Dear Prudence: I’m incredibly attracted to much older men.

Help! I Can’t Stop Fantasizing About My Mentor.

Help! I Can’t Stop Fantasizing About My Mentor.

Advice on manners and morals.
Nov. 21 2012 6:15 AM

Alluring Old Men

I fantasize incessantly about my male mentors. How do I stop?

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Dear Complicated,
Send the email. It will not sound like a plea to get back together. It will be a gracious reminder of how much you loved and miss an important person in your life. Just say you know how hard it will be not to have his mother there this year. Mention some memory of her, add that no one will ever make a better pumpkin pie, and say that when Thanksgiving rolls around you will always think of your time with her with the greatest fondness.


Dear Prudence,
I have a good friend from my childhood who recently got married. We went off to college and the physical distance led to us only seeing each other a few times a year. When he became engaged a mutual friend invited me to his bachelor party barbeque. It was good to see him and, during the course of the party, he asked if I was coming to his wedding and noted the date. I instantly said “of course.” (I never did receive a formal invitation by mail.) It was a beautiful, small ceremony with a few of his friends there. At the reception when I went to get a slice of the groom’s cake the piece rolled off the plate and onto the floor. I quickly picked it up, tended to the cleaning, and thought nothing more of it. Later that evening I received a call at home from my friend's now wife asking who had invited me to the wedding. Sensing something was strange, I didn't tell her that her husband had asked me, and said it was mentioned by friends at his bachelor party. She told me it was a private, closed wedding, and that I was, in fact, not invited as they had sent out invitations only to those they wanted there. She added that was very angry about the cake. I apologized fully for coming, and offered to pay for the cake. I feel my friendship has been poisoned. What should I do to bring the situation some normalcy? And should I have attended the wedding without a formal invitation?

—Abashed Guest


Dear Abashed,
That must have been some wedding night. There was your friend, assuming his wife would slip into some sexy lingerie as prelude to the main event. Only he discovered the main event was a phone call to berate you for a ruined slice of cake. I’m assuming your friend extended the invitation because he was feeling flush with camaraderie at the time. Then he later either forgot to add you to the list, or his fiancée vetoed you and he was too gutless to let you know. When you did not receive an invitation in the mail, yes, you should have had an awkward conversation with your pal to clarify things. But showing up was a misunderstanding, not a felony. I’m also assuming once his bride turned into a crazy person on the wedding night, the groom realized he couldn’t cop to being the one who asked you. That confession would have meant his chances of getting laid for the entirety of the honeymoon would be zero. If you haven’t sent this couple a present, do not be tempted to give them a gift certificate to a bakery, but buy something nice and enclose a note apologizing for your mistake and wishing them all happiness. If you have sent one, then fall silent. It’s likely this friendship is done. That’s sad, but not as sad as going through life hitched to this bride.


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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.