Life according to "Dear Abby"

Decades of sound advice from Pauline Friedman Phillips, best known as Abigail Van Buren -- all in one place

Published January 17, 2013 7:41PM (EST)


Pauline Friedman Phillips, who wrote the long-running and much beloved “Dear Abby” column, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 94.

Perhaps because of her diagnosis, Phillips' daughter took over the column years ago, but there is still a veritable treasure trove of advice from the original "Abby."

On life's little surprises 

DEAR ABBY: Our son was married in January.  Five months later his wife had a ten-pound baby girl.  They said the baby was premature.  Tell me, can a baby this big be that early? -- Wondering

DEAR Wondering: The baby was on time, the wedding was late.

On love

DEAR ABBY: Is it possible for a man to be in love with two women at the same time? -- Jake

DEAR Jake: Yes, and also hazardous

On men

DEAR ABBY: I know boys will be boys, but my 'boy' is seventy-three and he's still chasing women.  Any suggestions? -- Annie

DEAR Annie: Don't worry.  My dog has been chasing cars for years, but if he ever caught one, he wouldn't know what to do with it.

On good manners

DEAR ABBY: When you are being introduced, is it alright to say, "I've heard a lot about you?" -- Rita

DEAR Rita: It depends on what you heard.

On politics

DEAR ABBY: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can't afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Any suggestions? -- Sam in CAL

DEAR Sam: Yes. Run for public office.

On the fine line between art and commerce

DEAR ABBY: What inspires you most to write? -- TED

DEAR Ted: The Bureau of Internal Revenue.

On perfection

DEAR ABBY: I am forty-four years old and I would like to meet a man my age with no bad habits. -- ROSE

DEAR Rose: So would I.

On mortality

DEAR ABBY: Do you think about dying much? -- Curious

DEAR Curious: No, it's the last thing I want to do.

via Snopes

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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