From a Submariner's Perspective is a weekly column, written in response to the letters sent in to advice columnist "Prudie" at Slate.com. Each week, The Submariner responds to the letter writers in a way that Slate.com 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 smagboy1@gmail.com 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

http://www.slate.com/id/2261488/ (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 fiancĂ© and I want to honor our families by having them walk down the aisle ahead of us. My family is bigger than my fiancĂ©’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!

32 comments:

  1. Feh! Not bad advice! In fact it made me smile real loudly! =-D

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  2. It's a good week when there's a wedding letter on DP. The only thing better then unloading on bridez- and groomz-to-be is, I dunno, a full body cavity search.

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  3. Great answers! With LW4 I think it is a good test for character. Whip that coupon out and check the reaction. A look of horror and shame means you may have a spendthrift/ and or possible golddigger on your hands. Admiration means a fellow frugal person. You can then proceed accordingly.

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  4. A coupon or gift certificate is actually a great way to ask a person out if you're a little shy about it, because it gives you a perfect icebreaker. "Hey, I just got this awesome book of McDonald's gift certificates for my bat mitzvah. Wanna go?" Then, it's already out in the open, so it's not a big awkward issue when it's time to pay. At least that's how I used to do it back in the day... bought myself a whole case of them for just such occasions. Somebody should tell that butt-ugly unibrow kid about it, because if she wants to ever date, she's definitely gonna need a hook. ;)

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  5. Amy, that's what I thought, too. Personally, I would be excited if someone said to me, "Hey, I found a great deal on this fancy restaurant, want to go enjoy it with me?" But then, I am usually the one paying for dates.

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  6. Hey, Libby! Glad for the loud smile, but I don't make the rules, Tarky does. ;-)

    Good cheer!

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  7. Hey Schuyler! Oh yes, the joys and good times of a full body cavity search. Nothing quite like it, I always say! :-)

    Good cheer! :-)

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  8. Ahoy, Jaimie! Well, I wouldn't want to spring it on anyone as a test (personally, anyway), but, I'm all for mentioning it ahead of time, or, as you say, just paying with it as I would pay normally. If the date doesn't call back, perhaps that's why. Either way, good food, eh? :-)

    Good cheer!

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  9. Ahoy, Amy! I agree. It's a great ice breaker, and, mentioned ahead of time like that, I can't see it being an issue. If it is, like many people have said, that's one of those famous red flags! :-)

    As for unibrow kid, don't worry. She's gonna be lasered perfectly smooth by the time she can drive, there's not doubt about it.

    Good cheer!

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  10. Hey, Rachel! I love going to nice restaurants, too. So I'd be excited as well. And hell, so long as you tip appropriately, etc., everyone's happy, right? Win-win! :-)

    Good cheer! :-)

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  11. Hello, Mr. Smags!
    Right, right, right, and right--
    I do have a couple of further words for LW3, by your gracious leave--
    Here's what's Not Going to Work:
    1) Blaming or resenting other people for mistakes you made, that were all yours to make. Train Go Sorry, lady. Own it.
    2) Whining, moping, or feeling sorry for yourself on them, because others aren't correctly guessing how to make you feel good. Not only can they not read your mind, it's probably not their job to make you happy.
    3) Guilting/bullying/hinting your grown offspring into giving you stuff. You can't ask for presents now any more than you could when you were six. Officially, you don't even know it's your birthday.

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  12. herd"T"hinner's not-a-unibrow finally delurks:

    Smagnificent Seven, I implore you to at some point quote Monty Python with "what a senseless waste of human life." And this week I greatly missed the vulgar poetry that only you can produce. You know, the "shit-for-brains, monkey poop-flinging jackass fuckheads" lyrics that you've mastered. But if you're taking a break, that's cool, too.

    LW1 - My mother's version of a compliment to me when I was growing up was, "You could be so pretty if...(unwanted beauty advice)". Actually, forget the "growing up" part. She still does stuff like that. But much less often.

    So, DP's comments section had a bunch of confessions from chicks who insisted that "all" women shape their brows. Like those dating articles assuming that all women not only have any amount of makeup at home, but wear it, too! And that all chicks shave their legs!

    That said, I do get long chin hairs; those annoy. Thing is, I pluck if I have access to one of those lighted, Hubble-strength makeup mirrors, but I never bought one for myself. So sometimes I think, "Fuck it!" and use the razor that should be for my legs, juuust along the edge of the chin. Let's read THAT one in the chick articles some time, hm? huh? hm? huh? hmhuhhmhuhhmhuhhmhuhhmhuh?

    By the way, only one person has ever said anything at all to me about my having chin hairs. Can you guess? Go ooooooon

    LW2 - herd"T"hinner is grateful that she hasn't attended a wedding in almost 20 years now. She is. The best weddings are short ones. The first one I remember attending was a Catholic one, and I couldn't figure out why It Wouldn't Stop, Ever. I thought ALL weddings were like this. Almost made me vow never to get married (that wasn't until many years later).

    Anyway, make it a family football game down the aisle. Dad can go long, Mom can do a Hail Mary pass... Hail Mary pass! See? Cuz--- you know, wedding, and church, and, um...

    Anyway, Dad can throw to the bride, who battles her way to the altar for a TOUCHDOWN! IT'S GOOOOOOOOOOOD!


    LW3 - "Mrs. Salt, I'm calling about your daughter Veruca. She was trying to steal a golden goose, see, and some squirrel's nuts, and, um..."

    LW4 - My BFF and I have a tradition. When either or both of us is out of work, and then gets a job, we have to treat each other to lunch or dinner. When my time came, I did this. Very simple. Then she came on hard times, and then good times, and treated me to lunch at Vinny Testa's... using not one, but TWO $10 coupons... WHICH I HAD GIVEN TO HER.

    That's a BFF, I tell ya!

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  13. Drive, heck! She'll be lasered clean before she gets her first pubic hair!

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  14. Anyone currently harboring doubts pertaining to the urgent necessity of lasering off unsightly facial hair need look no further than Smagboy's world-famous, or should that be infamous, 'goatee' beard, the traditional expression in hair form of a communist or biker-gang mentality.
    A more egregious affront to public decency can scarcely be imagined by a civilized mind, an outrage analogous with NSA mind-rape or a bucket of poo in your postbox.

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  15. Ahoy, Cantahamster! Yes, yes and yes! Excellent additions, all. :-)

    Good cheer and a wonderful weekend!

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  16. Ahoy, "T"! My, you are in fine form this week! Your observations about your mom and her beauty tips are perfect. And fit in nicely with I imagined to the potential path down which our well-intentioned LW is heading. I think our young wedding planners would do well to heed your advice. At least then, if a fight about "team" size did break out, it'd seem all part of the performance! As for LW's 3 and 4, you nailed them, too. Wonderful stuff, all.

    I will absolutely consider your "what a senseless waste of human life" quote suggestion. Please hold me to that.

    May your weekend in the land of the mouse be wondrous and full of magic! Cheers!

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  17. Ahoy, CoolOne. Yepper, I fear that is the path laid out for her. We can only hope that cooler heads will prevail.

    Good cheer! :-)

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  18. Tarky, I will consider it a moral victory (however small) that you haven't yet alerted the NSA to my well-intentioned, but less-well executed goatee. Perhaps a day will come when it will fill in? If not, I've been pondering Hair Club for Men. Time will tell... ;-)

    Good cheer and a wonderful weekend! ;-)

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  19. Ahoy Smag! Excellent answers this week, perfect for the sunny weather. (Temps over 70 all week! Yay!)

    As for LW4, I have to say, someone would have to be a rude MF to think their date is cheap for paying for their meal with a gift certificate. If I'm getting my food for free, it doesn't matter how the other person pays. That simple. The true cheapskates manage to get you to pay for every meal you share, or only take you to cheap places and suggest going dutch. (Which I don't mind. At all. I'm a little tightfisted with the cash myself. Trips out of country don't pay for themselves, donchaknow.)

    Then again, I'm the type of woman to ensnare men using my cooking skills. Having someone over for dinner makes me ecstatically happy, just as much as being asked to dinner at some fancy restaurant. So maybe I'm a cheap man's dream girl. *shrugs*

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  20. "Signed, At Least I Didn’t Buy My Teenagers New Cars Like A Jackass". Heh-heh. Love it.
    OMG Smag, I don't think even Samuel L. could make the redo any better than the original. I mean, off the chain. If any of y'all haven't seen this you really need to tune in to your local cable station at 3 a.m. sometime. Unbelievably. Awesome.
    Ciao:)
    J

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  21. asking for a "friend"July 30, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    LOL - LW#4 reminds me of my dating past:

    past GF - "Can we go somewhere once that doesn't serve food on trays?"

    people are so picky!

    side note - here's a taunt that U will appreciate:

    Well, well, well. If it ain't the serious, elusive Smagboy. I've been waiting a long time for this, Smagboy. I am sick of hearing these bullshit Superman stories about the - Wassah! - legendary Smagboy catching etiquette bullets with his teeth. Catches etiquette bullets with his teeth? Emily Yoffe please.

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  22. Ahoy, Corey! Well, maybe you're a cheap man's dream girl, but you may also be most any man's dream girl. I mean, who wouldn't appreciate someone who's not a nutball weirdo about coupons?! :-)

    I'm amazed at all of the comments on The Fray about how people would "hide" the thing, etc. I'm thinking, like you, "Hell, if it means a good meal and we're not being butt heads about it, what's the big deal?"

    Good cheer, Corey! :-)

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  23. JayJay, I don't reckon SLJ could, but, to see him say, "Who's the meanest?" and to allow me to look at him and yell back at him "Sho'Nuff!"? That would be priceless. Of course, at that point, they'd probably come and escourt me out of the theater, but still. :-)

    When it does come out, we all need to meet up and see it. With cheese sticks! Everyone in?

    Cheers, JayJay! :-)

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  24. Oh, damn, "asking", you've just Sho-Nuffed me "Last Dragon" style! Did you do the hair thing when you said it, where you pulled back your hair on each sad like a total bad ass?! :-) Hell yeah!

    And in case any of you have any questions about whom we're talking:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnsg0jDbHk4

    Be respectful! :-)

    Good cheer, "asking"! :-)

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  25. Smaggy, it's true! You do write sheer poetry --not to mention sheer advice that LWs better listen to --but they wont 'cause they are xxx and xxx and xxx(you fill in the x's 'cause you've got a better vocabulary than I do, and I'm trying to reform so as not to be the one teaching my granddaughter to speak Saxon. I'm supposed to let her daycare buddies do this....

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  26. The Last Dragon.

    {{sigh}}

    Good times.

    I also miss "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." Julius Carry was in fine form there, too!

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  27. Ahoy, Kati. If you will continue to teach us all with your incredible, wonderful, wise and beautiful words and descriptions and observations on life, I will happily continue to fill in the the blanks for our LWs. ;-) Thank you for your kinds words and for always so graciously sharing your talent!

    Good cheer to you, Kati, and plenty of it! :-)

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  28. I don't know "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.", "T"! I'll have to look them up! As for BGTLD, here's hoping that more good times are in store for us with Samuel L., and a great supporting cast! :-)

    Cheers! :-)

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  29. Smag, darling! Sorry I've been so late with the responses to everyone, but there you go. I'm just waiting out a rain storm so I can hit the pool right now....

    As to LW1, I have to say that I would put the hair removal thing on the same level as braces for the kid's teeth or pinning back badly protruding ears. That is, if Mom can afford it, better to do the lasering early rather than later. Seven is a little early, but in a couple of years, I see no issue with permanent hair removal.

    There are people thinking that the unibrow thing is not so bad, but I know a couple of women who had dark facial hair and went through the agonies of the damned over it until they went for laser treatments. Try waxing your whole face, just once. We're talking dark hair on fair skin and it is screamingly obvious and VERY unnattractive.

    I noticed the extreme nastiness of a certain "flagrant disregard" over in The Other Place, and so called it out. Such insults! Yours are so much better.

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  30. Ahoy, Auntie, and good cheer to you! Thank you for taking time away from the pool to visit. Tea is always more complete and sincerely enjoyable when you do!

    While I agree that the procedure may be on the same "level" as braces or ear pinning, braces can be a health issue and a necessity in certain cases. However, for braces that are more for cosmetic fixes, as well as ear-pinning, I would suggest that those, too (in addition to laser hair removal) are issues better suited for when the child asks and is ready to undertake them. Waiting a few years will not hurt the child, nor will it affect the outcome.

    A child put into braces for cosmetic reasons will likely already be a tween to teen as it is desirous to have most permanent teeth in and no baby teeth. As for ear pinning, I have no experience with it and have noticed that it's served well many a celebrity (Opie Cunningham coming immediately to mind), so, in that, too, I would say it's better to let the child come to the parent with the desire than the other way 'round.

    And, while this issue may simply be a matter of taste, I think it's a good rule of thumb that any permanent change to a person's body for non-health reasons should come with at least the suggestion and desire of the person who owns the body in question (without being cajoled by an overly beauty-conscious mother, Jean Benet Ramsey-style).

    Good cheer and happy sunning, Auntie! Please have a drink with tiny umbrella in it for me! :-)

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  31. Ahoy there, my Captain!

    Well, I've waited until almost the end of the week, so I'll say it. I guess I'm the only one who doesn't think the overgenerous mom and her boyfriend ever got married. My impression is that they were in agreement to spoil their children, but I didn't get any indication they ever got married, or even cohabitated until the girls were grown. The only thing we know for sure is the says they had to sell "their" home, which indicates cohabitation, but not necessarily marriage. She doesn't ever refer to him as the girls' stepfather. But you know what? Your advice was super-cool anyway, so I won't dink you too hard for it, okay? ;)

    As for BGTLD ~ I believe I already expect you to somehow make it up to me for the 9 minutes and 37 seconds of my life that I LOST looking at that youtube "ultimate" fight scene ~ frankly, I saw a better slapfest between Krystal and Alexis in the fountain ~ so all Mermaid can divine is that if she is to be expected to sit through the remake ~ Samuel L. Jackson notwithstanding ~ that she is definitely going to require a strong enticement far and above the jumbo buttered popcorn AND Junior Mints this time!!

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  32. MM! Ahoy, my lovely Diving Buddy! How are you? How's the water? Clearly up any down there? I've been concerned--I've been running the water purifiers on the submarine here at top notch speed to keep the lagoon water all clean and clear for you!

    In re-reading the letter, I can see what you mean about the woman and her male friend not being married, and you may be correct. I'm not sure that I agree that they lived apart, though! She says of the two of them about their mutual daughters, "I met a wonderful guy who had an older child of his own. The two of us continued the ridiculous cycle of giving them everything they wanted..." That to mean indicates a joining of finances. That likely isn't synonymous with living apart. But, perhaps I'm reading too much into it? Either way, as you said, it's mox nix.

    As for the "ultimate" fight scene, MM!?! I suppose, in a way, it wasn't fair. I sent you to watch such a small portion of the overall masterpiece that it must have been rather like looking at one of Mona Lisa's eyelashes and have me expecting you to see the brilliance of the entire painting when it likely looked like a single hair. How's one to judge the whole by such a small part, no idea of the rest of the brilliance that is BGTLD. As for stronger enticement, though, how about this: Taimak! No shirt! :-)

    Good cheer, MM. And happy day! :-)

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