Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Violent Mother-in-Law

Every week, Danny Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: violent mother-in-law.

Nicole: Holy mother Mary and all the saints

like, the MOST tortured and martyred saints

Danny: saints tortured by the fire and the rack and by Kim’s mom

“sexually assault the best man and physically assault his wife once, shame on you”

Nicole: What the HELL

Danny: “set my mother on fire twice, shame on me”

come on!!!

SHE TRIED TO SET YOUR MOTHER ON FIRE

Nicole: I WOULD CARRY BEAR SPRAY

also no, do not go to this BBQ

Danny: Kim is not a “nice lady you don’t have much in common with”

Kim watched her mom try to ARSON YOUR MOTHER

Nicole: why on EARTH

KIM IS PART OF THE PROBLEM

Danny: and her response was “well, some guys you don’t know cheated on her”

Kim is the operator in the Titanic saying “yeah we hit an iceberg but it’s fine, go back to sleep”

“Mom is worried this will alienate Kim and John”

i hope it does!!!

i’m just picturing your mom getting thrown into the barbecue at this party and telling you

“don’t say anything, John might get offended”

Nicole: MUSTN’T OFFEND JOHN

This wild woman is probably building a Wicker Man for someone at the BBQ

Danny: yeah you don’t go

you never go to any event Kim’s mom is at

Nicole: Nope

Not ever

Danny: that’s done, we’re done with that

Nicole: (dusts off hands)

Danny: and if Kim or John try to act like you’re being unreasonable

you get to say “I’m not comfortable being around a woman who tried to set my mom on fire and sexually assaulted your best friend”

which is a GIFT of a sentence

Nicole: Such a gift

I WOULD LOVE to deliver that sentence

Danny: poll 1000 people and you’re going to get 1000 notes of agreement “Yes, that’s a reasonable sentence” 

you’ll win Family Feud with that sentence

Nicole: Kim and her family are deeply deeply committed to normalizing their mom’s behavior

Danny: this is a woman who would absolutely try to poison you if she thought you were slighting her alma mater or something

Nicole: You will not cut through those decades of enabling

Danny: and you guys have been sucked into that storm and it’s starting to infect your brains

Nicole: also Kim is bad

Danny: Kim is SO BAD.

this isn’t like “her mom is a little difficult and i need a script for dealing with her when she gets heated”

this is

she tried to set your mom and fire!!

and your mom is worried about offending John!!!

Nicole: ON FIRE

yeah, John is going to be offended and you can just be warm and calm and honest when he comes to you about it

He’s so new, I hope you can pull John out of this nest of utter wild-as-heck people

Danny: John needs to be offended! He threw his best friend to the side after his new mother-in-law sexually assaulted him and tried to stab him in public!

your brother John is officially a bad person

he needs to do a big about-face if he wants to move back to clear conscience island

Nicole: TRIED TO STAB HIM WITH A FORK

Danny: IN PUBLIC

and apparently gave his wife a black eye

this dame is not letting the grass grow under her feet, violence-wise

read up on the missing stair, reconsider that you may also be underreacting to your uncle who loves drunk driving (which can DEFINITELY hurt people), get into a fight with your brother and Kim and hold your ground, maybe drop in on a peer support group for codependent family dynamics

Nicole: HMMMMMMMMM

not a bad plan

Danny: practice saying “I don’t spend time with people who try to set my mother on fire” in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable saying it to other people