Help! My Brother Committed a Murder-Suicide.

Advice on manners and morals.
Dec. 13 2012 6:15 AM

Making Up for Murder

How do I reach out to a family irrevocably damaged by a member of my own?

(Continued from Page 1)

Dear Stumped,
How amazing that someone might get rejected for a job because the Internet is not full of her idiotic, juvenile activities. Think about how silly it sounds that you would find it reassuring if there were Facebook pictures of her at drunken frat parties or if you could read her deepest Myspace thoughts from high school. As hard as it may be to accept, some people just aren’t that interested in social media and their absence from it does not signify that they were part of an underage sex ring. In doing your due diligence you’ve discovered that as this young woman launched her career, she has a created a professional presence on the Web. She sounds exactly like the kind of person your conservative company would welcome. Don’t punish her because you can’t find evidence of something she has to hide.

—Prudie

Dear Prudence,
My husband and I do not have children, while our combined siblings have 10 children among them. We love them dearly and end up purchasing birthday and Christmas gifts for each. Our family draws names for our annual Christmas exchange with the adults, but each year the number of gifts we purchase is much greater than what we receive. My husband and I work in the nonprofit sector, so Christmas is an annual financial burden for us. We sometimes forego buying gifts for each other in order to purchase for our extended families. What should we do?

—Auntie Scrooge

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Dear Auntie,
Yours is another example of how traditions should be flexible so that they can accommodate the changing needs of the family members. Alert your siblings that you need to get out of the adult gift exchange, but you’ll continue to get something for the children for Christmas. Then instead of a present for each, make one donation per family to an organization that will allow the kids to decide and follow up on how their gift—which can be $25 or so—is spent. Kiva and Heifer International are two that do wonderful work and whose lessons will be more meaningful than another toy that’s quickly discarded.

—Prudie

More Dear Prudence Columns

Weapon of Choice: My husband insists we buy a gun to protect our family, but I disdain firearms.” Posted Oct. 13, 2011.
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: My wife doesn’t want sex frequently, so I visit prostitutes. Should I stop?” Posted Oct. 6, 2011.
Surviving Mommie Dearest: My abusive mother haunts my dreams. How can I move on?” Posted Sept. 29, 2011.
Once a Cheater: My husband says he had a one-night stand with a co-worker—but she called it a torrid affair. Who can I believe?” Posted Sept. 22, 2011.

More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts

Who's Your Mommy?: Dear Prudence advises a man whose wife doesn’t want their twins to know they came from donor eggs—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Oct. 17, 2011.
Start Spreading the News: Dear Prudence advises a woman whose boyfriend revealed he had herpes only after they had unprotected sex—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Oct. 10, 2011.
Don’t Tell Dad: Dear Prudence advises a woman whose friend won’t tell her one-night stand she got pregnant—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Oct. 3, 2011.
Life or the Party: Dear Prudence offers advice on a woman self-destructing with sex, drugs, and alcohol—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Sept. 26, 2011.

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

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