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Dear Prudence


Advice, commentary, and conversation from Mallory Ortberg, author of Slate's Dear Prudence column.

Advice, commentary, and conversation from Mallory Ortberg, author of Slate's Dear Prudence column.
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Advice, commentary, and conversation from Mallory Ortberg, author of Slate's Dear Prudence column.




Dear Prudence: The “I Wanna Kidnap a Dog” Edition

Prudence is joined this week by standup comedian Myq Kaplan, who hosts the new podcast Broccoli and Ice Cream, and who is making his second appearance on the show. Together they take on questions about how to decide if your partner is being vulnerable or controlling in a polyamorous relationship, what to do if you think you might be racist, how to appease your mother about miniscule wedding invite details when she is paying and whether or not you should kidnap a dog to get it fixed. Slate...


Dear Prudence: The “Women Are Too Distracting” Edition

Prudence is joined this week by Jessie Lane, a social worker, mother, excellent cook, and holder of many opinions (and in this episode, holder of a baby). They tackle questions about how to deal with a coworker who tells the boss about their seemingly private suggestions for workplace improvement, how to tell your family about your sister’s boyfriend’s predatory behavior, what to do when your kid doesn’t fit in well with your family’s childcare, how to deal with a queer friend offended by...


Dear Prudence: The “Inspector Javert of Office Meatballs” Edition

Prudence is joined this week by Aria Velasquez, an audience engagement editor at Slate. First up, I’m worried my discussion with my eight year old about me and my husband’s sexual orientation has greatly confused her, please help! family is struggling after an awful accident in which my father killed a neighbor’s dog and in which my kids blame themselves. I think I may have found “the one” but our interactions with another couple leave us both feeling outrageously jealous… (only...


Dear Prudence: The "Calculated Incursion On My Workplace" Edition

Prudence is joined this week by Kayla Whaley, a writer living outside Atlanta with a focus on disability, sexuality, and the body. First, this letter writer has a great job but is feeling anxious about her close friend applying for any available job at the company. Next, this letter writer has been in a long term and long distance relationship where communication is difficult and they sometimes go weeks without talking - is it time to think about moving on? My close friend is experiencing...


Dear Prudence: The “Expensive Bulk Food-Grazer” Edition

Prudence is joined this week by Paola Dayanan, a TV-obsessed HR professional from Northern Virginia. First, a letter writer struggles with work after two devastating losses and a manager who doesn’t seem supportive. Next, a concerned letter writer cannot contain their horror as they watch their friend grab handfuls of expensive bulk snacks while walking through the grocery store without paying - is a confrontation looming? Then, a friend group questioned this letter writer’s sexuality and...


Dear Prudence: The "Mommy Moocher" Edition

Prudence is joined by Krystal Farmer: twitter, podcast, and emo music enthusiast. First, my partner will no longer accompany me to my family’s gathering because of the “redneck BS” he hears - what can I do? Next, my family won’t turn off their Alexa device when we stay there, even though it really creeps us out - are we being unreasonable or are they? And, a group of single moms who help each other out with carpool and childcare are tired of one mom whose efforts they don’t think are...


Dear Prudence: The “Wizard Privilege” Edition

Prudence is joined by Margie Omero, a Democratic pollster and co-host of the bipartisan podcast “The Pollsters.” First up, my life feels unglamorous and the TV shows I watch just make me bitter, how can I address this? Next, I have a great relationship with my mother, but she owes me money I need for rent, help! Then, my wife often changes the gender of traditional male-dominated stories when she reads them to our daughter and I worry this could be jarring for her when she is able to read...


Dear Prudence: The “Falling for My Co-Parent” Edition

Prudence is joined by Baby Ange, host of the podcast Femme Too Deep. First up, a letter about “sex negativity” - this letter-writer did not enjoy sex with their partner but is having trouble finding constructive words to talk about it. Next, a father (and we suspect, not a regular listener) struggles with watching his teenage daughter grow up. Then, two co-parents are falling for eachother: should they go for it? And finally, a letter-writer worries that his brief courtship with a woman...


Dear Prudence: The "Spousal Acknowledgement" Edition

Prudence is joined by Olga Kreimer, a journalist and grad student who writes an aggressively earnest advice column at the LA Review of Books. First up: will it be awkward if I don’t mention my husband in the acknowledgment of my first book since he was super unsupportive of my writing process? As a teacher near Parkland, I’m having serious anxiety about our school’s preparedness for a shooting, but administrators aren’t taking my concerns seriously - what can I do? And lastly, my in-laws...


Dear Prudence: The “Holidays of Their Own Design” Edition

Prudence is joined by Josh Gondleman, stand up comedian and writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. First up, my Uncle says he won’t come to my wedding unless he’s joined by the woman he had an affair with, but my Aunt and their kids are still devastated - help! Next, I’m worried I’m an abusive partner to my husband - how can I know and what do I need to do next? My spouse’s family takes their made up holidays very seriously and sometimes insist on family portraits with “blood...


Dear Prudence: The "Early Summer Chicken" Edition

Prudence is joined by powerhouse couple Gillian Evans and Lucy Mueller to help answer letters. First up: I’ve begun fostering a young child whose parents want me to prepare halal meals for him, but my family’s diet is much different - what should I do? Next, my parents keep insisting I need a roommate, but I am financially independent and don’t need their input…how can I politely tell them to respect my choices? I have a medical condition that makes sex painful - a surgical fix would mean...


The “Nosey Desk-Searching Boss” Edition

Prudence is joined by Justine D’Souza, a Phone Support Counselor for a youth helpline. We start with a job seeker who has concerns about disclosing their health problems during the interview process. Then, an employee whose boss searches their desk and email inbox when they step out, calling them out for...their yogurt spoons. A loving spouse no longer feels attracted to their trans partner and needs some guidance. And lastly, a letter-writer doesn’t want to feel like a “cruise-director”...


Dear Prudence: The “Relentlessly Friendly Neighbor” Edition

Prudence is joined by Jolie Kerr, a cleaning expert, advice columnist and host of the podcast, Ask a Clean Person. We begin with a concerned letter-writer whose sister is involved with a reckless and dangerous partner on how she can remain supportive while advocate for her sister’s well being. Next, this reader just frankly doesn’t want to be friends with her eager neighbor but they’ve picked up on none of the “I don’t want to be friends” hints. And lastly, a husband of 35 years is feeling...


Dear Prudence: The “Not Your Mom” Edition

ITUNES SUMMARY: Prudence is joined by writer and self-appointed mom friend Jess Reynolds. First up, my ex and I “split the sheets” (tamer than you might think) after our career paths didn’t align, but I’m feeling drawn to him again even though I’m engaged to someone else - help! Next up, my husband expects me to do a ton of housework for his stepkids. I’m feeling underappreciated and he’s not doing his share. Can I just check into a hotel and let them sort it out? Help! Hear more Prudence...


Dear Prudence: The “Not Unconditional Love” Edition

Prudence is joined by hosts of the podcast By the Book: Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg. First, how can I talk to my parents about feeling like I’m only acknowledged for academic achievements? Next, advice for an older sister unsure of how to help her brother who is demonstrating worrisome and creepy behavior. I’m keeping my baby, but friends don’t understand - what can I say? And lastly, I know instagram is all about putting your best self first, but I still want my own highlight...


Dear Prudence: The Live “Cruise-ship Romance” Edition

Our first live show! Prudence is joined onstage at the Brava Theater in San Francisco by writer and advice columnist Nicole Cliffe and lawyer and novelist Jasmine Guillory who read through letters and answer questions from the crowd. The team helps a writer trying to find out how a former partner died when their only connection is through facebook. A supportive sister wants to tell her brother she knows he’s gay, but wants to respective his privacy. I told my partner about my racist...


Dear Prudence: The “Tepidly Panromantic” Edition

This week, writer Rohin Guha tells us of the joys of leaving Twitter post Trump election. First, the Prudence team takes on gender discrimination at a so-called forward-thinking progressive company. “Tired Asexual” asks “how do I regain my ability to appreciative media that shoehorns romantic interludes as stand-ins for all important interpersonal dynamics?” And lastly, when bird-sitting for neighbors, how can I confront them about their racist artwork? Hear more Prudence by joining Slate...


Dear Prudence: The “Ongoing Fling with a Famous Person” Edition

Prudence is joined this week by Charlotte Shane, author, essayist, and co-founder of TigerBee Press. First up - what to say when your sister compares your desire to have a child with adopting a cat. And how can I respectfully deal with attending friends’ engagements and weddings when I am still single and not feeling the festive spirit? Then - an affair with a famous person (of course we guess) has been going on for years, but do I need to alter my expectations? And finally, my wife got a...


Dear Prudence: The “Reverse Kids Get Off My Lawn” Edition

This week we tackle the timeless question of how to eat from a jar of peanut butter in public when you don’t have a utensil. Then, farmer, educator, and food justice advocate Anna Luberoff joins to help with the mailbag. First, when dealing with overwhelming grief, how can I remain present at work and do I need to speak with my co-workers who may not always understand what I’m going through? And speaking of office politics, do I need to speak to a higher-up after attending my company...


Dear Prudence: The "Eternally Engaged" Edition

This week we’re revisiting some of the trickiest, thorniest questions of the past year. First up: I’ve been engaged for five years with no wedding in sight. Help! What do I say to strangers who tell me I’m “not dark enough” to be from my home country? I’m terrified of the doll my wife made our kid – can I say something? And finally: My husband gets furious when I talk about bodily functions at the dinner table – is he right? Hear more Prudence by joining Slate Plus:...


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