Dear Dear Prudence, Volume V

I gave up posting for Lent.  As penance, a fresh Dear Dear Prudence, to be shared by you and the almighty.

Every week Slate, an online magazine that’s a lot like if Harper’s was written by the editors of Entertainment Weekly, runs an advice column called Dear Prudence.  Written by D.C.-based Emily Yoffe, the column is similar in format to Dear Abby (ask your librarian) and covers a range of topics such as manners, etiquette, familial relations, and of course how to deal with ill-conceived sexual decisions.  At least one of that last one makes it into the column every week.  Drink when you hit it.  We here at Dear Dear Prudence like to take another crack at the questions she has been posed, so that the people who ask them may have the benefit of a second opinion.  

This week (hah!) we hear from a woman whose husband’s only flaw is that he is a terrible father and probably impossible to live with, a guy who doesn’t want us to know he’s thinking about cheating on his wife, and a huge jerk.  Sounds about right.

Dear Prudence,
I hit the jackpot with my husband. He treats me like a queen, cleans the house, has a successful career that allows me to be a stay-at-home mom, encourages me to have evenings out with girlfriends, etc. We’ve been happily married for 10 years and have two wonderful children ages 5 and 7. My concern is that while I know he loves our children, he doesn’t enjoy them. He was raised by an obsessive-compulsive-type mother who still vacuums twice a day. He barks at the kids if there’s a sock lying around or a toy on the floor. He yells if he has to ask them twice to do anything. When he gets home, he wants to tell me about his day while I’m cooking dinner. The kids sometimes interrupt, which drives my husband crazy. They hate to be left alone with him because he’s “grumpy.” He thinks, wrongly, that they are naughtier than other children, and I feel defensive that he’s criticizing the way I’m raising them. My mother says he parents the way he was parented and he turned out great. I’m going away with some girlfriends, and he’s said that “things are going to change” and he’s going to “fix the kids.” I’m secretly afraid of him trying. Should I just accept that he’ll always be hard on them? The kids are the only thing we argue about.
—Dad Dilemma Continue reading

List of the Week: 15 Euphemisms For “Number Two”

The idea well is running dry this week, so I’m doing what any well-adjusted adult would do and writing an article about pooping!  We all know simply announcing “I’m gonna go take a dump” is a little crude for polite company, so here are fifteen was to get your point across without smelling up the joint, linguistically-speaking.  Without question, this is a new low for Fantastic Manliness.

“Briefing The Admiral” Navy people love this one because briefing a superior officer often feels like pooing upward.  Army people love it because they hate the Navy.  Air Force people replace “Admiral” with “General” and say they invented it.  Marines just say “I’ve gotta take a shit” because why mince words?

“Losing Some Weight” This one’s technically true.  After all, poop has weight just like any other mass in your body.  I’d like to be able to track each…uh…”incident’s” weight over time, but unfortunately the powers that be in Washington won’t let us have toilets equipped with scales.  They’re afraid it would encourage competition.  I don’t think that’s something to be afraid of.

Continue reading

Dear Dear Prudence, Volume III

Remember when this was supposed to be a weekly feature?  Me neither!  We’re back with more D.D.P. after taking October and November off.

Every week Slate, an online magazine that’s a lot like if TMZ was written by the editors of The Economist, runs an advice column called Dear Prudence.  Written by D.C.-based Emily Yoffe, the column is similar in format to Dear Abby (ask your parents) and covers a range of topics such as manners, etiquette, familial relations, and of course how to deal with ill-conceived sexual decisions.  At least one of those makes it into the column a week.  Drink when you hit it.

This week we deal with the medical mysteries of adoption, why women don’t understand pissing in sinks, strange manifestations of other-woman guilt, and women thinking too hard about friendship.  Put a pink magnetic ribbon on your car and pretend to like missionary, it’s Ladies’ Night on Fantastic Manliness!

Dear Prudie,
My father was adopted as a baby in the 1950s. About all I know is that his birth parents eventually married and that he has full brothers and sisters. He does not want to know anything about his biological family, and I respect that, I really do. However, my husband and I want to have children in the near future and I feel it is important to have a more complete family medical history, though it’s not that the presence of some horrible disease will likely sway our decision. (My niece does have a rare, genetic blood disorder which my mother points out could be from her side of the family.) I have asked my mother many times over the years how I can get this information, to no avail. I’ve thought about hiring someone to track down the biological family or having genetic testing done, but these things are simply too expensive. My mom supports my dad’s decision to know nothing and feels that it is not my business to ask such questions. My dad doesn’t have much adoptive family left and they would probably be insulted by such an inquiry. Should I talk to my dad about all this? If so, how can I explain that I support his decision not to have a relationship with his biological family and that I am purely interested in shedding some light on my own family medical history? Continue reading