Dear Prudence answers readers' questions live at

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
June 8 2009 2:46 PM

The Pill Popper Next Door

Prudie counsels a man whose neighbor swipes his painkillers—and questions from other advice seekers.

(Continued from Page 3)

RE: Bay City, Mich: About four years ago, my then fiance found out via the local Child Support Office that he had to pay support for child he fathered eight months before we met (he was friends with the mother). He has taken responsibility for the kid, seen her on a regular basis, etc. But there was no question in his mind and it shows from his actions that he had doubt who he wanted to have a life with. We have been married for two years now. For our friend from Bay City, if he is so undecided, don't walk away, RUN! before you waste more time.

Emily Yoffe: Exactly. Your husband clearly didn't have more than a passing relationship with the woman (and I will interrupt this column to throw in a word about the wonders of using birth control for those times when you are having sex with people you hope to never see again), and then he stepped up and honored his responsibility to the child. That's very different from the flake described in the previous letter.


Avoid trouble at the wedding...: Have a groomsman keep an eye on the obnoxious guest and step in if he starts ruining the event.


I've done this on request of the bride and groom to an overreaching step-parent. The couple was very thankful.

Emily Yoffe: Good advice, thanks!


"Sweetie": For what it's worth, our server (young, female) called my 88-year-old mother-in-law "Sweetie" the other night, and my M-in-L could not have been more tickled. And this is a woman who lectures servers when they address a table of women or a mixed group as "guys" because "women are NOT guys, young lady/man!" She thought it was lovely to be called sweetie.

I think people should probably lighten up a bit and realize that not everything is worth being offended over. Life is too short, and blood pressure doesn't need to be raised!

Emily Yoffe: Hear, hear.


Nose tw, Ind.: Hi Prudy, I know this is a bit out of left field, but I don't know who else to ask. Is there a term for when somebody has the exact same nose as you do?

If you have the same parents, you're siblings. And if you have the same job, you're coworkers. If you play basketball together: you're teammates. Same nationality: compatriots. Same house: roommates. But what's the term when you have the same nose?

I ask because I have the exact same nose as Roger Federer.

Emily Yoffe: If you had the same swing as Roger Federer, then the resemblance might be worth talking about. I think this is one of those things that's best being your little secret.


Somewhat related to "hon": What does a older person call a younger female (20's or so) when trying to get her attention (a waitress or shop assistant or someone who dropped their gloves on the street)? I used to just call anyone "ma'am" but now that I'm older than some of the people I'm trying to call to, it feels awkward. Plus, younger people generally don't acknowledge the call of "ma'am".

Emily Yoffe: "Excuse me, Miss!"

And thanks for all your questions. I will miss you next week, but be back the week after.



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