(Editor’s Note: This post is part of a monthly feature in which Ryan takes an actual letter written to “Dear Abby” and answers it himself. For further background see the introductory post here, or maybe also here. Please note that this advice column should only be used as directed, and should not be read if you are pregnant or operating heavy machinery. Though if you are pregnant and operating heavy machinery, by all means, continue reading).
Before I get to this month’s letter, a bit of disclaimer is in order. A few of my posts–most notably my review of the Viking Quest restaurant and even the background section to my original Dear Abby piece–prompted some people to ask me, wait, is this for real or are you making this up? In general I’d take anything I have written with a massive, horse-crushing/glue-producing grain of salt. But when I’m responding to these Dear Abby letters, they are 100% for real. Scout’s honor. Cross my heart and hope to die, throw horse-crushing grains of salt in my eye.
I say all this because the letter I’m going to answer today is so deliciously bizarre I know your natural response is going to be, “Ryan, you sly, handsome fox. Surely you’ve made this up just to tee yourself up with a grapefruit-sized softball to knock out of the advice columnist park.” Well check the link if you want my sources, because this is 100% verbatim. So here goes. From “Dear Abby’s” column on July 7th (it’s the third one down, fact-checkers):
Am I crazy? I was raised to believe you address a person by name, say “thank you” if someone does something nice, and compliment a person if he or she has done well. Can you help me understand why he behaves this way? — I HAVE A NAME