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, February 25, 2010

...on Andragogging the Pedagog (02/25/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey-hidey-ho shippers! How in the hell are you all on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! All here is as well as it can be, I suppose. The sun has not returned, but, as we noted last week, it will. And, in the meantime, I know that it’s closer each day. How can that be bad? Plus, with each passing day, we’re closer to the next Prudie Day! And I know that can’t be bad! :-) And, since we find ourselves at a fine, fine Prudie day right now, with a whole new set of letters, why don’t we get crackin’?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, my son is a very sweet, very normal, very wonderful boy, but... he has something strange going on that I’m so embarrassed about, and so confused about, that I can’t even bring myself to talk to a professional. Instead, I decided to write to an anonymous Internet advice columnist (that’s you!). How does this work?  Do I just tell you?  Okay, here’s the thing: my son has a fetish for rubber gloves, Prudie. Oh.My.God! You have no idea what a weight is lifted from my life by just saying that out loud! I feel heard!  He’s had it for awhile, Prudie, this fetish. Truth is, I guess it’s been since he was little. I have ignored all of the possible implications of someone so young even knowing what a rubber glove is, inside its package and all, but, my ignoring the implications or the fetish hasn’t made either go away. So, fast foward until now.  He’s 13. I recently found that he’s been cruising the Internet, visiting glove fetish sites, ordering black rubber gloves with spiraling nodules on the fingers (“360 degrees and graduated, for her pleasure”), and just generally starting to fall into what will certainly become a glove-related and embarrassing bottomless pit. Whatever should I do? How about you get over your embarrassment and go talk to someone who specializes in this sort of thing--you know, for your son’s sake? He is the one we need to be concerned with, okay? Oh, and how about you do it, oh, say eight years ago or so when you started noticing this “odd” behavior you asshattin' fuckburger (with bacon!)? Look, that time lost is spilt milk, but, holy shit, your kid is practically crying out for your help now! And no, I’m not talking about help in buying him more gloves goddammit! Wake up! Your son’s mental and emotional health is at stake. I don’t know a thing about fetishes, and I don’t know what can and can’t be done to help (or should and should not be done), but I sure as fuck know that I would not start with writing an Internet advice columnist to find out. Wake up, smell the latex and be a parent! And that might mean just learning that this is not any sort of big deal and helping your son become comfortable in his own skin, you know?  But, until you find out, from a professional who tries to help, not harm, your son (with you being his advocate, not his nemesis), you'll never know.  Damn.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I have a best friend whom I love, l-o-v-e, love! She’s so great that she’s the greatest great that there ever was great!  She's even greater than chocolate cake! And that’s pretty darned great, Prudie! She’s the bestest person in the whole wide world! Yay! But... Well. She’s also a bitch. See, along with being my best friend, she’s my boss. And at work? She’s a total bitch. She can spend all day chewing me out for nothing! But then, after work, she’s all about apologizing and wanting to be friendly. I can’t take it anymore, Prudie. I love my friend, but hate my boss. What should I do? Hmmm, I’m not sure what your definition of a “great person” is, but, in my book, anyone who can frequently go off on another person is an “abusive asshole” (and yes, you can do air quotes around that if you want). I don’t care if it’s “only at work”. That type of person is an abusive, mother fucking, shit-stained, asshattin' fuckburger (with cheese, again), abusive asshole. That’s A-Double-S-hole! Yay, asshole! Sigh. Further, if this person is such a good friend, if she is “easy going and mellow; [if you] share the same sense of humor and have always been comfortable in each other's company” then I’m not sure that I can trust your judgment. I mean, if that truly was the case, you could simply talk to her and say, “Holy fuck, Charlene, you are a fucking raging bitch to me at work! Why? Would you dare treat any of your other colleagues that way? Do you do it because we’re friends and you reckon you can get away with it on me? Are you on some sort of fucking latex glove-wearing power trip or something thinking that I’m just going to bend over and take being your toy?! And without the lube?  I mean, seriously, holy fuck woman!” If you were truly friends, you could say that, point blank. Perhaps you could leave out the cursing and the bit about the un-lubed glove, but, you know, the rest of it.  But, you’re not really friends, though, are you? Even in your personal life, she’s the boss and you’re the shat-on sidekick, am I right? Right. You always have been. You always do what she wants, when she wants, and how she wants. The fact that she doesn’t act this way to anyone else at work (and you know that she doesn’t) is indicative of this dynamic and you need to address it. Now. Go to her, it doesn’t matter if it’s at work or at home, or whatever, and just say, “Charlene, I can’t and won’t be treated this way anymore. If you’ve got a problem with me, you need to deal with me in a professional manner. I’m a professional and I will accept nothing less.” And then, unless she’s the owner of the company, you stand by that with an iron will. You are a professional, right? Don’t you imagine you should be treated like one? No matter what, though, I strongly suggest bringing your résumé up to snuff and start sending it out. You should always have it up to snuff anyway, regardless of how happy you are, but you should definitely have it that way right now. As you note, in this economy, you can’t afford not to.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I live in a small apartment with my nearly-perfect dog and our sub-pond-scum bastard of a roommate. The roommate has actually taken to abusing my dog, Prudie, saying, in the sweetest of sweet voices, “Oh, you are such an ugly, smelly little rat.” I find this to be highly offensive and want to turn my roommate in to the ASPCA, as well as beat my roommate with a rubber hose. Is there an ethical dilemma in having these feelings?  What should I do? Okay, I’m going to make this brief. Talk to your roommate. Amazing, eh? Okay, thanks for writing in... Oh, what? That’s not enough advice? Okay, how about this, then, you flaming smegma and diarrhea combo-burrito. Don’t you ever use a word like “abusing” when referring to a situation like this ever again, you got me, you horrific drama queen? “Abuse” is something that you clearly have never witnessed or else you wouldn’t dare use that word in this context. Holy fucking shit, my rubber hose hand is sorely tempted right now! All you need to do is just fucking take an adult pill, pull up your fucking big boy or big girl panties and talk to the roommate and say to them that their words to the dog are bothering you. Say that you love your dog and that it hurts your feelings to have those words used to describe the dog, even if the dog is clueless about their meaning. This is about you, not the dog, you idiot. And further, if you want to talk about mistreatment of the dog, you’re the one using the dog as a pawn in your dislike of your roommate. I bet that when it’s getting near dinnertime after a long day, you say shit like, “Oh my god, Mr. Kibbles, I’m starving. I'm famished!  What about you, Mr. Kibbles? Do you want some steak? Lobster?” Okay, I’m done with you. Abuse? No. Starving? You have no clue. Ethical dilemma? Ha!  You being a drama queen, flaming asshole idiot, though? Yes. In spades.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m an introverted (but happy) math über-geek. I write math pedagogy books. I’m not even kidding! My 30th birthday is coming up and my husband wants to throw a party for me. I do have friends, Prudie. Great ones, in fact. But, since I don’t write andragogy books, I don’t really know how to help them all have a good time together. They’ve never met. Should I just cancel the party, seeing as they’ve never been in one another’s presence and are bound to have an awful time together? Yes. You should. I mean, fuck, no one ever ended up having a good time by accident or from a situation where one would not expect to have any fun. That’s just inconceivable. The fact that eleven engaging, intelligent, autonomous adults who’ve never met could actually have fun is so farfetched as to be almost scary to think about. I’ve never found myself in such a situation, and, if I did, I’d have such anxiety that I’d probably pass out and piss myself. So, yeah, I’m afraid you should cancel the party... Wait for it... Okay, enough of me being a smartass. ;-)  Listen, I understand your concern. Why not share that concern with your husband and friends? Tell them that you’d really like them to come and share this night with you, but, man, it makes you super nervous because they’ve never met each other. They already know what an introvert you are, and they’ll see that you’re doubly worried, and they’ll get that. It’s okay! If they’re the husband and friends you’ve described, not only will they all understand, but, you’ll be in for a wonderful, incredible evening. And please, please, please enjoy yourself. You will be, after all, the birthday girl.

Well shippers, that about does it for me for the week. A reader sent me an e-mail asking what I thought of the move by the Department of Navy to gender integrate the submarine force. As a result, I’ll be putting together an article on that very subject and posting it over on “SmagBoy’s Dock” within the next couple of days (there's already other submarine non-fiction there, if you're interested). I’ll let you know in the comments section below when I do that, and maybe I’ll even get it top posted on “The Fly” if it’s worthy. The short of it, though, is that I see nothing wrong with women on submarines. Let that percolate a bit and we’ll talk on it in a couple of days. Good cheer to you all. Fair winds and following seas, too! And, can we please, please, please not talk about food this week! You guys are making me weak in the knees with all of the great stuff you’re suggesting (well, maybe a little food talk, but, not a lot, okay?!)!  :-)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

...on, Like, January/December Weddings and Stuff (02/17/2010) <--- Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? Here, it’s been really chilly for several weeks now. Like someone zapped the sun. I mean, it was right there, and then, Zapola! But, that’s not to say that it’s overly cold. I can still see it, the sun, up in the sky. And, I know that by summer, things will be sizzling again! Always forward, never back, right shippers? And that’s actually a good mantra to teach some of our letter writers for the day. So, without further ado, let’s get crackin’, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m the oldest child of five siblings (born to four different fathers). Our mother abused us, both emotionally and physically. As the oldest, I was subjected to extra abuse, and for longer than the others. When I was 12, my mom gave up the youngest two children to adoption and I was placed in foster care. I have had very little contact with any of them since. In the interim, I’ve built a happy personal and professional life for myself, started a family of my own, and, through counseling and patience, have moved on. Recently the two youngest siblings have contacted me. They don’t remember their early childhood and have been in constant contact with our mom since finding her a couple of years back. One of them, my sister, now that she's found me, desperately wants us all to be one big happy family. It’s an emotional challenge even talking with her, Prudie, as I have no desire to even think about my past life. I’ve even avoided her phone calls and it’s wrecking my hard-earned inner peace. Especially because I feel guilty when I avoid her! What should I do, Prudie? Alright, I’m not going to sugar coat this: what in the hell are you doing protecting your mother?! Why are you hesitant to talk about your family’s past with your sister? She has a right to know how she was treated, and you have a right to tell her, in no uncertain terms, exactly why you will not be spending time with, or even talking to, your mother. You need to be 100% clear with her about that fact, but, you can’t expect her to just understand if you withhold all of the pertinent information as to why you feel the way you do! If she continues to harp on the ‘one big happy’ concept after you’ve been clear about the past (and your past treatment at your mother’s hands, too, if you want) and your current feelings about the topic, then follow Prudie’s advice and lock your sister out of your life. But, in the meantime, why not tell her what’s up? Why lock her out if she can comply with your wishes? You’ve withheld information from her and so her actions don’t seem particularly odd or out of bounds to me. Further, it seems to me that being forced to be the lone keeper of the nasty childhood knowledge that you’re bearing all by yourself is enough (all on its own) to upset your emotional peace. Your sister wants to be a sister to you, so share that burden with her. And then stick to your guns about your boundaries regarding your mom. If she can’t understand that after being told, then do the Prudie thing and cut her out of your life--just give her a chance first by giving her all of the info.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, my husband and I are, like, so totally in love! And he’s, like, totally cool and stuff! O.M.G.! The problem is that he’s pretty old, Prudie. I mean old, like, in his mid-40s-old! I know, right?! At the same time, I’m totally younger than him, by, like, twenty years or something (I’m not even sure by exactly how much I’m younger than him because math is hard and stuff), but, it’s a bunch. More fingers and toes than I have, that’s for sure! Anyway, that’s not even my problem. My problem is his crinkly old friends and their crinkly old wives. They totally don’t like me, Prudie, the wives. They aren’t, like, rude or anything. They’re just cold. Frigid. I hear that’s what happens when you get all old and stuff, and I hear sex gets that way, too, which might be why the wives don’t like me, ‘cause their husbands think I’m totally hot (at least according to my husband, who totally digs telling me how hot his friends think that I am). Which is just, eww, if you ask me! Anyway, as a result of this coldness, I spend my time taking care of the kids, refilling drinks, and washing dishes when we all get together. But I’m totally lonely. What should I do? Okay, I was hard on you in the recap of your letter, but, holy crap, woman! Listen, Prudie’s right. Your husband isn’t doing you any favors by encouraging his old man gang to ogle you. Second, you’re not doing yourself any favors by allowing this bullshit to occur. If your houseguests alienate you, they don’t need to be your freakin’ houseguests anymore. And your husband needs to make that happen, not you. Where is he when this is all going on, huzzah-ing over the latest Cuban cigar designs with his cronies? Listen, if he doesn’t get what’s going on, he needs to be educated. Turning that little wrench you have should do it. And you know good and well what wrench I mean, youngun’. Further, Prudie’s right on the issue of you spending time with other mothers people your age. If you’re in a new place or community and feel isolated, take some weekend or evening time, sans kiddo, to learn about your community and what it has to offer. Your old geezer husband won’t mind if you spend some time away from the house. We all need that sometimes. Take a class! Join a club! And when you see those frigid bitches next time, smile and wave and keep on walkin’. And for the record? They’re not old. They’re just catty. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I’m writing to you about a huge tattoo of a weed-smoking tiger that my husband has on his back. He knows how to write (my husband, not the tiger), but, because I’m pregnant, I am in fucking control, and I will write for him so that he doesn’t dork up this letter, because, left to his own devices, he would. Just look at that damned tattoo if you want proof of that! So, trust me when I tell you that my husband agrees with every single word that I’m saying on this subject, Prudie! He’s sitting there, right now, rapidly nodding, so, I know what the hell I’m talking about! Capeche? Good. Fact is, we have a toddler, and a baby on the way, and my husband is concerned about the joint on the tattoo and afraid its influence might cause our children to fall into drugs, prostitution, and then eventual death by suicide. But probably not before contracting STDs and having multiple abortions prior to death. Sure, we did some wild things as kids, but we don’t want our kids to do the same, and this tattoo will cause evil, sure as I’m sitting here writing to you. The tattoo is huge and so it would be very expensive and time-consuming to have removed. I’ve offered to remove it myself using industrial grade hydrochloric acid and steel wool. My wimpy husband is in the military, though, and he’s afraid he’d get in trouble if he had such a large scar. I’m thinking of doing it anyway while he’s asleep. What say you? You know what lady? I think you better check your fucking hormones, over? You think a tattoo is going to have more influence over your kids than your own morals and the lessons that you teach them by the way that you live your lives? You think that your kids finding out that you made a few minor “mistakes” growing up is going to cause them to make ones that are ten times worse, and that, in contrast, by falsely convincing them that you’ve been good, upstanding, moral, non-joint-smoking people all your lives, they’ll grow up straight and strong and good? How’s that working out for preachers’ kids? Idiot. That’s all I have to say for you.! You disgust me. The only saving grace that I’m willing to assign to you is that you have got to be under the influence of massive nesting instincts because otherwise your behavior and logic are so warped that I’m starting to hope your husband leaves with the kids and his tattoo, and that he leaves no forwarding address! Wake up, woman. As they grow up, treat your kids like actual people. Respect them enough to trust that they’ll know the difference between right and wrong and to know that sometimes they’ll fall down along their journey. And finally, respect them enough to know that they’re at least as capable as you were (I mean, at a freakin’ minimum), and that they’ll learn, just like you did, what’s in their best interest. What you don’t want to teach them is that they can’t come to you with mistakes without being judged (mistakes like, say, getting a stupid, cliché tattoo, or smoking too much ganja sometimes?). Life is hard and the best message you can send to your kids is that you’re there for them and that you want only good for them, and, too, that there are consequences for stupidity. Hide those consequences by magically erasing them and what have you taught them? Only that they can do whatever in the hell they want and that it can all be fixed with a little acid and steel wool and momma’s crazy eyes! Is that the message you want to send, dumbass? Good, I didn’t think so.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I was in line at the super market the other day and I noticed that the zipper was down on the pants of the lady behind me in line. Because I’m an idiot, I hesitated to say anything, but, because I’m not a completely lost case, quietly and politely, I did eventually tell her. Amazingly, there was no drama. She simply thanked me and zipped up. It was such an incredible, amazing, life-changing event that I immediately went home and told my husband! I mean, think of it, Prudie! I almost saw someone’s panties out in the real world. That is incredible, right? Point is, my husband told me that I was wrong and that I embarrassed the woman and that I should have just ignored it, allowing her the illusion, upon discovering her open zipper, that no one had noticed. What say you on this, Prudie? That the only person more amazingly socially inept and ignorant in this situation than you is your husband. Thank god it was you at the super market and not him.


Well shippers, that about does it for this week’s version of “SmagBoy Is The Most Offensive Poster In The History Of The Fray!” Come back next week when I might use words even more naughtily than this week. Sigh. Smooth sailin’ to ya, shippers! Fair winds and following seas, and, with spring starting to bloom in the southern states, be careful that you don’t burn your fingers as you grill those burgers. And always use bacon! Cheers!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

...on Alzheimer's Rules for Cheating  (02/11/10) <--- Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers, and greetings to you all! How in the hell are you on this fine, fine Prudie Day? I hope that you’re well. I hope that life is treating you like a 1500 thread count bed set with a Siberian White Goose down comforter, lined in silk charmeuse. We could certainly do worse, yes? In the meantime, as we wait for those luxuries, let’s discuss these letters, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m a principled man writing in today for a principled lady friend of mine. She knows how to write, and could certainly ask you on her own, as she is a vibrant, sensual, strong sex drive-having woman (and boy do we know how those women can write--just look at the supermarket checkout stand!), but, frankly, she doesn’t know that I’m writing to you about this, because, well, I’m just pretending this is all about her honor so that I can get some brownie points. Truth is, once things get going, I don’t plan on being around her too much during the daytime as her husband is such a downer. I’m just providing the stunt penis for this plot, Prudie. So, let’s just pretend this is all about her and her honor and that I’m all concerned about, and don’t want to sully, her good reputation. Okay? Okay. The deal is simple: her husband has Alzheimer’s and she and I want to bang each other like a jackhammer wants to pound cement. There is a war-necessitated separation story that I could talk about, lost love, other honorable, movie-inspiring caveats to our story since she and I last saw each other, and I could try to wrench sympathy out of you by mentioning them, but, really, the banging is the gist. Anyway, my lady friend’s question is this: is it permissible for her to ride me like a rodeo cowboy going for her 8 seconds of glory at the national championships, or would that be inadvisable seeing as she’s still married and caring for her husband? I mean, we’re going to have the sex either way, I’m just asking for the sake of being able to use your approval as moral grounds. Dear Buckling Bronco, since you and I both know that you two are already banging like a couple of college kids on ecstasy, why not let’s dispense with the bullshit. The only thing that you two need to worry about are your family and friends and making sure that they understand the situation. You certainly don’t need their approval for having the sex, of course, but, you may desire their understanding of the whole circumstance, especially in the coming years when you need them most. And a little discretion now can go a long way in the future toward that end. Happy trails, Pokey...

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I like a girl. I think she likes me. I don’t know. So, to complicate the issue and set precedence for myself that’ll be nearly impossible to maintain, I thought I’d splurge on a gift and card and have them delivered anonymously as a Valentine’s extravaganza! Then, I’d swoop in, let her know the stuff came from me and ask her out. How could that possibly go wrong?  In my mind, this will work something like those scenes from the “Twilight” movies where Edward takes off his shirt, all sparkly and manly, and Dippy Doodle Girly Poo gushes and then swoons. What say you? Do I have a chance? I hope that you’re a very young man with a pure heart and sincere intentions because, if not, I just suffered through that entire letter and subsequent puking episode for nothing. Assuming you are a real and sincere person, actually interested in this girl, let me tell you what works better than anything in the whole world: honesty. Sure, that flashy shit is great for a moment. And other people will advise you on how you can manipulate the panties right off of the Statue of Liberty if you follow their foolproof method of panty removal, but, I’m here to tell you that flowers fade and manipulation doesn’t last. Sincerity and honesty, though? Good combination with a lot more staying power. Just wait until after the Valentine's weekend because, as Prudie says, this holiday does weird things to some people, and then go up to her and ask her out. You can even tell her that you think she’s really wonderful and that you’ve been struggling with the best way to ask her out and that you just decided to go for it. If she likes you, she’ll like that. Trust me.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, my mom’s friend, “Alice” has never been married, but she does have several cats. Her age and cats are important to the plot, damnit! Anyway, Alice recently met a man, “Lying McDipshitty” who seemed very nice at first, and even asked her to marry him (after just a few weeks), but, my mom, Alice’s cats and I are concerned, Prudie. Lying McDipshitty has been telling Alice that he attended my alma matter, that he was a football star there, and, that he was drafted into the NFL. He also apparently became a fighter pilot instructor (that’s why he’s out of town every weekend). Finally, he claims to be very rich, but, because likes to keep his chi extracted every day, he works in a hardware store and keeps his money locked away safely so that he won’t spend it. I’ve done some Internet sleuthing, since that sort of thing is the purview of the young (you know, definitely under-40 crowd!), and found that Lying McDipshitty is actually a lying dipshit--not a single thing he’s said is true! I want to forward my findings to Alice via an anonymous e-mail account (again, because we youngsters know how to do that sort of thing) so she can be on guard against this obvious con man. My mom wants to wait. What should we and Alice's cats do? You know, when I was back in Nuclear Power School (and this is a true story, by the by) I had a classmate named Bowler (last name, obviously). He had the amazing good fortune of having done and accomplished everything Lying McDipshitty claims to have done, plus more. We eventually starting keeping a list of each of Bowler's exploits, only entering items on the list when they’d been heard by at least two different people (for airtight verification). At the end of school, the list was two pages long! We presented it to Bowler as a graduation present, explaining to him the rules of how we’d gathered the information, in the hopes that it might change him.  You know what? He looked at the list, then right at us and started going down the rows, item by item, explaining how each and every one of them was true, or how we'd obviously misheard him, and, adding new details! Boy, weren’t we ashamed! Well, no, not really. No shame. I was amazed by his sociopathy, though, I'll admit that. But, point is, Prudie nailed it. Give this woman the information you've found. Don’t be sneaky, be honest (plus, genius, you do realize that only a few people know of Lying and his proposal, what he's told Alice, and actually know Alice's e-mail address, and it won't be hard for her to figure, among those who do know everything who sent her the stuff, right?  I mean, her cats are cool and all, but they can't really send e-mail.  Just so you know.). If she’s pissed, say, “Alice, we just thought you should know” and then leave it at that. There’s not much else you can do, but, as for Lying McDipshitty? You don’t have to entertain his falsities at all. Ever. You can flat out call him out if he tries that shit on you.  You don't have to hold back for Alice's sake, or for your mom, or even for Alice's cats.  You don't have to hold back for anyone! And I encourage you not to.  He pulls a line on you, you call his ass out!

LW#4: Dear Prudie, have you ever heard that Southern phrase “I’m fixin’ to get ready to...”? Well, my boyfriend and I are in college and we’re fixin’ to get ready to think about considering making plans for a long-term commitment. At some point.  We have always been non-monogamous sexually, while being monogamous emotionally. I want that to change as we graduate and start considering thinking about making arrangements to plan for a wedding. I have a feeling he doesn’t want things to change at all, though. I don’t know if he does, because I haven’t broached the subject with him. How do I overcome this irrational idea that we should change our sexual habits just because we’re no longer going to be in college? Well, chicky-doodle, here’s what it boils down to: honesty. Talk to your boyfriend about what you’re feeling. I have a guess that he’s the super rational one and he’ll be all, “Judith, you know that’s not rational, you’re being sooo-o-o bourgeois!” And then you, being less rational, but thinking it a grand ideal to strive toward achieving, because you’re totally unsure of yourself and just starved for his approval, will be all, “But Seymour, you know I love you and I’d do anything for you, of course you can do whatever you like because my feelings are irrelevant!” And frankly, Judith, that’s just stupid. There’s nothing wrong with living however you like. And if you’d ever read Prudie before, you would have known that polyamory is just a road too far for her. You’ll never get good advice from her on the subject because, like your boyfriend, she can’t acknowledge that there are shades of gray. What you have to do is be in a relationship where you can express yourself honestly and feel good about it, regardless of what rules or boundaries you've set up previously, and regardless of how your feelings change over time. So long as you’re both happy and feel like you can respectfully discuss anything you want, it’s all good. That’s what you need to search for. If you can’t find that with Seymour Billingsly Rationalman III, find it with someone else. And as for the fixing to get ready to think about doing something? Knock it off and start living your life.

Well shippers, that’s about it for this week. I’ve been craving some homemade fried catfish all week, or, whoa, maybe some trout! You just don’t know how good it can be until you’ve plucked it straight from the water, cleaned it, and plopped it in the pan, all smothered in cornmealy goodness within just fifteen minutes of that little feller having been happily swimming around with all of his buds. Oh, it’s a beautiful thing and it’s been far too long. Fair winds and following seas to you, shippers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

...on the Grandfathering in of Vagina Access Rights (02/04/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? Me? Well, thanks for asking! All here is okay, I suppose. You know, I’ve come to realize that things can always get worse, so, in the end, I reckon that all’s going along swimmingly. I mean, I could bemoan the obvious imminent discontinuation of The Fray, but, what good would that do? Life goes on, right? We adapt or we are left behind. So, with that in mind, let’s have a look at some failures to adapt...

LW#1: Dear Prudence, I Madame, am the paragon of all that is good and moral and upstanding in the human race. My brother, on the other hand, is a whore-bedding, brother-badgering, haughty bastard. As a youngster, I watched him lay a procession of nasty, filthy, used women. And the more and more I tried to bed them, too, and was rebuffed, the more that they, and he, disgusted me. Because I’m such an upstanding and perfect person, though, I married a girl whom I knew to be perfect as well. We’ve had three children and live a happy life together. Until recently. During the second of my twice-daily sermons to her on how wonderful I am, I was badgering her like a mule on crack cocaine and she finally admitted to me that she’d once had a one-night fling with my brother! This was years before she and I met, Prudence, but I see it as the ultimate betrayal of my trust in her and I am considering divorce. What should I do? Dear Fuckburger McShittyprick, I could go on and on about how you were not grandfathered in on the property and access rights of your wife’s vagina, and that you do not get any say, whatsoever, regarding who or what was in there before you even met her, but, that speech would fall on deaf ears, wouldn’t it? Plus, since you’re so obviously the natural evolution of last week’s abusive boyfriend, I’d just be repeating myself anyway. So, as to my advice to you: you should divorce her. Right now. On the spot. Please! I beg this of you! But not for your sake, you ignorant bag of shit, but for your wife’s and children’s sake. Perhaps they can live together in harmony and peace, maybe even with someone who understands and respects them, maybe not. But either way, they will be free of your cancerous influence. And frankly, that’s enough for me.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I have been a very, very bad girl. A long time ago, when I was first dating my now-husband, I got way drunk and made out (heavily) with a coworker. When I sobered up and realized what I’d done (because, of course, being drunk, I had no control over my actions whatsoever, tee-hee), I quit my job so that I wouldn’t have to be around this man/temptation ever again. As I say, my then-boyfriend and I have since married and have been so for several years. I feel terribly guilty about what happened and want to tell him. What should I do? You, my dear, have been spending way too much time around people like LW#1 (and his predecessor from last week) and your self esteem has been damaged to a point of needing counseling. Serious counseling. No, it’s not something you can fix by watching Dr. Phil on Oprah, or by writing in to the Internet Lady. You’ve got some tough work ahead of you and need to find your self-worth. It’s in there, deep, deep down. And, while you’re at it, have the therapist work with you on taking responsibility for your actions. Yeah, you know what I mean by that, chicky-doodle, so don’t act all hurt. What? Oh, you were asking about if you should tell your husband? Fuck, fuckity, fucking, fuck no! That’s N.O. Clear enough for you? Now, get thee to a counselor!

LW#3: Dear Prudie, my husband had a stroke about 18 months back. Since then, all through recovery and through the realization that he’s not going to get back to being exactly who he was physically, he’s been a major downer. I mean, all he talks about is what he’s lost, how bad off he is, what a bummer of a situation his life is, etc. And Prudie, I think he should be grateful! I mean, he didn’t die, afterall. Through physical therapy, he’s gotten back most of his mobility and speech, and, other than being unable to perform his profession any more (which means that I have to now bring home the bacon, and, fry it up in a pan), he’s physically okay. I can’t stand coming home to his whining and complaining any more, though, Prudie! I’ve tried to get him to counseling, and his physician put him on anti-depressants, but nothing is working. He’s still a poop. What can I do? Listen, I’m going to go easy on you, which is against my nature and meme, because this is a tough situation and even though your husband is the one who had the stroke, it’s affected both of you. A lot. What I suggest is that you try to really analyze what you’re feeling and why. And be honest with yourself. That's allowed.  I only have your letter to go on, so I’m going to assume it’s just your husband’s post-stroke nasty temperament and that otherwise you’re happy (but, just between us, I’d work on the bitterness you’re feeling about having to support his ungrateful ass, too). If that’s true, though, if you are otherwise happy, I advise you to find a support group for caregivers, and, too, to allow yourself to get up and leave when you can’t take it anymore. You need hobbies, too! You need something to clear your head every once in awhile. All work and no play makes Jacqueline a dull girl! So, when hubby starts with his whining and moaning, listen if you can. Be supportive if you can. And, when you can’t take it anymore, tell him, “Sorry dude, be back in a bit!” And go to the gym. Or to the movies. Or out riding your motorcycle! When you get back, you’ll be recharged, even if he’s still wallowing in his self pity. And hopefully maybe you can both come out of this one day. But don’t lose yourself in his stroke, too, while you wait on him to emerge, okay? Good luck.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, my husband is an auto mechanic and works at a repair shop that’s part of a chain of shops. The manager at my husband’s branch is very religious and believes in giving time, labor and parts to those in need. The problem is that in doing this, he docks the hours of all of the workers. Sometimes my husband puts in a full day’s worth of work, but only gets credit for (and paid for) two hours. The District Manager doesn’t know this is going on, and he really likes my husband. Should my husband tell the DM what’s up? He’s scared that if he does, his manager might get fired. Okay, as Schuyler the Cat might say, “Here, in this hand, is a big, huge fucking hammer with spikes and rusty saw blades poking out in all directions, and here, in the other hand, is a soft, downy feather held between my fingers by a silken kerchief. You choose one of the two for me to poke into your eyeball.” You’re fucking kidding, right? Listen, no one is going to watch out for your husband’s career except your husband. And the boss’ altruism aside, that fucker is a lunatic on a rope and your husband is enabling him. If I work eight hours somewhere? Someone’s damned sure paying my crusty ass eight fucking hours worth of money or there’s going to be trouble. See, I value my time. But hey, if your husband thinks it’s okay to get 25% credit for his work, then more power to him. Tell you what, I want you to start spending 75% of your time over at my house, taking care of me, okay? When your husband asks why, say, “Oh, don’t worry, Hon. I’m still giving you 25% of my time. I just figured 75% of my time is free, so I’m going to spend that portion with a real man.” See if he gets the point. My guess is that he will.


Well, shippers, that’s it. If you have a chance, or know any Fraysters who are feeling put out by what’s happening over there on Slate regarding what appears to be the imminent demise of The Fray, aim there here to “The Fly”. I hate that our community there is probably short for this world, but, hey, it brought us together, right? And that’s worth at least some nice ice cream and two spoons, yeah? So spread the word, shippers! And, as always, fair winds and following seas to ya! ‘Til next week!