Why Ask Miss A? Is She Qualified?

Miss A Health Guide


    I'm not a counselor, therapist or psychologist. That's true. I am divorced and almost 37 years old. That's true, too. All I know is that many women think I give good advice, so I'm making myself available. I do feel I've gained some wisdom from my personal experience. I am no angel, although I really do try to do the "right thing".


    I was engaged to my college sweetheart at 22. I married him after he completed MBA school when I was 26, and was separated by age 30. I was engaged a second time at age 32, but ended the engagement after only a few months. Maybe there is some truth to the saying that "those that can't do, teach". Or maybe we want to share our mistakes and insight to prevent others from failing.

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    I'm not alone in my "failings". Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider the authors of the well-known dating advice book "The Rules" were both divorced, as was the best known advice columnist- "Ann Landers". The original "Ann Landers" was Ruth Crowley, a Chicago nurse who wrote the syndicated column for 26 newspapers from 1942 until her death at age 48 on July 20, 1955. Esther "Eppie" Pauline Friedman Lederer won a contest to become the new writer of the column, debuting on October 16, 1955. Lederer went on to advise thousands of other readers over the next several decades. She chose not to have a different writer continue the column after her death, so the "Ann Landers" column ceased after publication of the few weeks' worth of material which she had written before her death.


    Lederer was direct and often critical in her column, and often expressed unpopular opinions for instance, she repeatedly favored legalization of prostitution and was pro-choice. Although Lederer gave advise on relationships and love, she and her husband Julius divorced in 1975. In her column of July 1, 1975, Lederer wrote, "The sad, incredible fact is, that after 36 years of marriage, Julius and I are being divorced." She received thousands of sympathetic letters in response.


    While Lederer wrote the "Ann Landers" column, her twin sister wrote a similar personal advice column, "Dear Abby", under the name, Abigail Van Buren. As competing columnists, the two sisters had a discordant relationship. They publicly reconciled in 1964, but acrimony between them persisted. Just a few years before Eppie's death, they were not on speaking terms. They were said to have reconciled before Lederer's death, but the reconciliation seems questionable in view of the fact that "Abby" was and is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.


    So please bear with me, I am human as are we all. We shouldn't stereotype, or label, even though we are all guilty of doing it, perhaps because it's easier.  I see the world in shades of gray, rather than black and white.  I think we are a mix of seemingly contradictory qualities.  I am stoic, yet vulnerable. Glamorous, yet practical. Cultured, yet "down to earth". Serious, yet silly. Mature, yet girly. Intelligent and thoughtful, yet whimsical and impulsive. Driven and disciplined, yet able to relax and enjoy the moment.

  • Hopefully, through this website we will learn something about relating to others, and perhaps a little bit about ourselves.  In the end that is all that truly matters.

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    - Miss A

Published On: August 18, 2008