Dear Margo: Be Well

Margo_tall18Be Well

This will be my last column as Dear Margo. I have been giving advice for 15 years — first as Dear Prudence and then under my own name. I have been writing for newspapers for 45 years. The time feels right to retire from deadline journalism. I plan to write long-form pieces as the spirit moves me.

I am not leaving to spend more time with my family, but rather to spend more time with my inner child … the one who has lunch with girlfriends, shops, sleeps late and plows through decades of files (kind of a jumped-up version of straightening up your sock drawer).

I have greatly enjoyed trying to help a very engaged group of readers. Thank you for your trust, your opinions and for what you have taught me. Be well.

* * *

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter.


Click here to follow Margo on Twitter

82 comments so far.

  1. avatar traceygm says:

    Thursday and Friday mornings just won’t be the same without your column. God bless, may you have many years to enjoy your inner child, and thanks for your wit, honesty and committment to helping others through your column!! You will be deeply missed!

  2. avatar susan hiland says:

    What the hell am I going to do on Thursdays and Fridays without your column? Grumble….Yeah have a great retirement.

  3. avatar Dan Patterson says:

    Dear Margo,

    I wish you all the best in whatever delights you pursue. I’ve enjoyed your advice columns for years and have long thought you were easily the true and best successor to your wonderful mother. Stay well yourself and have a great life.

    Many thanks!
    Dan Patterson

  4. avatar BeanCounter says:

    I am distraught. You have no idea how realizing it was a Thursday or Friday would perk up my day, because I got to read your writing……always poignant…always wonderful. Enjoy your life, Lady Margo, and I wish you all the best in the world!!!!!!!

  5. avatar Rain says:

    You are my favorite columnist to read. I will greatly miss you! Your retirement plans sound wonderful, though. Enjoy!

  6. avatar JET says:

    I am sorry to hear the news. I have enjoyed your column and I think your advice has been wonderful over the years. I hope you enjoy your retirement, it is well earned.

  7. avatar R Scott says:

    All the best to you!

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    Sorry to hear you not be working as long as your dear mother, no disrespect intended, but I hope someone can continue this column like they did when you left Dear Prudence,, I wish you the best of luck in retirement and am proud (and envious) of the fact you know what is important in life and retiring while you can still enjoy it. You will be missed.

  9. avatar Margo Howard says:

    To one and all: I am really touched at your well wishes and the warmth you’ve shown for the column. Because it was carried all over the country in different newspapers I always felt that wOw was my real audience. I think this was so because of the posters – and because wOw was my Internet home. I do plan to continue writing – just no more advice. My boss and good buddy, Joni Evans, will probably kill me, but my next wOw piece is already written: it is an “appreciation” of Zsa Zsa Gabor, which of course can’t run until … it is appropriate!
    My best to you all – and my thanks.

  10. avatar Jill says:

    I can’t blame you on this one. As good as you are at advice, I think it would be very wearing to hear so much bad stuff not only from those who write in for advice but also from those who criticize you for the advice you give. It’s time for you to see more of the positive side of life.

    Good luck to you! I wish you lovely days of good food, interesting friends, and beautiful weather! Have fun in your new life adventure!

  11. avatar notmindinmybiz says:

    but…but…but…wait! I’m sure I have a question that only you can answer!!!! I will miss your column and thanks for all the good advice!

  12. avatar misskaty says:

    Blessings, Dear Margo, and thanks for all the memories. I followed you over from your Slate days, and I wish you many happy lunches to come.

    Now if wowOwow has some openings for advice columnists, let me grab my pen… and my common sense. I know I left it somewhere…

  13. avatar Lise Brouillette says:

    Margo, I will be grieving the disappearance of your advice. Yours was one of the few that was rarely off the mark.

  14. avatar sdpooh says:

    Goodbye Margo. I feel like an end of an era, and one of my last links with my hometown is being severed. My late father lived down the street as a child from your mom’s grandparent’s corner store. He remembers seeing the twins around town, they being about 10 years older than he. I started reading your Mom in the paper when I was a young girl. I was always so pleased that two girls from Sioux City made it big. I was pleased when you picked up your mom’s pen and carried on. Enjoy your life as you move forward into many years of exploring this world of ours.

  15. avatar OhNo says:

    OhNo, OhMy, OhWow! But, OhYes, you deserve a wonderful retirement, so please enjoy it! Thanks so much for sharing your insight with us all these years!

  16. avatar sadrunner says:

    Thank you Margo and have a wonderful retirement. You answered my letter once, and also emailed with me about it, and I really appreciated your caring. It ended up I couldn’t take your advice because the decision was taken out of my hands. But live and learn, I guess. Things worked out ok after a while.

    I will miss your columns and your pragmatic advice. Be well.


  17. avatar Lilitu Aster says:

    Best wishes Margo.

    I loved reading your advice every Thursday and Friday. Thank you for answering my letter a few years back. I followed your advice and it’s worked well. :)

    A Rose By Any Other Name

  18. avatar R Scott says:

    But what will Belinda Joy do?

    sorry couldn’t help myself.

    • avatar Margo Howard says:

      That made me laugh.

    • avatar Margo Howard says:

      You made me laugh.

    • avatar Obediah Fults says:

      Me too! Ha-ha-ho-ho-hee-hee! It always frosted my cupcake when people used to (past tense, now :( ) comment as if they were writing the column and the question(s) had been posed to them instead of to Margo. Sometimes the critical comments were harsh and disrespectful — and that made me angry. It felt like those people were criticizing a friend of mine and I wanted to kick the big, bad, meanies in the shin or drop a house on the wicked witches for her! I came to realize though, that Margo had a thicker skin than I and that she could take care of herself without any help from little, old me. I admired that a lot!

    • avatar bamabob says:

      Ha! Do you know how painful it is to have coffee shoot out your nose? I wasn’t expecting to guffaw….

  19. avatar cbs721 says:

    No, no, no, you can’t be leaving! What will I do without you? My treat for getting through the workweek was to read your columns Friday morning. Your wonderful advice and practical wisdom was so refreshing in this noisy world. I also followed you over from Slate and have enjoyed your work for many years. I wish you luck in following your bliss, without the deadlines. :) Take care and be well yourself. ~Carolyn

  20. avatar jennyconn says:

    Margo, your comments have been a weekly guilty pleasure of mine for many years now. I will miss them very much. You are a smart woman, and I wish you all of the best in your retirement. I have to admit that reading the comments from your loyal Cult of Followers was also a weekly ritual. Their names have become oddly familiar to me…

  21. avatar lebucher says:

    Oh drat! Where will I go to get my advice column fix now? Margo, I will miss you terribly. I always loved looking at your picture also, with that twinkle in your eye and your beautiful hairdo, and flatly refuse to believe you have aged enough to be eligible for retirement.

    Also I will miss David Bolton’s sage writings. Some people just have a gift for words.

  22. avatar ZoeyMonster says:

    Margo, I’m so happy for you but I’m going to miss your writings so much! I work really weird hours, and my small reward for myself for hitting my deadlines would be to come to this site Friday morning before bed and read the two new posts for the week along with all the comments. (I always wanted to read as soon as it was posted, but I tried to be good and wait until my work was done). Your advice was always sane and reasonable, which I had not come to expect from most other advice columns. I’m really going to miss you! Thanks for many years of enjoyment.

  23. avatar Lise Brouillette says:

    Margo, I hope you will check in at Creators to see the comments readers posted for you there.

    And a Happy mother’s Day to you too!

    • avatar Margo Howard says:

      You know, I never thought to do that because wOw runs
      a week ahead of newspapers. Thanks.

  24. avatar Allaroundtheworld says:

    I’m sad that you’re leaving, but overjoyed that retirement is around the corner for you. I hope you enjoy the cocktails and lunch dates with your friends. I hope you get to travel the world and see and do many interesting things. Sadly, I’m left with other advise columns on the internet where the community feedback is so more hateful than supportive. Will wowOwow be bring on a new advice columnist? Of course, your shoes could never be filled, but a small void in our community might be filled. All I can say is thank you, for all the great advice and we all had a good laugh, a good cry, and a smile.
    DJ Hogan

  25. avatar Sue Griggs says:

    Margo, my dear pixilated friend. I followed you here from Slate and you were my Friday night reward for lasting through the work week. Thank you for your wisdom, wit, caring and deep compassion for all of the people that wrote to you out of pain, concern and need, not to mention the occasional kick in the pants for the misguided souls that wrote in as well.
    Your retirement is well deserved and I wish you well, even though we all are (secretly) selfishly wishing it weren’t the time to say “good bye”. You are our best girl friend, wise older sister, favorite aunt. If I could have had my own “Auntie Mame”, I’d picture her as you.
    Good luck and God speed to you and your inner child. Carpe diem, Margo!