31 Oct
What Do I Tell My Kid About Occupy Wall Street?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My 11 year old started asking me questions about the Occupy Wall Street movement and I’m stumped about what to tell him.

It almost makes me miss Pokemon.

Any ideas?

Signed,

PreOccupied

___________________________________

Dear PreOccupied,

Oh, kids today with their questions!   Whatever happened to the good old days when they were seen and not heard?!

Apparently those days are gone forever and now we have to deal with nonsense like inquisitive minds and children wanting to learn.     It’s as though they don’t realize that it’s Project Runway finale week and mommy is busy.

But lucky for you, I just had the Occupy Wall Street discussion with my teenage daughter, so I can write from experience.

I tried to tell her that people were protesting because they were upset by how much she rolls her eyes at me.   Sadly, this was met with more eye rolling.

So I leveled with her.     At 13, my daughter was ready to hear the truth as I understood it– that some people are upset about what they perceive to be economic injustice in our society.

And then a wonderful thing happened.   She asked follow up questions and we had a great conversation about different forms of protest, the rights of the people to express their anger at a given situation and being respectful even at the height of frustration.

No matter what side of the Occupy Wall Street movement you are on, there are definitely many teachable moments to share with your son. And the fact that he is asking questions that will lead to a discussion is a gift.

Let his questions shape the conversation.   Start by saying that you know he has been wondering about Occupy Wall Street– what has he heard about it? He may have seen images on TV that he found upsetting or confusing.   Address that first.

Be sure to reassure him that it is not as scary as when Grandma and Grandpa occupied your guest room that one endless weekend.

Don’t worry about not having all the answers or saying the wrong things.   What is important is that you and   your son are communicating about what is on his mind and that he knows that you are a resource that he can turn to.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

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27 Oct
The Case of the Gassy Husband

Surprise! It’s Guest Post Thursday! Today we welcome the fabulous Suniverse who blogs about all sorts of funny, interesting things and is always a treat to read. Plus she has sort of a foul mouth, which is always a big plus in my f&*@ing book. Thanks, Suniverse! –Wendi

 

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband has the worst smelling gas of anyone I know, but he thinks his *stuff* doesn’t stink. He passes gas in front of me all the time, despite my repeated requests for him to stop. The other night, we were lying in bed and he passed the most rancid, foul-smelling gas. In an attempt to be funny, he pulled the covers up over our heads and trapped me underneath. I nearly fainted. I was so upset by this careless, crude action, but he just laughed it off by saying, “Seriously!? Everyone f@rts! What’s the big deal? Lighten up, would you!?” How can I express my discomfort and disgust about his flatulence, without driving a wedge between us? I know gas is only natural, but my husband’s gas is making me want to sleep in a different bedroom.

Signed,

Dying in a Dutch Oven

___________________

Dear Dying in a Dutch Oven,

Guys are pigs.   Or dogs.   Or some other animal that has a fascination with its own nether regions and whatever comes out of them.   Maybe just males in general.

It’s ridiculous, but it’s true. Why do you think guys spend so much time fondling themselves in public where OH MY GOD, DUDE, EVERYONE CAN SEE YOU TOUCHING YOUR JUNK SO JUST STOP IT!

But this is not about that.

Except it is.

Guys seldom get beyond the point in their lives where they realize that body emissions aren’t cool. But your husband has, unfortunately, moved beyond the infantile “pull my finger” idiocy that some people [with XY chromosomes] consider to be the height of hilarity.   He thinks that trapping you in his stink is National Lampoon funny.

It’s not, of course.   No one thinks that’s funny.

As to what you can do?   You need to sit him down and explain that while he might find this amusing and not a big deal, it is a big deal to you and his dismissal of your feelings is hurtful.   If he can’t get past the fact that he doesn’t think you have a sense of humor, then just agree that you don’t have a sense of humor.   About this topic.   And that it’s important to you that he respect your feelings and work with you so that you’re not feeling like he doesn’t care about you at all.

Also, you may suggest that he get himself checked out – that level of stink is not normal and he may need to change his diet. Then take a deep, cleansing breath. You need one.

Good luck,

Suniverse, Guest TMH

 

 

 

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26 Oct
Mean Girls Part Deux: The Co-worker/Mom Remix

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

A person who worked for me quit in a very disruptive way. She wasn’t happy with her review, blew it way out of proportion, and quit. Although she would have been fired anyway.

Unfortunately, we live in the same town and our children are in the same grade, albeit different classrooms. And now she is bad mouthing me, and the company I work for, to other parents. I don’t want to waste my time explaining this situation to all the people we have in common. But it is making me really uncomfortable and I don’t want my daughter to suffer because of this woman’s big mouth.

I can’t approach her since she is pretty harsh. Should I make sure people know my side or just ignore it and hope it just goes away? I don’t feel like playing the blame game.

Signed,

Bullied by Bad Bad Leroy Brown’s Wife

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Dear Bullied by Leroy’s Wife,

You certainly could “fight fire with fire” as they say, or rather “ridiculous immature mean girl behavior with the same”: Tomato. Tomahto. (It sounds way better in my head.) Should you choose this option, it’s obvious that you must hire a van with a megaphone to drive slowly from one end of the town to the other while playing on repeat: “Mrs. Brown is a Hobag and also probably has Syphilis.”

The last part is crucial since Syphilis, if left untreated for too long, can infect the brain and make someone go crazy, which is obviously what happened to Mrs. Brown here (implied).

The next step in this war would be to hang signs all over town that state: “Do you want to get Syphilis and go crazy like Mrs. Brown?” or “It’s possible Mrs. Brown killed her first husband and buried him in her front yard.” The beauty of this is that it doesn’t matter if this woman has an STD or was even previously married, what matters is that you have created mass doubt.

And this will lead everyone in your community to wonder, when Mrs. Brown speaks,   “Is it the venereal disease talking? Or, will she kill me too and hide me under her prized rose bushes?” Thus making it unlikely that they will hear anything she has to say. Of course, this plan could also backfire and make you look like a crazy person with a vendetta. And if you saw V for Vendetta you know you do NOT want to be associated with that cinematic mess!

So onto your other option: taking the high road. This is not an easy path to take, but certainly, the one that will leave you feeling and looking your best. It’s an especially dicey situation when personal and professional lives crash into one another. Keep your mouth shut. Don’t say mean things about her behind her back and, if she really is as unapproachable as she seems, don’t engage her in an argument.

This woman has obviously never matured beyond the tactics used in high school. She’s hurt and angry about losing her job (and probably pretty upset with herself for the awful way she handled it) and she has apparently decided to take it out on you. You are an easy target since you were her boss and you both live in the same town. The majority of people will see her mean-spirited talk and bitterness for what it is and those that don’t, well, they haven’t progressed beyond high school either so let them go.

As for your daughter, explain the situation to her so that she can be prepared at school should anything happen with Mrs. Leroy’s daughter. Other than that, she too will have to take the high road. It won’t be easy but it will make her stronger in the end. However, if it becomes a real bullying problem (a la Nellie Olson from little House on the Prairie. What? It’s still on repeats!) then it’s time to talk to the school administrators and have a sit down with this woman and her daughter. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. But perhaps you should have a minivan with a megaphone on retainer just in case?

Good Luck!

Tonya, TMH

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25 Oct
Do I Really Know My Husband?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

A few days ago I found out something about my husband that has made me question if I really know this guy. We are newlyweds; it’s been 8 months since our wedding. I know everything about him, or so I thought. I uncovered his secret by accident.

I do not want to talk about what he has done but once I confronted him he was ashamed and apologetic and said he will never ever do it again. I believe him that he will not do it again but I just don’t know how to go on with my life as normal. I have lost some of the respect I had for him and will not trust him blindly anymore.

I told him he will have to earn my respect and trust again with his actions. I have agreed to forgive and forget and move on. However, for the past few days I have been a wreck. Everything reminds me of what he did.  Although I am confident he will not do it again, I can’t stop myself from remembering and crying whenever he is not around.

How can I heal and forget? I need advice on how to pull it together and go back to my normal life. I do not want to be in this depressed state forever. I love him and I want to move on.

Signed,

Please Help

___________________________________

Dear Help,

Oh, my.

I’ve been married for nearly fifteen years, and although I think I know my husband pretty darn well, he still hasn’t lost the capacity to surprise me.  Just a few months ago, for example, he surprised me with a trip to Europe.  For himself.  While I stayed at home with the kids, the cat and the sink full of dishes. We really learned a lot about each other in the conversation that followed the surprise.

You don’t say what the secret that you uncovered was, but I’m going to assume that it falls into one of two categories:

1. Something that he did before you were married/engaged that does not affect your relationship directly.

2. Something that he did after you were married/engaged and is a betrayal of your vows/commitment to each other.

If it is the former, you will need  to accept that he had a life before you two got together and find ways to let it go.  Of course it’s not as easy as it sounds, and I urge you to speak to a counselor, with your husband, about ways that you can overcome this obstacle.   You need to explore why this secret strikes such a chord with you, particularly if it is something that happened when he was younger and did not have your loving presence about him.

If it is the latter, as I suspect it is, and you feel that your marriage is in trouble, run and don’t walk to the counselor’s office.  You need to address the issues of betrayal as soon as possible before they have a chance to fester and multiply and take over your everyday life.  I am concerned that this is starting to happen already, and it appears to be affecting your well-being.

A last point: You said that you have agreed to forgive your husband and move on.  That is admirable, but forgiveness takes time and I don’t think you are there yet. Seek the help that your marriage needs to help you forgive. Who knows? You may be stronger than ever as a result.

I hope all the surprises in your future are good ones.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

 

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24 Oct
My Mom Has Hit the Roof!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

What do you do when your mom is so mad at you that she wants you out of the house?

Signed,

Asking for a Friend

__________________________________

Dear Asking for a Friend,

Your question doesn’t tell us much about your situation. But the fact that you’re reaching out for help seems to be a good sign, I’d say, and suggests you’re up to the task of trying to patch up this disconnect with your mom. So, good for you!

::flashes cool, hip, trendy, teenager hand gesture::

Because I don’t know the particulars, I figured we could work ourselves through some typical teenager/parent discord scenarios. Let’s say you’re a teenaged girl who has just lied to her mother and spent the night out partying with friends, making poor decisions about your health, and engaging in morally questionable activities with boys. For, like, the third time. (Just off the top of my head. Ahem.)

Or let’s say you’re a teenaged boy that’s gotten caught up with the wrong crowd, strung a web of lies that all started when you played hookie one day from school, rigged your bed to make it look like you were home sleeping, stole a friend’s father’s car, crashed a ritzy NYC restaurant, attended a major league baseball game, nearly got foiled by your sister named Jennifer Grey, and drove your school principal into early retirement.

Or maybe you’ve just moved to a small, country town, where rock-n-roll dancing has been outlawed, and you start a dancing revolution that gets you arrested and gives the whole town something to talk about and puts the name Kevin Bacon on the map, and then they go and remake it AND EVERYTHING IS RUINED BY YOU YOUNGSTERS AND IS NOTHING SACRED ANYMORE?!

Excuse me. Where was I? Oh, right…

For any one of these situations, your mother is going to be feeling betrayed, powerless, and completely sick with worry about whether you’ll make it to age 20. Fortunately, they all call for the same solution in working to correct the situation: you talk. You talk to your mother and understand each other. You listen to her concerns. You tell her about your feelings. And you reach an agreement about how you move forward, and YOU STICK TO IT. Your mom wants to be able to trust you, and the only way to regain that is to put your words to action, and start stepping up a bit. It may seem nearly impossible, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made. Or, you know, your friend.

::flashes cool, hip, trendy, teenager hand gesture::

Go get ’em, tiger!

Kristine, TMH

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