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, July 29, 2010

...on Bountiful Brows and Butt-Hurt Brides (7/29/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? It is a fine one, too! I learned yesterday, completely by accident, that my favorite non-intentionally funny movie “Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon” is being remade! Maybe. With Samual L. Jackson in the previously seminal role of “Sho’Nuff”, the terribly mean bad guy in the flick. "Am I the meanest?!"  "Sho'Nuff!"  "Am I the baddest?!"  "Sho'Nuff!"  I don’t know who’ll play the good guy lead, (Bruce) Leroy, but, whoever it is, I must see it. The original is too wonderfully bad not to watch any attempts at topping it! My cinematic meanderings aside, though, we’ve got letters today! So, without further ado, let’s get crackin’!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, my seven-year-old daughter is butt ugly. Fortunately, it’s only her horribly disfigured eyebrows that are causing this. To say they’re overgrown is like saying the Amazon Rain Forest has a couple of nice trees. Prudie, I’m pretty sure my daughter is related to Sasquatch. I’d like to think that I’m all enlightened and all about inner beauty and other bullshit like that, but, I’m not Prudie. Fact is, I want to laser that hairy shit off of her face this very instant. If there’s plastic surgery available to remove the hair-growing uni-brow portion of her forehead skin, I want her to have it! And I don't care who knows it!  Prudie, I have nightmares about her eyebrow hair growing around my throat and choking me. What can I do? Signed, Natural Eyebrows are for Ugly People

Dear Nature Lover. What are your limits? If her boobs don’t come in fast enough or full enough for you, will you encourage surgery? Not to “DD” cups. Of course not. You’re not that shallow. But a nice oversized “C” should do, yeah? Yeah. What about her ass? I hear that implants are all the rage. Look, I realize that a little hair removal isn’t plastic surgery, but your daughter is seven-fucking-years-old. Chill out. I know, why don't you strive to just be aware of your daughter’s anxieties and help her navigate them once they occur, instead of, you know, being the cause of them. If you do that, maybe when she’s ready, and asks, you can take her to have her brows done. Until then, why don’t you practice encouraging her self-worth rather than undermining it.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I’m getting married soon and my fiancé and I want to honor our families by having them walk down the aisle ahead of us. My family is bigger than my fiancé’s, and this has caused a problem. I want eight people to walk down the aisle for me, he wants four to walk for him. This has caused his butt to hurt and he wants me to drop four people, or he wants to be able to add friends to his side. I’m flabbergasted that he’s being such a selfish prick. I want my people and I don’t want him adding random people just because. What can I do? Signed, I am Not A Bridezilla

Dear Yes.You.Are. And your hubby-to-be is, too. WTF is up with you two, over? So, he wants you to drop some people. That hurts your butt. He then childishly says, “Fine, if you don’t want to drop your siblings, I’ll add some of my beer buds!” This hurts your butt, too. You sure are a couple of butt-hurt individuals, aren’t you? Holy fuck. So, you can’t figure this out, huh? What if, you know, your families walked all intermingled down the aisle so that no one had to know whose were whose? What if, you know, you didn’t play a game of one-upmanship with each other like you’re both in pre-school and just accepted that you’re honoring your fucking families here, not playing who has the bigger penis? Oh, I know! What if you two decided that your wedding is not a Broadway musical and just acknowledge everyone by simply inviting them to what is bound to be a torturous ceremony? Jesus Christ, how are you honoring them if you can’t even figure out who to include in your “walk of honor”? There’s no honor there, that’s just narcissism and petty bullshit.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I raised two children as a single parent. By choice. I now realize how completely and totally wrong I was. Children need two parents, no matter what! I had to work seven jobs and beg on the streets in order to give my kids everything that their peers had. After my kids grew up and moved out, I married a wonderful man who had a teen daughter. Like with my children, we gave her everything we possibly could (see how much better having two parents is?!). Now, years later, with the economy being what it is, we’re in the poor house. We have no retirement savings and yet our kids all have jobs and live well (as far as we know). Prudie, they never offer to treat us to dinner (not even on our birthdays) nor ask how we’re doing financially. This pisses me off to no end. What can I do? Signed, Hurt Mom

Dear Hurt. You imply that you were a terrible parent while singly raising your two children. Somehow, that implies that you’ve improved now that you’re married. News flash: you’ve not improved. At all. You still equate materialism and spending money on someone with actually loving them. Until you figure out that the two aren’t related, you’ll continue to be disappointed. And let me tell you something else: marital status has nothing to do with child rearing capability. Neither does race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or age. Nope, you jackass, love, respect and understanding are the most important things. Oh-for-three on that front, eh Skipper? Sorry to hear that. Hey, at least now you’re married.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m a bargain hunter and sometimes find great coupons that allow me to eat at restaurants that I could not otherwise afford. Is it cheap or tacky to use such coupons on a date--especially a first date or early dates? Signed, At Least I Didn’t Buy My Teenagers New Cars Like A Jackass

Dear Mr. Frugal. No, it’s not cheap. It’s wise. Is it tacky, though? That depends. Are you stiffing the waiter, or treating him/her poorly? Are you pretending to be able to afford the restaurant in order to impress your date, hoping beyond hope they won’t see the coupon or order from certain areas of the menu? Or, are you treating the wait staff appropriately, being decent and honest and good to your date (and encouraging her/him to order whatever he/she wants) and hoping the two of you enjoy a night out you couldn’t otherwise afford? If you don’t want your date to know you’re paying with a coupon, either don’t go to that restaurant or don’t go out with that person. It ain’t rocket science.

Well, there you have it, Shippers! Another week of bad advice! Tune in to the comment section (below), where you might see Tarky say, “Smaggie, another week like this and I’m going to personally submit your name to the NSA for a full body cavity search!” Good cheer, all. Fair winds, following seas and good travels to you all! It is summer, afterall!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

...on Emotional Abuse, Manipulation, and Putting On Adult Undies (7/22/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? I hope that the day finds you happy and appropriately air-conditioned (more on that in a bit). I’m all atwitter about my recent travels, some upcoming travels, and, just with being alive! It’s summer! The sun is out, the days are long, and, life is good. I apologize for my lack of commentary in last week’s comment section. I was laden with so viel Schnitzel and die Arbeiten, and, I hope to never let it happen again. That said, and in the interest of time, let’s get crackin’, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie. My husband of less than a year was recently laid off. He’s trying to start a home business, and, as I work at home half the week myself, we’ve seen a lot more of each other. This has sucked balls for me, Prudie, as I find that he’s a total dick. He yells at me about not unloading the dishwasher, or, for not folding clothes, etc. He punches the walls. He’s taken to insulting my intelligence, and insulting me, but, when I bring up with him how much this hurts me, he says that he can’t be held accountable for my faults (Smag note: holy fucking shit, over?!). Prudie, I’m not going to divorce him, but, what should I do? Signed, Two Steps Down the Three-Step Path to Complete Emotional Servitude

Dear Already a Victim. Get out. There are so many red flags here that it’s not worth going into anything other than you getting out. Right. Now. Tell Mr. Fuck Stain Coward Asshole that hitting walls and throwing things as a surrogate to hitting you or throwing things at you is not an acceptable alternative. Tell him that you will not be made to live that way. That you will not accept his projecting his shortcomings and fears onto you. Tell him that you are leaving. Staying is eroding your self worth, whether you can see it yet or not. Do not let it continue! Later, when you look back at this time in your life, you’ll be amazed at how you let it get this far! This man is emotionally abusing you, blaming you for it, and you’re already so beaten down that you’re actually rationalizing it! Let me ask you, how many of your friends has he alienated you from? How much does your family come ‘round (or how often do you go to see them)? Please seek help or at least gain education on emotional abuse. You’re already well down the path to being completely controlled and until you realize it, there’s not much help to be offered here. Please seek help as I don’t want you to disappear.

(Smag note: I could have snarkily abused the hell out of this woman for being so dense as to stay in this situation, but, clearly she’s getting enough of that already, and my piling on would, ironically, only serve to reinforce what hubby is saying, which, of course, is a bunch of abusive bullshit and the opposite of true. Challenge me on this and I’ll bring out the double barrel snark gun on you. This behavior is not healthy and I will not entertain discussion that it’s anything but emotional abuse.)

LW#2: Dear Prudie. I’m in my mid-twenties and recently engaged to the bestest most wonderfulest man that ever lived in the entire world. Sadly, though, if I tell him that I once tried to kill myself, I’m afraid that he’ll leave. Because, even though I’m entirely over my suicide attempt (I am, Prudie, honest!), I fear that I’m not worthy of this great and wonderful and awesome man, you know, considering my suicide attempt. The one that I’m honestly over. And if he left, Prudie, I’d just die! So, my question is, do I tell him? Signed, Not Dead Yet

Dear Not Yet Dead. He’s so great for you that life couldn’t be any more of a fairy tale, yeah? Yet, you’re afraid that if you tell him, he’ll leave? How much abuse of your self worth have you taken in your life that you think this situation is okay? Listen, I’m with Prudie. I have a feeling that if you’re open and honest, your betrothed will be just fine. He may have some questions, some concerns, but, if you’ve been honest with us, and are honest with him, I’m sure it’ll be okay. And, as Prudie says, if it’s not, then he wasn’t the man for you to start with! Normally, I would advocate not even telling him something about your past that is so personal, but this is something that could affect the future, your children, your family together. This isn’t a past sexual partner. This is a lifetime concern. You are under obligation to be honest and open. If he’s everything you say he is, it likely won’t be an issue, but you owe it to him to be upfront and brutally honest about this.  You both deserve for the entire truth to be told here.

LW#3: Dear Prudie. My cubicle is located in a bad place in my office. People congregate just off of my desk’s port bow, laughing, joking, shooting the breeze. One associate was actually unconsciously tapping my desk lamp the other day as he dispensed his verbal diarrhea to the group! Prudie, the biggest problem is that one of the chief offenders is my boss! I don’t want to seem like a killjoy, so I just put on earphones and avoid eye contact when they come ‘round. I’ve considered, as a deterrent to the congregating around my desk, no longer using deodorant or performing dental hygiene, but I’ve just never been the granola-eating, pubic hair-braiding type. Short of that, what can I do? Signed, That Shit Makes Me Batshit Crazy

Dear Batshit, I know this will sound like I’m toying with you, but, I promise, I’m not. Not much, anyway. Why don’t you say, “Hey guys, I’m not trying to sound like a killjoy, and, I really don’t want to have to learn to fart (although I’m willing), so, would you please walk a few paces on down the row? No, farther. Farther. Farther you fucking assholes! There! That’s perfect!” See? Easy, eh? You could also take the less direct path of just calmly talking to your supervisor, who I’m sure isn’t a complete idiot, or, even taking the initiative and arranging an area that’s away from your desk that would be even more suitable. Perhaps put some chairs there. Some plants. A tabloid, some magazines, etc. Call it a “Break Room”. It’ll be great! Above all, though, I want you to look into the mirror and repeat this mantra with me, “I’m a likely-intelligent adult. I can put on my big person undies, use my big person words and solve simple problems like this with relative ease. Why, I can even go to the potty by myself! Yay, me!”

LW#4: Dear Prudie. I have a friend who’s very concerned about the environment. I am, too, but maybe not as much as my friend. We both recycle, buy products with minimal packaging, and drive hybrids (when we’re not walking or using public transit, of course!), but, when it’s the summer, I like to use the A/C. I sometimes set it as low as 85˚F. My friend doesn’t use it at all, and so, whenever my friend comes over to my house, I turn off the A/C so as not to offend. However, my friend knows that I use it and constantly harps at me for my selfish, boorish behavior. What can I do? Signed, My Friend Is A Meany Pants

Dear Your Friend is an Asshole. Hey, guess what? Your friend is an asshole, fuck stain, rude, shit bag, hot air-making, sociopath. Tell your “friend” that “friends” don’t dictate the behaviors of other friends. “Friends” don’t harp, bitch, whine or moan when they’re in someone else’s house. “Friends” don’t manipulate. They accept us for who we are, not for who they’d like us to be. “Friends” aren’t assholes. Your “friend”? Assholus Primus Dicktatus. If this person has so little respect for you, what can you possibly be gaining from the relationship? Further, doesn’t your “friend” know that all of that bitching only leads to global warming (and, by the way, that air your “friend” is breathing is a valuable resource that the environment could be using)? I suggest asking your friend to start breathing at about 50% less. It’s the green thing to do.

Well, Shippers, that’s about it! I hate that I had to hold back the snark on the first two LWs, but damn, it’s amazing how emotionally messed up we can allow ourselves to get. And how the relationships we’re in when in those situations can seem so normal when we’re in them! So, I didn’t want to add any fuel, you know? Anyway, here’s hoping you’re all having a fabulously wonderful week! Good cheer, fair winds and following seas to you all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

...on Masturbators and Manipulators (7/15/2010) <---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 well. I’m writing to you from Heidelberg, Germany, home of so much lovely goodness that I won’t even start to list it (although I’d terribly remiss if I didn’t mention the schnitzel)! But don’t get me wrong! There’s all sorts of lovely goodness in the states, too! I’m not defecting! Not even if they offered me whipped honey butter and their lovely warm brotchen buns! Unfortunately, due to Internet access issues and time constraints, I’m going to have to keep this very brief, but even still, I hope to keep the snark-to-Smag ratio at the proper levels. And so, with that in mind, let’s get crackin’!

LW#1: Dear Prudie. I have the bestest life and the bestest boyfriend in the whole wide world. We have sex one or two times per day, my boyfriend and I, but...I recently found him stroking the schnitzel while watching porn. I confronted him about it and he claimed that it’s just that he likes big boobs and would like for me to get bigger boobs. I’m very proud of my body, Prudie, honest! And I want my daughter to be proud of hers, but...I’m considering getting augmentation to please my boyfriend. What do you think? Signed, I May Have A Nice Body, But I’m Dumb As A Brick

Dear Brick. No, you should not get breasts augmented. Brain augmentation? Yes. Easily manipulatable personality replacement? Yepper! Look, I don’t know why the guy was wanking the kleinewurst, but you can bet that it’s not your lack of boobs. You are in serious, serious, serious trouble if you’re planning on augmenting your body to please the capricious whims of this or any man. But hey, since you seem so eager, how about you come over here and clean my car for me? It’s the only reason I look at new car ads. Honest!

LW#2: Dear Prudie. My husband and I are in our 50s. We live in the same town as his parents, who are in their 80s. That’s freakin’ old, Prudie, in case you’re wondering! They’re nice people, but they insist on coming with us on all of our vacations. I’m talking calling every night begging to go until we acquiesce. It’s terrible! I can’t take it. To make matters worse, my husband’s siblings are all capable, able-bodied people who just happen to live out of town, so, the responsibility of taking care of their folks never falls to them. Always to us. Am I selfish to be pissed about this Prudie? Is it okay to want to go on vacation without the folks? Signed, Tired of Being a Parent to my Husband’s Parents

Dear Parent. Nope, you’re not selfish or rude. But you are being a big ol’ pussy. If you guys don’t want to play vacation tour guides anymore, you need only say that. You can also helpfully point out that the other siblings would be happy to see them. Then, take the parents to the airport and send them to see one set of the other siblings while you take your own vacation. Then rotate siblings each vacation. Every once in awhile, take the parents with you when you go. If they balk at this excellent idea (either the parents or the siblings), just tell them to fuck off. See? Easy!

LW#3: Dear Prudie. I work in social services. I’ve been a recovering bi-polar-holic for ten years now. I tell everyone that I meet about my condition because I’m an honest person, but, a new intern who has way more education than I have, and who intimidates the hell out of me, says nasty things to me when we disagree and then she dismisses my points of view by saying, “Well, you’re bi-polar.” I’m well past allowing such a thing to upset me, Prudie (obviously), but it just might send a non-recovering bi-polar person over the edge into the danger zone of suicide. What should I do about this woman? Signed, Really, Honestly, Truthfully Over My Bi-Polarism

Dear Liar. No, you’re not over your bi-polarism. Worse, you feel the need to tell everyone you meet, even the fucking INTERN, that you are?! What the fuck, over?! You need to reel that shit in, Happy McPeppy! Personal shit like that is for your bestest friends and for your therapist. NOT the intern, or the guy on the buss, or your manicurist. Okay? But, in this case, it’s too late, so, what do you? Next time that little fucking twat says that to you, you need to have an epic fucking meltdown of monumental proportions right there in the office. Just fall on the floor, let the tears flow and agree with her, screaming “Oh my god, I know. I’m so terrible! You’re always telling me how wrong I am, how terrible I am and you’re right! You’re always telling me how stupid I am and how I don’t know anything and how weak and selfish I am for working here and how nobody likes me! And you’re right! You’re riii-iiii-iiii-iiight! Oh please help me, Ms. Intern With The Master’s Degree! Please help me get better!” Then, let snot and drool run all down her back as you hold onto her for dear life in a deep hug. Then, when you sense her getting truly, truly uncomfortable, straighten up, wipe your nose in her hair and say, “Ah, thank you. All better now.” Then walk out of the room and wink at your boss. It’ll be epic.

LW#4: Dear Prudie. My stepbrother died last week. My sister asked me to get flowers from our side of the family. Because I’m a former florist, a master gardener, and, have a kick ass floral garden, I made up an incredible but tasteful arrangement and delivered it to the funeral home. My brother asked me what he owed me and when I said, “Nothing, I made the arrangement myself.”, my sister came unglued, made a scene at the funeral, calling me cheap and tactless, and, has sided with our step-sisters in shunning me (except when they call to tell me what a cheap whore I am). What should I do? Signed, So Not A Cheap Whore

Dear Master Gardner (how does one earn this title?--ah, never mind). I’d block their phone numbers. And, what in the FUCK is the meaning of “our side of the family”. So, like, the step side is one side and the non-step side is another side. And each was obligated to buy a round of flowers? You’re One Big Happy, except when your sister gets her bitch on? Fuck that, fuck your sister, fuck your dumbass step sisters. Fuck ‘em all! Block the numbers and don’t even give it a second thought. Honest. For reals. Life’s too short. I mean, what an appropriate time to learn and embrace that fact, you know?

Well Shippers, that’s it. Good cheer, fair winds and following seas to you all. And to all, a good night! I’ll be coming to you live and in-person next week from my normal perch atop the conning tower. Good cheer!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

...on Stupid Drunken Puking Interns, Among Others (7-08-2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey-hidey-ho, Shippers! How in the hell are you on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! Holy smokes, what a humdinger bunch of letters we’ve got here! I mean, I’m so excited about all the good stuff in store, I may just have to excuse myself! ;-) Okay, maybe not that excited. But still! So, how is everyone? How’s your week been? Your summer? I hope that you’re all enjoying yourselves to the fullest! And, here’s hoping these letters help in that pursuit (they did for me)! So, without further ado, let’s get crackin’!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I just landed a dream internship in the entertainment industry! Yay for me! On my first day, we had a fabulous project and even had an after party in a bar! Well, I got entirely shit-faced slobbery drunk and wound up back at my boss’ house. When we got there, he repeatedly tried to kiss me! I have no idea why, as I thought he was gay, but, that’s irrelevant, because I then puked on his rug. He took care of me, let me sleep it off on his couch, and even apologized the next day and asked me not to quit. My question is, due to all of this crazy harassment, should I quit? Sue him? Take him down in a blaze of legal glory and then take his job (I am talented)? I mean, this is a pretty heavy issue, Prudie, and I don’t reckon he should get a free pass! What say you? Signed, Trying Hard to (Never) Work in the Entertainment Industry

Dear Dumbass Idiot Knucklehead. So, let me get this straight? You got drunk. At a work party. You then let a boss drive you to his house (what, too drunk to operate your arm to hail a cab)? You then puked in his living room? All of this, and you’re wondering if he was out of line and if you ought to somehow hold him responsible for harassment?! Let me clue you in, you fucking dimwitted, asinine, air-brained, not-taking-responsibility-for-your-own-actions, blaming-others-for-your-shortcomings, foolish ass-wipe. How fucking dare you?! Don’t you realize that there are people out there who are victims of actual harassment? The real kind, you fucking twat? Do you realize that EVERY SINGLE BIT of what happened to you that night was your fault, other than your boss trying to kiss you, which, by the way, dipshit, he didn’t manage to do?!  Yet, somehow, you’ve overlooked EVERY SINGLE BIT of your shitty behavior?! Fine, he tried to kiss you. Boo-fucking-hoo. Let’s put that on Side A of our scales of justice, shall we? Now let’s pile your crimes on Side B? Got so drunk you puked yourself? Check.  Then unwittingly found yourself at your boss’ house, puking in his living room? Check and check.  Blaming others for your behavior instead of understanding who was at fault for where you found yourself? Yep, check.  So, hmmm, given all that, sure, you have an excellent case! Isn’t it obvious?! Please do try to nail this guy for “harassment”. Why not?  And please, oh please, make sure you film it.  I’ve asked this of LWs in the past and they never do it. Which is a shame.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, when my son was five years old, he wanted a very expensive gaming system. My husband and I told him he’d have to save for it himself. And you know what, Prudie?! He did! He holed away every penny of his birthday, Christmas and other special money until he’d saved up over half the cash! My husband and I were so impressed with his frugality that we chipped in the other half. Fast forward two years. My husband’s uncle really liked my son’s gaming system and offered to buy it for nearly two-thirds its original price (on weekly increments of $20). My son saw this as a great way to buy the latest system and eagerly agreed. Well, even though his payments were erratic, the uncle made most of the payments and my son bought the new system. But, after losing his job, the uncle has not made the last $20 payment. It’s been months, Prudie. I find this behavior reprehensible! How can I make the uncle pay what he owes my fucking son?! Signed, Trying Hard Not to Shred Someone’s Face

Dear Tightwad. Do you want me to vindicate your feelings? Okay. Yes, the uncle sucks, I guess (does he even know he owes the last payment?  Could it be he just forgot to carry the two?  Or maybe you did?). So yepper, he sucks.  About twenty whole dollar's worth of suck. There. Happy? Now, let’s talk about the lessons your son can learn from this whole soap opera. This is a great way for him to learn that even people who should do better sometimes don’t. And that there are all sorts of reasons for it. Some excusable, some not. You know what else he can learn about people? That some are assholes who dwell on petty slights and some move on and tackle the next big challenge. Just sayin’. I wonder if your husband is pissed about this, or if he has already chalked this up to “Uncle Ed being Uncle Ed”? My guess is that he has because I’m guessing you’re not the font of knowledge and wisdom from whence your son gets his good graces. Why don’t you take a page from them both and move on? It’ll do your stress levels some good. But hey, if you need the drama, take that new game system from your son and tell him that until he collects that $20, he doesn’t deserve the system! Tell him that you’re only doing this to teach him responsibility so that he doesn’t end up like Uncle Ed. And please film it, if you do? Please?

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I’m a successful, powerful, Armani suit-wearing executive. I’m also gay. That last fact has never really mattered in my group of co-workers, but recently a group of us was talking about two straight female celebrities kissing on an awards show. While most everyone agreed that it was just a stunt, one woman, with whom I’ve always been close, went on and on about how disgusted she was by that “trash” and how there were kids watching! She ranted about it, Prudie! As you might imagine, I took this a little personally. Since then, she’s apologized and said her comments “weren’t aimed at me.” I’ve accepted her apology, but I’m still pretty miffed about it. It’s hurt our close relationship and she can tell that something’s up, even asking me if I’m still mad. I don’t want this to have an impact our personal relationship, but, how can I put this behind me? Signed, Out and Proud, but also Pretty Pissed

Dear Pissed. Dude, you just got a look into this woman’s true self. Perhaps your first one ever. Had the TV couple been hetero, but they just so happened to be black and white, and had the “stunt” been them kissing, how would your black colleagues react to such words from this woman? Her lame-assed efforts at damage control aside, you’ve described this woman’s words as having been “ranted”, making you “uncomfortable” and “bothered”, belying a tone of “disgust toward gay people”. And you’re wondering how to put this behind you? Here’s what I’d do. I’d tell her exactly how her words felt! I’d tell her exactly how you took them, and, how her excuse that the comment wasn’t “aimed” at you is a fucking, goddamned cop out! If she’s a bigot, she’s a bigot. And all the “oh, I didn’t mean you” in the world isn’t going to change that. If all she was talking about was the kissing, and the gender of those kissing was irrelevant to her, that’d be one thing. But I’m thinking you’re intelligent enough to know and sense the difference, and I’m not going to insult you by insinuating that you missed those cues. Listen, there’s not enough time in the world for people like this. I’d put this behind you by putting her behind you! And if you do, and, you know, if you want, please film it.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, my younger sister is pregnant with her first. She’s going fucking batshit crazy, Prudie! She’s registered for two stores. No, not at two stores (although that’s true), but for two stores’ worth of baby stuff. She’s insane! Prudie, she’s having four baby showers. I think it makes her look greedy, crazy and über materialistic. I believe that she’s embarrassing herself. What can I do or say without upsetting her? Signed, Excited But Ashamed Auntie

Dear Auntie. Thank you for a sane letter. Well, relatively-speaking. Look, you are forgetting what registries are for. They’re for listing stuff that you want. They’re not for, “Hey, you guys need to buy me every item on this list or I’ll cry!” It’s like, if I have a choice between two versions of a thing and I register for one, it’s just showing you my preference between the two. It doesn’t mean you have to buy it! It’s a wish list! And that’s okay. And, too, if you think back to before your first little one, you’ll remember how nuts you were with all of the expectations of how great you’d be at parenting, how you’d never pick up a pacifier off the floor and lick it clean before putting it back in baby’s mouth (hell, you probably thought you’d never even use a pacifier!). Now you know that you don’t even have to lick ‘em, just wipe ‘em off on your pants and call it good. But your sister is in the first-time-parents mode. So have a little sympathy. But, as for the four showers, that is a bit crazy. However, it’s also none of your business. The only person in this world that you can control is you. So, buy her a nice present, attend a shower or two (whatever you want), and enjoy yourself. If she asks for advice, give it. Without judgment. If you see she’s doing something stupid (like buying a toddler bed before even giving birth), you can offer that she might better-spend her money elsewhere and how that bed isn’t going to be used for quite awhile. But not in a judgmental way. Only as the voice of experience. Make sure to check yourself for jealousy at all turns and bite your tongue more than you use it. I’m sure everything will be fine by the time the new bundle of joy is out of diapers. It always works out in the end. Honest! Hang in there, okay? Most new parents are a little nuts, it’s just that they’re usually not your sister. Here’s betting you were a little nuts in your sister’s eyes! Hell, we recently had two new dads here who, in their new-parent exuberance, were going to go sans diapers...

Alrighty there, Shippers, that about does it! I’m off for Germany tomorrow for work, so next week’s column will be coming to you straight from the Mother Land (provided you’re of German descent). It’s okay, though, as they have ‘net connections there in Europe. Honest! Fair winds and following seas to you, Shippers! And many happy returns...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

...on Weddings, Litigators and Sisters (7/01/10) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? I have to say, as late as Prudie’s column was published today, I wasn’t sure if we were going to get one! Imagine my relief when I saw it! A week’s worth of built-up snark is a dangerous thing, Shippers! I had a wonderful week leading up to this one. I hope you all did, too! But, since we’re running late, let’s dispense with the pleasantries and get crackin’ on the letters, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m 35 years old and in a great relationship with a great woman. Life is great! We’re at that stage in our relationship where I’m starting to seriously think about settling down, buying a pet, starting a family, taking up gardening, and maybe even starting to wear tweed jackets. Isn’t that awesome?! Everything would be perfect except for one problem. I was a sperm donor in college and I’m afraid my potential fiancée would be upset if someone were to ever show up at the door claiming that I’m his/her father. I’m inexplicably torn about what to do here, Prudie. Tell my fiancée, or keep mum. Can you help me? Signed, More in the Loins than in the Brain

Dear Loins, I guess that I’m not sure why you’re writing? I mean, do you even realize what most people’s secrets are? Yours is like kindergarten fodder when compared to the ex-stripper, ten-time abortion-having, former-drug-using, eight cheerleading team-screwing, experimented with homosexual sex in college, masturbated to little people porn, golden shower-liking, ex-hooker (or hooker ex-purchaser) pasts of other people. Just tell her already, dude. Fuck! If you’re honestly sweating over revealing this to her, then I’ve got news for you. She ain’t all that great. Or, you’re stupid. One of the two. Or both.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I’m an experienced litigator with a problem. I’ve just become a partner at a great firm, but, in meeting new clients, my appearance seems to be an issue. I’m a petite, feminine-looking blond woman who tries to play down her femininity by dressing as neutrally as possible (including bland makeup, not doing my hair and binding my titties). But male clients sometimes say things like, “Wow, you don’t look all that mean. Are you sure you can, you know, hang with the big dogs?” Women clients never say things of this type. Prudie, I have to admit, it pisses me right off. I’m a fucking great litigator, and if they can’t see past my dainty exterior, fuck them! What should I do? Signed, My Eyes Are Up Here, Assholes

Dear Eyes, I guess I’m not sure why you’re writing? I mean, you say that you’re an experienced litigator, right? You even protest that you’re a good courtroom lawyer. Yet you can’t figure out that you’re being bullied by a bunch of knuckle dragging fuck stains? Holy shit, what does it take to become a partner, just a bubble gum wrapper diploma? Grow some balls, Woman! First off, what’s with this anti feminine-looking bullshit you’re trying to pull off?! Professional women can embrace their femininity without looking like they’re ready to jump into the sack or looking like they need a sack, you know? You’re being fucked by the man in the way you carry yourself and in the way your perceive yourself. Stop it! Why don’t you try actually believing the bullshit you’re selling and be confident enough in your ability that some asshole throw away comment won’t shake you from that belief. If someone ever tells me that I don’t look like I can do my job because I don't look bookish enough or nice enough to get the data I need (I work in a pretty female-dominated field), I’d laugh at them. Honestly. Not out of hubris, mind you, just out of actual, honest certain and unflappable faith that I really am good at my job. If you are, and if you believe it, these little comments will not make you uncomfortable, they’ll only display for you what assholes you have for clients. Here’s hoping they become fewer and farther between.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, my older daughter is getting her ears pierced for her birthday. She’ll be ten. Our other daughter, who’s six, was very excited about the news and said that she wanted to come and watch the procedure, to which my oldest daughter snottily replied, “No, you heinous brat, I don’t want you there! I hate you and wish you’d never been born!” This outburst made me quite angry. To the point that I was going to force the eldest to apologize and have her little sister along or else there would be no piercings! I want to force them to get along, Prudie, because I think that sisters should get along. They’re sisters, god damnit! Plus, I was a younger sister and my older sister used to piss me off something fierce. My husband, who’s an older brother, thinks we ought to acquiesce. He says the oldest is always being made to play with the youngest and sometimes it just plain sucks to always have to drag them along to everything. What should we do, Prudie? I’m so confused that I can barely function. Signed, Two Kids, Four Un-pierced Ears, and Loads of Pain

Dear Pained, I do know why you’re writing. You’re an idiot. Now that you’re both adults, do you get along with your evil older sister who never wanted to do anything with you as you two were growing up? And are you still holding resentment from childhood? Think it’s time to let that go? Holy smokes, how hard is this? How many solutions are there to this problem? It’s not a hard one and if you can rub two brain cells together and quit making it such a huge dramatic reenactment of your own childhoods, you and your husband could figure it out in no time. But, since you seem to be struggling mightily, here is how a non-challenged parent would handle it. First of all, you can’t accept mean girl behavior. So, older sister does need to apologize, sincerely, or else lose the privilege of having her ears pierced. Second, younger sister needs to be told that when she’s ten, she can have her ears pierced “like a big girl”, but, since this is a special thing, it’ll be just mommy and daughter time for you and the elder, just like, when it’s her turn, you and she (the younger) will go together. Daddy can hang out with the younger having some ice cream or playing video games or running around making fun of female lawyers. It’s okay if the girls separated every once in awhile. Push them together like you are and it’s only natural they’ll get pissy. You think it’s difficult now? Keep up the vicarious sister bonding via the younger daughter and see just how nasty it’ll get.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, my cousin “Bill” is getting married next month to his fianceé, “Jane”. Due to the short courtship and their living out of state, most of the family hasn’t yet met Jane. Upon learning of the good news, my older sister, “Bitchy McDumbassedbitchmeister”, wrote Jane a note introducing herself and in it asked Jane to change the wedding date (as my sister had other plans on that day). Jane declined the request to change dates and Bitchy’s feelings got hurt. Bitchy then did her bitchy thing and bitched about Jane’s petty meanness to anyone and everyone who’d listen. As a result, Jane decided to not send Bitchy an invitation to the wedding (I mean, Bitchy did say she already had plans, right?). So now, several family members aren’t going to attend the wedding because Bitchy was somehow uninvited by Jane. How can I fix this, Prudie? Signed, Stuck in the Middle Again

Dear Stuck, I’m going to make this short and sweet. Your sister is an unbelieeeeeeeevable asshole. She is a bitch of highest order. She is the kind of person who’d feign an illness at someone’s wedding in order to have the attention on her instead of on the wedding party. Your family, at least the members who aren’t coming to the wedding due to this power play, are idiots, too. All of them. And finally, you are an idiot for even entering into this! What the hell are you doing? Is this any of your business? At all? Nope! Not even slightly. What you need to do is find a nice dress, go to the wedding, have a great time, tell Jane how wonderful she looks, and, congratulate your cousin. If anyone brings up your sister, you say, “I’m sorry, but, I have no idea how any of that went down and I don’t care to know or discuss it.” Then don't. Here’s the thing, Stuck in the Middle, you’re only stuck there because you’ve put yourself there. Your family is way dysfunctional and you’re all, to a person, enabling bad behavior. If you stay out of other people’s shit storms, you won’t be all covered in shit, now will you? Amazing how that works. If you decide to take this advice (which you won’t), you’ll be amazed at how nice it feels to be clean.

Well Shippers, that’s about it! It’s raining here. Hurricane Alex. What a perfect time to snuggle up on the couch, sip some coffee and read a book. Or watch a movie. Or two. Trust me, you won’t regret it. ‘Til next week, then, fair winds and following seas to ya, Shippers!