Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Lake House

Every week, Mallory and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: The letter writer bought her grandparents’ lake house, and her aunt tried to “make herself at home.”

Nicole: oh hell, no

Mallory: I mean

it will not SURPRISE you, I think

that my inclination is to say “Your aunt is being unreasonable and you are fine”

people weaponize nostalgia

you had your chance to chip in, aunt

Mallory: why are there so many letters that boil down to, “My extended family owns MULTIPLE HOMES and somehow that’s become a problem”

Nicole: LOLLLL right??

Mallory: YOU ARE ALL PROPERTY OWNERS

YOU ARE LANDED GENTRY

Nicole: live in your own house, plan your own vacations

Mallory: shouldn’t you be happy ALL THE TIME?

capitalism worked for you!!!

Nicole: go stay at a hotel for a week, IDC

SHE WANTS TO BRING FIVE KIDS AND “MAKE HERSELF AT HOME”

Mallory: imagine the BRAVADO it takes to say “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll make myself at home” when someone says “You can’t stay in my house while I’m out of town”

Nicole: I mean listen, this is not the first time Aunt has been a jerk

not a chance

Mallory: you can’t say “Make yourself at home” TO YOURSELF

Nicole: this degree of entitlement starts early

Mallory: someone else has to say that to you!

Nicole: Hm

HMMM

Mallory: imagine saying someone had “stolen” a house because they bought it after you passed on it

“Hello, police? I’d like to report a theft.”

“Yes, what was the item stolen?”

Nicole: “MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES”

Mallory: “… Go on.”

“My niece bought a house.”

“She’ll let me stay there, but only when she’s in town to host me!”

Nicole: LOLLL REPORT IT

Mallory: what do you think the mom and the aunt screamed about?

do you think the mom is on the LW’s side?

or will we just never know

Nicole: Oh, Mom’s on the LW’s side for sure

Mallory: is there anything to be done other than accept the aunt is behaving badly and stay calm and ignore the tantrum?

Nicole: If she mellows, invite her next summer while you are there for one week

Mallory: that is extremely generous!

I would 100% want to revoke the invite, because WHAT IF SHE ACCEPTED and then grumbled the whole time?

THIS WOMAN IS LOBELIA SACKVILLE-BAGGINS

she has designs on Bag End!

Nicole: You know what a sucker I am

Nicole Cliffe

Nicole Cliffe lives with her husband and three children in Sandy, Utah. She is the co-founder of the Toast and has written for the Guardian, Christianity Today, New York, and the Morning News.

Mallory Ortberg

Mallory Ortberg, Slate’s Dear Prudence, is co-founder of the Toast and the author of Texts From Jane Eyre.