It’s Guest Post…Thursday? Honestly, now that most of my shows are in repeats, I have no idea how to keep my days of the week straight. The underwear thing never works. But no matter because today I’m thrilled to welcome the hilarious women behind one of my favorite blogs, Quirk Out! Cary Goldwasser and Diane Kline are marketing executives in St. Louis and one day during lunch they were comparing their quirky behaviors — like leaving five pair of shoes at their desk or packing two suitcases for an overnight trip — and they created QuirkOut! Crazy Things Women do to Stay Sane. Follow them at Facebook.com/quirkout and at www.quirkout.com. Thanks, ladies! — Wendi
Dear Mouthy Housewives,Recently, the post office left a package on my doorstop that had my address on it, but my neighbor’s name. When I took it over to her, she said, “I hope it’s not a problem, but I don’t want my husband to know I’m taking these pills, so I had them delivered to your house instead.” When I asked he what they were for, she nervously mumbled something about “weight loss,” then shut the door.
She’s always been a little spacey and now I’m wondering if it’s because she’s a pill popper? Anyway, I don’t feel good about this. Should I tell her to stop? Tell her husband? Move? Help!
Not a Drug Connection
Dear Not a Drug Connection,
Hiding purchases from a husband is a time-honored tradition that began when Cleopatra sneaked her Sephora eyeliner past Anthony at the palace. There are lots of QuirkOut strategies to help us.
We know of one wife who hid six shoes boxes in the trash can in the garage, planning to sneak them into the house when her husband was at work the next day. Who could have predicted this was the one time he took the garbage out to the curb without being asked? It was a crushing blow when she heard the garbage truck crushing her stilettos. Bye Bye, Blahniks.
Or another mom who hid her jewelry purchases in her son’s book bag, essentially turning him into a “mule,” but potentially giving him a career option. All this to avoid conversations about budgets and shopping, which always seems to escalate into whose mother is more annoying.
But to aid and abet in sneaking possible contraband past your neighbor’s husband… that ups the ante. Accepting packages for neighbors used to be such a — well, neighborly thing to do. You sign for my new coffee maker from Williams Sonoma and I sign for your Not Your Daughter’s Jeans from Nordstrom. Then I’d make you a cup of espresso (one or two shots?) while I told you how skinny you looked in your jeans. See? Neighborly.
But taking on mysterious contents is a whole other kettle of fish (which would be way too smelly a package to accept). Who knows if these are really “diet pills” or decongestants used for making meth, or just embarrassing ultra-strong deodorant pads? Either way, we just don’t like being pawns in this game.
So we’d keep it light and say, “I really wish I could help you out, but my husband has banned me from making on-line purchases for a while and I don’t want him to think I’m doing anything behind his back.”
See how that works? You get to blame your husband. She gets to sympathize with you about him preventing you from shopping. And you both get out of a sticky situation.
Cary and Diane, Quirk Out
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband received an e-mail from his father, stating that he would like the family to go out for lunch, but indicated “only the four of us,” meaning without me (the wife!) and my brother-in-law’s live-in girlfriend. This “family lunch” planned by my father-in-law is the day of my sister’s college graduation as well as the “joint family” graduation party for my sister and my husband. (Husband is graduating with an MBA.)
After he told me about this, I told him that I was a little disappointed to be left out, since I am now officially family. I also feel that it is slightly inconsiderate to plan a family lunch right in the middle of grad ceremonies and family parties! Husband thinks that this lunch is okay, and that his father would feel obligated to invite the live-in girlfriend if I came. He also thinks that his father isn’t looking at the situation the same way I am and doesn’t intend to leave people out.
An impartial third party, a therapist, believes that my father-in-law is forcing my husband to choose between me and his family, as well as acting manipulative and controlling.(What’s going to happen when we have kids and he wants a “family lunch” without me? Do the kids go or are they not included as well!) However, still would like the opinion of the witty and fair, Mouthy Housewives!
Your story reminds me of this friend of mine…let’s call her Jill. She got married to a wonderful man (Jack) but one of her close friends (Meanie Pants) was not a fan for whatever reason. Some of us theorized it was Jack’s comb-over that bugged Meanie Pants, while others pointed at his affinity for corduroy trousers. But, really, it didn’t matter, because this was an issue with Meanie Pants, not Jack. (Probably because she’s emotionally unstable and incredibly selfish.)
One summer, Meanie Pants had a party and invited Jill, who would be coming from out of town. The invite had a stipulation, however: Jack and his corduroy pants were not welcome at the festivities. Can you imagine? So, Jill did the only thing should could think to do in such an absurd situation: she TPed the wench’s house in corduroy. Then, she called the brat on her behavior, and effectively ended the friendship.
Now, I’m not trying to imply that your father-in-law hates you, or that you need to drop him like he’s hot, but just that he’s an idiot. (Does he, by chance loathe corduroy? Never mind…) Of *course* it is inconsiderate and asinine to plan an exclusive lunch on a day of joint festivities! And your husband’s defense of the behavior isn’t helping matters. Whatever his perspective might be is skewed, and unless this is some father-son bonding luncheon, there’s no reason to exclude you.
Your husband should take a stand against ridiculous family behavior, so I’d say you should just tag along regardless. Maybe even wear your wedding dress in case your FIL needs a reminder of who you are. If tensions run high in your family, then temper this as you see fit. For example, insist you be referred to as Mrs. Husband’s Name.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I belong to a book club with six other women. It’s a fun group, except for one woman who often doesn’t read the book and yet manages to have many opinions on it based on “things I heard online” about it. She is very vocal and often monopolizes the discussion with things that are only tangentially related to the books. Is there a way to tell her to either read the book or shut up?
It’s Book Club, Not Listen To You Talk Club
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links
Dear Book Club,
I am currently in my third book club, the current one having lasted over five years, so I feel very qualified to answer your question. Well, that, and I once bought a book with one of those “Oprah’s Book Club” stickers on the cover, so I’m pretty sure I know what I’m talking about.
Not reading the book is pretty much the greatest no-no in book group, and I’ve done it more times than I can count. (I’m not very mathy.) I always mean to read the books, but sometimes it’s just not my cup of absinthe (Wolfe Hall) or was just too heavy to lug around in the pre-Kindle days (2666) or I’ve run out of time and didn’t finish the book.
Although sitting out the book group is certainly an option, like most normal women, the book group serves a dual purpose for me—literature and friendship. Triple, if you count wine. So to be deprived of friendship (and wine) just because I did not read the book seems borderline unconstitutionally cruel and unusual. So I go to book group, confess my sins and participate as much or as little as I can. If there is something in what I’d read to contribute to the discussion, I certainly chime in. But I don’t dominate the discussion and I certainly don’t relate extraneous information.
If only more people could be like me: a model non-reading book club member.
Since this woman’s methods are annoying you, you need to speak up. I assume you’ve already tried the gentle steering of the conversation to “let’s get back to the book” or quoting from specific passages as a subtle hint that the discussion has its origin in the text. If she has not picked up on hints, a “let’s agree that in order to participate in the discussion, you need have read the book first” seems like a reasonable approach.
Perhaps she will realize that would be more comfortable in a book group filled with others who have not read the book so that everyone could be coming from a similar place of ignorance. Sigh. Now I’m all misty eyed and nostalgic for my high school Melville class.
Or maybe she’ll realize that book group means having to read the book. Who knows, she may even pick one up and enjoy it. I read somewhere that books broaden one’s horizons.
Club books, not seals!
As you probably already know, The Mouthy Housewives like to keep up with all the parenting trends out there. If we’re not Tiger momming our cubs, we’re Frenchifying nos bebes, all in an effort to raise the best kids we can.
So when we heard about the Third Annual Take Your Kids to the Park Day and Leave Them There Event, we were all over it. Because by that point, we’d spent a lot of time with our kids already and frankly we needed a break. Seriously how long can we sit at the park talking to the other parents and texting while our children play before we need to recharge our batteries?
The event was the brainchild of Lenore Skenazy, the author of Free Range Kids, who believes that children should be…free range. And possibly organic and grass fed.
Lenore’s idea was that parents would take their children to the park (ages seven and older, sorry moms of newborns!) and leave them there to play. This would help the parents overcome their fears and let the children eperience independence and fun. Either that or lead to nervous breakdowns all around.
Either way, win/win!
Take Your Kids to the Park Day and Leave Them There? How about Take Your Kids to the Park Month?! Now that’s something to get excited about!
Except I don’t like it.
At the risk of being called a helicopter mom (hey, watch that propeller!) I believe that children should be supervised because…wait for it…they’re children. It does not mean that their every moment needs to be micromanaged and I certainly think that some distance is appropriate, but not the “have a fun day at the park, see you in a couple of hours” kind that Skenazy seems to be advocating.
Because sure, our perception of danger may be distorted in light of the real numbers in terms of predators and other who want to hurt children. But I don’t know a single parent who thinks in terms of statistics when her child’s safety is at stake. No parent is going to say, “Only 12 people on the sex offender registry in this neighborhood? Love those odds!”
Nor is the danger-by-stranger the only reason to remain with your child at the park. What about needing to be there in case your child gets hurt, get thirsty, or needs to use the bathroom. To say nothing of keeping an eye on your kid so he doesn’t wonder off or get lost.
At the end of the day we all need to do what we feel best for our families and our children.
Even if it’s texting on the park bench while keeping an eye on them.
I can’t believe it’s Thursday already, Mouthy Minions! It seems like just yesterday that I had locked myself in the closet with a stack of US Weeklys & Skittles, declaring to my husband and bewildered preschoolers that I was gonna ride this week out in the bunker. But Friday is nearly upon us, and so we’ve brought in one hilarious mother flubber, Jeni of Highly Irritable to coax us all into the weekend. Check out Jeni’s very funny blog to learn more about how she celebrated her Mother’s Day with a dead bird, and check her out on Twitter where she has us cracking up daily. (Such a showoff, this one is.) –Kristine
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have worked for a company for 16 years. My husband had worked for the same company for the last 7 years. This company decided to move his job offshore, thereby making him unemployed. I still have to work with these people every day, including the person that made the final decision. I’m finding it very difficult not to get mouthy with these people and finding it difficult to care if things get done. Obviously, I can’t afford to also lose my job, so how can I get past this?
Mad for Hubby
Dear Mad for Hubby but Happy for Pay Check,
First, let me congratulate you for still being married after working with your spouse for seven years. I worked with my (now-ex) spouse once for about seven minutes before I ran screaming and threw myself at the closest divorce lawyer.
Losing your job sucks no matter the circumstances, and we here at “The Mouthy Housewives” can sympathize with your situation. Dinnertime conversation must be interesting and kind of exhausting what with thinking up new adjectives for all of your supervisors. But before you start publically addressing your bosses by their unflattering new nicknames, let’s examine for a moment the positives in this situation.
You say your husband’s job was moved offshore, and it appears that he didn’t go with it. Who really wants to go offshore anyway? NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS OFFSHORE. Think about it; there’s the offshore oil spill, the offshore banking scandal… No. Onshore is definitely the place to be. And hey! It’s where the sea shells are!
As for your difficulty maintaining a degree of professionalism in the office, please tread carefully. The Mouthy Housewives are all for getting mouthy when the occasion is appropriate, but this may not the time. Until your husband becomes re-employed (on the shore, please) you are the sole income earner in your household. A few choice words and a careless “reply all” on an email could put that in jeopardy. And in 16 years with this company, you’ve probably forged some decent relationships (and potential references) with these people. Eliminating someone’s position is never a fun job, and we’re sure it wasn’t the most enjoyable thing your supervisor did that week.
It does indeed suck that your husband was let go because his job was moved. But remember, things are great here at home in America right now! There’s the strong econom…err, the complete equality of wome…well, there’s…alright. Things aren’t great, and we hope your husband finds suitable employment soon. Until then, we suggest a smile in the office, and perhaps a lottery ticket or two on grocery day.
Jeni, Guest TMH