Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Halloween is just one day away and my house is full of candy to give to Trick or Treaters. I’m trying to resist it and stick to my diet, but it’s not easy. Any tips on how to resist?
Tempted by Treats
Dear Tempted By Treats,
I’m sorry to hear that you don’t have a lot of willpower. Not to brag, but I personally have a tremendous amount of willpower. In fact, I haven’t even touched the many SWEET JESUS I WOULD KILL FOR A F*$#ING KIT KAT bags of candy I bought for Halloween. Nope, not a single piece of candy has passed by my determined lips.
You see, Tempted, it’s important to remember that dieting OMG SNICKERS ARE LIKE CARMEL METHAMPHETAMINE is a mental game. And one needs to stay strong of mind and appreciate that your body’s health is far more important than GET INTO MY MOUF, YOU DELICIOUS PEANUT M&M BASTARDS a few moments of sugary weakness. For it is our strength that keeps us looking good and feeling good, is it not?
That’s why powerful, clearheaded women like yours truly never, ever I GONNA LICK YOU ALL OVER LIKE A STRIPPER POLE, LAFFY TAFFY even look at our Halloween candy until Halloween night. Out of sight, out of mind, my friend. So my advice to you is to stop being so weak and AWWW, YEAH, 50 SHADES OF TWIX BAR pathetic and eat an apple instead. If you do that, I’ll be proud of you, but more important to note is that I JUST HAD A THREE MUSKETEERS 3-WAY AND NOW I NEED A WINE COOLER AND A CIG you’ll be proud of yourself. Go, you!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am a stay at home mom to a 2 year old girl and a 6 year old boy. Before having kids, I worked part-time. It’s been tough to live on one income, and unfortuantely my husband and I seem to have different ideas about spending. For example, he thinks it’s irresponsible for me to get my nails done at the salon, but I see it as a necessity. I need that quiet time once a week, and it’s not that expensive.
Who do you think is right?
Wouldn’t it be great if I were Suze Orman? Great for me, I mean! Because then I’d be a kazillionaire and take you out for a nice manicure! Wait, unless Suze Orman practices fiscal responsibility and doesn’t treat people she’d never met to manicures and other beauty treatments.
Personally, I totally sympathize with you. I love to get an occasional manicure and see it as Necessary Pampering. Unfortunately the Treasury has yet to recognize this budget item as worthy of deduction status. It’s not easy to look good sometimes. But I also sympathize with your husband. Because when looking for expenses to trim, his eye naturally jumps to all things shiny. Like your nails. And if it’s between food, housing, car, cable or your nails, I don’t have to tell you what’s going to be sacrificed in that pentogram.
The trick is to balance your need for some pampering and his need to live within your means. There are some ways that you could approach this.
1. Get your nails painted a less shiny, eye-catching color. There are gorgeous muted shades for fall, so perhaps it’ll be less likely to catch his eye? Of course you may prefer less Lucy-hiding-purchases-from-Ricky approaches below.
2. Discuss how much money there is in the budget for discretionary spending. If you know you have $X a month for non-necessary spending for the family, talk about splitting that amount among the family. And if your budget does not permit for discretionary spending, it’s time to re-evaluate it. Because a financial plan that does not allow for occasional spending is not sustainable.
3. Explain that the manicure is about more than nails, that it’s time for you to have for yourself. If you hire someone to watch the kids while you get the manicure, would it make sense for him to watch the kids on the weekend so that you can save on the costs that way?
Look, many of us are having money worries and financial conversations with our partners that we may want to avoid at all costs. Talking about money feels icky to us. But unless you can find a source of oil in your backyard (definitely worth looking! And if you find it, remember what a rock I’ve been in your life for the past few minutes), you got to have the tough-as-nails talk.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband and I limit our son’s exposure to violent video games, but I know he plays them when he goes to his friend’s house. How should I go about asking the parents who host the play date to not expose my kid to it without coming across like a control freak?
Apache Helicopter Mom
Dear Apache Helicopter Mom,
First of all, if your son is old enough to have friends who play violent video games, he probably wouldn’t want you to call it a play date. It’s called “hanging out.” Geez. Whatevs. [Exaggerated eyeroll]
I hate to break it to you, but the parents hosting the hang out will not only think you’re a control freak, they will also likely take offense to what they perceive as your judgment of them as bad parents for letting their kid play those violent video games. The fact is (and trust me, as the parent of an 11 year old boy, I am struggling to come to grips with this myself), as our children get older, we have less and less control over what they do when they are out of our supervision. It sucks, doesn’t it? Want to be even more horrified? Today it’s violent video games, and tomorrow it will be his first glimpse of internet porn when he’s over at his friend’s house. AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
I suggest having frequent one on one conversations with your son, letting him know specifically what it is that you think is awful about the violent video games, asking him how he feels when he plays them, what he finds fun about them, and telling him that you would really rather not he play them at all. Tell him that you know you can’t control everything he does, but that you hope that he will make good decisions when you’re not around. You could try and limit his time with this friend, but I think any kind of ban tends to backfire on us.
There is also the less sanctioned passive-aggressive route, in which you casually mention to the kid’s mom that you overheard her son telling yours how excited he gets every time he kills someone when he plays that game. All depends on how comfortable you are with subterfuge.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Every year on Halloween, we notice something very obnoxious in our neighborhood. In addition to the many children and teenagers in costume, we also get a handful of older women pushing around strollers and asking for candy. Last year, it was a grandmother and her grandson. She came to the door, leaving the stroller with a friend at the end of our driveway, and asked for candy for the infant. WTF?! I wanted to say no, but in the moment I just kind of looked at her, flabbergasted, and handed her the damn candy.
Should I speak up this year or will my house get egged?
Halloween is Not for the Elderly
Dear Halloween is Not for the Elderly,
Apparently, Halloween seems to be the one day that you can show up at stranger’s houses and demand free food. Well, I also do it on Arbor Day, but take it from me, it’s far less successful.
My feeling is – No Costume, No Candy! Say it with me! I mean, even those hoodlum teenagers manage to throw a pillow case over their heads and pretend to be ghosts for some free Snicker bars. You gotta put a little effort in! Even when my daughter was just 2 months old, I stuffed her into a super lame ear of corn costume. It wasn’t my first choice but it was the last remaining crumpled costume lying on the floor at Buy Buy Baby. But as far as I was concerned, that costume earned me some free candy corns.
So has the grandmother stuck her grandson in a cute little Pumpkin outfit? Well, then hand over the goods. But if he’s dressed as a baby, then no luck.
I understand why you fear being egged if you hold your ground. Those trick or treaters are a rowdy bunch and I once had a 4 foot Dracula aggressively insist I was dressed as Amy Winehouse when I was so obviously Priscilla Presley. What is wrong with 3rd graders anyway?!
But just put up a cute sign by your doorbell that says, “No Costume, No Candy” and if someone still has the audacity to demand candy without even a hint of dress up effort, let them know that you are running low and would love to save it for the kids in the neighborhood.
Or even better, just have some boxes of craisins nearby that you can throw in their bag. Trust me, they will never come back. Not even on Arbor Day.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Someone at my kids’ school is spreading terrible rumors about me: they’re saying I am organized and friendly.
So now all the organizations at school are trying to get me to volunteer to run this or that. Room parent, girl scout troop leader, fundraising – it never ends! All these requests are being hung over my head with begging eyes and claims of “Good for the children and community” blah blah blah.
I haven’t had a moment to myself since the start of this century. Now that my kids are older I almost have free time during school hours, these rumors are encouraging involved members in the community to recruit me and take it all away.
It’s not my fault I own a P-Touch label maker and positive attitude.
How do I make them all go away?
Uninvolved & Hiding in New Jersey
Before we start with the advice, I’m going to give you a choice.: Blunt or sugar-coated?
If you go with option A:
I’m afraid that unless you were born with a P-Touch label maker instead of an arm, it’s all your fault. I mean, who forced you to buy that label maker? We all see them at Costco, but most people just have a quick peek and keep on walking. Because nothing good can come from owning one. Sure, they’re fun at first. You make the “Mom’s Special Juice” label for the Chardonnay and “Place dirty dishes here” one for the dishwasher, but then what? You’re going to want to label something that actually leaves the house and that’s how the whole world knows what you’re capable of. You think the 99% aren’t going to want to get in on that action?
And don’t even get me started about that pleasant personality of yours. I know some people believe that it’s just how some people are, but I’ve always considered it a choice. And you didn’t choose wisely. So I’d start rethinking your approach to life. Enough with the smiling and being agreeable. Watch a few hours of Real Housewives of Any County and take notes. You’ll want to project whoever gets bleeped out the most at the reunion show, because you can bet that no one’s asking her to help in the name of the children.
So in order to have any chance at happiness and free time, deep six that P-Touch and transform your personality. You’re welcome!
If you insist on Option B:
How wonderful that the school community sees you as an asset! Every child deserves to be in a school where he or she feels supported by the parent body! Why, if it weren’t for parent volunteers like you, our schools (and children) would really suffer. And ending child suffering is a very admirable goal!
But of course you need to balance it with your own life and need for free time. So, how about you select one project (or two, if you can squeeze it in!) and then beg off the others, saying that you’re already committed and don’t want to overextend. That way you have some time for yourself and the children suffer just a little!
Another idea would be to lend someone that P-Touch. Just tell them where you buried it. They’ll dig it up themselves.