["Dear Prudence" is published every Thursday on Slate.com. For the original column, click here.]Dear
Since last Halloween, I've been wondering about my husband. We dressed him up as a bride, and he made quite an attractive woman for our age (60)--almost no one recognized him. I had the lady at my salon do his nails, hair (wig), and makeup. He is a jokester and doesn't take life seriously, and we had a ton of fun. My girlfriends and I talked him into staying in character all weekend as a woman and had a barbecue on Sunday with a group of our friends. Since then, my girlfriends love having "her" accompany us during our outings, lunch, and golf. He seems to be enjoying it more and more and is always interested in the next get-together. He sees it as a harmless prank and a challenge to pull off. He is not effeminate in any way when not in character and never has been. His male friends tease him but also think it is a riot.
--Should I Worry?
What are you worried about? That your husband enjoys cross-dressing? Let me ease your worries - he does. But so what? That doesn't make him gay, which I think is what you are REALLY worried about - "oh, my husband is wearing a dress, now I guess he wants it up the pooper." Well let me put you at ease. Your husband is 60; either he doesn't want it up the pooper, or he's been getting it up the pooper on the side for the last 40 years. Feel better?Dear
My wife and I have been married for more than a decade and have two young children. Recently, I have suggested ideas aimed at spicing up our sex life. These are not wild suggestions, and they involve just us. (For example, I have seen couples on TV have sex with the woman sitting on a running washing machine. Like I said, nothing overly wild.) My wife always responds that she's not interested. However, it's the reason she gives that gets to me. "I did it with someone else before I met you. It wasn't that great." I have an issue with the fact that she was willing to do these things with another man and is unwilling to do them with her husband. I have expressed why this hurts. Her response is to laugh it off and say something like, "You had your chance before you met me. You should have done it then." I'm not complaining about the number of times we have sex. It's just that I am having difficulty dealing with her unwillingness to do with me things she did with other men. What should I do?
--Wanting More Spice Than Just Salt
First of all, can somebody explain this signoff to me? I don't get it. Anyway: this has to be the one of the most common questions I see sent to advice columns. Typical format: "my spouse won't have sex as often as I want/tie me up/peg me/etc. What can I do about it?" Uh, I don't know. Do you want me to come over to your house and hold your wife on the washing machine for you? Talk to her about it, and if she won't, then go to counseling, and if that doesn't help or she won't go, then I think we both know what your choices are from there.Dear
My parents are divorced, and my father remarried several years ago. Every time we visit with them, my father's wife comments that she'd like to have my two young sons visit on their own during the summer, which gets the boys excited about the idea. Although I'd like nothing more than to have some quiet, alone time with my husband, I have some issues. For one, both of them use marijuana daily. I need advice on how to tell them that this invitation, however appreciated, will not come to fruition, and it's not OK for them to invite the boys directly or, for that matter, even mention it when they are within earshot. We do love them, illegal habits aside. So how do I say no without pushing them away?
--Avoiding the Issue
Let's assume that (a) your father is not going to be smoking the grandkids up, and (b) your kids aren't already using marijuana. I fail to see what the problem is here, other than the stick up your ass. If you insist on keeping it there, then you need to lay your cards out on the table and tell them the grandkids stay home unless they kick the pot. But really, let them go and enjoy some quality time henpecking your husband.Dear
I spend a good amount of money on things (clothes, books, toys) for my niece and nephew. My intention was that they use them until they grow out of them, and then I would get them back for my future kids. Every time I give new items, I politely remind my sister-in-law that I would "please like this back." Since my niece was born three years ago, I have been given only one item back. I have since discovered that she sells most of the things her kids outgrow. I understand they need to sell them to afford new clothes, but I am not made of money, either. How do I remind her that I want things returned, other than writing "Aunty wants this" on each piece?
--Not Made of Money
The next gift somebody buys you should be a dictionary with the word "gift" circled. If you can't afford to give things to your niece and nephew, then put the money back in your wallet. Honestly, where do people get their ideas from sometimes?