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, May 6, 2010

...on Mother's Day Letters  (05-06-2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How the hell are ya on this fine, fine pre-Mother’s-Day Prudie Day? I hope that you’re all well and happy and full of the vim and the vigor! I am! I finished one of my finals over the weekend and am writing the last one today (it’s almost finished). Then I’m off ‘til early June when summer classes start! Woo-hoo! But, that aside, what a batch of letters today, eh? What say we get crackin’ at ‘em?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I grew up quite privileged. I don’t mean like filthy rich privileged, but rather the well-loved, respected and happy type of privileged that I haven’t yet realized is much, much, much more special. My parents were wonderful and supportive and my house was the one on the street at which everyone congregated. My friends and I all felt comfortable there and it was, as they say, not just a house, but a Home. Hallmark couldn’t have done any better. But then, last fall, as I was about to go off to college, my parents dropped a bombshell on me. They were worried that I might find out on my own so they told that me that my mom used to be a porn star. There are still pictures and other media out there, Prudie!!! I don’t know what to do! I’m still having problems with this information and it’s nearing summer and I’m afraid that I’m going to do or say something when I’m back there that will ruin my relationship with my parents. What should I do? Signed, Perplexed Product of Porn

Dear Perplexed, Um, so, what is it, exactly, that you’ve been so perplexed about over the last nine fucking months?! Perplexed over that car that you’re driving that your parents paid for? Perplexed about the thousands of dollars going to fund your education and your room and board? Or perhaps you’re perplexed about that fucking spending money you get every week? So, what, porn is a sin? Porn is wrong? Porn is somehow beneath you? Well la-dee-fucking-da! Looks to me like the only thing your folks failed you in is in not fixing your judgmental twerptitude, you ungrateful whelp. You want to be all judgy, fine. But not on their dime, driving a car they bought, wearing clothes from their hard work and while becoming educated off the sweat of their brow. You’re having problems processing this info, and that’s fine. And you don’t want to hurt them. And that’s fine, too. But, why? Because you don’t want the gravy train to end, or because you love them and realize how incredible they are (and have always been) toward you and you sincerely don’t want to hurt them? If it’s the latter, hallelujah, there’s hope. But you won’t find the solution on the Internet. You’ll need a counselor for that (and a good one), because nine months of not being able to process something as cool as your mom’s news is just fucking stupid and belies a much greater character flaw than what Prudie can cure via a simple letter. But, if it’s the gravy train option, which the timeline sure suggests (subconscious though it may be), well, I can only hope life isn’t as hard on you as you’re being on your mom.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I’m about to graduate college. I’m a history and poly-sci major and that’s the type of career I want. As such, Washington, D.C. would be the perfect choice for graduate school. Unfortunately, my mother has some pretty aggressive cancer and will need to have weekly treatment for the rest of her life. We live in Connecticut, not D.C., so I’m torn. I want to go to school in D.C. to further my career and I want to stay in CT and be with my mom. My mom says, “go!” What should I do? Signed, Too Green Yet To Know Any Better

Dear Greenie, Hopefully your situation is different than LW#1’s in that you’re going to be paying for your move to D.C., your graduate work there, your rent, your board, etc.? If not, I have nothing further to say to you than what I’ve said above. Same sentiment applies. But, if you are actually a functional adult, I want to point out to you something that you may not know. Other than a very few very specific jobs, your school, and its location, aren’t going to mean shit to your career. At all. In other words, attending graduate school in CT will work just fine. Especially if you excel. You may not be able to see that now, but, I assure you that it’s true. Now, don’t think for a minute that I’m saying that it wouldn’t be better to study at a place where you could walk to the Library of Congress and view the actual documents under question versus their electronic doppelganger via the Internet. But, in the end, it’s the same information. And you can always go view the originals later in your life. They’ll always be there. Your mom, though? Not so much. And you will regret going to D.C. until the day that you die if you do it and something happens to your mom. I promise you that. Think hard about this choice, Young One, because it’s one where your dreams aren’t leading you in the right direction. At all.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, My mom is a leech. She retired at age 50 (and, truth be known, never really worked much before then, either). She is now 61 and has no money. She’s been kicked out of her apartment and is moving into the house of the daughter of a friend. My sister and I are to be responsible for her rent. When my sister and I were cleaning out my mom’s old apartment, I got so sick of it that I left, telling my sister that I was fed up with my mom’s bullshit and that I wasn’t going to deal with it anymore. My sister says that we owe it to our mother to support her. My leaving in the middle of cleanup has caused a huge rift between me and my sister and we’re not speaking. That’s not what I wanted, Prudie! Damnit, I love my sister! How do I fix this with my sister without giving in to my mom’s selfish, leachy desires, too? Signed, Over My Mom, But Not My Sister

Dear So Over Mom, I’m with you. Not that you should have left your sister hanging halfway through the cleaning job. That wasn’t right. And, as Prudie says, you pretty much blew that one. But, your sentiment about mom is correct. And you need to figure out how to repair the relationship with your sister while standing firm about and being direct with your mom. With your mom, if you want, you can visit, you can be an emotionally supportive daughter and even helpful, but without throwing money at her irresponsibility. If she can’t take that, though, if she says it’s help her financially or she doesn’t want to see you, then that’s her choice. With your sister, you need to let her be an adult and do what she wants to do (and respect her right to do that), but she needs to give you that same freedom and respect. If your sister can’t see her way clear to that, if she can’t understand that you aren’t willing to enable your mother’s irresponsibility, then that’s on her, not you. When your mom gets kicked out of the house where she is (and she will), don’t volunteer to help her move. Or do. Your choice. I’d start planning for it now, actually, and let your sister know your decision ahead of time, because you know it’s coming. But whatever you decide, stick to it. You only undermine yourself when you waffle and it just ends up pissing everyone off.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I have a couple of wonderful daughters who I’ve taught compassion and empathy and caring and sweetness. They’re 11 and 14 and treat other kids with the utmost of respect and kindness. In spite of all of this, and to my great surprise and horror, they’re actually popular and well-liked?! This pisses me off and scares me to no end. And, worst of all, I recently overheard them laughing at students that they thought were “dorky”. It’s bad enough that they’re popular, Prudie, but now they’re laughing at me, er, these other students. What can I do before I lose them to Cheerleader/Homecoming Queen/Popular Girl Hell? Signed, Really, Really, Really Afraid My Daughters Are Popular

Dear Afraid, Well, you know what? Sometimes we talk and joke at home and with our family members because they’re safe. Sometimes we say things that we shouldn’t, but know that our family understands us and won’t rat us out. That may be what was up here. Or, maybe your girls were having a mean moment. But you know what? The solution to either is the same. Talk to them! Amazing, isn’t it? Just talk to them. Say, “Whoa! That sounds awfully nasty. Why are you saying that?” And when they give you the line about how one of the “dorky” girls had rebuffed an offer of friendship from one of your daughters, etc., explain casually and without craziness how that’s still no reason to speak that way of them. Then make them read “The Hundred Dresses”. This is one of those moments, too, where I hope that you’re leading by example? I hope the girls never hear you talking about your sister, or that mean lady from work, or the other woman’s husband who keeps interrupting your book club meetings because he can’t find the butter and is messing up your friend’s kitchen? And finally, Woman, let me lay one on you that you need to sit up straight and look me right in the eyes and listen to me about. Popularity and meanness are not mutually inclusive. At all. That’s your thing to get over and you need to do it. In the worse kind of way. Because the more uncomfortable you get with this subject (especially as your girls move through high school), the more it’s going to stress everyone out. And you’ll just be repeating the pain that you suffered in high school, and inflicting it on your girls in a reverse discrimination kind of way, and for no good reason. So stop the cycle now. Okay? Okay.

Well, Shippers, that’s about it! Listen, I’ve decided to go with having you guys write in true letters to The Submariner (they can be as ridiculous or as serious as you’d like) and I’ll answer them all in a separate anniversary column. I’ve chosen to do it this way because we’re going to launch a separate Fly-wide contest sometime very soon that should be a hoot! So, if you want to participate, check out my e-mail address above and send me your letters. Scrub any personal info out that you don’t want published and I’ll answer each in the extra edition. Recognize that no one will know who sent in each letter and that might be fun in and of itself, trying to guess whose letter goes with whom! :-) I’ll need them by, say, the 16th, to include in the anniversary issue. I already have two great ones! I’m looking forward to hearing from you all. So, ‘til next time, fair winds and following seas, Shippers!


  1. Love the Hundred Dresses reference. Great book. And I am a mommy so I would know! Look forward to the anniversary edition, though am pouting about my idea not being used. Would still love to hear your version of what happened after the advice one day.

  2. Greetings, Debbie! And ahoy to you! :-) And thank you, kindly, for the good words. Cheers!

  3. Greetings mommylady! I'm kinda bummed and pouting, too, as your idea is outstanding. Tell you what. Please write, suggesting which letter you'd like to have followed up, and I will pull out my gumshoe had do it. Perhaps not for the anniversary edition, but maybe I'll have it be a separate edition in and of itself? How does that sound?

    As for "The Hundred Dresses", yes! That's one of those books that, as a parent reading to a child, I had to stifle every pore in my body not to start bawling like a baby as I finished it in order to try to talk with my kiddo about the lessons the book had to offer. Out-freakin'-standing book, no doubt.

    Good cheer to you, mommylady. :-)

  4. SB1, nicely stated about L3. I had a nasty headache all yesterday, and LW3's attitude made it so much worse that it became impossible to care what she did, and you are absolutely right - the waffling is what makes it so much worse.

    You seem a little close to the brink on LW1, though - almost as if you're taking a "judgy" position on someone who might not find it "cool" that Mumsy did porn in her pre-parental (or WAS it entirely pre-parental?) existence. If it weren't for the lengthy time gap, I might remonstrate with you about having to show some tolerance to the intolerant. More on L1 at the end.

    In L4, do you really think that a picked-on girl has grown up and had genuinely popular daughters? I'm not so sure we can take her testimony as entirely accurate; it's the sort of thing that I don't think happens all that often - sometimes, but it isn't usual to see such a dramatic jump. But that is quibbling, I know.

    Returning to L1, though, perhaps it might be my being used to discussions that often include, "Pics or it didn't happen," but I am getting one of my devious ideas. How certain are we that LW1's parents are telling the truth? If one were willing to make the sacrifice of one's reputation, is there a better way to attempt to insure that one's new college student won't become a Porn Dog?

  5. "And you will regret going to D.C. until the day that you die if you do it and something happens to your mom..."

    Yes indeedy, Smagster.

  6. Congratulations on finishing one of your finals! Mine are both at the end of the month and I am burned out!
    I can't imagine growing up with LW4 unless it was just the opposite and she was popular while her daughters are not. I'm still trying to figure out what rallying against popularity means and how that looks. I assume all social lives are rationed out. If Mom had to stay home on Friday nights seething with resentment, then so should they, right?
    I imagine that her daughter's comments will be put out of proportion and used to further keep them down.
    I am taking my life in my hands when I say this but some unpopular kids are that way for a reason. Not all of them are shy or awkward with hearts of gold. And most of the mean, popular girls I see are fictional characters. Having someone rebuff another kid's offer of friendship is pretty nasty in my opinion, and they don't get a free pass because the person they reject is more "popular" then they are.
    Have a great week Smag!

  7. Jaimie - good points on LW4. Her's is the one that bothered me this week. I asked the exact same thing...why are we all assuming that "popular" kids are 'bad' somehow. I wasn't 'popular', and I wasn't 'unpopular' - I had friends in all the walks of high school life (and still do), and prefered it that way. My 14 year old son is following suit. He is a jock, but on the flip side he also has a group that gets together to play D&D once a month (still considered geeky). I think that mom is thrusting her issues on the girls (and needs to stop). She also needs to ligten up...11 & 14 year olds aren't fully matured...they're going to say stupid things sometimes. That's just life. At 44 I still say stupid things sometimes that I don't mean or don't realize are "stupid" at the time.

  8. HI there Smag!! Genius as usual!

    Have a great week!

  9. Just want to say thanks to 'The Fly' and its scribes. Sometimes I really need to hear (read) people who can speak their (individual and perhaps communal) minds succinctly and with humor. You have no idea how much the dosage of hard-hitting sanity, laced with wordplay and outrageousness, is needed.

  10. Hi Smag! Great advice all around. I gotta especially agree with you about LW #2 ~ if I could've chucked my job and my husband I would've spent a lot more time with my Dad before he died.

    Thank you for your kind comments on my post about Dad. I didn't make it back in time to see him alive but I was able to talk with him that morning.

  11. Greetings and ahoy, hrumpole! You're 100% correct that I'm being "judgy" (that was my made up word for the week) about LW#1, but, not regarding his inability to find his mom's past work "cool". That was actually me just being a smartass. What I'm judging him on is the fact that, after nine months, he hasn't managed to make even enough progress in processing this info that he's afraid he might say something when home that'd permanently damage his relationship with his folks!! I mean, that's pretty darned messed up if you ask me! In nine months he couldn't find enough peace to at least be able to talk with him mom about his discomfort? Yes, I willingly and openly judge him for that weakness. And he deserves it (especially if he's being the way he is while accepting their financial support!). :-)

    As for LW#4, yes, I believe she does have genuinely popular girls. Not necessarily cheerleader popular, but certainly popular enough that they don't have to put up with daily pain and humiliation that mom obviously did. And mom's inability to get past her discomfort in, what, over a decade, earns more judginess from me! :-) She needs to wake up and smell the coffee beans! :-)

    Good cheer, hrumpole. It's always a pleasure. :-)

  12. Thank you, kind Schuyler. Let us hope she hears those wiser than her in this. I fear she wont, but, we can hope. :-)

  13. Ahoy, Jaimie! Good luck on your finals. It feels great to be done! Now I can relax (well, at least when I'm not at work) for the next three weeks. :-)

    As for LW#4's rallying against popularity, I have no clue. She's truly got some issues to work through. And her daughter's shouldn't be the conduit through which she does that. Sadly, I think they currently are. And that can't end well. And won't. :-( But, at least we told her so, yeah?

    Good cheer, Jaimie! :-)

  14. Ahoy, criker! Your 14 year old sounds wonderful! And like you say, the LW seems to be thrusting her issues on her girls. Maybe she'll read The Fray? Or come here? Who knows. We can hope, yes? :-)

    Have a great weekend! :-)

  15. Thank you, Bella! You have a great week as well! Cheers! :-)


    Thank you, Anonymous! I'm glad that you enjoy reading "The Fly". Please tell your friends and keep coming by! We love the comments and it makes for a nice community here. :-)

    Good cheer to you!

  16. Oh, Beckaroo, I'm so sorry. :-( I'm glad that you were able to speak with him before.

    My condolences to you and your family. Knowing all you've said about your father, I am 100% certain that he's left you with wonderful memories and a truly enduring legacy through them. And, too, that he's with you in that way.

    Hugs to you. :-)

  17. Smag, I've gotta say I am gonna disagree with you on LW1. Not that talking with mom & dad is bad advice, but the general tenor, and tone of the reply. And here's why: Yes it's been 9 months, but it's been, presumably, 9 month of massive changes.
    He's had to adjust to: (again, presumably)
    Living away from home for the first time
    Not having teachers who will call home, send notes, send the principal after you to get the work done
    Likely not having all his classes in the same building
    Probably not knowing many/any people around him
    Depending on how far away college is, possibly getting adjusted to a new environment/city/landscape
    All the mixer/social situations that colleges throw at freshmen to get them a chance to meet/make new friends
    And all of this while doing his coursework/work-work.
    I'll posit that he just kind of tucked the knowledge away in the back of his head for the time at college, because he didn't have TIME to really think about it/deal with it/figure how to approach the topic with his parents, and now that it's time to head home and not have all these other things crowding his head, he's in a panic that something he didn't even acknowledge he thought/felt about it will pop out at the wrong moment.
    Hence the question, which, really wasn't so bad, maybe Alot on the side of late, but understandably so, when you remember back to what all those adjustments of new adulthood feel like.

    Other than that, I lurved your take, as always! Hope you're enjoying the break!!

  18. Ahoy, Libby, and greetings! Alright, you've opened my eyes a little bit. And I can even agree that he might not have taken the time to deal with this much. But, you know, there was winter break in there. And, too, it's not like it's a huge big deal to work through! I mean, sure, it's not like, "Well, junior, you know, we used to drive a VW even though, since you've known us, we've always driven a Honda." I realize that. But, it's also not like, "Well junior, sorry we never told you this, but, you were adopted and mom really used to be Herbert the accountant before his sex change." This was just a job. That occurred before the LW even knew his mom. So, you know, there's just not that much to wrap his head around. But, fair enough, I'll take your words under consideration. :-)

    As for break, yes! Today is my first day! My last final was turned in last night! :-) I'm quite thrilled with it. I hardly know what to do with myself, but, I can tell you this. It won't take me nine months to figure it ou! :-)

    Good cheer, Libby, and happy weekend. :-)

  19. Ok, granted, there was the winter break, and he probably should have dealt with it then. And, while it was just a job, imagine if you've been scouring the web for all sorts of porn, as young men do, and then find out, after the fact, that your mom may have been in those shots. And then put yourself back in the 18 year old shoes of the LW. It's not to say that it should take years of therapy to get through, merely that it may take more than the couple of minutes of "Oh, my dad used to be a collections agent." That I went through when finding out as a preteen that my dad had other jobs before being a pastor.

    All that being said, I've now argued myself around to the point of saying that, yeah, the LW needs to put on his big boy panties and deal with it.
    Or, as one of my Bro's friends always says "suck it up, princess!"

  20. Greetings again, SB1 and Ms Libby.

    My point at the time of my earlier post was that it rather depended on what sort of statement might irredeemably damage his relationship with his parents. Your interpretation seems to be that LW1 didn't trust himself not to call Mommy a nasty name - mine was that he was afraid that, if he let on that he thought what she'd done had been not a good moral choice, she'd get upset. Having seen more of his posts since, I'm inclined to give her a good deal of credit. She seems quite capable of agreeing to disagree about the past, put it in the past and move on. I can recall one or two people who had difficulty with me until they realized I wasn't trying to require them to celebrate choices that didn't meet with their approval.

    Now apparently it seems he's just not ready to cope with having an adult relationship with them. Sigh.

  21. Dear LW2:

    Do not move to DC. I live there now, and there is nothing there you need at this point in your life you can't get later. My Dad died of cancer when I was 20 and a sophomore in college. I thank G-d every day of my life my school was only a 45 minute drive from my parents house, because I can never, ever, ever get another moment in this life with my Dad- and no career, school name, networking connection, etc., is worth ANY of the memories I have with my father because I stayed close to home.

    You are young. Your life will still be there in a few years, and you will be able to greet it with your head held high and grateful for the path you chose- if you stay close to home.


    PS- More than any other time, I wish at this moment the LW's actually read this column.

  22. Excellent, Libby! ANYtime we can use the phrase "put on your big boy/girl panties", I'm for it! :-)

  23. hrumpole, I agree. And I'm equally irritated. I believe that the frustration comes from the fact that this kid is just generally uncomfortable about this piece of news that doesn't fit into his perfect view of the world and he's too much of an emotional infant to deal with it. Which is sad, really, considering the fact (and all indications) that he grew up in a nurturing and loving environment with wonderful circumstances. If this is what passes for and excuse for nine month's worth of emotional trauma for him, he may want to just save his parents the money for college and move into their basement now, as he's going to epitomize Failure to Launch syndrome sooner than later, I'm certain.

  24. I wish it, too, Christine. Excellent post. Thank you for sharing it. Even if the LW doesn't read it, maybe someone else will?

    Good cheer, and thank you, again. :-)

  25. Ahoy there, my Captain!

    Now, you know how Mermaid hates to smack you around when we haven't been greased up properly ~ ow! That smarts! ~ but I'm afraid I'm going to have to, because you've been pretty naughty on this one…

    You are just as guilty of judging as you accuse this young person of being ~ you are laying your values on this person and judging them because they aren't the same as yours. For a lot of people, being in porn is not "just a job" and they certainly wouldn't find the news that their mom did porn movies "cool". For example, how would you feel if your daughter got "just a job" making porn movies? Can you honestly say you wouldn't have just the teensiest reservation about that, and wish maybe she's make another career choice? Or would you just say "Thanks for the cool news honey, now good luck on your new job!"

    I don't think the LW is being judgmental at all. I think he's (and I'm going to say "he" because you are, although I actually read the letter from the point of view of a girl) reacting to the fact that, during all those years, during all those family discussions and conversations and comments and anecdotes being relayed about what mom and dad did when they were younger, ~ NOBODY mentioned the fact that mom used to do this. It's obvious they made great efforts to keep it from him, and in a close family that takes some real work. So now maybe he/she is wondering just what else has been "hidden" from him that is going to spring forth at any given moment. THIS is where I thought the difficulty was ~ and a girl would be just as likely to have a problem as a guy would with "buried secrets" in a supposedly open, loving family that supposedly had shared everything with each other.

    But the thing that you and I were discussing, that I'd like to get back into, is this very strange disconnect of this whole situation.

    As you know, I know someone who used to make porn movies. Her name is recognizable to anyone who knows a little about porn movies and their actors. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this is the very person in question ~ all of the facts line up. She's a lovely lady, both inside and out, who married a lovely man back in the 80s and she quit porn (she had quit slightly before they met actually) and they had 4 lovely children together and their house was the most popular one with all the kids, and the oldest would have gone off to college this last fall. Like I said, it all fits.

    She also went by her given name when she did the movies (7 or 8 in total) ~ and continues to use her given name to this day! Her children would have to live under a rock not to know about her past career. (I've lost touch with them, so I have no idea how they handled "mommy's career" so this very well may be the family in question, and here's my answer.) After all, how many of us have Googled our mom's names to see if she's done any porn? How would we ever know? So what I'm saying is, if mom didn't use her real name to do these movies, what are the odds that this child is going to be combing every porn site out there to where he'll find some 30 year old porn pictures that he'd even recognize his mom in? That doesn't make any sense to me.

  26. PART II

    So, should we assume that mom used her real name? I assume there isn't much difference between a 17-18 year old high school senior and a freshman in college, computer usage wise. Why are these parents assuming that once he's out of their house, he'll start combing porn sites and accidentally stumble across mom ~ and why hasn't he done that before if he's so inclined? Maybe because they've kept some kind of filters on their computers so they COULDN'T be accessed and stumbled upon accidentally? Well then ~ wouldn't that mean the LW has led a rather sheltered life then? The kind of sheltered life that would naturally make him a little "shocked" to learn that his mom used to be a porn star? Maybe not so much the porn star part of it ~ but maybe he hasn't put 2 and 2 together to realize those computer filters were put there to protect him from the truth ~ and he's thinking they were some kind of indicator that his parents were a couple of Squares from Squaresville (no porn for YOU!) ~ and it turns out they weren't!!

    I think the reluctance to talk to mom and dad is exactly an indicator of the fact that the LW is not judging his parents (esp mom) and doesn't know how to talk to his parents or even ask them questions without sounding or coming across as judgmental. He/she says they "don't have a grip on their feelings and are afraid they'll say something that will ruin their relationship with the parents." And I think that's a pretty healthy admission. They don't want to let thoughts and feelings that haven't quite gelled yet (because there's a lot to absorb that first year at school ~ maybe he hasn't had enough time to process the "mom was a pornstar" aspect yet, on top of everything else) and blurt out something that might be hurtful when he hasn't had time to articulate his feelings yet into a nice, tidy, diplomatic, tactful package for parental consumption. You know how those damn words can be sometimes!

    Another thing to remember is that porn has changed over the years. The porn from the 70s and 80s is way different from the porn of today ~ but the LW is not likely to know that if he's not lucky enough to be porn connoisseurs like you and me. He may have heard "porn" and is picturing something like two lesbians and a black double dildo going at it anally where really all it was was mom pretending to be a cheerleader in the locker room with some "quarterback" with a 40-year old's sideburns. I'm just saying.

    It's clear to that the only solution is to have "Family Movie Night" where they screen the movies ~ and I say for ALL the kids, why wait for this to fester? ~ and let them judge for themselves how they should feel about mommy's former career. It's important to always be honest with the kiddos, Diving Buddy. They always appreciate it in the long run.

  27. PART III

    I have not much quibble with your treatment of #2, except to comment that a lot of parents would feel terribly guilty if their dying act was going to end up costing their child their future, and when they say "I want you to go" ~ they really mean it. The only thing that tipped the scales for me is that the LW would feel guilty if she left ~ so this was a no-brainer non-issue for me.

    LW3 ~ I had a chuckle over this one, Diving Buddy. "Do or don't ~ it's your choice." Yeah, good one. Solid advice. ;)

    Okay, Darling Dear ~ I've saved the best for last ~ LW#4 ~ the mom with the popular daughters. I haven't seen one person yet comment on this aspect of the LW's letter ~

    "I resent popularity and have rallied against it both at work and when I was in school."

    Rallied against it AT WORK?!! And just, pray tell, how exactly does she do that? How do you rally against popularity at work? Does she have HR make sure more than two people don't sit together in the lunchroom lest a dangerous clique form?

    A note to hrumpole ~ I seem to have read an article that said that only children were more likely to be bullied than children who had siblings that attended the same school. This would make sense, since they would protect each other. Perhaps the mother was an only child who was bullied, never had a sibling relationship, and doesn't understand that her daughters are only venting to each other when they speak about other children this way.

  28. Ah, my sweet Mermaid! How I've missed you here in the Lagoon! :-) For the record, I've freely admitted that I'm judging the young lad. And, I've freely admitted to what I'm judging him about! :-) So, you're correct, I'm judging him.

    I use "him" only in the comment section, by the way. You'll notice that my response was gender-neutral. And I'm only using it in the comment section because it's now believed that the actual LW is commenting in The Fray, and is male. So, as convention only, I'm using the male pronoun.

    All of what you say could certainly be true, Mermaid, and I've never known you to be incorrect in such things. As a matter of fact, I've not won a single argument with you, ever, when you are this passionate about a subject, but, in this case, I think that my previous replies to Libby and hrumpole (regarding my harshness toward this LW) still stand against your points.

    Nine months of *not* talking to the parents, or working through it in any discernible way, or even in making an effort, doesn't speak well to the maturity of the LW. And that's fine (and my belief, actually, as to why the parents didn't tell him--he's a weenie!).

    I don't require LW's to be mature, Mermaid (if I did, we'd never get past the first paragraph of the column!). :-) However, I don't like hypocrites. And if he's going to judge mom, to the point that he's afraid he's going to say something that might forever ruin their relationship (that's pretty damned judgy, ain't it?!), then he shouldn't be living off of mom's dole as an adult. As I say, nine days? Fine. Nine weeks? Pushing it, but, okay, he's young. Nine months of inaction and no effort to solve his "issues"? Entirely, completely, unequivocally unacceptable. IMHO. ;-)

    But, if you still believe me to be in the wrong, I encourage you to come over here to this side of the Lagoon, up onto the submarine, and take it out of me in the form of spankings! ;-)

  29. Part II

    Now, wait a minute! "Do it or don't do it" *is* solid advice! :-) Right now, she's waffling. She's not committed to either course. I've suggested to her that she shore up her convictions and pick one or the other and be consistent. I think that's rock solid advice! Sort of like my pecs. Rock solid! ;-) HA!

    You're correct regarding LW#4. I just commented on her general "rallying against popularity". I completely missed the "at work" portion because I don't want her to ruin her daughters. She's already ruined herself. But, you're absolutely correct to point it out. She's a loon, that one. Or at least plays one on Prudie Day! :-)

    Good cheer to you, Diving Buddy! I'm looking forward to those spankings! ;-)

  30. Well, okay then, Judgy McJudgster! So, what are you saying ~ that I basically WEAR YOU DOWN on the issues? Well, I do have my methods don't I? ;) And no, not all of them involve a 5ft mechanical arm with a feather attached at the end...

    So, the deal is ~ if I agree with you, it's all good and I get a little pat on the head but if disagree with you ~ it's Spanky Time?! Well, Captain, when you lay it out like that, is it any wonder I'm constantly scrapping with you?

    *ew if you would have just read my crushingly brilliant responses to hrumpole and libby, mermaid, blah blah blah, then la dee fricking dah, and so there... * ~ yeah, okay WHATEVER, SmagBoyWonder. I'll try and keep up next time with all these little pearls of wisdom that shoot out yer bum like so much yesterday's corn on the cob. *eyeroll*

    You were thinking about Iron Man II when you wrote your response to me, weren't you? I can always tell when you're crushing on RDJ because you start throwing around your pecs of steel and buns of lead. Like he even reads your column any more, you big showoff.

    I've missed you too, my sweet Submariner. I just realized I forgot to sign off last time ~ so I'll see you over on the other side of the Lagoon, Diving Buddy! (Best bring a full tank, you might be down below for a while...)

  31. As I step in the middle of the Fray...tip toeing all the way across the sparkly waters of the lagoon is not an easy task...I hope not to drown along the way!

    OK, everyone, for the next moment in time I wish for you to picture the woman in your life that you trust beyond anyone else. Got that person in mind? Now, see her share her secret about being a porn star. Blow's the mind doesn't it? I bet that vivid image of her blew Smaggie and Mermaid's spanking each other out of your mind? Hmmm? Is there anyone that wants to hear about all that thrusting and slip sliding away...well other than...well, you know who your are? Ok back to my original thought...sheesh, murky water's here and such a forceful current today....this news is from a woman you know and love, and I'd bet the vision of her legs in the air never occured inside your brain before her telling her porn star story.

    I think, should I be told this about the person I trusted beyond all else, that it would raise so many thoughts and emotion's that what I would feel mostly would be...confusion. Massive confusion. And I'd be mumbling and bumbling along with my thoughts longer than a mere 9 month's. What do you say? What do you do? I think the fear of stumbling and mumbling the wrong message would be a huge issue, and I don't think I would have a clear message in 9 years. Other than my first impression of... Alrighty Then, any other words would not come forth, maybe a ton of non-verbal noises would come forth but not many words at all. Can't respond with thanks for telling me, ah, I bet you were good at your new career, how'd you get started, cant see myself asking that either? I think any conversation is going to be very limited? Maybe you'll be able to mutter, how big a star were you, how many films did you do and when, what name did you use? None of the standard comments to continue any conversation seem to fit here. What exactly are you going to ask in the beginning or after several months? Wha'tttt?

    How did you land this new job?
    What did you do in this new job?
    How long did you do it for?
    Where did you work?
    Who did you work with?
    Did you like this job?
    How well did it pay?
    Why did you quit?
    Did you do women?
    Men only?
    And your thoughts on black double ended dildo's?

    So, how do you begin a conversation when you can't come up with any starting point that doesn't sound ridiculous? I don't see much of any conversation being needed. Even thanks for telling me sounds a bit far fetched, so maybe the only thing one could say is, I love you, this blows my mind and I'm confused at what else to say so I shall say nothing. What are we doing over the summer? Let's have a cold beer!

    I think regardless of gender most of your confusion would have little to do with the woman you know and love, it would be about how you felt about your own personal relationship with porn films, porn stars. Anyway you cut it, your porn time now has this new "attached baggage of knowledge". If porn stars skeeve you out, there's that to deal with. Big. If porn films/stars are your weekend release, then there's that. All of it is fully loaded with a ton of "what if's"...what if she was the woman I had such a great weekend releasing with, what if all my buddies/father's happen to have her film's...and on and on the mind has a lot to figure out, none of it has a thing to do with the woman. Maybe the kid's silent confusion and inability to say a thing is the smart way to go? Sometimes less is more.

  32. OK, I guess I will stop my pouting. But, only because I am sort of kind of getting my way. Will be thinking of letters.

  33. Thanks, Debbie! We'll tag team the Smagster into submission yet. And just so you know ~ no matter how many times you traverse the Lagoon here, you're never in danger of drowning with Mermaid around. My mouth-to-mouth resuscitation will do more than just revive you...

    Diving Buddy, it's like this: Remember when I told you that secret about me, and you acted a little surprised? Yes, you know the one I'm talking about. Well, were you judging me? No. Did I feel a little judged by you? Yes. But were you judging me? No! But did I feel a little judged? Yes!

    You see how that works? So now ~ even though you weren't judging me at the time, and knowing how it made me feel at the time, don't you ever wish you could go back to that moment when I told you that secret about me and maybe NOT raise your eyebrow that certain way you do? Or NOT have the inflection rise at the end of your "Really?" so it didn't sound so much like "Wow, you really ARE a freak, aren't you?!" Oh, I'll bet you do.

    I think this young person is struggling with the same thing. He/she has some questions ~ but how to ask them without coming across as judgey? The topic of porn seems rife with judgment anyway, doesn't it? I think people remember the subtle tones and unconscious gestures of people's reactions more than the actual words sometimes, and I think this kid is afraid of inadvertently hurting his mom with a raised eyebrow or an inflection in his voice. How does one talk about their mom being in porn and remain completely neutral? Without even saying "Wow!" or anything?

    Back atcha, Diving Buddy... ;)

  34. Debbie, I get what you're saying--if that woman was *currently* doing porn while lying and saying that she was working every day as a scientist at NASA. But, if that woman said to me, "You know what? Long before we met, long before we ever knew one another existed, long before we'd ever imagined one another, I did porn..." Well, I'm afraid that it just wouldn't bother me so very much. I mean, sure, it might be a little weird. And sure, I might have to take a little time to get my head around it, but, that doesn't sound like what our LW is saying. He/she is saying that nine months after finding out, he's still so conflicted that he's afraid he may say something that will irrevocably damage the relationship?! Over something that happened before he was even born? To me, that's too much. Too much. But, please note that that's just me. We're just talkin' here. :-)

    Good cheer, Debbie.

  35. Hey mommylady! Yay! I didn't want you to pout for too long. That's no fun. :-)

    Good cheer to you! :-)

  36. Mermaid, Hon, I don't quite know how to tell you this, but, everyone can tell that you're a mermaid, Sweetie. I know that you think that it's your secret, that you're able to pass. But, fact is, your incredible brilliance and shimmering beauty, not to mention your naked ta-tas, makes it sort of hard to miss. Impossible, actually! And that way you can talk to dolphins? Hon, humans can't do that. Just so you know.

    So, you're right, I may have made a little face when you told me, but, Diving Buddy, it was only because I was surprised that you didn't thing I knew already! We all know, Diving Buddy. It's okay. We love you for you. See?

    As for this LW, he can do whatever he wants. He's the one who has to live with himself. His parents gave him an opening and he can use it or not. Maybe he should talk with dad first. Try to explain it to dad because maybe dad had some of the same issues to navigate? But, my thought is that he should have done that long before now. Or at least long before now if he's going to continue accepting their largess as if he's still the same loving son, instead of someone who is apparently so worked up he's afraid he's going to ruin his relationship with his own mom over something she did before he was born. Thing is, I'm certain that she's magnanimous enough to accept him and his confusion. But first she has to know he's struggling with it. What a shame. The whole thing. :-(

    But, Diving Buddy, you're known far and wide in these parts for you compassion. And I commend you for it, too. So, I won't argue the specifics with you as we just don't have enough info. And, if I'm forced to choose, I'll go with your version. Because I just don't have the heart to contest your take. ;-)

    Good Cheer, Diving Buddy!

  37. Oh Boy! Here I was just a swimming my little heart out and was overtaken by a Submariner, must of been headed over Mermaid's way to deal with some serious matter.

    They'll get it all figured out soon but in the mean time I want to play.

    So, Smagalicious with the warm cuddly heart that would not be bothered should his Mom pop up next week and tell him she was a Porn Star and that she could be found on the Internet to this day. If my Mom told me this, my mouth would hang open then I'd start to giggle in an uncontrolled manner. I get what you are saying, and I can agree, but my ears....they want to hear how you are going to say what you are going to say? Phew!

    I'm open to your perception, what exactly does a person say to their Mom when the time comes to speak about this bit of news? Give me the words you would use please? I'm of the thought that I could learn something highly valuable here, these are going to be words worth saving, as I have none. Other than, I love you, quite shocking news, now can we enjoy the summer, and Let's have a cold beer together Mom and talk about school.

    And anyone hearing that slapping of the surf...that's not waves your hearing echoing across the lagoon?

    Good Cheer Back at You...

  38. In reading the comments on the fray, the kid says
    "It not that she did porn, but what other secrets are they keeping. Whats next to come out of left field. I guess when you get something so unexpected from someone you love, its almost like at some level you start over."
    Well get ready, because the hits just keep on coming. No matter how much you love someone I don't think you ever truly know them, and this revelation seems to be what the kid is really dealing with. I learned it at 23 or 24 when I ran into my then-boyfriend of 1 yr out with his other girlfriend of 4 yrs. And yes, jerry springer-like moments ensued. Looking back now, it actually seems kind of funny, but at the time it was devastating. My advice, he shouldn't let this interfere with the good relationship that he has with his parents. And who knows, maybe this will save him some heartache down the road, by learning early that no one is truly an open book.

  39. I wrote a long post yesterday that got swallowed up by the site. Basically, what we don't know is exactly what LW1 thinks will ruin the relationship, even though he and Mumsy have already talked the thing over.

    Does he want to call her a SLORE? (Apparently this is a new term recently coined by Johnny Weir. When Johnny was not invited to join a major ice show despite his being the top fan pick and amidst grumblings about the show's being "family friendly", Evan Lysacek said that Johnny wasn't good enough [even though Jeremy Abbott, who finished well behind Johnny in the Olympics, was included]. About two weeks ago, Johnny went on a talk show and responded by calling Evan a SLORE, which is apparently a combination of a four-letter word beginning in SL and a five-letter word ending in ORE, both of which would make the board on Family Feud if a contestant were asked to name something nasty one might call a porn star) If that's what he's convinced she is even though it was something she did on a whim one summer 10-12 years before he was born, that would reasonably ruin the relationship.

    Or is he afraid that a reaction that expresses dsagreement, even if he can write this off as a bad moral choice she made which thankfully is in the distant past, will ruffle the parental feathers? (Returning anon.)

    The situation is increasingly reminding me of coming-out stories. It seems to be the standard advice to people just coming out to give their friends and loved ones about a year to adjust. As this is a bit of history, and as Mumsy apparently understands the various problems he might be having with her past (although it does appear that my guess to equate her with Amber from My So-Called Life was apparently spot on), it just struck me that he probably fears that any reaction considered unsupportive (of her decision, not of her) will hurt his parents, and that for some reason or another he doesn't think there's room for adults in their family to have conflicting views on a particular point of morality (or else, as SB1 seems to think, he thinks she's a slore).

    It reminds me of some family tension that came about over Proposition 8 a couple of years ago for some California acquaintances. Thankfully, I only know of one instance in which someone left home because of it, but there's a whole spectrum of how widely people differed with family members and how some people still aren't completely over having disagreed.

    There is one good thing one can say about LW1 - he isn't abusing the license this gives him. After all, his parents can hardly object effectively if he were to spend a summer just the way Mumsy did once, and he won't have to worry about too much that might eventually be part of the history of anyone he might marry in future. If he were a real pill, he'd probably be dating a porn star and making plans to bring that person home for the summer just to rub it in.

  40. Trust, any secret kept that one finally tells is a huge event all ending with the question of trust. Big. And human's need trust as without it you have nothing to base a future on. I agree that we truly don't know what we don't know about a person. We have a great capacity to bet on a good outcome when we feel that our trust is soundly given to another, all the while knowing that one can't fully know another person. Sad somehow, but true nonetheless.

    I have seen the lasting fallout of secrets coming out. My husband was in the last group of three children born out of six, the secret his mother felt was necessary to keep was that her first three children were from her first marriage to his father's brother. that? So his older sibling's are cousin's too. All growing up the younger three knew some secret was being kept as the Uncle would call on holiday's to speak with his children and you get the idea, on and on oddities happened over the next 18 years until my husband's brother found out. Can you imagine being part of the younger three that didn't know, but imagine the burden of the eldest three needing to keep silent about their own father? Her secret changed at the very least, six lives, if you count all the other people who knew, this was one huge event.

    The end of this story, the mother is now 92 and to my knowledge none of her six children have any relationship with her. My husband does not for a ton of reason's and trust is high on that list, so I understand many issues that evolve around secret's.

    I can't for the life of me come up with any good time to tell your children you were a Porn star, completely baffles me. And it's not a huge moral issue for me, it's a job women do, I don't know if having this job is the deciding factor to being labeled a SLORE or any other combination of label's. It does warm my heart somehow to know men are using this term for other men though. I'm not a fan of any double standard. If I am a single woman and I want to have sex like single men do that in my opinion is just as normal a behavior, no gender bias.

    I do think once a person decides to create a secret they need to keep, they better be able to keep it to themselves for all of their lives. Because when it comes out, everyone suffer's greatly.

  41. Hey Debbie! Thank you for the question! What *does* one say to a parent after news like this? Well, you've come to the right guy, because I have an answer. :-)

    First off, you don't wait nine months (while still accepting all of your parents' love and largesse), that's for sure! But, I think the question is simple. You just tell the truth.

    You say, "Mom, I have to say, I'm not 100% sure why, but, I'm having a real problem wrapping my head around this porn thing!" His mom sounds like a nice, understanding lady. She would say, "Well, Junior, what are you having a problem about? Do you feel I've been dishonest? Are you judging me? Are you having some Oedipus issues? Are you turned on?" ;-) Okay, I'm kidding about the last one. But, point being, he could then answer her and she could ask more questions, etc., and they could work through it. Clamming up about it, though, doesn't solve anything. It only causes it to fester.

    Your second point, about secrets, though, is something I have issue with. It's about jurisdiction, I guess. For example, your husband had a RIGHT to know that his siblings were not his siblings. Why? Well, because he was being lied to! There was a concerted effort to MAKE HIM BELIEVE that the older kids were his siblings. That's a lie. And one that he had a right to know about. Now, if there'd been no lie, that's one thing. But there was. He was lied to. As such, he had "jurisdiction" in that case. But our LW? His mom did something PRIOR TO HIS BIRTH that he has no jurisdiction over. At all. The only way he would, IMHO, would be if she had always insisted of him to act/be/live a certain way (a way in direct contrast to how she'd lived), and if she didn't disclose her past to him. In this case, though, that doesn't sound like that's what's happened. As such, our LW has no jurisdiction. He wasn't lied to. He wasn't misled. He wasn't fooled.

    That's what bugs me. For example, if I meet a girl that I like, do I get to question her about her sexual history, in detail? Do I get to be jealous of her past lovers? Do I get to act like a jackass because, when she was 18, she slept with a guy she'd met just that night, even though we're both now in our 40s? Heck no, I don't! And I see our LW as much closer to this example than the example of your husband.

    Again, I'm not saying I'm correct. Just how I believe. :-)

  42. Greetings JayJay, and ahoy! I agree! See, it's not like there are a ton of other secrets, but, as I was saying to Debbie, our LW didn't have any need to know this secret. At all. Especially as a child. So, his confusion and trying to figure things out as if his whole childhood was a lie is just overly-dramatic bullshit. And, as I say, if he doesn't trust them, if he doesn't want to put himself in a position to be lied to again, he needs to quit accepting their money and the privileges of their love. Otherwise, he's just a whiny little hypocrite. Just sayin'. ;-)

    Good cheer, JayJay!

  43. Greetings hrumpole!

    Oh my, I LOVE Johnny Weir! I love how uncomfortable he makes people, how they just don't seem to know what to do with him. And, it's funny, isn't it, that he's being called out and discriminated against due to his sexuality in the sport that he's in? I mean, he's a male figure skater?! Come on! If there's any sport in the world where he should be able to feel he can be open about being gay, isn't male figure skating it?! Oh well.

    Which leads me to talk about Proposition 8, which, interestingly, ties into this whole conversation about the LW. I don't believe that those with no "jurisdiction" should have any say in the matter. I want to say to people, "Are you gay? No? Then shut the fuck up about Proposition 8! It doesn't affect you! Asshole!" I mean, how can any person vote regarding the civil rights of another group of people? It doesn't even make sense? At all. We have civil rights for a reason. The most important of which is protecting the rights of minorities. Without that idea, we could vote slavery back in! We could vote all Latinos out! These things shouldn't even be voted on! And, of course, except in the case of gay rights, they're not. How can we even allow a vote on Prop 8? There's nothing to discuss! We're either all equally protected under the law or none of us are. :-(

    Similarly (although significantly less importantly), how can our LW judge his mother in any way regarding something over which he has no say, no jurisdiction, no vested interest?! He's just being a little shit. A hypocritical little shit. Just like those who would vote against gay marriage/rights of marriage. If it doesn't affect you, it fucking doesn't affect you!

    Man! Sorry folks, I do get carried away. But, truth is, I think we sometimes think we have far more jurisdiction over other people than we ought to have. It's a real shame, too. :-(

  44. I can give you two Prop 8 true life stories, though I am secondhand, of course. One young friend of mine was just coming out at about that time, and discovered his parents were big P8 supporters. He coped with it really well, even when they began actively campaigning for it, and it was only when they ordered him to help with their campaigning and wouldn't accept his refusals that he left home.

    The other story is less tragic and, I think, funnier. I have a couple of college friends who settled in CA, who were stunned when their grown-up daughter told them she'd donated to Yes on 8. Rumour has it that she had a boyfriend who left her for another man, but I can't confirm that. I don't think they've forgiven her yet, though they've reacted in the More-In-Sorrow-Than-In-Anger mode of expressing their disappointment.

    My one bit of potential sympathy for LW1 is on the question of it not always being easy to establish that an adult child can have his or her own views that differ from the parents', and that some parents make it harder than others for their children to think unlike them without it causing a rift.

  45. "The most important of which is protecting the rights of minorities. Without that idea, we could vote slavery back in! We could vote all Latinos out! These things shouldn't even be voted on!"

    And look how close Arizona is to voting all Latinos out, since the law as written will make citizens as subject to shakedown as non-citizens, if they happen to be brown or talk funny, in the eyes of who, exactly? I'm a little nuts about it, even from this distance.

    I love Johnnie Weir, too.

  46. Something occurred to me today ~ and now I have a confession to make. I've never told anyone else this. I'm sure there is a special corner of Hell reserved for me after what I've done...

    When I was in 3rd grade, I so fell in love with it, couldn't bear to be without it, that I stole our school library's only copy of "The Hundred Dresses".

    And I still have it.

    I fear that my act was like the stomping of the butterfly in that Ray Bradbury story ~ every mean girl in existence today can be traced back in time to the point where dozens of little girls were denied the chance to learn about kindness and compassion and not judging others ~ because I stole the only manual!

    *hangs head in shame*

  47. I've read everyone's thoughts on LW1, and even ran a test last night asking my hubby what would he think if he found out his mom did porn before she married his dad & had him. He freaked out. So obviously some people are not mature enough to "handle the truth" (now we know what Jack Nicholson meant in A Few Good Men ;)

    But I have 2 cents of an opinion on the subject. FWIW - LW1 needs to grasp a few basic concepts. 1.)Parents are human, kids don't come with an owners manual so we are all wingin' it w/ the raising of them. Even wonderful loving parents can make mistakes when we think it's the right thing to do.

    2.) Part of being an adult (which LW is technically one now) is knowing what is worth battling over, and what is worth just letting go.

    Yes, the news was shocking and you wonder about trust. But since it seems his parents/mom have given him no other reason to worry (what w/ the loving wonderful supportive upbringing), and moms life way before him really wasn't his business...well then I think this is the thing to "let go". In this earthly world there pretty much is only 1 person who will love you UNCONDITIONALLY -even if you disappoint her or make her mad - she never stops loving you...and that's your mom. Why risk that?

    I lost my mom when I was 20. Suddenly and without warning. I'd give just about anything to have been able to tell her thank you for loving me like no one else ever has. And see I did have to forgive her for a big thing - she took her own life. But I just couldn't carry that anger because for 20 years she only loved me and did a great job raising me. Like LW I had a wonderful childhood, and mine were the parents everyone thought were so great.

    So to sum up the rambling - LW - let it go, mom loves you, and you can't change the past.

  48. I love you Mermaid! Alway's good for one huge belly laugh a post!

    Thank you ever so much!

    you stole the only manual...priceless!

  49. Hey Smaggie,

    I get the jurisdiction angle, fully agree. And I understand your thinking on the issue of dating someone and having no rights to be concerned over whatever their sexual background was. Partially because, of all the perils and pitfalls of explaining that behavior to any peer, it's simply not a healthy conversation to have for all the reason's we all understand ;0).

    Here comes the but...we see, we accept our peer group, or dating pool to be filled with sexually active people, visualizing this comes quite natural with no additional attachments...but when the person is your mother, your sister....anyone who falls outside of your personal realm of who is sexually within your own boundaries, mental mostly....then this knowledge becomes more rife with concerns. I agree that the issues lie within the son in this case, as the mother may not have told one lie, but he's got to figure that out. The son has to move beyond all the visuals his brain undoubtably switches to in a moment's time upon pondering this new information about someone he now believes knows more about sex than he ever imagined, and he's got to figure out how to move past this.

    It's that thing...we may have some glimmer of understanding that older adults are sexually active but at Thanksgiving, when you go around the table and everyone tells what they are thankful for, we truly don't want to hear Grandpa speak of getting turned on while Grandma was bent over the oven checking the turkey, he's sorry the bird is dry and quite happy everyone arrived late. Unless Grandpa and Grandma are in your peer group and then you may grin and think, Way to Go!

    So, there is a perspective available to him that will allow his relationship to continue to flourish, once he goes through all the mental debris raised in the mean time. He's got to get to that place where he understands jurisdiction, and the multitude of issues he decides is worth torturing himself over, and we haven't even discussed any discussion he may have with his father. There's another completely new perspective to absorb and accept.

    I agree with you that his Mother's employment choices were none of his business before he was born and IMHO she should have left it that way, regardless of if he may have found her online in the future. Unless she looks identical to twenty years ago, that might add to the issue, more perils and pitfalls? Messy, very messy this situation for sure! I feel for them all. There is no simple answer. No simple questions to be asked. I simply don't see how he's not going to spend some time rifling through the plethora of thoughts that move through his brain. One by one he'll have to check them off his list as unimportant. I am of the thought that as a woman, if you plan on having children that this may be the one job to avoid.

  50. Greetings, hrumpole. Thank you for the stories. Sadly, they're both heart breakers. :-( But, I guess that's the way it is? Hopefully, things will continue to change--for the better. :-)

  51. Greetings and Ahoy Cantahamster! It's wonderful to hear from you. Yepper, I've got pretty significant problems with the AZ law. What bothers me most is the jingoism inherent in the arguments for it. :-( And the "us" v. "them" mentality behind it. Oh well. Perhaps, as I mentioned to hrumpole, things will improve? We can only hope, yes?

  52. Greetings criker. This is a great point, "Yes, the news was shocking and you wonder about trust. But since it seems his parents/mom have given him no other reason to worry (what w/ the loving wonderful supportive upbringing), and moms life way before him really wasn't his business...well then I think this is the thing to 'let go'." One I wish the LW would read.

    Now, about mothers being the only person in the world who'll love you unconditionally, I must take issue with you. Not in a mean-spirited way, but, just for the sake of discussion. And certainly not as an indictment of your mom! At all! But, some mothers aren't the all-loving, all-giving type. I learned this idea one time with I used the adjective "grandmotherly" to describe a character in some of my creative non-fiction. My professor asked me what I meant by the term. She noted that her grandmother hand bold red hair, hadn't cooked a day in her life and was about as nurturing as a concrete block. But, too, that her wildness was a huge attraction for my professor. So, "grandmotherly" to her meant something very different than what I was trying to portray.

    I would just offer that moms are like that, too. No two are alike. And there are folks out there that have gotten the shaft in the mom department. And that sucks balls, actually (well, not literally, but, you get my point). Anyway, I think what seems sure is that the LW's parents have created a wonderful, nurturing home and relationship. And, as you say, he needs to focus on that.

    Good cheer, criker! :-)

  53. Mermaid!?!?!? I can't believe you've just told us this? This changes everything! I can't...I can't... Well, I'm going to need at least nine months to think this over and sort it out... To think, all this time I thought you'd never stolen a thing in your life, and now to learn that you're a FELON! I'm just, I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with this... (sniff) :-(

  54. Hey Debbie! This is wonderful: The son has to move beyond all the visuals his brain undoubtably switches to in a moment's time upon pondering this new information about someone he now believes knows more about sex than he ever imagined, and he's got to figure out how to move past this.

    I think that says it all. As for women not working in porn if they plan to have children, how can they know? What if they're of the mind set that they NEVER want kids, but then, after many years, come to a place in their lives that they want kids more than ever? Perhaps you're right about one thing...never tell the kid! :-)

    Good cheer, Debbie!

  55. Okay, MM, I'm over it. Whew! That was way too long and I was in emotional pain the whole time. I apologize for losing it back there. I just, well, you shocked me is all and I had never thought of you in that way! But I'm okay with it now. Because, apparently I have that right. You know, to judge you. ;-)

    It is a great book, though, eh? ;-)

  56. What if they're of the mind set that they NEVER want kids, but then, after many years, come to a place in their lives that they want kids more than ever? Perhaps you're right about one thing...never tell the kid! :-)

    The answer to this question is... if they tell, they better enjoy their children to the fullest before this big secret comes out as it likely to be their last innocent moment with their child, adult or not, it has to have some impact on the relationship. I don't see a way around this.

    What this discussion brings to light is...there will be much to give thought to in order to move past this information.

    Smaggie and Miss Mermaid, for some odd reason I've not read A Thousand Dresses, maybe because I'm still getting over Little Black Sambo. It was free from a restaurant years ago about Sambo's tiger turning the sand to butter? I forget. But my goal is as always to Play Well With Other's...because sometimes, I fail. And now that I know I've never had the manual, well you see my new set of problems. ;o)

    And Smaggie, I am a visual person. If you tell me a joke I see it, when I read a story I see it. My brain shifts everything into a picture, so my first thought upon reading about the mom doing porn...oh no! No one wants a visual of their parents...well, maybe a few very quirky folks...but I'm hopin' and a'wish'in it's only a few.

    Where's Kati and Libby this week? Must be off cooking some cheesy bits again? I need bacon and scrambled eggs...been on my brain all day long, been months since I've smelled bacon. Yum.

    Happy Trails my friend's....

  57. Oh, Smaggie, my mom would like me if I was on Welfare, had more babies than I could handle, lived in a dump and had a boyfriend that treated me bad. Maybe add a drinking problem, a truck that didn't run and some Western tune to cap it all off, oh and a hole in my underwear! It's Cryin' Time Again...some old Buck Owen's tune for sure. I'd be worthy then.

    But I'm so'ooo not up for any of that. Not in my plan and I'm a girl with a plan!

  58. Okay, so I know this is late to the game, but with LW1, I kinda wonder if he's really wrestling with the concept of his mother being a (gasp!) sexual being rather than just his mother. It's really a shocking thing, and then to find out, to have it thrown in your face (in the LWs viewpoint), that mom was in porn is a level beyond what almost any teenager normally deals with.

    I walked in on my parents. Once. Maybe twice? And you know what? That image is stuck. It was one more thing to file away about my parents: that yes, they like sex too. I'm still trying to reconcile this in my head, and I don't have to worry that I'll ever see a copy of this image, a video of this act, or even walk in on it again. LW1 has to live with the idea that if he looks up older porn, cause what's funnier to watch than seventies porno, (yeah, we did it, what else do bored nukes do with their free time?) he may just run across his mom in there? Or, even if he isn't looking, he could still find it. Talk about scarring for life.

    But then, there's the idea that for most guys, while it's okay have a little fun watching porn, it's not okay for others to do it while watching *your* wife or mother or daughter. Because it's violating. It seems like something private has been taken away from him.

    It's all a bunch of crock, because his mother is, and was a sexual creature, and her image isn't his to control, nor are her actions, but it doesn't really change how a person feels about it...

  59. Captain, as far as I know, felony elementary school book stealing is a spankable offense. Just saying.

    Debbie ~ The storyline is that LBS went out walking in his brand-new clothes and 4 jealous tigers confronted him and demanded his new clothes. He gave something to each tiger so they wouldn't eat him. LBS then enticed the tigers to chase him around a tree, where they were reduced to a pool of melted butter ~ and LBS could reclaim the clothes he'd given them. People objected to the "darky" illustrations in the book and "sambo" was a derogatory slur.

    I encourage you to read "A Hundred Dresses", Debbie, you'll come away a changed person. Just don't go to Wasuma Elementary looking for it. I hear some low-life stole it years ago.

  60. Greetings Debbie! I must second MM's suggestion that you read "A Hundred Dresses". It's nothing like Sambo (which was a restaurant, too, by the way, "Sambo's", that served pancakes--among other things. I went there many times as a young boy growing up in the South). "A Hundred Dresses" is a classic and it *is* a manual about playing well with others. And I promise you it will both kick you in the gut (in a wonderful way), and open your tear ducts. Not that I'd ever admit to it having done that for me, but... ;-)

  61. Greetings, Michelle! And ahoy, Shipper! How in the hell are ya?

    I think you're absolutely right. It *is* a big thing, and it's not something that you can "unsee" or, in the LW's case, "unimagine". And I do get that. But, you're okay with your parents' sexuality, yeah? I mean, maybe not right at that moment when it happened, but, you lived through it, right? Here we have a LW who seems to be really having a hard time with it! Even after months and months. Now, maybe his choice of words was all wrong. But, when he said he was afraid of saying something that would "ruin" their relationship (!), that indicated to me some pretty darned strong feelings! So, here's hoping it all works out for him.

    Now, on the part about your post that you know got me as excited as a finally understanding Bremsstrahlung in Power School! You're a nuke?! Are you currently active? Past? Which ships? Spill the beans! And, could you have gone subs (had they allowed women then), would you have (and if you're a male, I apologize profusely for assuming)? Regardless, welcome! :-) Good cheer!

  62. MM, I agree. It *is* a spankable offense. And, I'm just the man for the job of handing out the punishment. Now we just need a sentencing hearing... ;-)

  63. SB1 - No offense taken. I agree with you that not all lady's who give birth qualify as moms. And as I typed that I knew it was open to interpretation. I just took the liberty of the assumption since we had the info that his mom does indeed seem to love him like a "mom"!

    I should have included dad's too.

    My thought was brought on by the media interviews with the moms of convicted criminals..especially those of horrifying crimes - it's always the mom saying "I still love him/her, that's my baby." That to me is unconditional lovin'!

    I do not contest your point at all. Matter of fact if you were to here my dad and I give our versions of his mom, you wouldn't know we were talking about the same lady! Her grandmotherly love was to be matched by no one...her mothering skills...well...??

    So I did not find your taking issue w/ me mean spirited...I love good discussions! This whole blog centered around LW1 has been the only thing keeping my gray matter going this week (so far) :) Here's hoping tomorrows Prudie bag is filled with equally thought provoking letters!!

  64. And Where's T AKA Herdthinner this week...
    Aw fer the love'a Mike I need new verbage to steal. Some steal library books and some just want to swipe a few good saying's.

    Thank's MM for filling me in on what I had forgotten about childhood reading, I'm not sure what I was to learn from LBS even now! So confusing these children's stories. I shall put A Thousand Dresses on my list.

    And now I realize that even though I've seen porn over the years that I've no idea how porn has changed over time? Porn 2010,now there's something to think about? Part's are the same, maybe it's a Lucus Production or IMAX? Can't imagine the sound has changed much, Dolby surround sound? (That would be too much) Hairstyles, oh, well it's all bed head though, maybe it's simply the music? Maybe it's as funny as watching old Lawrence Welk shows just because they are so very old?

    Guess I need to do some 2010 homework over the weekend, keep up to date and all that, you know current events, reference material for the next time this conversation arises. Educational material, yes, that's it! ;o)