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Does anyone read Dear Prudence?

Because this morning's first letter, and follow-up, are just


If you don't want to click the link, the original letter:

Q.Where's the Money?: I am furious with another set of parents. My 16-year-old daughter has recently told her mother and me that she is pregnant. It happened at a party that was not well-supervised, and there was alcohol involved. The boy involved and his family are owning up to their share of the responsibility, but the owners of the house are absolutely infuriating me. They need to admit their share of this burden, as it was their booze and their house party that allowed this to happen. My family is going to have a lot of expenses due to this new baby, and I don't know how much the boy's family can help, so it seems that the party's host should help out, again as it was on their watch that this happened. So far, that family has ignored me when I have tried to speak with them about this. I am ready to call a lawyer to press the issue, but my wife thinks I am overreacting. What do you think?

A: I believe this is a yet unexplored avenue of tort law. I am awaiting the television ads for law firms that announce, "Was your daughter knocked up in the basement at a friend's house while the parents were upstairs watching Masters of Sex? You may be entitled to compensation!" Dad, you wouldn't be suing yourself if it happened in your basement while you were out at a football game. Listen to your wife and forget the other parents. The issue here is that a couple of dopey teens are on track to become parents themselves. Your family needs to be seriously addressing this issue and all your options. Perhaps proceeding with the pregnancy is not a good idea. Perhaps if termination is not a possibility, placing the child for adoption is. If your daughter is going to keep the baby, the burden is going to fall on your family. So stop trying to displace your anger and anxiety. It's time to show your daughter how mature parents face tough situations.

And the follow-up:

Q. Re: Where’s the Money?: I'm the pregnant girl's dad. My anger is that this would NOT have happened at my home. I supervise parties and visits, and the fact that this other family was so irresponsibly really galls me. I do think they have a duty to make right their lapse.

A: Ever heard of a car? They have back seats that have been the site of innumerable conceptions since the creation of the Model Ford. You can't seriously think that as long as parents supervise parties, a pair of horny 16-year-olds can't find a place to get it on. If you want to pursue this as a legal action, you will get nowhere and humiliate your daughter. Focus on the issue, Dad, which is that you're on track to become a grandfather.


First of all, I know many people will immediately shout "FAKE!" but I choose to take advice column letters at face value, or else what's the fun in reading them. I can also see some out of touch dad, terrified at what's happening, totally choosing to focus on completely the wrong issue, to avoid dealing with the larger picture.

But secondly, I was really happy to see Prudie mention abortion (even if she used "termination" to refer to it). So many people shy away from the fact that, assuming you're okay with it, it's probably going to be the easiest solution, and there's nothing wrong with choosing the easy solution.

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