December 29, 1975 12:00 PM

Brotherly advice for some Losers

Headliners to keep an eye on

Would-be First Ladies face up

Does the tradition of seeking a sage’s advice date back to the first “Dear Oracle” petition heard at Delphi? No matter—these days when even their best friends can’t tell them, dozens of troubled souls every day spill their sorrows onto the tiny shoulders of Dr. Joyce Brothers.

Schooled as a psychologist (Ph.D. Columbia, 1953), Dr. Brothers, 47, writes a column for 350 newspapers, articles for magazines, has her own NBC network radio show and is an indefatigable talk show guest. Her new book on coping with middle age, Better Than Ever, will be out in January.

Worse Than Before describes the following 10 unfortunates, with whom fate dealt harshly in 1975. Because they seemed otherwise occupied, PEOPLE set their woes to paper, using various noms de misère. Dr. Brothers suggests not very seriously how these hard-luck cases might improve their lives in 1976.

Dear Dr. Brothers: I’m the first to admit that our finances strayed off the beam—our petty cash got so low we couldn’t even afford a Big Mac. But the Boss didn’t make things any easier. He’s a congenital appleknocker, and every time we tried to polish up our image a bit, he said we were rotten to the core. Now he promises to help us out, which is delicious, but why won’t he stop laughing when I sit down at the adding machine?


Dear Seed: Apples, big or small, are tempting, but they’re also dangerous (see Genesis). Stop your apple-polishing, because every time you personally give the Boss a standing ovation, he can’t tell anyway. Don’t feel bad—the way we learn to handle money is by watching how the Boss does it, and his budget this year has a $34.6-billion gap. Have you considered borrowing an extra million and opening a lot of savings accounts? You’d collect enough toasters and TV sets to start a discount store.

(Abraham Beame, New York’s mayor, searches still for financial succor.)

Dear Dr. Brothers…Like any young widowed woman, I worry…I tend to see dollar signs in my dreams…I’ve recently taken a job to help make ends meet, but I found myself editing a description of sleep from “z-z-z-z-z-z” to “$-$-$-$”…I blame it on those relatives of my late husband…may their bouzoukis break…I mean, when I signed that silly marriage contract, it was all Greek to me…I suppose $2,500 a month for clothes is a bit much…but I can’t be seen wearing the same outfit twice, can I?


Dear Breath: You’re obviously using the right mouthwash. Psychologists say that money and food are often equated with love, since as children we are offered both in place of love or as symbols for it. However, if we grow up to be svelte young ladies with expensive wardrobes, we prefer money and love to food, which we have to give up anyway if we’re to fit into the clothes. P.S. In the future, beware of Greeks wearing lifts.

(Jacqueline Onassis is now an editor at Viking Press.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: Not long ago, I was the only boy on the block to play with paper dolls, and I treated them rough—every month, I’d staple one through the navel. My philosophy paid off: I have a couple of mansions decorated with cuties, a jet plane and lots of lettuce. Now some guy in a penthouse is horning in by encouraging his paper dolls to really let their hair down. Do you think that learning French (I can already say oui) will help me get back on top?


P.S. Is rosé O.K. with roasted hare?

Dear Dry: Assuming you are a grown man, then playing with paper dolls is possible evidence of immaturity (since you like them), sadism (since you staple them) or mother fixation (since you do so in the navel). Is it possible you are disturbed by the fact that when you get up in the morning, you’re already dressed for work? Call me for an appointment soonest.

P.S. I prefer Pepsi with barbecued bunny.

(Hugh Hefner is trying to make troubled Playboy Enterprises more profitable.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: When my husband died, what did he leave me? Diamonds? Furs? Money? No, he left me a country, and not a very nice one at the moment either, thank you. I mean, so many people are being shot on the streets you’d think it was Chicago in Prohibition. It’s enough to drive a girl to a rest home, but when I tried that all those gauchos in my cabinet got on their high horses. Should I pack my llama-ha and ride off?


Dear Bel: Don’t crack. Men aren’t used to being bossed by a woman, since it makes them feel like little boys under their mother’s thumb. But they can learn—research has proven that, not to mention marriage. Show them how understanding, compassion, warmth, caring and a soft heart can make the difference. Show them Indira Gandhi.

(President Isabel Perón remains in shaky control of violence-torn Argentina.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: My jobs are not working out. Weeknights, alongside two gentlemen who, if truth be known, are my intellectual inferiors, I am accorded the respect my perspicacity deserves. Unhappily that job is seasonal. So my employers put me on the weekend shift, working alone. There, my hairpiece seemed to get more attention than I did. Tell it like it is, Dr. Joyce Brothers—why is Saturday night the loneliest night of the week?


Dear Oop: Sad to say, you sound like a case history in abnormal psychology I once read. Were you delivered with tongue depressors? As a Boy Scout, were you the one who helped little old ladies half-way across the street? Did Dale Carnegie once punch you in the nose? Cheer up and try Coué: “Day by day in every way, I am getting better and better.” Sorry, he didn’t mention nights.

(Howard Cosell’s variety show on ABC-TV has been canceled.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: This is an Emergency! When Dad gave me the family business, it was a Bonanza. But Today, It’s Another World. Though I’ve given it my full Concentration, our stock is sinking like a black rock. So when I asked for a raise this year to keep me in Petrocelli suits, they said no and I decided that Movin’ On to a Little House on the Prairie was the only thing left. Will I become The Invisible Man?


Dear Featherless: Your industry reruns everything, including executives, so I’m sure that As The World Turns, you’ll find The Price is Right again. Why not wander The Streets of San Francisco, if only for 60 Minutes, and ponder: while it may be All in the Family, fathers often give sons “the business.”

(Robert Sarnoff left the presidency of RCA, parent company of NBC, last fall.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: I am a British lady of breeding, with lots of friends, if you know what I mean. Through my interest in writing, I met this man and lost my head. It’s easy to understand, even if his plays aren’t. Unfortunately, his wife raised the curtain. If my husband, who is a Knight, will have me back, which role should I choose—married noble or backstage wife?


Dear Open: You seem to adore the limey light, yet surely you know that backstage wives remain mostly in the dark. Consider your husband, and ask yourself, “Why is this Knight different from all other Knights?” That should be enough to cut off this latest romance.

(Author Lady Antonia Fraser was named as co-respondent by Mrs. Harold Pinter.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: I’ve got this real estate problem—there’s a conspiracy to keep me from having the house I’ve wanted all my life. Money is not the problem. In fact, I recently managed to move into the neighborhood, just a heartbeat away. The lease on my dream house is up for renewal next year, and I’ve notified my present landlord I’m going to move—but where? As my late grandfather might say, “Son, I wouldn’t give a dime for your chances.” Do you know a good broker?


Dear Not: Of course you’re not happy, and I’ll bet Happy isn’t either, with all that moving around. She thought she married a rock, not a rolling stone. If you really want your dream house, stay away from the present occupant, who suffers from a case of anti-trust. According to Rollo May, wish power works miracles, but you may be the exception. I give up, but that doesn’t mean you have to—or will.

(Nelson Rockefeller announced he would not accept the nomination for Vice-President.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: I may have sold used cars, but that doesn’t give a second-hand movie queen the right to take me for a ride, does it? I carried her baggage. I took her to parties. Finally, I went abroad with her—to that cold Mother Russia yet—while she made a film. How do you think I felt when she Welshed on me? It’s as though my odometer was set back 50,000 miles. What can I do?


Dear Rumble: You lost your girl to illness—she got sick of you. I know it’s hard to forget someone when you buy her gifts on the installment plan, but you need to talk it all out. If you can’t afford a professional ear, try a tape recorder. You’ll soon find another woman who’s better tailored to your life.

(Henry Wynberg’s romance with Liz ended when she remarried Richard Burton.)

Dear Dr. Brothers: Uncle Sam used to send me support money regularly, even though I lived half-way around the world, and every Christmas he would dispatch a little extra Hope. But this spring he demanded that I play dominoes with him—and my only game is Mah-Jongg. Now, he’s cut me off without a penny, and I’ve had to move out of town. How can I save my face?


Dear Through: The games people play are often destructive, as you learned without the help of Eric Berne. It probably won’t help for you to cry “Uncle” anymore. I usually advise patients it’s difficult to save face when they’ve lost another part of their anatomy too.

(Nguyen Van Thieu was the president of South Vietnam until April.)

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