Acting dumb to woo Prince Charming

"Dear Abby" takes up Maureen Dowd's "Are Men Necessary?" debate.

Published December 23, 2005 3:22PM (EST)

We hope that Maureen Dowd caught "Dear Abby" Thursday, because it sounds like advice columnist Jeanne Phillips' readers have been influenced by the recent work of a certain New York Times columnist.

In yesterday's "Dear Abby" column, a reader, dubbed "Losing Faith in Mr. Right," wrote: "Several of my friends and I were bemoaning our status as single women in our late 20s and early 30s, and discussing an article we had read in the New York Times about how smart women are less likely to get married. We'd all like to find Mr. Wonderful and be married. But if we have to curtail our professional success, financial wherewithal and IQ to do it, how can a person even begin to do such a thing?" The advice seeker added that she and her friends were considering chucking their careers to take jobs as administrative assistants at large companies "and hope for the best."

"Dear Abby's" Phillips wasn't having any. After reminding "Losing Faith in Finding Mr. Right" that there are no guarantees that anyone will find a mate, she said that she can guarantee "Losing" and her friends will regret it if they don't make themselves as financially secure as possible.

Her advice: Instead of dumbing down or downshifting their careers, just stop reading those depressing articles: "There are worse things than not finding Prince Charming, and one of them is spending your life pretending to be something you're not. So my advice is to stop reading defeatist newspaper and magazine articles. They'll only make you desperate, clingy and depressed -- and none of those traits are attractive to either sex."

Well, that's one way to deal with the whole "Are Men Necessary?" debate. Don't pretend to be someone you're not to lure Prince Charming, but don't make yourself feel bad by reading about how he's never coming, either!

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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