DEAR ABBY: I recently moved to Minneapolis from south Florida, where I had worked as a telephone psychic. The money was great. However, I now live in an area where I actually know my neighbors, and I feel very guilty about my previous line of work.
We "psychics" were really just saleswomen. We convinced callers that we knew something about their future. The callers were both men and women, and they really believed what we fed them. I feel doubly bad remembering how when business was slow, we laughed about the "pathetic losers" who were calling us. Some of them, I know, spent most of their daily wages on those phone calls.
I can't do anything to make up for my past sins, but please, Abby, warn callers of psychic hotlines that they are dealing with people with no more knowledge of the future than they themselves have -- probably less.
If they need someone to talk to, they should access the Internet. They'll be dealing with people just like us -- but it won't be nearly as costly. -– PAM THE SINNER, MINNEAPOLIS
DEAR P.T. SINNER: Those who call are not "pathetic losers"; the losers are those who take advantage of unsuspecting people searching for validation or encouragement.
I'm pleased you have turned over a new leaf. There's nothing like being inundated with good, solid Midwestern values to help a sinner see the error of her (or his) ways. There is plenty you can do to make up for your past sins. I have a terrific idea for you. Use your talent to save lives. Since you're good on the telephone, sign up for training and volunteer for a crisis hotline. The psychic rewards are phenomenal.
DEAR ABBY: I am enclosing a poem that I wrote for my father. With Father's Day approaching, you might like to share it with your readers. -– NATHAN HELLMAN, WHITESTONE, N.Y.
DEAR NATHAN: Your poem touched my heart, and I'm sure it will do the same with my readers as well. Read on:
They tell you to believe
In your teacher
In your doctor
In the president.
But for me
The one I always believed in
Was my dad.
He was always there for me.
With him in my corner,
I was invincible.
Now he's gone.
They tell me about all the good deeds he did.
But for me
Isn't captured in words or deed.
It's found in what he meant to me
And how I felt
When he was around.
CONFIDENTIAL TO THE WIFE OF THE ABUSER IN FLORIDA: You have suffered enough. Make your plans and leave. Do not alert him beforehand. If he hasn't shaped up in more than 50 years, he's not likely to change now. I wish you the best of luck. You deserve it.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600