Satire: How to ruin your parents’ marriage (if it isn’t already broken)
Strategies and benefits to take monetary advantage over the suffering of others
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental
Normalize being happy about divorce. There’s no reason to be pessimistic over failed love, and the reasons to rejoice in it are numerous and profound. In my last installation of financial advice for The Seagle, I promised a tutorial on how to get your parents to divorce. Although hypocritical, considering my own parents are still married, what’s more important than the emotional impact bad marriages have on children is the positive effect divorce has on people like me. I’ve seen first hand just how emotionally mature, rich and funny children of divorce can be.
Understand that FAFSA is a crucial player in positive divorce outcomes. Students with divorced or separated parents will receive better aid packages, since they are only required to disclose the financial information of one guardian. We should all see FAFSA as the dangling carrot of our academic and financial stability. Now, you may see yourself as a villain for toying with your parents’ emotional health and livelihood. But the real enemy here is late stage capitalism — it made you do this. You’re simply looking out for yourself. You don’t need a happy family; all you need is a head on your shoulders and as much money as possible. Plus, you can even pay for the divorce attorneys with all the money you’ve saved.
Here’s how to make it happen: subtly begin to sow the seeds of doubt in both of your parents’ minds. Thankfully, the law is on your side. Unfortunately, Ronald Reagan is the one we need to thank for this development. He was the first to eradicate the “established fault” requirement that was needed to file divorces in California, and other states soon followed suit. Thanks to Druglord Daddy Reagan, you don’t have to worry about the why’s; anything can be considered as grounds for divorce.
The finest architects of divorce just point out what’s already there. If your parents take your comments as genuine advice, something was already wrong. You’re only giving them the words to scream about it. The real challenge is having to hang out with your parents and treat them as if they’re more than just money bags ready to be milked. But you need to know your subjects before you destroy them.
Start by pointing out mistakes each parent makes — small ones that can seemingly be solved after a few minutes but could represent a deeper issue that’s been plaguing them for years. When one of them leaves socks on the floor, you have to point it out before either of them takes any action. Simply say, “Huh. Wouldya look at that. Your spouse left the dishes in the sink again.” Pause and give them a sympathetic look that says, “I'm sorry you have to deal with this,” gently pat their shoulder and offer to do the chore your parent seemingly neglected to do. They will interpret this situation as an example of a parent failing to do a simple responsibility and pushing it onto their own child. It’s a shady look, right?
Wait until the end of a stressful workday, preferably a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Tensions will already be running high due to the fact they are both absolute sheeps for the capitalist wheel. Stick to the regimen. If you try to do this on a peaceful weekend morning where everything looks more hopeful, you’ll embarrass yourself.
Every comment you make should be indirect and passive aggressive. The sword you’re sharpening isn’t sharp at all — you’re crafting a blunt blade of reality that’ll slap through your parents’ idiotic rose-colored glasses. To deliver the final blow, get a conspirator. Our readers should be charming enough to talk their way into getting a romantic partner, but if you’re struggling in that regard, hire someone — just do anything it takes to convince your parents your love is real. Show them how gleeful your days are, filled with spontaneity and passion, just enough to juxtapose their sad, eroding bond. They should notice their own child is infinitely younger than them, yet infinitely more wise in knowing how to keep a partner happy. Your youth should seal the deal — these geriatric sad sacks will be devastated remembering and yearning for the jovial memories of their youth.
Now, don’t be fooled into thinking this approach is extreme; if anything, it’s vanilla. If you heed our advice, your parents will give up and get the divorce, and you’ll be swimming in settlements, financial aid and whatever gift they’ll give you to convince you to love them more. What’s so wrong with advocating for yourself?
Jasmine Shi is a freshman at the School of Communication and a satire columnist for The Eagle.
This article was edited by Nora Sullivan, Alexis Bernstein and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Leta Lattin, Natasha LaChac and Sarah Clayton.