22 Feb
When Grandma is Full of It

I know Kate from Twitter. She’s funny, quick and mouthy, so I immediately thought of her as guest advice dispenser. What I didn’t know (because who can read those Twitter bios) is that Kate is a wonderful artist, making collaged art of fabric sewn together with colored thread. And she’s very funny on Twitter. What’s not to love? -Marinka

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My mother-in-law told my 6-year-old son that the reason he’s left-handed is because he had “an identical but right-handed twin who died” in the womb. My son has now become quite withdrawn and has got it into his head that the imaginary friend he had as a toddler was in fact his dead twin. My mother-in-law is normally pretty cool, but she can’t seem to understand that her words have caused upset, as she says the twin idea is a legitimate scientific theory to explain left-handedness.

How do I sort this out?

P.S. My husband is away in the military and isn’t here to help.

Signed,

Shocked Mom

_______________________________________

Dear Mom,

If you were actually carrying twins and lost a child during pregnancy, I am deeply, deeply sorry for your loss (and you can stop reading now, I have no advice on how to handle that). But if your mother-in-law told this horribly disturbing story to a six-year-old as a way to explain left-handedness, then…wow. NOT cool, Grandma.

For argument’s sake, let’s say being left-handed requires an explanation. Grandma has her theory, which we both know is not legitimate or scientific by any stretch. If you didn’t contradict her, your son might have assumed you agreed and Grandma was right.

I can understand you don’t want to start an argument. But you can see that your son is struggling to make sense of what she said, and he needs guidance from you.

Maybe he’s creating a story to fit Grandma’s theory because he has nothing else to go on. Or worse, he’s under the impression that every theory is valid, so there is no way to rule anything out to find the truth. Remember: All PEOPLE deserve respect, not all IDEAS.

You don’t have to confront Grandma face to face; let her believe whatever she wants. Just make sure you explain the facts to your son. This is an opportunity for you to teach him a very important survival skill called “Critical Thinking”, also known as “Not believing things that are obviously bullshit.”

Now, you may worry that applying logic to stuff adults say may lead a child to question authority, which may lead to the loss of respect for all adults including Mommy and Daddy. But picture the other extreme – a child who believes anything adults say, who trusts them so completely and without question he climbs into the car of the first stranger who loses an imaginary puppy.

Notice I never said Grandma is crazy or stupid or a liar. Maybe she is cool. I’m just saying her idea is wrong and it is okay not to believe it. You don’t have to pretend she’s right out of respect for your elders.

In short: We love Grandma. Grandma’s theory is 100% wrong.

Please, take this burden off your son’s shoulders. His only defense against the bullshit of the world is the ability to spot it, and permission to disregard it.

Good luck to you and my thanks to your husband for his service,

Kate, Guest TMH

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21 Feb
This Dance Ain’t 4 Everyone, Just the Exey People

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband is still friends with his ex-brother-in-law. Ex-brother-in-law lives with my husband’s ex-wife. I think it’s disrespectful for my husband to spend time at his ex-wife’s house in order to hang out with ex-brother-in-law. Am I being disrespected? Should I feel angry about this situation?

Signed,

Complex

_____________________________

Dear Complex,

Wowza. The last time I felt this confused after reading something was when I was building an Ikea bookcase and couldn’t figure out the how-to instructions. (Said bookcase being “The”Grevbäck,” which I believe means “You just bought yourself an ugly slanty bookcase plus multiple blisters and three extra screws, you stupid American Big Mac Face” in Swedish.) (But my translation may be slightly off because I’m Norwegian.)

Anyway, here’s what I think you said: there’s an ex here, there’s an ex there, everywhere an ex ex. Is that right? Of course it’d be a lot more fun to deal with this issue if there was an “s” added to the beginning of those words, but like my hairdresser always says, let’s just work with the messes we gots all up in he-ah, Ladygirl.

Now, I’ve never been divorced, but I seem to think that exes can see each other without falling into either bed or cahoots with each other. So the fact that he’s seeing his ex-wife isn’t necessarily cause for concern and/or a sign of disrespect. However, if you’ve told him it makes you uncomfortable and he blows you off or is rude about it, then you should definitely let him know he’s upsetting you and see what he says.

Have you suggested that the ex-brother-in-law come to your house to hang out? Or that you all meet someplace else? Like your ex-sister-in-law’s ex-cousin’s ex-partner’s X-Files themed restaurant or something? Because if your husband’s still as eager to see his ex-brother-in-law when his ex-wife isn’t around, that’s a good sign that he’s only interested in the ex-brother-in-law’s friendship and isn’t trying to do anything untoward with his ex-wife.

At least that’s my expert opinion.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH

 

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20 Feb
Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I am going through a divorce, and it was a mutual decision at first. Then, however, he changed his mind and now says that he will do whatever it takes to win back my affections. He started going to anger management class, being super nice to me all the time, making an effort to come over and help with the kids, and buying stuff for the house without being asked. (He doesn’t live here but we are keeping it casual for the kids so he’s over often.)  He texts me saying things like, “Have a fantastic day!” and has just been generally really awesome.

Before the split, he was always a huge ass, so this is very alternate-universe for me. I am intrigued by the change I see in him, but cautious. In the past he has “changed” for the better for a short time and then gone right back to his old ways, and I don’t want to play the fool again when I finally mustered up the strength to walk away!

Then there’s this other thing.

I met another guy. He’s older than me, and he’s so perfect and amazing in every way. It’s just casual, as he is technically married still as well. I’m falling hard for him and can see us having a wonderful future together some day, and I’m not looking for anything full time or super serious right now so it’s convenient. He’s everything I want in a partner, everything I thought my husband would be when we first got married.

I’m so stuck and confused – my husband is making an effort, and I did make vows to him, but this guy is a dream come true. How do I decide what to do?!

Signed,
Stuck in the Middle

____________________________________________

Dear Stuck in the Middle,

Well, hot damn girl. Sounds to me like your problem is the kind of problem to have, if you know what I’m saying. (And what I’m saying, is, I guess you’re not into threesomes?) But really, you appear to have two fine (ish) young men before you, begging for your affections, and as I sit here folding my husband’s socks while he takes a his SECOND motherloving nap of the day, I’m GREEN with envy, I tell you.

If this were the 19th Century, I’d suggest that you have these two suitors duel for your love. Or maybe they jousted? Whatever it was, it was probably super sexy and romantic, but also didn’t come with the potential of landing your behind in the slammer for negligent manslaughter.

So, for a more modern and practical solution, you could consult a psychic or one of those Magic 8 Balls. Or, you could do some hard work and serious thinking and sort this all out. I think you have some really tough questions to answer for yourself, and no one can really tell you what you need to do. (That said, I think you need to dump the new guy regardless, and here’s why:)

1. If you’re just ending a serious relationship–and in fact, are still in the process of ending it–you’re not in a good position to start something new. And if your almost-ex was as bad as you say, nearly ANYONE is going to seem like a real charmer in comparison, even this “technically still married” stud. You need some space and perspective and you won’t be getting that wedged between two men. (Metaphorically, of course. Ahem.)

2. I’ve never been divorced, but it seems to me that your hesitancy may be a sign that you haven’t exhausted all your options with your husband. Have you tried marriage counseling? I’m not saying you should get back together with him, but I do think you should be absolutely certain that you’re ready to move on before you do so. Seeing a therapist individually or as a couple will save you from beating yourself up further down the road or accidentally having sex with him or something after the divorce is finalized. (It happens on the Real Housewives!)

3. Take care of yourself. (And, according to my therapist, this does not mean “eat a bunch of Ben & Jerry’s and watch marathon TV,” but what does she know anyway?) Do some soul searching or yoga or whatever, and decide what’s going to be best for you, rather than going with what feels fun or good at the moment.

(Though, if you’ve already bought the Ben & Jerry’s, just send it over to The Mouthy Housewives clubhouse and we’ll totally take care of that for you. Because we’re here to help.)

All the best,
Kristine, TMH

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17 Feb
Oh, No! My Ex-Wife Just Moved Into Cougar Town!

Our Week of Men here at the Mouthy Housewives is coming to an end today and we have to say, despite all of the dirty socks and underwear on the floor, it’s been a total blast! (But, oh my GOD, you men, the toilet seat GOES DOWN, okay?! DOWN.)

Anyway, today we’re super thrilled to welcome one of the best Dad Bloggers around, Doug French of Laid Off Dad! Woohoo! Doug is hilarious, kind, thoughtful and so, so smart. Seriously smart. In fact, he kicks my ass at Words with Friends so badly that I now refuse to play it with him anymore. Doug is also a Babble Voices writer with his column The Turbid Spume and is spearheading the very exciting Dad 2.0 Summit that will have its inaugural year this March 8-10  in Austin, TX.  And he also wrote this tweet about his son that has to be one of my very favorite tweets ever:

@LOD “I want to make as many fart sounds on my arm until I grow hair on it and I can’t do it anymore.” Gather ye rosebuds, my son.

Thanks, Doug! We’re honored to have you here today.  — Wendi

 

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My ex-wife is dating a man who can only be described as “arm candy.” He’s 10 years younger than she is and works at a coffee shop. I know I shouldn’t care what she does, but it’s kind of humiliating to me. Also, a lot of our mutual friends have been calling her a “Cougar” and laughing about it. Should I say something to her? Do I have any right? Or should I just let it run its course?

Signed,

My Ex is Embarrassing Me

_________________________

Dear MXIEM:

Most of my advice relies on how old you are. If you’re nearing retirement, and your wife’s new beau is a 50-year-old barista, you should pick a fight with him. Because a 50-year-old barista clearly has no ambition and will likely acquiesce quicker than C-3PO at a GWAR concert.

Also, it would be hilarious. You could grab him by his little apron, and rough up each other’s comb-overs. Plus, coffee shops are filled with things that are scalding-hot, and/or sharp-edged, and/or fragile, and/or precariously stacked. The potential comic mayhem would undoubtedly delight the patrons, who will look up from the terrible novels they’re writing and Instagram the shit out of it.

If you’re around 40, however, and your replacement is some college-age kid, that’s a bigger matzoh ball to swallow. Your ex is likely crowing about how much better the sex is, how he goes on and on and up and over and through, and likes to snuggle afterward.

Relax. This is theater, and it’s likely not as great as she wants you to believe.

This new guy may be a furious ball of sexual energy, but he’s so addled with his youthful, lusty imperatives that he couldn’t find a clitoris if his life depended on it. Also: my ex-BIL worked in a Caribou Coffee for a while, and within his first month the stink of coffee had penetrated his molecules. He washed his body and clothes enough times to make Lady MacBeth look like a Frenchman, yet he constantly reeked of espresso dust and despair. So your ex likely spends her nights unfulfilled and cuddling up to a rancid caramel latte.

If you still can’t bear the thought of your ex-wife with a younger man, you can always do the Guy Thing and have a go at one of his ex-girlfriends. You might have a shot; they all probably left him because they couldn’t stand the constant coffee-reek, so as long as you maintain a normal rate of hygiene (and wax that back hair), you could actually be a step up.

You’ll date for a while, and jealousies will escalate. You’ll send each other DVDs of your vigorous lovemaking, each of you staring smugly at the camera. But then the lust will fade, as it always does. And it will be awkward for a while. With luck, though, you’ll get past all the weirdness and become great friends who laugh about the past and occasionally get together for a lively game of strip canasta.

Hang in there,

Doug

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16 Feb
Weekend Wars

Today’s valiant Valentine is the indomitable TwoBusy! (Indomitable is a synonym for “adorable curmudgeon,” right?)

You may TwoBusy from his blue exoskeleton on Twitter, or perhaps you read his amazing, eloquent personal blog, or even his posts at DadCentric. Oh, what’s that? You’re not familiar with TwoBusy at all, but have heard rumors about his amazing head of hair? GET IN LINE SISTER. Regardless, he’s here today to offer up some gems that will leave you feeling…unsettled. Take it away, lobster! –Kristine

 

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I love my husband. I really do. But the weekends can be so stressful when he is at home instead of at work. The house is always a mess, he’s got a million projects going, the kids are insane, and I never feel like I can get a handle on any of it. It’s like a crazy free-for-all. I try to go with the flow but I end up turning into the cranky, not-fun-at-all-wife. Any thoughts on making the weekends easier for all of us?

Signed,
Weekend Warrior

___________________________________________

Dear Weekend Warrior,

I could try to talk you off the ledge with some kind of tender and thoughtful advice like “Dude… you MUST CHILL” or “have a conversation with your husband in which you suggest some strategies on how he can re-insert himself (heh) into your weekend lives without blowing the hell out of everything” or “maybe you could try taking a half-step back from the situation and realize that sometimes it’s okay to let a little chaos flow into your life”… but really: we both know that would be a waste of time. Because CLEARLY: this is all your husband’s fault and you’ll need to take definitive steps to address the problem.

Start by taking out a massive life insurance policy on your husband (seven figures, minimum). Make it clear that he’ll need to schedule all related broker meetings and health exams on weekends. Obviously! : -)

(I just made an emoticon to show how easy and pleasurable this will be!)

Then, after the policy is finalized, tell him that because you’re a totally-fun-and-not-at-all-cranky wife, you’d like him to do something nice for himself, like take a weekend golf/hunting/gambling/seal clubbing expedition with some of his old college buddies. Because he’s been working so hard! And because when he’s not working he’s in the way! Hahahahaha! See? It’s all in good fun! More emoticons! : -)

Then, on the night before he leaves on his trip, go out to the garage and carefully cut the brake lines on his car. There’s probably a helpful Wikipedia entry on how to do it, and because the internet offers nothing but good advice, you can rest assured that by following those simple directions you’ll be doing the right thing.

You’ll then be free to enjoy most of the next (weekend) day in blissfully calm, husband-free circumstances… until you get a phone call! From the police! That your husband’s car mysteriously wouldn’t stop and so he went off the edge of a cliff (just like Wile E. Coyote in the old Roadrunner cartoons. Feel free to use this metaphor with your kids so they can understand how much fun they’re having) and then exploded like every car in every Michael Bay movie ever. And don’t forget – this is important – to act surprised when you get the call. Here’s a helpful emoticon to help you know how to react:

:-0

After you hang up, it’s time to pop the champagne! By mid-summer, you’ll be made in the shade: clean house, calm kids, you returned to your natural not-at-all-cranky-or-not-fun self, and all of you free at last to enjoy your weekends in style thanks to your winnings… I mean, seven-figure insurance policy settlement. Time for another emoticon! : -)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your pal,
TwoBusy

Editor’s note: 4 out of 5 Mouthy Housewives disapprove of murder.

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