14 Sep
Stop Being A Jerk, You Jerk

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Do you have any advice on how to deal with real life jerks? Twice already today I’ve been yelled at — YELLED at — by complete strangers.   I personally avoid confrontation in my real life, and would never dream of yelling at a stranger.

First, as I was walking my large dog and my baby in her stroller, a guy yelled that he couldn’t believe my daughter didn’t have on shoes and socks (she was in her stroller with long pants and a long sleeve shirt and it was in the 60s – she was FINE).   Not five minutes later we encountered another dog walker. There wasn’t room for both of us on the sidewalk, and as I was blocked from crossing the street by a line of cars parked next to me I asked her to cross   – nicely, I swear. I was harried, because I was trying to control my dog and deal with my baby. She crossed, then yelled back at me in a nasty voice once she had passed me that I should have said PLEASE. I honestly thought I had – but I was trying to reign in my dog and pacify my screaming baby.

UGH. I had no snappy comebacks for either of them. In fact, I’m such an emotional mess lately that it all just made me cry.     I’m just wondering if you have any ‘kill them with kindness’ or other type of remarks. I’m not quick on my feet like that.

Signed,

Ready for a Comeback

_____________________

Dear Ready for a Comeback,

A funny thing happens the moment you become visibly pregnant–suddenly everyone thinks they have a right to give you their opinion.   They’ll tell you if you’re eating too much, they’ll tell you if you’re not eating enough, and man, do they ever tell you if you’re slamming too many tequila shots when you’re bellied up to the bar at your baby shower. The nerve of some people.

But in all seriousness, when you’re out in public with your baby or your kids or your dog, it’s like you’re fair game to some people. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been given “well meaning” advice from a random stranger as to how I should be raising my kids. This really bothered me back when I was in my sleep-deprived, new mother stage—much as it’s bothering you—but now I don’t give a rat’s ass about real-life jerks. Here’s why:

First, I’ve come to the realization that someone who acts like a jerk is most likely a completely miserable person, and therefore, their anger has nothing to do with you personally. They’re just looking for a reason to be a world-class a-hole. Second, how much a jerky comment gets under your skin is completely up to you, so train yourself to let their nastiness roll off your back like water off a duck. This isn’t always easy, and may involve some deep breathing, but trust me, it works. And third, always try to react in a way that makes your parents and your children proud. Meaning, take the high road if at all possible.

But of course I wouldn’t be a Mouthy Housewife if I didn’t have a few choice comebacks up my sleeve, so here’s a couple to use (but only in case of emergency):

1. I’m sorry I didn’t say “please,” but I figured you didn’t know what that word meant in Bitchville.

2. Yes, I know my baby should be wearing shoes and socks, but trust me, she’s keeping warm from all that peach schnapps I just put in her bottle.

And my personal favorite, which has taken me years and years to perfect and should only be used as the last possible resort:

3. F*&K   YOU, YOU F&*CKING F&#WAD!!

(Note: What this one lacks in finesse, it makes up for in the sheer pleasure of yelling it at the top of your lungs while also performing specially choreographed obscene finger gestures.)

Let’s hope your walks will be more pleasant from now on. But if they aren’t, just remember that if you let yourself get upset by something someone yells at you, you’re letting the a-holes win.

Sincerely,

Wendi, TMH

_______________________

It’s a TMH Book Giveaway! The wonderful Izzy Rose from Stepmother’s Milk has a wonderful new memoir out called The Package Deal: My (Not So) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom and we’ll be giving a copy away to one lucky reader this week! To enter, simply leave a comment on any post this week, and for an additional entry, send us a question to answer to ask@mouthyhousewives.com and you’ll be entered to win. (Questions will be posted anonymously!)   Good luck!

thepackagedeal

14 Responses to “Stop Being A Jerk, You Jerk”

09.14.09#1

Comment by mom, again.

wait, the other dog walker was able to cross first because our friend was not in the position to do so, and that bitch wants to to say ‘please’ when she’s the one getting the benefit?

B*tch is right!

09.14.09#2

Comment by DG at Diaryofamadbathroom.

Great advice. It is SO true that public domain mommyhood starts with strangers groping your pregnant belly in elevators and only gets worse. The best thing that you can exude in the face of unsolicited advice is confident indifference. For the random haters, #3 is a tried and true favorite.

09.14.09#3

Comment by HColt.

Try this one: “Well that was rude. You must be so embarrassed!”

09.14.09#4

Comment by Inna.

I like HColt’s comeback.

And I personally use “I don’t remember asking for your opinion.” Because although I’m not pregnant and don’t have kids, I also get unsolicited advice often.

09.14.09#5

Comment by hokgardner.

Man, remind me never to do anything that ticks Wendi off. : )

09.14.09#6

Comment by christy.

Wendi thank you so much for your advice. I have altered my walking routes so I haven’t encountered either of the haters again since this incident. I do need to develop a thick skin. In the meantime I’m memorizing your comebacks; I’ve already got #3 down pat! Thank you!!

09.14.09#7

Comment by someoneelse.

If you haven’t developed the thicker skin or mastered comebacks by the time your baby starts walking don’t despair. By about the fourth time some crazed person tries to run your toddler down with a shopping cart in the Cheez-it isle phrases that would make a truck driver blush will flow eloquently from your lips.

09.14.09#8

Comment by Chris.

To unsolicited advice from strangers, I always say, “Do we know each other?”

09.14.09#9

Comment by Kelly.

For unsolicited comments, I usually go with a blank look and an “I’m sorry… was I speaking to you?”
As for the general bitchiness, I find that smiling and commenting something like “have a nice day” throws them off – because they don’t understand POLITE.

09.14.09#10

Comment by MarathonMom.

Start with “did you know your epidermis is showing?” and then move on from there.

09.14.09#11

Comment by Amber in Albuquerque.

Wow! Them’s some good comebacks for sure…I usually tend more toward Wendi’s comeback #3, so these are most excellent options.

09.14.09#12

Comment by Zoe Right.

Ohhhh that’s what I was doing wrong…I’m so embarrassed, You’re not supposed to use this 3. F*&K YOU, YOU F&*CKING F&#WAD!! right off the bat? Got it.

09.14.09#13

Comment by arwhite.

I prefer “What in my face makes you think I care?” I’m the most opinionated person in the world, but know better than to pass on my infinte wisdom to people who don’t know me and won’t appreciate the magnitude of what I have to say.

09.15.09#14

Comment by Mary.

Apparently, I drove some poor adult woman in her early 40’s to throw a tantrum like a 2 year old in our public library. It was super cute and very endearing! 😐 As we left, I told her, “Hey, I’m sorry we got here before you and you had to stand in line. I’ll do better next time.” I crack myself up.

But, more often than not, I use option number 3. It’s kind of what I’m known for in our small town.

Consider Checking Out...