Dear Abby: Divorcing couple force daughter, 16, into their arguments

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DEAR ABBY: I’m 16 and my parents are getting a divorce. It is really hard. They put me in the middle a lot in their arguments, like I’m a counselor.

I have told them repeatedly I don’t like it, and they promise it won’t happen again, but it does. They both tell me their sides of the story, but they never bother to listen to my feelings and what I want to say.

It’s like I have to be the adult/parent, while all I want is for them to hear me without getting upset.

How do I bring this up? — GIRL IN THE MIDDLE

DEAR GIRL: Your parents have placed you in a no-win position. What they are doing to you is extremely unfair.

If you have a trusted aunt, uncle or grandparent you can confide in, enlist their help in delivering the message to your parents that their behavior is destructive. While your parents may be able to tune you out when you ask not to be involved in their marital problems, they may be less likely to ignore the message if they hear it from another adult.

If you don’t have a relative you can confide in, then enlist the help of a counselor at school.

DEAR ABBY: I have a question about resumes. Over the last six years — from the ages of 18 to 24 — I have worked three jobs. One was full-time, two were part-time and each lasted two years. (They were baking at a local bakery, serving at a restaurant and being a file clerk.)

Now that I have my nursing degree, should I mention my previous employment on my resume when applying for a nursing position? I don’t want it to look like I can’t make up my mind when it comes to employment, but I also don’t want it to appear like I have never worked a day in my life. Thoughts? — WANTS TO BE A NURSE

DEAR WANTS TO BE A NURSE: If you list your dates of prior employment — as well as the date you received your nursing degree — it should be apparent that you were working toward your nursing degree all along.

Before you are hired, you will be personally interviewed, which will give you the opportunity to not only explain what you have to offer, but also point out that your resume reflects that you’re a hard worker. That’s important information, and you should use all of your “ammunition” to land the job you’re looking for.

DEAR ABBY: I haven’t seen this mentioned in your column. I live in a big city and go to restaurants I hear or read about from time to time.

While the food and service are generally great, the noise level is often so loud it makes conversation extremely difficult. Whether I’m part of a couple or in a small group, I have to shout to make myself heard across the table.

Can you explain why the noise level in these trendy — and often expensive — restaurants is so high? — DOWN WITH DECIBELS

DEAR D.W.D.: Alas, I can. The din is no accident.

When diners in a restaurant can easily converse, they tend to linger. The restaurant makes more money if it can turn the tables a time or two or three, so it is designed with high ceilings, no carpets, loud music, and nothing on the surfaces to buffer the sound. Got it?

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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