Pushing Politics and Prozac

Pushing Politics and Prozac

Pushing Politics and Prozac

Advice on manners and morals.
Sept. 17 1999 3:37 AM

Pushing Politics and Prozac

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

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Dear Prudence,

I didn't think Jerry Springer should run for the Senate, so I'm glad he decided not to. I do think you should run for Congress. Not only does Congresswoman Prudie have a nice ring, but your constituents/readers would definitely benefit from all the sound advice you could impart to all those bozos such as Tom DeLay currently taking up space in D.C. Some friends and I have collected $23 to get your campaign started. So think about it.

--Electorally yours,

Neil

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Dear Elect,

If Prudie were paranoid she would think some of her readers were trying to get her out of the advice business, what with one fellow, "D.C.," wanting Prudie to run for president, and now you suggesting Congress. Prudie, however, is not paranoid, so she thanks you for the ... well, vote of confidence. As for the $23, why don't you start PrudiePac and see if you can't straighten out the dolts in Washington?

--Prudie, politically

Dear Prudie,

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Two of my friends have begun taking anti-depressants. One for depression, I guess, the other to quit smoking. Because they are on anti-depressants now, they think EVERYONE needs them and have literally been making appointments for their whole families! Both have told me I definitely need them. I have a professional therapist with whom I discussed this, and she disagrees. (My therapist is not against medication, and in fact recommends it for some patients.) When I explained this to these two ladies, they both shook their heads--like they know better than my therapist. One came right out and shouted that I was in denial. Wouldn't it be nice if people restricted their opinions to those areas in which they had professional expertise? What do you think?

--Christine, Rochester, N.Y.

Dear Chris,

The last time Prudie checked, girlfriends could not prescribe drugs. It is a rule of human nature that people often, when they add or subtract something from their lives, think everyone else should do the same. Tune out the suggestions of these amateur shrinks. You are right that it would be nice if people only spoke of things about which they were expert. It would also be nice if every female over the age of 16 had a $5,000 gift certificate at Tiffany's. Alas, my dear, neither one is likely to come to pass.

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--Prudie, realistically

Dear Prudence,

Do we as a society need a refresher course on what things to say (or not to say) to a pregnant woman? My best friend is 37 weeks pregnant with her second child. She has been getting comments about how large she is for the past three months. Worse than even the comments, one woman just stood in front of my friend and gaped, saying, "Oh my God!" Why would people feel the need to point out a pregnant woman's size? And is there an appropriate response to these people that would remind them their comments are not appreciated?

--Sincerely,

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Annoyed in Omaha, Neb.

Dear Ann,

As for why people say inappropriate things, it usually has to do with the connector cable between brain and mouth being on the fritz. These rude and unappreciated remarks just slip out; the verbal equivalent of being a klutz. The way Prudie knows this is that she, herself, has made this mistake a time or two ... well, maybe three or four. If your friend with the belly spanning two ZIP codes wants to have a comeback, she might try looking down, then remarking, "Pretty good, huh? And I'm only two months along." Prudie promises you the thoughtless person will have nothing more to say.

--Prudie, pointedly

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Prudie,

My girlfriend is a staunch supporter of Patrick Buchanan for prez. I feel Buchanan is way too liberal for my taste (I have been a big Pat Robertson fan for years). The girlfriend also listens to Rush Limbaugh, but I know that Rush has been a running dog lackey of the liberal Republican news media for years. A typical liberal country club Republican! I was going to support Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire in his new Conservative Taxpayers Party, but now that he's withdrawn, there seems to be no one true to the Reagan legacy. The question is, should I dump the girlfriend?

--Redmond, Wash.

Dear Red,

You're kidding, right? The part about Buchanan being too liberal supplied the hint. And Redmond is home base for Slate, so Prudie will offer a choice of answers allowing for all contingencies. 1) If the political chasm is legitimate, and as wide as you describe, yes, undo from the girlfriend. If you guys have such different outlooks now, future differences have the potential for major fireworks. 2) If you are a fellow Microsoftie pulling Prudie's leg to kill time before a Jolt Cola-break, why don't you get back to work, hmmm?

--Prudie, constructively