http://www.slate.com/id/2248716/ (03/25/10) <--- Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There
Hey there Shippers! And happy Prudie Day to you, one and all! How in the hell are ya today? Is spring springing for you, or are you still in the throes of winter’s frost and cheerless gray gloom? Here, the sun is shining. There may be clouds straggling around, sometimes even harsh ones with rain, but, still, the days are growing brighter and longer with each new dawn. The early morning’s tranquility at the office is now once again accented by Jody Calls, some quite elaborate, belted out at top decibel as company after company jogs by under my office windows. Some are so well conceived, in fact, and so well structured (many with two and three part harmony and dual-simultaneous melodies) that they’re worthy of being recorded (in my humble opinion, anyway). They almost make me want to go back to my days aboard the boat...almost. But, enough of my ramblings! It’s a fine, fine Prudie Day and we’ve got letters to get to, Shippers! So let’s get to ‘em, shall we?
LW#1: Dear Prudie, I recently learned from my grandmother, who is the primary caretaker of my grandfather (who has Alzheimer’s), that though my uncles may need to worry about Alzheimer’s in their futures, my father does not. “Shhh!” she added, with a twinkle in her eyes, you know, to make sure I actually got the full salaciousness of her barely-veiled innuendo. Aside from being bummed that I’m no longer my grandfather’s grandchild, I’m wondering if my dad would be bummed, too, to find out that he’s not actually his dad’s son? So, I’m thinking of telling him. You know, for purely altruistic reasons. I mean, my dad’s health might not be at risk after all! And just think of all the things he could do with that knowledge now that he doesn’t have to worry about Alzheimer’s! What do you think about this plan? Well, first off Sherlock, I think you should get your facts straight. Alzheimer’s is only known to be inherited in one very rare form of the disease (FAD (Familial Alzheimer’s Disease) which affects less than 10% of patients), and, even then, it can be inherited through either parent’s gene mutations. Grandpa’s disease, then, is likely entirely irrelevant to your father’s potential health whether he’s your dad’s biological father or not. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. I know that what you really want is some drama (will your eyes twinkle as you tell him?)! You want excitement! You want to see pain and hurt and destruction! But, instead of fucking up your dad’s life, why don’t you, instead, go rent a chick flick or two? Find one rife with cancer and death and divorce and strong-willed, defiant victims who overcome early life adversity to walk into the sunset of their lives smiling. And hey, while looking, see if you can’t find one that includes a female character who’s certain that a particular child of hers belongs to one man, only to find out later, through a dramatic and touching DNA test sequence scene, that, holy-shit-surprise-ending, she was mistaken and that the father her child had grown up with was, in fact, the “real” father all along. Also, ruminate on what the definition of “father” is and see if you can glean how important actually providing sperm is to fulfilling that role. You know, for altruistic reasons.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, I was married to a truly horrific, mentally-unstable, abusive woman. During our divorce, she abused me, broke windows out of my apartment in a drunken rage, and honestly concerned me enough for my safety that I had a restraining order taken out. Well she broke the order multiple times and was jailed for four months! Seriously. I wish that I was kidding, Prudie. Finally, after a long healing period, I’ve begun to get my life together and am even dating a woman from the same small neighborhood where I live. Well, my ex found out that I’m dating and sent letters to all of our neighbors, stating that my new girlfriend was the reason for our divorce. Now the neighbors seem to be eyeing us, and, sadly, according to my lawyer, my ex’s letter writing to the neighbors isn’t covered under the restraining order. What should we do? My girlfriend is uncomfortable, too, and it’s causing a lot of stress? So, the restraining order doesn’t work, eh? And your lawyer verified that? Did he get his law degree from a fucking Cracker Jack box? Ever heard of libel? All you need is one copy of the letter, Skippy. You need to quit being a fucking pansy and pull up your big boy panties and either, a) move away and not let your ex know where you are (which is actually a fine option in this case because I don't care how reasonable you are, you can't reason with the irrational or the insane. But this solution will only work if you can stand being without the drama), or, b) get enough self confidence in you so that you can ignore any neighbors who are so fucking dumb-assed stupid as to judge you based on the ravings of a clearly unstable twit, or, c) fuck you ex so far up her asshole with the legal system that she’ll burp litigation and hear banging gavels in her sleep (from inside her skull). If someone libeled my girlfriend, I know what I’d do (after I fired my dumbass lawyer, of course).
LW#3: Dear Prudie, my sister “Whorebitchica McEvil” just had a baby. She’s going to be out of town for an event and has asked our mutual sister, “Sweet Caroline L’Perfection”, if she, her husband and their evil mutant devil spawn infant may stay the night with Caroline after the event, as Caroline’s house is halfway to their home from the event. Sweet Caroline is understandably distraught over such a rude, heartless, selfish, cheap, horrid request and definitely and understandably doesn’t want her or her husband’s sleep disturbed by the evil mutant hell spawn child of Whorebitchica, and, all of the inconveniences that go along with having one of them in the house in the first place. Caroline asked me what to do and now I’m asking you, because, to me, Sweet Caroline ought to tell Whorebitchica to quit being rude and to rent a hotel room. I mean, the nerve! What say you, Prudie? I say that it’s not even worth my time to explain to you what a contemptuous waste of loose skin and air you and your “sweet” sister are, because the explanation would be so lost on you that the effort would be an exercise in complete and utter futility. I agree that anyone has a right to host or refuse to host anyone they choose. But I would also suggest that using an innocent baby, an infant, as an excuse not to host for a single night is not only immature and virulent, it smacks of a jealousy and bitchiness and pettiness that you ought to have outgrown in, say, the 8th grade or so? And finally, just so you know, I’d like to share what I took away from your letter. You know how when you’re wiping your ass and how one in a million times you slip or the toilet paper slips, or whatever, and you directly touch your ass, I mean, you know, right there? To where you just know that you got some shit on your finger, and probably even under your fingernail? You know how, even though it's your own body and you know it's entirely irrational, you can’t wait to not only wipe the finger with toilet paper, but how you feel an almost compulsive need to immediately get to the sink and scrub the hell out of your finger, maybe even with something stronger than soap and a washcloth? You know how, even afterwards, the idea of the dirtiness sort of clings to you for minutes or even hours? Well, for me, that’s you and your sweet sister Caroline. You guys are like errant shit, stuck under the fingernail of my soul. May you live a life free of noise and clutter and unexpected guests, and may I never, ever, ever cross paths with you, even by accident.
LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m the youngest person in my office by over ten years. I have two questions. The first is that I don’t know what to say when my co-workers point out their gray hair, wrinkles or expanding waistlines and say, “this is what happens when you get older!” I don’t want to offend them, but I don’t know what to say in response. Also, because my mom works here (although in a different department), a number of people have asked me if my mom got me my job. What should I say to that? I’m a young, educated, hard-charging careerist and am offended by the implication that I was nepotised into my job. I earned my spot here! Okay, youngin’, the first question is easy. Recognize this self-deprecating humor for the compliment that it is. You are young and beautiful. Your co-workers are sort of gently envious. Lost youth is something many people lament and it’s easy to do when the eyesight starts going and the hair starts growing in places it shouldn’t and then a young, vibrant, attractive person comes into view. It can be a wistful, melancholy time. There are so many things you could say to these statements, though! From, “Oh, no, I think you look great” (if you really thinks so, and surely not all of your coworkers are flabby, graying blobs), to “Well, you know, everyone ages differently. I mean, Chuck Norris just turned 70 years old and I hear that he’s still so fast that he rubs ice cubes together to start a campfire! So, you know, there’s hope for us all!” As for the questions about your mom, you have to look at the questioner in a way that almost signifies pained regret, as if you sincerely didn’t know that was even possible, and say, “Was that even an option?! She never even offered me. (sad pause) Did she get other people jobs here?!” Or, just come with a stern look and say, “No, I got my job here based on my skills and merits.” I would only use the latter on those who truly deserve it, though, because it can be seen as, rawr, catty! Most of all, though, just recognize that, as you get entrenched there and your work is what you become known for, there will be fewer and fewer comments about your mom and your rockin’ bod (by comparison), and they’ll be replaced by other, often equally as uncomfortable ones about your work, or who you’re sleeping with to get where you are, etc. Welcome to the fun! Yay!
Well, Shippers, that’s it for another fine, fine Prudie Day! I was going along the other day, minding my own business, when, out of the corner of my ears, I heard someone say “frozen jalapeno poppers”. Now, I was pretty sure that I’d actually fainted and was just imagining it, but, nope! They actually exist! And, while they’ll surely never be a replacement for the real thing, they might just hold you over in one of those moments of quiet desperation when you really want to be hangin’ around the Lagoon, grilling jalapenos with the gang, but just can’t make it. I hope everyone has had and will have a wonderful week! Fair winds and following seas to you all, Shippers!