Dear Prudence answers readers' questions live at

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
Sept. 8 2009 3:18 PM

Are Wedding Gifts Optional?

Prudie counsels a mother whose daughter didn't get enough presents at her nuptials—and other advice seekers.

(Continued from Page 3)

Emily Yoffe: Glad you like the column, but you probably won't like this answer: Dump him. That kind of obsessive jealousy is a demon that will ruin your life.


Suncoast, Fla.: I have been dating two different men for a while now, and both are starting to head in the direction of an exclusive, committed relationship. So the time has come to choose, and I'm having the hardest time doing so. One would seem to be completely wrong for me. He's a science fiction/fantasy enthusiast, which I don't care for at all. He also hates television and loves card games, while I like to watch TV to unwind every once in a while and don't care for games. But he makes me feel totally adored and goes to great lengths to plan really terrific dates for us. The other guy seems so much better suited for me. We have very similar backgrounds and interests, and I feel like he really challenges me intellectually. We also have many of the same friends. But he's much more subdued about his feelings and is less likely to have a thought-out plan when we decide what to do together. So which is more important in a long-term partner, someone who makes you feel really special or someone who shares common interests and challenges you as a person?

Emily Yoffe: You need two, two, two boyfriends in one! If only you could pick the favorable qualities from boyfriend A and boyfriend B and come up with Mr. Perfect. Of course, as you know, no one is perfect. Instead of answering this question, I'm going to ask you a question. If you were Prudie, who would you tell the letter writer from Suncoast, Fla. to pick?


Arlington, Va.: We have neighbors in our apartment that we have never met, and I feel at this point it is too awkward to go over and introduce ourselves. The problem is, on several occasions, when they leave town for the weekend, such as today, they leave the alarm in their bedroom set, and we can clearly hear it going off through our bedroom wall really early in the morning. My girlfriend wants to write a note, but I feel that's tacky. What do you think?

Emily Yoffe: It's never too late to introduce yourselves to neighbors. You can decide whether to make this two separate visits. One at which you say you've been meaning to introduce yourselves and save the alarm clock issue for later. Or two, you apologize for not introducing yourselves and say you have a rather trivial issue that you wonder if they could address. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship (that allows you to sleep in).


Emily Yoffe: Thanks, everyone. Hope your alarm clock didn't have to go off too early this morning. Talk to you next Monday.


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.