifice out of politeness if you were visiting friends and they were going to one? Not to say that'd happen, but, sometimes there *are* legitimate reasons not to go with hosts somewhere they go. IMHO.

  20. Debbie, you said "fond farewell!" I hope you just meant for this week? Please do say it's only for the week!

    As for the rest of your post, I love your take on freedom. A lot to be said for that. And for how you value guests in your own home, or, too, how you'd like to be treated as a guest in someone else's. Here's hoping we see you soon! I didn't like the sound of that "farewell!"

  21. herdthinner, it sounds like you, too, work for the government under NSPS. What a mess that is! And, if you don't, trust me, we're experiencing the same thing you are right now. Congrats on the good eval., though. :-)

    As for the errant diaper, oh no! My father works in construction, so I grew up doing all sorts of construction-related jobs. Constructing new drain fields and changing out septic tank filters, etc., was occasionally one of them, so, I know what grand fun they can be. But, at the same time, life happens, you know?

    Good cheer!

  22. OH! Whoops! I got confused! The portion of the post above regarding diapers was for Kati. I've been traveling and trying to catch up and I got confused. My apologies.

    Herdthinner, please understand that what I was trying to get LW#2 to understand is that she did what she did out of love. She "had" to, but, out of love. So, in the end, had there been no money, the LW would have paid for it and done what? I was trying to help him/her understand that, regardless of the outcome, he/she did the right thing and should try to gain peace in that. Worrying too much about money can send one to an early grave. :-)

    Yucky about your ex-roomie! Holy smokes, what a mess. I'm glad that you got out of that. And, too, thanks for the whack on the noggin. I deserved it for something, I'm sure! :-)

  23. Kati, please see my first response to Herdthinner for my response to your diaper story. So, see, it's *not* a senior thing! :-) And, if I'm completely honest with you, I read right past the ahoi and didn't even pause. Is that having too many foreign languages and the mind just moves right through?

    So, to you, then, I say Happy Holidays, Felices Fiestas, Frohes Weihnachten und neues Jahr!

  24. Ah, Okay, gotcha, yah, you betcha. I still think LW2 is entitled to be irked about the aunt. That's just cold, you know?

    Not DoD (the NSPS thing you mentioned), but close. A nonprofit that did report to the DoE as a guarantor, but these days I'm not so sure. Congress has an Education bill lined up after Healthcare. The Senate likes to do "things" to its bills these days, I've noticed. Who knows what shall be wrought??

    Snow, snow, and yet more snow is predicted tonight. Oh yay wheee

  25. Gotta tell you, Smaggy: that twitch in my bum knee that tells me bad weather's a-comin' started twanging like Waylon's out of tune Gibson when I read the following: "...parenting is a lot of fun, but please know that it is its most fun when you’re sincerely enjoying your kids and not trying to engage in performance art for the sake of your community or friends."

    Oh, yes sir. There's a massive "Big Gay Al - aren't I fabulous!" vibe working here, and it's completely awash in baby shit, dressed in tee-shirts made by slave laborers in Honduras and foisted as "100% organic!!!" at Nordstrom's, and littered with little wooden cars and trucks hewn from recently deforested regions of China and slathered with red paint that's possibly chock-full of lead, radioactive materials, and the blood of the workers who died on the production line to make the $0.30 piece of shit in the first place.

    In these ways, we save the planet. And it's fabulous!

    And it looks great on Dr. Phil and Oprah too; glossy and shiny and as believable and altruistic as a warm-hearted and erudite statement to the press from (fill in the name of any senator or congressman).

    Ah, la. Merry Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Jingle Hannukah, Feliz Xmas, and may you enjoy all the good tidings of this holiday season, strong in health and heart and spirit, and you know, all that other shit.

    Ciao Bello.

  26. Smag, you may be on to something with LW4; I for one don't buy her reasoning, either.

    FWIW, I also don't take much stock in "liberal" Christians.

    Please. Either you're religious or not, and saying "I'm more liberal than my parents" might mean not wearing a hat to church for all we know.

    There are many things going on here:

    One, the boyfriend, atheist or not, should be able to put up with a reasonable and reasonably-timed event (i.e. it's not 3 hours).

    I suspect Space Cadet you don't mean atheists are necessarily assholes; just this particular one using it as an excuse (I hope this is the case, anyway).

    But two, I also hate passive-aggressive: if you tell him it's important to you, and he goes, you've not "forced" him to go. This is why men get to hate women: he can't win, b/c now he's "only" going b/c she asked, but how else is he supposed to come to that decision?

    Which brings it back around to my first point: LW _is_ religious, and wants _him_ to be religious.

    Look, if you're old enough to marry, it shouldn't matter what your parents think, since it's not their life.

    So I can only conclude it matters to you; now own that little bit of detail and make your decision, but don't pretend this is some sort of drama between BF and parents when it's all about you wanting to create drama.

  27. Hey Schuyler! Sorry about gettin' your knee to twitching. I'm glad you knew what I meant, though, and expounded upon it beautifully! :-)

    Happy holiday times, to you, too, Schuyler. :-)

  28. Nagatuki, your last two paragraphs, above, freakin' NAILED it! And much more concisely and completely than I did (I took twice as long to say half as much)! Bravo! Now, if only our LW would read what you've written.

    As Schuyler says, Happy Happy and all that other shit. ;-)

  29. Smag, this is what comes of reading too many advice columns (now, to apply such logic to my life)... : )

    Thank you, and to everyone, happy holidays, or at least quiet time away from your jobs. : )

  30. Ahoy, Captain! As I explained to my friends in the Lagoon, I have been a bit delayed in getting to you this week. I made the mistake of visiting Santa to tell him what I'd like to find stuffing my stocking this year ~ and Santa DOES so like to keep me on his lap for an awfully long time!

    I'm suddenly curious about something ~ if YOU write your column, my darling Submariner, why do you delegate SmagBoy to answer the responses? Surely my great big tough crusty ol' salt of the sea can't be afraid to face his reponders on his own ~ can he?

    You did fine on #1. Who cares where they let their kids crap, as long as it's not my couch. That's my motto. And you're right ~ they will learn. Oh they will SO learn...

    LW#2 ~ Now here we have a problem. I never thought I'd see the day when my beloved Submariner would ROLL OVER for thievery. Why, I've known you to wrench a fishbone from a cat's throat if you thought it was yours first. And remember the time Nine-Fingered Molly rifled through your pockets looking for your loose change while you satedly snored away? I'll bet she won't try THAT trick again (at least, not so dexterously anyway! haha!)

    Anyway, my point is ~ stop making such a big deal of her turn-of-phrase "I had to pay for my mother's expenses". She told us that to impress upon us that she has no siblings or father to share the cost with ~ which might be substantial for all we know (and given the cost of health care, it probably is!) Of course she would have paid for these expenses anyway, and I'm sure gladly, (and of course she wouldn't have "shaken down" anybody, silly rabbit!) but to find out that someone else will benefit from her mother's death while she herself becomes financially strained ~ why that sticks in the throat like a stolen fishbone!

    As far as describing the advice to tell other family members what has transcribed "pansy-ass", was that supposed to be an insult? (You could liken my ass to a pansy and I'd be not the least insulted my dear!) It seems in your mind she cannot win whatever path she chooses. If she says nothing and has family members confront her about not saying anything about the money when she found out, would she not be guilty of being a "martyr"? I think so.

    You must remember that she is likely an orphan now, and her mother's expenses likely paid out of whatever small inheritance she received ~ if anything. It is not right that she be made to suffer financially when so many kind-hearted people went out of their way to see that she doesn't. Or that in her old age and because of her aunt's larceny she should be reduced to eating cat food ~ or wrestling your cat for that tasty fishbone in his throat!

    (to be continued...)

  31. ...Would you believe I had to cut my response in half? Something about too many characters... do you think they mean the LWs?... probably not.

    As I was saying...

    LW#3 ~ This was clearly not a letter from one of Prudie's interns. It was too coherent and there was nary a spelling or grammatical mistake in sight. Likely it's been laying around a while, and Prudie reached into her "cheating Facebook texters" pile and realized all she need do was substitute "golf" for "fishing" or "football" and voila! a "timely" letter was born. But aside from that, your response was pure genius, probably because it was the same as mine. Again.

    LW#4 ~ Okay, here's where the water gets a little choppy in this here Lagoon, Captain. But that's okay, the more we disagree, the better it is when we have agreeing with each other. Am I right

    So basically what you're saying is ~ if I said, "Captain, we're going to the folks' for Christmas Eve, and they usually go to church that night, and my dad is playing in the service, would you like to go with us?" And you said *grumblegrumble* "Shove off mate ~ I'd be bored and uncomfortable ~ why don't I just stay on board while you go ahead?" Are you telling me that then you'd want me to say "But pleeeeease Captain ~ It's important to me!" Because that sounds like you want me to beg you. Is that it? You want your Mermaid to beg you to come? Well, I will if that's what floats your boat, sugar britches, but I warn you ~ I'm not getting on my knees again. Not to beg, anyway. ;)

    You are right in one respect ~ she does WANT him to WANT to go. For one simple reason. Women want to think that the person they love most in the world truly understands them. They want to believe that all they need do is express the slightest interest in something and their beloved will immediately divine the importance of this, and act accordingly. She wants him to WANT to come ~ not to impress her family, not even to keep the peace ~ but because she wants to believe that the man she loves truly understands her heart ~ and Knows what and when something is important to her ~ and wants to give that to her.

    I can see you need some more tutoring on what a woman really wants. Don't worry, diving buddy. You have a fairly competent teacher at your disposal. Ready for your first lesson? ;)

    See you over on my side of the Lagoon, my Captain. And don't be late. It's IMPORTANT to me. See? Mermaid can learn a few new tricks, too.

    Happy Holidays, to you too, Smaggie. xoxoxo

  32. Hey there, MM! I was missing you! I'm glad you made it over to this side of the lagoon and as always am thrilled with your visit! :-)

    As for the SmagBoy1 question, haven't you noticed that he wears glasses and that I don't?! And, too, that we're never in the same place at the same time? I will say no more on this subject, and now, after having said what I *have* said, I invite you to look into this swirling light and relax your mind... ;-)

    Let's see, you've accused me of rolling over on thievery. And, truth is, I think you're half correct, or, that you're fully correct, but, that I am, too. So I agree with you. Sort of. Let me explain. My advice is that she needs to come to an emotional peace with this. She would have paid anyway, as you say. And, too, getting any of the money back may cost more heartache and emotion and money(!) than it's worth (wouldn't she hate paying lawyers more than she recovers?!). But, considering your point, you're 100% correct, too. Those who donated for mom's care need to know what's happened. So, even if the LW gets no money back from the confrontation that I, ahem, did suggest, ;-) she does need to let the relatives know what's up.

    As for LW#4, I think where we disagree is that you seem to think the BF put up some sort of grand protest about going. I read the letter differently. As if he said, in passing, "Hey, what if I stay at your parents while you guys go?" (which is like what was written to Prudie). That sounds like the kind of off-the-cuff suggestion one would make in passing. Having the LW simply respond by saying, "Well, I'd really rather you come with. It's important to me" is not begging. In fact, it's only clarification of her original question, which I feel certain went something like "Um, gee golly, BF, um, I know you hate God and church and all, but, would you consider, just this once, while at my folks', coming to church with us? It's no big deal. It's just one little service. Do you mind?" Begging puts her below him. Explaining herself, however, puts her equal to him. I'm for equality. Every time. :-)

  33. Well, if you love equality so much, why don'tcha marry it then? Just kidding. Let me start again:

    Well, if you love equality so much, then maybe you could not make our heroine sound like a half-wit while she's "explaining" herself, okay? "Um, gee golly, BF, um..." while all of a sudden Mr. Barely-glance-up-from-the-screen Joystick Junkie is coming off like Eloquence Personified. Snap!

    I don't think the BF put up some sort of grand protest. It isn't the size of his response that I have issue with, but rather the nature of it. Maybe the problem is that you are not giving this couple enough credit for communicating and I'm giving them way too much!

    Where I think we disagree is that I believe she adequately conveyed how important it was to her that he attend in her initial conversation with him and you don't believe that she did (as evidenced by your scenario, which if ran in chronological order has her first flat out telling him "it's no big deal" and then having to "explain" with "it's important to me.")

    If she did convey how important it was, then for him to refuse anyway was kind of asshatty. She shouldn't have to further explain herself by saying "it's important." (Unless that's some fold your arms in front of your chest super-secret nogirlsallowed treehouse password that gets guys to do stuff that I'm unaware of WHICH I HIGHLY DOUBT...) and

    If she didn't convey how important it was, then she should further explain herself by saying "it's important". On that I agree with you.

  34. Greetings MM. I do love equality! :-) And yes, I made the LW out to be a bit daffy because, well, to me she's missed entirely on the atheist issue here (as there's not one and yet she makes it central, which, as I've mentioned says more about her than him, and, if there isone, the atheist should be challenged on those grounds and not his general answer to her query), and, too, because our LW hasn't taken the exceptionally easy option of letting her wishes be known (which she admits will work and give her what she wants--if she even knows what she wants, which I doubt, thus my advice that she analyze that). Or, put another way, by an advice giver far more reknown for giveing advice than I am, please check the first letter and response here:

    Seems that even those with extremely good manners encourage open communication, and, too, seems that the LW in the linked article is the soul sister of our atheist-BF-having LW. And that's not a good thing. :-( Why not just ask for what you want?! And yes, you're 100% correct. If she does ask and he refuses, it's asshatty. However, you're also 100% correct when you say that "she should further explain herself by saying 'it's important'" (if she hasn't, which, by her own admission, she has not). So, seems we agree 100%, and with Ms. Manners, too! Yay team! :-P

  35. And I'm simply stunned why a Christian would date an Atheist? WHY????

    May I suggest if you are dating you begin this process with a list, a list of what you DO NOT WANT in a mate. Identifying what you absolutely cannot deal with on an hourly, daily, annual basis leaves open all the great new ideas and behaviors you have not been exposed to.

    My sister had on her list some very simple requests...must use a variety of condiments other than ketchup...must not lick ones plate after eating...she's dated some doozies, married a few doozies and I've graciously welcomed them into the family!

    Not so much anymore...just not feeling it...

    Happy trails to you...