Dear Prudence

Bald Is Beautiful

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I was telling my bald husband about the furor stirred up by the Great Toupee Debate, and he thought, as did I, that the attacks on you were pretty lame. Coming from two families of bald men—father, husband, and father-in-law all started losing their hair in their late teens—I don’t understand men who wear toupees, much like I don’t understand women who wear falsies. Which, let’s face it, is what toupees are: the equivalent of male falsies. How many of these rug-wearing gentlemen would be as accepting of a young lady whose double-Ds wound up on the floor with her underwear?

In quizzing my girlfriends on this matter, we came to a conclusion. While a few guys (very few) who wear toupees are nice guys who are a little insecure, most are arrogant buttheads who seem to equate hair with virility, and they’re the same guys who drive sports cars and leave their wives for girlfriends half their age. To all those (men) who say I am toupee-bashing, guess what, guys—you’re not fooling anyone, and we’re all laughing at you, whether your toupee is askew or not. Most women find men who are secure enough with their virility to not worry about their baldness far sexier. My guess is that most guys wearing toupees have money … and that’s what’s bringing in the chicks, not the rugs. Go bald gracefully, for heaven’s sake. I repeat: You’re not fooling anybody; we all know you’re bald.


Dear M.,

Prudie thanks you for coming to her defense. A surprising number of readers agreed with you and wrote to say an apology was not really necessary … also that they found the “why wear makeup or jewelry?” argument specious. Prudie now feels emboldened to point out that neither make-up nor jewelry, barring extreme exceptions, can get screwed up by a gust of wind, cause onlookers to snigger, or suggest that the wearer is trying to kid anybody.

—Prudie, appreciatively


I have been in a sexless marriage for more than 10 years now. I have seen a number of women on the side and always justified it by my wife’s lack of interest. Now I am getting involved with a woman I work with and dealing with all the inherent risks this brings. I have come to the conclusion it is time to get this issue resolved once and for all. I would like to give it one last chance with my wife but have no idea how to approach her. Any ideas?


Dear Nerve,

You do not say whether the length of the marriage is a little more than 10 years, therefore essentially chaste from early on … or the last 10 years have been sexless after some years of intimacy. It is important to know whence comes your wife’s lack of sexual interest. Did she just ring off, for whatever her reasons, or did she catch you catting around enough times to “retire” from the bedroom scene? It is also important, for your purposes, whether she’s a cold fish or just madder than hell at you.

Prudie’s ideas about one last effort at repair would involve honesty on your part and on hers. You need to find out what is motivating her Lysistrata lifestyle. Maybe she is deeply angry at you for some reason. Maybe you’re an inconsiderate klutz in the feathers. Maybe she hates sex. Maybe she’s gained a ton and feels unattractive. If she wishes to take you up on your invitation to reconnect, it is likely that a counselor could help accomplish this. What sounds most hopeful is that you are pondering how to say, in essence: I am tired of living in a dishonest marriage; help me fix it or let us part.

—Prudie, directly


I have been seriously dating a man in New York for two years now. We are both divorced and well into our 30s. I am concerned, however, that I still have not met any of his family and few of his friends. We only see each other once a month but talk daily on the phone. He has met all the people in my life that are important to me. I simply don’t know whether I should be concerned that I am some big secret, or that he doesn’t feel the need to introduce me. How do I approach him with my concerns without sounding like a high-school girl concerned that she hasn’t met his parents yet?

—Concerned in the Carolinas

Dear Con,

Two years, huh? Unless this chap was hatched, he has some family, somewhere. In your discussions, has he ever mentioned living parents? Does he refer to friends? Are you absolutely certain he is presently single? Prudie doesn’t know where you live relative to New York, so she is not sure what to make of once a month reunions for two years. In any case, a woman who feels she is “seriously dating” someone should have no qualms about wishing to meet the people he is close to and articulating these wishes. If he is resistant, then you should re-evaluate the situation. He might simply be a loner, on the lam, already involved—or married—or playing some mind game. Whichever the answer, you need to find out what it is.

—Prudie, openly

Dearest Prudence,

I have been seeing the same gentleman for the last eight months. He is truly wonderful. However, he has on several occasions spoken of marriage and his desire to have children with me … though he has all the while known I am medically incapable of bearing a child. When I finally broke down and inquired why he kept talking about children (and even children’s names), he said he “would gladly sacrifice having children” to be with me. I don’t want him to “sacrifice” anything, especially children. To complicate things a little more, I am 33, and he is eight years my junior. I can’t help but feel that I am robbing him. Any suggestions?

—Old Enough To Know Better

Dear Old,

You may not be robbing him, but you may be robbing the cradle. Your 25-year-old gentleman has a disconnect somewhere … it is either immaturity or ambivalence. You have informed him of the medical realities, yet he continues to bring up the subject … then offers to “sacrifice” having a family. This issue, plus the age difference, could develop into major trouble down the line. You must establish whether he is totally willing to forgo fathering his own children, whether adoption is in his thinking, and how he feels about the age difference. (And, mind you, time could change these views.) Then you must explore with him why he returns to a subject that you believe has been settled. Sometimes people are unaware of what they are really feeling, and seemingly involuntary conversational clues have real meaning. Talk some more.

—Prudie, probingly