Dear Delphi,

My parents are going through a divorce after 35 years of marriage. I don”€™t see the point of it all after 35 years, and even though I am a grown woman I am still upset about it; I can”€™t imagine how it feels when you are 14 and still living in your parents”€™ house. The really big problem is my mother”€”she is telling me everything my father ever did to hurt her, from petty comments to cheating. Her continuous venting is ruining my image of my father and all men in general. What can I do to avoid becoming a cynic about love and dying an old maid?

“€”Ranting Mother in Baton Rouge

Dear Ranting Mother in Baton Rouge,

“€œIt is wildly unacceptable for parents to tell their children about their sexual escapades, relationship woes, or money trouble.”€

Tell your mother to shut up! It is wildly unacceptable for parents to tell their children about their sexual escapades, relationship woes, or money trouble. Tell her to stop venting about your father! Tell her to call a friend or get drunk and talk to herself. It matters very little whom she talks to”€”even the man at the gas station will do”€”as long as it is not you. If she simply cannot help herself, walk out of the room the second she starts into her rant, and do not let morbid curiosity get the better of you”€”it is nothing like watching surgery or gruesome accidents on TV or laughing when someone falls on their face getting off an escalator in an airport. You will not walk away from these talks unscathed. She is being selfish and it has to stop. If leaving the room does not work, leave the house. If she tries to get you on the phone to “€œchat,”€ hang up on her and keep hanging up until she stops talking about your father. If all else fails, find out if you can get a restraining order against her for emotional abuse, or draw up a contract with hefty monetary penalties for the mere mention of daddy dearest.

 

Dear Delphi,

I went to dinner to meet my daughter’s future in-laws. I apparently made mistakes and now my daughter is furious. I asked the future father-in-law’s present wife”€”she is wife number three, a pretty young thing who is probably at most 40″€”where she had gotten her face done, because it really did look great. I did not know what else to say, and I thought I was being polite by talking to her. Anyway, she was offended! Can you believe some people? I need to make it up to her or my daughter will kill me. Any suggestions?

“€”Foot in Mouth in Fort Lauderdale

Pay to Play - Put your money where your mouth is and subscribe for an ad-free experience and to join the world famous Takimag comment board.