My job has the super-fun combination of a lot of downtime and ridiculously strict internet blockages (no Pajiba – sob!). Newspaper sites are almost always allowed, but I try to avoid reality whenever possible, so I end up reading a lot of advice columns (the Carolyn Hax archives go on for eons). I had managed to miss Dear Sugar, though, until a friend sent me a copy of her book.
Rather than a prim Dear Prudence approach of handing down advice from on high, Dear Sugar feels like advice from a slightly-wiser friend, or older sister. She’s sitting on the couch next to her readers, holding hands and sharing ice cream, instead of from the other side of an imposing desk. She shares horror stories from her past, relating to her readers’ cares and woes, and talks about how she climbed out of those dark places. She’s encouraging, but no-nonsense, and isn’t afraid to tell the question-askers to grow up/shape up/get out of that awful marriage. The answers are long and rambly, but make a lot of sense.
It felt weird to read a book with no plot and no characters, especially after spending too many hours a day reading similar things, but this was a quick read, with some good info on how to deal with your problems like a grown-up.
On breakups: “Then you’d sob and sob and sob so hard you couldn’t stand up until finally you’d go quiet and your head would weigh seven hundred pounds and you’d lift it from your hands and rise to walk into the bathroom to look at yourself solemnly in the mirror and you’d know for sure that you were dead.” She tells it like it is!