Dear Prudence answers readers' questions live at

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
Nov. 9 2009 2:42 PM

The Bearded Mom

Prudie counsels a reader whose mother's facial hair is getting out of control—and other advice seekers.

(Continued from Page 3)

If you want to become estranged from Aunt Sadie and all her kids, just remember that your own children might wish they'd known their cousins. Today, I am virtually alone, though I know there are a bunch of cousins out there with their own families. It's sad.

Emily Yoffe: This is a good argument for not letting a disagreement harden into a multi-generation feud. That's why I hope the family with the mother(!) who boycotted her son's wedding can have some kind of reconciliation.


Facial Hair: Kid should NOT say anything, unless the mother is visually impaired. The mother can see the hair, maybe she has just decided she does not mind it or does not want to deal with removing it. I just passed a woman on the street yesterday who was dressed quite smartly and had a goatee—got my attention but it's her business. Clearly she can see that she has a goatee. This kid does not like her mother's facial hair—too bad.


Emily Yoffe: If I ended up in old age with a goatee and my daughter didn't say, "Mom, you're looking like Abe Lincoln"—I shudder to think about it.


Atlanta: In your view, is it possible for two consenting adults to have an affair, end it and remain "just friends"?

Emily Yoffe: It sounds like you're trying to make an argument to someone you cheated on that, "Hey, even Prudie says now that the affair's over, X and I can be friends!" Yes, your scenario is possible. But more likely is that once an affair is over, the cheaters need to agree not to see each other anymore in order to reestablish trust with their spouses.


TAPS: An organization for those who have lost loved ones in the military: TAPS.

Emily Yoffe: Thank you.


Ft. Wayne, Ind.: I am a 70-year-old woman who has not had a special man in my life for 7 years—due to health problems and just the fact that there has been no one that really interested me. I will admit, I have had a very full and interesting life from ages 35 to 62 ... maybe some might say, too interesting. I loved it.

There is a very quiet man in a group I belong to, and suddenly he and I have begun to talk and I find him of interest—not for marriage, but for a companion to possibly do things with. Once he starts to talk, he is not quiet at all. He is a widowed 80-year-old man. But, what is an 80-year-old man interested in? At this age, will he be interested in sex, or just a friend to do things with? I do not know how to approach the situation. Any ideas? Someone to go to dinner, concerts, and such with would be so nice.

Emily Yoffe: You approach it by enjoying his company and just seeing as you get to know each other what comes up.


Emily Yoffe: Thanks, everyone. Talk to you next week.

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