I work in a small office where men and women share one bathroom. Our problem is that the men who use the restroom are not so bathroom-friendly. Without embarrassing any of them, what type of sign can we post that will get our message across in a nice way?
—Men Behaving Badly
If Prudie's magic decoder ring has correctly deciphered "bathroom-friendly," you might try a sign that says, "We Aim To Please. You Aim, Too, Please."
I'm in my mid-50s and have been divorced for a year. I live in a small seacoast resort community on the Gulf of Mexico and am comfortably retired in a beach condo. I work out and run, fish, golf, snow ski, travel, and am active in the community and my church. The problem is that there are two types of women here ... teeny-boppers and 80–year-old widows. With this in mind, I put ads on two respected Web sites for singles, and the results have been mind blowing. I used to think that men had the distinction of being the scoundrels when it comes to romance, but my eyes have been opened in the past 12 months. Things have changed since my younger dating days. I'm thinking of pulling these ads because I have been lied to with regularity. Most respondents misrepresent themselves, and almost all have the agenda of finding a great place to live and a meal ticket. I am both. I've spent a considerable amount of computer time, driving time, dating time, and money to find dead ends. Many of these women have mental problems (I'm a retired health professional), are older than they said, have dependent children or huge debts, and most will drop you in a heartbeat for a more lucrative prospect. I've tried to be optimistic about my future in that I'm happy with who I am, but having someone to share with would make life better. The last 12 months have made me distrustful and almost paranoid. I would like your comments on the present dating scene, which is not pleasant these days.
Redneck Beach Bum
Log off, Pops. You gave the newfangled approach to dating a try, and it didn't work out for you. Prudie does not mean to sound like a Zen master, but if you stop actively looking, a suitable woman might walk into your life. The law of averages says there is, in your part of the country, a woman of appropriate age who shares your values and isn't looking for a Daddy Warbucks to put a roof over her head, stave off the repo man, or support her children. It is too hard for Prudie to believe that all the eligible women are, as you say, money-hungry, fact-bending, emotionally disturbed babes on the prowl. In general, men are in the better position than women to choose a companion (supply and demand, dear heart), so try to socialize within your group and put out the word that you'd love to meet someone special.
With Timothy McVeigh just the latest person to heat up the death penalty discussion, I was wondering what your views were. Do you believe in capital punishment?
Only for spammers. Just in the last several days, Prudie has been invited—numerous times—to enlarge her penis, lose 100 pounds, become an ordained minister, see naked teen-agers, buy a sure-thing penny stock, get ink at bargain prices, locate anyone in the world, and obtain 6 million addresses. As to your actual question, Prudie's answer may sound like a dodge, but like you, she is somewhat on the fence. There are many reasons to eliminate legalized killing ... but on the other hand, some crimes just cry out for death as a punishment. It is a deeply divisive question, and perhaps one with no "right" answer.
My wife and I still love each other and have a fantastic 1-year-old child. We have just gone through the difficulties of buying a house and adjusting to a new baby. This is my second marriage, and I wish to succeed this time. The problem is we don't have the passion we used to. It just seems to have fallen by the wayside. She no longer wants to make love, whereas before we had a very good sex life. She now thinks of it as dirty, though we still love each other and are each other's best friend. I feel she has fallen out of love with me and has kind of given up. She says she just doesn't have those same feelings and is wondering where they went. I love my family and my wife; what do I do?????
—Any Help Appreciated
Women with young children can often be "too tired," but the sex-is-dirty business suggests that couples' counseling may be in order. Your wife's libido has gone somewhere, but that doesn't mean it can't make a return trip. You both need to find out what's underneath the change in your relationship. Prudie's instinct is that she has not fallen out of love with you but may, in fact, be suffering from post partem depression. You need to explore her feelings and the shift in your interactions ... preferably with someone who is trained.