Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am a freelance writer and like to work in coffee shops. Usually I get there around 8am and find a booth to sit in while I drink my coffee and use my laptop. Since it’s not crowded, I feel okay taking up space meant for four people.
The problem is that around lunchtime, the place gets crowded and people start to glare at me for taking up a big table or booth. The staff has never said anything, but I still feel like I should either get up and leave or move to a smaller table.
My boyfriend says I have every right to my spot and I should just stay there.
What do you think?
Am I a Double Frappucino Freeloader ?
Dear Half-Caff, Skim, Shot of Butterscotch, Extra Hot, Double Cupped Frappucino,
As a practitioner of this writing method myself I can say that there are a few ways NOT to handle this situation:
–Don’t pretend being in the booth is the same as being in your house and write shirtless. They will kick you out and call the cops, mostly because they don’t think you look anything like Heidi Klum, no matter how insistent you are on the subject. Also, when the cops are taking you away, don’t tell them they owe you beads for the boob show. They do not find that funny. And they won’t deliver on the beads.
–Don’t try and use the booth for a side business. It seems restaurant owners don’t want homeless tweekers like Scabby Tim or naked bongo players that go by Swingin’ Sam coming in and out of their establishment at all hours looking to score. No matter how many refills of coffee and water you order!
–Don’t try and Feng Shui the restaurant. Apparently, the owners paid a lot of money to some fancy-shmancy interior designer and the last thing they care about is how their qi may be affected by the misplacement of a moosehead mirror. Plebians!
–Don’t expect just because you’ve peed on something it is now yours. The Nature Channel is wrong. Simply urinating on the booth in question does not make it your property. The shop will send you a cleaning bill and a restraining order.
It is perfectly acceptable to take up a booth, though, if you are ordering from the establishment, it’s not busy and your are a loyal, respectful patron.
I would suggest, however, that when the restaurant is really crowded you move to a smaller table. It’s just good karma.
If you have already been there for a few hours, then it makes sense to downsize to a one-person or two-person table once lunchtime is in full swing. This way your favorite coffee shop can serve as many customers as possible, thus keeping itself in business. And groups of folks will be able to find a place to sit and eat/drink together. Then once lunchtime is on its downward slide, you can move back to the booth…provided you still have your shirt on.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My 14 year old daughter does some cleaning jobs around the house to make extra money. My son (12) recently asked if he could do that too, and I agreed. Should he be paid the same as my daughter is even though he is younger and doesn’t do as good of a job as she does?
Oh, how I envy you. At the moment, my kids are still only 3 and 5, and think “cleaning” means throwing things into a corner while simultaneously sobbing about their torment and petitioning the cats for amnesty from their wretched mother. (And that’s WITH bribery, unfortunately.)
But back to your situation. I firmly believe that there is no reason to pay both kids the same amount “just because.” Is this how the real world operates? Hell no! In fact, when one of them complains, tell them to just be happy they aren’t being TAXED! Or that the national gender wage gap doesn’t apply this fiscal year! OR THAT THEY AREN’T WORKING IN SWEATSHOPS, you ungrateful little–
Where was I?
I think the important thing to remember here is that, before you set up any type of allowance agreement, think about age-appropriate chores for each child. Also, be clear about what type of performance is expected from each one of them. For example, having the five year-old manage the electric bill will not “help him learn responsibility” as much as it will “show him how quickly his parents break with the power shut off for DAYS ON END.”
Not that I’m speaking from experience.
Especially since your kids are a little bit older, you don’t need to stress as much about being “fair.” But if you are worried about that, I’d suggest going with a performance-based pay scale. If they’re both doing the exact same quality of work, then perhaps they should be paid the same amount. I’m guessing, however, that there will be a bit of a lapse between the two, in which case, pay accordingly.
Of course, this will be a bumpy road at first, as you’ll probably have to deal with some fallout regarding gender relations and glass ceilings and possibly a civil lawsuit that leads to parental emancipation, but these can all be learning opportunities, amirite?! Minor squabbles and doubts about the validity of your love as a mother are nothing when compared to the glimpse of the “real world” you’ll be giving them.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
One of my friends says, “I’m on my period” and it drives me crazy. Should I just let it go? She’s years away from menopause.
Before I answer this question, I have to let you know something really personal. (Ahem.) I’m on my period!
Anyway, since you didn’t really elaborate in your email, I’m not sure if your problem is simply the fact that your friend is telling you she has her period or if what you don’t like is the way she’s phrasing it. Let’s discuss the former first.
Many, if not most, women think it’s perfectly normal to let your female friends know when you have your period. In fact, I often do this myself. For example, last week my friend April asked me why I didn’t go to yoga and I answered, “Because I had horrible cramps all day” and she immediately knew what that meant. (Full disclosure: I didn’t really have cramps, but it was better than admitting I didn’t go to yoga because there was a Hillbilly Handfishin’ marathon on.) (Plus, I was whacked out on Midol.)
The week before that, my friend Dena asked me why I started crying after I watched a KFC commercial and I said, “Because I have PMS” and she immediately knew what that meant. So perhaps your friend is just letting you know she has her period to explain her mood or her health. She probably feels that you’ll commiserate with her. But if you don’t want her telling you anymore, maybe a simple, “I love you, but please stop telling me you’re on your period because I really don’t want to know” will suffice.
Now, if your actual problem is that you just don’t like the saying, “I’m on my period,” I have a few options you can give your friend. Such as:
- I’m surfing the crimson wave!
- I just got The Curse!
- My Aunt Flo is in town!
- Girlfriend’s riding the cotton pony, y’all!
- J’ai mes règles!
- Guess who’s wearing a tampon?!
- I’m shedding the lining of my uterus right now! Up high!
- Does this maxipad make me look fat?
Or any other suggestions by our readers, who I’m sure have some fabulous ones.
At any rate, just be honest with your friend. She probably has no idea that this bothers you, and since it’s pretty minor, she shouldn’t have any problem keeping her monthly news to herself.
The Mouthy Housewives support safe sex. And family values. And access to birth control. And Planned Parenthood.
Vote for The Mouthy Housewives for President!
But recently we saw a website that made us wonder:
Go ahead, click on it!
As far as we can tell, Where Did You Wear It is a site that highlights the importance of using condoms, both in terms of preventing pregnancy (98% effective!) and preventing transmittal of STDs (hey, when did we stop calling them venereal diseases? 1800’s? Ok!)
The idea of the site is that you can check in where you’re using the condoms. College students in Western Washington are getting condoms that have a code on the wrapper that they can scan with their phones to register on Where Did You Wear It?
And you thought your Friday night was romanic.
We love it because we love everything that promotes safe sex and discussion about safe sex.
But we are also wondering if social media is going a bit far?
And also about why anyone over 49 is lumped with everyone from 50 year olds to Methuselah.
What do you think?
Good thing? Or going too far?
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have a 5-year-old son who has never seen Star Wars. We were planning on watching this iconic movie with him when he got a bit older. Except, all of his friends at school seem to have seen it. He asks about it, but we are a little worried that he’s still too young. Our son is very sensitive and doesn’t tolerate violence on television well.
I know this seems like a small problem, but I really don’t know what to do. Do I sit down with him and watch the movie? Are we being too over-protective?
Not Really Han Solo Averse
Dear Pro-Han Solo,
All kids develop at a different rate. For instance, my own son is four and has already asked to borrow the car. Of course, we’ve explained to him that he will get those keys when he starts to contribute to this family’s financial situation. I’ve even left the classifieds out to help him, but he keeps saying: “Mom, I can’t read!” As if that’s a real excuse!
Anyway, you know your son best. If you believe he may be too sensitive to watch the movie then most certainly you should follow that instinct. Frankly, five seems a bit young to watch that movie to me. But then, I may be writing to you for advice in a year when my son wants to know all about Darth Vader.
I can’t imagine that you are the only parents that have this issue. For some children, watching Star Wars may be no big deal (I’m talking about the first three, of course. I’m a grown up and, honestly, the last three – or prequels – gave me nightmares because they were so bad) but that doesn’t mean that your child falls into that group. That also doesn’t mean your child is alone in it either. Reach out to some of the other parents and see what they have to say. How have they handled it? This is just the beginning in your child wanting to do things that may, sometimes, not be right for him no matter what his friends are doing.
If he keeps bugging you about the movie and it becomes an issue, why don’t you try reading him some of the books first? There is even a series on Star Wars that will help your child practice reading. And, for Mommy, there’s even one dedicated to that major hottie Han Solo!*
Another way to handle this would be to watch the movie with him but fast forward past the parts that he may find scary or unpleasant. I do this with CSI Miami. That guy with red hair really freaks me out.
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.