http://www.slate.com/id/2250840/ (4/15/2010) <--- Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There
Hey hidey ho, Shippers! And how the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! Like it or not, along with it being a fine, fine Prudie Day (which it is), it’s also Tax Day here in The States (here’s hoping that my mention of that fact didn’t serve as your first realization of the date!). That may mean some of you are a bit crazed and coffee-fueled right about now. But, hang in there, because, even though Tax Day may cause some of us to break out in hives as if we’ve eaten too much boysenberry pie, we’ve got some letters here that’ll make receipts and deductions and tax credits all seem like a minor inconvenience. I hope. So, with that in mind, let’s get to it, shall we?
LW#1: Dear Prudie--About a year ago, out of the blue, I began having psychic pussy pulses that reminded me of my First Love. The awkwardness, the overcoming of said awkwardness, the joy of mutual discoveries, the heartache of my crushing his heart as I read my horoscope one morning and found that our chakras didn’t align in the seventh moon of the fourth house and so, even though we seemed perfect together, we’d never be able to truly connect on a deep, spiritual level. I tried chi extraction and using a séance to rid myself of the doubts, but, to no avail. So I dumped him. Anyway, back to the present. Right after the pulses started, amazingly, he got in contact with me (coincidence? I think not!). Since then, we talk frequently about all sorts of things like his line of work, where jobs for him might be, what types of things he might encounter and who he’s networking with in order to find work. Well, I recently had a very vivid and unsettling dream about his head being literally blown apart in some Iraq-looking place while surrounded by some of his old college buddies. And then, after having that dream, I learned that he’d been offered a security job in Iraq! By one of his old college buddies! Should I tell him of my obviously prophetic dream, or keep it to myself?
Sincerely--Karnak the Dreamer
Dear Nostradamus--Yes, you should tell him. But, not for the reasons you think. You should tell him only because it will remind him of how batshit crazy you are! And then he can go to Iraq with a clear and intact head, free of loony tunes insanity. And, too, because telling him, in the end, won’t make a world of difference. I mean, let’s say he decides to stay here and then has a car accident while driving with a college buddy who, wait for it, has some tenuous connection to Iraq. You’ll be all, “Oh my God! So, like, that’s what my dream meant!!! The whole Iraq part of my dream was that his college buddy had been there and they were talking about it!” Thing about these dreams is that they’re so easy to fit whatever circumstance happens. I’d like to stay here and tell you more, but I need to go send my life savings to The Uri Geller foundation. James Randi has been picking on him again and he needs my help. Good luck!
LW#2: Dear Prudie--My boyfriend and I have the most marvelous child in the entire world! He’s practically perfect in every way and I’d never want someone to think of him as “a bother”. Unfortunately, my boyfriend has a bothersome child with his ex-wife, a six year old boy, who comes around a few times a month. I think his mom is jealous of me, even though she has since remarried and has another child. The little six year old brat won’t even talk to me when my boyfriend isn’t around. My boyfriend is pushing me to get married, but, I don’t know if I can do it considering how much I dislike his bothersome son. What should I do?
Sincerely--At Least I’m Honest About It
Dear Honesty--Yepper, you are being upfront about your asshattery. I’m not sure if you reckon that earns you brownie points, or just means that you take pride in ignorance? In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this, but, your de facto stepson is six fucking years old. He’s not an eighteen year old. He’s not yet capable of the kind of strategic and self serving manipulation that you seem to be giving him credit for. His motivations are simple. It’s clear to him that you don’t like him. It’s clear to him that his birth parents, both of them, have started new families and that he feels stuck in the middle and marginalized. He can also sense that you’re an evil bitch who is jealous of him and his mother (your “respectful” treatment of him aside). Think he doesn’t get that? Think he’s just doing his mother’s bidding?! Let me tell you something. At six, I don’t care how much programming his mother gives him during the week, a simple honest desire from you and your boyfriend to spend time with and appreciate him as a person would undo that programming in a matter of hours. Actually welcoming him? That would switch the poles of his world. But, since you’ve been unwilling to do that since even before you met him, because you’re just as nasty and shitty and jealous as you blame his mother of being, you’ll never connect with him. And, when he does get older, he’s going to resent you even more and he’ll have the teenage intellect to actually press all of your buttons instead of you just imagining he is. Get over yourself and recognize that you’re being shitty to a six year old. A six year old. And here’s a novel idea for you to try. Why not enlist his father’s help? Good luck. Your stepson’s going to need it.
LW#3: Dear Prudie--I work for a small startup company that recently scheduled a series of mandatory seminars on business etiquette. In a recent session on “professional appearance”, the presenter listed a number of things that are verboten: gray hair, dandruff, being fat, a bad complexion, and sporting an un-nice smile. Our executives just sat there and bobbed their heads in the up and down direction. Now, all of us non-executives feel discriminated against because we’re all gray-haired, dandruff-having, fat, non-white (which is what "bad complexion" means), frowners. What should we do?
Sincerely--Fat, non-white frowner, but, fortunately, dandruffless!
Dear Flakeless--Have you ever read “Dilbert” or watched “The Office”? Do you know that you’re describing the stupid, mandatory presentations in most every office, company, corporation in the entire world? What are you, Canadian?! As for the executives, didn’t you know that in order to become an executive, nine out of ten of them had to have their spines removed? Of course their heads where bobbing. There’s no neck bone to support all of that dead weight! Plus, they were trying not to fall asleep! Look, I have no idea why you didn’t say anything to this presenter? Why didn’t you just ask, “Are you talking about us old people when you mention ‘gray hair’?” Perhaps, and forgive me for going out on a limb here, it’s only you that feels discriminated against and you’re trying to make this seem about “all of you”? Or, okay, okay, maybe it’s you and your one co-worker who always goes along with all of your batshit crazy “I’m being oppressed by the man” bullshit? If this truly is a workforce-wide concern, you can all ask for a big meeting and have everyone lay it out. The only way to deal with this is to address it. Either through HR, or directly to the spineless, head-bobbing executives. I’m sure you’ll get an answer pretty quickly once you start actually dealing with the proper channels rather than vying for sympathy from The Internet Lady. Good luck. Heh-heh.
LW#4: Dear Prudie--I’ve been unemployed for over a year. A “friend” recently asked me to be a bride’s maid in her over-the-top wedding next year. I tried to decline because I can’t afford it, but, she turned on the water works, saying that I could afford it, so I relented. Prudie, I truly can’t afford this! Not just the dress, but the other expensive, limo-laden events that go along with it! I’m afraid that the other bridesmaids will resent me as I can’t pay my share for their extravagant plans. I’m going to have to start declining my friend’s invites to “My Bridesmaids”. What should I do?
Sincerely--A Pauper Tagged With Princess Duties
Dear Pauper--I think Prudie nailed this one. You’ve got to tell your “friend” that, as much as you’d like to go into debt for all of her bridal events and periphery and clothes and shoes, etc., that you’d have to buy to do this, you just can’t afford it on your own and you are unwilling to go into debt over it. Tell her, as Prudie says, that you’ll be thrilled to help her celebrate her nuptials as a guest at her wedding. If she can’t see her way clear to gracefully accept you explanation and invite you as a non-bridesmaid guest, then tell her to go fuck herself. I’m serious. The kind of selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered, conceited, me-ness that so many brides engage in during wedding time should be discouraged at every opportunity! Good luck to you. And I mean that sincerely. Also, as a side note, I hope that you’ll remember this all when it comes time for your wedding.
Well Shippers, that’s about it. I love it when the letters span the whole range from batshit crazy to actual legitimate concerns. I’ll let you figure out which were which. ;-) Here’s hoping that you’ve all either filed your taxes already, or that you’ve got a good handle on everything. Also, I’d like for each of you to take a moment to send positive thoughts to Bret Michaels. Our favorite VD-defeating, fake hair-sporting, pop-rock ballad front man had to undergo an emergency appendectomy this week. I’m concerned that if he goes back too quickly to the Rock of Love bus, he’ll be exposing himself to infection because his normally steel-like immune system will be weakened due to the surgery. Here’s hoping he’s wiser than that. He was a Rhoade’s Scholar! I think, anyway. ;-) Or, here’s hoping that he’s tougher than I give him credit for! Until next week, fair winds, following seas and cheese on a stick to you all, Shippers!