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Posts Tagged ‘Dear Abby

“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety”*…




What should a woman do when her husband chooses to spend time with his new pet monkey, rather than sleep with her? How does one counsel the mother who is so concerned about her daughter’s girlfriend that she’s considering casting a spell as a last resort? What about the wife who walks in on her husband of 23 years having sex with her brother? And what of the more mundane issues? Say, family squabbles over coarse behavior, or an ambivalent heart?

For more than half a century, Dear Abby—America’s longest-running advice column, first penned by Pauline Phillips under the pseudonym Abigail van Buren, and today by her daughter, Jeanne—has offered counsel to thousands of worried and conflicted readers. Syndicated in more than 1,200 newspapers at the height of its popularity, it offers an unprecedented look at the landscape of worries that dominate US life. The column has been continuously in print since 1956. No other source in popular culture has elicited so many Americans to convey their earnest concerns for so long…

The good folks at The Pudding have pored through 20,000 letters to the advice columnist tell us about what—and who—concerns us most: “30 Years of American Anxieties.”

For another fascinating example of the work at The Pudding, see “A brief history of the past 100 years as told through the New York Times archives.”

* Aesop


As we agonize over anguish, we might recall that it was on this date in 1933 that Blondie Boopapdoop (her surname derived from the 1928 song “I Wanna Be Loved by You”) and Dagwood Bumstead were married in Chic Young’s comic strip, Blondie.

The strip had started in 1930 as a chronicle of the adventures of Blondie, a carefree flapper who spent her days in dance halls along with her boyfriend Dagwood, heir to a railroad fortune.  Dagwood’s parents strongly disapproved of the match, and disinherited him, leaving him only with a check to pay for their honeymoon.  Thus, the Bumsteads were forced to become a middle-class suburban family.  As the catalog for a University of Florida 2005 exhibition, “75 Years of Blondie, 1930–2005,” notes:

Blondie’s marriage marked the beginning of a change in her personality. From that point forward, she gradually assumed her position as the sensible head of the Bumstead household. And Dagwood, who previously had been cast in the role of straight man to Blondie’s comic antics, took over as the comic strip’s clown.

Blondie source


Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 17, 2019 at 1:01 am

Do as I say…


Dear Abby: What would you do with a man who refuses to use a deodorant, seldom bathes, and doesn’t even own a toothbrush?  — Stinky’s Wife

Dear Wife: Absolutely nothing!

From New York Magazine‘s The Cut, an appreciation of the lately-departed Pauline Phillips— better known to millions of readers as Abigail Van Buren, the “Abby” in  “Dear Abby.”

Dear Abby: Are birth control pills deductible? — Bertie

Dear Bertie: Only if they don’t work.

More witty wisdom at Cut Off His Hominy Grits’: Vintage Advice From Dear Abby.”


As we take our advice where we can find it, we might recall that it was on this date in 1957 that America met (then 25-year-old) Patsy Cline, the extraordinary vocalist whose songs were full of advice… or object lessons, anyway.  On January 21, 1957 she appeared as a contestant on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts (a wildly-popular Fifties forerunner of American Idol that broke stars including Tony Bennett, Lenny Bruce, Marilyn Horne, and Pat Boone); Patsy sang “Walkin’ After Midnight.”  She won; shortly after which a recording of the song was released and rose to #2 on the Country charts.  A string of hits followed– “I Fall to Pieces”, “She’s Got You”, “Crazy,” and “Sweet Dreams”– until she was killed in a private plane crash at the age of 30.  Her records have sold millions of copies since, and (ten years after her death) she became the first female performer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

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