Addicted to Advice

Sunrise through my office window. I’m a lucky girl.

I have a confession to make and I’m hoping you all won’t think less of me for this.

I am addicted to advice columns.

I know, I know. It’s rubber-necking entertainment. Probably feeds my lowest voyeuristic cravings. But I love it.

The letters from the people seeking advice give such fascinating glimpses into the lives of others. It interests the same part of me that likes to go walking late on summer evenings so I can catch glimpses through people’s windows. (Yeah – watch out for me. A friend of mine calls it Caveat-Non-Drape-Puller.) I think this is the same part of me that writes from characters, first and foremost. I love seeing how people think, feel and struggle. How their lives are shaped by their decisions.

I call it research.


So, I’m sharing today my favorite advice columnists. This topic is on my mind because today is Wednesday, which means I get a new Dan Savage! He might be my favorite of the lot. I actually learn from his perspective. Most of them, I’m less interested in the advice than I am the question. Dan Savage once pointed out (graphic sexual advice to follow – skip if you’re delicate about such things) that giving oral sex to a man is much more difficult and strenuous than giving it to a woman. That one remark opened my eyes to so many things.

So he leads my list:

Dan Savage

Carolyn Hax

Dear Prudence

Cary Tennis

Ask Amy

Dear Abby

Lately, however, I’ve been disappointed in Abby’s extremely conservative advice. I sometimes wonder if, by sticking to her mother’s schtick, she got stuck in the 1950’s. I might drop her soon.

Any good ones I missed? Oh, and feel free to hit me up to discuss particular letters or advice. One of my favorite things to do.

6 Replies to “Addicted to Advice”

  1. I’m always surprised by how stupid some of the people writing to such columns are.

    “I used scissors for pleasuring myself and now it won’t stop bleeding. Should I contact a doctor?”

    What do you think!? And scissors? WTF?

    Seriously: I read that one in a magazine a couple of years ago.

    So that’s why I stay far away from advice columns most of the time. They give me a twisted view on the intelligence of people around me.

  2. I used to read the advice column years ago when I still got a major newspaper. It’s kind of like voyeurism without all the work. LOL Like Carien, I was constantly surprised by how stupid people were. And yeah, Dear Abby is trapped in the 50s. Poor gal.

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