How We Know Those Dear Abby Letters Are Fake

Some are pretty bad, Dear Abby. And still you hope that we believe them. Dear Abby, I’m talking about your letters. You can’t think you’re pulling one over on us, that these pleas come from real people seeking real advice? Letters from teens that use words like ‘affront’ and ‘unbeknownst.’ Dear Actual Abby: Where are the real letters. I’m not talking about the ones your junior writers plant and think they’re funny, like this one from June, 2009:

Dear Abby: A couple of women I work with hang together. They do everything together and I never see a man with them. Do you think they are Lebanese? or

Dear Abby: Are you real? If you are, then can you answer a question for me? Do you ever think about dying? I do, all the time. We’re all going to die, Dear Abby. Do you think about that? I do, all the time…

Dear Abby: I am 90. My boyfriend is 97. He still chases women. Is there any hope he’ll settle down? 

Dear Abby: I am 15 years old and study hard, and get straight A’s. I don’t have a girlfriend and I work two jobs and never play video games. I make my bed and put away my own laundry and love my parents. I want to take Tai Chi. I’ll pay for it with my own money but my parents say it’s a different religion. Is it, Dear Abby? 

Dear Abby, your columns have become too evident as not real. And your formula for presentation: we done figured it out already. You begin with the super exaggeration, over the top, most ridiculous ones, Dear Abby: My boss leaves work then comes back dressed like an owl and hangs around outside on the roof of our building, shouting whooowhooo when he thinks we’ve all gone home. Should I be concerned? You open up the day’s column with worst case scenario life time movie of the week Oxygen network sanctioned dilemma. Dear Abby: My husband has been secretly buying diapers and hiding them in the trunk compartment where our spare wheel used to go. Do you think he has a secret baby?

We’re on to you and these fakeries. You have become predictable and your once hoped for Shock Value letters have become a source of dinner time ridicule in homes across America. We pile the mashed potatoes onto our plates as even the youngest eagerly reaches for the paper, knowing Dear Abby will be sure to delight. We fight for the honor to read the first letter, the humdinger: Dear Abby: My crazy husband married a lady last week should I be concerned about this? or My husband drives around our cul de sac at 85 mph with 5 naked women in the car. Should I be concerned about this?

After you think you’ve reeled us in with the Howard Sterning, you patch things up, soothing, Come back! It’s okay, it’s okay…. here’s a moderate one for you, Dear Reader, see? Dear Abby: My FIL insults my husband. How do I get him to stop? Signed,  Trouble with Dad.

And before you lose any more church ladies, you offer the olive branch of mendable manners and extreme, albeit obscure, etiquette: Dear Abby: Where does one place the linen napkin upon finishing one’s meal.  Signed, Dining Out

Where is the R.E.A.L. in real, Dear Abby? Do you even know what’s going on in the world outside of the columns you think we won’t see through? You know what people out here want to know, Abby? We want to know what to do about football addicted spouses and video game obsessed children. We want to know what to say to get the neighbor to pick up their dog’s poop from in front of our house and what to do with overdue library books we’re too embarrassed to return. What are the answers to that?

I guess I’ll just have to wait and ask you when I email to see what you have to say about my neighbor’s husband sneaking out of the house to hang upside down in front of our bedroom window, (bizaare), along with wondering how to get my neighbor to shovel their own side of the walk (benign), and the pickle fork, is it still used? (innocuous manners).

Dear Abby, sign me, Concerned about this.

But, while I still have you, let me ask, Dear Abby, My 14-year-old son is in love with an 88-year-old woman. Is this a phase? Signed, Confused. And I count on you being ever so oblivious and encouraging in your answer, Dear Gentle Reader: I am sorry you feel confused. I would take your son aside and politely question what it is he spends his time doing with his elderly friend and why he enjoys her company so. Perhaps it is innocent backgammon lessons.   

About Alexandra

Alexandra is a writer who has found the secret to getting rich as a blogger that she'll share with you for just $9.99. When not taking her checks to the bank, Alexandra blogs at Good Day Regular People about life as an overanalyzing mother of three boys trying to go unnoticed in her small town. The most important things you need to know about her are that the internet saves her daily and that she believes the most you can ask for in life is to arrive at the end of it all with your hair messed up, out of breath, and not throwing up. Alexandra is a contributing writer for TikiTikiblog and FunnynotSlutty.


  1. Linda says:

    “Howard Sterning” LOL I love that. I definitely need advice about video game obsessed kids and neighbors who hang day glow skivvies on the laundry line outside our kitchen window. I’m beginning to wonder if all the letters to the editor at magazines like Real Simple are fake too. Have you ever noticed how they’re all similar? And the 88 yo woman? Is she giving your son candy bars?

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  2. I laughed out loud at “Howard Sterning” and the pickle fork!

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  3. Jennifer says:

    This is why people should read my advice column instead. ;)

  4. Suniverse says:

    And that’s why I go with Miss Manners. She is REAL. And MEAN.

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  5. Andrea says:

    I was always suspicious why Dear Abby received the most polite and grammatically intelligent letters.

  6. Ron says:

    A recent column had a woman, supposedly from a woman in London, complaining about her dead beat boy friend stealing all her euros. The junior writer on her stuff is unaware that the UK, although in Europe, has not adopted the euro.

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