Thursday, October 28, 2010

Advice Illustrated, 28 October 2010: "Secret toxins"

This week we've got a bit of a theme: secrets about toxins and toxic secrets.

Read the originals HERE.

Letter 1 is from a dude who was invited to his GF's family's vacation home. Family is anti-sex-before-marriage, so they slept in separate bedrooms, but GF convinced LW to have a romp in the backyard, where semi-senile grandma saw them. Now everyone thinks grandma's ready for the home. Should they fess up? Prudie says yes. She also says it's crazy that the family's puritanical values could jeapardize the future of his relationship, and that it's time to put his foot down and tell them to stuff it. Like he stuffs their virginal daughter.
I say that the GF is a nympho slut. They were there for a WEEKEND. You can't wait 48 hours? When you accept an invitation to someone's home, you accept the house rules. Rules on unmarried people having sexual relations in the house (and that includes the yard, in my book) are old fashioned but they are not unreasonable. Of course you have to fess up and accept the consequences. And you might find those consequences less troublesome if you show proper respect for your hosts and contrition for breaking the house rules.

The video letter is once again sponsored by a far-right firm involved in a multi-level marketing scheme. And the writer is about a woman who is paranoid about catching oral herpes. She thinks that persons seem offended when she tells them that they are dirty and contagious Thyphoid Marys. Prudence says she does not need to explain, but that it's likely LW is given off her germophobic vibes bigtime.
I say that LW is a silly germophobe. Large numbers of people have the herpes virus and it's not a huge problem. I wonder if LW, who is so "health conscious" is actually... healthy.

Letter 2 is from a woman whose wedding was RUINED by the post-wedding knowledge that her father was boinking the wedding planner. LW's parents kissed and made up, but LW's memories of the event are RUINED because she knows the TRUTH of what was happening then. She wants to renew her vows for her 15th anniversary, but just how does she justify doing that? Prudie says she doesn't like renewing vows, that she's giving this woman too much power, and that in any case there is no need to explain the decision to renew.
I say that LW is just looking for a reason to bitch about her wedding 15 years ago. So I suggest including the story of how this hussy RUINED YOUR WEDDING in the invitation. An insert card will do. Amazing that it's the sight of the OW that makes you sick, but not that of your dad.

Letter 3 is from a person has accidentally learned that a coworker doing the same job but with less experience but a higher degree is getting paid much more than her. How can she bitch about it? Prudie says there are any number of reasons the coworker is earning more, and that there is no need to bring it up, but that LW can base her future salary negotiations on this knowledge.
I say that the coworker is doing her job much better: her job is getting as much financial compensation as possible for her time and work. You are 6000 USD less competent than her. (We all know that a significant fraction of the wage gap between men and women is due to women's inability or discomfort in bargaining hard for salary.)
I do wonder if the "leak" might not have been intentional...

Letter 4 is from a woman who believes she had had food poisoning from meals made by friends and wants to know if she can keep up the friendship while refusing future dinner invites. Prudie says to invite them over and tell them that their food made her sick.
I say you can refuse invitations but keep up the relationship. Invite them to your place, go out to dinner, go to the theater or movies... Or just put up with the risk of puking.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Advice Illustrated, 21 October 2010 "Short and curlies"

The originals are HERE.

Letter 1 is from a woman who's met Mr. Right, except that he's very poorly endowed. She only likes vanilla sex, so is this a deal breaker? Prudie says it doesn't have to be.
I have nothing to say but that I was very embarrassed for Prudie, who used this letter for her Tourette's-worthy spate of puns. Not appropriate, not funny, not helpful, not entertaining. Just sad.

The video letter is a waste of time. Already commented on it. My daughters are each beautiful, but one is beautiful in an eery way. Wooooooo.

Letter 2 is from a woman who's being hit up for a hair donation to make a wig for a sick child. Prudie says no way, José. Give cash, bring a casserole, but don't give up your hair to this rude, rude, woman.
I say you should go to the nearest barber and collect some hair clippings. Place in bag and give. Maybe she'll get the point.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose fiancé cheated on her. They're OK, and are now married. But she's now discovered that the friend for whom she's bridesmaiding has invited the Other Woman to all the wedding festivities, and treats her as a friend, despite having avowed her hatred of OW. She thinks it's too late to pull out of the wedding, but is not sure how to handle this. Prudie says the situation may not be what it appears, and she needs to talk to the bride-to-be, who in any case, should have warned LW. Prudie hopes the clarification will allow LW to follow through.
I say that my first reaction is that yes, anyone can choose their friends, and it's time for you to unfriend this bride and skip the wedding. But Prudie is right that she did end up theoretically happy, and she doesn't need to let the past influence the present. I would add that LW expects her friends to forgive and accept her husband, who was at least as responsible for the affair. (Has he apologized to any of them? No? Then he's on the same footing as the OW.)

Letter 4 is from a student who is soon to be a lawyer, but who hates the law and dreads practicing it. LW doesn't want to tell their parents that their investment was for nought. Prudie says that given the job market, staying in school to pursue other studies may not be a bad idea, but that LW can also find a profession that doesn't require her to practice law with her law degree, and cites the entire staff of Slate as examples of lawyers turned writers.
I say: yeah; But how can't you love the law? It's really interesting intellectually, morally, etc. etc.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dear Prudence, 14 Oct 2010: All-in-one

Dear Prudence,

I recently came into a bit of money and decided to use some of it as a down payment on my dream house, which I was able to buy at a bargain basement price. I have recently learned why: the house was used as a puppy mill where they carried out in-house vivisection experiments. I'm a dog lover (I can't even bear to eat hot d*gs), so this has really shaken me up. I'm waken up in the middle of the night by the imaginary sounds of puppies whimpering.

As a result of this stress, I've fallen back on a bad habit I thought I had kicked: unnecessary dental work. While I'm under the gas, I can finally relax and not think the bad doggy thoughts.

Anyway, now that I have a house with a garden, my sister has decided that I can be her free dog sitter. I would be fine with this, but she refuses to clip her dog's claws, and they would ruin my newly refinished hardwood floors. When she came by with the dog last night, I was still under the effect of the sedative, and I said some things I probably shouldn't have, starting with a request for the dog to wear doggy slippers. I have no memory of what I said, but this time my sister had the foresight to bring her camcorder, and I must admit that I was really a piece of work.

My sister is furious with me, and tells me that until I get my dental-induced outbursts under control, she wants nothing more to do with me. The entire family is taking her side. What makes it even worse is that I have no teeth left to be worked on.

So my question to you, Prudie, is whether you know a dentist who gives gas for tooth cleaning.


White Fang

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Advice Illustrated, 14 October 2010: The truth about consequences

The originals are HERE.

Letter 1 is from a woman who has a horrible temper, although she claims she's trying to control it. At a family wedding she started screaming at her sister, who finally had enough of LW's shit and responded by saying she wanted nothing to do with LW again. LW just can't understand why. Prudie tells her why: she's a toxic person who spreads unhappiness, and cutting off ties with her is the best way for her family members to preserve their sanity.
I say Prudence provided a fine response. The truth: you're toxic. The consequences: people don't want to be around you.

The video letter is from a house-proud new home owner who expects everyone who visits to take their shoes off (despite some guests saying they prefer to keep their shoes on) and expects them to know that she expects this by some magical power of suggestion. Prudence says that in the US, people get to keep their shoes on, and she should get used to having a less-than-immaculate house.
I say she's nuts. If she wants people to take off their shoes, provide slippers for guests, and say, in the most gracious and un-neurotic way possible for you, "Here are some slippers if you want to take your shoes off". Now let's move to the real question: what form of birth control are you using? It better be damn good, because if you freak out over shoe-wearing guests, what's gonna happen when you create your own in-house dirtmongers? The truth: people get to keep their shoes. The consequences: you'll have to vacuum even more than your OCD is making you already.

Letter 2 is from a gay guy who assaulted a coworker who was driving him home (well, to a bus stop... what's with that?) after a dental procedure involving heavy sedation. Now coworker's skeeved out. Prudie says to apologize, and also: what's with the bus stop rather than driving LW home?
I say; what's with the bus stop rather than driving LW home? The truth: you assaulted him. The consequences: he wants nothing more to do with you.

Letter 3 is from a student who's renting an apartment owned by a horrible horrible person who did horrible horrible things in the apartment (or the building at least). He likes the cheap price and needs a place to live and has a lease, but feels horribly horrible. Prudie says he's stuck with the lease, and to make up for feeling horribly horrible by holding a fundraiser for a good cause.
I say, yeah. The truth: you've signed a lease. The consequences: you're gonna be paying this guy rent for a while. Go destroy an unborn chicken to compensate.

Letter 4 is from a new stay-at-home mom with three kids whose BIL and SIL are abusing her availability for free day care and babysitting. Prudie says to tell them she can't do it anymore, and that if they get upset, good riddance.
I mostly agree, but family members did use to help each other out. I say she should go back to work and let her husband raise the kids. Afterwards he can deal with his own sister and her husband. The truth: you made yourself a target. The consequences: someone's gonna have to put his foot down.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Photo censorship

Read the story on the Larry Clark exhibigtion HERE.

There's now a homoerotic aspect to the story. A daily paper interviewed (HERE) a guy named Marcel Rufo, a media-friendly child psychologist, about the ban on minors. He disagreed with the ban, and said that instead, the Dieux du Stade rugby beefcake calendar should be off limits to minors because it's much more pornographic and degrading, including scenes of dom-sub, etc. Is Rufo uncomfortable with homoeroticism? Or, as the head of the club that produces the calendar says, because Rufo is a fan of a rival club, and of a more traditional rugby, where the only oil you'd find on a player is motor oil from his tractor?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Advice Illustrated, 7 October 2010 "Boys will be hairy and girls will be self-righteous or drunk"

The originals are HERE.

Letter 1 is from a woman whose husband has developed a close friendship with a coworker. She feels left out, and thinks her husband might be in lurve with the guy. Prudie goes all Brokeback Mountain on the LW and urges her to find out if the cowboys are doing it.
I say: women tend to use any reason to accuse their partners of being gay. It's an effective controlling technique, for sure. If something physical is going on, LW does need to know, but the real problem is her impression that she's being left out of her husband's emotional life. When she complains about it, she needs to find a better way to answer her husband's reply. Like, "No, I don't want to break up your friendship, but I want us to talk about why you prefer to share your emotional life with him than with me." Guys do say "I love you, bro", and almost all of them aren't messing around.

The video letter is from a woman who broke off her friendship with a bridezilla as soon as the horrible wedding experience was over. Ten years on, friend is renewing her vows and wants LW to be her bridesmaid again. Prudie says don't.
I say: duh.

Letter 2 is from a grandmother whose young adult granddaughters took photos of their vagrant alcoholic mother (LW's daughter) at the hut she lives in under a bridge and posted them to Facebook. Prudie says it was not a good thing to do, but perhaps the granddaughters got some cathartic release from it. Now keep trying to help the granddaughters.
I say: ugh.

Letter 3 is from a yuppie who's tired of defending the fact that she actually worked hard to get a good job and can occasionally buy something she likes. Prudie says to dump the self-righteous do-gooders (with other people's money) friends.
I say: Whenever they bitch about your new car, ask them if they've done their bit for the planet by having themselves sterilised.

Letter 4 is from a woman whose husband periodically shaves his head. She hates it, but he says it's his head, so it's his decision and he likes to be intermittently bald. Prudie says to lay off him and try to enjoy the jarhead look.
I say: I have just this problem! I don't know that I've ever read a DP letter so close to a problem of my own. Add to it variations on facial hair, periodic whims to grow his hair or beard as long as possible (never very long in the end, because he succombs to the urge to clip), etc. etc. Prudie's right: it's not your head,it's not your problem, enjoy the fact that this inconsequential problem is the kind you have.