Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Schooling Prudence

[READER ALERT: In this note I am going to poke fun at Billy Graham, god, and say bitch and piss. I will also express support for people who engage in polyamorous relationships. Consider yourself warned.]

I'm kind of an advice column junkie. I used to read SO many: Dear Prudence, Dear Abby, Dear Margo, Carolyn Hax, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and every so often I'd look in on Billy Graham's column, wrinkle my nose, and whisk back out again. Sorry, god.

I finally had to face my addiction and start thinning the herd a bit. Take back control of my life, one step at a time. The first step was easy - rate the columnists and make a decision as to who I'd keep on reading.

Dear Prudence: middle-aged, smart cookie, a little acerbic but never mean (ah, sad...)

Dear Abby: Up. Tight.

Dear Margo: hands down my favorite. She's a snappy old lady with a checkered past, kind heart and wicked sense of humor. She hates the people what done you wrong. I love her.

Carolyn Hax (a daily in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer): Meh. She kind of makes a big meal out of trying to be cute. Whatever...

Dr. Joyce Brothers: Great advice, good heart, but she does go ON, which makes her a bit boring.

Billy Graham: He ends every letter - EVERY SINGLE ONE - with "And you...have you made Jesus the Lord and Master of your life? You should get on that, because nothing's going to go right until you do [my paraphrase. I'm funnier than him]." Enough said.

OK, so, Prudence was one of the columnists that made the cut. Except, EXCEPT, she just let me down in a big way. I mean, she let an advisee down and that pissed me off. Here's the advisee's letter, her response, and the bitchfest I sent to Prudence as a result:


Dear Prudie:
I am a female involved in a four-year-long polyamorous relationship with a married couple. We are all happy and love one another very much. They have invited me to move into their home, and I would like to. The problem is that their two teenage children are beyond angry with the relationship. Even though they are not losing anything as a result of the relationship, they blame me for breaking the family apart and are very rude to me and their parents as a result. We don't want to break up to appease their children, who will be out of the house and on their own soon enough. But I can't imagine putting myself in the middle of such an uncomfortable living situation. Any suggestions for getting these teens to learn to accept me and the relationship?

—Three Is Not a Crowd


Dear Three,
Teenagers are just impossible these days. Mom and Dad go out and get a perfectly nice girlfriend to share, and the kids totally destroy the great erotic vibe you've all got going with their insolent remarks like, "Ewww, gross!" and "Why can't you be normal like other parents and just get a divorce or something?" They sound like complete downers who don't even understand the stimulating couplings and triplings that could take place when they have their friends sleep over (before the friends' parents hear about this, and all of you end up explaining polyamory to social services). It's too bad these rotten kids don't understand that their parents' need to fulfill their sexual appetites takes precedence over providing them a stable home. But since the teenagers are doing nothing but making life unpleasant for your happy threesome, my only suggestion for you is to find a couple who had the good judgment not to have children and leave this family alone.



Hello, Prudence. [this is rad - observe how I get all snippy and formal] I've read your column every week for some time now, and am generally impressed with your sense of fairness and obvious concern for those who contact you. I'm writing about one of your glaring exceptions.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2009, you posted a response to Three is Not a Crowd, who was asking you about how to deal with the angry teenage offspring of a couple with which she has a polyamorous relationship. She was looking to you for advice on how to handle the situation. Instead she got judged by you six ways from Sunday. You inferred throughout your response that she was the interloper into an established relationship and that the three of them were in it for nothing but sex, even though she said that they'd been together for four years and loved each other very much! Polyamory is real, Prudence, and it's as likely to be a love relationship as it is to be a sex relationship. Do you really think that the only romantic love that exists is the kind that's between two people and two people only?! For heaven's sake...she came to you for help and you treated her rather hatefully. With sarcasm and scorn. I'm really, really sad for her and disappointed at your mistreatment of a reader.

Cerise Deslauriers