Help! My Mother Ruined My Credit by Stealing My Identity.

Advice on manners and morals.
Sept. 13 2012 5:45 AM

My Mother the Identity Thief

My mom has been running up credit-card debt in my name. What do I do?

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Dear Popular,
I bet they want to take you shooting—it sounds as if they’ve got an informal contest going to see who can bag you first. And won’t it be so cozy on the range when one of your colleagues gets behind you and puts his arms around you to show you how to fire his weapon. When women first started entering corporate jobs there was a lot of hand-wringing about how they were being excluded from the kind of unofficial networking that takes place at the weekly golf game. Though you hear less these days about golf as the way to the C-suite, it would be fine if your colleagues were inviting you to join a group of them for a round on a Sunday morning. But you’re being invited to private sporting events. Also fine would be if after a discussion of action movies a male co-worker said, “My wife Jennifer and I are seeing The Bourne Mishegoss on Friday and you’re welcome to join us.” But you’re being asked to sit in a darkened theater next to a solo colleague. I agree with your instinct that these offers have nothing to do with your professional advancement, so turn these guys down. You don’t have to worry about hurting their feelings; just be polite but firm: “Thanks but riflery is not my thing” or “I’m sorry, I already have plans” and repeat ad infinitum.

—Prudie

Dear Prudence,
We are friends with a couple who both have successful careers but they drive me a little crazy. "David" was accepted to medical school but dropped out to get an MBA, not an M.D. “Laura” went to law school, but didn’t take the bar. David tells everyone he’s a doctor but doesn’t practice, and Laura says she’s a lawyer. Every so often Laura will say to people, "Why don't you ask David about your son's illness, he’s a doctor." Are they misrepresenting themselves? Am I wrong to be so annoyed by this?

—Not a Doctor

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Dear Not,
According to the American Bar Association, law school graduates who have not passed the bar should not call themselves lawyers. But David might need an attorney if he continues to hold himself out as a doctor and dispenses medical advice. As many readers have pointed out, I am completely unqualified to diagnose medical conditions though that doesn’t stop me from doing it. But at least I admit I never even took organic chemistry. My diagnosis is that this pair are a couple of deluded blowhards who aren’t worth your time.

—Prudie

More Dear Prudence Columns

Past Imperfect: I want to bury my wretched childhood, but the new in-laws insist on a rehash.” Posted Aug. 18, 2011.
Fibber McGee Comes Clean: Prudie advises an elderly man consumed with shame over his chronic lies.” Posted Aug. 11, 2011.
Take My Wife, Please: I convinced her to bed another man, and now I'm insanely jealous.” Posted Aug. 4, 2011.
A Minor Flaw: I'm dating a man who was charged with soliciting a teen for sex; I wish I'd never discovered this!” Posted July 28, 2011.

More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts

The Nudist Next Door: Dear Prudence advises a reader whose new neighbor needs better curtains—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Sept. 6, 2011.
Type "R" for Revenge: Dear Prudence advises a woman who got her cheating ex fired by sending a nasty email—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Aug. 29, 2011.
Sexy Cougar or Dangerous Predator?: Dear Prudence offers advice about a May-December encounter that the victim deems harmless—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Aug. 8, 2011.
Baby Blues: Dear Prudence advises a woman who regrets adopting a child—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Aug. 1, 2011.

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 

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