This post originally appeared in The Florida-Times Union: https://www.jacksonville.com/story/opinion/columns/guest/2021/10/31/guest-column-some-problems-cant-solved-writing-dear-abby/8475262002/
When I was in junior high, I had an advice column I shared with another girl. Our last names both began with the letter C so while the national newspapers ran syndicated columns of Dear Abby or Dear Ann Landers, my catholic grade school featured Dear C & C. Quite honestly, I think we were just as good as Abby and Ann too — even if we did make up most of the questions in order to fill the mimeographed page.
Sometimes I think things were more progressive in the eighties. I can’t imagine a 21st century school letting kids publish their own advice column. They would worry too much about legalities and the social/emotional consequences of two twelve-year-olds doling out advice. I guess there were some advantages to my generation despite the massive amounts of Aqua Net hairspray we inadvertently inhaled, the high-fructose corn syrup and red dye we consumed along with our Little Debbie’s snack cakes, and Kool-Aid, and the Crisco oil we slathered on us to sunbathe.
I loved reading advice columns even if most of the topics had little to do with me. I didn’t have a mother-in-law to take issue with and I didn’t have houseguests who left wet towels on the floor. Still, I liked the reassurance of these columns — knowing that someone had answers, that every problem had a tidy well-written solution, and if we ever needed help, we just had to ask. Read more