http://www.slate.com/id/2253744/ (5/13/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There
Hey hidey ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? I hope that the week has treated you well? That perhaps you found the perfect pair of shoes (or two), or tried a new recipe that turned out just right, or maybe you’ve made excellent vacation plans? Or, maybe it was just a good week in general? I had a good week, but, let me tell you what, these letters have me going! Holy shit! Why? I’m not sure, specifically, but, let’s get to ‘em and see if we can figure it out...
LW#1: Dear Prudie, I work in an office where I have just a ton of free time, and, to make matters worse, my job is not very clearly defined. So, when you take those conditions, add in a new guy at the office who likes to sex up the affable but dim office slut, I find that I’m beside myself with the need to stir things up! How do I know they’re playing hide the kielbasa, you ask? Well, I’ve timed them when they retire to vacant spaces in our building. I’ve watched and timed them in parked cars, too. I’ve even formed a communication network to listen to the walls when the two of them sneak off, and “moans and sex noises” have been reported! Sex noises, Prudie! Everyone’s talking about it (I’ve made sure of that)! Plus, all of this sexy time makes all of us who aren’t getting any have to do more work to make up for the non-performance of the work assigned to the philanderers! I want to tell the new guy’s wife and toddler about the affair, and can do so discreetly, but other people tell me it’s none of my business. What should I do, Prudie, because I really want to tell her? As full disclosure, my dad left my mom when I was three and it caused all manner of drama, so I feel entitled to do this. Signed, I Have a Secret That I Don’t Want to Keep
Dear Fuck Stain: Listen up you loathsome, busy-body, nosey piece of shit. The people who say this is none of your fucking business? Well, they’re right. It’s none of your FUCKING business. At all. What in the hell is your major malfunction?! Do you know ANYTHING about the situation, other than that it drives you to distraction? Could you possibly be any more judgmental and ignorant? Prudie is off her fucking rocker and dead nuts wrong on this. Mind your own business, Nosey McGladys-Kravitz. Maybe if you bothered to do YOUR work, and “everyone” in the office bothered to do THEIR work, it would be painfully obvious to the supervisors WHOSE work wasn’t being done (if that’s even the case) and the problem would solve itself. But fuckin’ nooooooo! Instead you have decided to engage in your own personal version of reality TV, “Office Affairs and the Nosey Fuck Stain Gawker”. And now you want to enter into the action and tell this man’s wife, eh? You are like the product of a piece of shit unzipping its pants, squatting, and taking a shit, you know what I’m saying? You are a nosey busy-body who is trying desperately to justify his/her busy-bodyness. Why don’t you go off to the corner with some razor blades and some Drain-o and ruin your own life and leave alone other people? No wonder they keep bringing back shit-TV shows like “Jersey Shore Housewife Bachelors of the OC”. It’s fuckers like you with no life other than what you can pilfer by invading the lives of others. Oh, and that shit about your dad? It probably happened because some asshole went to your mom with some halfcocked story that he/she didn’t know a goddamned thing about, but was too nosey and too lazy to care. Asshole.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, I was promoted to a great new position about six months ago. Fortunately (or not), the person who previously held this position is still with the company and has been a wonderful help to me. She’s been very gracious in answering my questions and very forthcoming with help and information. Unfortunately, she recently worked a project behind my back and submitted it to my boss. It’s a project that I was tasked to do, not her, and yet her version of the project is the one my boss went with. How could she do this to me, the bitch? Why does she still think this is her job? Because it’s so not! What can I do? Signed, Stabbed in the Back Ten Ways ‘Til Sunday
Dear Stabbed, You’re barking up the wrong tree here, Chicky Doodle! First off, do you think your colleague just decided to work up a counter proposal, all on her own, just for the hell of it, you know, ‘cause she has nothing better to do with her time? Without even being asked?! It’s possible, I guess (maybe “Rock of Love XIV” was on rerun and she was bored?), but, if so, whose fault is it that her work was accepted, or even considered?! (Hint: not hers). Further, if she was asked to provide the proposal, whose fault is that? (Hint: still not hers, and, by the way, this is the scenario I suspect actually happened). Now, could she have told you she was working the project? Perhaps. Should she have told you? Probably. But, you don’t know anything about why she did it? She may have been specifically asked not say anything. Perhaps the boss wanted two very independent takes. Why is that a threat to you? And especially, why do you perceive it as a threat from your colleague versus from the person who truly deserves the hot poker up the ass for accepting her work in the first place?! (Final hint: that deserving ass belongs to your boss). Prudie is batting zero-for-two so far this week. Do not address your colleague, address your boss. If he didn’t want this woman’s work, he would have told her to pack sand if she submitted it unsolicited. You need to calmly ask him why he accepted two versions of the same project. He may say that he always does that! He may say that he was testing you. He may say all sorts of things. But it’s him who needs to do the saying, not your colleague.
LW#3: Dear Prudie, My fiancé is the greatest great that ever was great, but...we don’t have sex anymore. I mean, it’s like pretty much non-existent. He’s 34 years old, I’m 28, and I’m guessing it’s a libido thing? We’re getting married soon as there’s no way I’d leave him over this, but, I don’t know what to do! I’ve tried everything. He laughs when I wear sexy lingerie, he says he’ll try new things in bed, but we never seem to make it there. It’s affecting me, Prudie, as I don’t want to live this way, all sexless and frustrated. I think that, more than anything, it’s just a bad habit that we’ve fallen into--one that we can break. Can you help? Signed, Sexless in Seattle, or, Neglected Queen of Denial
Dear Platonic, you are pretty good at that whole denial thing, aren’t’cha? Look, there are all sorts of things that could be going on here, and you haven’t given us enough information to know which, but, this ain’t some “bad habit” you two have gotten into. And it’s not some Johnny-come-lately change in libido. Maybe he’s cheating? Maybe he’s way too into porn? Maybe he’s got something physically going on (there could be all sorts of things!)? Perhaps he’s drinking way too much? Maybe you’ve changed? Weight gain? Loss? Emotional of physical swings? Or maybe he’s changed and doesn’t feel comfortable being that vulnerable? Perhaps he struggling with his sexuality? Or, maybe you guys had a lot of sex in the beginning (everyone does) and then it leveled out to his normal pace, but you just didn’t notice right away and what he sees as normal you see as way too little? Not everyone has sex once-a-day or even once-per-week. Even some perfectly normal and happy couples are this way! Whatever it is, though, it’s clearly a problem. And though it might be uncomfortable to talk about, you’re going to have to do just that. But whatever you do, DO NOT get married with this issue looming. Just don’t. You have to stop this wedding until this issue is solved because this is not something that’s going way. And the longer you ignore it, the more frustrated and uncomfortable you’re going to become. Sex is often thought of as the most important need in humans past food and shelter. And if your need for it and his need for it are hopelessly out of whack, it’s going to be a struggle from the get go. You two need to get to the bottom of this issue. And solve it and figure out if you can be together. Before (or in lieu of) getting married. I mean, you sign off as “neglected”. What could be more telling?
LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m graduating college in a few weeks and I have a number of obnoxious, asshole relatives who are coming cross-country to attend. They were not invited and yet are attending anyway, presuming my mother will pay for their expenses (which she cannot afford). They’re rude and mean-spirited. They say things about me, my weight, our house, the dog. They’re just assholes, Prudie. They stress out my mom to no end and I’m just not looking forward to this. At all. What can I do? Signed, Matriculation Trepidation
Dear Matriculate, Here is one of those rare opportunities that I love so much in life! You have a situation that’s about to occur that you know will unfold in an unsavory way if you continue to act as you have in the past. You’ve got a rare glimpse into the future! And you can change it! Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And he’s right (what, would you question Einstein?!). Look, you’re an adult. You are heading out on your own. You’re now a college graduate. It’s time to take the next big step and stand up for yourself. You can’t prevent your mom from being a doormat if that’s what she’s going to be, but you can prevent yourself from being one. I would suggest several tactics, the first being that if you have not invited someone to an event (graduation, wedding, etc.), ensure they don’t have tickets, directions, or even a location to go to! If it’s general admission and if they find out on their own, there’s not much you can do, but, otherwise, it’s easy. You say, “I’m sorry that you made plans without asking first, Grandma, but I only have tickets for Mom and Sis.” If she asks why, you say, “Again, Grandma, I’m sorry that YOU made plans without first consulting with me, but, there aren’t enough tickets and the ones I have, I’m giving to Mom and Sis.” No matter what, do not apologize. Notice how in my quotes, there was no apology, only regret over asshole behavior? Further, if they do come and say anything rude to you, don’t pussy-foot around! Never again! Say, “Grandma, I know that you treat my mom poorly, and step all over her, but I am not my mom and I will no longer be treated that way by you. If you have nothing nice to say to me, don’t say it. Ever again. Rest assured that from this day forward I will treat you with the same respect that you show me.” And mean it. Then turn your back on her and leave. Yes, she’ll go bitch to your mom. Your mom has a choice, too, you know? But you can’t make it for her. You can only control yourself. And you, starting today, can decide that you aren’t going to take it anymore. You don’t ever have to be rude, just resolute. You with me? Good! Now, go enjoy your graduation, head held high! You’ve earned it.
Well, Shippers, that’s it! I want to thank you for the great Anniversary Edition letters that I’ve received. There’s still a day left if you’re wanting to send one in for answers! But, after Friday night, I’m going to have to stop accepting new ones. Then, next Thursday, along with the first Prudie Edition of Year 2, I’ll publish the Anniversary Edition of Reader Letters, with answers. I’m excited! There are some good ones in there! Anyway, ‘til next week, Shippers, fair winds and following seas to you all! Cheers!