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.