Dear Mouthy Housewives,
This is the most ridiculous question ever but I don’t know my cleaning woman’s name. She has pronounced it for me several times but she has such a thick accent that I can never quite get it. I once asked her to spell it so I could put it in my phone but what she spelled seemed to have no correlation to how she pronounced it. At this point, I’m totally embarrassed to ask her again. She is really good at her job and I don’t want to insult her. Please help.
What’s in a Name?
You’re kidding me, right? Not only do you have to pay these people, but now they have a name? And if I’m reading between the lines here accurately, a non-American one at that. Some people have nerve. I’m really starting to understand why our forefathers, welcoming the off-the-boat immigrants to Ellis Island, just Americanized their names. Because they foresaw this exact problem, and they didn’t have our foremothers, The Mouthy Housewives, to turn to. It’s amazing that the country didn’t implode.
But I definitely see your problem. If immigration comes knocking (you’re not in Arizona, are you?) you want to be able to pronounce her name correctly.
So here are your options:
Have a friend pop by while the cleaning woman is there. Do one of those half-assed introductions, “Oh, let me introduce you–this is my friend Charlotte, and this is- ” and then be seized with a coughing, sneezing or some other kind of involuntary fit that will allow you to suspend the introduction and hopefully the cleaning woman will take over. This is tricky because you’ll have to make sure that you’re coughing/sneezing/seizing quietly so that your friend can actually hear the name. Repeat with as many friends as necessary, alternating fits.
To take it up a notch, insist that one of your friends hires this woman. This way, the friend is tasked with finding out her name, its etymology and reporting it back to you. The obvious benefit to this is that someone else does all the work. The possible problem is that perhaps none of your friends is looking to hire a cleaning woman right now, but that’s because they are not thinking of The Greater Good. You should probably report them to Homeland Security.
Another idea, only if you’ve tried everything else (including consulting a psychic) is to ask your cleaning lady directly. Say something like, “I’m really embarrassed, but I’m having a hard time pronouncing your first name. Can you say it again, slowly?” This has the benefit of implying that you have absolutely no problem pronouncing her middle and last names, as well as the names of all her ancestors and pets.
And if all else fails, just call her Supreme Goddess of Cleanliness. Or Heidi Klum.
Please welcome Laura, of Momtrolfreak, as our special Guest Mouthy Housewife. I’ve been a fan of Laura’s for over a year now (we’ll be celebrating our anniversary shortly) and if you’re not already a fan, you’re in for a treat! Laura’s blog is both funny and smart, just like she is. And just like you, dear reader, are. So after you read Laura’s advice here, head on over to Momtrolfreak for more wisdom and humor! -Marinka
Note from the future: Laura now writes at this site.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Even though I try to shield them, my kids have now seen sex scandals like John Edwards and Tiger Woods on the news. It got them confused, and now they want to know why those men did that to their wives. What do I tell them?
Personally, I wouldn’t expose my kids to such filth as ‘politics’ and ‘golf.’ I’ll bet you let them watch Jeopardy and look up words in the OED, too. What’s next, NOVA? If you don’t have the sense to steer them towards wholesome media like Rock of Love and WWF Smackdown, at least let them watch Jersey Shore (I think it’s on PBS).
Bygones. You don’t mention your kids’ ages, so I’ll give you some options:
Infants: No flirting with waitresses. Waitresses were all over my baby like white on rice; nip that crap in the bud. Also: purge your home of ‘shape-sorter’ toys. Great for fine motor manipulation, but it has been my experience that boys do not need encouragement to stuff their ‘personal belongings’ in the nearest available hole.
Preschoolers: Moral: Lying is bad. It’s sometimes hard to tell the truth, but not nearly as hard as being beaten with a frying pan, crashing your car, doing 45 days in rehab and losing your endorsements. So think about that, little Timmy, before you tell me whether you washed your hands after you peed.
Tweens: These men allowed fame to fool them into thinking they were above moral obligations. The lesson is not to be distracted by shiny objects or fake, bouncy ones. No matter how popular or talented you are or how maniacally perfect your hair, there is no excuse for banging a ho hurting those you love.
Teenagers: Sex is special, shared between two consenting adults and a video camera. Sex is wonderful when engaged in responsibly with someone who served you pancakes you love to pay large sums of money. Also? Condoms.
Regardless of age, reassure your children, loudly and in your husband’s presence, that Daddy would never do that to Mommy because Daddy is scared of Mommy. And if you ever find your husband playing with a shape sorter, seek legal counsel immediately.
Laura, Guest TMH
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Why don’t hubbies like to give pocket money to their wives who don’t work? They run the house, take care of the kids, etc. How can housewives get a little fun money from their husbands?
Dear Mrs. Pauper,
I’d like to welcome you to our first ever Time Warp Thursday. Just step into our time machine, watch me set the dial back to 1952, and enjoy the wormhole!
Here we are in 1952, and I assume from your question this is the period you live in. That, or you’re an alien from another galaxy. Either way, even in the pre-feminist ’50s, women have ways of getting money out of their husbands. One is through a women’s movement called Oral Sex for Mink Coats. The ideology is women perform special sexual favors for their husband, who will be so pleased and satisfied that he happily gives his wife whatever money she wants.
We move forward to 1980 and PETA shows up, putting an end to the Oral Sex for Mink Coats movement (how dare they), so women are left to do what they must, thus creating the era of Homemaker Embezzlement & Money Laundering. Few are even aware of this dark period in housewifery, so let me explain how it works.
“Why yes, honey, little Susie’s shoes did cost $39.95. It’s impossible to find kids’ shoes under $30 anymore!”
And then you take the $15 left (because Susie’s shoes only cost $15 in 1985), “accidently” wash it with Wednesday’s laundry and it’s yours to keep. Everyone knows any money found in the washer is the wife’s money. This laundering works on grocery money too. An added bonus is, like all laundered money, you don’t pay taxes on it.
Now we enter the time period called the Present, where Feminism dictates such tactics as Oral Sex for Mink Coats and Homemaker Embezzlement & Money Laundering as beneath us. What did the women of the 1960’s sacrifice for if not for our right to an ATM card?! Why did they burn all of those bras if not for us to have a Paypal account secretly linked to our joint checking?! Sure, get a job if you want, but in this day there is no asking your husband for pocket money anymore. You just take it because it’s half yours anyway.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have a friend who feels the need to summarize every movie she’s seen. Even if I say something like “I’m planning on seeing that,” she’ll keep going, with a quick “This is all in the coming attractions, so I’m not ruining anything for you.” It’s annoying. What do I do?
Shut Your Trap Gene Shalit Wannabe
Dear Shut Your Trap,
Does your friend give away TV shows too? Because my DVR is pretty backed up over here with programs like “Melrose Place,” “90210” and “The Good Wife” and maybe she could save me a whole lot of couch potato time by just telling me what happens.
Most of us who have children don’t get to the movies much, so we definitely don’t want a recap before we go. And your friend’s logic about coming attractions makes no sense because we all know previews give you the whole story too. After seeing the trailer for Jennifer Aniston’s movie, “The Bounty Hunter,” does anyone really think there are going to be some stunning, surprise plot twists in this flick?
You just need to be more forceful in shutting your friend down when she becomes Miss Spoiler Alert. As she launches into a detailed description of “Date Night,” just say, “Tina Fey and Steve Carell are my favorites so don’t tell me a thing. I hate knowing anything about a movie before I see it.” And then quickly change the subject to something else she can drone on about… “So tell me about your new tummy tuck!”
And I might avoid the professional movie reviews as well. I’m still bitter about all the people who proclaimed that “Slumdog Millionaire” was the feel good movie of the year. As I sat through two hours of poverty, violence and horrid child abuse… I thought, when exactly am I going to start to feel good?!
And I can’t stand those ninnies who have been insisting that “Hot Tub Time Machine” is as good or better than “The Hangover.” “Hot Tub Time Machine” is a super gross, mediocre movie that is too heavy on the hot tubs and too light on Bradley Cooper (so light that he’s not in it at all). To prove my point, let me just say that it begins with one of the actors pulling BMW keys out of a dog’s anus. Sorry, hope I didn’t ruin the movie for you.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My daughter recently got invited to a birthday party where, instead of gifts, they want a donation to a specific charity. Unfortunately, they didn’t choose a nice, noncontroversial charity like books for disadvantaged kids, rather they chose one with more of a political leaning. I’m not comfortable donating to this cause, but I hate to ignore the host’s wishes. I don’t know the mother well enough to feel comfortable discussing it with her, so what should I do?
Dear Donation Debra,
First of all, let’s agree that asking for a charitable donation in lieu of yet another Polly Frickin’ PickPocket that’s just going to be thrown on the ground and stepped on until you finally toss her in the trash in a fit of Mommy rage is actually a good thing. Yes? We’re all on board here? Good.
Now exactly how controversial is the organization she’s asking you to support? Is it something like Citizens Against Global Warming, or is it something even more exciting like the Spencer Pratt for President Fund? (And not to get too political here, but I think he could totally win if he formed the Douchebag Political Action Committee and enlisted the help of Jon Gosselin, Charlie Sheen, Larry King, Jesse James and The Situation. I mean, that’s a lotta d-bag bang for your buck right there, my friend.) (Possible campaign slogan: “Vote For Pratt, The Jerk In The Ed Hardy Hat.”)
Now, I could advise you to just go along with the donation, then make a donation to a polar opposite organization—thereby they’d cancel each other out—but the fact of the matter is, if the charity is one you’d rather not support, then by all means don’t. Since you say you’re not comfortable talking to the mother about the issue, just tell her that your daughter can’t make it to the party and you’ll be off the hook for a gift. Yes, this is totally the wussy way out, but I really think it’s the least sticky thing to do. The bad news is that your daughter will be missing out on a party, but the good news is you’ll avoid what could be an uncomfortable situation.
And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take my integrity over a crap goodie bag any day.