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by Abigail Van Buren

Classy Girlfriend Takes Mom's Slip of the Tongue in Stride

DEAR ABBY: Our oldest son has had a girlfriend for almost two years. She's a lovely, kind and quality person, the type you would want him to marry. The problem I'm having is that I have slipped and called her by the name of his former girlfriend. This happens sometimes during casual conversation, especially when I'm not concentrating. I have tried to be careful because I don't want to hurt her or my son's feelings, but sadly, I have.

I know she has heard me at least a couple of times. I have no affinity for the former girlfriend. Abby, this is damaging my relationship with my son and his girlfriend although she is too classy to say a word. What do I do? -- HEARTBROKEN IN NEW ENGLAND

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: When it happens again -- and it may -- apologize, explain that it's embarrassing, and you don't know why it happens. Then thank her for being as classy as she has been about it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics