Ann Landers and Dear Abby

Ann Landers and Dear Abby

It is widely known and accepted that twins have a special bond-a unique relationship.  I have always felt honored to join “the twins” in our especially sweet bond as sisters.  Two famous twins, Esther and Pauline Friedman, stand as a testament that regardless of that preconceived bond of twins, trouble can enter that special relationship.

It appeared that Esther and Pauline were happy with their “twinness” – they attended the same college ( where they enjoyed co-editing the college paper’s advice column)  and married in a double ceremony on their 21st birthday. Years later, that bond was threatened by the success each was to achieve as advice columnists.  Just a few weeks after Esther assumed the much coveted position of “Ann Landers” at the Chicago Sun Times, Pauline began her own advice column “Dear Abby.”

Psychology Today once credited Ann Landers with having a greater effect on the way people deal with their problems than any other living individual. Both women were politically liberal, and used their columns to condemn racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism and to advocate for women’s rights. At one point the sisters combined readership was 200 million readers and received 15,000 letters each week.  Sadly, rather than congratulate each other on their roaring success, competitive and petty feelings arose.  The gloves came off and a decades long feud kept them estranged.  It went so far as Pauline offering a reduced rate for her “Dear Abby” column, with one condition-the paper could never run “Ann Landers” as long as they ran “Dear Abby.”

Reconciliation came in 1956, but it was a fragile truce.  Off and on through the years, they would no longer be on speaking terms.

It saddens me that these beautiful, witty, talented women tarnished their integrity by their inability to maintain a loving realationship with each other.  As iSissies, let’s commit to each other to never let an issue fester to the point that relationships suffer.  I treasure the relationship that I have with my sissies-I treasure the relationship they have with each other.

If there is discord in any of your lives – especially if it is with a sissy – I am hopeful, even prayerful, that you will find a way to reconcile and find the joy that can be found in having a sissy.