Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: Crushes and Squash

Every week, Danny Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week, they discuss two: crushes and squash.

Nicole: Oh shit

I mean, break up with your girlfriend

do not assume you will magically pull off the swap

but wait until you have those level of feelings for another person to get seriously involved w them

Danny: I think that, if it is possible, you should hold off on breaking up with your girlfriend

and see if you can recapture some of those feelings of “mad love” you had just a couple of weeks ago

because, and I’m trying to read this generously here, maybe he is a young person, and this is one of his first serious relationships, and he doesn’t really have a strong sense of like, how to handle a flash of unexpected chemistry

Nicole: okay that’s fair, give it some time

Danny: sometimes you meet someone and you feel chemistry! If, as is this case, you remained pretty formal, and never spoke again

Nicole: the fact he has lost a level of attraction is bad?

Danny: I don’t think you have grounds to think this was necessarily true love

yeah that does feel very fickle

Nicole: but time can do stuff

Danny: yeah if you give this a few weeks and you’re just totally unable to recapture the feelings, I think it would be better for you to break up with your girlfriend because she deserves better

Nicole: Right!

Danny: but I do not think you should try to ask out her friend even after you’re single

Nicole: NO

Like he is totally going to try

Danny: ADMITTEDLY I AM NO LONGER A WOMAN, but I feel … relatively confident saying that probably most women will not be impressed by a guy who dumps their friend on the basis of a single conversation with them

Nicole: no matter what we say

but it won’t happen

Danny: “we both like running and had the same major” is not the love connection you seem to think it is

Nicole: Correct, as still a woman.


Danny: like, it’s a relatively common coincidence

Nicole: running!

How novel

Danny: I really think (even if they’re not “super close”) if you dump your girlfriend and then go ask this woman out, she’s going to be freaked out and think you’re a super-sketchy prospect and not a trustworthy, reasonable, standup guy

Nicole: might be pronounced “yogging”


Danny: i think it’s a hard J

Nicole: I’m glad he wrote in and I hope he gets the magic back w his gf

Danny: yeah I think this is a really bad idea and I hope you can snap out of it

Nicole: but there is no scenario of making the swap successfully, and he sounds flaky

Danny: you do not have probable cause!!!

Nicole: No you do not

Danny: it’s a definite Dennis Duffy move


Danny: also—this is just for fun—please enjoy one other question

Dear Prudence,
We were recently informed by a neighbor that two frequently unsupervised neighborhood siblings (who often engage in annoying but not malicious behavior) stole squash from our garden last summer. She reports they were looking around, grabbed them, and ran, which makes me think they knew it was wrong. We know the family isn’t hurting for food, and we’d be happy to share our harvest with them if they would ask, but we would like to address this. We don’t really know their parents, but we do know where they live. What would be the best way to approach this?
—Neighborhood Kids Stealing Produce



Nicole: thank you for this


please tell me that’s going in the column

Danny: yes it is

the thing that’s especially egregious about this is I feel like everyone, even non-gardeners, know that squash and mint are both notorious over-producers

Nicole: YES

like tomatoes

Danny: anyone who plants either one becomes like the Ancient Mariner, cursed to try to unload their infinite produce forever

Nicole: lololllll

Danny: trying to get rid of summer squash is an actual problem, your whimsical urchin scamp neighbor kids are doing you a favor

Nicole: It’s adorable.