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, October 28, 2010

...on Yard Sex, Senility, Lying and Drama (10/28/2010) <---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 all’s well, that it’s a bright, shiny, happy day, and, that you enjoyed today’s letters! I know that I did! I’m glad because, with the way they’ve been lately, I was thinking I was going to have to spice things up a bit by offering something like, “So, corporal punishment of your kids? Yes or no?”, but, now I can save that topic for a later edition, you know, in case it’s needed. That said, let’s get crackin’ on these letters, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie. I’m a happy-go-lucky 20-something in a two year relationship with the “most beautiful, fascinating woman I've ever met.” We’re talking about getting married, and I couldn’t be happier! Well, except for one little problem that’s sort of snowballed into a moral dilemma (you know, that old chestnut). My girlfriend’s parents are very traditionally religious and they really, really do not believe in premarital sex. We recently went on vacation with them (I slept in a separate room from my girlfriend, of course), but, one night my girlfriend talked me into having sex with her in the back yard (she’s got a thing for outdoor sex). The next morning, my girlfriend’s grandma insisted she’d seen two people in the back yard having sex, but, since she’s been bordering on senility for quite awhile now, no one believed her! And it looks like her insistence on what she saw (boy, does she continue to insist--over and over and over) will end up being the catalyst for the family deciding to put her in a home. My girlfriend and I would like to come forward, but are worried about that our relationship will suffer due to her parents’ anger over the backyard tryst. What should we do? Signed, Night Weenie

Dear Whipped But Good! First off, let me set you straight on something right up front you little shit! Your girlfriend didn’t “talk you into” sex in the back yard. You whipped it out, brother! You stuck it in! You need to learn to take responsibility for your actions (and she for hers). Blaming your girlfriend for your actions is pussy-boy behavior, plain and simple! That personal responsibility thing? I hope you wrote that down as you’ll see it again and again and again. Next up, I don’t care how young or stupid you are, it is morally reprehensible that you would even consider not telling her parents! Are you fucking kidding me?! Forget grandma going into a home--that might be the best place for her anyway (and hopefully she’d never be put there if it wasn’t, and hopefully, too, that decision would be based on many appropriate criteria and indicators, not just this one)--and think about the fact that your failure to speak up is making her look like senile! A woman who knows she’s right and you’re letting her take the fall?! For a little night sex?! That’s like being gay and passing anti-gay legislation in order to make sure the focus is off of you! It’s like condemning a cheating politician while you’ve got interns under your own desk! Allowing grandma to take the fall for your actions is the very height of hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy. I wouldn’t want you as a son-in-law, either! Holy shit! Look, all of my mean language aside, I’m going to give you some very practical advice: if you don’t have the balls to talk to your girlfriend’s family, and she can’t do it, either, what makes you think your marriage is going to be any different? Either you are an adult, capable of making your own decisions, on your own terms, or you are not. And if you’re not, you need to quit pretending that you are. Right now? I see a couple of scared little kids who aren’t mature enough to even be in a sexual relationship, much less considering marriage. Let’s hope that you grow the fuck up before grandma is shuffled off to Serenity Acres and thrown on the pile of medically-induced calmness that “lives” there.

LW#2: Dear Prudie. My husband and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows because a sow bitch of a woman posing as my mom’s best friend ruined our actual wedding and I want to replace those memories with happier ones. See, six months after our original wedding, my family found out that my dad and my mom’s supposed best friend had been having an affair. Since the “best friend” was our informal wedding planner, even participating in the wedding by screeching some out of tune song or other, the whole event’s been ruined for all of us. My mom wants me to throw things away from the wedding that remind her of her ex-BFF, and I can’t even watch the wedding video because it makes me weep. My question is, when people ask why my husband and I are renewing our vows, what should I tell them? I don’t want to spill the whole sordid story (much), but, that is the reason? Signed, No One’s Going To Fuck Up My Wedding This Time

Dear OMFG Helicopter! You are truly a fucking psycho hose beast, drama queen of the first order, aren’t you?! I don’t know if your husband qualifies for that designation, too, but you’re mom certainly does (some things just run in the family)! First off, you found out about this six fucking months after your wedding, yet, you’ve chosen to go back and poison an event that I presume was perfect in your mind prior to learning of this truly terribly tragic and completely uncommon news? Give me a fucking break. You love drama, don’t you? You live for it, actually! And now you’re looking for drama in your vow renewal! A vow renewal and you want the drama! “OMG, Prudie, what will I do if I just happen to slip up and tell someone why we’re renewing our vows?” “OMG, Prudie, what if someone actually asks me why we’re doing it? What can I possibly tell them?” Listen up, Cinderella, no one gives a flying fuck except you and your mom. You say, “Because it’s a special anniversary and we wanted to celebrate it in a special way.” That’s it. But that’s not nearly good enough for you two crazies, is it? Oh hell no! You want to bring down the drama, don’t’cha? And your mom?! What the hell is up her ass? She’s forgiven your father, but this woman who magically made your father’s dick hard using, what, dark magic and witchcraft, is now so poisonous a presence that 15 years after the fact she’s still affecting your lives? Let me tell you something: you and your mom (not the ex-friend) are perpetuating an evil, psycho bitch hatchet job on your family’s lives and if I was your husband, I’d take this time to go to the courthouse to renew my singlehood, not my vows. Get another hobby, you nut job.

LW#3: Dear Prudie. Through no fault of my own (it was actually a boss’s mistake), I found out that a co-worker of mine makes $6,000 more per year than I do. We do the same job, I have more industry experience, industry specific certifications and a bachelor’s degree. She has a master’s degree only and sucks at her job. And smells bad, too! Yeah, that’s the ticket! I’m pissed and feel like I’ve been kicked in the face. What should I do? Signed, Dumber than Dirt

Dear Idiot. You are an idiot. First off, you need to recognize that what you value in your job and what your bosses value in your job is obviously not the same thing. Feel kicked in the face all you want, but, fact is, your anger and seething rage is unfounded (especially when aimed at your coworker, which, though you didn’t say it, is obvious). Your coworker applied for a job, got it, and takes home the salary that she was offered to do that job. You comparing your credentials to hers is a fool’s errand because you don’t know why your bosses are paying her more (though you clearly think you have it all figured out why they shouldn’t be, don’t you? And, while we’re on the subject, just in case you don’t know how it works, one who has a Master’s Degree also owns a Bachelor’s. Just sayin’.). Let me repeat the important phrase. You don’t know why they’re paying her more. So, it’s sort of obvious who you need to talk to, eh? And, to me, it’s obvious who you should be angry at, too (if you absolutely must be angry, which, frankly, is just not appropriate in this situation). That would be your bosses and yourself, respectively. Tell your bosses what you found, and how you found it (that detail is important), and ask if there’s anything you can do to increase your pay. Your coworker? You don’t mention her! You talk in generalities. Your coworker’s just doing her job. Leave her the fuck out of this, understand? She’s an innocent. And if you fuck things up for her due to your unhappiness with your lot in life (which, apparently you were all happy and satisfied with prior to your discovery), may you die six thousand tiny little deaths per year for the rest of your spiteful and petty professional life.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’ve got an iron stomach and steel constitution. I’m like the freakin’ paragon of health! Yet, the last two times I’ve eaten at the house of a particular couple, I’ve gotten terrible food poisoning. I’m talking bad ju-ju! So, I’ll never again eat food they’ve prepared or touched. Problem is that I enjoy their company and they enjoy cooking and they are starting to wonder why I don’t want to come over. What should I say to them? Signed, Won’t Eat Their Sushi

Dear Iron Man. I hate to ask this (well, no I don’t), but, is it possible they’re poisoning you? I mean, are you rich and are they in your will? Might they be the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy on you that you aren’t aware of? Those possibilities aside, I think you have to just say to them, “Look guys, I’m really sorry, but, the last two times I’ve have dinner at your place, I’ve gotten really sick. Not just kind of sick, but really sick! And, seeing that I’m never sick (ever!), I have to conclude that I’m allergic to something in your kitchen. So, I’m happy to meet for dinner, or to have you over to my place, but, I’m sorry, but, I just can’t risk going through that again.” Now, of course, ideally, you would have called them after the first bout and ask them, politely, if they’d gotten sick because you’d retched all night and were trying to eliminate potential causes. Then, if you’d repeated it a second time, that would have made your final declaration of not eating at their place more palatable (no pun intended). But, since you didn’t do that, you’ve just got to approach them cold. Be apologetic but firm. Unless they got sick, too, I doubt it was due to spoiled or bad food or poor preparation habits, and rather due to some esoteric ingredient that they’re used to cooking with that your body doesn’t process well. By approaching them from that vein, instead of from a place that insinuates that they’re unclean, roach poachers (even though they may be), I think you’ll get better results. Good luck (and maybe consider hiring a taster for when they’re around!).

Well, Shippers, that about does it for me. I’ve recently been tipped off that a time traveler’s been caught on a film from the 1920s, speaking on her cell phone ( I will spend the rest of the day investigating that possibility, probably by using my own time machine to go back to that exact date to see if I can spy the woman for myself. Of course, I’m pretty sure it’s a hoax, because, as we all know, when you travel through time, you lose your clothes and anything you’re carrying, so, she couldn’t really have had a cell phone... ;-) Fair winds and following seas to ya, Shippers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

...on Micro-Penises and Macro-Egos (10/21/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey, hidey and ho, Shippers! How the heck are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? All here in Smagland is going okay. I’ve taken the week off from work and have been traveling the southeast visiting family and friends. But, soon enough, I’ll be back Home and at work. Today, though, being Prudie Day (as it is), how could I be anywhere else but here? And fortunately so, because what a fine bunch of letters we have! So, without further ado, let’s get crackin’, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’ve recently starting dating a wonderful man. He’s “smart, funny, cute, and kind.” But. You knew there’d be a “but”, huh? Well, in this case, it’s less about butt, and more about the other side. Or “less” about the other side. Prudie, he’s not well endowed. At all. Matter of fact, when we finally had sex, I found him to be so ill-endowed that I googled around a bit to see if I could diagnose his problem. Turns out that the Greeks must have invented the issue because I found that a Greek prefix, mikrós, along with the word penis, described his problem quite specifically. Prudie, he’s almost non-existent. And I consider a healthy sex life a must for a good relationship, and a healthy penis a must for a healthy sex life (and at 30, I’ve had several and I know from penises!). Plus, I like my sex to be of the penis-in-the-vagina variety. None of this oral- or toy-play for me, Prudie! No, thank you, Ma’am! Prudie, living “without an active sex life scares me”! So, what should I do? This man is great otherwise? Signed, Unfulfilled

Dear Lacking. What I think is most lacking in your relationship is not the size of your man’s penis, but rather the size of your imagination. Living “without an active sex life”?! What?! Have you never heard of any alternative to standard intercourse?! If this guy was an asshole? Sure, I’d suggest that you leave him. You know, because he was an asshole. If he beat you? I’d suggest you leave him then, too, you know, because physical abuse is bad, mmm-kay? But lack of penis size? While a problem for those, like yourself, who lack imagination and a sense of adventure or even the apparent ability to talk to your partner about the issue and explore alternatives, it’s not a problem for those who understand the fun that can be had in bed with a little motivation and ingenuity. And, just in case you were wondering, his lack of endowment may have had less to do with his shortcomings than it did with his nervousness or concern over how well he’d perform since you’re obviously way spun about your man’s third leg. Some men need a little confidence and comfort for things to realize their full potential. Who knows what’s going on with this guy, and I’m certainly not blaming you, but, it’s literally and figuratively such a small problem that you either need to try to get around it (which shouldn’t be difficult, as tiny as you say it is), or drop this guy now. Because it doesn’t sound like this problem is something you’re going to be able to get past. And neither of you deserve that.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I have an acquaintance whose four-year-old daughter recently completed cancer treatment. The acquaintance posted a request on FaceBook for friends to donate hair so that the daughter could have a custom wig made. I heard later, through a mutual friend, that the mother wanted me to donate my hair, specifically, to her daughter. Prudie, even though it makes me feel terrible, I don’t want to! I like my hair! It’s my favorite thing about me! And further, I’ve seen pictures of the daughter on FaceBook wearing a wig already. Couldn’t a cash donation be enough?! Signed, Sampson, not Delilah!

Dear Harriet, This request of your acquaintance is particularly troublesome. As an acquaintance, you owe nothing to this woman (or her daughter). And, as an acquaintance who’s been asked through the grapevine, second-hand, to donate her hair, you owe even less! Hell, even as a good friend or family member, you’d owe nothing other than what you, on your own, decided to give. So, I’m just triply perplexed as to what’s at issue here. My guess is that your mutual “friend” has way overstepped her bounds and that the acquaintance would be mortified if she learned of this request on her daughter’s behalf. I have a feeling that the acquaintance mentioned in passing how beautiful your hair is and your “friend” took it upon herself to get involved. If so, it’s a request easily solved by ignoring it completely and by mentally noting your friend’s tactics should they show up again in the future. If not, it sounds like your FaceBook group is pretty fucked up and you need to remove yourself from their presence wholesale. As is, there are so many things wrong with this story that I don’t know where to begin with advice, but, I will say that what’s most important is that you always give from the heart. If you want to donate to a cause, do so! But, never as some “surrogate” for the hair that you don’t want to donate (nor should you be pressured into donating) in the first place! Do it because you feel genuinely compelled. Being as you’ve never even met the little girl in question, and aren’t even certain of her health, it seems to me you should be outside consideration for any donation requests involving gifts directly from your person.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I likes me the drama! I mean, seriously, do I ever! But wait, okay, let me start at the beginning. My husband of one month (with whom I’m very, very happy, by the way) cheated on me over a year before we got engaged. We got over that little hiccup, obviously, and are sup-sup-super happy now! But, at a recent bachelorette party (celebrating a bride for whom I’m a bridesmaid), in walked “the other woman”! How could the bride, my friend, do this to me?! How could she invite this woman to celebrate with us on our special day?! I was, understandably distraught. I tried not to make a scene, but, having thought all along that the bride, my friend, hated this woman as much as I did, I can’t understand why she’d (the bride) invite her (the bitch) to our party and wedding. I seethed quietly in the corner, but, like a big girl, didn’t cause a scene (much). But now I don’t know what to do? Should I quit the wedding and my friend? I think I deserve to be able to, considering how much I’ve been put out. Signed, Always the Jilted, Never the Jiltee

Dear Drama Queen, how about if you’d have quietly taken the bride aside and just asked her what’s up? Further, and I know this may come as a total fucking surprise to you, the other woman may have had no idea about you and your, as-of-then, not-even fiancé. You’ve forgiven him completely, but the other woman is still a husband-stealing bitch? Okay, got it. Look, I’m know that I’m being extreme and mean here, but, damn! First off, this isn’t your wedding. Not sure if you recognized that, but, I thought it was worth a mention. You don’t get to make the guest list, nor are you required to be consulted during its making. You’re a guest, not the hostess. If this bride is a good friend of yours--good enough for you to be her bridesmaid--shouldn’t you feel close enough to her to be able to ask if she knew how you feel about the other woman? You know, like a person who wears big girl panties and doesn’t revel in drama? Further, if you are totally happy and secure in your marriage, give this whole thing a rest for the few hours it’ll take and just enjoy the wedding. If you can’t, though, by all means, tell the bride that you’re very, very sorry, that but you can’t make it. Try to do everything you can to mitigate the effect your leaving on such short notice will cause on the ceremony (my guess is that it won’t be a problem), and do so without issuing any dramatic monologues or ultimatums about “either it’s her or me, bitch!”, complete with head wagging and finger snapping. My guess is that it’ll be better for all involved.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m well into my education toward becoming a lawyer. I have just over a year left, but, truth is, I hate it! I mean, the more I learn about law, the more I hate the whole thing! As a result, I’ve put very little effort into my studies. Further, I feel guilty because, not only have my parents sacrificed greatly for my education, my mom thinks that lawyering is my dream job and can’t seem to talk about anything other than how happy she is for me! My only escape nowadays is via books that have nothing to do with law, and through daydreaming. What should I do? Signed, So Not Into Litigation

Dear Are You Sure You’re Not Just Scared of Failing (or Already Failing). First off, you have to recognize that you’ve recently learned that you don’t like this profession after a long time of thinking that you would. I’m going to lay something amazing on you: you might find in a year that there are tons of things that you would like to do as a lawyer (or in a law-related field). You just haven’t been exposed to them yet. You’re so young right now and lacking in life experience that everything is black and white. You like it, you hate it. That is bad, this is good. As you become more and more seasoned, you’ll find that very little (if anything) in life is so dramatically defined (unless, of course, you become an ultra-conservative third party advocate, in which case, black and white and fear is par for the course...). Look, the nearly-complete degree is what’s important here, not nearly so much what type it is. So, complete your education, and, in the meantime, take advantage of the people in the world who can help you find a way to a job that will fulfill you (like your mom, your professors, the school’s counselors, lawyers, Prudie, etc.). You may be pleasantly surprised to find that your calling is actually in law, or a law-related field, but, too, you might find that it’s not. Either way, your law degree won’t hurt you a bit. How could it? Or, are you perhaps having a more difficult time than you’re letting on, and trying to find a way out before your poor performance is discovered and reported? Are you in danger of flunking out and so are now trying desperately to manufacture an alibi? Regardless of what’s at the core of your problem, my advice stands. Get some help from those around you. Tell them what’s on your mind. Ask them for help. Most actually want to help you! :-) Take that advice that seems worthwhile and discard the rest. If you do or don’t follow my instructions, you won’t be any worse off than you are right now, but, by doing it, you might actually get some good help and/or guidance. And in that case, it’ll have been well worth the effort.

Well, Shippers, that about does it for me for this week. I’m going to go back to relaxing through the weekend. Then, it’s back to the happy grind on Monday. Happy Prudie Day to you all, and to all, a good night! Fair winds and following seas, Shippers!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

...on Denial, Dental Transgressions, Human Trafficking and Unwitting Nannies (10/14/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey Hidey and Ho, Shippers! How in the heck are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? What interesting things are going on in your neck of the woods? School? Festivals? The new TV season? There’s loads of good stuff, eh?! Plus, we continue to get letters! Three cheers for Prudie Day! And, with that in mind, let’s get right to it, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I grew up being a short-tempered, mean, spiteful bitch. But, I’ve really worked hard on that and on being patient with others. And I’ve really gotten better! Case in point: I recently attended my brother’s wedding. The whole family was there, many of us traveling from way far away. Like, I mean, waaaay far! Which, as you know, if there’s ever an excuse to be grumpy, that’s it! So, okay, admittedly, I was a little short tempered with everyone. I may have even been a little mean, but, only after the ceremony, blowing up at the family (just that once), with my sister taking the brunt of it. Well, I apologized to her. Twice, even! And that hateful thing still won’t speak to me, claiming it’s all my fault?! Now my family wants me to make nice with her! How dare they? I’m thinking of just dropping them all, the ungrateful shits. I mean, it was just that one little outburst! What do you think? Signed, I Once Was Mean, But Now I’m Not

Dear Blind Woman, Narcissa. You have a sickness. I’m not a professional treater of brain and/or psychological disorders, but I’m guessing it’s called Narcissistic Self-centered Personality Disorder with overt World Revolves Around Me tendencies. NSPD WRAM for short. Or, just “Flaming Bitch Disease” (FBD), for shorter. And, just so you know, things are going to get worse from here. Growing up, your family had to put up with you. Out of obligation. Now? As an adult? They can and will choose to dump your ass. And you may claim you want that, but, being as I guarantee that you have an awfully hard time keeping friends, that’s not something you know, deep down in the black space where your heart resides. You notice how your solution to this problem was to immediately blame your family and threaten to quit them? You have a problem that needs serious treatment. In AA, they call it “stinkin’ thinkin’” and it’s noted by always blaming everyone else for one’s own behavior and for the consequences that result from said behavior. You are in the wrong here. You can’t even hide that fact in a letter meant to paint you in a less offensive light. And I barely know you! So what do you think the real reality is?! I hope you can find help because you truly need it, but, all the help in the world won’t do a thing so long as you think it’s acceptable to be mean to other people. Even once. Even when you’ve traveled all the way from The City! It’s one thing to be mean to Letter Writers via the Internet. It’s a whole other thing to do it in real life, with real people and real family members (who are real people, too, by the way). Don’t address this and you may get exactly what you claim to want: life without your family (and trust me when I tell you that you don’t have any friends that’ll stick by you through more than your family already has, so, you may want to consider that in your calculations).

P.S. I love that you had the balls to sign off your actual letter with the handle “Vivisected.” You are a true and utter piece of shit work.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, Last week I had some pretty significant dental surgery. I arranged for a coworker/friend to pick me up from the dentist’s office and to drop me at the bus stop that’s on his way home. Unfortunately, I don’t recall anything until after the bus ride. The coworker/friend says that I was sexually aggressive with him, even going so far as to stick my hand down his pants, causing him to have to pull off the road! He’s now very distant. Prudie, I don’t remember any of this! I am a gay man, but not aggressive, and I would never, under normal circumstances, anyway, treat anyone that way! I’m afraid that he now thinks I have a crush on him, which could not only ruin our working relationship, but what (if anything) is left of our friendship. What can I do? Help! Signed, Regretful Passenger

Dear Amnesiatic Anesthesiatic. This is a cruddy situation and there’s only one thing for it. Talk to the guy! Tell him what you’ve said here! The words don’t have to be perfect, just honest. Explain that you honestly don’t remember a thing. Point out that people do and say weird things all the time under anesthesia, and that those things aren’t always, or even often, accurate or indicative of anything. Apologize for your behavior, but don’t try to downplay it. Admit that it was probably really weird for your friend and offer that you’ll never ask him to pick you up from the dentist’s again! Further, and I think this is important, too, learn from this adventure that if you’re ever under anesthesia again, you need to have a better, more understanding friend pick you up---one that actually takes you home and ensures that you’re safe before leaving you! I’m disappointed that your friend dropped you at the bus stop while you were displaying such uncharacteristic behavior. Would he have done the same with a female co-worker? Or a hetero co-worker who perhaps had been making passes at/trying to grope women on the way to the car? That may inform you about where the friendship actually was with this guy. I wish you luck.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I recently found out that my cruddy apartment is run by a man who used to deal in (and was convicted of) human trafficking. Some of it out of the very apartment I live in! He served time and was released. Now that I know this, I can’t stand to write the check to this animal every month. It seems morally wrong. What can I do? Signed, Repugnant-ized

Dear Judge Judy (or Jim). Look, I don’t know how you’re colluding your honest paying of the rent and this man receiving honest rent for an honest room with his past. Your paying rent for a room is simply that. It’s not supporting the sex trade. It’s not condoning this man’s past. It’s you putting a roof over your head. You can’t break the lease without taking a huge financial hit, so, either take the hit or don’t. If you don’t, move out when your lease is up. Who knows what this man actually did, though? What if he was falsely accused and just trying to make it in an honest living now? I'm not saying that's true, but, how/where are you getting your info?  Gossip?  Reliable sources?  Whatever it was, provided you aren’t paying him for anything illegal (you aren’t, are you?), you are just a human being doing the best you can to get by. Further, if you have no indication that he’s currently running the sex trade out of your room (have you checked for cameras), you may be helping a man rehabilitate himself and become a productive member of society with a second chance (no promises there, but, it is possible). And, like it or not, that’s not entirely unworthy, either.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, with the birth of our third child, my husband and I decided that I should become a stay-at-home mom. It makes good financial and logical sense. The problem? Now that this change has occurred, my SIL (my husband’s sister) has started dropping off her kids in the evening for child care prior to heading for work. Her husband picks them up a couple of hours later when he gets off work. The SIL has started making noises about not signing up her kids for daycare this summer. I don’t get paid for this care, Prudie, nor do I expect to be, but, I am starting to feel like I’m being taken for granted. What should I do?! Signed, Not My Sister’s Nanny!

Dear Nanny, You need to talk to your husband and tell him that this won’t work. I don’t mean that you can’t talk to your SIL yourself, and explain to her that you’re happy to watch her kids every once in awhile, but that you cannot do it on a daily, or even a frequent, basis. But, your husband has to be in support, and, I have a sneaky suspicion that this was all actually his idea! He probably offered up your services because, you know, you’re now a “stay at home mom”, so, “of course you’ll have time!” If that’s true, he’s an idiot. Of the Tenth Order. Why don’t you have him care for all five kids for two weeks while you go on vacation? He’ll be singing his happy ass a different tune then, I guarantee it! So, ideally, you’ve got to get his support lined up and you two need to speak with his sister. With him in the lead and without any snide-ass rolling of his eyes. And if you sense even the slightest bit of resistance from him, you need to kick him in the nuts and just talk to the SIL yourself. But know that it’s your husband who should be supporting you in this. I wish you luck as this sounds deeper than just watching your in-laws’ kids.

Well, Shippers, that about does it for me! I’m looking forward (soon) to watching some episodes of “Connections” on YouTube! Do you guys remember that show?! Some believe it should be academically-required material for all kids. I say that holds for adults, too! :-) Here’s hoping that I have the time to curl up with a nice hot cup of coffee and watch all of them soon! Good cheer, Shippers! Fair Winds and Following Seas to you all!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

...on Fake Happiness, Sadness, Angst and Ownership (10/06/2010) <---Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! And a happy Prudie Day to you, one and all! How are you today? How’s fall treating you? Allergies acting up? Weather have you digging for your sweaters? I hope that everyone’s well! Except for our LWs. Well, not that I wish un-wellness for them, of course, it’s just that, reading their letters, I’m pretty sure they’re none too chipper. Oh well, all the more fun for us, eh? :-) With that in mind, let’s get crackin’, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, my husband of nine years and I are so happy together! We have beautiful children and a lovely family life and everything is just sunny and peachy! I love him so much! But, a few years ago, he started a new job and met a single man there with whom he had an instant bond. They have become inseparable, to the point of taking frequent camping trips together, talking all the time on the phone, hugging, touching each other, sharing salutations of “love you”, etc. My husband doesn’t even say that to his own father?! Fact is, Prudie, I’m jealous. I hate that, but, I am. My husband has offered to cut off his relationship with this man if I want. And Prudie, my husband is so not gay, so, let’s just put that ten miles and a stone’s throw out of our minds, okay? But still, I’m uneasy. I miss my husband! Help! Signed, Feeling Like a Third Wheel

Dear You Are A Third Wheel. Look, I’m not going to get into whether or not your husband is gay or bi or whatever. Fact is, that’s irrelevant to this conversation. What is relevant is that you feel unloved and feel that your husband’s affection for you has been replaced by affection for someone else. Well, at least that’s what you claim to feel? You say you have a happy marriage with a wonderful life. So, which is it? Happy or not happy? Unhappy person with a broken marriage, or, harpy, jealous bitch with a great marriage? Look, the truth is that the romance is gone from your marriage. You have bills, kids, lots of stressors. That’s a fact. You’re focusing on your husband’s friend as the cause, and perhaps rightfully so. The fact that your husband would offer to drop the friend actually lends credence to this fact. If there was nothing there, and if your husband thought the idea was absurd, he’d have surely questioned what in the hell kinda stick was up your ass. But he apparently didn’t. The cause might just be the normal malaise that many relationships take on when two people take each other for granted. Either way, what you have to do is figure out what you need from your husband and communicate that to him. Do you want more alone time with just the two of you? Do you want to be included in the camping trips or conversations? Do you want the “fire” back in your relationship? You’ve got to tell him what you need and see if it can be worked out. If it can’t, it can’t. Look, I don’t know if this Mr. Friendly Usurper is just a symptom of the dysfunction in your marriage or the cause.  He's been with you and your husband for half your married life. He’s embedded, so there’s no easy fix here. But the start is talking to your husband.  As a side note, though, if all of this is because you’re worried that your husband is cheating on you (regardless of the cheatee’s gender), your marriage is already likely broken beyond repair. Confront your husband and air your concerns.  What have you got to lose?

LW#2: Dear Prudie, My adult daughter is a female version of Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker. Except, sadly, she has no van down by the river to live in, she’s not a provider of motivation, nor does she try to be. Prudie, she’s an uncured alcoholic (though we’ve tried--Lord, have we tried) who lives under a bridge and is near death. I thought I’d made my peace with this fact, but her daughters, my granddaughters (21 and 19 years old), recently went to my daughter under the bridge and took pictures of her, and then posted the pictures to FaceBook. They included a sad and gut wrenching narrative. I believe this to be a terrible indignity that my daughter doesn’t deserve. No one else in the family is upset by it. Am I wrong to be? Signed, Loving, But Resigned Mom

Dear Resigned Mom. I’m so sorry for your loss. There are victims here, loads of them, but your daughter is least victimized of all. Actually she’s not a victim, she’s the perpetrator. These pictures? Dust. Does that mean she deserves to have her likeness plastered all over FaceBook for all the world to see? No. Your granddaughters, as in the wrong as they may be, are only causing the smallest nick in the shredded dignity that you imagine your daughter to possess. And, for the record, who they see under that bridge is not your daughter, but their mother. Or at least the woman who should have been their mother. The woman whose responsibility it was to raise them, care for them, protect them from harm. Instead, they got a dud. And they’re still babies--angry, pissed off, hurt and mourning babies. Babies who can’t understand why their own mother doesn’t love them enough to fucking straighten up her life for their sake. And they’re just trying to make sense of that in the way that their peer group does. They’re doing the best they can with a truly shitty situation. Are you helping them navigate the ridiculously piss-poor hand that they’ve been dealt, or are you blaming them for it? As to your question, was what they did wrong? Yes. Does that make you happy, knowing that? You may have made peace with your daughter’s lot in life, but you’re still in enabler mode, and you need to fix that, pronto, or you’re going to lose more than just one family member...

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I’m a successful attorney who does tons of pro bono work, makes healthy donations to my friends’ causes and tries to be a genuinely good guy. I recently purchased a new car. That’s a fact that I tried to hide from my friends because I just knew how they’d react. Predictably, they’ve all responded with sneering comments of how many death row inmates could have been released with the money I dropped on the car, how it should have been a hybrid, etc. Damnit, Prudie, when did honest work and yaddah-yaddah-yaddah become a crime? Signed, I Work Hard For The Money, So Hard For It Honey

Dear Hard Worker Working Hard. You know, you had me 100% in your corner until your sad sap bullshit about “doesn’t anyone value an honest day’s work and paying taxes?”. Give me a fucking break. You need to expunge that shit from your vocabulary, lest you become just as douchebaggy as your friends. Speaking of, your “friends” suck. Anyone from whom you have to hide the fact that you’ve bought a new car is not a friend. They’re a jealous shit bag. You should not encourage that shittiness by remaining in its presence. Understand what I’m sayin’? Good.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, My husband occasionally buzz cuts his hair. He’s a handsome man, but, when he does this, he’s less so. I hate it and don’t ever want him to do it--ever again! I’ve told him so. I’ve explained how it makes me feel like less of a woman when he does this. I’ve explained how I have rights regarding his choice of hairstyle. The hair on his head became our hair, Prudie, the moment he said “I do.” How can I convince him of this? Signed, My Husband’s Keeper

Dear Hair Hitler. Once or twice a year your husband likes to get his head buzzed (I’m guessing it’s when it’s hot out?), and that pisses you off, eh? Well, guess what? Unless you’d like to be subject to his fashion whims and desires (ready to wear the Princess Lea gold bikini for him?), he doesn’t have to be subject to yours. And, further, if you are ready to be subject to his whims, and he to yours, you’re both fucked up and sick in the head. I don’t care if your husband decides to wear ass-less leather chaps, commando style, when going out to the town mall, you have no right to tell him jack shit about what he wears. What you do have a right to do is tell him that you won’t go to the mall with him dressed like that, but that’s it. You don’t like his hair? Too fucking bad. It’s not yours. Ever. You do understand that you actually do end at the tip of your nose, right? That you and he aren’t a continuum existing solely for your pleasure, right? You want to style people’s hair for them? Buy some fucking dolls.

Well, shippers, that about does it! I’m busily looking for concert tickets, hoping that I’ll find a Creed/Nickelback show that last for three days. Just those two bands. Acoustic shows, a cappella shows, electric shows, combo shows, etc. That would be musical Nirvana (no, not the band) and the reaching of the final level, all rolled into one great festival of awesomeness. But, it’ll probably never happen. That much awesomeness in one venue would likely cause The Rapture to occur and that wouldn’t be good as those who’d yet to see the Creed/Nickelback show would surely be sent straight to Hell. Oh well, a man can dream, can’t he? I mean, think of all of us hangin’ out in Hell together with Nickelback and Creed?! Awesome! :-) Good cheer to you all, Shippers! Fair winds and following seas.