http://www.slate.com/id/2265082/ (8/26/2010) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There
Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? All here is well. But, for some reason, no Jody Calls outside my window this morning! That’s a weekly ritual; I read Prudie, start my response, I hear the Jody Calls, all is well. Strange to have them absent today. The absence is probably due to a training holiday of some sort... Oh well, nothing to worry over, I’m sure. And, since we have letters to address, and they’re not getting any fresher, we'd best get crackin’, eh?
LW#1: Dear Prudie. I’m a happily married man (and father to an infant). Although, that happiness is relative, I suppose, in that my wife has self-esteem issues, I’m a stubborn jackass, and, we’ve been fighting like cats and dogs because my wife says I don’t pay her enough attention, but I say that I do! And I’m right! But you know, other than that, we live in Happiness Fucking Central, Prudie! Anyway, during a recent fight, my wife began literally pushing me. Then striking me! Even though I swore that I’d never hit a woman, I struck her back. Now I feel like shit, but my wife, now calmer, says she understands what I did and why. I feel terrible, Prudie. And I have a feeling that my wife, now that she knows I can be driven to the point of striking her, will try to drive me there again. And, frankly, I don’t know what to do. Signed, Perplexed Pugilist in Happy Town
Dear Muhammad Alidiot. First of all, you’re not happily married. You need to recognize that. How can you even say that?! Would you like for me to list out the reasons you're not happy, all logical-like? No? But why, since you’re so into logically listing things? Look dude, you just fell victim to one of the classic blunders--the most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia"--but only slightly less well-known is this: don’t get into an argument with a nut-job who’d resort to hitting you to prove her point (consciously or no). All the “logic” in the world isn’t going to change the fact that you both think you’re right. Here’s the thing. Your wife feels like you aren’t giving her enough attention. You feel like you are. Do you honestly think arguing those points is going to help?! You don’t give me enough attention! Yes I do! No you don’t! Yes, I do!!! No, you fucking don’t!!! Yep, I can surely see a solution there. Any day now... Think that’s ever going to solve the core issue there? No wonder you’re so confused and think that you’re happy. You’re a couple of complete dumbasses! So here, let me lay it out for you. You two are in the middle of a full-on dysfunctional relationship. You need some counseling on communication. And pronto. In the meantime, if you can’t trust your wife not to hit you, and can't trust yourself not to hit her, you two need far more help than an Internet columnist is going to provide, and, for your sake (you know, if you want to be able to have visitation after the divorce), you’d better, a) start documenting any time she hits you (after you’ve left the room and removed yourself from the argument, of course), and, b) never hit her again. Ever. Because right now, you’re both messing up. Big time. Happy indeed.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, I’m an Asian girl about to enter high school (my being Asian is an important cultural point that you should understand as you read the rest of my letter). I’m writing to tell you that I present with every symptom of Asperger’s syndrome known to man. Shall I list them for you? Straight from the Internet sites where I took the tests that confirmed my suspicions? No? But, I really feel compelled to do so! No? Sigh. Anyway, my concern is that I have Asperger’s (it would explain a lot of things, actually), but, my parents believe mental disease to be a sign of inferiority and weakness. I need help in seeking treatment, but I’m scared to tell them. What should I do? Signed, Asperteen
Dear Internet Doctor. First off, I want to point out that I think this letter is as fake as the day is long. Why? It demonstrates an amount of self-awareness not present in even most fully-formed adults that I know--take LW#1, for example--much less middle schoolers! Of course, that impression may be the product of a concerned, real teen, retro-fitting specific symptoms into a condition that she believes she has (and, she may well have it). Since the latter is a possibility, I’m going to address the letter in that way and second Prudie’s advice. You should raise your concern to your parents, showing them the research you’ve done. Attempt to engage them. But, if they resist, if they push back, there is still a lot of available help (as Prudie outlined)! The main thing is to try to get an accurate assessment. Don’t be dishonest with the doctor when asked about your symptoms/concerns. Being diagnosed with Asperger's is not "cool", and it's not going to solve your problems. But, if you honestly have it, you can be helped. So, be as forthcoming as possible. Social awkwardness does not have to mean anything other than that. Lots of people are socially awkward at your age! Many grow out of it, some do not. But that’s very different from Asperger’s. Hang in there, kiddo, and good luck!
LW#3: Dear Prudie, I recently had two uncles pass away within one day of each other. As you can imagine, this devastated my family. Unfortunately, I’d already planned and paid for a five-day vacation before these tragedies occurred and so, of course, I went on the vacation! I mean, duh! Now my family is all pissed off at me. I loved these uncles, Prudie! Like, a lot and stuff! And I always showed that fact when they were alive by saying “thank you” to them when they gave me gifts and money and stuff (well, you know, provided it was something I wanted)! I mean, damn, I sent a sympathy card and trinket of remembrance to each surviving spouse. Why is everyone so pissed off with me now? Signed, Tanned, Relaxed And Shunned
Dear Jackass. Talk about social awkwardness and inability to understand social cues (a la LW#2). Listen, either you were close with your uncles or you weren’t. You say you were, but then you call your aunts, their wives, the “surviving spouses”. Clinical description much? So, who are you kidding here? Certainly not yourself! Fuck, you hopped on that plane, no problemo! Which is fine, you know? But you need to be willing to accept that your uncles weren’t all that important to you. You’re wanting to have your cake and eat it, too. You want to be seen as all family-oriented and caring, when, in fact, you couldn’t have given two shits about your uncles or your family! And, you made that fact perfectly clear to everyone. Now you need to own it. And, in the meantime, if it legitimately bothers you that some folks in your family are upset with you (in other words, if there are some people in your family that you actually do care about), you might want to consider their feelings next time you decide to be a selfish jackass, yet not want to have to pay the price for it. Mourning death isn’t for the dead, you twit, it’s for those who are left behind. Perhaps, you know, between manicures and vacation time, you can ruminate on that a bit.
LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m working at a temp job that I enjoy. However, one of my co-workers, Bob, is an eccentric elderly man who’s asked me to bring him fruit and bread. On a continuing basis. He pays for it, of course, but, I don’t want to be his errand runner! I have a feeling that he has some physical disabilities and can’t get to the grocery store. I’m concerned for him, but, you know, not that concerned. What should I do? Signed, So Not The Office Gopher
Dear Gopher (he’s now a former congressman and current radio host, you know!). Look, it sounds as if you’re new to the professional world, so, let me be frank. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to be Bob’s fruit and bread source. At all. Period. It’s inappropriate for Bob to ask you to do so under the guise of some sort of workplace responsibility. If you don’t want to do it, simply explain to him that you aren’t comfortable with the task as you don’t believe it to be work-related. Do not apologize for it, and do not explain yourself. Be professional and direct, but not mean or rude. If this causes any problems with Bob, at all, make sure to speak with a supervisor immediately, and make sure to document the events. And remember, this can be a burden or it can be a life lesson. And, too, it can be something nice you do for Bob as you have the chance. But it's your choice.
Well, Shippers, that about does it! Not a lot to work with this week, eh? I should mention that one singing company went by as I was typing this, so, at least I got to hear one set of Jodys. :-) All is now right with the Universe! Have a great week, Shippers. Fair winds and following seas, Shipper! Until next week...