13 May
Help! My Boot Camp Instructor is Too Gorgeous

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I’ve turned over a new leaf and have been going to the gym, eating well, and generally adopting a healthy lifestyle. Recently, I thought I’d try a new class at the gym: boot camp. The problem is that the instructor is GORGEOUS! I think I’ll be too intimidated, or at least distracted, to get through a class. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I need some advice!

Signed,

Blushing Recruit

______________________________________________________________________

Dear Blushing,

Wow! You had me at “new leaf ” and “healthy lifestyle”, then you lost me at “boot camp” and then you got me back at “extremely good looking.”   I’m a wreck from riding that emotional roller coaster. But enough about me (for now).

Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way, and congratulate you for your commitment to healthy living. That’s fantastic and I’ve heard experts on TV say that it’s apparently good for you or something. So, good for you! Or something.

But sorry about the gorgeous instructor.  Sometimes I think that really attractive people have no idea how annoying their good looks are to the rest of us.

Fortunately for you, I was also a boot camp cadet, so this advice comes with the wisdom borne of experience.  So hear me when I share this nugget with you:

It does not matter what your instructor looks like, because the only part you will be seeing are his boots, while you’re doing pushups, running around with a tire or digging your own grave.

I was in a three week tour of duty with my boot camp and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t identify my sergeant in a line up.  I know he yelled a lot and I wished things that I was pretty sure violated the Geneva Convention on him, but that’s where things ended.  Because when someone responds to your adorable suggestion “what say we invade Gucci and get our hands on some of those purses?!” with a  “twenty sit-ups” the details of their facial features tend to blur.

So, stick with the class. Get into fighting shape. And don’t hold Adonis’ DNA against him.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

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08 Apr
It’s My Birthday, Give Me Better Gifts!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I recently had a birthday and a few of my friends and I went out to celebrate.  They treated me to dinner and we had a nice time, but I was a little insulted because the gifts they gave me were all “jokey” gag gifts (like penis-shaped pasta.) I like to laugh as much as anyone, but I also would have a preferred a gift certificate for a manicure. Should I say something?

Signed,

I Could Really Use a Manicure

______________________________________________

Dear Manicureless,

Well, you know the old saying, you shouldn’t look a gift penis pasta in the mouth. It’s there for a reason. (I think it’s because only dentists are allowed to look in mouths since no one has the stomach for it.)  But another reason maybe is that people do not want to appear ungrateful, even if they feel ungrateful because they got a lousy gift instead of that something shiny they had their eye on.  (Is it me, or does it seem like I’m trying to cover a lot of body parts in this post?)

In my experience, there are two types of gifts. The ones you want to get and the ones people want to give. Occasionally, there is a cosmic confluence and the two types become one. Whether it’s because the gift giver knows the recipient so well or because the recipient-in-waiting has launched a small to medium emailing campaign about her preference, there have been times in history when someone opens a present and says, with all sincerity, “this is perfect. How did you know? Thank you!”

The rest of the time, we have to close our eyes and think of England, in gift-terms. We have to thank the person who gave us the gift for remembering our  birthday, for thinking of us, for the gesture.

If the gift does not come with a gift receipt  and you feel like your friends got you a gift that they really want you to enjoy and appreciate, it is not inappropriate to let them know that while  you love the gesture you would  like to exchange it for something more useful to you. Most gift givers have been on the receiving end of this scenario themselves and are happy to facilitate an exchange. However, if, as in your case, the gift was a gag gift, stop at the “thank you.”

Your friends treated you to dinner and you had a nice evening together celebrating your birthday. The penis pasta was just gravy. (Eww.)

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start a new birthday tradition.  Every year, get yourself a gift for your birthday, something that you really want and that others aren’t likely to get you. I’m thinking less “Maserati” and more “manicure” here.

And here’s to many more birthdays with your friends!

Marinka, TMH

 

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14 Mar
Here Comes the Bride But I’d Rather Not Go

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?

Signed,

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.

Good luck,

Kelcey, TMH

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11 Mar
Just Shut Up and Pick Up the Hammer, Handyman

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Do I have to pay the $100 an hour guys that come to my house to put in closet shelves if they spend their time shooting the breeze on my dime? Should this not bother me? Am I just cheap? It seems like every time I have to call a handy man in to paint the bedrooms or caulk the shower stall or clean out the gutters, he ends up talking to me about his kids that don’t listen, or the lazy boss at his old job. I’m fine with being an ear to someone who needs one, but must I be the one paying to hear of someone’s woes at two bucks a minute?? Seems like they should be paying me, not me paying them to dump on me.

The last straw was with a closet maker/organizer that came last week. She sat and talked about her divorce and then sent me a bill for 3 hours work when she spent at least half an hour at my kitchen table complaining about her ex not giving her enough money to pay for private school tuition for the kids. I can’t be the only one. Do people just pay this and consider it a “tip?” Am I just a cheap skate?

Sign me,

I’ll Listen, But Not At 2 Bucks a Minute

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Dear I’ll Listen,

I guess it’s safe to assume that the “handymen with caulk” in your house aren’t shirtless, otherwise you wouldn’t be complaining. Which is probably your first mistake, hiring clothed handymen, but then again, I suppose not all handymen should go shirtless. (I’m looking at you, Fatballs Larry. Ain’t nobody need to see that crack.)

It’s also probably safe to assume that you have one of those “approachable and friendly” faces that gives workers the signal it’s okay to talk to you. Bad, bad, bad. So very bad.

“In the presence of the hired man, one must always put on their Mega Bitch Face.” That’s a quote from the Dowager Countess. Or maybe it’s a quote from my Dowager Neighbor who’s always nasty to the lawn guys. I’m not sure which because I’m usually tipsy when I watch PBS. (That’s why I have 150 tote bags: drunk dialing during pledge drives.)

Anyway, I know it may sound like I’m kidding about the bitch face thing, but I’m really not. If you don’t engage the handymen in conversation, they won’t talk to you. It’s as simple as that. Even if your entire body is telling you, “Go ask Phil if he has any kids!” you must not ask Phil if he has any kids. Tell him what you need done, then disappear.

If he tries to talk to you, put on headphones or pretend you only speak Portuguese or something. Glue your cell phone to your ear and act like you’re on a conference call. (“What?! No, I told you I need that report ASAP, Jeremy! I’m calling HR!”) Just do whatever you need to do to be antisocial. Sure, he may think you’re sort of a jerk, but who cares when each word that comes out of his mouth costs you cash, right?

And if that doesn’t work, give me a call. I’ve got a hammer, a need for cash and I never talk to anyone if I don’t have to.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH

_____________________________

Also, heads up that we’re joining in Cooking PlanIt’s Big Spice Giveaway! Our contest will be the week of March 21-27th, but there are 50 other blogs also participating. Look!

SpiceGiveaway

50 Bloggers are giving away 50 sets of 26 top spices over the next 25 days! That’s 50 Chances to Win!  Starting today, March 6th, 2 bloggers will start a 7-day spice giveaway (winners in continental US only) with winners announced on the 8th day. Each day after that, for 25 days total, two more giveaways will start. Check out the 50 foodies in the matrix below, and join their contests for additional chances to win! PIN THIS CONTEST AND SHARE THE SPICE.

Don’t want to wait, win now and buy your own custom spice set from Spices Inc.

*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.

2013 Cooking Planit Spice Giveaway Participants

Start Stop Flight 1 Flight 2
1 3/6/13 3/12/13 Sophistishe Field and Feast
2 3/7/13 3/13/13 The Wicked Noodle The Cooking Planit Blog
3 3/8/13 3/14/13 The Aliso Kitchen Slow Down & Savor
4 3/9/13 3/15/13 Chicago Foodie Sisters Jessiker Bakes
5 3/10/13 3/16/13 My Happily Ever After the End The Food Yenta
6 3/11/13 3/17/13 Notes from Maggie’s Farm Food Fash
7 3/12/13 3/18/13 My Kitchen Addictions What Jew Wanna Eat
8 3/13/13 3/19/13 Bite Sized Blog Nicole’s Nickels
9 3/14/13 3/20/13 A Busy Mom of Two Food Squeeze
10 3/15/13 3/21/13 Kasey’s Kitchen Kitchen Concoctions
11 3/16/13 3/22/13 Daily Ups & Pounds Lisa Cooking
12 3/17/13 3/23/13 Ditch the Box Huppie Mama
13 3/18/13 3/24/13 Hungry Hutch Food Fetish
14 3/19/13 3/25/13 Cook the Blog Three Diets. One Dinner
15 3/20/13 3/26/13 Sugarfoot Eats Gear Live
16 3/21/13 3/27/13 CopyKat Recipes The Mouthy Housewives
17 3/22/13 3/28/13 Burnt Apple The Butterfly Mom
18 3/23/13 3/29/13 The Mama Report Ancestral Chef
19 3/24/13 3/30/13 A Food Centric Life We Like To Cook
20 3/25/13 3/31/13 Dixie Chik Cooks Baby Boomster
21 3/26/13 4/1/13 Unorganized Mommy of 3 Much Ado About Fooding
22 3/27/13 4/2/13 Better with Butter The Primlani Kitichen
23 3/28/13 4/3/13 Mother Would Know California Country Gal
24 3/29/13 4/4/13 Yi Reservation NY Foodgasm
25 3/30/13 4/5/13 ME Redone Creative Culinary

 

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The Spices for Cooking Planit's Spice Giveaway

Image courtesy of Emily Wilson and Cooking Planit

 

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26 Oct
What to do about violent video games

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?

Signed,

Apache Helicopter Mom

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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.

Bang bang!

Karen, TMH

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