“Dear Prudence: Why Don’t Any Of My Dying Friends Want Me To Be The Bette Midler To Their Soon-To-Be-Orphaned Kids?” by Sara Corris

Feb 16th, 2022 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Hey Prudie,

I’m a thirty-something woman, and as you can imagine, I’m getting to that age where all my lady-gendered friends are dropping like flies. Ditto for female relatives and my paramour’s various exes. Cancer, bum tickers, car accidents–you name it, they’re dying tragically young from it. And creating passels of little orphan kids in the process, natch.

Is this sad? Sure, but that’s not why I’m writing. What I really want to know is, why haven’t any of these women legally bequeathed their children to me? I’ve been passed over 7 times in the last two years. Seven! Prudie, I’m trying not to make it all about me here, but at this point how can I not take it personally?

Some background on me: I’m a successful, workaholic, nightlife-loving big city gal with a deep bench of sexual and romantic partners, who has never once wanted children. Ever since I learned to talk, I’ve been telling everybody how much I do not ever, ever want to have kids. In short, I’m exactly the sort of acquaintance you should be leaving your orphan kids to, without first consulting me. Or them.

So what gives? Why can’t anyone see I’ve got Beaches Bette Midler-levels of surprise parenting potential? I might not be a big Broadway star like Beaches Bette, but I did spend most of my childhood loitering beneath Jersey shore boardwalks, forging lifelong friendships.

Look, it’s not like I want a Raising Helen-type situation, where suddenly I’ve got an assload of kids of wildly varying ages dumped on me. But will I never have a hand-me-down prepubescent girl of my own, to astonish and delight with explanations of apocryphal sex acts, like that fucking bitch Julia Roberts in Stepmom?

I’m realistic about all this. I don’t expect it to be like No Reservations, with an in-his-prime Aaron Eckhart materializing to help rear my secondhand niece, who is more or less grown already, whilst also making me Italian food 24/7. Of course that is the dream, but that’s all it is: a pleasant Hollywood dream. I recognize that. [Side note: remember C Z-J? Damn, she looked fine back in the day. Whatever happened to her?]

I’m getting so desperate I’d even settle for a Baby Boom-type deal, where an extremely distant cousin I can’t recall ever meeting leaves me an “inheritance,” which turns out to be a friggin’ baby only after I’ve signed the legally-binding inheritance receipt. Crazy, right? I mean, babies?! Diane Keaton is so much more woman than I could ever hope to be, and look what it did to her! She lost everything–her career, her boyfriend, her orgasms, her high-powered fast-paced Manhattan lifestyle … Prudie, it very nearly robbed her of her sanity

I lie awake most nights, wondering where I could have possibly gone wrong. Maybe Tracy never forgave me for the time I texted our WhatsApp group that “the only people who like Tracy’s kid are Tracy, and pedophiles with low self-esteem”? I certainly wouldn’t be harboring such petty resentment on the eve of meeting my Maker, but whatevs, Tracy! Or perhaps Katie was still miffed over that drunken pass I made at her teenage stepson? I wasn’t actually going to fuck Katie’s underage stepson, Prudie! A real friend would have remembered that I only fuck guys over 6’0”. Katie died from cancer, not Alzheimer’s.

Look, it’s not about the kids. I don’t even want most of these dud kids; that’s not the point. Still, I’m deeply hurt that no one’s even thought of me. How do I convey this to more of my friends on their deathbeds, in a way that is constructive yet assertive?


Did You Ever Know That I’m YOUR Hero, You Dying Cunt?


Sara Corris resides in Brooklyn with a dog from London and a spouse from Buffalo. Her writing has appeared online at Bending Genres, Horror Sleaze Trash, Funny-ish, Misery Tourism, Fiction On The Web and WryTimes. Her life goals are learning the chair dance from Cabaret.

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