Getting Personal

Getting Personal

Getting Personal

Advice on manners and morals.
Aug. 27 1999 3:28 AM

Getting Personal

Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com.

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Re your asinine column, are you always such a self-righteous snob?

--VP

Dear V,

Pretty much.

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Dear Prudence,

I thank you! No matter how heavy the cares of the day, your witty responses evoke hearty laughter in most instances, and thus a lighter spirit. You are positively a riot and a good counselor to boot!

--Michael, honestly

Dear Mic,

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There's a small difference of opinion here ... but Prudie, in her wisdom, has decided you are a more reliable critic than VP.

Dear Prudie,

Marry me! Well, not really, because I already am. But really, the advice from July 22 was stellar. Oh well, if we're not destined for matrimony in this lifetime, perhaps circumstances will someday allow me to buy you a beer or Dr Pepper or something. Your job must be fun, and all the more so because you do it so well.

--Biggest Fan on the Block,

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Mike C.

Dear Big,

Oh, stop guys ... and both named Michael! Prudie is blushing.

Dear Prudence,

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Do you make this up, or do people actually write to you about stupid, everyday concerns? Prudie must tear her hair out every day dealing with the petty moral dilemmas your clueless devotees experience. God love ya!

--Sincerely,

Fan From Ohio

Dear Fan,

Pause for a moment and contemplate the possibilities for chaos in the human condition, then question no more the authenticity of Prudie's correspondents. How wonderful that you are not beset by stupid everyday concerns and petty moral dilemmas. Prudie's readers no doubt wish they had all your clues.

--Prudie, with all her hair

Prudence,

You are getting older by the minute and one day soon you will be looking at men as old as Bob Dole (see the "Dysfunctional Dole" column), and it may be your husband, so don't lose the information, dearie. You will want it soon.

--Snowtop

Dear Snow,

So noted.

Hey, Prue,

Please pass along to "Ricespring" my deep appreciation of the sentiment expressed and my full agreement, along with bemusement. I believe the most unsettling image currently extant in popular culture is that of Bob Dole under the influence of Viagra. I don't believe children should be allowed to view this ad. The craggy old pervert is just plain scary, particularly when he smiles that beyond-the-grave--and now sexually aroused--smile. No wonder Liddy spends so much time hoofing it on the road.

--Wolfman

Dear Wolf,

Many readers checked in to say that they applauded the former senator's forthright approach to a real problem. The following writer, however, was not one of them.

Prudie,

Not to belabor the point, but I have often thought Liddy Dole had better put a pillow over Bob's head if she expects to be elected president. I am so sick of his whining and sniveling over his ED. You know, there are a lot of single women and widows in this country who manage to stay happy without the constant focus on erections. Time for you to get a life, Bob. Try reading ... or chocolate cake. Prudence, sock it to 'em!

--Scott W.

Dear Scott,

Prudie is going to change the subject, though to stay in the moment, the next letter is political, as well.

Prudence, oh, Wise One,

What's up with that Neanderthal Jerry Springer having contemplated running for the Senate? (The Senate!) I was shocked that such a thing could even be a possibility. I share the sentiments of the chairman of Ohio's Republican Party who said, "Was Howard Stern busy?" Say it's all a goof.

--Poor Resident in Ohio

Dear Poor,

It is, indeed, dispiriting that someone with Mr. Springer's history might have been considered simply because of name recognition. There is precedent, however, and it is regrettably recent. "Dubya," Texas Gov. George Bush, has no particular qualifications aside from being merely appealing and the son of a president. Mr. Clinton was elected when he was known to be irresponsible. And don't forget Mr. Reagan, of whom it could be said he wasn't really a president but played one on television. We are seemingly suckers for "charisma" and exercising an electoral death wish.

--Prudie, resignedly