Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dear AbbaDear ABBA,

I’m in love with my boss. I’ve talked it over with my mom but she says I shouldn’t do anything about it. She doesn’t want to see me get fired from this job (which I cherish) if the relationship didn’t work out. My boss is sending me all the signals though. He just got back from a business trip (I missed him so much!) and invited me to go with him on the next one. Should I go?

—Love Struck in the Office

Dear Love Struck,

Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed you

Dear ABBA,

My wife and I are always fighting. I’m at the end of my rope. We’ve been together for sixteen years and I love her, I really do, but it’s funny how finances can really cloud over a perfectly healthy relationship. It’s not just cloudy, ABBA, it’s raining. I yell. She yells. We both cry over how we can possibly pay all of our bills. She’s not working right now due to a fall at her job. Her disability checks aren’t enough. Should I ask for a divorce? Is my marriage worth saving if we can’t save any dough?

—Cash Strapped in Chicago

Dear Cash Strapped,

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world

Dear ABBA,

My friend is in the midst of a coup in South America. I am worried about him. He’s my friend and I love him a lot and I know he’s doing it for the freedom of his people but doesn’t he understand that there are people who love him and need him safe? Should I tell him to stop being so involved in the political upheaval there (though I’m the one that pushed him into it and was involved in it myself until recently)? It seems very selfish of me but I don’t want to see him get hurt.

—Confused in Tulsa

Dear Confused,

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though I never thought that we could lose
There’s no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando

Dear ABBA,

There’s this man I know, I’ll call him Ted. Ted’s in the military. I’m a folk singer. We just started dating but I really think he’s “the one” but there’s a problem (God, I wish there wasn’t!). I feel so good when I’m around him. He makes me feel worthy of a man again (I’ve been thrice divorced). He’s in the army, though, and he’s going to be shipped off to Iraq soon. The last night he’s in town is for this concert I’m having at the local coffee shop. Should I break up with him that night? Like I said, we just started the relationship and I don’t want to have my heart broken when (or if) he returns.

—Folk Singer Singing the Blues

Dear Folk Singer,

Tonight the
Super trouper lights are gonna find me
Shining like the sun
(sup-p-per troup-p-per)
Smiling, having fun
(sup-p-per troup-p-per)
Feeling like a number one
Tonight the
Super trouper beams are gonna blind me
But I won’t feel blue
(sup-p-per troup-p-per)
Like I always do
(sup-p-per troup-p-per)
’cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you

Dear ABBA,

I love my postal carrier, “Patsy.” I don’t think she loves me. We had a big argument last month about the little flag on my postal box. Anyway, we almost came to blows. I admit I’d been drinking (I got fired recently from my history teaching job at the local community college) and was belligerent but she didn’t have to say those things she did. Even through that, though, I love her. I’ve put her on this pedestal and wish that I could do something about it. I can’t elude her beautiful wrath! I’m smitten! Should I ask her out knowing she could crush me with her words and actions?

—Love Letter in the Mail

Dear Love Letter,

Waterloo — I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo — promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo — couldn’t escape if I wanted to
Waterloo — knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo — finally facing my waterloo

Dear ABBA,

I was in Paris last summer, studying at the Louvre. I’m an artist with hopes of getting my own gallery in SoHo. I was doing some studies when the guard there (I’ll call him “Pierre”) kept staring at me. He was beautiful. After a week or two of this, I got up the nerve to talk to him. We talked for hours! He’s such a wonderful man. I went back to his place and had the most amazing sex. We talked and we thought that once I started my gallery up in New York he’d quit his job and move to the States with me. He’s married though and has two kids. Should I believe that he’ll leave his family for me or should I just forget him?

—Painting Love Scenes until I See Him Again

Dear Painting Love,

Voulez-vous (ah-ha)
Take it now or leave it (ah-ha)
Now is all we get (ah-ha)
Nothing promised, no regrets

Dear ABBA,

We met on the Internet, me and “Dan.” We talked online for hours. We sent pictures of each another. We agreed to meet at the gay bar in town and then go to the discothèque. Once I got there though, I noticed that “Dan” wasn’t what he said he was. He was just in high school! His parents probably have a curfew for him! I’m 33! He used his brother’s photo. He’s way too young, yet I have really strong feelings towards him. Should I continue seeing him even though he lied to me?

—Dancing with Dan

Dear Dancing,

Well I can dance with you, honey
If you think it’s funny
Does your mother know that you’re out?
And I can chat with you, baby
Flirt a little maybe
Does your mother know that you’re out?

Dear ABBA,

I’m low. I’ve never been this depressed in my life. My mother is in the hospital with esophageal cancer, my brother has just been arrested for insider trading, and my fiancé’s just left me for a barista. There’s more, ABBA. I’m on probation at work for stealing office supplies and I have cauliflower ear. But I know I’m worthy of a good life. I know my grandfather is watching me from above helping me through this. I know I can be an accomplished violist if just given the chance. What do you think? Should I give up?

—Down in the Dumps in Dallas

Dear Down in the Dumps,

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels

Dear ABBA,

I’m seventeen. The prom is coming up and I don’t think anyone is going to ask me to be their date. I know I’m not that popular. I have to wear head gear and I’m really smart and most of the guys at my school don’t really like me but it’s the prom, the only one I’ll ever have a chance to go to. Should I go to the dance alone? Will they make fun of me?

—Gawky Girl, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Dear Gawky,

You are the dancing queen,
Young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen,
Feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive,
having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene,
Dig in the dancing queen
Jonathan Shipley is an idiot savant in the area of animal husbandry. He is married to a woman. They have a baby named Grace who can recite the Ukrainian national anthem. (“We’ll show that we, brothers, are of the Kazak nation!”) He hopes to be either a novelist or the pope. (He enjoys wearing big hats.) His foray as a superhero, the Thundering Wisk, was short-lived after he was attacked viciously in a Target parking lot. In the hospital he started his blog Jonathan’s Wacky World, that he updates regularly.

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