http://www.slate.com/id/2250007/ (04/08/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There
Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! Holy smokes, what a day! We’re now fully ensconced in April’s warming temperatures, budding flowers, pollinated cars and porches and houses (if you’re “lucky” enough to live in pollen country, that is), and, just general spring goodness. Plus, we’re just over two months from summer and bikinis! And nothing makes a submariner smile like the arrival of summer and all of its accoutrements. Especially June! Now that’s a summer month! But that’s not why we’re gathered here today, is it, Shippers? Heck no! We’ve got letters! So let’s get crackin’, shall we?
LW#1: Dear Prudie,
Listen, I share an apartment with several other women. It’s a financial-only arrangement, though. We don’t socialize and don’t even interact outside the common space in our apartment (and frankly, that’s fine with me, because these other little girls are all so skay-aa-aa-aanky). Here’s my problem: one of my roommates is pregnant, and yet still smoking a half pack a day?! And, too, she, like, has no college education! And, even worse, I suspect this baby was an accident! Listen, I’m all about respecting this little slut’s privacy, but, I’m wondering if I have some sort of moral obligation to say something to her about the smoking? See, I mean, I’m worried about my morals, and, if, like, I should be saying something to my roomie in order to get cosmic brownie points, then I need to know. It’s a hard question, though, ‘cause we all enjoy our privacy and stuff. So, what should I do?
--Non-Smoking (as far as you know), but Steaming Just the Same
Okay, so, I can safely assume no one else in your apartment smokes, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought. You all smoke. All four of you. That’s why you’re fucking rooming together. So, let’s just not even go through this stupid-assed conversation, okay. You’ve already given yourself away. You look down your nose at her due to her education, due to her sexual habits (which are likely almost identical to yours at her age, but, lucky you, you either got lucky or went to the clinic to have that fixed, right? Right.). None of that is what’s at issue, though. What’s at issue is that you feel like she needs to know that she shouldn’t be smoking while pregnant. She shouldn’t be drinking or drugging, either, eh? But, until there are laws against smoking or drinking while pregnant, I don’t guess there’s much you can do. You want to anonymously drop some literature on the outer door step, by all means, go for it. You want to talk to her about it, but all means, do it. But don’t be taking a drag while you do it, okay? That’ll just serve to piss her off. And, before you do any of that, you need to know why you’re actually wanting to talk with her. It shouldn’t be about whether you have a moral obligation. It should be about if you think that you can help prevent a child from being born with physical disadvantages. Is that your concern? Or are you just worried about how the cool people will think about you if don’t say something? If it’s the latter, just say a few Hail Mary’s and you’ll be fine. Honest. Just ask the Pope.
LW#2: Dear Prudie,
My daughter’s in first grade and has Asperger’s syndrome. Recently a girl in her class invited all of the girls in the class, except my daughter, to her birthday party. As you can imagine, my daughter was extremely hurt and confused by this obvious snub. Especially because she considers this girl to be a friend! Further, I’m pissed off to the point of homicidal rage because my daughter had a party just a few months ago and invited every girl in the class! And they all came! Including this little bitch who snubbed my daughter! I’m so angry that I’m tempted to e-mail the parents of this little cretin and give them an e-piece of my e-mind! Should I do it? Should I tell them what pain and heartache their cruel and hurtful and rude actions have caused (especially seeing as how their little runt came here for my daughter’s party)?!
--Non-Smoking (as far as you know), but Steaming Just the Same
Dear Steaming Mad,
Wow, two letters with the same nickname! What are the odd of that? Listen, even though I’m in danger of stealing hrumpole’s shtick, I have to ask you a few questions. How do you know that this evil little girl invited everyone in the class to her party? Might this actually be more like one of those deals where everyone in class has a cell phone, so your daughter wants one, too? Or like how everyone’s parents buy them Gucci purses for Christmas, or, how everyone has a crush on the new kid, Eddie? Or how everyone’s boobies have started coming in, except...wait, that comes later. Anyway, another question, and it’s one that I really want you to ponder. When you throw a party, do you do it because you’re hoping to share a good time with friends, or, do you do it to get swag, earn brownie points for being so fucking magnanimous, and in order to garner future invites to other parties? One hopes it’s the former-most reason, and that you’re teaching your daughter that practice as well, but, sadly, all indications point to one or all three of the latter reasons (and sadder still is that your daughter is learning every bit of how to deal with this situation from you). Finally, if you do contact the parents (and I suggest you do, and by phone or face-to-face, not via e-mail), please just be pleasant and tell them that your daughter wasn’t invited and you wanted to ask why, wanted to make sure that something hadn’t happened at school or other outings that caused them or their daughter to not want your daughter to attend? Did the girls have a fight? Etc. Explain that if that is the case, you’d like to know so that you can help your daughter better navigate life’s social wickets. And then thank them for their time. Sometimes, that’s the best you can do in life. Even if you know they’re lying to you. But, too, maybe your daughter was accidentally overlooked? If that’s genuinely true, the conversation will do wonders, but, any other reason, coupled with a mean, vindictive conversation that leads to a pity invite will hurt your daughter far more than it’ll help. And you and I both know that’s true, even if it’s hard to see at the moment, in the white-hot rage of seeing your child wronged. Hang in there and do right. You’ll appreciate it later. And so will your daughter.
LW#3: Dear Prudie,
I’m 30, married, and completely head-over-heels, knocked off my feet, holy-shit-I’m-walking-around-all-day-every-day-as-squishy-as-can-be, in serious love/like/lust with a co-worker. And it’s been like this for over a year. I’m talking, Prudie, I can’t get him off of my mind. He knows that I’m married and has never made a move on me, never indicated anything other than friendly interest and professional courtesy. I don’t even know how he feels toward me, but I want to know! What should I do, let fate and nature take their course? Or stay in Hell in my current lame life?
--Non-Smoking (as far as you know), but Steamy Just the Same
What you’ve got here is what doctors (and those of who are completely unqualified but like to offer their advice anyway) like to call a symptom. The disease? Marital discord. I say that because you and Chester Von Makesmypantieswet have never even shared anything past work pleasantries, yet you're fantasizing about having his children in some sort of romance novel-esque, idealized perfection sandwich. If this had been an ongoing thing, if you’d been with him for years and already knew that he’s the greatest, most wonderful, incredible person ever, that would be different. But you barely know if the guy likes medium or fine point pens! So, let’s refocus. I’m not saying that you and your husband are irreparably broken, but, clearly there are problems. So, what you’ve got to do is talk with your husband. No, don’t tell him about Chester, or the wet panties, but, do tell him that you two have been distant and in a rut and that you no longer feel attached. Then tell him what you want. Speaking of, what do you want? I mean, if you want to have an affair with Chester, by all means, go ahead. But, you’d better do it with eyes wide open, Sister, knowing full well all of the hell that it’ll potentially cause (from fallout at work, to fallout at home and fallout among your friends and your families, etc.). If what you’re really after is something more lasting with someone more exciting, more engaging, more incredible than your husband, then, do me a favor and answer me this: did you ever feel about your husband the way you think you feel about Chester? Way back in those first days? If yes, go back to talking with your husband and tell him you want to find that spark again. That you want to reconnect! That you want to go to counseling if that’s what it takes. If the answer is no, though, if he was never that way and you were settling from the get-go, or if things due to non-Chester concerns are irreparably changed and that state can never be reached again (or never was), save everyone involved some trouble and just be honest with your husband and let him know that you need to leave the relationship. Again, do not mention Chester. I think you may find, upon closer inspection, once Chester’s no longer a fantasy, that he’s a regular guy and that he might actually have some flaws. Who knows? Maybe not. Maybe he’ll be even better than your fantasies? But he might also be completely disinterested. Point is, figure out what you want instead of asking Prudie what you want. Then move toward that goal in the safest, best way. And when you cheat with Chester, and you will try (I can tell), don’t do it in the Copy Room. That’s just sooooo tacky.
LW#4: Dear Prudie,
One of my best friends is in jail, and will be for potentially two more years. When she got arrested, she asked me to care for her two pet Australian marsupials (think: giant flying hamsters). The long and short of it is that one of them died on me. You know, damn, Prudie, the fuckers go screaming around the house at warp speed, tearing up everything in sight and generally making a living hell of the place unless I’m paying them constant loving attention (though I do actually kinda like ‘em, you know, when they’re in their cage, where I keep them for far too long, most all of the time, even though they need to roam to stay healthy, because, well, what else can I do?). Anyway, I’d written to my friend telling her that though one of the little buggers was sick, it was getting better. But, after that letter, now that it’s died, I don’t know what to do or say? My friend is prone to depression and I don’t want to make things worse for her in prison. Should I tell her, or keep my mouth shut?
--To Lie, or Not to Lie (damnit, I so wanted to sign out Non-Smoking, but, it just wasn’t going to fit with the letter)
Dear Lying Liar,
Here’s the deal: there’s way more to your story than what you’re telling. I mean, holy shit, you’re barely telling us anything about any of this. And that’s fine. Whatever. Let me answer your question as if you weren’t totally leaving out facts left and right and then we’ll both pretend that did it for us, okay? Here’s what you do: just tell her. My first reaction was that you shouldn’t tell her, being as there’s nothing that she can do from inside the ol’ Gray Bar Hotel, but, after thinking about it, I realized that would only count if the pet was sick and she wanted to be on the outside to care for it. As it is, the pet is dead. It’s not coming back, so, tell her. If you don’t, I have a feeling she’ll sense something is up and that might make her worse than not knowing and feeling like on top of everything that you’re lying to her. Plus, if she’s tough enough to handle the pokey, she’s tough enough to handle squirrel death. Now, if you want to write back and tell us how the damned thing really got sick and what your relationship really is with this lady in jail, then, fine, we’ll talk more specifics. Until then, that’s all you get.
Well Shippers, sorry about LW#4, but, what can you do? I gotta go with what I got, you know? So, I have to share something with you before I go because it was the coolest thing ever! Remember last week, in the comments section (below) where we were talking about fried cheese on a stick? Well, guess what?! I had some! O.M.G.!! It was the greatest thing ever! I had fried cheddar and fried Monterey Jack. On a freakin’ stick! Shippers, I’m not suggesting it as some sort of daily activity, because, WOW!, but, if you have a best friend in the whole world, someone who’ll protect you and cover your back and who you trust with your life, take them with you and go get a few sticks. You need the friend with you as you experience this because your legs will go weak and you’ll fall onto the floor and you don’t want to be robbed of your cheese sticks when you’re lying there in that prone position! Plus, it’s just plain cool to eat cheese with your best friend (just remember to alternate the eating so that you’re not both on the groundin cheese-stacy!)! Remember the School House Rock song about how healthy cheese is? Alright shippers, enough of my nonsense! Until next week, fair winds and following seas to you all!