Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Archive for January, 2007

1956: Why Do I Love You?

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

In preparation for my Valentine’s Day talk at the Library of Congress (see the press release for more information), I’ve started to research exerpts of advice about love. I’ve posted quite a bit over the years on the topic, but hope to find some fresh material for the talk.

To whet your appetite (it is a talk focusing on love and food, after all), here’s a little something from Evelyn Millis Duvall’s Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers from 1956:

Lovers frequently wonder why they love each other. The strange power of love baffles them. They ask each other, “Why do I love you?” This is a good question and it can be answered, at least in part. There are real reasons that one person loves another. As these reasons are understood, the love quite often grows stronger still. Only if the attraction is not love at all but merely a passing fancy, will it weaken as it is understood.

We love each other oftentimes because we meet each other’s needs. Janice is effervescent and flighty. She loves Dan partly because he is always so calm and stable. He loves her partly because she is so peppy and full of life. They are good for each other, in that each meets some real need in the other.

As we satisfy each other’s need for response and belongingness, we give our love a chance to grow stronger still. W all need to feel that we are wanted, that we are desirable, and that other people like to have us around. When two persons give each other this sense of being someone special, then each strengthens the love feeling in the other.

Aww, how sweet!

Single State of the Union

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Some of you may have seen the interesting news today in the New York Times: 51% of Woman Are Now Living Without a Spouse (registration required I believe). The article begins: “For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.”

As one who doesn’t hesitate to offer advice about being single, I cheered a little cheer for my fellow single gals today (yes, it is true, the dating advice maven has no dates right now)! And the good news is, as is shown by the above-mentioned article, we’re not as alone as we sometimes feel.

Which reminds me, I haven’t yet mentioned that I contributed an essay for a book to be released in March 2007 (available for pre-order now) called Single State of the Union: Single Women Speak Out on Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Edited by the charming Diane Mapes, the book includes essays by Margaret Cho, Breakup Girl’s Lynn Harris, Sasha Cagen, who started the Quirkyalone movement, and many many more.

My essay, titled “Single Blessedness,” provides a look at advice for singles (good and bad) over the years. I think you’ll enjoy it!

New Dog!

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

I’ve been posting less recently because
A) I’ve been pretty sick the last week or so with a nasty sinus thing and
B) In the middle of being sick with the nasty sinus thing I adopted a new dog!

Felix, my other terrier mutt, is still in a bit of shock, as am I, but we’re all settling into life with Lulu (she’s a bit of a lunatic so loony Lulu became her name). She’s two according to the shelter but acts more like a puppy in a lot of ways. We have a trainer coming on Tuesday night to help us sort out some “problem areas.” But all-in-all she’s a great pup. My mom was here for less than 24 hours last night and today, and taught Lulu to sit and to do paw! Good girl!

Here’s a shot of Lulu and Felix playing…

By the way, the Playboy interview was a lot fun yesterday. I read a bunch from the books and talked about sex advice from the past. Even attempted to help two callers to the show. Thanks to Tiffany, my host, who plugged the book and website quite a bit. And welcome any listeners from the show!

Playboy Interview Jan 12 4pm EST

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

A reminder for anyone out there who has Sirius satellite radio and is subscribed to Playboy Radio (Channel 198) — Miss Abigail is appearing live on the “Afternoon Advice” show, hosted by Tiffany Granath, Friday, January 12, 2007, at 1pm PST/4pm EST.

I’ll be talking about the book, the site, sharing some advice from the classic sex books, and talking to callers. Should be entertaining! I’ve had some sinus issues and a sore throat the last week so my voice is nice and sultry for the interview.