Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My 10 year daughter is best friends with a girl whose mother’s parenting style is very different from mine. She allows her daughter to watch PG-13 movies and to wear clothing that I consider inappropriate. Last summer my daughter asked for a bikini like the one her friend wears instead of a one-piece that I bought for her. I explained that different families have different rules, but I wonder if I should speak to the mom. We are on friendly terms, and I wonder if sharing my concerns with her would make her rethink some of her choices.
Dear NoBikini Mom,
Before I get to the larger issue, I want cross the easy part of this off my list.
One piece bathing suits (scientific name maillot) can be uncomfortable. What they offer in modesty they make up in sheer wetness all over the stomach area once you’re out of the pool. That does not mean that your daughter needs to wear a thong bikini, but you should know that there are a lot of age-appropriate options out there.
Now onto the bigger issue. You know that your parenting style is different from the other mom’s. Your daughters are best friends despite (or maybe because?) of these differences. You took the important step of telling your daughter honestly that each family’s rules are different and now you are wondering if you should share your views with the other mom. And here’s my answer. Yes. And also, no.
Yes, because you are friendly and people who are on friendly terms and whose children are best friends should discuss issues that concern their children. Sharing ideas is important and can be eye-opening for each of you.
No, because you seem to want to win her over to your way of thinking. If your goal in having this discussion with her is to have her fall to her knees and start repenting for parenting her kid in way that is inconsistent with your philosophy, I suggest you refrain. (Or if you choose to proceed, give Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise a heads up. They need 24 hours to get the camera crews ready.) Because the judgey talk of “my way is better than your way” has never improved a relationship.
Chances are the other mom already knows how you feel about the various issues, and perhaps she is taking the Agree to Disagree route on this one.
And when it comes to parenting our kids, there is nothing wrong with that.
Best of luck,
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!
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.
As you may know, our beloved Kelcey is expecting her 4th or 5th bundle of joy–a baby boy–virtually any day now, and the rest of us here at The Mouthy Housewives are giddy with excitement (and relief that it is not us about to give birth). Over the weekend, we’ve been brainstorming and bickering over the best gift to give our BFF as a don’t-call-it-a-push-present. Ultimately, we decided that material gifts are not nearly as amazing as those that come from our hearts and brains, which is why our offering is the gift of a name.
That’s right. We’re offering to name your child, Kelcey! (Sorry, probably should’ve told you to sit down first, as we’re sure you’re overcome with gratitude for such wonderful friends.) Creating an algorithm we remember from our stripper days, and pulling from some of Kelcey’s favorite things, this is what we have created:
We’re taking a name from the cast of Friday Night Lights, adding the name of our favorite candy, and VOILA! So here are our respective offerings.
Kristine: Riggins Zagnut
If this isn’t the most refined name for a baby boy you’ve ever heard, then you must hang out with some really fancy people. Take this gift, Kelcey, and run with it. Your son is going to really make a name for himself in this world. All thanks to me. (Well, and you, I guess…and your husband, if you want to get graphic about it.)
Marinka: Buddy Kit Kat
You’re welcome. And so is your baby boy, Buddy. I can see him in high school now– The Budster! The ladies love the Kit Kat! I’ll start monogramming that pillow now.
Karen: Saracen Heath
People use last names as first names all the time now. It’s super-cool. With this name your boy will have good looks, good sense, and the ability to put up with the most annoying girlfriend ever. Plus, he will have a crunchy toffee center.
Wendi: Coach Taylor Twizzler
The beauty of this name is that even if your new baby is a complete disaster at every sport, it won’t matter because his very name will guarantee he gets on the team! Baby Coach! And, if he desires, the Coach name will later get him a job in purse design. Score! Plus with a name like Twizzler, he’s probably going to be really skinny and really good at yoga and light up when he dresses in all red.
Be sure to wish Kelcey the best and use the algorithm to leave your gift in the comments below!
Happy Baby, Kelcey!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I had confided in my friend a few months ago and it’s pretty obvious that she shared what I told her with her husband. I feel hurt and betrayed and embarrassed and like my friendship with her is over.
Is it worth trying to repair it or do you think once the trust is gone, it’s gone forever?
Dear Don’t Blab,
Oh, friends and their husbands, don’t get me started.
I once had a friend who told me that she had a “no secrets” policy with her spouse, which apparently meant that she told him every bit of information she had gathered throughout the day. I was confused by such a thing, but also took it as a fair warning that if I were talking to her, he would eventually get the information. I hope you can appreciate how difficult it was for me to plan his surprise party.
But I appreciated her letting me know. Because if my confidence was going to be shared with Mr. Friend, I had the right to decide what I talked to her about. And it definitely tempered our discussions to topics like weather, kids today, and those bozos in D.C.
Your situation is obviously different because you had no idea that you would be betrayed. Which is pretty much the worst kind of surprise there is. But before we cross-stitch a scarlet B for Blabbermouth on your friend’s spring tunic, you need to make sure that she did, in fact, tell her husband. Is it possible that she did not? Is it possible that he knows this information from another source (it’s not too late to suspect other friends!) Or maybe he doesn’t know the confidence at all, but was alluding to something else entirely?
Either way, talk to your friend. Explain what your expectations are and how hurt you would be if she were to share the things you told her with anyone else.
If she did betray your trust, you’ll have to decide if your friendship can survive it; and if it can, whether it will change how much you share with her.
But give her a chance. Making new friends is so time consuming. Maybe she did nothing wrong. Maybe she will change her ways. Maybe she’ll have some great gossip about someone else to distract you with.
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?
I Could Really Use a Manicure
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!