http://www.slate.com/id/2261000/ (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!