http://www.slate.com/id/2258009/ (6/24/10) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There
Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? All here is wonderful! The sun is in full bloom and burning bright, but, not too, too hot. Sort of like the perfect mixture of light and heat, you know? And while I know these perfect conditions can’t last, I’m certainly enjoying them while they do! I hope that all’s well with you, too, Shippers! They clearly aren’t so well with the letter writers, though, eh? So, with that in mind, let’s get crackin’, shall we? But, before we do, I have a special bit of code for hrumpole that I find truly amazing: two days, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-7, 59-59. Wow!
LW#1: Dear Prudie, We have a strange form of employee recognition at my company. Whenever someone does something great (like a big sale, new client, etc.), they’re made to get up in front of everyone (we all gather in the lobby) and dance. Yes, dance! And this is purportedly for recognition, Prudie!? I’ve only been here for three months and I’ve been made to dance three times already. I’d much rather receive some time off, or a gift card, or, well, just about anything. And, fact is, it’s making me strive for mediocrity out of fear of being made to dance. What can I do? Signed, Yes, You Can Put Baby In A Corner!
Dear Baby, What a strange place you work! It sounds like you deal with high pressure sales with and extra side of slime. And while that’s so not my scene (and sounds as if it may not be yours), I understand that there are some people out there who thrive on that shit! I know, right? The way I see it, you have two choices: start looking for new work, or, if you think he/she will hear you and appropriately act on your concerns, talk to a trusted supervisor and tell them that you’re epically uncomfortable with dancing in front of everyone, and, that you fear of it's actually affecting your job performance. Either way, in the meantime, watch "Napoleon Dynamite". He’ll show you how to get your groove on in front of the whole office, even while maintaining your dignity. Mostly.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, I have the bestest, most greatest boyfriend in the whole world...but, he sometimes gets angry and takes out his frustration on inanimate objects. And Prudie, here’s the kicker. It’s over stupid, little stuff! Like, for example, he nearly destroyed a desk of ours because the computer was running too slow. While I don’t have a single fear that he’ll harm me (I really don’t), I do worry and am frightened when he acts like this. Because the threat is never toward me, is this something I can ask him to curb? When we’ve talked about it in the past, he says he can’t control it. That he sort of just blacks out with rage. What should I do? Signed, I Sometime Feel Like Cowering In A Corner
Dear Cowering, You may be amazed with what I’m about to say, but, what your boyfriend is going through is relatively normal (for a late teen, early twenty-something male). Not necessarily the breaking of things, but the white-hot, crazy, non-specific rage. Some people deal with it better than others, obviously. But, what’s not acceptable, ever, is the random destruction of your belongings. That’s a lack of respect for you and your things. So, what you point out to him is that if he wants to act like a Neanderthal and not learn to better control his emotions (which he can, and soon will), he’d better fucking learn not to break anything that belongs to you because you will not put up with it. Replacing it isn’t good enough because, frankly, some things just aren’t replaceable, and, fact is, you don’t want to replace your things. You want them intact. Make sure that he understands that it’s a matter of respect for you and that you’re dead serious about this issue. Let him know that it’s a deal breaker for you. Unlike Prudie, I’m not jumping to fear of your future kids seeing this behavior, I’ll just ask you how you’ll feel if he breaks your grandmother’s porcelain doll collection, you know, by uncontrollable blind “accident”. You deserve respect and that isn’t expressed only by him deigning not to hit you. Your property and peace of mind are also important to your emotional wellbeing.
LW#3: Dear Prudie, My dad had a stroke about a year ago. Prior to that, he was fully-engaged, functional and energetic. And though he still has all mental and speech faculties, he has been physically damaged beyond repair and requires 24/7 medical care. Two months ago, my mom died. This has been devastating, obviously, and, what’s worse, my siblings and I have found out that her death was avoidable! She was misdiagnosed and mistreated. Two of my siblings want to tell my dad about this error, two of us want to keep it from him, knowing what he’s already been through in such a short time. What should we do? Signed, Hard Choices Are Painting Me Into A Corner
Dear Choice Maker, There is no question. You must tell him. Yes, he has had a really shitty year. Yes, the news will upset him. Yes, it will likely put him into a hell of a funk. But let me be 100% perfectly clear. Finding out randomly that it was kept from him--perhaps from a stranger?! That news will devastate him, shake his trust in you, and fortify fears that he’s already grappling with that he’s a burden on you and your siblings. Do the right thing. And do not wait. This is more important than you can possibly imagine and I’ll chalk up your indecision on you and your siblings having been under a lot of stress this year, too. It’s clear your hearts are in the right place. Hang in there.
LW#4: Dear Prudie, Last weekend, my boyfriend and I hosted a small party. Our friend “John” was one of our guests. All went well. Well, the next day, I saw on some girl’s FaceBook page that she had scabies and that she’d gotten it at a friend’s house while sleeping in their guest bed--with John!!! I’m mortified and pissed beyond rage that John would come to our house with scabies! I want to drop him as a friend, and out him FaceBook via a letter to all of our mutual friends. What should I do? Signed, I Think John Needs To Go Stand In The Corner
Dear Thinker, I wonder how trustworthy this information is that you got? Did it say, “John and I got scabies”? Or, did it say, “I got the scabies when John and I slept together”? Or, did it (most likely) say, “John is an insensitive jerk face who broke up with me, and, oh, yeah, by the way, he gave me the scabies! Yeah, that’s the ticket!” Thing is, you don’t know shit. You have no clue, actually, unless there was a scanned, dated medical report stating that John had the guest riders. And, even if he did have scabies, what’s to say they weren’t already treated by party time? You can get prescription medication for that shit, you know? And, in less than a week, with just two applications, they’re gone. So, I’d suggest calming your ass down and taking care of your own business. There are all sorts of things you can do to greatly reduce your risk of getting infected if they are in your house. So do them. And quit being such an idiot. Oh, and, you know, if you want to drop John as a friend, just drop him. Manufactured scabies indignation and FaceBook letter bombs are like hanging a sign around your neck that says, “Get involved with me and you’ll be on a one-way ride into the danger zone! Enter at own risk!”
And that, Shippers, is that. I hope that you’re all having a wonderful day, week and month. What are you summer plans? What have you already done that was fun and exciting? Do tell! Fair winds and following seas to you all.