http://www.slate.com/id/2280953/ (01/13/2011) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There
Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? I hope that wherever you are you’re happy, healthy and warm (not necessarily in that order, depending on just how cold it is where you are, but, certainly all of those wishes in some order). I was traveling yesterday, so am late to the Lagoon, but I’m sure that my incredibly capable, witty and gorgeous Diving Buddy has kept you well-entertained? Did she cook for you? If no, that’s your loss, as there’s nothing in this world that she can’t prepare given even a meager stick, an aluminum pie pan, a paper clip, and a fire! Mmm-mmm! Anyhoo, I’m back, and, even though I can’t cook, and I’m not nearly as enchanting as my Diving Buddy, I hope these answers will serve as a nice addition to your visit. So, that said, let’s get crackin’, shall we?
LW#1: Dear Prudence, I began dating a man last summer and we’ve gotten very serious. He’s the greatest man that ever entered into a relationship with anyone, ever, and I’m the luckiest person alive! The only snag is that now, after many months, he’s told me that he really enjoys anal sex. To the point that it’s a make-or-break requirement for the relationship! We’ve tried a couple of times, but I could never get comfortable. What should I do? Just go for it and see if I can learn to deal with it, or, tell him that I’ll never enjoy it as much as he does and have it end the relationship? Signed, I Like My Friends To Come Through The Front Door
Dear Back Door Lover Hater. You answer is simple. Your “great” catch of a man has explained how important anal sex is to his happiness in a relationship. You’ve simply got to decide if he’s worth it. That’s it. Period. Provided he’s not an evil, manipulative asshole (other than over this issue), it’s honestly as simple as that. That may sound like I’m encouraging you to bite the bullet and give him the anal sex he desires. I’m not. I’m asking you to pull out a set of scales and weigh the pros and cons. Honestly weigh them. Fact is, you may come to enjoy anal sex, but, you may also come to resent the hell out of it, with each session feeling more and more like a defeat at his hands rather than like the wonderful, mutual, consensual and enjoyable act it should be. Seems to me that anyone, after so many months, who places a requirement like that on a relationship, isn’t worth it. But, that’s just me. At the same time, he’s made his position exceptionally clear, which is sort of honorable in its own way. You’ve got to make your decision and you’re the only one who can do it. If you do want to give it a try, one would hope such a “great” catch as your boyfriend supposedly is would understand your reservations and try to accommodate them by attempting to make you feel loved and comfortable and that you’re in a safe and trustworthy place. If he can’t manage that? Then your scales are broken if you choose him regarding any ultimatum he gives.
LW#2: Dear Prudie, I’m in my mid-20s, pregnant, and happily engaged. My future MIL is thrilled with the news of our upcoming nuptials and the future family member. So much so, in fact, that she’s offered, as a gift, to pay off my considerable student loans. My future husband supports this idea as it would take significant financial strain off of us as we head into the future. My future SILs, two women in their 40s and childless, are not so excited, however. One even accused me of getting pregnant for the financial gain! I would love to accept the money, Prudie, but don’t want to ruin what I hope will be a good and lengthy relationship with my future SILs. What should I do? Signed, Between a Financial Rock and a Family Member Hard Place
Dear Stuck. This is a nasty situation, and one that you should not be having to handle, nor even involved in, actually. This one is for your future husband to handle between his sisters and their mother. One can understand, for example, if you’d just met your husband three months ago, got pregnant, engaged and moved-in together in that time span, how the sisters might be concerned about a significant outlay of what they see as part of their future inheritance--and to an essentially-unknown person! That’s just raw human nature, frankly, and actually understandable on a base level (if not at all savory). What’s not human nature, however, is the sister actually saying anything about it, since, a) it’s not her money to give, and, b) it’s none of her fucking business! What this whole situation for you is is a harbinger. Heed it. But, too, what’s said is said, and there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle. I would suggest that your future-husband take the following steps. Step 1, talk to the mother and sisters, together, about the concerns. Step 2, have the gift be to him, not to you, for him to use as he sees fit. You should not accept the gift from the future MIL as you don't need to be in debt to her in any way. Step 3, agree that if no other similar gifts have ever been given to the other sisters, that you and your husband will accept an amount of inheritance less than the others by the amount of the gift now, or, that the mother should give equal-valued gifts to the sisters. If the sisters have any issues after that? You have no future relationship with them anyway, and should ignore them from here on out until they can act like adults. I realize this seems a very pragmatic and sterile way to handle this issue, which is, essentially, your future MIL’s, and only your future MIL’s business to handle. But, alas, family drama is as family drama does. Such is life. Good luck!
LW#3: Dear Prudie: My parents divorced when I was young and so I grew up living with my mother. My father remarried to a heinous, evil, conniving, jealous bitch of a woman. She made it known over the years that I was not only unwelcome in her home, but that I was a nuisance when there (they lived on another coast and I visited over the summer, etc.). Well, after high school, my father agreed to pay for my college education. Things were all set, but then my step mother called one day and said that my father had had a heart attack and that his dying wish was to see me, but that she wasn’t going to allow it. This turned out to be a complete lie. After that, I broke ties with that side of the family and have lived over a decade without hearing from them. Recently, my step sister and father have tried to make contact, but I’m very uncomfortable with the idea. Should I tell my father what his wife did? Should I explain myself? Signed, Shunned
Dear Shunned Daughter. You were very young at the time and so probably hadn’t learned to stand up for yourself, which perhaps explains why you didn't say something then. But you’re a full-grown adult now. You’ve got an easy decision to make. Do you want a relationship with your father or not? And, know that you don’t have to make a permanent decision! You can say to yourself, “I think I want a trial period to see if he’s worth it.” You’re allowed! If you decide yes, then you’ve got to, a) tell your father exactly what happened, and, b) tell him that he chose his wife over you back then, that you’re sure that he knew and knows what type of woman she is, and that, now that you’re an adult, you will hold him responsible for being one, too. Explain that you won’t play his wife's games, that you won’t enter into any more family drama, and that you won’t be manipulated by his wife in any way. Tell him that if he wants a relationship with you, it’ll be one that first proves that you’re not chattel to be discarded every time his wife comes up with some new story about you. Finally, tell him that the kind of threat your step mother made was more serious than you ever care to deal with again, that it wasn’t just jealous, it was mean, manipulative and shitty, and that if he doesn’t address it with her now and in the future, you won’t ever be in her presence again. And mean it. Those should be the only conditions under which you're willing to try.
LW#4: Dear Prudie, my husband and I throw parties and dinners pretty frequently and mostly really enjoy the experience. One couple that we often invite is sort of an exception. They’re wonderful people, but, they don’t know when to go home, often staying hours past other guests, and sometimes even past midnight! What can we do? Does etiquette allow for kicking them out? What’s most strange is that the wife of this couple is an etiquette maven and gets very bent out of shape when breaches occur. How to handle this? Signed, (Mostly) Happy Partiers
Dear Hostess, you’ve got to let your expectations be known upfront, in the invitations to your parties. You can even use the suffix “-ish” after the quitting time, if you want to remain a little flexible, but, list the end time, no matter what. If your friends stay later than you want, simply say, “Jack and Jill, we’ve had a wonderful time, but, we’ve got a busy day tomorrow and need to wrap things up. We look forward to seeing you soon.” Do not, under any circumstances, explain what’s busy about your tomorrow. If Jill sees this as a social faux pas, so be it. Because you’ve made your intentions clear on your invitation, no one will give a shit what Jill thinks about it. And, if she does make too much of a big deal about it, one wonders what could be so great about having Jack and Jill over in the first place? As a caveat, however, I suspect that Jack and Jill might just feel really comfortable with you, and feel that their relationship with you is closer and more special than with other party goers, and they may believe that you actually enjoy the after-party alone time with them as much as they enjoy spending time with you. By being clear in your invitations, and then gentle but direct in your request that the party end, you allow them a graceful out and get your wish, too. Here’s hoping!
Well, Shippers, that’s it from this side of the Lagoon. I smell some lovely cooking from the other side, though, and, mistaken or not, I think that I actually hear someone watching an NCIS marathon over there?! Well, Shippers, sorry to be rude, but, NCIS means that this party’s over! I’m heading over to the other side! Fair winds and following seas, Shippers!