Advice on manners and morals.
Jan. 10 1998 3:30 AM

ASK PRUDENCE

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Prudence, drawing on her rich experience of life, will answer questions submitted by readers. She will respond to questions about manners, personal relations, politics, economics, and other subjects. Questions should be sent to Prudence@slate.com. They should not exceed 200 words in length. Please indicate how you wish your letter to be signed, preferably including your location.

Dear Prudence,

The papers are filled with stories about the death of Michael Kennedy. The stories list other family occurrences that show the Kennedys as a hard-luck family. It is, for example, listed as a Kennedy tragedy that other people tend to die in cars driven by Kennedys. If a Kennedy is walking by and a busload of people die in a crash, it would make the list of tragedies longer. Is this an example of good PR?

--Ellsworth M. ButlerBoonton, N.J.

Dear Mr. Butler,

I agree that the word "tragedy" is used without discrimination in reference to the Kennedy family. The death of Joseph Kennedy Jr. in World War II and the assassinations of Jack and Robert were tragedies. As far as I can see, most of the subsequent "problems" were the result of their own recklessness or worse. Since they are so prominent and have been blessed with so much wealth and public adulation, they have a responsibility to be role models of sensible behavior. It is unfortunate that they do not see it that way.

--Prudence, sadly

Dear Prudence,

I have met a woman whom I am attracted to. She is attracted to me and we would like to see more of each other. The problem is we are both married. The attraction is more than plutonic, it is also physical. What would you recommend?

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