http://www.slate.com/id/2270172/ (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 What is relevant is that you feel unloved and feel that your husband’s affection for you has been replaced by affection for someone else.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.