It’s time once again to bestow our coveted Seal of Approval to a post that made us laugh!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband leaves piles of junk all over the house. It drives me crazy. I can’t just throw it all out because there are important receipts, business cards and bills mixed in with the movie stubs. But I’m sick of cleaning up after him. Any ideas?
Oh dear LORD, can I relate, woman. My husband is what I affectionately refer to as three-garage-sales-away-from-an-episode-of-Hoarders. He likes to save. EVERYTHING. And since I happen to be on the opposite end of the spectrum–in that I hate clutter and don’t understand why ALL dishes aren’t, in fact, disposable–it occasionally creates some conflict within our marriage.
Since I lack any sort of organizational skills, I can only tell you my personal coping strategies and hope that they guide you well. (Enough.)
1. Hide that shit in a drawer.
If I’m too exhausted or annoyed to weed through his piles, but also too irritated to look at the clutter for ONE MORE SECOND, I’ll just shove his junk out of view in a closet or something. This can be mildly rewarding, because it allows you the chance to pretend that this whole issue isn’t really happening! The downside, of course, is that he’ll start to accuse you when his papers go missing and he finds his gym shorts in the attic.
What’s a pet peeve of his that you can exploit in an effort to more passive-aggressively communicate your issue? Does he hate it when you leave wet towels on the bathroom floor? Have sex with other men? Call him “Schmoopy” in front of his friends? Perhaps if your own personal happiness isn’t motivation for him to get himself in gear, his own humiliation and shame will work.
3. Help him out. However begrudgingly.
Your husband is likely leaving these piles around because he’s either too overwhelmed by the task of organizing everything or simply unequipped with the tools to accomplish the goal. (Of course, he could also just be frickin’ lazy, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. As I do my husband. Ahem.) Get some file cabinets, folders, office organizing trays, and see if you can’t work together over the weekend to at least get his mess confined to one area of the house.
As fed up as you may be, try to remember that we all have our faults, and that some of those are simply more visible than others. And maybe for your next marriage, try to find yourself a nail-biter instead.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband sometimes travels for his job. I may be a complete ninny for feeling this way, but I don’t like it when he gets tagged on Facebook by coworkers as being at Place A in Town B. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to advertise on the internet that you’re out of town. I know the chances are slim that some sicko would see that, associate me with my husband, know where we live and BAM!, at 2 o’clock in the morning, come do some kind of harm while I’m home alone with our kids.
I probably have a higher chance of randomly running into Johnny Depp and him falling madly in love with me than a sicko tracking me down. Do I sound ridiculous? Or am I being smart?
Mind Your Own Business Facebook
Dear Mind Your Own Business,
Let’s get right to the heart of your question. No, it’s not too late for you to randomly run into Johnny Depp and have him fall madly in love with you. And judging from the fact that he’s now filming Pirates of the Caribbean 16 he should have plenty of that Captain Jack Sparrow dough to spend on you. I just hope you love a man who has a passion for eyeliner.
But until that chance encounter happens, let’s talk about you and your husband’s travel schedule. That Facebook can be a real nuisance. I’m pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg drives by my house each night just to keep tabs on my whereabouts. I hate all these social networks that keep track of everyone’s location. Look, if I wanted to know that Greg Jones from my 10th grade geometry class is currently in the Strand Book Store reading the latest Candace Bushnell book, I would have kept in touch with him.
Now I don’t think you are in any danger. But it’s perfectly normal to have some anxiety when your spouse is out of town. Ask your husband to untag himself on Facebook from anything that pinpoints his location. Or better yet, ask him for his password so you can easily do it yourself. Just don’t take the opportunity to drink too many glasses of Chardonnay and send messages to his ex-girlfriends. Trust me – that does not end well.
Also, do you have an alarm system? This can totally make you feel more comfortable when your husband is away. Finally, hire yourself a full time doorman at your house for added security. (Note: This final tip only works if you have buttloads of extra cash that you just don’t know what to do with).
Let us know when you meet Johnny!
Today we are excited to welcome Ryan, who writes the wonderful and delicious blog, Will’s Kitchen. Will is Ryan’s son who was diagnosed with multiple allergies at a very early age. Now three years old, Will and Ryan cook together, creating recipes that use uncommon ingredients. Witty writing and fantastic recipes? Yes, please!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My son has just started preschool. He has a severe peanut allergy and as a result of this the school has instituted a new policy with regard to lunches and snacks, restricting foods that have been made with nuts.
This new policy has made a number of parents angry and worried about what they are now supposed to pack for their kids. To make matters worse the director of the school recently “outed” my son at a parent-teacher meeting as the cause for this new policy.
How do I handle the judgment and frustration I’m getting from these other parents? And how do I get them to understand my son’s problem?
Put Down The Pitchforks
First of all, I’m very surprised to hear that the preschool didn’t have a no-nuts policy to begin with! This is a global issue that receives a lot of attention, so even if your son is the first child in the school with the peanut allergy — he certainly will not be the last.
Kudos to the policy, you should be proud! Allergies in general have always gotten a bad rap when it comes to taking them seriously, from pollen to bees to peanuts, and with peanut butter being a staple in most American diets — denial is rampant.
Is it a problem that the other parents now have to think creatively outside of the peanut box, sending the tykes off to preschool without their Snickers Bars or peanut butter filled sodium bomb pretzels? Or is it because you are asking people to take the time to read the ingredients? Because, damn you for making other parents realize what their kids are eating! Apples these days are quite yummy.
But the issue at hand is that your son is different and others are being affected as a result. As with all allergies, everyone needs to take on the “village to raise a child” mentality. This is almost impossible to ask of others, so you’re going to have to take the initiative to show how serious the situation actually is.
In the case of Will, my preschool aged son, who is not only allergic to peanuts but also eggs, cow’s milk, tree nuts, strawberries and bananas, I offer to bring in snacks for the whole class. I also generated a list of alternative foods and brands for his teachers and other parents –to alert them that on the grocery shelf right next to the pretzels that were manufactured in a facility that handles peanuts, there is usually another brand that is completely peanut-free.
A simple switch in brands is relatively painless even for the parents most resistant to change. In addition, there are numerous resources online that make dealing with this issue even easier. Helping the other parents to understand will make them feel more comfortable, and it won’t hurt your standing with the teachers at the next parents night either.
Once people are shown how easy it can be to manage the allergy list, their eyes kind of find their way back into their sockets. Unfortunately, as with life, there are always going to be the haters that refuse to change and fight about conforming to new policies — if only it were a perfect world!
Ryan, Guest Mouthy Housewife
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
We have an incredible babysitter. She’s our neighbor’s teenage granddaughter and she is just the sweetest thing. She always plays with the kids and she even washed the dinner dishes one time without being asked. Amazing! Here’s the rub: we have no idea what her last name is. To be honest, we only use her maybe 3 or 4 times a year and our kids are school age, not babies. But it hit me the other day that we’re leaving the kids with someone when we didn’t even know her last name. Does this make us terribly irresponsible parents?
No Name, No Problem?
Dear No Name, No Problem,
As every parent knows, a good babysitter is hard to find. You want someone who’s responsible, dependable, nice to your kids and also on a very strict diet so she won’t eat all of the cheesecake and Dove chocolates you stash in the recycling bin. It can be a tall order.
That’s why it’s no big surprise that you didn’t do your due diligence when you found this young lady. You like her, your kids like her and she’s related to your neighbors—why bother with something as silly as last names? After all, none of the evil babysitters in Lifetime movies have last names. The middle-aged wife usually just sobs something like, “Yes, detective, she stole my Honda Odyssey and my husband! She’s blonde and her name is Madison, that’s all I know! Oh, Gawd, why is this happening?!” and then 40 minutes later, Madison No Last Name Required is in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs and on her way to meet her new prison girlfriend. I’ve seen it a million times.
But if it’s important to you that you find out her surname, here’s a trick you can try: The next time she’s there, tell her you have to pay her via check, then ask her how to spell her last name. There’s a 50/50 chance it’ll be something obvious like, “Smith” and then she’ll think you’re a dumbass, but at least you’ll finally know.
Or, simply tell your kids to find out for you. Maybe they can play a game called, “Census Taker” or “DMV Registration Lady” and have her fill out a form with her information. She won’t be the wiser and, if you’re lucky, you may even get her social security number.
Which will definitely come in handy if she ever drives your minivan to Mexico with your husband.