Dear Prudence Book Tour Dates
Tomorrow (April 4th) is the Dear Prudence book pub date! Pick up a copy if you haven’t already, or walk into a bookstore and look for a copy in-person if you’d rather. If you’re strapped for cash and reasonably close to Brooklyn, drop me a line and you can have one of my author copies; I have ten or twelve when I really only need one or two.
But all that is morally right rises from some one of four sources: it is concerned either (1) with the full perception and intelligent development of the true; or (2) with the conservation of organized society, with rendering to every man his due, and with the faithful discharge of obligations assumed; or (3) with the greatness and strength of a noble and invincible spirit; or (4) with the orderliness and moderation of everything that is said and done, wherein consist temperance and self-control.
Although these four are connected and interwoven, still it is in each one considered singly that certain definite kinds of moral duties have their origin: in that category, for instance, which was designated first in our division and in which we place wisdom and prudence, belong the search after truth and its discovery; and this is the peculiar province of that virtue. For the more clearly anyone observes the most essential truth in any given case and the more quickly and accurately he can see and explain the reasons for it, the more understanding and wise he is generally esteemed, and justly so. So, then, it is truth that is, as it were, the stuff with which this virtue has to deal and on which it employs itself.
—Cicero, On Obligations, trans. Walter Miller
I recently got my long-term partner a bidet for his house. I grew up in a country where they are common, and he has always wanted one. He loves it, and often thanks me for buying it. However, he now refuses to buy toilet paper, saying that it’s saving him a lot of money. I pointed out to him that I do not want to wash and dry myself with the bidet every single time I use the toilet when I visit him. He offered me a clean, dry shop towel to wipe myself with. What should I do with this—put it on the floor? Hang it up on the rack and hope no one mistakes it for a hand towel? Sneak it into his kitchen and leave it there for him to dry his dishes? I did start bringing over my own toilet paper, but the next time I came over, he had used it all up as Kleenex. So: He refuses to buy toilet paper, has offered me what I consider a gross solution, and will blithely use my supply while I’m gone. I’ve created a monster. Please help.
—Dear Prudence letter writer, July 20171
I’m going on a mini-tour this month and going slightly further afield in May. (The tour is really “New York, then the internet, and then Australia/New Zealand,” which as you might imagine leaves a few geographical gaps.) There are one or two events that haven’t quite been finalized yet, so keep an eye out if you’re in Connecticut or upstate New York. Come by and say hello if you can!
Saturday, April 22nd, from 7-8pm at P&T Knitwear with Wendy Anne Lee in Manhattan. Tickets are free, register in advance here.
Sunday, May 21st, from 2:30-3:30pm at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, with Tom Sainsbury. Tickets are $22; you can purchase them here.
Monday, May 22nd, from 8:30-9:30pm at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, Australia, advice panel. Tickets are $22; you can purchase them here.
Tuesday, May 23rd, from 8-9pm at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, Australia with Jess McGuire. Tickets are $22; you can purchase them here.
This is bathos!