Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband is smart. He is so smart that he has three bachelor degrees in different fields, a master’s degree in another field, and most recently an MD. He is a math wiz, a politics smartypants, and (to top it all off) an amazing cook.
Yet somehow in all of his multi-talented greatness, he does not know how to follow directions. Here are a few examples:
“Honey, on the way home, please pick up two gallons of 1% milk.” He brings home one gallon of whole.
“Please save this beer for me. I want to drink it after the kids are asleep.” While I’m bathing them, he pops it open and downs it. (For the record, that one got ugly. It was a vanilla porter.)
“I put some clothes on our daughter’s bed. Please help her get dressed.” Five minutes later he asks what I want her to wear.
“It is really important to me that you not thaw raw chicken wings by taking them out of the package and soaking them in the sink.” He’s a doctor! Hasn’t he heard of salmonella??? He never remembers.
I just don’t understand. Is it possible that he is so smart that he can’t follow simple directions? He can’t be that smart. He thinks it’s funny to grab my boobs and yell, “Honk honk!” And when I point out to him that he didn’t listen correctly, he apologizes profusely. Short of writing down everything I want him to do on a post-it, is there any way I can get through to him?
Maybe I’m the Smart One
Dear Smart One,
So let me understand this. Your husband could actually save your life in a medical emergency, he can likely do your taxes and he’s an amazing chef! But you’re upset that he’s bringing home whole milk or forgetting that you left out clothes for your daughter on the bed?! Girl, you know you can’t find everything in one man. Not possible. And you are doing pretty well.
There are a certain number of people that are academically brilliant but challenged enormously by the basics of life. Take my mother for example. She has a bunch of degrees, including a PhD and a Master’s in Social Work that she got at the age of 68. Yet, this very same woman has a license plate on her car that at this very moment is upside down. True story.
Your husband is probably unlikely to change much in this area. But it’s worth talking to him about. It sounds like he’s not a great listener and maybe that’s making you feel unheard and unimportant. Because when he drinks your favorite beer or doesn’t take the time to get the milk you want that can make you feel like he doesn’t value you or value what you have to say. Perhaps just sharing this with him might motivate him to pay more attention.
But keep your expectations low and know that there are some things that one will truly never understand. For example, when my husband goes to the grocery store he always forgets one item, despite my constant pleas to just cross things off this list. Or how come he can drive to the same place 356 times and still not know how to get there. And my husband also does not understand that raw chicken is nasty and toxic. I almost put on a hazmat suit at Stop & Shop the other day when the chicken juice dripped on me. So I feel your torture.
But, most of these flaws I just try to accept, because my husband is a great guy and an amazing father. Somehow, you have to figure out a way to do the same. Because he can save your life! And cook you a kick ass meal! And that’s worth a lot.
However, there is one area where you must draw a line in the sand immediately. He must never again grab your boobs and yell, “Honk. honk.” No marriage can survive that.
It’s time for a STFU Parents book giveaway!
That’s right, we’re giving one lucky reader a brand-new, sparkly copy of Blair Koenig’s new book- STFU Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare.
What? Not familiar with that world?
It’s the world in which parents, commonly new parents, feel that whatever their children are doing is social media-worthy and Facebook status updatable.
Everything from a baby’s bowel movements, the size of their genitalia, to humblebrags about how intelligent the tykes are, these oversharing parents are out of control (and often, it seems, semi-literate.) And because it’s apparently impossible to stop them, and who the hell wants to join them, we just need to sit back and laugh.
Because we’ve all been there. We’ve all been subjected to friends/co-workers/parolees who overshare. We remember how in the very ancient time before Facebook, one of our friends told us about her baby’s bowel movement and the uncanny way that it changed from meconium to stool. And we remember thinking, “Hey! Let’s not be having this conversation!”
And we bet we’re not alone! So leave us a comment about an overshare that you either overheard or (gasp!) participated in, and we’ll pick a random winner on April 2nd!
Now we have to check our baby’s diaper. You never know what surprise could be waiting for us!
A few months ago, I wrote about the Cooking Planit app and how I was actually able to cook the family a delicious meal with its help. Which is a huge accomplishment for me because I can’t even make toast that’s edible.
Cooking Planit gives you step-by-step, timed instructions that are voice activated so you don’t have to touch your iPhone or iPad with “meatball hands.” For my first meal, I picked Zesty Chicken, which was comprised of Sautéed Chicken Tenders with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, Grilled Crostini and Sautéed Garlic Spinach. And, despite doing a few dumb things like dropping a knife on my foot and starting a small fire, the food was all done at the same time and tasted amazing. My husband said it was the best thing I’ve ever cooked, which is saying a lot after being married for 20 years.
And now Cooking Planit is giving you all a chance to win a wonderful Spice set! Here are the spices that are included in the set, along with my moronic-can’t-cook-for-crap ideas about each one:
Ground Cumin – Perfect for um, cumin beef!
Basil – I worked with a guy named Basil once; he stole people’s lunches
Saigon – Wait, didn’t that fall? #Vietnamhumor
Cinnamon – Not just a stripper name!
Bay Leaves – I don’t think pandas eat these, but I’m not sure
Smoked Paprika – That sounds like a good spray tan shade!
Thyme – Something I don’t have enough of, am I right, ladies?
Garlic Powder – Teenage vampires, beware!
Mediterranean Oregano – Better than Midwestern Oregano
Onion Powder – Don’t use on your nose
Rosemary – Not just George Clooney’s deceased aunt!
Red Pepper Flakes – These are the guys who got kicked out of Red Hot Chili Peppers
Coriander Powder – Perfect for um, coriander beef!
Cayenne Pepper – Excellent secret yogurt topping for the mean PTO President
Ground Cloves – Probably not the kind you smoked when you listened to Depeche Mode
Chinese Five Spice – Not FOUR spice, FIVE spice!
Turmeric – I don’t know what this is, but it sounds badass
Curry Powder – Tiny, little bits of Ann Curry donated by NBC
Yellow Mustard – Personally, I like Fuchsia Mustard, but this is probably good
Plus there’s Nutmeg Powder, Pennsylvania Pepper, Cardamon Powder, Cajun Seasoning, Allspice Powder, Hill Country Chili Powder, Ginger Root Powder and Manzanillo Mexico Seasoning. I know! SO MANY SPICES!
Of course Cooking Planit has tons and tons of recipes and an excellent resident chef named Emily Wilson who has brilliant menu ideas for all of these spices.
TO WIN THIS SET, LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING US YOUR FAVORITE SPICE! (Note: Posh, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Scary will not be accepted.) Contest ends on 3/27. Good luck!
And guess what? You can increase your chances with winning the Cooking Planit Spice Giveaway by entering one of the 50 other contests!
*Note: The dates below are start dates, some bloggers may not get their contests started until the evening on that date, so please be patient. We promise, all links are real, all parties are enthusiastic and willing participants. And it’s a proven fact, that your chances of winning go up exponentially each time you enter an additional contest. Thank you.
(This prize has been gifted to us as a promotion by Cooking Planit)
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My son invited a friend over (they’re 10) and the mom called me to confirm that I’ll pick both boys after school and to “make sure there won’t be any screen time” when they are here. I was so taken aback by her question, I didn’t quite have a response, except “of course not!” which was obviously the response she wanted.
Usually, I let the boys decide what they want to do (within reason) and I certainly don’t forbid their using the computer or the TV or video games (again, within reason.) Should I call her back and give the more honest answer? Or just forbid use of any and all electronics when the kid is over here?
Stop Screening the Screen Time
I always wanted to be one of those mothers who called ahead of a playdate to make sure that my child was going to have a wholesome experience, with lots of brain-boosting activities and organic cruelty-free snacks. Ideally when I picked up my kid, she’s be fluent in a new language and brimming with self-esteem and be on her way to getting an athletic scholarship or three.
And it could happen. If only the hosting parent applied themselves a bit instead of sitting back with a cup of that very special something and the newspaper, happy that their kid has someone over so that they can get a few minutes of peace already.
But I admit it– the other reason that I didn’t call is because when I start to think about all the questions that I would want to ask – do you have guns in the house? Anyone on the Sex Offender Registry? Anyone who you think should be on the Sex Offender Registry? Do you allow violent video games in the house? Do you allow people who have played violent video games in the house? Do you have any books by Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh in the house? Do you say the Lord’s prayer at mealtime? Where are you on the whole Lean In phenomenon? Who was your favorite Brady?
As you can see, there are endless questions that you can ask, all important and all offering insight into the family who will be hosting your child. Some parents worry when their child goes on a playdate. And of course, if the parent feels that there are one or two questions that are at the top of the list, then by all means. Ask.
But I I don’t like how this mom handled the situation. The way she asked about screen time did not lend itself to a discussion, but more or less demanded an “of course!” answer. The fact that she did it badly; however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t call her to talk about it.
So give her a call and be honest. Tell her that you weren’t expecting her question and after giving it some more thought, you wanted to let her know that no, screen time is not off-limits at your house during playdates, but that it is usually for a limited time. That way you are being honest and she can make the decision that she needs to make.
At the end of the day, we all have to parent the best we can. For most of us, that includes trusting the parenting community we belong to to take care of our children. And us returning the favor.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My fiancé’s sister is getting married soon and I really really really do not want to go. His family is pretty dysfunctional (mine is as well, which is why we are eloping). He hasn’t talked to his mom in over 10 years (and has no plans to). She will be there. His dad only talks to him after he calls him several times. His sister only talks to him 4 or 5 times a year.
The rest of his family thinks he should marry someone within his religion (which I am not). He was asked very late in the process to be a usher, and it is all going to be very awkward for me. Should I suck it up, or find a better excuse?
There Isn’t Enough Xanax To Get Through This Wedding
Dear There Isn’t Enough Xanax,
I do not envy you, lady. Weddings can be problematic. Especially when there are lots of tense family dynamics. I feel your anguish. Which is why it hurts me to tell you that I think you should go.
Oh my gosh, did you just throw a frying pan at me?!
Hear me out…
I think it’s impressive that your fiancé wants to attend the wedding. Yes, he only talks to his sister 4 or 5 times a year but we often regret the things we don’t do the most so it’s worth showing up.
And I’m guessing your fiancé could really use your support at this shindig. He’s going to have to face a mother he hasn’t talked to in 10 years and a distant father. That man needs you by his side! So don’t think about all his messed up, judgmental relatives, think about him. It’s one night and you just can’t make him go alone.
I think it’s ridiculous when families get upset over someone marrying outside their religion. That is between you and your husband. You two will decide what faith to practice and how to raise your children. End of story. They should be happy that he found someone to share his life with that he loves and respects.
In regards to the wedding, this is why they created wine. A few glasses (although not too much because you don’t want to end up doing the Philadelphia Chicken dance with his estranged mom) could get you through the night.
Stay by his side, be friendly and cordial and then get the heck out of there. I know you can do it.