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Overdoing it

Dear Prudence answers advises a subject whose spouse is a post-beer boaster.

It isn’t often Slate‘s Dear Prudence tackles beer, but today’s advice video covers a question you might have had yourself: How do you address someone whose liquid courage seems to get the better of them? Since we’re already on the topic of drinking etiquette, it’s worth exploring the letter writer’s predicament.

According to the video (wonderfully titled “Beer-Fueled Blowhard”), the advice-seeker is a newlywed married to a spectacular, smart, successful guy who’s a dreamboat until he starts drinking. After two or three beers, he becomes a name-dropping braggart, going on and on about where he went to school, what his dad does… you know the type. The spouse has tried to drop hints with little progress. Prudie’s advice:

The issue isn’t so much drinking turns your husband into a boastful jerk … as that it changes his personality into someone he wouldn’t even like when he’s sober. You’ve got to stop hinting around and tell him the truth directly: That is, he is insanely talented, smart and accomplished, but after that third beer, he starts telling everyone about it.

She goes on to suggest that the annoyed spouse record the husband’s drunken boasting—with his permission, of course—so he can hear for himself how cringe-worthy his commentary is.

Finally, she says, “Some people just can’t handle alcohol, and your husband has to consider whether he’s one of them.”

The advice to record his inebriated bragging is creative and likely do-able (let’s hope he doesn’t frequent loud death-metal bars), but her clincher’s a toughy: Sure, the guy’s annoying, but does that mean he should abstain from drinking entirely? There are a few other details we wish we knew about the husband: how often he does this, whether it happens when he’s out with friends or colleagues, whether he gets any worse if there’s whiskey in the mix… But essentially, the question the letter writer asks is whether the name dropping is enough to justify taking away the bottle opener.

Do you think the letter writer should take Prudie’s advice? How have you dealt with these friends? Tell us in the comments.


Jessica Daynor is DRAFT’s managing editor. Reach her at jessica.daynor [at]

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