Help! Can I Ask My Hookup Buddy to Be My Professional Mentor?

Advice on manners and morals.
July 25 2013 6:15 AM

Performance Review

I’ve been sleeping with an older man in my field. Can I ask him for career advice?

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Dear Prudence,
I have belonged to a local play group for moms and tots for the past three years. Recently a man joined, and he is the only stay-at-home dad who has ever become part of the group. A fellow group member recently told me that she found out that he is not who he appears to be. He said that he is a physician assistant, but he is only an EMT. He also lied about his wife's profession. After a little more digging we discovered that he is a convicted felon (he spent two years in prison) with charges dating from the 1980s to 2005. I don't want to stir the pot, but I am concerned about his attending play dates in friends' houses. Do I out him or let this ride? Help!

—Desperate Housewife

Dear Desperate,
Only recently I denounced the "ugly and pernicious" assumption that all men are criminals unless proven otherwise, so thanks a lot. This dad has a long rap sheet, but I wish you’d been more specific about the offenses. You don’t sound too alarmed, so I’m assuming you didn’t find he was a violent offender. The charges do run over quite a period, but they are from a long time ago, so maybe this guy had a rough start in life and engaged in petty crime with a bad group. But now he’s married, trained for a career, is a father, and has made a fresh start. It could be his lies about the work he and his wife do are actually more just exaggerations so that people in your group will think he and his family fit in. Sure, it’s also possible he’s a dishonest and bad guy, but he’s eight years out with no involvement with the law. I think that entitles him to the benefit of the doubt on gossiping about his past. However, you have a legitimate concern about inviting a relative stranger with a record into people’s homes. Since it’s summer, I think you should suggest your group meet at outside venues so the kids can run around. That way, you can all get to know this father better. If it turns out he makes people uncomfortable, when the weather turns you can always quietly reconstitute your group for mothers only.

—Prudie

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Dear Prudence,
I am a new mother of a lovely 4-month-old baby girl. My husband has been curious about my lactation, and I allowed him to taste some (from a bottle that I pumped). Now, he wants more. He thinks this sweet, fatty milk product would be perfect for a creamy mushroom pasta sauce. This disgusts me. Turning breast milk into food for adults feels a bit like making margaritas from my sweat. My husband argues that since we have plenty of supply and it wouldn't hurt the baby, I should just let him try it and get over my repulsion. Am I being unreasonable?

—Lactating Lady

Dear Lactating,
Your husband sounds insane. I cannot imagine using breast milk for anything but lobster bisque. Take heart that your husband is not the only one with culinary designs on his wife’s lactation. A New York chef made breast-milk cheese (“strangely soft, bouncy” according to critic Gael Greene). However, it’s no longer in production, not just because of weaning, but because the health department rendered a negative verdict. Tell your husband you’ll stick to your breasts’ providing dinner service exclusively for the kid, but you’d love to have his creamy mushroom pasta. Say that he can find the necessary ingredients in the dairy aisle.

—Prudie

More Dear Prudence Columns

Identification, Please: I’ve been offered a scholarship for Hispanic students—but it turns out I may not even be Hispanic. Does it matter?” Posted April 19, 2012.
Daddy Dearest: My husband is wonderful, but he rages at our kids. How can I quell his anger?” Posted April 12, 2012.
Loss and Forbidden Love: My stepdaughter hit on me after my wife’s death. What should I do?” Posted April 5, 2012.
Not So Proud Papa: Our son is an unmotivated lunkhead. How can we light a fire under him?” Posted March 29, 2012.

More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts

Double Helping of Hate: In a live chat, Prudie advises a mother hit by an anti-adoption remark—that's also implicitly racist.” Posted April 30, 2012.
For No Eyes Only: In a live chat, Prudie advises the sister of an underage girl making sex tapes with her boyfriend.” Posted April 23, 2012.
My Daughter To Be My Daughter-in-Law?: In a live chat, Dear Prudence offers advice on a surprising dating arrangement, birthmark removal, and mistresses at funerals.” Posted April 16, 2012.
Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises a man who cheated and is so afraid his wife will leave that he stalks her every move.” Posted April 9, 2012.

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