Advice on manners and morals.
Dec. 19 1998 3:30 AM

(Continued from Page 1)

Dear Prudence,

Advertisement

Am I an idiot? I already know I am an idiot, but am I to be a happy idiot or a miserable one? Recently I went on a press junket to an Italian island, hosted by dull technologists. There, over two days, I fell in with another trapped journalist. In the way of such things, we now say we are in love. On the bright side, she is a beautiful, terrifyingly honest 24-year-old French girl. On the other hand, I am (problematically) 31, balding, British, and bitter.

My question: She wants to move out to California, where I live. I want her to move out. We know nothing about each other. What should I do?

--Eager To Be Told What I Want To Hear

Dear Eag,

Let her come. This must be Prudie's day to play Cupid, because like the chap who wrote the previous letter, you sound as though you have serendipitously found someone terrific. Take a chance. The worst scenario is that you will be dropped on your head; in which case you will pick yourself up and begin again--without having to wonder if you passed up the love of a lifetime.

And about the bitter business. Prudie assumes this refers to another woman situation. The fact that you acknowledge it, however, reveals a useful self-understanding. As for being balding, Prudie is surely not alone in finding that look attractive, even sexy. Once again, Prudie feels hunchy that the melding of très charmant and jolly good could work out brilliantly.

--Prudie, sighingly

Dear Prudence,

I put before you an etiquette quandary that I faced a few years ago and may face again. I was going regularly to a New York hair salon and getting my hair cut by the salon's owner. Was I supposed to tip him? Even a hefty $10 or $15 tip seemed a paltry thing to put in the hand of the owner of the salon. To me he was "the master," and tips only seemed appropriate in the case of employees. I therefore refrained from handing him a potentially demeaning tip but was still left with the feeling that I should do something.

After a few visits (and no clear advice from my usually sage friends) I resolved to give him a copy of a book I had written. As a personal gift with no measurable value, it seemed a better way to thank him than to price my gratitude at 10 bucks. I have moved from New York, but if I had stayed I am not sure what I would have given him next. What should one do in such a situation?

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.