http://www.slate.com/id/2275908/ (11/24/2010) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There
Ahoy, and happy Prudurkey Day, Shippers! How in the hell are ya? I hope that all’s well and that you’re either enjoying the day off, relaxing and planning your upcoming few days, or, that you’re at work, but relaxing and planning your upcoming few days, none-the-less! I’ll be flying tonight (yes, the ill-advised national day of “please pat me down on the busiest flying day of the year”). Oh well. Here’s hoping I don’t end up starring in a Tom Hanks film about being trapped in an airport. Wish me luck! Anyway, enough of my prattling. We’ve got letters! So, let’s get crackin’, shall we?
LW#1: Dear Prudie, my mom in the very definition of a clingy parent. You know the type, the ones who won’t let their kids do anything, ever, for fear of that one-in-a-bazillion, hypothetical happenstance? For example, I grew up with a limp, so, not only were sports out of the question for me (under my mom’s iron-fisted rule), but field trips, gym classes, dance, etc., were also right out! By the time I realized how sheltered I’d been and how paralyzing my mom was to my personal growth, I was in college and just barely able to break free. At any rate, this isn’t about me. It’s about my brother. He’s 22, has a slight speech impediment, and is socially awkward. As such, my mom has home schooled him since middle school and he now does nothing but half-heartedly attend community college and sit at home playing video games. My dad is useless in helping, having given up long ago. It’s painful to see my brother missing out on life! What can I do? Signed, I Escaped the Warden
Dear Escapee. Congratulations on your hard-earned emancipation. Did you learn nothing from it? Are you kidding me that you want to “help” your brother away from your “helping” mom? Perhaps you might want to keep on helping yourself into no longer needing to, well, “help” anyone else. That right there might set the kind of example that would cause your brother to spontaneously say, “Wow! Sis sure is living the good life. How can I get me some of that?” Then, when he asks you how, you can say, simply, “Quit counting on mom to do everything for you, dumbass. You know, as in, be a functional adult.” By that point, he might be able to hear you and ask follow-up questions. But it’s him who has to decide that. It’s him who has to get to that point. Not you, little Miss “Helpful” Sister.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, I’m scheduled to be in my sister’s wedding as the best man. She has insisted that I shave my beard for the ceremony. I have a nice, full beard, Prudie. I don’t want to shave it! It takes a long time grow! Should I shave it anyway, to keep the peace, or, should I not and risk losing my spot in the wedding party? Signed, I Think I May Be A Spineless Pussy† Boy, But I’m Not Sure
Dear, Don’t Think That You’re A Pussy Boy, Embrace The Fact That You Are A Pussy. First off, is this your sister’s wedding, or, you know, the couples’? Second, since the fuck when does the bride get to dictate what the groomsmen do?! If your “good friend”, the groom, asks you to shave your beard, you can consider it on those terms (personally, I’d tell him that wherever you go, so goes your beard, but, then again, I’m not a pussy like you and the groom), but, your sister asking? By even considering her request as in any way valid, you’re buying into the insane notion that this is her day. Too, you’re a guest at their wedding, not the hired fucking help (whom would never be asked to shave, would they? And, if they were, how inappropriate would you find that shit? “Excuse me, Mr. Caterer’s Helper, we like you and all, but, we’ll be requiring you to shave your beard. Here’s a Bic.” Yeah, right.). Just sayin’.
LW#3: Dear Prudie, I was promised a promotion at work, sent to training for the position, and have really been looking forward to it! After my last round of training, I returned to work only to be introduced to the new hire--not as a backfill for my old job, but for the position I’d been promised! Prudie, I was gracious with this person, but, I could feel tears welling up, so, I left the building and began to cry. And then sob. My supervisor saw me in that state and now I’m mortified about returning to work. I’m so embarrassed. How can I ever face my supervisor after he saw me like that? Signed, Cry Baby
Dear So, What, Again, Is Your Problem? I’m not sure what your issue is? If everything is as you claim, you’ve been wronged here! Now, I would caution you that it’s likely that you’re still going to be promoted, too (why on Earth would you have been sent to that training?), or, that the new person was actually hired to backfill behind you and you were just incorrectly introduced, but, that possibility aside, what have you done wrong or in an embarrassing fashion? Everything you did sounds like it was super-professional? Are you intimating that you don’t think it’s professional to cry? Well, it might not be, you know, in the office while throwing things around and screaming. But to quietly and graciously leave the building and then cry in the parking lot and to just happen to be seen by your boss? Such is life. Nothing unprofessional about that! At all. As a matter of fact, it was quite the professional way to handle the situation! As such, I’d compose myself, as Prudie suggests, and just ask the boss what’s up with the new hire (of course, I’d make sure that you know exactly what position s/he was hired into first--I still suspect you don’t have all of the facts).
LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’m finishing med school and my husband is doing his residency. He’s currently doing a women’s health rotation and is acting extremely unprofessional! He and a friend went out for coffee recently and he spied a recent patient of his. He pointed out the woman, told the friend he’d done a pap smear on her, and that she was “very tight.” I’ve also heard my husband make other immature comments about women patients to his friend. I’ve told him that I find his behavior deplorable, and, while I don’t want to jeopardize his career, I wonder if I have an ethical duty to report him to his supervisor? Signed, Bride of Frankenstein
Dear Ethically-challenged Wife. Professionally, your husband is a walking HIPAA violation and will get himself thrown out of the program if he keeps it up. As for telling, you only have second-hand information, so, it’d be tough for you to prove anything and you don’t need that mess. The woman at the coffee shop (or anyone within earshot who heard and then said something to her--I would have), though? She could have cost the hospital tens of thousands of dollars in fines, could have cost your husband the same, and, both could have been liable for civil penalties, too! Personally, though? What the fuck are you still doing with this Neanderthal? You think he’s not comparing notes on your relative tightness with his buddy, or, what, perhaps you think you’re exempt from his objectification and dehumanization of women? Cling to that belief, kay? Whatever lets you live with this asshole, right?
Well, Shippers, that about does it! Happy Thanksgiving to you all! May it be happy and relaxing! And, may your big turkey, or small turkey, or, even your Cornish game hens, be succulent and juicy and full of flavor. Fair winds and following seas, Shippers!
†Please note that the term "pussy" is not, in any way, meant to invoke any meaning other than "spinelessness" on the part of one person toward another, regardless of gender. Any other connotation you take from this word is purely your own.