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July 05, 2008


Maggie West

"Meanwhile your appropriate response most likely exceeds the space the paper allots for this feature."

Don't get me started on this...
Then, relationship issues (Hell, any issue) should not be covered by newspapers, magazines, and the like.

That's the whole problem (as I see it). More often than not, we get part of an answer, part of a situation, some of the details, and hardly any solid advice.

In days gone by, one could read the newspaper and *know* that great pains were taken to bring forth the information given; that both sides to a story were complete and concise; that research was conducted, sources verified, and the truth was sought after.

Never more, as a great poet once wrote. Never more.


I see, just read the follow-up sentence as further clarification of the latter break-up.

It would seem the core problem here is in the medium. I'm guessing no one writes these letters with such brevity, but rather they're edited. So Abby is probably privvy to info that the reader isn't. I've yet to meet the woman capable of explaining her relationship woes in less than 10 sentences. Then you have Abby's replies, which are even shorter. Meanwhile your appropriate response most likely exceeds the space the paper allots for this feature.

Maggie West

Yes and no. "Short order" relatioship columnists, of late, can and do use many different tactics.

My concern, especially in her case, is the wrong advice. She has given advice that could severe the relationships of two people that, in all probablity, have all the makings for a fulfilling lifetime together.

This grates me.

The following is where I believe three relationships are mentioned:

"I have been engaged twice but have broken off both relationships for sound reasons. (This is two)

My most recent engagement was to a man who turned out not only to be manipulative and controlling, but also had an undisclosed mental illness. (This is the third)"

If the latter were one of the two, she wouldn't have sectioned it off with it's own reason for "an ending."

That is why I ask, though, "Is that the third?"

It "sounds" that way to me.

I've been sending these little "gems" to the paper who prints her advice. And here's a shock: There's NO relationship dilemma this week ;-)

I guess I'll answer my e-mail for the next one :D


Wow. You've taken after this "new" Dear Abby with the perspicacity usually displayed by a certain swearblogger we know and love. Heh, heh. It's like the poor gal's been sentenced to some sort of literary Abu Ghraib of your mind, where for every lousy bit of advice she pens, you verbally sever a finger with slow, surgical precision. It does make for a good writing exercise though, I'd imagine.

Speaking of which, since you're the writer, I'll defer to your knowledge on this. I always thought these "short-order" relationship columnists were supposed to disperse suspect advice so as to evoke conversation amongst their readers, no?

Also, I'm not seeing where you got 3 engagements out of that.

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