Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My children have a paid carpool to school in the morning and travel by bus back home in the afternoon. They are 11 and 19. They travel with a neighbor just around the corner from my home. My kids have now been complaining for a while about this women using foul language on them and telling them that they are “F-ed up.” I really want to approach her and give her a bit of my mind as she has issues and is now taking it out on my kids. What should I do?
Everybody Out of the Car Pool
Dear Everybody Out of the Car Pool,
So let me get this straight. Someone you’re paying with your money is telling your kids that they’re “f-ed up” and you’re wondering what to do? You’re obviously not from the Mouthy Housewife states of Texas or New York, my friend. Oh, no no no no no. If you were, you’d be asking us for bail money instead of asking us for advice. But luckily, we can still help you out because it is our duty as unpaid Internets writers.
Now listen closely: the next time your neighbor comes to pick up your kids, I want you to follow these instructions to the letter:
1. Slowly remove your earrings and hand them to your children while staring intensely at the carpool driver.
2. Repeat above, but with any and all hair extensions. Say something menacing like, “Hold momma’s wig for me, baby, I’s got work ta do” if you like.
3. Take your right hand and curl in all of your fingers until you form a nice, hard fist. (Note: Be sure you’re wearing every fake diamond ring you own.)
4. Now politely ask the driver to get out of the car. Perhaps in the genteel NYPD style. Example: GET YOUR MOTHAFOKKIN ASS OUT OF THE MOTHAFOKKIN CAR BEFORE I DO IT FOR YOU, YOU MOTHAFOKKIN UNDERWEAR STAIN. Then roll your neck and snort a few times.
5. Take that asshole all the way down to Chinatown.
If you don’t know what that last step means, well, then you’re either a nun or someone who skips around a daisy field singing country songs all day. But if you do understand it, then there’s no reason why you should let your children be treated that way by anyone ever. And I do mean ever. There’s really no confrontation needed, just get busy and find another way to get them to school.
And if you don’t, then that’s really f-ed up.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Last fall my neighbor went on and on about how she’s not getting the flu shot for her kids because it’s all a big scam. She basically said I was an idiot for getting them for my kids. Then today I heard that her two teenagers have the flu. Is it acceptable to go stand on her front porch and scream, “I told you so!”?
Dear Good Neighbor,
In a word, “NO.” Do not go over to her house while her kids are inside suffering from the flu and scream “I told you so!” Your impulse to immediately rub her face in her mistake is an understandable one, but it’s just not something we do in polite society. Turn the other cheek, take the high road, don’t stick your tongue out at the cop who didn’t see you run that red light, blah blah blah. We need to act like grown-ups and get along with our neighbors.
That said, I see no reason why you still can’t get a little satisfaction out of this situation. And you don’t even need to do anything as obvious as having your kids do calisthenics in her yard while wearing, “I LOVE FLU MIST!” tshirts. (Although that would make a great YouTube video that would probably go viral.) (Get it? VIRAL? It’s the flu, so it’s spread with…nevermind. Medical humor never works.)
What I want you to do is wait about six months until it’s flu shot season again. (This is called “playing the long game.”) Then nicely tell your neighbor you’re getting the shots for your kids and see what she says. If she nods and says, “Me, too,” great! But if she starts in on the whole “it’s a scam” business again, simply pull a bottle of hand sanitizer out of your purse, hand it to her nicely and say, “Well then, you’re going to be needing a few of these. Good luck.” And then walk away with your head held high.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My neighbor is my friend and her husband recently made several passes at me. I had no idea that he was interested in me, blind I guess. I won’t lie – I like the attention. But I have no interest in sleeping with him. But I also haven’t stopped him from hitting on me. And I am married too.
But he just dropped a bomb on me about how his wife (my friend) always looks at the phone records and asked me what we should do if she asks why we have been texting each other back and fourth. I am terrified of losing my friendship and I don’t want things to be awkward between us. I am completely fine to stop interacting with him. But what am I supposed to do if she asks me? I’m afraid she wouldn’t believe me if I told her he started it, and that she’ll spread rumors about me. I feel so stupid for this.
Flirting with the Boy Next Door
Dear Flirting with the Boy Next Door,
Wow. You have gotten yourself in a real pickle. Yes, I understand why you feel stupid. But he should feel even stupider (I think that’s a real word) because he knew all along that his wife reviews the phone records and kept texting you anyway.
But it doesn’t really matter who is crowned the most stupid or who started it because girl, you gotta get your act together! You are a married woman and flirting with your friend’s husband is not appropriate, or smart. Let me remind you that General Petraeus got caught having an extramarital affair because of email. If the director of the CIA can’t get away with this crap, then there isn’t much hope for you. Man, it’s hard to have an affair these days.
It’s time to ask yourself a few questions. Why are you letting this guy hit on you? Is it just the excitement of something new? Or the danger of it all? Are you unhappy in your marriage? Losing your friend might be the least of your concerns if your husband finds out about this.
I would immediately cut off all contact with the friend’s husband and start reinvesting in your relationship with your husband. If your friend does approach you about these phone records, I would admit that yes, you have texted with her husband (true) because you and the husband are friends (sort of true) but nothing is going on between you guys (true) and that her friendship is important to you (true).
If you’re lucky, one of her kids will use those phone records on the bottom of their bird cage and she’ll never be the wiser. Buy them a bird immediately.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
When the 2012 election is finally over, is it acceptable to go destroy my neighbor’s yard signs? They’re for a candidate I voted against and I’ve looked at them (the signs, sometimes the neighbors) with hatred for six total months. Please say it’s okay to go get medieval on them signs.
Atilla the Hun
This certainly has been a particularly divisive election, what with the political climate charged with things like uteri, employment, war, and Big Bird. In fact, a friend was just lamenting that half of her family unfriended her on Facebook because of her political status updates. But good riddance, right? (Unless it was wealthy Uncle Bob, in which case it’s time to repent.)
With your neighbors, however, it can be even trickier ground to navigate since they’re, like, real-life people and not just fake Internet ones. For this reason, I would caution you against destroying their signs with a midnight shock-and-awe campaign. Unless, of course, you have a really awesome plan that would frame that crotchety couple across the block that no one likes anyway, because it’d basically be a victimless crime. Mostly.
Plus, you should seize this opportunity to teach your children a lesson about tolerance. Or maybe just maturity. Do your best to get yourself and all your like-minded friends out to the polls next time, and take comfort in the sense of gratification you get from rocking the vote and working hard to get your political ideals into positions of power! Success is the best revenge, right?
Oh, who am I kidding. Kick those damn signs in, blame it on the dog, and then bake them a cake laced with Visine.
It’s the American Way.
She’s baaaa-aack! Nicole of Ninja Mom Blog is back at the Mouthy Clubhouse today, and we couldn’t be happier to have her. (And not just because she always brings the best wine, doesn’t mind Karen’s shoe hoarding, and has some ideas for new dog breeds that I hope will make
me her millions. Though, those things help.) –Kristine, TMH
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband has a huge issue with our neighbors and their daughter. My 5 year old daughter has befriended the neighbor girl and I, the parents. At first he was kind to them and would even invite them over. But,for some reason, he has decided not to like the daughter and the mother.
First issue is: He has made it very obvious that he does not like the child that comes here to play. He has been rude – by not even saying “hello” or acknowledging her when she is here. It has become a tense situation for my daughter as she has figured out that the neighbor friend must leave before Dad gets home. It is even starting to make me nervous.
Second issue: He does not like any time that I might spend with the parents. He says she is a bad influence and that he just plain does not like them, though has never explained to me why he feels that way.
It has come to the point that if my husband knows that my daughter and I are socializing with the neighbors, he won’t come home. It is such a sore spot with the two of us and is really putting a huge wedge into our relationship. How do I get over this issue, without taking it personally? These are actually very nice people. Educated, hard working. They are polite and very kind to our children. I just do not know what to do anymore.
Dear Crescent (rolls? moon? –shaped scar?),
Husbands! Can’t live with them, can’t marry women in most states here in the USofA. So, you’ll have to juggle the ever contentious marital game, Family Dating.
Do you know this game? Remember back to when you two were just a couple? You’d meet a nice woman: you liked her shoes, she made you laugh, she forgot cranberries, too?! Then you started asking about her husband. Did he golf? Ski? Swill beer? Shoot kittens? So did your husband! And so you tried to couple date them. Alas, often the relationship would fizzle between two parties before it fizzled between the other two. (Wife: “I don’t want to see them anymore. She’s always dropping comments about my muffin top.” Husband: “But he has a man cave!”)
Now that you have kids, it’s a thousand times worse. Umpteen more things can go awry. There are way too many people involved for all parties to remain enamored of each other. Really, it would be easier if you just stopped socializing altogether and gave your DVR a human family identity, like, The Hackenberrys. “Babe, want to see what the Hackenberrys are doing tonight?”
But, that way lies madness and a lack of playdates for your children who rarely want to visit with the Hackenberrys when only the Bachelor remains in your queue. You, as a functioning human, require interaction with other members of your species.
So, what to do?
I think it’s time to ask your husband, point-blank, what it is he doesn’t like about these folks. You say “it’s very obvious” and that he “plain does not like them,” but if you were to ask him to elaborate, perhaps you’d discover his bias? Maybe he suspects them of being alien lifeforms, terrorists, or Ron Paul supporters. But, frankly, there aren’t that many Ron Paul supporters.
Maybe he’s witnessed some bad behavior that he thinks is inappropriate or even dangerous, especially when it comes to your daughter. Maybe he’s just not happy about how much family time you are spending with them and would like some more time with just the three of you. The truth is that speculating will get you nowhere. It’s time to talk with each other openly.
That said, I’m wondering if I’m sensing something slightly more controlling going on. Because if he is flatly refusing to tell you why he thinks so terribly of these people—and behaving so poorly about it, I might add—then you probably have more to worry about than who you hang out with outside the walls of your own home. If he feels so strongly as to be passive aggressive around children, the logical connection is that he’d want his own wife and child to know the reason.
Good luck! And I hope the alien probings aren’t painful!
Nicole, Guest TMH