Letter 1 is from a woman whose mother is herself a bit handicapped, but has taken on duties as a foster mother, and who has adopted one of her former foster children. This adoptee is violent, yet mother wants LW to take care of her during mother's three-week trip to Europe. LW's husband says no way, but LW feels guilty. Prudie says mother needs to find a stable solution for the adoptee, and it can't be LW. Also says LW should narc mom as an unfit foster mother to social services.
My take: Tell mom to fuck off.
Video letter is from a guy whose obese GP keeps telling him to lose weight. He's OK with his weight, and can't take the hypocrisy. Prudie tells him to tell her that her advice is not going to change anything, and that she should herself know how hard it is to lose weight sustainably.
My take: As a fat person myself, I can confirm that I know I'm fat, I know it's not healthy, and I really don't need to hear it from you.
Letter 2 is from a grad student with a thing for an undergrad she used to TA. Prudie says LW has a choice to make, and since she knows it will be bad for her career to go out with a former student, she should choose not to. And is the guy even interested?
My take: She is -- gasp -- six whole years older than this adult. Stop obsessing, see what happens, and take your lumps. Make up your mind one way or the other. I am pretty sure in any case that you are not the girl this 19-year-old will be together with till his dying day, but why not have some fun in the meantime?
Letter 3 is from a woman who has been treated for cancer, but whose life expectancy isn't so hot. She is finding it difficult to make the most of the time she may have, since she's so anxious about dying and leaving her husband and young children. Prudie says get help and get drugs to deal with the anxiety. And the life expectancy she has been told is just a number. It reminded me of the Stephen J. Gould essay. Here's something from Wikipedia:
In July 1982, Gould was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer affecting the abdominal lining and frequently found in people who have been exposed to asbestos. After a difficult two-year recovery, Gould published a column for Discover magazine, titled "The Median Isn't the Message", which discusses his reaction to discovering that mesothelioma patients had a median lifespan of only eight months after diagnosis. He then describes the true significance behind this number, and his relief upon realizing that statistical averages are just useful abstractions, and do not encompass the full range of variation.
The median is the halfway point, which means that 50% of patients will die before 8 months, but the other half will live longer, potentially much longer. He then needed to determine where his personal characteristics placed him within this range. Considering that the cancer was detected early, the fact he was young, optimistic, and had the best treatments available, Gould figured that he should be in the favorable half of the upper statistical range. After an experimental treatment of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, Gould made a full recovery, and his column became a source of comfort for many cancer patients.
Gould lived for twenty more years before dying of an unrelated cancer. Do some research to figure out what your personal chances of beating your cancer are.
Letter 4 is from a pussy whiner who hates having to change the water bottle at work just because he is the only young healthy man in the office. Prudie tells him to shut the fuck up.
My take: So do I. And what's with this "I usually bring my own bottle of water from home, so I shouldn't be obliged to change the water bottle at work." How much water are you bringing with you? Are you carting a liter of your own water with you each day? That's pretty dumb, if you can get if for free at work. And you do admit sometimes using the office water. And even if you were a vampire and never drank water at all, you can still step up to the plate and help out your colleagues. What a putz you are.