Dear Abby

The other day I was having my morning cup of coffee while reading the local newspaper. Like most mornings, I start with the lighter news in the Lifestyles section before moving to the heavier, more depressing national news. Although come to think of it, I probably should reverse the order and start my day on a somewhat positive note.

Anyway, I usually end the Lifestyle section by reading Dear Abby. However, her column on this particular day really caught my attention. A woman had written in that she had been divorced for years and was wondering when she could stop referring to herself as a divorcee and start calling herself single. Now I’m no Dear Abby, but to me the obvious answer was, “Whenever you want”. Well, not according to the Ancient Old Broad of Advice. Dear Abby’s response was (and I’m paraphrasing), “You are a divorcee and will remain so until the day you remarry. Therefore, the term single is not appropriate”.

Now I’m not stuck on labels, but Dear Abby’s response was offensive to me. This woman clearly had been divorced for a while and was ready to move on with her life. Perhaps she felt there was more of a stigma attached with the word “divorced” and that she felt more comfortable referring to herself as “single”. Whatever the case, Dear Abby needs to wake up! This is not 1950, but 2008. Women can pick and choose their own careers, start families with or without partners, purchase their own homes and last I heard, we also had the right to vote. And certainly we can refer to ourselves any way we like. was founded so that women could feel empowered about their single status; whether divorced, widowed, with children, without children or never married. Single women have enough to contend with without worrying about which label they should be wearing to define their status in life.

Dear Abby, my advice to you is, “Move out of the Dark Ages or at least try and contemporize your column to reflect the change in culture”.   

Allison O’Connor