Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found Here.
Hey hidey-hoy, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine-fine Prudie Day? Are you finishing classes maybe? Taking that one last test, or turning in that last term paper? Or, maybe work is winding down before taking time off for the holidays? Or all of the above? Whatever your situation, I wish you a happy and wonderful next few weeks (and yes, that includes Christmas, but it also includes Hanukkah , Kwanzaa, Festivus, Winter Solstice, and even “Sunday the 25th”, a purely secular day for some). Regardless of how you spend the holidays, my sincere wishes for a wonderful time for you all! :-) Except for maybe a LW or two, who truly don’t deserve it! To that end, let’s get crackin’ on these letters, shall we?
LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m in my 30s, have met the man of my dreams and am ready to marry and start a family. The problem? I have a cat and my beau is deathly allergic. My cat is eight-years-old and I feel super-guilty about trying to figure out how to best place him in a loving home. My rigid, judgmental, asshole friends are basically accusing me of the equivalent of abandoning a child, and, too, my cat is starting to develop behavioral problems because I spend so much time away from home at my boyfriend’s house. What can I do to assuage this guilty feeling? Signed, Broken Hearted in Belleview
Dear Broken. First off, tell your friends to shove their judgmental attitudes up their own (or each other’s) asses. Either, a) they’re jealous old bitties from whom you’d do well to extricate yourself, or, b) you’re reading too much into what they’re saying due to your feelings of guilt. Either way, Prudie’s suggestion of enlisting them to help you place the cat in a loving home is right on target and will tell you a lot about their motives in tearing you down and criticizing you. Too, though, if you do need judgment, and want it from me, you’ve got it: if you’re spending so much time away from home that your cat is developing behavioral problems as a result, you’re already way past being a shitty owner to your cat. Finding a loving new home for a beloved animal due to changing life situations is not a crime, and sometimes it’s just the way life works when you wear big girl panties. However, frequently leaving a cat for what’s obviously several days at a time without love or care? That’s just shitty. How you or your friends could possibly think that’s better than placing your cat in a loving home is beyond me. You want to feel guilty about something, feel guilty about that. And then fix it. Pronto!
LW#2: Dear Prudie, I have a wonderful husband who loves me dearly. He spontaneously gives me presents, shows me great affection, sends flowers for no reason at all, gives tender, loving words, etc. But, when it comes to planning for big events like birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc., he’s pretty terrible--to the point of barely making an effort at all to spend money on me. I, on the other hand, get him thoughtful and appropriately-awesome gifts for those days. Every time. How can I tell him that it feels like a personal attack on me, our love, the very foundation of our relationship and our family’s future that he doesn’t pay special attention to me on those days and that I’m planning a major crying jag complete with holiday-ruining door-slamming (and other tirades) if he doesn’t come through in a big way this Christmas? Signed, (Already) Buying Tissue in Birmingham
Dear Otherwise Great Husband’s Wife. So, let me get this straight. He loves you dearly, is loving and affectionate and generous, but, he blows it all by not planning ahead for and getting you gifts on big days? Is that right? I’m not meaning to trivialize your complaint, I just want to make sure that I understand the issue. No, look, I’m being a little heavy-handed, but, you have to realize that you’re falling victim to “princess syndrome” (PS). PS dictates that, not only should your husband be the most awesome man ever, he should also be able to magically predict your desires without hints or clues from you, know you so well that he just “knows” what you want, and then deliver it in such grand style that you feel you’re the only woman on Earth. And, truth is, I can understand that desire. Hell, I’d like that, too! But, fact is, that’s not how things work most of the time in the real world. I know that you think that you do great by him, but, you know what? I bet if he gave in to PS, he’d be wondering why you can’t do things a different way for him! And the shame is that you both think you’re doing well for the other! He thinks he’s being awesome by showing you how much he loves you all year long. You think you’re being awesome by buying him big ticket items that he may or may not need or want, but, by golly, I guarantee you he’ll pretend he loves them because, well, you guys (or at least you) aren’t communicating! Prudie’s right. You need to be proactive and quit pretending that if you leave a hint or help your husband give you what you want that the effort he then makes and the gift he then buys will be somehow tainted or of less value. That line of thinking is best left to Disney movies and fantasy.
LW#3: Dear Prudie. I’m Jewish. My husband is not. His family is not. But I am! I just had a little boy who I’m raising Jewish. My in-laws are great, supportive, but simple, uneducated people. They’ve traveled at great expense to my son’s bris and though they don’t know any Jews, have tried to be understanding of my culture and my religion. I am traveling to see them over Hanukah and they would like to give my son presents. I’ve directed them to wrap the presents in Hanukah paper because my son is Jewish and Christmas paper will stain his soul. They claim that Christmas is a secular holiday and that receiving Christmas presents from them won’t permanently scar my son or exclude him from Heaven and God’s grace. How can I help them respect my wishes. Signed, Jewess in Jersey
Dear Jersey. I’m going to try to be as tactful as possible. I, too, worry for your son’s soul. But my worry isn’t due to Christmas paper or other exposure to Heathen activity. It’s due to his mother’s selfish, self-interested, elitist snobbery. Listen, I don’t know if you know this, but, there are other religions, other cultures, other traditions in this world outside of your own. And your son will be exposed to them. And you can make that exposure so vile and nasty that you drive him away from you and your own culture and tradtions, or, you can recognize that you married a non-Jew. That you chose to break with Jewish tradition in doing so, and that you are at fault if you think that you can now go back on that and make everything in your son's life be about you and your ways. Whether you let your husband touch the child or not with his goy hands, he is the child's father, and his family is your son's family. Didn’t you realize your husband was a non-Jew when you married? What, did you just not give a shit because you reckoned that, like his weak, wimpy ass, his entire family would just bow to you and your desires? You know what? Call it Hanukah, call it Christmas, call in Solstice, I don’t care. One thing I’m pretty sure of is that it’s supposed to be a time of grace and giving and tolerance. Maybe you should ponder that part of your tradition, eh?
LW#4: Dear Prudie. My sister and I would like to visit our childhood home. We have many great memories of the place and would love to see the house, the yard, the rooms. Unfortunately, our family no longer lives there and I don’t know how to go about asking the current owners if it’s okay if we come for a visit. I know that my own parents would be quite derisive and object whole-heartedly to anyone making such a request of them regarding their house! What should I do? Signed, Homesick in Harrisburg
Dear Homesick. Simply write a letter to the current owners. Explain what you’ve explained here. Offer proof of your identity--perhaps a picture or two of you and your sister in front of the house? Unless the current owners are as horrible as your parents sound (and let’s hope not!), they will happily have you into their home, or, if they’re unable to do so (and there are certainly valid reasons why they couldn’t), they’ll at least write back explaining their sincere regrets. Either way, it’s a very modest request and the worst you can receive is a no. Good luck, and happy memories!
Well, Shippers, that about does it! May your week be filled with fun, happiness, double burgers and fries! And, too, may we all meet here again next week for more of that magical Prudie fun. ‘Til then, fair winds and following seas to you all! Cheers!