http://www.slate.com/id/2245889/ (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?!)! :-)