February 2, 2013

RIP Dear Abby...

Two weeks ago, legendary advice columnist Dear Abby, aka Abigail Van Buren, aka (real name) Pauline Phillips, died at age 92.

I read Dear Abby as a kid... yes she was a an old lady to me already, and seemed overly quaint and proper, but her advice was warm and caring, and when it needed to be, firm and tough.

As a scared gay kid, her occasional mention of gay people was a beacon of light, as it was always kind and inclusive. As was her embrace of all colours and races, her dismissal or misogynists and rude people (I think she may have hated rude people a bit more). Dear Abby hit with a hammer when she needed to, but she hit gently.

Her style was direct and pithy, as shown in her favourite toast: Fear less, hope more. Eat less, chew more. Talk less, say more. Hate less, love more.

Abby wrote the column from 1956 to 2002, when her daughter took over. Her twin sister was an equally famous advice columnist, writing as Ann Landers.

Great Dear Abby life lessons:

The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good.

The less you talk, the more you're listened to.

It's only work if you'd rather be doing something else.

RIP Dear Abby...