My guilty pleasure is reading Dear Abby.
Everyday I anxiously open the newspaper in anticipation of what dilemma someone couldn’t figure out on their own … so they had to get advice on how to handle it.
And to answer your question …
- Yes! I still get the newspaper.
- Yes! I’m aware you can get the news on the internet.
- No! I’m not 90 years old.
For anybody that’s been living under a rock … or is under the age of 30 … Dear Abby is an advice column that has been around since 1956. It was created by Pauline Philips under the pen name of Abigail Van Buren. Pauline wrote the column by herself until 1987 at which point her daughter Jeanne started to help. They co-wrote the column until 2002 when Jeanne officially took over due to Pauline unfortunately being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The column is well-known for sound, compassionate advice, delivered with the straightforward style of a good friend using humor, sarcasm and one-liners, in their responses.
I could “fanboy” all day over Dear Abby but you’re not here for that. If you’re reading this you are wondering …
So, where’s the pet peeve?
Well, I assure you it has nothing to do with Abby … No! No! No! … she’s perfect … it has to do with the people that write to her. What trailer park in Alabama are these letters coming from? Some of these people are fucking morons! I’ve written before about how there is no such thing as common sense but these people just keep reinforcing that statement. Sometimes, I honestly ask myself if some of these letters are just made up because nobody could be that stupid! Right? … Right?
This was the letter the other day:
DEAR ABBY: Three months ago, my husband ran into a second cousin he hadn’t seen in 40 years. They were close for a short time during high school and saw each other a couple times after that. I was not aware until recently that he had looked her up on social media and has been communicating with her every day since then. I didn’t think much of it when he did tell me — until one night when he stayed on the computer with her until 3 a.m. He has lied to me about the number of times he has been online with her and, if she calls or texts, he tells me it is someone else. She sent him pictures — which I saw — yet he denied receiving them. One time he forgot to sign off on a message he sent and, of course, I read it. To my shock, he was confiding a lot of things he has done while married to me that I was unaware of. It hurt me deeply, and I told him so. Recently I was in the hospital. When I called him a couple of times at night, he claimed he didn’t pick up because he was “tired.” I found out later he was on the computer with her. I have asked him more than once why this relationship is so private, and he says they are just friends. But when I asked to see some of the things he has written to her, he refused to show me. I said fine, then I will ask her. Well, he blew up! When I told him it hurts me that he spends so much time with her in the evening, he didn’t give an answer. Am I overreacting? If so, can you please tell me how to settle down and deal with what is happening? — COUSIN TROUBLE IN THE MIDWEST
He’s fucking her, you dumb shit! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out! Am I the only one screaming half way through reading the letter!? How can you not figure that out? You were in the hospital and he didn’t pick up the phone because he was tired. Yeah … tired from fucking his second cousin … in your bed! If my spouse told me they were tired as the reason they didn’t take a call from me while I was in the hospital, … the next call I would make would be to Alan Dershowitz. Is this woman really that dense? Are there really people out there like this?
Of course her husband is no genius either! He could’ve said he was sleeping and didn’t hear the phone … or … I had the phone on silent … or … sorry, my phone died … but nope! He just said he was tired. I mean uncontrollable diarrhea would have been a better excuse than the one he gave … but it sounds like she’s extremely gullible and he’s a piece of shit that’s become accustomed to just walking all over her. Trailer park in Alabama is sounding pretty plausible, isn’t it?
I’m in utter disbelief when Abby gets letters like this. You really couldn’t figure that out on your own!? You had to write to Abby for her opinion? Get the fuck outta here! I guarantee all her friends were screaming at her that he’s cheating but she just didn’t want to believe them!
“My friends don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ll write Abby and get her opinion!”
Well, then why do you keep reading it?
Well … because not all of the letters sent to Dear Abby are of … shall we say … that caliber. Some letters are from people who are in legitimate ethical dilemmas that either option seems reasonable but someone’s feelings are going to get hurt. For example:
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are expecting our second child. We are facing a moral decision based on choosing his name. My wife’s cousin sadly had a late-term miscarriage two years ago. The name they were going to give their baby is coincidentally the same first and middle name that we have chosen for our child. We have wanted this combination of first and middle names for years, well before her cousin had her misfortune. In our case, the middle name is in honor of my wife’s father. The first name is just one we have always liked and, frankly, we cannot think of any other names we like more. Is it immoral or even unkind to name our child the same as her cousin’s child? Should we consider a different name to avoid causing them pain? — RESPECTFUL IN HAWAII
Letters like this are what keep me coming back for more and why I’m a huge fan of Dear Abby. I love the “… what would you do?” scenario of the situation. Both options could be argued successfully … so there is no real correct answer. Abby always seems to be able to shed some light on these dilemmas and give people sound advice.
Just like me!
Abby’s a people person … I’m a people person. (Well … sort of.)
Abby offers her opinions to help people. I offer my opinions to help people. (Well …kind of.)
Abby uses finesse and tact. I use … ummm … disdain and contempt.
OKAY! Maybe we’re not that much alike! Regardless … I think Abby does a great job replying calmly to people like Cousin Trouble In The Midwest. It’s amazing to me that there are people out there like that and worst of all … they are probably having kids! But … the world is made up of all kinds of people and I’m glad Abby’s there to help the
retarded … Fuck! I forgot I can’t use that word anymore … uhhhh … decision challenged people who just need some good, solid advice.
Keep up the good work Abby and if you want some time off … I’m available to fill in temporarily. I’m just saying! Think about it.
Did you think I’d leave you hanging?
If you were wondering what Abby’s response was, here you go:
DEAR COUSIN TROUBLE: You are not overreacting. It’s time to do what you said you were going to do — call the woman and ask her what has been going on. After she fills you in, ask yourself if you still want to be married to a man who has cheated on you emotionally and probably physically. If you feel there is any hope of saving your marriage, offer your husband the option of seeing a marriage and family therapist together. However, knowing he has no compunction about lying to you or any respect for your feelings, you might prefer to simply consult a lawyer about what your next steps should be.
DEAR RESPECTFUL: Please try harder to find a different first name for your baby. Although it would not be immoral to give your little one the same name(s) as this cousin’s stillborn baby, if this woman interacts with you at all, it will cause her pain. Even though no one “owns” a name, to use these two would be extremely insensitive.
Dear Abby is a class act! Check her out!