Both his parents were educators, mom

Margaret

an English teacher, dad

Richard

, a high school principal. So it's no wonder

John Mayer

, 33, is such a great pedagogue. The New York Post says the "Heartbreak Warfare" singer recently dispensed sage advice to a female fan he encountered in New York's Wicker Park.

"He said that she was going to make someone very happy one day," Anonymous Source tells the Post, "as long as she remembered to talk dirty while having sex."

Oprah Winfrey, U.S. ambassador . . .

No, she hasn't been asked by the White House to assume a diplomatic assignment, but

Oprah Winfrey

would be a natural for the job - so

Colin Powell

once told the New Age guru.

The Big O says she once made an offhand remark to Powell. "An ambassador, I think that would be really great," she says she told him. "He goes, 'Name your country, baby, name your country.' "

DJ Pauly D, ambassador of Jersey, yo

Pesky

Jersey Shore

pest

Paul DelVecchio

, known to millions as

DJ Pauly D

, has signed a deal with MTV to star in his very own reality show. It'll follow the recording artist's amazing career as a wannabe superstar.

Dustin Hoffman, hater of love?

Know why

Dustin Hoffman

really

interrupted

Katharine Ross

' wedding at the end of

The Graduate

? He hates marriage!

"There is nothing more unnatural than family or marriage," Dustin, 73, said at a Little Fockers press confab in New York.

"That's why they're both so difficult." (Note: Dustin's on his second wife, Lisa Gottsegen, whom he wed in 1980. Anne Byrne was his first.)

D-Hoff's solution: Forget all the dross about romantic love cooked up by The Man to keep the bourgeoisie down.

"Arranged marriages I think make a lot of sense because you're not under the pressure of being in love," he said. "It's an easy contract."

All you need is love (& a contract)

Monaco's

Prince Albert

- son of our most beloved

Grace Kelly

- will enter into a matrimonial contract with South African backstroke swimmer

Charlene Wittstock

al fresco, the palace has announced. In an unusual move, the gates will remain open and there will be giant TV monitors to allow 4,000 members of

The Great Unwashed

to watch the ceremony, which also will be broadcast live internationally.

Britain's Daily Mail says Simon Cowell's fiancee, Mezhgan Hussainy, joined her man in Barbados for their holiday - only to find that Si also had flown down his ex-gf, Sinitta Malone, five days earlier. There's tension. And sniping.

Kelsey Grammer, 55, has filed court papers to bar his soon-to-be ex-wife, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Camille Donatucci Grammer, 42, from withdrawing $ from his business accounts, says RadarOnline. (Yes, there's tension. Perhaps even sniping.) Kelsey filed for divorce in June after 13 years of marriage. He has replaced the younger Camille with an even younger fiancee, 29-year-old Kayte Walsh.

Postpartum depression ain't a picnic, says Gwyneth Paltrow, who has two kids, Apple, 6, and Moses, 4, with rocker Chris Martin. "You don't want anybody to know that you're depressed or crying all the time," Us Weekly says Gwyn reveals in an upcoming E! Entertainment special. "There's this shame that we bring to it, and it's incredibly debilitating and scary, and you just don't feel like yourself."

Remembering the dearly departed

The holidays evoke memories fond and aggrieved for survivors of two departed celebs.

Michelle Williams tells Nightline that as the years go by, it has become more difficult to think of the '07 death of her beau, Heath Ledger, who left her a daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger, 5. "In a strange way, I miss that year, because all those possibilities that existed then are gone," she said. "It didn't seem unlikely to me that he could walk through a door or could appear behind a bush. It was a year of very magical thinking."

Brittany Murphy's mother, Sharon, also relies on imagination to deal with her loss - the Eight Mile actress died of pneumonia last December, while her husband, Simon Monjack, 39, died of similar causes just five months later.

"It's beyond strange. I don't have answers for it," Sharon tells In Touch Weekly. "Sometimes, just in order to function, I pretend it didn't happen." Sharon is writing a book about Brit's life, tentatively titled So Beautiful.

Leave politics to . . . Tinseltown

The Washington Post says Speaker of the House (for a few days more)

Nancy Pelosi

(D., Calif.), has tapped one of the nation's foremost political philosophers to help rebrand House Democrats -

Steven Spielberg

. The

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

director has previously helped inject showbiz pizzazz into the 2008 Democratic National Convention and other Dem do's.

Spielberg's rep, Marvin Levy, won't confirm or deny, simply saying, "I can say as a longtime spokesman for Steven that he has made it his career to direct actors, not political figures."

Meanwhile, that great pedagogical repository of all things political science, mtvU, has named Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates as its inaugural man of the year. Whoa! So he's some rad rocker? "It is somewhat counterintuitive," says MTV suit Stephen Friedman. "But . . . he's really a role model as a public servant who has avoided the partisan rhetoric."

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services and websites. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.