Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Prudence, 19 Aug 2010, One-by-one: Guilty, guilty, guilty

The originals are HERE.

This week, it's mostly folks who feel guilty because they should feel guilty but shouldn't or should feel guilty.

Letter 1 is from a woman who may have accused a man of inappropriate sexual behavior back when she was 6. She feels guilty. Prudie says that it's unlikely anything came of the matter, that she can try to learn more about the incident, and that she should atone by doing good works.
My take: Yeah. Let go of the guilt, girl.

Video letter is from a guy whose fiancée exchanged the engagement ring they chose together for a bigger model. Money's not the problem, but rather the fact that it's no longer "their" ring. Prudie says it's not that big a deal, and suggest making it "their" ring again by putting it in a box with a bow and re-proposing.
My take: You mistake (in addition to your engagement to this insensitive person) was in giving her a say in the choice of the ring in the first place. People: if you want to follow some sexist anachronistic tradition (ie, the woman wearing an engagement ring), you've got to follow it all the way. The guy chooses and buys the ring, and it is a COMPLETE SURPRISE to the gal. She has no need to know the price, and she can take the ring or leave it. If she wants to have a say in it, she better be giving him a chance to have a say in the choice of his mangagement ring (ugh). I say call the whole thing off, cause I'm getting cold feet about this marriage.

Letter 2 is from a woman whose unpleasant and unemployable relative is applying for a job in her firm. Should she nix the hire? Prudie says yes.
My take: Of course you should! She's your relative by an accident of nature. You don't want to work with her? Make sure it doesn't happen. And the fact that her employment would be bad for your firm is just the icing on the cake. No guilt!

Letter 3 is a woman who lied to her perfect, wonderful, amazing BF about how many sexual partners she had. She wants to come clean. Prudie says he should never have asked, and she has no reason to feel guilty.
My take: A guy who asks the question is not a perfect BF. And is he still insanely jealous about previous BF? If so, DTMFA. You're not guilty.

Letter 4 is from a divorcée who has custody of her "minor" son (is he 4 years old or 17 years old?)a few days a month. She has no spare bedroom for him, so he sleeps in her bed. And when her BF sleeps over, son sleeps on the couch. Her ex-husband thinks this is inappropriate. Prudie agrees with husband.
My take: So do I. You can't not sleep with your BF a couple of times a month? You can't provide a cot or an airbed for him? You can't screen off a corner of the living room? The only place for the kid to sleep is your bed, unless, that is, you have to shtup your BF? You are one bad mother... GUILTY!


Schuyler =^oo^= said...

LW4 is a curious case, isn't she? The hot and cold of it all is certain to inflame the more pious on The Fray, but around The Fly I suspect a lot of folks see a clearer view: put the BF on the couch, why don't you, and be done with it.

I might add, there's no particular reason she couldn't sneak out there and have a quick and quiet shag with him while junior sleeps. I have done exactly this in a former life. Not a terrible plan.

Still, I have to say I did not consider what you did: age. One might suspect this child is not 17 years old, pimping beer and sneaking into his girlfriend's window at night for sex each night. We are led to believe he is simply "young", implying "young enough to not want him fomenting bad ideas about mommy's sexual habits." This adds complication to an otherwise simple issue.

No matter. The solution is still clear, and you nailed it: park the BF elsewhere, Mommy Dearest.

Mermaid said...

I received all my gentleman callers long after the little one was asleep, and they took their leave long before the sun came up. That's what ladies do. ;)

There's a point in a child's development when they become "aware" and this is usually about the time they enter school. It has to do with realizing one's place in the world. Some children are more bright and inquisitive than others, and it happens earlier for some children than others. I'd guess this boy is maybe 5 or 6, or 4 if he's advanced and starting to "ask questions" that daddy can't answer.

hrumpole puts on a strong case for the LW3 to be a male. Frankly, when I read it, my first thought was "Didn't we just have this discussion?" because the combo of "how many?" and "jealous boyfriend" I know has certainly been debated on the Fray before. The concensus being, some people are going to care about this kind of thing, and some people aren't ~ the trick is making sure you're with someone who feels the way you do.

I love your graphics each week, btw. They are too perfect! The one a while back with the guy in the stained wife-beater had me in hysterics. Lovely work, Marc. Merci! :)

Kati said...

I second Schuyler and Mermaid. Is there really a book called "the Bad Mother handbook"? ..and it came out of Seattly? No no not Seattle, please! No bad mothers here (thanks to the rain that washes all badness away....)

Seoul Sister said...

I love the pics! And I think you are dead on with #4 - Mom needs to get a real bed for the kid, for a LOT of reasons. And she needs to save the sleepovers with BF for when the kid's not there.

As for the video letter, I agree with you 100%. I say if a man is going to ask someone to marry them, he ought to know that person well enough to know what kind of ring she'd like, so make it a surprise and if she really loves you, she'll love the ring, even if the diamond is so small it takes a magnifying glass to see it. After all, it's supposed to be about what it represents, not whether or not you need a security team to escort you whenever you wear it in public.