Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My friend recently had a baby and used the name that she knew that I wanted to name my daughter. (I don’t have any kids yet). Am I right to be annoyed? It’s an unusual name and I told it to her in confidence. I’m really upset.
Baby Name Nabbed
Dear Baby Name Nabbed,
My lawyers tell me that before I can answer your question I must confirm that your friend has not chosen the name: Decoupage-Rockefeller-Trumpâ„¢ because this would mean a Cease and Desist letter, as well as a huge monetary sum for emotional damages.
(We will proceed on the assumption, though, that she hasn’t infringed on my trademark.)
First, for the sake of this post let’s say your friend has named her daughter Apple. Let’s also suppose your friend goes by the initials G.P. Now, we all know G.P. can be quite self-centered; add that to pregnant mommy brain and it’s quite possible G.P. doesn’t remember where she heard the name and therefore doesn’t realize that she has stolen your coveted moniker.
If she’s a really good friend (I’m assuming that you are Madonna) then after you allow her a period of time to adjust to her new bundle of joy, you should talk to her about how this has made you feel. You can also sit back and observe how her daughter’s name is received by others and use it as a learning experience. It’s likely that when she’s a teenager “Apple” will be the butt of many a teenage boy joke. For instance: “Man, I could take a bite of that!” or “All she needs is a little bit of caramel. Sweet!”
Or, perhaps, you’re more Winona Ryder to her Gwynnie Paltrow and you feel as if she has just stolen something from you that is irreplaceable (hello Shakespeare in Love role). Then simply move on to other friendships that have never heard of the name Apple and then it’s all yours for the taking.
Today we’re super excited to welcome the very funny and creative Ilana from MommyShorts as our Guest Mouthy! You may recall that Ilana just snagged the (high coveted and majorly prestigious) Mouthy Housewives Seal of Approval and now she’s here to answer a question for us. Whooo! Thanks, Ilana!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Throughout the 18 years that I have been with my husband, I have established a disturbing pattern with my in-laws. I have let them guilt me into hosting every single family occasion- birthdays, holidays, showers, all of it! Even worse, they show up early EVERY time! If it was just my MIL that showed up early (she showed up 1.5 hours early for the last celebration), I could pin her down and let her know. But sometimes it’s my lovely sister in law and sometimes it’s my loud FIL, with his equally loud girlfriend. My husband has sympathy for me but he doesn’t say anything to them. What do I do? I’m sick of one of them showing up when I’m still preparing food, or sweeping the floor, or possibly getting out of the shower!
Dear In-Law Issues,
There is no excuse for company arriving early. You’ve already agreed to allow them into your home, feed them and put on your hostess face. The least your in-laws can do is not take up more of your time than necessary.
Since the problem persists with more than one family member, the best solution is to address them all at once. The most effective way to do this is to hang a sign on your front door.
“My invitation was for 6pm. Feel free to wait in your car.”
If your husband insists you entertain his family from the second they arrive, I suggest the following sign alternative:
“My invitation was for 6pm. I have left a game of Trivial Pursuit in the driveway to occupy you until that time.”
If your goal is to get other family members to take over hosting duties, take advantage of the fact that the in-laws are on your home turf. You are in the perfect position to ruin special occasions for them altogether.
For instance, for the next holiday dinner, send your dining room table out for refinishing and then make everyone eat on the floor.
If it’s a child’s birthday party you’re hosting, pick that time to announce your conversion to veganism. “Where’s the cake, auntie?” “Sorry, no can do. But here’s a plate of raw agave macaroons!”
For a baby shower, plan a game where everyone must tell their birthing horror stories. Serve placenta mocktails and invite the mom-to-be’s obstetrician to show instructional videos as entertainment.
The trick is to continue to act eager to host. I guarantee they’ll find another plan by Christmas.
Ilana, Guest TMH
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Help! I find when I go out for my much-needed, much-appreciated mommy night outs with my girlfriends, a few of my friends are a little too stingy with the tipping.
I often find other gals will have a few pinot grigios and eat two peanuts, which is fine, but that makes their portion of the bill sometimes as little as around $15 bucks, and leads some of them to leave tips of less than even $3. I find less than 20% unacceptable for good service, not to mention, when I’m cackling in a hard working wait server’s booth for half the night, I usually kick in much more than that.
So, I feel uncomfortable that my friend thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to leave a tip of less than a few bucks! We might not have big huge dinners, but with mousy appetites and chatty mouths, I feel like we’ve curtailed the server’s chances to generate more tip money– tips are how servers make most of their money, and let’s face it, times aren’t great. The last time I went out with a friend, I wound up leaving a $10 tip for the two $4 beers I had because I felt badly. Another time, I ordered food when I wasn’t really hungry and my muffin top so did not need that quesadilla!
I’m not Bill Gates, but I feel like I wind up compensating for certain friends over and over.
What should I do? I love my friends, but I’m kind of embarrassed and I’d like to keep going back to my favorite places and not get branded a cheapo!
Dear Big Tipper,
So, you and your friends have different ideas about tipping etiquette. They are going with the 15ish percent of the bill rule, and you are at the 20 percent mark with some extra thrown in for nursing a drink.
The problem is that neither side is clearly in the right. Of course if you’re a pinot-glass-is-half-full person, neither side is clearly in the wrong, either.
In most places, it is perfectly acceptable to tip 15% and there is no need to do a calculation of how long you sat at the table, how much business the waitperson lost by your hogging the table or how quickly the Earth spins on its axis.
You could of course try to cajole or pressure your friends a bit. When the bill arrives, grab it and then do a mathematical mumbo jumbo along the lines of, “Okay, so this is $80, let’s just say $100 with tip and let’s throw in another $10 since we hijacked this table for hours.”
You’ll get immediate feedback.
It’s possible that your friends are on a budget and are purposefully being judicious about not ordering a lot and tipping accordingly. Or it’s possible that they just never considered the issue and are just too pretty to do math. If they happily throw in their share, great! But if they resist, accept the tip that they consider fair and either make up the difference yourself or try to let it go.
Or you could try to befriend women with heartier appetites. I’m available.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My in-laws watch my daughter a few days a week while I work. My mother-in-law is a bit of a whacka-doo, but deep down a good person who just happens to drive me crazy. Yesterday she told me that she had my 1 year old daughter on her lap doing a “horsey ride” while she was taking a dump. Really?! Really?! You have got to be f*ing kidding me lady. Is that situation at all sanitary (I’m a bit of a germ-a-phobe)? I’m usually outspoken, but I was completely speechless and just left pissed off. Should I have said something? Is that possible to do without being offensive? Help!
(Wendi wipes sweat off her brow and tries to quell her waves of nausea with an old Thin Mint cookie she just found under her worktable.) (It’s totally not working.)
POOPING WHILE YOU HOLD YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER
IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Didn’t think I’d be saying that sentence when I woke up this morning, did I? But let’s recap: Your MIL was playing Horsey with your baby while she (the MIL) had a bowel movement. Then she had the friggin’ balls to TELL you about it? I do believe she’s just entered the annals of The Mouthy Housewives Mothers-In-Law From Hell, Volume 2.
I mean, I understand that watching a baby is tough and that you can’t always get away for “personal business,” but that’s why Graco invented Pack ‘n Plays, right? I would think your MIL could have just waited until the baby was asleep to do her #2, and if she for some reason couldn’t wait, then maybe she should be in diapers, too. Yikes.
However, here’s the thing: she’s your MIL. She’s your babysitter. And for those reasons, she totally owns you. Meaning, don’t make a stink. (See what I did right there? STINK!?) Unless this or something even weirder happens again, I’d just wince and bear it. She loves your baby and, in her eyes, she didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, she’s probably proud of her multi-tasking. So I say, let it go and be sure to dip your baby in Purell when you get her home, just for good measure.
That said, maybe I’m wrong (for once) and you actually should confront her and explain your boundaries. What do all y’all think? Let us know in the comments—we’re all ears.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
School is finally out which means we’re spending a lot of time at our neighborhood pool. It’s our first year as members, so I need some pool etiquette advice. Is it okay to let your kids play with pool toys that are randomly floating around in the water?
I’m of the mind that if my kids aren’t playing with their swim toys it’s perfectly fine to share them, but I’ve seen some Noodle Nazis get all territorial if a kid uses their swim toy/float that was left in the water. I don’t understand the big deal so I’m wondering if this is pool etiquette I don’t know about yet.
Also, what do you do about sunscreen on your back? Do you let your 4 year-old apply it and hope for the best or do you ask the cute lifeguard for help?
Lucky for you, I’m a member of an exclusive pool club – which of course means, I give them lots of money and they let me come swim in their freezing, my-nipples-are-now-standing-at-attention pool.
Yes, of course your kids can play with other children’s toys in the pool and you should share your toys too. Everyone should just write their name in permanent maker on all the toys and then there is no chance that you are going to take Lester Von Nester Bester the Third’s plastic watering can home with you. Or if you do by accident, just bring it back on your next trip. Sharing toys (especially when they are all floating around anyway) is good karma and those Noodle Nazis will suffer someday when their beloved noodle gets left in the yard and it’s eaten by a neighborhood dog. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.
There are also a few other pool etiquette issues you should be aware of….
1. If your kid poops in the kiddie pool, leave the premises immediately so you don’t subject yourself to death looks from other parents as the pool is drained and refilled.
2. If you wear your vodka flask around your neck or clipped to your bathing suit, it will be more of an accessory and may not fall under the “No Food or Drinks” in the pool area rule.
3. Shouting, “Funky Cold Medina!” at the top of your lungs while doing a cannonball is not the quickest route to making new friends at the pool. Apparently other ladies with fresh blowouts don’t like to get splashed, even in the spirit of Tone Loc.
In regards to applying sunscreen to your back, you have several options. You can wear a gigantic, Hawaiian print muumuu that makes the need for sunscreen obsolete.
Another option (as you mentioned) is to ask the hot lifeguard for help. Now at our club, most of the lifeguards fly in each summer from the Netherlands and speak very little English. So you can request for one of them to apply sunscreen but they will probably misunderstand and carve you some wooden shoes.
Finally, you can get your kid to do it but you run the risk of being crowned Miss Lobster USA. So until you have friends at the pool who are willing to touch the age spots on the back of your neck, I would just buy one of those spray sunscreens and do it yourself.
The Mouthy Housewives have a new best friend – Betty! You can now find more funny, maybe even helpful advice from The Mouthy Housewives on Betty Confidential. Like ever wonder what to do when your friend has a pubic garden growing out of her bikini bottoms?! We have the answer! Click here.
And on to other non pubic hair related news… the winner of Stefanie Wilder-Taylor’s great new book, I’m Kind of a Big Deal: And Other Delusions of Adequacy is BrittanyandTahn! Congrats!! Just send your address to TheMouthyHousewives@gmail.com.
Finally, we have another giveaway. I know. We give and we give. This week one lucky reader will win a $30 gift certificate to Little Dittys, which sells super cute tee’s and other clothes for infants, kids and adults. 4-year-old Summer is modeling one of their adorable shirts here.
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment and mention Little Dittys. Also, don’t forget to visit and “like” the Little Dittys facebook page. Good luck everyone!