Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: “One Ring”

This week, R. Eric Thomas and Nitish Pahwa discuss a Prudie letter: “One Ring

R. Eric Thomas: Hi Nitish, thanks for chatting with me today about inheritance drama, feuding ex-step-relatives, and one ring to rule them all. What did you think the LW should do?

Nitish Pahwa: Hi Eric! Mannnn this is a stressful one, and I gotta say, considering how LW’s stepdaughters have treated her (and considering that they weren’t even close to their father/her ex-husband!) I’d say I have no qualms with her casting the ring into Mount Doom. I respect the pettiness of wanting to send it to her ex-sister-in-law, but that probably isn’t a great idea.

Eric: Yeah, I love a petty flourish, especially with a slow burn, but it sounds like the stepdaughters are too powerful. Best to keep them at bay. What do you imagine is behind the level of ferocity they’re operating regarding this inheritance?

Nitish: That’s a great question. Did this guy have a ton of valuables he was hoarding, perhaps? The fact he had mainly an apartment and work truck makes me think he wasn’t rolling in it, but maybe he was hiding something the stepdaughters knew about, in spite of not being close with him? Or it’s perhaps for that reason, that he didn’t have too much, that the stepdaughters wanted everything they could get? What do you think?

Eric: Yeah, I wondered about what they were told versus what they were left in the will. It seems very directed. But often in contentious inheritance battles, it boils down to a weird feeling of being entitled to more. Maybe he had a funny relationship with money and generosity that created a sense of scarcity and viciousness in his daughters. I’m basically writing fiction now, but it would explain some of their behavior. Plus, he had that stash of cash in the car along with the ring. It’s clear that he wasn’t hurting for funds and he wasn’t holding the ring in a treasured place.

Nitish: That’s true! I wonder what else he has hidden, in his car or elsewhere. Also, the stepdaughters went after her “home and even the vacation house [the LW] inherited from my parents”? What would even give them the standing for that?

Eric: That was shocking to me. Who knows what their attorney was telling them, but this level of harassment is something out of a fairy tale. Last question: If it were you, how would dispose of the ring? Ocean burial, Goodwill drop-off, pawning it? Something else?

Nitish: Oooooh I think I’d do an ocean toss. Personally, I’d wanna be as far away from this ring as possible.

Eric: Yeah, I think I’d pull a Rose from Titanic, too. I would love for someone else to benefit from the ring but I am also a big believer in items being cursed. I feel like donating the ring is just going to rain down bad energy in someone else’s life. Especially with an engagement ring. Down to Davey Jones’ Locker it goes!