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?
My Ex is Embarrassing Me
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,
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My good friend “Cindy” and I are both in our 40’s. She recently got divorced and now, quite understandably, she wants to go out to clubs and bars and start mingling. The problem is that she wants me to go with her because she doesn’t want to go alone. I’m happily married and don’t have the time or desire to hang out in a singles bar, but I still want to support her. Advice?
Not Single, Don’t Wanna Mingle
Dear Not Single,
One thing nobody tells you about in your 20’s—when you and all of your friends are out every night meeting guys—is that half of you will be doing it all over again 20 years later. Only this time most of the guys will be bald, disillusioned and taking medicine for their high cholesterol. It’s like Cocoon meets Sex and the City meets Dr. Oz. HOT!
Anyway, while you’re a good friend for supporting her, of course you can’t accompany her on her nightly Man Trawls or you’ll soon be divorced yourself. Therefore, I have a few (brilliant) suggestions for you:
1. Find another single or divorced woman you know and hook them up. They no doubt have a lot in common and would love to spend time going out to clubs together. (Think The First Wives Club, but without the poor writing and lip syncing to Motown songs.)
2. Suggest Cindy try another way of meeting men, such as Match.com, eHarmony or the new dating/tax service I just invented two minutes ago called “Heart o’ Tax” where you can go on a date with a CPA and have him do your taxes before he kisses you good night. 1099! 1099! Oh, God, 10…99!
3. Related to #2, see if she’s interested in being set-up with a single man you know, then maybe go on a double date. That way she still has you around as back-up, but it’s a little more civilized than a single’s bar where people lick things off of other people and then scream “Woohoo!” and have to go to the county health clinic a week later.
4. Do not, under any circumstances, call her a Cougar, a Puma or a Mountain Snow Leopard because it will only hurt her feelings. Unless, of course, she’s dating a 25-year-old guy named Colton who works at a kiosk.
But my biggest piece of advice is for you is to realize that she’s probably sewing some wild oats (or “sowing” if you prefer the “correct” usage of that term) and will calm down soon enough. Divorce is incredibly stressful and she’s now just enjoying herself as much as she can. So be there, support her and listen to the stories about all the hot guys she met last night.
Especially the bald ones who have high cholesterol.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I just noticed my female cousin and my ex-husband are now “friends” on Facebook. My ex was verbally/physically/mentally abuse to me as well as verbally/mentally abusive also to my cousin. Do you feel this is appropriate for the two of them to now be friends on Facebook?
Do you remember a time before Facebook? Where family drama was communicated through phone lines and in whispered hushes at family gatherings? When you had to work a bit harder to be passive aggressive about your feelings for your siblings choice of spouse? When the Internet was a place for the young and hip and not the aging and hip-replaced?
Yeah, me neither.
The fact of the matter is that I find many things about Facebook to be highly inappropriate. They include but are not limited to the following:
1. Telling me what you’re doing today, whether it’s going to the post office or making pasta for dinner. Yes, life is boring, and we’re all gonna die. We don’t need the reminder.
2. ANYTHING THAT MUST BE ACCENTUATED WITH ALL CAPS. Especially if you’re referencing the murder of your husband.
3. Posting pictures of your cleavage. Or moobs. Let’s at least pretend we’re not whores.
4. Updates that fish for compliments, flattery, sympathy, or advice on how to unclog a toilet. Your insecurities and digestive issues make everyone feel uncomfortable.
5. Images of my underage nieces and nephews chugging vodka and/or straddling members of the opposite sex. Mostly because it’s too much too fast, but also because it makes me feel old and prudish.
6. Public feuds. Please have the courtesy to NOT delete your humiliating arguments with your sister in-law. What’s embarrassing for you is a much-needed mood-lifting perspective for the rest of us.
Really, I could go on, but I worry that I’ll implicate myself at some point. So, back to you. Your situation is, hands down, also inappropriate. You should feel supported by your family, especially if you had the strength and courage to get yourself out of an abusive marriage. I can’t pretend to know why your cousin would make that connection, but I think you should certainly confront her. You don’t need to start a fight (though, if you do, please don’t delete it), but be honest about how this betrayal has made you feel.
In the end, what your cousin has done isn’t a Facebook issue, but a sensitivity issue. We’ve already written off the character of your ex, but your family should know better. (Then again, if your cousin also starts posting images of her cleavage, just cut the strings and call it a day.)
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have been happily dating my boyfriend for almost 2 years now. There is only one problem in our relationship: his ex-wife.
My boyfriend and his ex have a 2 ½ year old daughter together. So, I try to stay out of the way, and even respect his ex’s wishes enough to not live or sleep over when he has the little girl. Even though I adore her and I am around her 50% of the time that she is with her dad.
But nothing I have done so far is good enough for his ex, the Wicked Witch of the West. I’ve even tried staying out of her way yet she still brings me into it.
Frankly, I’d rather just acetone her car but that wouldn’t solve anything. So what in God’s great creation am I supposed to be doing? I’m not going to turn and run because the witch will just keep on torturing everyone else. Plus, I love my boyfriend and his little girl.
I’ve Got The Solvent, Now Where’s The Ex’s Car?
That’s a very long name. I’m winded just writing the letters. Can I just call you Apple, or how about Zuma?
Actually…Leann Rimes, is that you? Writing in to The Mouthy Housewives about Eddie’s ex on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?
No, no, wait, that’s not possible. Given LeAnn’s current muscle to skeleton ratio it would be impossible for her to even pick up a pen and write us a letter much less have the wherewithal to construct an actual sentence! But hey, now you know that should you decide to dabble in script writing you’ve got the perfect “reality” show to sell to Bravo!
I give you a lot of credit for trying to respect your boyfriend’s ex’s wishes and for putting in a lot of thought and care for his daughter. But it sounds like no matter what you do it may never be enough for the ex.
Some key factors that may be playing a part in her behavior, and to which you might want the answers, are:
1) How did their relationship end? Was it her decision or his?
2) Her daughter was only 6 months when you guys started dating, this isn’t quite Bridget Moynahan vs. Gisele Bundchen, but it’s close. Could this be hurting her? To see her daughter bond with another woman?
3) Does she have someone else in her life? Similar to the relationship you and your boyfriend have? Could she be jealous?
Of course, none of these answers is an excuse for her to act the way that she does but it may at least help you to understand her a little bit better.
I would suggest the three (or four, if she also has a new partner in her life) of you sit down for a discussion. Try and find a way to communicate, not for yourselves but for the little girl.
But you must also remember to stick up for yourself. It’s been very honorable of you to allow the ex-wife to call the shots as to when you are around her daughter BUT (big but here) there is also a point where you should stand up for yourself, your relationship with your boyfriend, and your love of the little girl too. You have been around for two years now. His daughter knows you and knows that this isn’t just some fling. It’s time to stop letting the ex control everything. It’s possible she has realized that her freak-outs get her what she wants. Stand up to her and tell her what you and your boyfriend need now.
At the end of the day, if she is still acting like the Wicked Witch of the West, you just need to realize, as Chris Rock put it best: “that *itch is crazy!” Alas, whether it’s an ex-wife, a mother-in-law, a best friend, or even a pet, our loved ones always come with some kind of baggage that we have to deal with to the best of our abilities. And unfortunately, or so I’ve been told, you can’t run over all the folks in your partner’s life that annoy you. It’s a real bummer.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband and I have been separated for a year and a half now. We do not have a formal agreement in place but are living apart. Last year I was ‘excused’ from sending out Christmas cards due to a death in the family. This year I am at a loss at to what I should do. Not everyone knows about the separation (and I am making myself sick thinking about the gossip that will arise once everyone knows) but if I send out a card with myself and my kids, the cat will be out of the bag. Help!
Dear Secretly Separated,
I’m sorry for your separation. But I’m guessing that your “secret separation” is not so secret at all. These things tend to get out and kids are not so fabulous at keeping their mouths shut. Like the way my 4-year-old shouted yesterday in a crowded public restroom… “Mom, what’s taking you so long? Are you pooping? It smells like you are pooping.” No I’m not! Here’s my iPhone. Please stop screaming!
I’m sure by now your separation is old news and the ladies in the neighborhood are already gossiping about that middle aged mom who has been seen THREE times with that young handsome Starbucks barista. (She must really like coffee.) Plus, so what if they are talking about you? Maybe one of those chatty Cathys knows of an eligible bachelor a couple towns over that might be your future soul mate.
But if you are really trying to keep this under wraps with distant relatives and whoever else is on your Christmas list, just send a photo of your kids. A lot of people do this because children are so much cuter than those of us who are age challenged and beginning to wrinkle and sag. No one will think anything of it!
But you should not be ashamed of your separation. It sounds like you are doing what’s best for your family and yourself.