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 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!


  1. "you'll be amazed at how nice it feels to be clean."

    Snark level spectacular this week!

  2. "If someone ever told me that I don’t look like I can do my job (in a pretty female-dominated field), I’d laugh at them."
    Local news teleprompter reader? Pharmaceutical sales rep? Autoshow car leaner? Hooters waitress?

  3. Holy Jon Benet Ramsay, Batman! (Not really applicable, but I did rather want to say that.)

    I wonder which of the three is most likely:

    a. Susie was a little rhymes with witch.
    b. Jasmine cried on purpose, knowing the effect.
    c. Mums completely pushed her own buttons and both girls would have forgotten the controversy five minutes after it happened.

    Talk about unreliable witnesses!

    You seem to be a smidgeon kinder than these LWs deserved, but who can pay this sorry lot the consideration of expending the energy to give them what they deserve? You should have people send in the questions from your anniversary column. Even the toilet paper one would have been better.

    Oh, and I think you would make a superb member of the Hooters waitstaff, and, if they refused to hire you, you should engage LW2 as your lawyer and sue them. It's the American Way.

  4. Boy, Samggy - we read that first letter exactly alike, eh? What kind of Wilbur Milquetoast pansy-ass punk worries about yanking off a few ounces of man-mustard for the needy to buy beer and weed in college?

    If I'd known I could have been paid for it, I'd have never left the facility.

  5. Hey Libby! Mucho thank you! :-) And much good cheer! ;-)

  6. hbc, actually, I work for a local news station as the pharmaceutical expert (because of my history in pharma sales), and, I moonlight at both Hooters and auto shows (I have some pretty impressive gams). How'd you know? ;-)

  7. Holy Jon Benet Ramsay, Batman! I love it, hrumpole! Greetings! :-)

    As for the query, while there's definitely some of "c" going on, I'd say that "a" was the dominant motivator in this altercation. Not to say that "b" is unlikely or even uncommon, just that I remember several times when my younger brother wanted to do things with me or like me (even ordering what I ordered at McDonald's, which, for some reason, at age 6 or 7, just really pissed me off!). So, in this case only, I vote for a heaping helping of "a" fostered tremendously after the fact by a constant supply of "c". ;-)

    I appreciate the vote of confidence regarding my Hooter's credentials, hrumpole! As you can see from my reply above, my legs get me in the door, my charm does the rest. ;-)

    Good cheer! :-)

  8. Schuyler, we may have *read* the first letter alike, but we sure as hell didn't respond in the same way. I am shamed. With one sentence, good Sir, you have wiped the ground with me: "You should not think about your 'long-term future' with this woman, because it is possible you could pollute the human species further with your sperm, causing countless more idiot offspring and destroying the entire planet in a violently horrible tsunami of goddamn fucking stupid people." And that was only a small portion of the grandness! Folks, do yourself a favor and go see "Room to Swing a Cat". I found myself laughing out loud, alone. That's the very definition of good shit, right there. :-)

    As for the donor facility, Schuyler, I didn't care if I got paid or not. ;-) Of course, after awhile, they started to get pissed with me for using up all of their Dixie cups...

    Good cheer! :-)

  9. Doesn't it get just a tiny bit depressing when the answer to every question is, "Grow the fuck up, you flaming, feculent, putrid bowl of boiling pus!"?

  10. Hey Messy! It does. That's why I make up new names for everyone. That way I can say, "Grow up, Bitchy McBitchmeister!" Or whatever. :-) Plus, I also get to steal words from friends, like "fucktard". ;-)

    Good cheer! :-)

  11. It's mothers like 'pained' that made me never EVER be unhappy that I was an only child!

    However, I do have TONS (and I am not kidding) of cousins...and guess what? I made it to some of their weddings, some I didn't, some made it to mine, some didn't, some I didn't even invite! Yet we managed that w/o causing a family crisis! I know...AMAZING right?!

    Spot on today Captain...I know you couldn't see my head nodding in agreement & hear my chuckles..but that's what I was doing reading your post!!

    Have a wonderful (and hopefully long) weekend in the lagoon!

  12. That Pained mother is such a mess. There's a world o' difference between a nine year old and a six year old, in the first place, and will continue to be till those girls are in their twenties. To boot, how about imagining for a second that they also have unique innate personalities--enforced twinning in the name of The Perfect Family is idiotic.
    The mother's Fantasy Family comes at a high cost to her actual family.

    She reminds me of the lady who took the choices her older daughter made about her wedding as Sacred Family Tradition, and when the younger one had some other ideas, they practically had to have an intervention. ((Another blog, not a prudie letter.))

    Besides, it's wicked unfair to a younger child to try and include her in all the big kid does. (If the older sib is a whiz on the piano, don't set the younger up to never be as good; start her on the violin.)
    All this overcompensation is bad for both kids, annoying the older into the overreaction that prompted this letter, and confusing the younger about what's age-appropriate, and giving her too much power. And I say that as a younger kid, who's still bitter (kidding) about that earlier bedtime.

    Gee, didn't know I felt so strongly.
    Happy Fireworks, y'all.

  13. I've just had one of my Ingenious Brain Waves - SB1, you might have missed the Vital Clue.

    I was going to opine that it probably depends on the father, about whom we have only indirect testimony. The one thing we can tell for sure is that Jasmine has Mums wrapped around her little finger. Now Mums is perfectly capable of pushing her own buttons into creating a Major Life Issue for the girls, and Susie might be so frustrated that she genuinely acts out. But if Jasmine has any sort of IQ at all, she knows if she's in control of the family (through her control of Mums) and she knows how to play Mums like a grand piano.

    The Vital Clue? You need not look beyond Mums' choices of alias. The eldER (if I am to yield at last to the general understanding that she has only two daughters, despite her own testimony to the existence of a third - maybe the result of an egg donation?) she calls "Susie", a relatively plain name and somewhat uninspiring, the sort of name that one might find in old reading books for six-year-olds. But what does she call the youngest daughter? "Jasmine" - a DISNEY PRINCESS!!!!! How much more five star favouritism can one mother show than to give her preferred daughter an alias borrowed from a Disney Princess? Now if that is not the best possible proof that Susie is correct in her complaint about Mums favouring Jasmine, I'll take Hilda to the Scales of Justice Ball and even ask her to dance.

  14. Aaaaaahhh, look who's got his mojo back! G'day Smagsteroo, good to see you back on track!

    Have a great long weekend, I hope you're having at least one fried thing on a stick with your beer ;^)

  15. Ahoy, clhriker! I'm with you. I have a whole herd of cousins. Some of us have made it to some of our weddings. Some others to others, etc. We do what we can. We all love each other in our own ways, but, I can't imagine any of us EVER asking another's fiancée or fiancé to change their wedding date (especially via FaceBook, in a letter of introduction no less)!!! Wowsers, that's balls right there!!! :-)

    Thank you for the kind words and much good cheer to you for a great weekend! :-)

  16. Ahoy, Cantahamster! Wow, you do feel strongly about it, but, that's a good thing! :-) See, Lagoon therapy is free, safe, and best of all, you're among friends. :-) I understand, though, agree whole-heartedly. Some people just lose their minds when it comes to kids...others when it comes to weddings! ;-)

    Good cheer and happy holiday! :-)

  17. hrumpole, you are a genius! Of course you knew that, but, wow, that *is* telling, isn't it?! Thing is, I have to put the lion's share of the blame on the mom. The younger is only six, after all. And while six-year-olds can be crafty and manipulative, I've not met one yet that can match wits with an adult who's worth a damn. So, there's that. But, too, I have to say that my immediate reaction at six, upon learning an older (or younger) sibling was going to get to do something cool would have been "Can I come, too? Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh?" So, I can't fault the younger girl/princess. ;-)

    It's a shame, though, because I would have paid good money to see you dance with Hilda! :-)

    Good cheer, hrumpole! And my you have an wonderful, enjoyable weekend of tennis and fireworks (in no particular order)! ;-)

  18. G'day, 'Roo! Thank you for helping me find my voice again! See, sometimes I *do* need a smack in the head with the rolled up magazine! ;-) I was getting too soft on these buggers. But, too, this was an excellent batch of letters! :-)

    Good cheer to you, and have a great weekend and wonderful holiday! ;-)

  19. Ahoy there Captain Submariner! Does your submarine spew forth a jet of water like a whale? In that case and in all others, stay away from the Gulf Coast as well as the coast of Nigeria and a few other places --it's just too ugly down there for a cute submarine like yours!

    Ah what's in a name?! “Bitchy McDumbassedbitchmeister” says it all! Who ever heard of a cousin asking for a change of wedding date? "Jane" is much better off celebrating her wedding without her and, as you so judicially noted, her disfunctional family (it seems that it's so often forgotten that it takes two to get married just as it's even more often forgotten that it takes two to get pregnant....)

    As for the sisters, everyone should have a special day on their birthday, particularly if what they want is the ear piercing trauma... the older sister could then tell the younger one it didn't hurt at all, so that when the younger sister's turn will come, she wont know what hit her... (I speak from experience... ouch!).

    On the main, I agree with Messy. All the letters merit the exact same response, but if they actually did get that response, we'd lose our entertainment...

  20. Hello, Kati! Greetings!

    I'm absolutely keeping the submarine away from The Gulf. Unless, of course, I can be allowed to aid in the plugging of the broken well. In that capacity, I'm willing to get the submarine quite dirty. Anything for the Greater Good.

    Agreed on Messy's observation. She is sharp, but, what fun would there be if we solved all of the LWs' problems so efficiently. ;-)

    Good cheer, Kati! :-)

  21. Sure, HillWalker, or jizz, wad, load, spunk, or, if we're sticking with the Schuyler-inspired condiment theme, man-yonnaise! ;-)

    I just made up that last one on the the spot. (Ha, "on the spot", get it?! As in, wet.) :-P

  22. Yeah, I know what it is, just never heard it called that before. I must say, I'm diggin' the condiment theme -- man-yonnaise! :-D
    Reading these posts is great for improving vocabulary.

  23. Oh, Hill, was quite sure that you knew, but, there was no way I was gonna pass up that lede! Sadly, I left out "spooge", but, I guess that's okay as I made up a new one... :-)

  24. MM?! Is that you, Love?! Diving Buddy, it's been weeks since you've graced us with your lovely presence! How are you? How've you been? Have you been taking the LWs out to the deep and drowning them (in kindness, of course)? ;-) It's wonderful to see you, and I'm so glad that you appreciated my condiment pun! Missing you (as I'm sure everyone here was)! :-)

  25. Smackdown! Love the snark factor this week!:P
    LW2- I agree the way she presents herself (little makeup, plain clothes, etc) is not helping. I'm also a young female trial atty (and if I'm not being too bragadocious, am kinda smokin' too) and I work that shit for everything it's worth. To be clear, I'm not talking about heaving cleavage and tiny skirts but I dress and groom to make myself look as attractive as poss...why? Who do you think the jury would rather look at for 4 hrs? Who do you think the judges would rather have a cocktail with at a party? She needs to embrace her femininity, not try to hide it and go on the defensive, and she probably wouldn't get so many comments. But agreed, she's got to grow a thicker skin.
    And Smag, I think you would make a great Hooters girl:)

  26. Greetings, my Captain! I've missed you dreadfully too, Dearest ~ but as you know, things under the waves have not been good of late and it's vexing Mermaid greatly ~ my friends in the Gulf suffer more as each day passes and less appears to be being done...

    JayJay, your comment perfectly illustrates the point I've been swimming back here all week to make ~ I think the LW has completely pulled the wool over a great many people's eyes with this little act of hers. What this letter is ~ is a brag letter. It's saying "Look at me, I'm a young hot but not too slutty trial attorney and I've just been made partner in a great big law firm and all the boys like me and all the girls hate me and even though I'm super super smart, all everyone wants to do all day is sit around and talk about how little and cute I am! Oh woe is me, what's a girl to do?"

    This person has made a career out of getting attention for being petite and cute ~ so she wrote in to Prudie to get some more attention for being petite and cute. And everyone who has given her advice like "You just march your cute little self over and don't take take that crap because you're too smart for that" has bought into her ploy. But I can't fault anyone ~ it's clear that none of you have any experience in dealing WITH MY LITTLE SISTER.

    I'm just saying.

    JayJay, seriously, I've worked in the legal field for a long time, too, so I'll ask you. How many "experienced litigators" do you know who would really have this problem for a nanosecond longer than they really wanted to? Exactly!

    Oh, and Smagsicle, I'm also with Jay on another issue ~ In fact, I can think of two very good reasons you'd make an excellent Hooters girl.

    I promise I shan't stay away from the Lagoon, and you, for so long ever again, Diving Buddy. You needn't have worried ~ you've always known just how to lure your Mermaid Home again... ;)

  27. Ahoy, JayJay! No, you're not being bragadocious at all! That was my whole point! She needs to work it!

    As for Hooters, how do you know that I'm *not* a Hooters waitress right now? ;-) Ain't the Internet a wonderful thing!

    Cheers, JayJay! :-)

  28. Ahoy, MM! Now *that's* more like it! That's the good stuff! :-P

    MM, I'm sorry to hear about your little sister! Now I'm so glad that all of those times that I've wanted to ask you, "So, do you have a twin sister?" just to fulfill my two-mermaid fetish, that I didn't! Whew! That could have landed me in a whole lake-full of hot water, eh? :-)

    I will take your word for this woman's motivations, but, I'm going to stand by my advice if only because she hasn't sent me any pictures of her fine, but needy self. As such, I'm going to believe in the power of the Internet and that she's an attractive, but purposefully dressing down woman just oh-so-embarrassed about her natural charm and good looks...damn, I can't even type it without smiling. Okay, you win this time, MM! :-) But I'll see through LW's ruse next time and call her out! Honest I will!

    Good cheer, MM! :-)