Friday, March 16, 2007

Dear Prudence: A Closer Look

The Letters

Dear Excited,
Congratulations on your nuptials and your impending bundle of joy. Have we really come to the point that someone has to defend her decision that it's best if marriage precedes motherhood? You have nothing to explain to anyone. If people make snide remarks, try resting your hands on your tummy, smiling beatifically in that way only pregnant women can, and saying, "Thank you for your good wishes." Soon you'll be a happy family of three, and people will forget the timing of your wedding.

Yeah, Emily: Way to tell her to fight fire with fire, i.e., "Thank you for your good wishes." Lame! It's situations like this that call for advice columnists to dispense with the diplomacy and provide a little bit more lethal artillery for the recently knocked up.

"Are you pregnant?"
"Oh, that explains it."
"It does? What exactly does it explain? That we've had sex before marriage? That we're committed to one another and were planning on getting married anyway? That your son was sweet enough to whisk me off on a brief yet perfect weekend of nuptials and wedded bliss? And that you're all a bunch of wet-blanketed killjoying fucks so judgmental that the first things out of you retards' mouths at the impending bundle 'o joy is disappointment, narrow mindedness and, well, stupidity? Man, I wish the little tike was already born so that s/he could feel all the love and affection and support from his grandparents. That's really touching, asshats. You motherfuckers can go fuckity fuck the fucking fuck off and fuck yourselves hard, cockwipes. Now, to quote m'boy Adrock: 'Get the fuck out mah face!'

"Oh, and we're registered at Macy's. Thanks so much."

Hope this helps. Thank god I was here.

Dear Bride,
Think how memorable the day will be if you go into early labor and your water breaks as you're taking your vows! Of course, many a pregnant bride has walked down the aisle, but having a deposit on a venue doesn't seem reason enough to risk having your wedding and delivery date possibly be simultaneous. You want the weeks before you give birth to be as low-stress as possible; ideally, that means the wedding planning is long behind you. Now that you're about to become a mother, the ability to be flexible when circumstances change will be a valuable one. Please read the letter above and consider a change of plans. You can just go off and get married, or have a low-key wedding now (perhaps you can negotiate with the place where you were going to have the wedding and change the date). Then ask the bridesmaids to convert the bridal shower into a baby shower. Certainly your family and friends will be happy for you and most will want to contribute both a wedding and baby gift, but you're right to be concerned that three major gift-giving events in a row are going to tax the good wishes of even the most generous. And there's something distasteful about the way your family members consider marriage and motherhood as "packages" that others are obligated to buy into. In any case, in just a few months you will realize there are a lot more pressing issues in your life (sleep, having enough diapers) than whether you had a whirlwind of parties.

Uh… does anybody use, like, birth control anymore? Attention: The Rhythm Method, in addition to not really working, does not consist of having sex whilst listening to Dave Brubeck's "Take Five". Anyways…

No, no, no. Dang, Prude. Another golden opportunity to throw down at the expense of others, and you're swinging at pitches in the dirt with your so-called "pragmatism", "moderation", and "thoughtfulness". I'm sorry, I thought this was America.

What's our window again? 18 months? Okay. Hang on.

Next weekend: Bachelorette Party at Ryan's Steak House, virgin dackeries for the bun-in-the-oven-haver

3 months out: Wedding Shower Rehearsal, pre-gifting, trouble-shooting

4 months out: Wedding Shower, no re-gifting please, attendance mandatory

5 months out: Secret Bridesmaids Initiation Ceremony Weekend Retreat And Underwater Birthing Seminar in the Bahamas; guests responsible for airfare, lodging; name tags provided

6 months out: Baby Shower Rehearsal Dinner Friday Night, Pizza Hut, to be followed by Baby Shower Saturday afternoon, Emperor's Gate China Buffet #4, parking in rear

9 months out: Cross-Country Bachelorette Road Trip in RV from Orlando to Barstow; BYOB

12 months out (crunch time): Quick jaunt to Paris to pick out napkin ring holders for reception; father of groom to pick up tab

The Wedding (it's all in the timing, but it might be just crazy enough to work): Walk down aisle, given away by father, the vows; then baby pops out onto pillow to become ring bearer; presiding minister/official cuts umbilical cord, pronounces you husband and wife/father mother; crying (not just from phantom pain swimming upstream against the 17 Meperidine oral tablets you took before the bridal chorus started); best man produces stroller, and out you 2 crazy kids go to attack the life of marriage and family planning.

You're welcome.

Dear Tired,
Under your fiance's [sic] care, his mentally and physically ill mother is left unattended all day to have seizures and fall into a diabetic coma, and he's worried that conditions at a nursing home won't meet his standards? Your letter makes me worry that after she dies, he will sit her in a rocking chair and place a wig on her head, RIP Alfred Hitchcock. Let's give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt and say he's in a psychological meltdown over his mother's care, the result of which is an abusive situation for her and for you. You posit your choices as continuing with this insanity, or hinting that things need to change. But do you really want to be the night nurse for the foreseeable future? So, here's a subtle approach you can try: Tell him either his mother goes, or you do.

Wow. Cheap shot alert! "… he will sit her in a rocking chair and place a wig on her head…" I did that. And it was a real conversation-starter in the foyer until the department of health showed up with a hazmat crew and a S.W.A.T team. Good times.

Your advice is sound. I'd just add that, given her mental deterioration, the old gal probably has no idea who the fuck he is. Everybody wins! [cough]

Dear Awn,
If Curtis Jackson can become 50 Cent, you can become Awnyes. I contacted a French Agnes of my acquaintance who in high school went from ag-nis to on-YES. She too loved her name but couldn't stand the American pronunciation. This Agnes said there's really no way to get rid of the hard "g" pronunciation except doing it the hard way. That is, you'll probably have to instruct your friends at least 10 times that ag-nis is dead, long live awn-yes. And for the rest of your life, correcting mispronunciation will be a daily occurrence (which on-YES says is still worth it). Changing the spelling of your name will probably only complicate matters (can't you just hear people saying, "What's your name—Awn-E-es?") Perhaps at work you could send an e-mail to your colleagues and explain for your 40th birthday you're reclaiming your Danish heritage and invite them to celebrate the rebirth of Awnyes with a lunch time smorrebord.

Er… Yawn!-ess. I don't like any of them. And 50 Cent is a talentless idiot. Way to set the bar high. Let me step in on this one, Em.

And you call yourself a Dane?! Take a powder, Hamlet, and step away from the sword, because Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are definitely not dead. Line 'em up!


If you're gonna go, go all the way. Though I am partial to Betty, Lulu, Epiphany, Bernice, and Loquitishalia. Take your pick. Good luck.


Dawn Coyote said...

I didn't read the questions, and barely skimmed Prudie's answers, but I liked yours.

(Concupiscentia. I always thought that was a pretty name for a girl)

august said...

I think dear prudence should be a reality tv show