Thursday, December 29, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Do you really want to do this?

Hope your Yuletide was merry, and that the New Year's celebrations will be fun and safe for y'all.

Now on to Pruditry.

Winner of the women's division of the How to Do Everything beard sprint
Letter 1 is from a woman who is boycotting intimacy with her husband because he refuses to shave his beard. I would say that she made a big mistake in demanding that he shave. Surely her feminine wiles would have been much more effective? And let's turn this around: what if he starts demanding that she shave her public hair? Does she have to oblige?
Prudie says to try another tack, and at least get him to groom his beard properly.

Video letter is from... Wait! There's no video letter, just a best-of the year's videos. Boo.

This painting was popular among the results for a search for "illegitimate daughter"
Letter 2 is from a child who hates her mother for having an affair with a married man (who was her absent biodad). Now she herself is having an affair with a married man, and hates herself but can't stop.
I say: he's the married one, not you. But if you don't like yourself for doing this, stop it. Was that so hard? If you're too weak to see him, change jobs, change cities. But I think you're just having too much fun flagellating yourself. And maybe vicariously punishing your mother or something.
Prudie mostly agrees, but of course adds in the obligatory "get counseling".

Letter 3 is from a person who is in competition for a job with a former colleague who was fired for embezzlement. It's not on her record, so should LW tattle? Or rather, how should they tattle?
Really, if they're not your employer, you don't really care, so your fake concern about her potential for ripping off her new employer is most implausible. I say it's your call. Tattle or don't. If you do tell, I'd bet they don't choose either of you.
Prudie agrees, and suggest working on her own interview skills rather than trying to take down her competition.

Letter 4 is from a guy who's got financial difficulties, and who received a generous gift of cash from family friends. The givers' daughter says that her parents know he's in trouble, and think of him as family and want to help. LW's parents think the gift is too generous and should be treated as a loan.
I have been helped at times, and have helped others at times. I see being the beneficiary of others' generosity as a source of no shame, and being the benefactor no great honor. It's the way society should work: accept help when offered and needed, give help when you can and see the need. "Pay it forward" is probably a better policy here than "pay it back".

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Why one might hate Christmas

No illustrations this week. Suggestions welcome!

Letter 1 is from a woman who is still a baby and wants Xmas to always be just her nuclear family. Now her brother’s inlaws are inviting everyone over and it’s just sooooo hard to bear, because they’re STRANGERS to her (of course, one might think that after a few Xmases like this, she might get to know them a bit). Prudie says to grow up.
I say: Get laid. This sounds more like jealousy that your brother has a spouse and a new family, while you’re still a bitter spinster.

Video letter is from a woman whose family wants to be together for Xmas, but no one wants to host. LW can’t host and wants someone else to do it. Prudie suggests she organize a family dinner at the nearest Chinese restaurant with all the Jews, then return to her place to exchange gifts. If that doesn’t work, she should find another “family” to spend Xmas with.
I say, OK.

Letter 2 is from a woman whose been estranger from her evil brother. Other families have made some sort of peace with him recently, but she doesn’t want to. This year he sent her some Xmas presents. She fears that acknowledging the gift will send the message that she approves contact.
Prudie says this is a peace offering from a changed man, and to give him a chance.
I say, do as you please and stop worrying about him.

Letter 3 is from a child who doesn’t want to go to Xmas mass with her virtually non-religious family. Her father wants her to go so that her mother’s feelings won’t be hurt.
I say: go to the damn mass. And if you really want to play some board game, do that too.
Prudie agrees.

Letter 4 is from a woman whose aunt and uncle keep sending her and her sister a 30 USD check each year for Xmas. She thinks it’s silly, especially since she has to go to all the trouble of sending a thank you card (which she doesn’t: a handwritten note on her own lovely embossed note paper would be even better).
Prudie says with some vehemence, with which I thoroughly concur, that LW simply has to look forward to the wonderful day when the death of her aunt and uncle will free her from the burden of thanking them for their gift. Here’s another idea: how about offering them a gift?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advice Illustrated: silly women and people of other genders

I must say that this week's lot, while not dramatic in any way, offered something a bitter different from the usual run of crap.

Letter 1 is from a woman who have at last found Mr Right who is absolutely perfect. Except he’s allergic to her cat. She feels guilty and is being guilted by her friends about outplacing her cat.
I say: I love my cat, and my cat(s) have turned the BF into a cat lover himself, but he’s not allergic. People are more important than animals. Find a nice home for him, and stop feeling guilty. And those people who guilt you? They aren’t friends.
Prudie agrees, and suggests asking which of the naysayers is going to adopt pussy. She also nags about getting a ring on it.

Video letter is from a guy whose younger brother is a big spender (especially with others’ money) but won’t chip in for family outings. Should he insist bro pay his share? Answer: Yes. Was that a hard question?
Prudie says to cancel the expensive reservation made by older brother. (I would say go there, and skip out, leaving younger bro to pick up the tab, at last… reservation’s in his name, he’s responsible.)

Letter 2 is from a woman whose husband is perfect, except he forgets to give gifts for the official occasions. She has asked him to put some thought and forethought into Xmas this year. He shows his love throughout the year spontaneously, so is she wrong to get so annoyed by his holiday giving?
I am guilty of the printout thing. Sorry!
Prudie says to lighten up and propose a positive message, like going shopping together.
Prudie notes, knowingly: Comfort yourself that most letters to this column that begin with the phrase “My wonderful husband” end with the news that he is “a lecher,” “an alcoholic,” “a mamma’s boy,” or ”wearing my pantyhose.”

Letter 3 is from a Jewess who’s married to a goy. They keep a Jewish home and raise their child as a Jew. They’re spending Xmas with the inlaws, and LW wants them to wrap the kid’s presents in Hanukkah paper. Inlaws say Xmas is secular (not as long as that X stands for Christ is it).
Prudie notes: Someone who’s still healing from his bris is too young to notice he’s getting gifts wrapped in paper printed with Santas not dreidels. You plan to explain to your son that Christmas is the holiday of Grandma and Papa, who are not Jewish. So your demand that they use Hanukkah gift wrap won’t prevent confusion, because it’s confusing me. Your in-laws don’t celebrate Hanukkah, and trying to make their Christmas into an ersatz Jewish holiday will rightly be offensive to them. You and your husband have agreed to raise Jewish children, so you will have Jewish kids who have a set of grandparents who give them Christmas presents. Be grateful these people have warmly embraced you and your traditions, and don’t demand they change theirs.”
I can’t say more (except that the inlaws’ argument sucks… but LW is still wrong and is a jerk, and that while Hanukkah falls at Xmastime this year, it won't usually, so what are you gonna do then, bitch?)

Letter 4 is from a woman in her early 20s who misses the childhood home she left at age 12. She and her sister want to write the current owners asking to visit their old house. I say, so write the letter. Duh.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Oh, creepy step-fathers!

It's step-father week, but Prudie seems to have not gotten the memo.

Letter 1 is from a woman who has discovered that her husband is having an affair with her daughter from a previous marriage. Prudie goes off on her “mental illness explains all” trip and wants some sort of intervention to diagnose the daughter (but not the husband: apparently men are bipolar-free). My take: gunfire.

Video letter is from a young widower who got some media coverage due to the circumstances of his wife’s death, who’s now getting hit on by all the ladies.
Prudie has first-hand experience as the woman who landed the hot young widower. She says there’s no way to tell which of the women are serious.

Letter 2 is from a woman and as it involves “they are from a different culture and we can’t expect them to behave like normal people”, I’m giving it a pass. (And Emily feigns surprise at a second step-father letter.)

Letter 3 involves yet another step-father, this one a painter who paints his step-daughter nude. This started when she was an adult, and she is still an adult, and her BF, who is the LW, should maybe let her make her own decisions about who she gets naked with. And isn’t there something odd about a “long-term girlfriend” when both of you are in your 30s? If you were writing about your wife or partner, you might have more a say in this. And even then, not.
Prudie wants to keep this in the sordid step-father theme of the week (which she is just discovering? How does that work?), so she tells him to talk to the GF (duh).

Letter 4 is from a grown woman who feels guilty for having a security blanket. My take: you could be relying on food or drink or drugs or cigarettes for comfort, so lighten up on yourself. And tell the BF to STFU.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Advice Illustrated

Dear Prudence,

I've been blessed with good looks, which I work to maintain for my own self-esteem. The trouble is that people attribute what I believe are earned accomplishments to my appearance. For instance, I recently began a career in sales and in my first month grossed more than all of the other new associates combined. I worked hard to do this and dressed professionally and appropriately (my attire has not been a point of contention), but a number of people have commented that my success is due to my looks. I won't deny that my appearance could not have hurt, but I find these comments hurtful. Thus far, I've responded by stating that I'm just a workaholic, but the comments persist. These types of comments pervade my day-to-day dealings, as well: "Oh, the handyman only helped you because you're pretty." How can I discourage or deflect these comments?

—Hard Worker

Dear Worked Hard,

How can you discourage these comments? Disfigure yourself.

-- Me

Video is from a first-time dog-owner who gets weepy at the thought of having to put his dog to sleep. Prudie says to get over it. I say he's sick, sick, sick and needs help.

Letter 2 is from a woman who hates her parents. Does she have to spend Thanksgiving with them?
Yes, because you need to be punished for being stupid enough to ask this question.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose husband has a too-close relationship with an ex-colleague. Prudie says she's right to be jealous and she has to give an ultimatum. I agree that bringing the woman's car to LW's home to wax it, the straw that broke the camel's back, is too strange. Ultimatum away!

Letter 4 is a whining counselor who's tired of her friends and family moaning about small things when there are people with worse problems in the world.
My response: there are people with worse problems than yours. STFU:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Advice Illustrated. I'm cool with that (mostly).

Letter 1 is from a guy who has never been with anyone other than his wife. He's now wondering what it's like with other women.
Prudie suggests a separation or open marriage, but in any case, talking about it. I'm cool with that.

Video letter is from a woman who has an "artist" friend. Friend keeps giving horrible works of art as gifts despite lots of heavy hints.
Prudie suggests a final warning, then any additional monstrosities get dumped. I'm cool with that.

Letter 2 is from a (let's say) woman who is deformed from previously working for a control freak. She can't deal with the freedom to fail in her new position.
Prudie recommends prolonged exposure therapy, which is specifically designed to treat PTSD; or mindfulness therapy; or more traditional cognitive therapy. I'm cool with that. Or just stop worrying.

Letter 3 is from a child whose divorced has told him me about an affair that he recently had with LW's roommate's mother, whose husband is terminally ill. Father said he ended it when she went crazy and started to get possessive. Roommate's family is planning on having Thanksgiving dinner at LW's house. LW doesn't want to be around roommate's mother but doesn't want to tell all.
Prudie thinks LW should suck it up. I think LW should do the soup kitchen thing.

Letter 4 is from a woman who smokes pot now and then with hubby and friends. She fears her kids will find out. Her husband says deny, deny, deny. Shouldn't they be honest?
Prudie says LW and husband are dope fiends who will go to jail and destroy their family. Maybe. Prudie assumes as much... after suggesting they do a test by going off the daily dope for a week. Prudie seems to know that husband won't make it.
I say that sometime's it's great not to have kids.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

AI: Advice Illustrated

Letter 1 is from a woman who hates guns, and whose husband really wants to kill people. 'He feels everyone has the right to bear arms.' Well, 'right' does not mean 'obligation'. 'I don't understand the point in having one for defense if it's locked up.' Indeed. 'Please Mr Home Invader ! Would you mind waiting there while I go to my gun cabinet in the locker and open the combination lock ?' This dispute is blocking their reproductive plans.
You don't want a gun in your house. If he brings a gun in your house, you can't live there. That's the end of the story : it's a dealbreaker.
Prudie says each has a point, and their (his in particular) refusal to admit the other has a point is disturbing. She says to go to a firing range (huh?) 'If your husband won’t get certified in safety and basic skills, then he’s undone his own argument about gun ownership.'

Video letter is from a mom who takes her kid to swim lesson, during which she manages to steel herself to wear a swimsuit. A dad has started taking first photos of his kid in the pool, and now VIDEO. Can she ask him to stop?
Prudie says to get over herself. So do I. (But thanks for drown-proofing your child: you're a crazy lady but a good parent.)

Letter 2 is from a newlywed man whose wedding was a disaster involving bloodshed and felony charges. Do they return their wedding gifts from the assaillant and victim ? Apologize to the other guests ?
At last an interesting wedding question. Prudie uses 'bloodshed' and 'assailant' too. Hee !
Prudie says no need to return gift from the killer. Tell victim you won't be cashing check, and offer to use some wedding gift money (namely from killer) for his expenses.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose friend lost her hair to chemo. Friend has always admired LW's hair, so LW wants to surprise her with a wig made from LW's hair. LW's hubbie thinks it lacks 'propriety'.
Prudie agrees. I don't. I would reformulate the gift : do it, and tell your friend you're donating the wig to an organization that does this kind of thing. Say that if she would like it herself, you would be honored to give it to her directly.
Prudie says there are other ways to help (meals, etc.). I say : we have no information that LW is not already doing all that.

Letter 4 is from a woman who lives far from her parents, resulting in infrequent but long visits. Her parents prefer that LW and family visit them, but parents are disgusting hoarder types.
Prudie correctly wonders if this is new behavior, and if it is, that there's something wrong with the parents that needs to be dealt with medically etc. In any case, refuse to go there and tell them to come to you.
Yes, was that so hard ?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Grow up!

Letter 1 is from a guy who's not getting enough sex from his wife, so he frequents prostitutes, which he says is more honorable than having an affair. Wife refuses counseling. He gets along with her and a divorce would destroy his relationship with his kids.
Prudie says he was wrong to marry her if he knew they were so incompatible. He needs to press her to reestablish their relationship. He needs to think of the risk of exposure, arrest, etc. while usig prostitutes. And, oh, STIs.
I would say that by refusing to allow you to have sex with her, she's giving you approval to get it elsewhere. But why are whores "more honorable" than an affair? An affair can be just about sex. and it would be far better with respect to STIs. And about that little detail: if you're sleeping with other people, she has an absolute right to know. How about this message: "Dear, I want our marriage to work, but I have legitimate needs you refuse to meet. Either we work on this, or you are putting me in a situation where I will have to look elsewhere. If you can't bear that idea, we will have to divorce. If you can bear it, you will have to decide if you want to continue to have sex with each other, knowing that I am sleeping with others and potentially putting you at risk.

Video letter is from a gal whose husband takes naughty photos of the neighbor ladies. Is it illegal? Prudie correctly says that this is a dumb question, and that she needs to divorce him.

Letter 2 is from a man in his late 70s who doesn't want to go to his 60th high school reunion because they voted him "most likely to succeed." He hasn't "if success is defined by 'wealth'," He asks: "How do I overcome my feelings of inadequacy because I am not 'successful'?" OMG this is a joke, right? You are inadequate, please jump off a bridge you worthless piece of matter.

Letter 3 is from a dad who raised his son after the death of his wife. Son is now adult, and regularly visits and calls. When dad emailed to confirm his latest trip, son replied with mistake with an email to his GF stating: "F--k , my dad arrives tomorrow morning. Arg. Arg. I am sorry baby." LW flipped (why?). He has refused to speak to his son. Did he overreact? Did Adam do it with Eve? You bet he did, and so did you (overreact). Prudie agrees, but says the son was also wrong, but LW needs to make the first step. I say: WTF! His "fuck" was related to cancelling plans with his GF, and has nothing to do with his pleasure seeing you. You have made a mountain out of an anthill (the email mixup, not the content). Grovel!

Letter 4 is from a girl whose friend has been organizing her 24th birthday "weekend", with lots of drunkenness scheduled. Friend has invited herself to LW's place on night 2, because she'll be too drunk to drive (no news on where she plans to sleep on night 1, when she'll also be too drunk to drive... and just what is "not too drunk to drive"?). LW wants to see her own BF that weekend, hates the bar, and would prefer the BF and other guys to join night 2 (planned as girls only). BDay girl refuses, pouts, and is making a big deal about LW even suggesting such a thing. The goyls "said I was wrong because it was her birthday and she should get to celebrate how she wants."
Prudie is rightly amazed that a 24yo gets a "birthday weekend" with two parties. But she's not even inviting you, she's telling you where to go and how to spend your money, which you're under no obligation to do. Why do you want to be friends with these people? It would be hard to uninvite her crashpadding, but you don't have to go to her grand drunken affair. Prudie agrees.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Finally post Fray

The first post-Fray Advice Illustrated.
View this post and much, much more on The Fly Magazine at

Letter 1 is from a woman who is haunted by her abusive mother. Prudie says to get therapy, and stop giving this evil woman such power. I say, yeah.

Video letter is from a guy who has a casual kissing thing (?) with this woman. That woman lives elsewhere and has a BF. But now he's hooked on the first woman's sister. Is that gross? Prudie says he's not hooked on the sister. I say, to answer the question, no, it's not gross. Think of Jacob with Leah and Rebecca. It's all cool.

Letter 2 is from a slacker jerk who was a bad employee, slovenly, bad attitude, etc. (yet still managed to keep his job... I don't get that). Now he's turned over a new leaf and has gone corporate and responsible. But none of his colleagues take his change in behavior seriously. Whine, whine, whine. Prudie says it will take time, and then says what I say, in the words of my mother: "So you want a medal for that?".

Letter 3 is from a guy who shares everything with his GF, and vice versa. Among the thoughts she has shared with him is that she at times finds him unattractive. Prudie says that honesty is not the best policy, and we have jaws that can close and stay closed. I say, this woman doesn't know men, and she's just begging for her dude to go limp. I say DTMFA in any case: who makes this kind of comment once, let alone twice? She's sending a pretty clear message.

Letter 4 is from a woman who disagrees about who should be the guardians of their children in case she and her husband die. She wants one of the pairs of elderly grandparents. He wants his sister and her husband. All are financially able to manage, but she thinks the aunt and uncle live too far away, are childless, and cold. Prudie says they can make a choice and change that choice later. I say, would you want a 70-year-old to take on such a daunting task? Children are lots of work, and humans are programmed to have them young because of that. What happens in 10 years, when those 60-70 year olds are 70-80 year olds?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Advice Illusrated: Post Fray?

Too obvious, I know.
Letter 1 is from a woman whose husband of two years has been cheating on her. The other woman says it's been a long-thing, he says it was a one-off ages ago. She still likes him and is in therapy, but doesn't really believe him. Prudie says she's right to doubt him: he didn't confess, he got caught. Prudie says to ask the other woman for proof of an on-going affair. I say: pretend it never happened. Become monogamish. You really don't want to know, do you? Make sure he arranges things in the future so that you don't find out.

Video letter is from a woman whose father and step-mother ("his wife") drive her crazy on their annual visit. Prudie says to tell them they'll be staying at a motel for future visits, but that in the big scheme of things, she's got it lucky. I say, yeah, whatever. And when they ask if this or that item in your house is new, is it so very hard to say "yes" or "no"?

Letter 2 is from a woman whose friend has invited her to her wedding. She also invited LW's mother, but not her father. When LW called to find out why, "friend" told her that since her father has been given only weeks to live, it wasn't worth planning on him coming months from now to her wedding. Prudie says the "friend" is a pig and for all to decline the invitation and drop this humunculouse as a "friend". I say it's time for all their mutual friends to know, too. You might send a card, though, saying "I was going to send you a wedding gift, but since you're going to die at some point, I figured it wasn't worth it."

Letter 3 is from a recent grad working for Americorps and living at home whose parents have decided to stick him for half of his expensive private college education (after telling him not to go to a state school). And now they've sold their vacation home to cover his college costs, and they want to use some of the leftover cash to go on an expensive vacation with him, and with him paying his "share". Prudie says to tell them that if they had expected him to pay for his education, they needed to make that clear before, and that he will not be joining them on their vacation. And to get a job and get out of their home ASAP.
I say: Why is it so expensive? Back in my day, we had financial aid, based on ability to pay. This guy's parents are nuts, and seem to be poor financial planners if they have to seel their vacation home to pay for their child's education. This is confirmed by the fact that the first thing they decided to do with the excess cash was to blow it on a dream vacation. How about putting it away for your retirement? In any case, these are a pair of creeps.

Letter 4 is from a young woman whose mentally retarded male neighbor is always hanging around trying to chat with her. Put up with it or get him to stop? And how?  Prudie says to chat when she can, and to tell his mother that there are groups providing activities for mentally retarded adults. And also about how we should use a term other than "mentally retarded". I say that I don't really know. This could get creepy/dangerous at some point. The LW makes him sound kind of stalkery. I think if I were her I might be a bit afraid. His mental age is 8 but his body is 25, and it sounds like he's not gotten as much support as he could have growing up.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

16 septembre 2011 / Koh Lanta

Ambition de Maxime : décimer sa propre équipe pour se retrouver tout seul à la réunification. Maxime premier éliminé après la réunification. Fin stratège.

La faute de Lisa d'après Florence : elle a été gentille avec moi ET avec quelqu'un d'autre. C'était louche.
Après les jeunes contre les vieux et les hommes contre les femmes, cette année TF1 nous propose les Nordistes contre les gens normaux.

Les jaunes vont faire exprès de perdre pour pouvoir virer Gégé, aka l'Edenté, aka Robert Hue, aka le Nain de jardin, aka celui qui hélas ne s'est pas noyé.

Gégé : si tu es deshydraté, faut arrêter avec les larmes...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Just whose advice do you REALLY want, people!?

A week with TWO letters submitted to and answered by other advice columnists! This as gotten OUT OF HAND!

In the words of Josh M (aka Sparkle Joshua):







Letter 1 is from a woman who has learned that her newborn is at risk for a hereditary disease. She thinks her MIL knew she has the disease and didn't warn her son and LW. She thinks MIL kept mum cuz she wanted grandchildren. LW hates, hates, hates her MIL and wants to keep her away from her precious child.
Prudie gives all sorts of good advice, with a lot of research behind it. All well and good.
Here's mine: I am amazed and disgusted that you are obsessed with your MIL's behavior, and showing no interest or compassion in your husband's situation.The only way your child can have this disease is if your husband has it. Shouldn't you show some degree of concern about him and what he must be experiencing? (Let alone his situation with a mother who does have a horrible disease.)

But you don't. It's all about your baby that deserves to be perfect because you are the perfect woman and perfect mother and will do everything perfectly to have a perfect baby with a perfect life. You have sacrificed so much to have that child! Bed rest, for goodness sake!

And your mother's medical condition really is her business. If anything is private, it is that. Sharing this risk would have been the right thing to do, but you do not even know if she knew: in fact she DIDN'T KNOW. "My mother-in-law says she didn't really know it was HD; she just thought it was something old people get." Why is that so hard to believe?

Oh, but she's a devious woman, who knew but hid the truth just to have a grandchild. And now you are going to punish her by preventing her from having one. Do you realize what you are accusing her of? She is keeping her own son in ignorance of a medical risk, and promoting the birth of a child, just for these selfish reasons.

Your hormones and the distress of this bad news go some way to explaining your horrible behavior, but not that far. You are being a nasty selfish person. Get help.

The video letter is a double of a Miss Manners letter.

Dear Miss Manners,
I have exceedingly long hair. It comes to my knees, and between that and its auburn color, it attracts a lot of attention when I wear it down. I am not a vain person, and I don't often wear makeup or spend a lot of time fussing over my appearance, but my hair is my one vanity and of necessity, it takes a considerable amount of maintenance.

I realize that something as unusual as my hair is bound to be an attractive nuisance, but some people go beyond the bounds of what is acceptable. I have had complete strangers walk up behind me and touch my hair! However, while unwanted touching can usually be resolved with a simple request, there is one particular series of events which occurs with distressing frequency and is much more difficult to resolve.

I am frequently complimented on my hair, but it seems that around three quarters of the time, the person in question follows up with "You should donate it to Locks of Love." It has taken 13 years of meticulous care to get the hair I have, and I have no intention of cutting it off. People wouldn't generally be so rude as to tell me to make other sorts of charitable donations, so I don't know how to respond to this particular demand.

Gentle Reader,
On the contrary, those who consider themselves to be charitable do, all too often, believe that this virtue entitles them to be rude to individuals. And soliciting contributions from people's bodies is not just rude but creepy.

Miss Manners suggests your acknowledging that Locks of Love is a worthy organization, but that you have other charities to which you devote your efforts, as you presumably do. If you want to mention the donation of kidneys as an example, and stare at the relevant area of those who covet your hair, Miss Manners will not object.

Miss Manners' advice is far better.

Letter 2 is a double of a Cary Tennis letter published TODAY!

A guy is all guilty cuz he had a one-night-stand while he was with his girlfriend (later his fiancée, now his wife). Two years later, he is racked by guilt. He says he has a "double life", which Prudie rightly points out makes him delusional. Cary Tennis tells him to go to a 12-step program (but that's just Cary Tennis boilerplate) and CONFESS. Prudie tells him to get over himself, realize it was not a big thing, and make his wife happy. Prudie's advice is FARRRR better (but Cary Tennis is a low bar for advice, when you can actually get some out of his stuff).

Letter 3 is a liar, because she claims she had a HS GPA of 4.6, when the top is 4.0. She was such a go-getter, but somehow did not get an Ivy-League education, nor a high-flying job. She's mopy about what "could have been".
Prudie says it's a bit early for LW to consider her life a failure. Get help for what seems to be depression, and work on getting the job you want. As for me, bleh. She lost me with her 4.6 GPA BS. As Prudie says, no one cares about your GPA after you leave HS, and certainly not about your "weighted GPA". Your weighted ego is keeping you down!

Letter 4 is from a woman whose predecessor in her job was "both obnoxious and incompetent". Her superiors and coworkers keep telling her how much better she is. Four months of this seems a bit much.
Prudie says they will stop telling her how wonderful she is soon enough. I say: start being obnoxious and incompetent. That'll stop those irksome compliments.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Advice Illustrated: Miss Manners edition

Letter 1 is from Christopher Plummer in Beginners. Keep your piehole shut. You can be out and proud when and if the wife croaks.

Video letter was submitted to Miss Manners quite a while ago.

Dear Miss Manners,
My brand-new husband and I eloped late last year due to the financial cost of having a wedding. We sent out announcements to both of our extended families to notify them of our happy news, and received a most horrid gift in return: my husband's aunt and uncle had co-written a book on marital infidelity and sent it along with a card inviting us to attend (and pay for) one of their weekend seminars. They even went so far as to autograph the inside cover.

My husband and I have never had so much as a heated argument, much less an affair on either side. We're both offended and positive this was an act of self-promotion. Our question is, do we write a thank-you note for an offensive gift? Thank you for your insight.

Gentle Reader,
It doesn't take much insight to know that these people were more interested in advertising their wares than in celebrating your marriage. Still, Miss Manners is afraid that you do have to thank them. She suggests something along the lines of "We were both shocked and saddened to read of these troubled marriages, but all the more grateful -- as we are sure you intended -- for our own happiness."

Prudie's advice was similar.

Letter 2 is from a woman whose new guy wants to adopt her child. Child is creeped out by adoption and by his desire to change her name. Prudie says to drop the power struggle with a 4-year-old, and to chill. I say: if new daddy wants everyone to have the same name, why isn't he taking his new wife's name? Or hyphenate? Compromise, people!

Letter 3 is from a physician who knows another doctor arrested for child porn on his home PC. He now wants a recommendation for a child-safe job. LW thinks the guy would do a good job and wants to help him get his life back. Should he tell employers about the arrest? And he says: "I don't want to risk being tainted by having any association with this guy."
Prudie wisely points out the extremes to which "child pornography" has been taken (like "she looks young"). She also says to tell doctor that he will give the recommendation, but will mention the arrest.
I guess I'm OK with Prudie's advice. Except of course that we only know that he was arrested. Not charged, not convicted.

Letter 4 is from a guy whose wife insisted on stopping to get a hostess gift on the way to a dinner party, making them late. Prudie says it's better to be on time and empty-handed. I say that based on my Miss Manners catch-up, the custom of bringing food and drink is not the best idea. You imply that the host has not planned properly, and the implied requirement to consume the gift can upset their plans. You can send flowers in advance, and you must write a thank you note, and most important: reciprocate! As for Prudie's personal solution, not everyone is a lush like you.