You're damn right it was "way past time" for Jeanne Phillips to acknowledge that she's been doing Abby's column for the last 15 years [Hot Type, July 19].
I wrote "Dear Abby" a letter in 1997 and got a response.
It was typed on stationery that had a cameo head shot of Pauline Phillips, the REAL "Dear Abby." And it was signed "Abby." No clue that it was the daughter.
To boot, I thought the advice in it was lousy. It was a question about authenticity and propriety. A friend of mine staged a fake wedding ceremony in a nice park, but didn't tell people she and her man had secretly been married in the courthouse earlier in the day. The invitation asked us to "witness the union" of this couple, yet I later found out the whole thing was a "staged reenactment." It didn't seem right, and I felt like we'd all been scammed.
The response I received from Abby--er, Jeanne--said it didn't matter and I should MYOB. Perhaps the question hit too close to home for a woman who is less than authentic herself. Had I known that my advice on this was coming from a twice-divorced woman who was now living with a guy, I'd never have sought it.
Judging by the catty feud between Ann's daughter Margo and niece Phillips, anybody looking for advice on family relations would be wise to go elsewhere!
Margaret O. Nowak
Schenectady, New York