Thursday, November 4, 2010

Advice Illustrated, 4 November 2010 "Do I have to?"

The original are HERE. The quality of letters seems to be improving a bit. Good job, Slate interns!

The question du jour seems to be "Do I have to?". The answer, usually, is "no". Unless it's "Yes, but fake it".

Letter 1 is from a guy who got away from a drug-addict abusive mother and saved his half brother from a similar fate. Now Mom is indigent, and her parents want LW to support her financially. Prudie says he would be a fool to go without even the most extravagant luxury to help that nasty person.
I say: ditto.

The video letter is from a "sex-starved newlywed". She wants lots of it with her husband, who's only up for it three times a week. She hates initiating. Prudie says that three times a week is OK, but he should be wanting it, not be pushed into it. They need to talk and he has to be encouraged to initiate. If not, get help.
I say: you're newleyweds. It's time to find a man who can meet your needs. I'm sure the Fray can provide many self-proclaimed champs at that.

Letter 2 is from a woman who's tired of the putdowns from her hosts when she attends her husband's cousins annual Thanksgiving dinner. Her husband won't defend her, and she doesn't know if she can defend herself. Prudie says to at least get the husband to acknowledge the hurtfulness of his cousin's behavior. Then she needs to either speak up or put up, or go elsewhere for Thanksgiving.
I say that unless we know just what this dig is, it's hard to know if LW is oversensitive or not. I like Prudie's suggestion for a response. I like even better the suggestion of going elsewhere for Thanksgiving.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose otherwise successful daughter has gone soap-free, because she just loves her natural body oils (and can no longer smell her natural body odor). Should LW butt in? Prudie says yes.
I say: if your mother can't tell you, who can? (And if she really wants to reduce her carbon footprint, she can jump in front of a Prius.)

Letter 4 is from an employee who just can't join in during the motivational pep rallies her employer puts on. Prudie says that she's fine there in the back of the room, and just needs to up the feigned enthusiasm a notch to be considered as a low-normal rather than an asocial misfit.
I say: Between iPhone apps, Facebook, the Fray and pep rallies, when do Americans actually work?

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