There’s nothing as juicy as a good advice column. I grew up reading Dear Abby and Ann Landers. We have Clara Parkes here on MDK, holding forth with her column, Dear Clara.
Now, thanks to the rich world of podcasts, we can listen to advice columnists. From the New York Times comes Dear Sugars, a fine podcast filled with dilemmas, worries, delusions, and fears. Our hosts are Cheryl Strayed (whose Wild is a memoir of the superconfessional sort) and Steve Almond, a writer trying to figure it all out.
A recent episode, “Love and Money,” gets right to the core things that advice columns thrive on.
Being a fly on the wall to other people’s problems is how we figure out our own. Or, maybe, it lets us we whistle past our own graveyards. And sometimes, it’s just flat-out schadenfreude. Part of the game with advice columns is to test myself: how would I answer that letter? In the case of Cheryl and Steve, their advice is solid and kind, and you want to be friends with them. Or, maybe, write them a letter.