Dear Abby is Off Today: Final Rapid Fire Edition

Dear Abby Final(Editor’s Note: This post is part of a semi-regular series 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.)

Well Ms. Dear Abby, you’ve been a good sport and worthy adversary over the past four  years since I made my TWR debut by dropping advice bombs with more wisdom than Miss Cleo reading “Chicken Soup for the Soul” with a Magic 8-Ball in hand. So I can think of no better way to sign off TWR than one last “Dear Abby is Off” post.

Letter #1, dated April 26, 2016:

DEAR ABBY: For the last five months I have been talking to a guy I met via a dating app. We live a few states apart and have yet to meet in person, but we communicate regularly.

With my tax refund this year, I’d like to do something for me. He suggested that I visit him. I don’t get any red flags from him, and I’m sure I’d be 100 percent safe while I’m there. However, I’m anxious about taking a trip by myself to visit a guy I’ve developed a massive crush on. I have thought about offering to pay his way here instead, or simply not going at all. I asked my friends and family for their opinions. Some of them think I should go, while others say I should pay his way here. I need advice from an outsider’s perspective. — CONFUSED AND CRUSHING

Continue reading

Dear Abby is Off #22

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.

dear abby is off #22This month’s letter was published on February 6, and quoted in full, reads as follows:

DEAR ABBY: I’m a female college student and I intern at a chemical plant. When I arrive at work, the middle-aged men start “working out” and flexing their muscles. Literally! It makes me uncomfortable. I want to tell them I’m not interested and they’re making fools of themselves. Should I say something? They read your column. Help me out, please! — THERE TO WORK

DEAR THERE TO WORK: Sorry, I didn’t see your letter at first. I was busy doing some sick curls with these reams of paper. The glossy, heavy stock kind. Not that lightweight stuff for nerds. No big deal. Tuesdays are arms and back. I’ll hit my tris with some dips when we finish up here to even it out. Anyway, where were we?

Continue reading

Dear Abby is Off Today: Rapid Fire Edition Part 3

(Editor’s Note: This post is part of a semi-regular 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.)

Dear abby is off rapid fire 3It’s been almost a year since my last installment of Dear Abby is Off Today, so in the interest of playing some serious catch up, I present to you some Dear Abby is Off Today, Rapid Fire Edition.

Letter #1, dated December 29, 2015:

DEAR ABBY: When I’m dining out, sometimes the flatware is wrapped and banded in a large paper napkin. Do I use this napkin for cleaning myself, or do I ask for more napkins? — UNSURE IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR UNSURE IN CONNECTICUT: I’m the last person on earth you’d call a foodie. Most of my meals come in packaging that read either “fully unwrap before placing in microwave,” “non-toxic,” or “Purina.” But even I know that so-called “flatware” does not come “wrapped and banded,” especially not in a large “large paper napkin.” Maybe if it was a napkin made of silk, or made of some sweet ass heavy stock paper, like the stuff you print your resume on. Still, that’s more cutlery than flatware, especially if a spork is included in your wrapped and banded goodie bag of utensils. So yeah, since your dining does not officially include “flatware” you can do what you wish with your large paper napkin. Clean yourself with it, ask for more large paper napkins, or see if you can complete the “napkin challenge” and eat five of them in a minute.

Continue reading

Dear Abby is Off #20

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. .

This month’s letter was published on December 28, 2014, and quoted in full, reads as follows:

Dear Abby if off #20DEAR ABBY: While going through some old paperwork, I came across a bunch of pictures of my ex-girlfriend and me. Our relationship ended 10 years ago. She’s married and lives in another state. Part of me says it’s time to get rid of at least some of them, but I’m not sure how to do it with respect to my ex and our past relationship. The other part of me wants to keep them, as they represent a happy time in my life and what I looked like back then. My dilemma seems to be that these images still bring out strong emotions and memories even after all this time. What do you suggest? — PHOTO-FINISHED?

DEAR PHOTO-FINISHED: As a man with many an ex-girlfriend, plus a bit of the “photobug” gene that has resulted in dozens of ex-girlfriend photos and/or restraining orders, you’ve come to the right place. You see, photos are a tricky thing. They capture a moment in time–a memory if you will–and discarding them may feel like discarding that memory altogether. Plus, some ancient cultures–not the Kodak and Canon tribes of the Pangea, mind you–believe that every time you take a picture of someone you’re stealing a part of their soul. So if that’s the case, will destroying these pictures destroy that part of the person’s soul? Or will it return it to them? And what if photography existed back when Dorian Gray lived? Would he still be alive? And if so, would I have gotten a better grade on that book report?

Continue reading

Dear Abby is Off Today #19

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. This post may not be reproduced, copied, or distributed without the prior written consent of your mom.)

This month’s letter was published on November 22, 2014, and quoted in full, reads as follows:

Dear Abby is off #19DEAR ABBY: My children were over at my in-laws’ recently. When we came to pick them up, they told us their cat had scratched our son. Sure enough, there were five scratch marks on his face, circling his left eye. In the past we have recommended they have the cat declawed so this wouldn’t happen. They told us that cats can make mistakes just like kids do. We do not share their opinion. Would it be unreasonable to not allow our kids to be over there unless they declaw that cat? — “DISCATIFIED” IN WISCONSIN

DEAR “DISCATIFIED” IN WISCONSIN: I’m going to try to be as objective as possible with my answer, but as longtime readers and part-time lovers know, I am not a cat person. If you ask me, anything with four legs, nine lives, and a morbid sense of curiosity can’t be trusted. Dogs too. Is is really that hot out or are you just showing off how long your tongue is? I mean have some manners. Don’t even get me started on fish. Hey fish, the Paleozoic Era called, it wants its habitat back! Call me crazy but I prefer to keep my place atop the food chain: Continue reading