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, March 11, 2010

...on Trusting One's Wife (03/11/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey there shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? It’s a strange day here at the Lagoon. The weather is starting to get a little warmer, but the sun is hiding from me, behind the clouds. And though shade is sometimes nice, I suppose, it’s so early in the spring that I really miss it! However as you may know, I’m an optimist. So, here’s hoping that tomorrow is warm and brighter! My weekly weather report aside, though, let’s looks at these letters! What do we have today, eh?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’ve got a problem. See, though I like to sound all progressive and enlightened and forward thinking, I’m really just a Neanderthal asswipe fucktard chump, with a Ph.D. vocabulary and a knack for mimicry. In truth, I don’t much care for the thoughts or opinions of the women in my life. They serve a purpose, sure, but as for value? Not so much. And so it is with my wife (function: life support system for a vagina, personal value:  zero). We have a baby together, which is okay. And, she cooks really well (my wife). But, like all women, she’s a cheating whore. How do I know? Well, she got HPV and yet claimed she was a virgin when we met. Seeing as she's never had it before this check up, the cause is obvious.  And, since I know good and damned well that it wasn’t me, because I’m a fucking bastion of morality and my penis has touched no one but her, ever, I know it’s because she’s a lying whore, and likely balled about 500 men at once, probably over the course of a single day when I wasn’t looking. What should I do? P.S. Oh yeah, for the sake of this letter, let’s pretend that I really trust her and that I’m all torn up about this issue and don’t know who to believe, okay? Listen you fucking unparalleled, inimitable, peerless twattling turd-breath-having mother fucker. You don’t deserve a wife. Go buy yourself a Ronco Pocket Pussy (®2010 SmagBoy Industries) and carry it with you wherever you go. My bet is that you will find that, after a little bit, it’ll have HPV, too, but, holy fuck, don’t let that deter you, mother fucker, throw that piece of shit away and go get another. How hard is it to google ‘HPV transmission’ and glean how many ways this could have happened without your wife cheating? I don’t even have anything more to say to you, you stupid fucking idiot.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, for some reason I haven’t figured out that my betrothed is a materialistic bitch. I mean, I should have figured it out by now. We’ve been going out for four years and I’m totally and completely devoted to her in every way and I want to marry her (after I service her, of course, work eight hours, pick up her dry cleaning, ride the bus home--because she needs the car to tool around town while she's home all day--cook dinner and clean house), but, she says that I’d better not even think of having the engagement talk with her until I’m ready to produce a “sizable” ring. I hate to admit that that requirement bothers me just a little, Prudie. I’d never tell her that, though. I can’t afford a ring right now and though I will be able to soon, I’m just having a hard time with the whole "sizable" ring thing. What should I do? Run! Run like the wind. I’m serious, dude. I’m known for telling people, right up to the very moment of saying “I do”, that if they have any doubts, DON’T.GET.MARRIED! You sent out the invitations? So what! But, you’ve already put a deposit on the catering? Who gives a shit! Dude, I can’t stress to you enough how wrong your “wonderful” girl’s thinking is. If she loves you, a fucking twist tie would do for a ring. A rubber band would do. A bubble gum machine ring would do, and would mean more to her than anything you could possibly buy on soul-crushing credit from a jewelry store. Those feelings you’re having? They’re called red flag warnings. You don’t want to marry someone who’s going to suck the account dry every time you put anything in there, and then complain because it’s empty. Let her take her vacuous, materialistic, selfish, boorish, sorry ass elsewhere and you go find someone with whom your values are more aligned and for whom you don’t feel as if you’re serving with every fiber of your being.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I’m a successful lawyer, married to a wonderful, supportive man. We have a lovely child together and a happy life. My problem? I don’t want to be a lawyer. I want to be a doctor. However, when I was in school, my mom told me I’d never be one. That I wasn’t good enough or smart enough. That if I didn't listen to her, I'd amount to nothing.  My fiancĂ© at the time, too, told me I was incapable of being a doctor. So, I never pursued it, even though I really wanted to. My grades in the few science classes that I took as electives indicated a true aptitude, but, even though I have a loving, supportive family now, I feel like pursuing this course of action would be selfish on my part and hurtful to my family. What should I do? First off, go to a counselor. I'm serious.  Your mom put such a fuck job on You that You seem to think that no one else in this world can love You or support You without wanting something in return. Your Bitch of a mom made You see Yourself as a burden and convinced You that others would, too. She was a fucking nut job and You were an innocent child and need help getting past her fuckery. And that’s okay! Your fiancĂ© at the time was just a manifestation of her control. Now that you have people around you who Love You and want to help, you have a hard time believing that doing anything for yourself is allowable or worthwhile. You’ve been programmed to think of others and defer your own wants. Your desire to be a doctor is not unreasonable (it’s simply a desire to be happy). Get the counseling, talk it over with your family (but not your fucking terrible cretinous bitch of a mom), and if it can work out, go for it! You deserve happiness as much as anyone. And far more than a number of assholes out there. And no matter what, you always have your law degree. It’s not like that’ll go away. Good luck! :-)

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I had a party for Oscar night and asked everyone to put in $20 toward an Oscar betting pool. There was a prize for first and second place, and no house cut. Well, my wife and I won the entire thing and now I feel supremely guilty. What should I do? First off, never ask people at a party that you’re hosting to enter a betting pool at your house. They’ll feel obligated and then you’ll feel guilty if you win. Know what I mean? You can tell people ahead of time that you’re having a betting pool and the price and that, if they’re interested, they can buy squares at the party. That’s it.  That's all you can do.  Then, divide the money collected by the number of sqaures in the pool and go from there). Simple. That solved, let's talk about the issue at hand.  How guilty do you feel? A lot? Give the money back. I mean, Jesus, how hard is that? Say it seemed unfair and felt weird and you hope everyone can get together for a dink sometime.  Only a little guilty? Just host another party with the same friends, make it a nice one, and call it your “Holy Shit, We Won the Oscar Betting Pool” party! But don’t have a betting pool at that party, okay? Because, buddy, you don’t have the balls for it. And at next year’s Oscar clusterfuck party? No betting pool, and wear some inflatable floaties on your arms. Don’t worry, everyone will understand.

Well shippers, that’s it! Another wonderful week in the Lagoon. I hope that everyone has headed over to Beckaroo’s Blog to look at her incredible BBQ pics and read about the yummy cooking she did! And, too, all, has anyone seen Bella?  fanshawe?  Nagatuki? NachtMusik? I miss them! Please come back, guys! That's not a criticism of anyone here!  I would miss you all, too, if you went away!  This is just an search signal for them is all.  :-)  Have a wonderful week, Shippers. Fair winds and following seas to you all, and to all, a good night!


  1. Lovely and the kindest possible advice, as always, Smag. Thank you.

    (I posted a new pic of my bro at your Dock, if you're of a mind to see it...)


  2. Greetings skoorbza! And ahoy! I saw the picture and have posted in response. Thank you so much for sharing it--I sincerely appreciate it. :-)

    Good cheer!

  3. Did I miss the clusterfuck?
    Meanwhile, outstanding job as always!

  4. Hey Libby, and ahoy! No, you didn't miss it (I forgot, I'm sorry), but, it's there now! ;-) Cheers! :-)

  5. Oh boy! I'll go back and find it! =-D

  6. Awww, I'm touched, Smag! I've been following up on your blogs, but school has taken up much of my time right now. But alas, I have time now because it's the start of my spring break!

    Honestly, I don't get engagement rings. I must be the few women out there who rather get a set his and her ring set than a diamond ring. I get to show to the world that I'm engaged while he looks like he's still single? I mean, he's engaged to me too, right?

    On top of that, I seriously have issues with the fact that some of them can be blood diamonds. One can buy conflict free diamonds, but the reputation of them is tainted. Huge turn off. And it seems that he's also buying her off from the family because he spent a lot of money for the ring.

    An interesting discussion on about this letter writer. A guy mentioned his fiancee talking to a lesbian couple, and how they it was unfair, that he went out and got a ring for her, yet she didn't get him something for their engagement. She later bought her fiance a set of nice cuff links, although they weren't nearly as expensive as the ring.

    Ladies, if you're gonna be engaged, get him a nice engagement gift that represent YOUR love for him.

  7. Good read, as always. Hey, didn't you promise us your thoughts about lady submariners a while back?

  8. I'll admit it, if and when I ever get engaged I want a ring. But I want a lab created emerald,not a diamond. Lab created, because they're more likely to be that nice deep green. And because they're less likely to have needed to be filled with waxes and oils.

    Meanwhile, I would be more than happy to turn around and buy something that was equally frivolous but meaningful for my fiance.

  9. Hey there Smag!

    I've been busy being taken advantage, I mean helping out on committees at work.

    I love your response to LW1. Ya'd think he'd be smart enough to google this, right? Duh?

    LW3 and 4 were a little boring, huh? But as always, you made them fun.

    I was feeling bad as I read about LW2 because when I was dating and about to be engaged, I had some moments of absolute petty shit going through my head, worried that my beloved would not get me a ring to compete with the huge rocks that my friends were getting. Horrible huh? I am truly ashamed. But in my defense, I would NEVER have said anything. I was definintely just glad to have him. But also those petty thoughts were there too.

    I look at my ring now with such pleasure. My honey bought that for me! Yes, it was different in style from some of my friends, (and as soon as the moment came, the petty thoughts vanished from my head), but WE are still married! And HE was the gem worth keeping!

  10. And if your beloved husband or husband- to-be works where rings are unsafe to him a new dirt bike at the very least!

    I do stand by my thinking that it is unwise over the long term for anyone to spend money they do not have on things they cannot afford when they do not provide shelter or transportation. We all understand one has to borrow to buy a home and buy a car but anything else, not so much.

    Nothing ruins a relationship faster than losing sleep worrying about money or fighting about money. Makes for a poor relationship and poor health.

    But that's just me, I am highly allergic to paying anyone interest of...eeeh, gads...15% or more! I'll save my pennies for a year if that's what it takes to avoid paying twice the amount for the same item on credit. And I believe in leaving those Chia Heads on the store shelves as well, along with the Singing Bass.

    This poor guy is already stressing before he's taken any steps towards marriage. Are we assuming he's pondering spending $25,000 or more on a large Diamond ring? Taking out a loan, paying interest for what, 5 years? I'd be sweating bullets as a college student in love with her too. She really applied pressure to this young man and I wonder if she has any idea of how much a large Diamond costs?

    I'd be looking at lab created stones too, set in white the gold prices today that is another hit...but I bet she wants Platinum. Will she also, to be happy, require a mansion size home, a new car every year, the latest fashion dog complete with clothing, Designer handbags by the dozen's, Christian Louboutin shoes, weekend trips to the Hampton's. Will she need these things immediately too? At what point will her other pricey needs begin? And will she have a career that will contribute equally to their financial commitments?

    He really needs to figure her out and pronto! What other expectations does she have?

    Happy trails everyone.....

  11. Hi Smag! It sounds like the weather in your Lagoon is tending toward beautiful. I'm sure the sun will come out soon. Roswell temps are fluctuating greatly ~ 35 deg. in the morning to 70s in the afternoon. It even tried to snow yesterday. Yuck!

    LW1 sounds like someone I'd better not ever meet. I have a tendency to really dislike men like him. I almost feel sorry for his wife.

    LW3 needs to make pro and con lists and think long and hard about this. If she decides she really wants to go ahead, she should do it and ignore her mother. It sure sounds as if she is capable of doing the necessary work.

    I thought I wanted to be a doc way back when and had spent a lot of time with my local doc, who thought I'd be a good one. Then I had to take physics. What a disaster! All A grades in biology, chemistry, genetics ~ physics not so much. Instead of sticking with it I dropped out of school for 20 years. At least I ended up with only about $7000 in student loans that were paid off long ago.

    LW4 confounds me. I don't see many movies and don't watch the Oscars. If it were the Super Bowl it'd be a different story!

    LW2 needs a new girlfriend. Even though they've been together for 4 years I think their values and principles are too far apart for them to be happy together permanently.

    My husband and I went shopping together for my ring the day after we got engaged. We found a beautiful ruby flanked by tiny diamonds that we both liked and that cost about $100. I lost that stone several years ago in an altercation with a door knob and didn't wear anything but my wedding band for a long time. When my doc said I was cancer-free in '98 my husband decided he wanted to get me a replacement ring. We chose another ruby together, again costing around $100. It never occurred to me to spend thousands on something I'm likely to, um, misplace.

    Thank you for mentioning my blog! It's just a little one for now. I intend to post more often but don't seem to get around to it like I should.

    Oh yeah! It's nothing like your submarine but we'll be taking our canoe out of storage soon. If your Lagoon is calm enough maybe I'll paddle out for a visit sometime.

  12. From herd"T"hinner

    Beckaroo, if the canoe sinks, that would make it more like the submarine, right?

    LW1- *I* had to google about HPV, because I'd never heard of it. I thought he'd meant herpes, but I guess not. One site sez that just "skin-to-skin contact" can do it, so...

    ah, fuck it. I don't care if I sound culturally intolerant or obtuse or whatever, but arranged marriages wig me the hell out.

    LW2 - I'd like a set of engagement power tools. Or an engagement truckload of Lego sets. Or an engagement annual pass to Disneyland.

    I also wonder why it's the guy who has to go broke buying bling. My take on the ring thing is that, if I'm expected to wear something after the wedding, he has to, too. And if his answer were, "Never mind, then," then we're all set and the money stays in our bank accounts. Well, unless we blew it for a trip to Orlando. I have to make a pilgrimage to it someday, anyway. Might as well be for a honeymoon!

    (I'm just messing with y'all. There'll never be a wedding, but the pilgrimage to Orlando is still on my bucket list!)

    LW3 - I've wanted to be an artist for a living all my life, but *I'm* the one who's hindered that dream. Has to do with being allergic to poverty.

    LW4 - I wouldn't go to an Oscar party, or even a Superbowl one, and wouldn't waste my money on a betting pool at a party, either. That's what lottery tickets are for. My gambling luck is zero for zero (for zero for zero for zero for zero for zero....), and yet... ((sigh!!!)) I keep buying those tickets!

  13. Ahoy Nachtmusik! Welcome back! Please know that I wasn't trying to guilt you back. I just wanted to make sure that all's okay. :-) I'm starting spring break this coming week, too! Hey, wait, that means I'm officially on it now! Woohoo! :-) However, I don't imagine that work will let me go party, huh? Dang. ;-)

    I'm with you on engagement rings. Truth is, I spent more than I could afford at the time, but, when you're an E-3 in the Navy, that's pretty much every ring at the counter. :-) And I wanted to be impressive. My wife would never have asked for anything gaudy or ostentatious, though. This LW needs to take a serious look at things. Maybe he's starting to see that? :-)

    Good luck in school and come back and see us as you have time. And, if it goes too long, I'll send out another shout out! :-) Good cheer, Nachtmusik! :-)

  14. Great ideas, Libby. I'm okay with the tradition as long as both parties agree to it. But, as you said, a purchase that you, the receivee, is happy with is important. But it's important that the giver be comfortable, too! Heck, it's even important in the case of this LW! It's just that he doesn't feel the same way she does. And, if she finds someone who does feel like her, good for her. They'll deserve each other. ;-)

    But your ideas are sound, Libby! And I bet they're going to make for a beautiful ring at some point, too! :-)

  15. Bella! Welcome back! And oh, my, you've come in with a post that almost started my water works a little! What in the world's up with that?! Stop it! :-)

    I agree with you, and, like you, I can remember some moments early in life that I look back on with a raised eyebrow or three. ;-) And, I'm sure that I'm not done messing up in life, but, I think what's most important is what you did realize, even then, at that very moment in what you did have. :-) That's the difference, I think. And a huge one. Thank you so much for dropping in! Like I said to Nachtmusik, please don't think I was trying to guilty you! Just wanting to say "Hey!" and make sure that all is okay. :-) Good Cheer!

  16. Ah Debbie, your relationship advice is, once again, proving to be the stuff of legend. I can't and wouldn't disagree with a single word of it!

    However I have to ask you this, what formula are you using for the price of engagement rings? Because, I've never even paid $25K for a *car*! Heck, I normally pay just a tad more than half that, actually! So, to think that this college kid might be thinking along those lines makes me really want to grab him up by his waist band and carry him away from this woman at top speed! Man, I must be a cheapskate, I'm here to tell you, because I've never seen a ring that I'd even *dream* of paying even a tenth that price for... Sigh, yeah, said like that, I guess I *am* cheap. :-) However, a big ol' huge HD, flat screen TV? :-) Nah, just kidding!

  17. Drekab! Ahoy! I'm sorry, I missed your post in there!

    Yes, yes I did promise thoughts on female submariners, and, no, I assure you that my lack of reply thus far is NOT an indicator of my thoughts on women serving on submarines. Since today is officially the start of Spring Break 2010, I will endeavor to publish that piece very, very soon. Look for it this weekend. I'll add a note here and try to get it on the front page of "The Fly", too. Thank you for reminding me! :-)

  18. Ahoy Beckaroo! I love your advice for LW#3. I think a list of pros and cons would be good, but, she has to have and accept family help with the list! Because what she lists as cons ("I'd be cheating my family"), they'd need to have the opportunity to veto. :-)

    I love your story about your ruby rings, too! :-)

    As far as Physics goes, I'll tell you a story if you promise not to share it, okay? I failed Physics the first time that I took the class. Not a single test. Not just a homework. The *whole* thing. "F". Like you, I'd done well in all of the other classes, but Physics kicked my butt. But, when I re-took the class, here's what I found out: Physics is like some sort of strange foreign language. It requires the right teacher! I got an "A" the second time and it's now one of my favorite subjects in the entire world! :-) I'm not saying that you should go back to med school (though I'm not saying you shouldn't!), but, I am saying that I bet you could whip the Physics Monkey with the right teacher. And, once the switch flips, you'll understand it all. Honest! :-)

    Good cheer!

  19. Hey herd"T"hinner! Good stuff this week! You nailed it! :-) I love it when you get all culturally insensitive. :-)

    I also love all of your suggestions for engagement presents! Wow! The truckload of Lego sets is a winner with me! Plus, you can make a ring out of those if you really want to! :-)

    As for Orlando, I grew up there, and, like with all things that you can get every day, the luster wore off after awhile. However, now that's it's been many, many years (a number we shan't mention) since I've been, I'd love to go back, too! :-)

    I'm with you on LW#3. On LW#4, I do the office pool for the Super Bowl where you buy squares. It's fun. Of course, with a dollar a square, it's no big deal to buy two or three squares then have fun yelling at the TV to urge someone to score X amount of point. :-)


  20. Hey Smag, thanks for the thoughts about physics. My problem was that while I could use the correct formulas where they belonged I could never really get the "why" of it. My lab partner completed a biology/chemistry/physics pre-med program in 3 years and helped me end up with a B in the course. I just couldn't face having to take another semester of physics. I'll remember your advice if I do ever have to take it again!

    There were many more reasons than hating one class for my leaving college at that time, though. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to start a Master's program in the fall, but I kind of like having a life outside of work!

    I'd love to visit Orlando again sometime. Only been there once, for a conference, and never made it out of the hotel. Since the hotel was at the airport I think I might have missed a bit. ;)

  21. "Neanderthal asswipe fucktard chump."

    "fucking unparalleled, inimitable, peerless twattling turd-breath-having mother fucker."

    Poetry. You give me goosebumps, Smaggy.

  22. "If she loves you, a fucking twist tie would do for a ring. A rubber band would do. A bubble gum machine ring would do, and would mean more to her than anything you could possibly buy from a jewelry store."

    I'm first reminded of an episode of "The Nanny", where Max gets mugged and the big, honkin' engagement ring stolen. Fran finds him in the alley all beaten up. He propposes, and puts a pop-top from a beer can on her finger. She's thrilled.

    Secondly, I'm reminded of my daughter, who literally wore a ring from a gumball machine for a few weeks until they could get something they both liked and could afford.

    Don't these women realize that the pocket they are taking the money out of for these expensive rings will eventually be their OWN pocket? Or do they plan to let the new husband pay all the bills, while their own money is kept separate?

  23. Hey Beckaroo! :-) I know what you mean about the formulas. In the first class, I had forced myself memorize them and then I'd do my best to glean from the test questions which ones to use. As you can tell from my previous post, that didn't work so well. My second teacher said, "DO NOT remember these formulas! DON'T!" Instead, he taught from the perspective of understanding what was *actually happening* to the body in question. He taught us to *understand* the forces (not at all unlike Obi Wan in that way). Then, once we got that, he'd have us just write our own formulas to express those forces (of course, by then, with a full understanding, our formulas came out to be correct). It was like a freakin' million watt light bulb going off in my head. Very, very cool stuff. :-) And since then? It's like unwrapping presents every time I'm exposed to a new concept. Bremsstrahlung, for example?! OH.MY.GOD! When I was taught about that, I was just mystified (with wonder) with the Universe for days after.

    As for your Masters in the fall, I've just started one and I must say that it's a challenge. More of one that I imagined. But, had I not done it, I know that I would have regretted it (fact is, I'll probably need to go even farther at some point--it's how I'm built), and, I'm at a point of midlife crisis right now, so, it was either that or a fast red convertible and a blond 20-something, vacuous secretary. And, since I don't have the patience for either one of those, I went back to school. :-)

  24. Schuyler, considering the fact that you are the king of the world of goosebump-giving, I will take your comment as the highest of compliments and say only that my inspiration must have come directly from you because, frankly, you are the most kick-ass bringer of goosebumps that I know! Thank you! :-)

  25. CoolOne, I never saw 'The Nanny', but, the scene that you describe is it in a nutshell, isn't it? Some guy goes through all this trouble to get an expensive, earth-shattering ring, and, like so many other posters have alluded to, in the end, it's not about the ring at all. It's about if they love each other.

    As for the joint account, I have a feeling that some women (and some men, certainly, this is by no means a gender-specific defect) don't care where the money comes from, they're going to spend it. And, when there's no more to spend, they'll find more. One way or another. And that leaves a lot of destruction and shat-on people in the process. And frankly, they don't care. :-(

    I love your daughter's story, too! Congratulations to her and her betrothed. :-) Good Cheer! :-)

  26. Oh come on people! I don’t think I am superficial or vain and I am an independent woman and a successful professional, but when I was about to be engaged you bet I expected a decent ring (which I love and wear with my wedding ring every day). True, no one should go into dept to buy an engagement ring but in my book if the couple (so yes, not necessarily only the guy) can’t afford a ring they have no business getting engaged. Obviously they are not ready. There are “clean” diamonds (I was worried about that one myself) and “decent” is proportional to one’s income.

  27. Anonymous, I don't think anyone here disagrees with you insomuch that you wanted a "decent" ring for your engagement. However, the caveat that you offered, just as everyone else has, is that "decent" (or whatever adjective you want to use) is proportional to one's income. One should not go into deep debt to buy a ring. It's not only financially ignorant, it *is* superficial and vain. So, I don't think you're very far off from what anyone's said. As long as you and your partner were happy and comfortable doing what you did, more power to you! :-)

  28. Smag, of COURSE I know you are not trying to guilt me or anything! I think I read your weekly thoughts rather selfishly. I mean, seriously, for better or worse, I wake up on Thursdays now and think that it is a fine fine Prudie day. All because of you. And I think that before I have even read Prudie.

    And I read your thoughts religiously---really enjoy them. I have linked you to countless colleagues who wondered why I was bursting into laughter. But I don't always take the time to comment. And I hate to think of you thinking that maybe you are sending your missives out into a void or something.

    Know that you make my day, countless days. You are very funny, very insightful. I hope you write and write and write. And as a writing professor, I can really promise you that I don't say that to too many people.

  29. Wow Smagy! This is the third time I'm trying to put in a comment. I don't know where the first one went, I thought it had been posted but obviously not. I was in the process of typing the second one, when right in the middle of it it disappeared and the whole of the Fly was suddenly replaced by the front page of my local and lousy newspaper...

    I sure hope it works this time:

    Smag, great advice and great insults. I'm with Schuyler, I think it's sheer poetry. Just pretty please would you both stop insulting Neanderthals?

    I found your comment that physics is like a language and you have to learn to speak it, so very interesting --not that it's a language I ever learned. So I had to look up the concept of Bremsstrahlung which turned out to be a concept and a picture. (I just tried to put the pix here but didn't succeed -- but if anyone wants to google it, it looks like a flower, well sort of....) Neat!

  30. herd"T"hinner sez:

    So the story goes, George Burns gave Gracie Allen a cigar band as her ring, since they were dirt poor Vaudevillians at the time. She wouldn't let him replace it after they got successful.

    My disinterest in engagement bling isn't because I'm so deep or unvain or not superficial. It's because I'm uninterested in jewelry. Any kind. Always have been.

    To my surprise this has frustrated certain people in my life, who have been hoping all these years that they could just get some item of jewelry for birthdays/Christmas, and insist that I'm "so difficult to shop for." Not so! But they don't like when I ask for power tools, truckloads of Legos, or my usual, a long list of DVDs.
    "You always ask for DVDs! What else??"
    "... different kinds of DVDs?"

    More on LW3 - one thing I've noticed about *most* (I say, *most*) folks who've changed careers/gone back to school/etc - that is, things that take a long time to get re-established: they have a spouse who works full time, will still work full time, and is OK with sponsoring the life change. Recently I read a book about making money on hobbies, and almost To A Person, the hobbyists had understanding and supportive spouses who paid the bills while they built their hobby business.

    Similar gig for published authors- even prolific ones. I've published four novels myself, and when I was in "that world," the other authors I hobnobbed with needed that second income, or starve (or have no health insurance - WHICH I ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE)

    It's like celebrities. We think, "Oh, these actors get paid so much," but forget the thousands who can't make a living on whatever gigs they get.

    Anyway, LW3 has an understanding spouse who'll subsidize her life change, so she should go for it.

  31. Greetings All! I've posted my opinion piece addressing the subject of women serving aboard submarines. It can be found here: Keep in mind that it's not my fictional persona, "The Submariner", speaking so much as it is me, Smaggy, the actual, real submariner. So, a lot less snark. But, if you're still interested, there it is. There are also some other pieces of non-fiction there at The Dock that you might enjoy. Here's hoping. :-)

  32. Bella, thank you. You've made my night and my week and, truthfully, my year. :-) Sincerely, you have. Thank you. :-)

  33. Greetings Kati, and ahoy! I will endeavor to cease insulting Neanderthals. You'd think those excellent Geico ads in which the cavemen are so mercilessly victimized by Geico banners and sayings would be enough to raise my awareness, but, sometimes I have to be reminded. Thank you. :-)

    As for Bremsstrahlung, I enjoyed saying it as much as learning about it! It's a most interesting word! :-) Plus, it reminds me of Jethro Tull every time I think of it!

  34. Greetings herd"T"hinner! I love your expansion of the topic regarding LW#3. And you are, of course, 100% correct.

    I realize it would potentially completely give away your actual identity, which may be a no-no that can't even be approached, but, if you're willing, would you aim us in the direction of your novels? I, for one, would be most pleased to find and read them. :-)

  35. You know, this whole discussion about rings has brought to mind a discussion I had with a cousin a few years ago. The man she was then seeing, had told her that if she ever indicated to him that she might be willing to consider something permanent with him, he'd buy a cheap ring from walmart and put a $30,000 check under the ring in the box, the cheap ring would be the placeholder until they found the ring she liked for that price. My mind just boggled.

    I just couldn't the, or now can conceive that sort of money on one ring. I guess I just am too firmly lower middle class.

  36. Libby, I can understand it, *if* both parties agree to it. I mean, let's say your cousin's beau made $750K/year? Well, if that's true, $30K is not out of the question for a gesture so important to him, if, as I say, they both agreed on it. Your cousin may have responded, though, "May I keep the Wal-Mart ring and buy a nice car with the check?!" :-) So, see, to me it's not a specific value so much as they both agree, they're both comfortable, *and*, they aren't going into crushing debt to buy the ring.

    However, just as a point of commiseration, I can't conceive of that amount of money for a ring, either. Then again, I've already expressed what I pay for my cars and how long I keep them, so... ;-)

  37. Greetings, Captain! As the sun rises across our lovely Lagoon, I find myself waxing poetic about all sorts of lovely baubles. Yes, I'm talking about those ones you're staring at right now. ;)

    This whole thread and discussion of what jewelry is meant to symbolize, and the value that is placed on it reminds me of the lovely story of Helen Hayes and her enduring romance with her husband, the journalist-playwright Charles MacArthur.

    When they were first starting out, young and very poor, but very much in love, Charles handed to Helen a bag of peanuts and said, "I wish they were emeralds."

    Many happy years later, as he lay dying, he placed in Helen's hand an emerald bracelet and said, "I wish they were peanuts."

    Things carry the weight and meaning we mortals impart them with and thus become precious to us. It's just an ordinary t-shirt until your sweetheart wears it a time or two. Am I right, ladies?

    For all the love that Mermaid's known
    with all the ties of hearth and home
    and all the troths my heart did sing
    none has e'er bestowed a ring

    Not gold not tin not crackerjack
    not before, not during
    nor after the fact
    only a symbol of course they say
    thus all the more meaning
    when taken away

    See you on the other side of the Lagoon, Diving Buddy, where the hunt for booty is always on the list of a sailor's things to do for entertainment. Mermaid does so enjoy the plundering of her treasure, you know. ;)

  38. Greetings MM! And ahoy to you! It's always such a wonderful treat spying you cavorting here in our Lagoon. Seems you've been awfully busy of late, taking no visitors over on your side, so, I'm doubly honored that you'd take the time to stop in! Thank you! :-)

    That's such a wonderful story of Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur. May we all be blessed with even half as much grace and apparent good fortune. Admiringly... :-)

  39. Hi Mermaid! Your story about Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur is beautiful. It sounds like they loved each other very much.

    I responded to your questions in the comments on my blog. I may even post again later today!

  40. Dear that you I see thrashing about backstroking over to Mermaid's side of the lagoon with a Promise ring in hand? I can only imagine what you could have promised? And what she will hold you too? OK, besides her baubles and melty cheesy bits!

    Years ago a young women proudly showed me her Promise ring...and as this was new to me...I then blundered along after asking exactly what her young man had promised? Oh, boy. It was then that I began to understand that females need Dating 101. We are so delighted with those sparkly baubles that we forget to ask the more pertinent questions.

    The LW says she she needs a "moderately good-sized ring." So I went online to my favorite place, Costco and I found a very lovely Platinum 2.75 ct ring I would love to have for my very own...$19,000...will I be buying it today...don't think so...but maybe I'll dream of it and save my pennies and buy it with cash at a later date. It is dreamy. And it screams me! I love sparkly bits, and I love BIG sparkly bits! Can't be too big in my opinion!
    I believe by today's standards a good sized diamond ring is two carats or more, so yes Smaggy, it is close to buying a car! Stop gasping or Mermaid will think your drowning!

    And the question is not only about affordability which this young man suggests is fine and well by him but what will he get in return things being equal between the sexes? And, I love this one as well, isn't that like buying a woman...maybe so with this particular woman, this is what he needs answered after spending 4 years with her? Odd, he should know by now one would think.

    I want to believe that there are more women who do not wish to feel obligated to any man therefore being bought would be out of the question, and believe there are more of us than women who would accept gifts carrying an obligation and then feel none exists. If there are strings attached I want to know exactly what those strings are because I may be unwilling to comply and I know I can buy my own baubles and sparkly bits. And I never take them away from myself...I'm a MOG remember?

    I'm off to calculate how long it will take me to save that $19,000 for my own Radiant Princess Cut sparkly, lets see that's three dirt bikes, three sets of gear, 20 gallons of racing fuel....hmmmm....I may be able to sell this idea...honey, I need...only he does need his dirt bikes...for stress reduction...and the value of a roaring good time!

  41. Mermaid, I love the emerald and peanuts story!

  42. Once upon a time...

    There once was a woman in love with a man, they had dated four years. He spoke of marriage over an ice cold beer or two then would forget as that day ended. One fine day he said to his lover, my dream growing up was to go to Australia and I might like it there so much I may never return, if I get married...that dream has to end? And the women said...go to Australia,I would never marry any man and as time goes by think that he is thinking...I should have gone to Australia!

    A week later her lover said...I'm off, in two weeks to Australia to spend three weeks! He learned a lot. After 10 days in Australia with 18 to go he calls home and proposes they meet in Hawaii to marry. She agrees knowing it may be due to his finding out how lonely an adventure can be without anyone to share it with and maybe after a few Aussie beers. She leaves for Hawaii five days later knowing she'll have a great vacation with the man she loves regardless of if the marriage happens. He still has to find a way to end his adventure early and he is very creative getting to Hawaii two days after she arrives. She had her blood test, found the court house, the beach,...she is always prepared!

    His arrival was complete bliss, they found a Coral ring, laughed over the $14 purchase, found matching shirts while he rested for two days. Then off to see the judge, the secretary delightfully took the wedding photo's and signed as witness! They married wearing fresh leis, in matching shirts then snorkeling thirty minutes later. The honeymoon was on!

    Then the honeymoon was over. It came to an abrupt halt upon returning home.

    He moved into his brides home and was in such a state of shock at his complete adventure out of the country including his marriage that he paid rent on his apartment for three more months until he finally decided he had no choice or his bride would suffer. It took him over a year to stop morning the loss of being single and come to grips with getting married. His wife, who knew him well after dating four years could see it all as it unfolded and even though it was painful she decided she could wait, that he would figure things out in time. He did. She did later that year suggest an apology was in order for his behavior.

    That's my story about how my marriage began 26 years ago. My coral ring turned green then black, another was purchased. His dirt bike happily lived in its new garage, he grew to understand I was a woman who meant what I said and said what I meant...there was no way I was going to marry a man who wished he had gone to Australia. He now thanks me for moving him towards his boyhood dream,for supporting him and his love of riding his dirt bike. I am the love of his life and he is the love of mine.

    What caused him such turmoil over getting married you may ask, he walked in on his first love, his first wife having sex with her boss in their bed after he had gone to work for the day and returned for something. The kicker, she and I share the same name. Strange but true.

    The last thing a marriage is truly about is the size of the diamond ring to show your friends as impressive it may be. When I tell people about how I got married they say, oh how romantic...and I think if only you knew. When he paid rent for one month I was OK, he needs time, second month, OK he's having trouble leaving his old life behind, the third month, OK he's really kicking his ass...and I'll have to wait it out and see if we survive because more than anything...I won't be married to any man that feels he's made a wrong decision in marrying me. After all I know I am a catch. Dating 101, know your strengths, be prepared to stand by them and know when to move on.

  43. Debbie, that's really beautiful.

    There are all sorts of kismet-y ways I've heard of people finding the love of their life. Yours is definitely one of the best. Congratulations on so many happy years together! :)

  44. Aqualad, look up the titles:
    Vampire Memoirs
    Vampire Journals
    Werewolf Chronicles

    on places like Amazon, etc. You can only get them used, alas. Also, these were published in the early to mid-90's, meaning they predated the current national obsession with vampires and werewolves! But none were read by movie execs looking for the next "thing," so there ya are!

  45. Excellent style, SB1, although we seem to be less in agreement on this set of LWs than usual. I would not hold my breath waiting for LW3 to set up as a doctor - nothing against her if she really pulls it off, but the timing just seems so suspicious, as if this had to wait to really eat at her until after she had a child because then her life would just be too good.

    As for LW1 - okay, he has bought into a moral code you despise. But there are those with whom no dialogue is possible and there are those who may be able to go a good deal towards meeting one halfway. Think of Portia's line in *The Merchant of Venice* - "She is not bred so dull but she can learn." For someone raised under a vastly different belief system, one in which something so important as marriage is undertaken under dramatically different auspices, LW1 did strike me as taking a remarkably Western attitude towards finding a solution. I don't have personal knowledge, but one hears enough about offences against modesty meeting with rather severe consequences. If one went in for a sort of *South Park* style of humour, one might produce a reply to the same letter from "Dear Akbar" recommending that the wife be stabbed, shot, strangled, suffocated and/or stoned. It can take more than a few years of marriage for one to unlearn things one was taught growing up by people one revered.

    I'll sum it up this way. I think LW1 could benefit considerably from a large dose of SB1, but you have effectively shut down his chance of agreeing to take it. It was nicely executed, though.

    Of course, to link Ls 1 and 2, perhaps LW1 really did buy a woman - now, there's a thought.

  46. I fail to see nor understand where whatever genitals a person is born with or let's not leave out people born with both sets, so now we have a third gender, a non specific in the hell does that in any way make a person either less than or more than any other person? HOW?

    I don't buy into the thinking...

    Oh, I see you own a Penis I see it waving, all grand in its glory!

    Oh, Master of the Universe you have a mighty fine dick show me the way of the Universe oh manly man! I is not bred so dull but I can learn. Sheesh.

    Don't get me started...

    Pioneer's of the West Coast do not blindly give reverence to anyone, it is something earned over time as one proves themselves. This thinking is what may define us as American's. The class system here is dead. Not thinking for yourself is dead. Men and women both had to think for themselves for survival of both genders...all genders.

    How does a son buy into revering the men in his family if the recourse they deem appropriate for a modesty issue is to stone, strangle, stab the women in your family until their death, your beloved mother, sister? How does showing ones face constitute some offence? Showing your hair?

    How the hell does this modesty issue always mean the woman is the one to suffer? Isn't there a penis lurking somewhere in all its grandness? I think so! If seeing a womans face or hair gets you all jacked up somehow I believe this is your issue of controlling your own penis, in all its grandness of course?

    Revering such a heinous system of punishment for beloved ones is the highest form of grandiose ignorance. Taking time to unlearn from those whom you mistakenly revered is also ignorant. Oh, but maybe there is hope, after all we have that very useful thinking of.... He is not bred so dull but he can learn....and the faster the better. Sheesh. Wave to the penis people! The Grand Master of the Universe!

  47. Mermaid, thank you! As you can tell I had a bit of a fit over...she was bred not so dull but she can learn!

    I'm paddling over to your side of the lagoon for some much needed girl time where we can proudly wear our baubles and sparkle in the sunlight. Then maybe after lunch we can do a bit more praising of the penis since it is quick to respond when one speaks nicely or not! I am assuming your waters are as filled with them as my pond is? They pop up everywhere don't they, no matter how rough the water is or how salty it may be? Every 15 minutes another floats by...waving in all its glory! We shall once again simply ignore them by raising our faces to the sunlit sky and letting our hair blow in the salty breeze for our own enjoyment. Hopefully no moron will come along and think we need to be stoned.

    I have Elena Bobbit to thank for my being able to use the word penis profusely. I knew times had changed when Barbara Walter's said it on the National News one night. It was memorable to say the least. That was a week filled with all the memorable newscaster's trying it out for the first time, they must have practiced for hours as it rolled off their tongues without pause.

    I am often amused by the simple fact that in our universe the woman who first made news by removing her lovers penis had the name Bobbit. How did those moons align?

    Until next week...happiest of trails to you...

  48. Greetings Debbie! Oh my, I'm so far behind! Ack! You are right on with the advice, as always, and, you're shared a wonderful story with us, to boot! Thank you. :-)

    I hope that you get your ring soon! It sounds gorgeous! :-)

  49. Thank you, herd"T"hinner! I shall absolutely look them up! And, I'll very much enjoy them, I'm sure. What a shame that you were ahead of your time. :-( We could have all said that we knew you when. :-) Thank you!

  50. A Diamond Ring for a mere, LOL, $19,000.00!!!! Let's see if it's worth it in the long run...I can save that $19,000.00 in 36 months by saving $527.00 per month or in 48 months by saving $395.00 per month or in 60 months by saving $316.00 per month...hmmmmm, decision's, decision's...seems I have plenty of months to save and then I'll know at that time if it is really worth the time and the money! And if I could find a decent interest rate I'll possibly equal the rise in its price during this time and at the least I'll not pay out extra for for putting it on credit, lining someone elses pocket with my hard earned pennies!

  51. Oh, hrumpole, I agree with you on LW#3. Some people invite drama into their lives as if they need it as a constant companion. I do, however, stand by my assertion that she needs counseling. She doesn't seem to recognize her repeated need to either a) please, or, b) blame other people for her feelings. But, yes, I will agree that we took a different feeling from the letter because I heard her genuinely wanting to be a doctor. Of course, as intimate, that may all be systematic of her need for chaos. We shall see. :-)

    As for LW#1. I will take your chastisement. You're correct. And, I didn't give enough credit where it's due. But man, I have to tell you, that attitude of his genuinely irked me! Oh well

    As always, though, hrumpole, good cheer!

  52. Debbie, I accept your right to say "penis" all you'd like, and, I accept your premise that owning one does not make one better those who do not own one. However, please warn me next time you're going to be mentioning Lorena Bobbit's name whilst simultaneously mentioning penises! Those two subjects should stay far away from the other. At all times! :-)

  53. I heart you, smagboy. Excellent advice, especially to the one with the CRAAAZY bitch of a mom. Right on.

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