Dear Abby, RIP

Published January 19, 2013 by Maryanne

Dear Abby

Genius “Dear Abby” sample, swiped from The Frisky

It’s the end of another era as we mourn the death of famous advice columnist “Dear Abby” who died of Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 94 a couple days ago.

Pauline Phillips was the real name of  “Dear Abby” (Abigail Van Buren) who started writing her column in 1956 at the age of 37 and shared the column with her daughter Jeanne Phillips in 2000, but by 2002 Jeanne started writing the column herself.

“Dear Abby” will always hold a great place in my heart. You see, growing up, there was always a Paterson News in our home. And in the apartment downstairs from us, my Aunt Sophie got The Herald News. “Dear Abby” was syndicated, therefore her column was in both.

I always loved to read — a lot! If I read all my children’s books and comic books, I’d go to cereal boxes. One day I decided I was going to challenge myself and read the newspaper. I may have been too young for newspaper reading, but I decided I’d just skip over the words that I didn’t know. Surprisingly, when I got to “Dear Abby” it was an easy read for a kid and I looked forward to reading the paper every day. I went straight for the gusto — “Dear Abby” and the comics section. Grown-ups were impressed that I was reading the newspaper at such a tender age.

Moving forward, I was pretty wise for my years. Always an old soul trapped in a younger person’s body. I think Abby’s wisdom had a lot to do with it. When I grew older I became the go-to person amongst friends; the one people would seek advice from.

Even in later years when I had some struggles with depression, I’d be in therapy and the psychologist would tell me that I should be a therapist! This happened not once, not twice, but THREE times, on THREE separate occasions, with THREE separate psychologists. One even thought I should go to school for psychotherapy! What an honor to be told that by a professional.

I guess reading “Dear Abby” religiously was a form of therapy and I learned so much from her, which is why I reap the benefits now and have an amazing life and know how to roll with the punches.

Now in modern times, when many people lack people skills and manners we could really use a Dear Abby. The world is full of selfish, lazy people who don’t want to work; people who prefer the coldness of texting and emailing rather than picking up the phone or visiting someone (or even worse, people who don’t even answer emails because they can’t be bothered); people who are always in a hurry, honking horns, slamming into each other with their shopping carts; people who are always trying to one-up each other as if life is a competition rather than a beautiful place to be that God blessed us with. It’s just ugly out there! No wonder I just love spending my nights at home with my wonderful husband and our kitties!

But like I said, the end of an era. “Dear Abby” is gone and she took a lot with her.

I thank this wonderful lady that I never had the pleasure of meeting for all her wisdom and pure common sense. I also thank her for, in a way, teaching me to read!

God bless Dear Abby and may she rest in peace.

Here is a fabulous article on her that was published on the CNN website:


9 comments on “Dear Abby, RIP

  • Our newspaper that I worked for carried Ann Landers, but I like the advice Dear Abby gave to the girl in the column at the top of your blog. I was surprised the reader thought there is such a thing as a “awfully nice creep”.

  • AnothEr greAt entry !!! ThAnXxx!!◉✄♥☞♬✏✱❋❣✿✯❤xox

    Sent from my iPhone !!!~(*v*)~>^:^<!!! ƸӜƷ*~* ☾~✼* ✼~☀✼♩ ♫_❤*★

  • Rest in peace, Dear Abby. I hadn’t heard about her passing.

    Is the phrase “awfully nice creeps,” another way for saying “bad boys?” LOL! That is a really strange comment.

    • LOL, that must have been one of her very first columns in the 1950s, I’m guessing, the slang was so different. I love watching all the old AMC movies, the way they talk, sometimes if it’s slang you can’t quite catch it.

      I was laughing at “Tony at night.” It reminded me of that funny mambo song in the 1990s, “a little bit of Rita, all night long…”

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