I generally enjoy the Dear Prudence column in Slate and the videos showing on SlateV. She’s sometimes snarky, but she often gets letters that warrant it.

Today I got caught up and she came across as unnecessarily harsh on a couple of emails.

The first was from a self-described food snob complaining about her husband’s meat-and-potato preferences. I was all set to side with the husband, but for the most part she was just asking him to be a good sport and he wasn’t. My food tastes are much more like his than hers, but Prudence’s advice to be more flexible really seemed more to apply to him than her.

The second was from a single mother that has three strong romantic prospects and wants to know how to choose between them. Prudence gives pretty good advice here, but then in the middle of nowhere tears into her writer for sleeping around and exposing the kids to the men in her life. Maybe the mother was being irresponsible, but there wasn’t any indication in the letter. Then, after this little diatribe, she then gave some more good advice.

What do y’all think?

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2 Responses to Prudie Fail: Is Prudie Getting Moody?

  1. Linus says:

    I basically agree with you on the first clip. The guy should be made to choose between cooking his own meals or eating what she prepares. Granted, she should be somewhat flexible, avoiding the broccoli and Brussels sprouts he can’t stand, but he can’t veto 90% of the cooking she’d like to do.

    I think her advice in the second clip is 100% on target. First, I find it extremely unlikely that someone could effectively juggle three boyfriends and three kids, even if independently wealthy. Having three men in her life is likely having a negative effect on her kids, whether because she spends less time with them, because they don’t understand Mom’s relationship with the guys, or because (gasp) she’s setting a poor example by sleeping with more than one of them. Most parents are borderline obsessive about their children, let alone single mothers, and this one seems to be placing her own happiness at least as high as the happiness of her children.

  2. trumwill says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    In my mind, whether the woman is a bad mother depends on things we don’t know. How often does she see these men? If she’s out three nights a week that could be a problem. If she’s sleeping with all three either by spending nights away from home or having constant sleepovers, that could be a problem, too. For all we know, though, she has a sister that’s helping them, the guys are over watching movies, she sees one of the guys mostly at work, maybe one is a long-distance thing and he’s offering or wanting to move into town. Or maybe she is a crappy mother after all.

    If she were asking Prudence whether her dating is bad for the kids or not, it might be a good idea to investigate these factors. Prudence is more likely than not right that her cavalier dating life is hurting her kids. But since we really don’t know, and it wasn’t part of the question, I think she really went out of her way to be harsh and judgmental. That’s how I saw the video and her response, anyway.

    Out of curiosity, do any of my readers have any experience with parents dating? I have no idea what it’s like and perhaps blithely assume that it’s not a big intrusion. Most of the friends I had with divorced parents had remarried parents, so I’ve never seen how it works.

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