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 Responses so far.

  1. avatar TheTexasMom says:

    I saw this day coming but wishing you the best.

  2. avatar kseeley says:

    you will be missed.

  3. avatar Adrienne St Claire says:

    Thank you for the words of wit and wisdom over the years, and best wishes for a bright and happy retirement. We look forward to hearing from you–whenever you’re ready.

  4. avatar Merlindbear says:

    Thank you, Ms. Howard, for your work … I’ve been a fan ever since I came across your column in Slate some years back, and indeed you will be missed.
    May you and your inner child know only joy and light as you rediscover each other.

    Thank you again

  5. avatar Florafloraflora says:

    Farewell, Dear Margo. I’ve been enjoying your advice ever since you first started at Slate way back in the day. Happy trails to you and your inner child.

  6. avatar Jen_is_working says:

    I registered just to tell you that I will miss your column! I am so glad that only a few weeks ago you published your helpful advice to my letter before you decided to retire from writing your column. Best wishes and enjoy yourself.

  7. avatar bamabob says:

    Thanks for you advice, both in general and to me specifically. Enjoy your lunches, shopping, waking up at noon and whatever else fills your days with joy.

  8. avatar Windbringer says:

    Oh, I am so sorry. Have a nice life!

  9. avatar Toni Jean says:

    I’ve been a fan since your Peudie days and followed you here. You will be missed! Let that wild rumpus begin!!!

  10. avatar JonT1971 says:

    Whaaaaaat??? I’m selfishly hoping you’ll change your mind at the moment, but in the long run I hope you enjoy your well deserved leisure time. I’ve enjoyed your columns since Dear Prudence as well as your Tweets. Be well!

  11. avatar Humama says:

    Blessings to you, Margo! We all have appreciated your candor and wisdom over the years. The apple truly has not fallen far from the tree. I wish you well as you enter this phase of your life. Take good care of yourself; you have given so much to all of us over the years. Godspeed!

  12. avatar Ariana says:

    Enjoy your well earned retirement! Ive been following your articles off and on my whole life. I like your practical no nonsense approach to life, and Im looking forward to your best of book once you get throughh that file drawer ;-D

  13. avatar clutzycook says:

    I’ve been reading your columns since the early 2000’s on Slate. It’s sad, but I much congratulate you on being someone who knows when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. Best of luck to you Margo.

  14. avatar martina says:

    Wishing you a long, healthy and happy retirement.

  15. avatar eamangum29 says:

    I never post, but have read your column without fail since your Dear Prudie days. Thursdays and Fridays won’t be the same. Enjoy your retirement from the daily grind … and writing when the spirit moves you!

  16. avatar Cindy M says:

    Aww. :-( I will VERY much miss you, Margo. Blessings and love to you. :-)

  17. avatar normadesmond says:

    mazel tov darling, go….go and have a ball!

    i must admit, it was nice knowing
    that you were always “there”….just in case.

  18. avatar Obediah Fults says:

    Dear Margo,

    I wish you all the best in your retirement and need to let you know that I’ll miss reading your column more than you’ll ever know. I keep a Twitter account ONLY so I can read your witty, irreverent, and right-on Tweets. Sometimes (rarely), I even interact with you and I feel so honored when you respond!

    Good luck and good health to you, dear friend. See you on Twitter (I hope)!

    As always,
    Dennis Hunt (a.k.a. “Obediah Fults”)

  19. avatar Heidi W says:

    Oh Margo,
    I will miss you! I read your column every week and the extra columns you write, even though it’s been quite a while since I have left a comment, I think the last one was when Michael Jackson died. You go ahead girl, take care of that inner child and have a blast! I wish you the very best in your new endeavors! Take Care! :o)

  20. avatar beatrix_pierre says:

    Oh no! Don’t go! I sure wish you would continue your column. I enjoyed reading your mother’s column as a child and I enjoyed you as Prudence and I was glad I found you here. I’m very sad. I sure wish this day didn’t come.

  21. avatar JCF4612 says:

    Dear Margo: Enjoy those girlie lunches (hopefully with drinkies afterward at one the lunch companion’s salon), and all the best with the sock drawer. It’s been fun, and we’ve enjoyed sharing a great ride with you.

    • avatar JCF4612 says:

      Also, on a final note: David Bolton … have been missing you.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        FINALLY. This stupid site wouldn’t let me log in for the longest time, despite whatever browser I used (I even tried my iPhone).

        So I don’t know if I was blocked or not. But anyway, here I am at last.

        So—to catch up on things… all the LWs are idiots and affected with narcissism, insert a snarky yet clever and poignant reply here, and I love you all. It’s been a lot of fun and very eye-opening to participate in this forum, and Margo—best of luck to you.

  22. avatar Priscilla L says:

    Have a happy retirement, Margo! Although of course I’ve disagreed with you sometimes, overall I have always enjoyed your advice. You are always respectful and are open-minded. You’re a smart cookie and I look forward to reading anything you decide to write in the future.

  23. avatar L T says:

    Enjoy your well-earned retirement. You will be greatly missed.

  24. avatar Tricia Robey says:

    I wish you the very best Margo! I loved your approach on advise and will sorely miss it but I will smile each time I think of you- out there having a ball, this is your time, make the most of it. So as I tell my kids: Do crazy fun things, don’t get caught!

  25. avatar SassyFras says:

    You will be truly missed! Fare thee well, Dear Margo, enjoy and cherish your inner child! You have brought smiles, tears, humor, wit, and good old fashioned common sense to many. Now let that inner child go play!

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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!!!!!!!

  30. avatar Rain says:

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

  31. 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.

  32. avatar R Scott says:

    All the best to you!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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!

  37. 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…

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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!

  41. 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.


  42. 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

  43. 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….

  44. 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

  45. 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…

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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!

  51. avatar FlowerPower says:

    Wow, I’m sort of sad to see your departure from the advice column. I’d like to say thank you for your years in giving your insight in people’s issues. I’ve been following you since I was in middle school (I was 13 years old I believe.) Throughout these 7 years I’ve mustered up the courage to ask for your advice once and it’s worked splendidly.

    thank you and best wishes,

    Giselle M

    • avatar Margo Howard says:

      Oh, my. Your message struck a chord, because so many teen-agers said they read my mother, and I could never figure out why kids would pay any attention to an advice column!

  52. avatar Lym BO says:

    WowOWow! I’m going to miss your awesome advice & all my compadres here. It’s been fun! Where is Constance in the Sierra Foothills (our notorious first responder), Belinda Joy & Briana B…. & LisaKitty anyway?! Rowl!

    Margo, I read Dear Abby every day from age 10 or so up. It’s a great way to learn about life from an adult perspective without having to ask an adult –or having an adult or bigger sister to ask. I can’t count how many times throughout my life I have quoted you, your mom or aunt to others about various issues. OR how many times your advice struck a note in my own life & I realized I needed to change something.

    You.Will.Be.Missed. Terribly! Happy Retirement!

  53. avatar Lise Brouillette says:

    Margo, teenagers bother to read advice columns because this is often the only place they can turn to for sensible, non-judgmental advice and accurate information.

    I always read you at Creators but, if I had known you actually interact with the posters at Wowowow, I would have come here before.

    I really do wish you would reconsider and perhaps do one column a month, you know, just so we get our fix. In the meantime, well, Mazel Tov!

  54. avatar Rustie says:

    Well Margo, more than anything else, I am sorry for myself! I will miss your column and may you be well also.

  55. avatar Commoner says:


    I’ve enjoyed your column for years. Thank you for your work and good luck with what comes next.

  56. avatar Judith Herrman says:

    I will miss you.
    I wish you peace and good times.

  57. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    Thank you for your insight. Good luck to you.

  58. avatar Rho says:

    Take care, you will be missed, enjoy life.

  59. avatar BeanCounter says:

    Thursday and Friday mornings are boring again…. :…..(

    all the best to you, my dear…..

  60. avatar Anais P says:

    Dear Margo, SAY IT AIN’T SO! I will really miss your columns written so cleverly and sagely. However, the fact that you will occasionally contribute other kinds of writing consoles me. I wish you a very happy retirement, free to enjoy life doing the things you like to do. Thank you so much, Margo!

  61. avatar LemurMcFemur says:

    You were (and are) my favorite advice columnist, ever….I’ve been reading you religiously since you wrote as Dear Prudence on Slate, and I almost always found myself agreeing with your advice. Always practical, yet warm and caring as well. Enjoy your retirement! You will be missed! <3

  62. avatar mlgerst says:

    I wanted to say thanks for all of the wonderful advice, congrats on your release from the deadlines, and have a great time with your inner child. I too, am one of your readers who followed you here from Slate and am wondering what I’m going to do on Thursday and Friday mornings to start my work day and am little ashamed that my first comment to one of your posts is caused by your departure.

    So from one of your many anonymous lurkers, be well and be kind to yourself, and thanks for the many years of reading enjoyment.


    • avatar Margo Howard says:

      To one and all: This is a sad Friday for me, too. I cannot thank you all enough for your kind words.

  63. avatar Helster says:

    Well, all good things must come to an end, as Briana Baran found out a few months ago. Farewell, wherever you fare, Margo. You’ve provided much entertainment and you did it with style, grace, and wit. Well done! Best wishes!

  64. avatar chuck alien says:

    You earned it, Margo. Thanks for everything… enjoy your goof-off time!