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Dear Prudence Presents: Wanting What You Don't Have

Illustration for article titled Dear Prudence Presents: Wanting What You Dont Have

Prudie starts things off with the mother of two young children. Their dad's a heroin addict and isn't in the picture anymore, and between working full-time and the challenges of single parenthood, she's pretty much consigned herself to Forever Alone status. Except, of course, for the handsome dude she moved in across the street from. Turns out that he's a single dad who split with his baby's mama over her addiction to pain pills, and a friendship developed over their shared circumstances.

now we hang out, talk, or text on a daily basis. He's a very good father. Our kids play together. I regularly cook meals and he eats over. He talks to my kids in a way a father would. He does things for me I could never get any boyfriend to do, like snow removal, and all the fix-it problems in my house. He looks out for me and I look out for him. There has never been anything romantic between us.


Obviously, this last part is a problem. She's all twisted up with strong feelings and worries about ruining the friendship, along with the fear that she just isn't good enough for him. Prudie says to go for it, but not through such feminine wiles as "a hand on the small of the back, a certain kind of look, even standing a little too close." See, she doesn't want just a slice of that beefcake, she wants the whole platter. Instead, Prudie says to pick a no-kids moment and spring the whole thing on him all at once, being sure to leave him an out to keep things platonic if he's not interested. Here's to getting lucky!

Then, this lady writes in, saying that she's more or less satisfied with the man she's been married to for the past 40(!) years, with one glaring exception. "My husband never calls me by my name, either a nickname or by my given name. He just starts speaking to me, but without any sort of address." At this point, she may not be exaggerating when she says that she's had it out with him "a trillion times" over this, but it's pretty much an outright refusal to change on his part. Prudie says that after so long she has "two choices: Forget it, or keep at it." If she wants to continue fighting the good fight, she says to be firm and consistent in giving him the silent treatment if he fails to address her properly. As for me, I just like the idea of two increasingly crotchety, intransigent old people devoting their declining years to a state of low-level conflict.


Ramping the threat level up a bit, one future stepmom sees danger lurking in the form of her fiancé's psycho ex. They share joint custody of two elementary and high school age boys, who she happily gets along fine with. As for their mother, she

has called child protective services on us, stating that we do not feed the boys, that there is animal filth in our home, and that I inappropriately discipline the kids. CPS visited our place and interviewed the boys and found nothing to support these claims. She has stalked us through a grocery store and falsely accused my fiancé of buying pet food instead of paying child support. Now she has told the younger to take photos of our house and send them to her so she can "investigate."


Prudie wants them to lawyer up, therapist up, and look into going for full custody. She also recommends a sensitive conversation with the boys where they explain how sad they are that their mom says and does such hurtful things, and that they both really hope she gets the help she needs. I hope things do get better for them, but have a feeling there's going to be some pretty dark times that moment arrives.

Finally, this new couple is wondering where they ought to settle down. Should it be Virginia, where their families are? Or should it be Texas, where they just started their careers? Prudie misses an opportunity here to say FUCK TEXAS and plays it safe, telling them to stick with the jobby jobs. Instead, let me go ahead and bag on that state for her. Boo on Texas, everyone.

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