You all know how much we here at The Mouthy Housewives appreciate a good trend. Whether it’s fashion, a new exercise, or an up-and-coming travel destination, we are all over that mess. Kristine, for example, is currently rocking an electric blue shoulder-padded blazer with geometric buttons and Marinka just booked a vacation to Kokomo. Try not to be jealous or Wendi, Kelcey and Karen won’t share their clove cigarettes with you.
That’s why, when we heard about a new trend on the rise, we immediately called a Mouthy Meeting at the clubhouse. (Which is just like a Meetin’ in the Ladies Room, only no one’s peeing.) Anyway, the trend that has us all excited is called Boudoir Photography and it comes in the form of a party, ladies. Obviously, we were instantly intrigued. So much so that Karen started stripping immediately. After dousing her with some cold water, we went over the logistics. We’d have to throw a party with the goal of feeling more empowered and the achievement of a deeper bond within our friendship. A photographer would be called to document the session. Oh, and we’d be stark naked. Suddenly, there was a flurry of chatter as we all started talking at once.
Kelcey: Naked? As in birthday suit? But do they airbrush?
Marinka: Please. I’m naked on my balcony every Sunday morning. It’s nothing half of Manhattan hasn’t seen already.
Kristine: I’ve always wanted to do porn!
Wendi: Yeah, Kristine, if you’ve “always” wanted to do porn, why did you say “no” when I brought over my camcorder and friend Tommy Long Schlong last week?
Karen: I just did one of these photo shoots with my mother-in-law last week for our annual holiday card! So fun!
In the end, we booked the photographer, and, I must say, we had the time of our lives smooshing our pancaked breasts against one another’s armpits. Femininity? Stronger than ever! Friendship? We’re talking Single White Female level, here!
What do you think? Personally, I don’t think we’ve ever looked more…natural. The whole thing was such a raging success that we’ve already scheduled another meeting to go over our next trend-setting party. So far, this is what we’ve come up with:
1. Boudoir Cooking! (We just need to find tiny hair nets.)
2. Boudoir Shoe Shopping! (Nothing says confidence like a public nudity citation from Macy’s!)
3. Boudoir Exercise! (You thought Spinning was painful before you jammed your bare lady parts on a bike seat!)
4. Boudoir Marriage! (Yes, we’re even thinking of getting naked in front of our spouses! A FIRST!)
We’d love to hear your input, ladies! And don’t hesitate to share your own Boudoir Photography images! (Please, no Photoshop.)
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I recently found out that my very first boyfriend is getting married again, and I cannot quit obsessing over it.
We dated when I was very young – my senior year of high school and freshman year in college. I was sure at the time he was “the one” for me. As it turns out, he wasn’t, and we went our separate ways.
After college, I moved home and we started seeing each other again. Naively, I believed we were on the way to getting back together. It took me seeing him out one night with another girl to realize that I was only a booty call to him, not a serious relationship prospect. The last time I spoke with him was over 20 years ago, when he called to invite me to come over for the evening. I was dating a new guy, who would eventually become my husband, so I turned him down.
He has had a string of failed relationships – at least two divorces that I know of. I, on the other hand, have been married, more or less happily, for nearly 20 years.
The fact of the matter is, it was never going to work with this guy. We came from two different worlds socioeconomically, and we live in different worlds now. Think Lexus Soccer Mom and Tattooed Harley Man. I am in middle management with a 6-figure salary, he has held the same blue collar job since the 1980s. We wanted different things from life. We had little in common 25 years ago beyond teenage hormones and unlimited time together, and we don’t have a thing in common now besides two years of history.
So tell me, if you can, why I even give a damn about this? It wasn’t meant to be 25 years ago, I’ve been happy for 20 years without him, and I cannot understand what is driving me to be so interested in him now after all this time.
Do I need therapy? Is my marriage a sham? Is this standard 40-something behavior for a woman to look back and wonder what might have been? Is it okay that I think his new wife looks like a hooker, and not the pretty kind?
I can’t imagine discussing this with my husband, although I’ve thought about it. Honestly, there isn’t anything I’m missing at home. My husband loves me, respects me, takes great care of me and our kids. We don’t argue much, and while our life isn’t the most exciting, we have a happy home and activities we enjoy. It would kill him to know I’m even thinking of the other guy, much less obsessing over him.
I really would like someone to tell me what I need to do to shut the book on that chapter of my life. Can anyone help?
Make Me Stop
Dear Make Me Stop,
Let me type something that may put this whole thing in perspective. I do not know of one woman in this universe who upon hearing that her ex-boyfriend of whatever vintage is getting married, doesn’t stop whatever she is doing, Google the hell out of everything related to the ex, his new wife, their alma maters, pets and astrological signs.
We, I mean, “they” do this because we are human. We do this because we are sentimental. We do this because sometimes it feels good to remember what we were like at 19. So while I think that your interest is absolutely normal, I am concerned that you are “obsessing” over this situation. You need to be honest with yourself- what do you think is going on? While you described your life now as pretty dreamy, I wonder if you feel that you’re missing some excitement of the Harley variety. You made it clear that you are from different socio-economic worlds and yet I’ve heard tell that people can be attracted and fall in love across income tax brackets. So while you recognize that you and the Ex have different life goals and plans, it does not mean that you did not find him crazy attractive in other ways. I believe the psychological terms for this Madonna-whore phenomenon for women is Joseph-Harley.
It would not hurt to have a few sessions with someone to talk this through. It may be just that you need to acknowledge the teenage attraction and to confirm that it did not feel good to be the booty call and not be treated seriously. And no, I do not think it is a good idea to discuss this with your husband at this point. It would be hurtful to use him as a sounding board and he may not have the tools to help you process what you are going through. And a therapist can help you focus on what is happening now in your own life that is making his apparently third marriage of so much interest to you. (I am assuming from your letter that you did not obsess about the first two.) Are your kids getting ready to leave home? Are they dating themselves?
I hope you get the answers you need soon.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I just graduated from high school and my mother and I are planning my graduation party. It’s supposed to be fun, but it’s only caused a lot of fighting and heartache. First it started with old school photos she wanted to display at the party. I just wanted the few photos that I like, but my mom wants to put ALL OF THEM–from kindergarten to now. Some of them are embarrassing pictures of me because I was a pretty chubby kid.
The other night, while I was in the middle of watching my favorite show, she pulled out the bag of pictures to show my father, little sister and me. She got offended at my lack of attention and the fact that I said some of the photos were embarrassing. But we said our good nights and it seemed as though nothing was wrong.
I woke up the next day and my mom pulls out a box of graduation goodies she ordered, suddenly commenting that I can just do everything by myself. I AM SO CONFUSED. In a harsh tone, she tells me that if I am so embarrassed about her work than I can do it all by myself. She won’t have anything to do with it. I cried and went to my room.
I called my dad to tell him the situation. He reassured me it will all be fine, but mom is the type where when she gets mad, you better stay out of her sight. My sister approached me and asked if I got in trouble, I nodded my head and told her “mom’s not gonna be at my party,” and she looked shocked.
I don’t know if my mom heard me tell my sister that, but suddenly my mom snapped. She came stomping out of her room and started yelling and throwing things. Then she said that we’re all not going to be able to live together in the house for the summer. She jokes a lot about being sent to a mental institutition, but she said this time that she really needs to go.
Now I’m back in my room, crying a river. I want to get out of here but I can’t leave my sister. I am an honor student, involved in many activities and organizations, and I did not just complete 13 years of schooling for this shit. I don’t know what to do anymore. If I am the problem in this equation, shouldn’t I be removed, permanently?
I guess I just wanted to tell someone – someone that wouldn’t risk repercussions. Thanks for listening.
Hurting and Confused Graduate
Dear Hurting and Confused Graduate,
Oof, my heart. I am so, so sorry that you are going through this during what should be a very exciting, happy time of your life. I feel the need to tell you congratulations on your graduation. Maybe set off some damn fireworks, girl. Despite the chaos that is surrounding you at the moment, this is something of which you should be proud. Take a moment to tell yourself how proud you are if no one else is doing it for you.
I don’t know your mother or your family dynamic, but I don’t need to see those things to understand that your mother is being emotionally manipulative and abusive. You should abso-freakin-lutely be able to tell your mother that you feel embarrassed without it initiating World War III. Your feelings are valid. That was not something your mother needed to take personally. What you endured says more about your mother’s feelings of validation, worthiness, and self-confidence and virtually NOTHING about you. So please also take a moment to tell yourself that: this is not about you. You are not a bad person. You are not a bad daughter. Your feelings are not bad. And while I don’t condone how your mother is treating you, I’m sure she loves you very much.
I feel so powerless trying to help you through a computer screen, so I want to offer you some resources that can be more reliable and immediate. Visit hopeline.com or call 1-800-442-HOPE if you’re feeling overwhelmed. I worry when you say that you need to be “removed, permanently” from this situation that you’re referring to suicide, and believe me when I say that the world is begging you not to. (Because, you aren’t the problem. You are valuable. You are loved. Hell, I love you because I feel your pain and I know you don’t deserve it. Anyone reading this will feel the same.) You can also call domestic violence hotlines because emotional abuse within the family falls into this category. Visit NCADV for local, state-based numbers, websites, and email addresses.
When you’re feeling especially lost, remember that this is temporary. Your life gets better. I swear. You may hear us crazy, old housewives whining all the time, but it’s all very much so worth it.
Take care of yourself,
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have always loved my sister-in-law, even though she’s always been outspoken and bossy and I’m not. But as we’ve gotten older, when she comes to visit she makes comments about my house and the way we serve dinner etc. She says we have too much “stuff” in our house.
My house isn’t bad at all, but not the showplace that hers is — she has no life other than keeping house and babysitting her grandkids — I’m working, performing, doing community work etc. I hate to cook and hubby and I always invite her & her boyfriend out to eat when they come to visit, but she insists on eating in and having me cook, and the table has to be set a certain way etc. So after I rearrange things and get out all the proper dishes etc., as soon as we eat dinner, she then goes to bed as she’s an early to bed/early to rise type, while I’m a night owl and would love to stay up and talk.
I find myself getting really angry at her in my head even when she’s not around, wondering whether I should tell her to stop ‘bossing’ me around in my own home next time she visits. She has even gone through some of my kitchen drawers and tossed things out that she felt I didn’t need anymore. I’m a person who likes to keep the peace no matter what, but she’s getting to me. Fortunately they don’t visit that often as they live a couple of hours away. Would love to see your opinion on this one.
Tired of Keeping the Peace
Dear Tired Peace-Keeper,
She goes through your kitchen drawers and throws out things she feels you don’t need anymore? What the WHAAAAT??!!!
Girl, you are way too nice. There is keeping the peace, and then there’s being a doormat. Your sister-in-law sounds incredibly rude and demanding, but it also sounds like you — and your husband — have let her get away with this behavior for years.
The problem is, if you called her up right now and said, “I hate how bossy you are when you come to my house!” she would have no clue what you’re talking about because you have never once called her on any of her bad behavior. And now, you’ve let your frustration with her build so much that as soon as she walks in the door on her next visit and says, “Hello,” you’ll scream, “Stop bossing me around!”
Look, I get it. I hate confrontation. Hate it, hate it, hate it. But having imaginary fights saps your energy, and doesn’t solve the problem. So, you have a few choices:
1. The next time you invite them for a visit, insist on going out for the meal. If the sister-in-law pushes back, do NOT back down. Don’t bring up the past, just tell her you really don’t feel like having people over, and if she won’t go out, maybe they should plan a visit for another time when they are willing to go out.
2. I’ve actually given this advice before. If you cave, and have them over to your house, every time your SIL does one of her bossy/inappropriate/rude things, turn to your husband and shout “Drink!” When she asks what that’s about, laugh it off and tell her it cracks you guys up how bossy she is all the time.
3. Go to her house! Give her a taste of her own medicine. Maybe move something from the downstairs bathroom to the upstairs bathroom and tell her you think it looks better that way. Two wrongs may not make a right, but sometimes they sure to feel good.
You sound like a good person. You deserve to have people treat you nicely in return.
A very strange thing happened yesterday in American politics. And that strange, aberrant and unprecedented thing was that a Republican lawmaker blamed one of our country’s problems on…wait for it…women! Crazy, huh? That sort of thing hasn’t happened since, like, hmmmm, well, the day before yesterday, probably.
The latest slam against the female gender comes from Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant who told the Washington Post that America became “so mediocre” in regard to educational outcomes because, “I think both parents started working. And the mom is in the work place.” He then backtracked a little and tried to say the cause was both parents, but it’s telling that his first culprit was everyone’s favorite target, moms.
But honestly, is there anything worse than working moms? They’re always ruining it for everyone! All those ladies care about is putting on their shoulder-padded business suits so they can strut around the boardroom and pretend they’re Susan Dey on LA Law. They certainly don’t care about putting their brilliant minds and college degrees to use. Or seeking personal fulfillment. Or even contributing to their family’s budget so their kids don’t fall below the poverty line because most modern families survive on two incomes. No, those hose beasts are just selfish females.
And we speak from experience because all of us were raised by strong, independent working moms. And it’s 100% their fault we didn’t get full ride scholarships to Harvard, master Chinese at age four or learn how to spell “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis” correctly. Losers.
But maybe Governor Bryant, who runs a state that regularly ranks the lowest in education, is on to something. After all, why blame cuts in educational funding, teaching to the test or a broken system when you can instead just jump on the “blame women and moms” bandwagon that’s become so popular lately? Really, when you think about it, it seems totally obvious that most of the world’s problems are caused by moms:
1. Global Warming! Where do you think all that hot air is coming from?!
2. Deforestation! You know women and their…feminine paper products.
3. The Syrian Civil War! Bashar al-Asaad is in a bad mood and we ALLLL know why. (Lookin’ at you, Mrs. Asma al-Asaad!)
4. Breast Cancer! I mean, if we didn’t have such an abundance of damn cleavage in the world.
5. Obesity! Is it too much to ask moms to cook some damn dinner instead of driving through Mc High Fructose Corn Syrup for every meal?
6. Terrorists! Probably wore store-bought Halloween costumes.
7. Scandal-plagued Congressmen! Anthony Weiner’s mother was a math teacher.
8. Measles Outbreaks! If Jenny McCarthy would just shut her mouth. (No, wait, that one may be on point.)
We could go on, but…let’s not. In fact, if we could shelve this whole argument for, say, the foreseeable future, that’d be great. Ya hear that, Governor Bryant?