Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My mother is Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest,” combined with the dirtiest, most slovenly beast you can conjure up. A bit of history: I was verbally and physically abused by her growing up, and she ignored the physical and sexual abuse I suffered from my older brother. Thankfully I’m a success story and have turned out to be a well-balanced adult.
My mother is still mentally unbalanced, and I have limited contact with her. I live on the other side of the country, which helps. However, I have a son (2 years old) and she wants to visit all the time. She is nice to my son, and he adores her. But she still treats me like a sack of dog poo.
She is a rude houseguest (she flicks her boogers in my living room), insults me and does whatever she can to make me miserable. I’ve tried talking it through with her, but she ignores me. The tension is thick in the house when she is here.
I’m just waiting for her self-inflicted diabetes to do her in, and I’ll kick her into the grave myself. In the meantime, how do I balance that my son loves his crappy grandma and not go postal on her? Do I ban her from my house and move on? My son seems to be the only thing in her life that is happy. She is so miserable, so is it wrong for me to cut him out? He only has one grandma.
I’ll Have Another Vodka Tonic, Thanks
Dear Another Vodka Tonic,
I need to turn the table and pose a question to you. I have two sons myself. Would your mother be open to having them as adoptive grandsons? I can’t imagine anything better than having an abusive, manipulative, passive-aggressive, miserable person be their grandmother.
I’ll even help her come up with offensive insults she can say to me. Would it be asking too much for her to say them in front of my children? It would set such a great example of how to treat others. Also, one of my sons eats his boogers, and it’d be great if your mother could teach him another improper way to dispose of his boogers.
Wow, I really can’t wait to get this adoption process started!
Seriously, Vodka Tonic, need I say more? Who am I kidding? I’m a Mouthy Housewife, of course I must say more.
Yes, ban her from your house and move on. Or, if you continue to have her over to your house, I insist you feed her only Twinkies and Ding Dongs, hoping to push her insulin to a fatal level.*
No, it is not wrong to cut your son out of her life. Her happiness, or lack thereof, is not a 2-year-old’s responsibility, or even yours.
Does he deserve to have at least one grandma? Admittedly, I don’t know all of the answer’s to life’s important questions, but here’s what I do know: Children deserve to be surrounded by people who love and support them, who show them how to live with kindness, compassion, and humility.
Children, or anyone for that matter, do not deserve to be around abusive people, and clearly your mother is still abusive to you. There is no law saying that in order for you to show her kindness and compassion, you must also have her active in your home.
*disclaimer: Not that TMH support homicide as a solution to abusive parents. However, a good bout with salmonella diarrhea could be in order.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Valentine’s Day is coming up and naturally, I’m still single. I was asked to a Valentine’s dinner with all other single women and it’s a good friend of mine so I feel obligated to go. But honestly, I find it very depressing to sit around with a bunch of single women on Valentine’s day. How do I get out of this without hurting her feelings?
Is it February 14th again?
Dear February 14th,
I’m all for a single girls’ night out. On any night BESIDES Valentine’s Day. First of all, there is no safe haven on Valentine’s Day. Every restaurant, every movie theater, even every 7-11 is packed with doey-eyed couples. And you should not have to stare at some boyfriend/girlfriend sharing a cherry slurpee while groping each other.
Because before you know it, you’ll be drunk on Valentine’s Day candy, tracking down that guy on Facebook you blew off years ago because he just smelled weird, just so you can go on a date. It won’t be pretty.
So don’t go out.
Even if your friend is having everyone over to her house, it’s still not a good idea. Because you just know you’ll have to make a quick stop for gas and of course you’ll run into your ex. Who’s driving a Lexus. With his girlfriend in the passenger seat. Who happens to be a swimsuit model.
A single girl can not undergo that kind of stress.
So just explain to your friend that you’d love do a dinner thing very soon (and put a date on the calendar) but you’d rather pretend Valentine’s Day is not happening at all. Then stay at home, order in some sushi and watch “The Hangover.” Go to bed early and it will all be over.
And one of these days, you will be running around town and you’ll need to stop for gas. And suddenly you’ll meet a really cute single guy who’s filling up his BMW. Turns out, he’s just the kind of guy that you can imagine sharing a slurpee.
And all of a sudden you’ll be the girl getting roses on Valentine’s Day. Except by that point, you won’t care anymore because you’ve got a great new boyfriend and Valentine’s Day is just a stupid, commercial holiday.
Wishing you a happy February 15th!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have a twice-a-month housekeeper (a HUGE luxury on my salary) who did a great job at first, but now she’s seriously slacking. When I first hired her, I went over what I expected. I pick up the house and clean the toilets before she comes because I don’t want her to think I’m a total slob. But the last time she came, I couldn’t even tell she’d been here other than the check I gave her was gone! She left dishes in the sink, trash in the trash cans and the beds unmade. I think she vacuumed, but I’m not sure. The mop was still dry too. I’m not sure WHAT she did. Should I not clean before she comes to make sure she’s actually doing something? Do I let her go via email, or do I call her and review the detailed list of what I expect and give her another chance?
Clean It Like You Mean It
Dear Clean It Like You Mean It,
I can totally relate to your problem because I, too, have the same issues with my slack-job of a cleaning woman. This poor excuse for a housekeeper never makes the beds, uses spit to clean the mirrors, and one memorable time last month, she chugged an entire bottle of hard cider, then shoved five Mr. Clean erasers into her pants so she could dust the credenza with her “boo-tay quake steam machine, yo.”
(Raise your hand if you’re the only person in the room who doesn’t yet realize that I’m my own cleaning woman.)
But yes, as we all know, having a real live housekeeper on your payroll is a true luxury, and therefore you definitely want to get your money’s worth. It sounds like she did an okay job up until recently, so I suggest sending her an email telling her that you aren’t happy with her current performance. Maybe she’s just having some personal issues and needs to be reminded to shape up. However, if that doesn’t work, you should certainly bite the bullet and tell her that she needs to take her Playtex rubber gloves elsewhere. (But don’t have this conversation when she’s holding a bottle of bleach or you may suddenly find yourself a brand-new blonde.)
Finally, what’s up with scrubbing your toilets before the cleaning woman comes? Do you also change your car’s oil before you take it to the mechanic? Wax your own hoo-ha before you go to the salon? Roughly manhandle your own breasts before you get a mammogram? Stick the specul—okay, you get my point. If you’re paying to have your house cleaned, put down the toilet brush, put up your feet and enjoy it, baby.
Because it sure beats spitting on your own mirrors.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I truly love my boyfriend. He’s the sweetest guy ever. We’ve been together for two years but here’s my problem. He’s late for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. 45 minutes late for Broadway plays, movies, my birthday dinner! This is the only thing we fight about. I really want to settle down with this guy but I don’t want to spend my life being late for everything. Any ideas, Mouthy Housewives?
Well, the good news is that as your relationship progresses, you will absolutely find new and different things to fight about. (Have you met his parents?) So if you are worried about spending a lifetime fighting over only one thing, let me assuage your fears! There’s a whole plethora of discord to look forward to! Yippee!
If, however, you want advice on how to adjust his internal clock, you’ve got the right Mouthy Housewife. Because I think that “fashionably late” is just “rude” with a great PR team behind it. So, to remedy your boyfriend’s tardiness, I suggest minor tinkering with his DNA, plus an alarm clock embedded in his frontal lobe. Sure, it’s expensive, but it will save you years of aggravation!
Seriously, this is what will not work: nagging, notes, withholding sex, not withholding sex, setting the clock ahead to ‘trick him’, lecturing him, silent treatment or public shaming. One night my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I had to be at a party at 8, and it was 8 and he was still getting ready. I was so happy because I was certain that he must have a time machine that would let us leave his place after 8 and yet arrive at our destination, across town, at 8. We were going to be rich! Alas.
He is late because he wants to be late. And he may enjoy the attention that he gets when he is late. Whatever the reason, you will never change him. And only you know if you can live like that.
It could be worse, you know. He could be one of those annoying punctual people.