January 24, 2011: A large part of my experience as a columnist involves the myriad letters I receive from fans (and the periodic foe). While many are mere complimentary lauds (with the occasional offer to create a baby), some include very real and serious cries for help in the form of patronly advice, guidance, and intolerant criticism. Those are the ones that strike most soundly against the harpsichord of my heart.
In an effort to share experience, strength and hope, though not necessarily in that order, I thought it might be of value to include a few of the more choice letters here, along with some of my own homespun advice, for everyone's benefit, (although certainly not mine) ...
I am in love with a woman, but she doesn't seem to know I exist. What should I do?
You DON'T exist, so stop trying to pretend that you do!
Recently I've started experiencing significant pains in my joints, as well as swelling and inflammation. I've also found my equilibrium seriously impaired. Do you have any idea what's wrong with me?
You probably have Lyme Disease, and I can't help you. You can thank the government for it, and in the future, please don't send me anything that hasn't been properly sanitized.
Dear Mr. Liotta:
I've often long thought myself to be quite a good writer, not unlike yourself. What, in your humble opinions, are the best ways for me to proceed myself by in fact actually trying to become such a writer as yourself has turned out to be.
Sincerely, Dr. Longfellow
Dear Dr. Longfellow,
You obviously don't need MY help, so leave me alone.
Dear Mr. Liotta,
I've been struggling with finding a job since the economy turned belly-up. Any advice on how I should proceed?
Just try and get a job. I mean, I don't know how to make it any simpler.
I'm feeling hopeless and despondent. I guess my self-esteem is so low that I feel, in order for my boyfriend to like me, I have to subject myself to degrading sexual acts to please him. What should I do?
Signed, Anything For Love
I think we need to meet in person so I can give your situation a much closer look. Please be sure to wear a skirt and no underwear ...