The celebrity scandal scale must have been at an all-time low, as my phone started frantically buzzing. “Have you seen THIS?” my friends asked, as I swiped and expected a link to another
Magic Mike XXL trailer. Alas, it wasn’t Channing Tatum’s pecs but an editorial in the New York Times
by a former Upper East Sider. In an effort to promote her upcoming book Park Avenue Primates,
Wednesday Martin managed to offend every mom-with-a-blog-and-a-luxe-tote as she regaled her Sunday readers with stories of overprivileged families who excluded her brood.
And now there is the hilarious Bravo series Odd Mom Out — I just can’t get enough of Jill Kargman and her “thass” (thigh + ass = thass)— that literally spins the mom tales from the stationery bike to the laid-back parental planet known as Brooklyn.
It’s only natural that my pals would text, email and call me to discuss — it’s all about New Yorkers, they say. And I have to agree. Mean girl mommies are everywhere, but in the South is takes on a slightly different accent. The southern girl can hide behind her smile. You can say anything about anyone, as long as you finish your diatribe with “Bless her heart.” Example: “She sent her daughter to camp without ONE monogram, bless her heart.” And poof! Snark erased.
So in the interest of summer break — the heat only stokes the mean girl mommy’s fire — a few illustrations for those in the belle’s wrath.
Summer Camp: Shhhhh…
For the lucky few, summer is embraced as a lazy haze of barbecues and beach houses with the family. For others, it’s an unscheduled mess of playdates and missed day camp deadlines, until your child finally advances to the suitable age of sleep away bliss. Score! The southern mom loves to plan, so it would seem natural to ask the others where they plan to send their child, right? Wrong. I’ve seen the reaction — eyes down, a mumble or two, a few “hmmmm, not sure yet…” Why? Because it’s just like anything with a wait list. They don’t want to tell you because they’re afraid you might take their spot. It’s a competitive sport, so approach it with a game plan.
Check out the mean girl mommies’ Facebook pictures, their car magnets and their sweatshirts. If you see their older girls with camp logos, avoid that camp at all costs. Grab a friend and apply together to another one, just keep it to yourselves. Want to know where the nice girls go? Give me a call. I live in camp central, a.k.a the North Carolina mountains where there is a slew of great ones. (I also avoid Target this time of year, as the rest of the world is dropping their child off at camp and picking up those last minute items, lines for days….) But don’t dawdle: sign ups start immediately after the last session ends, so plan now for next year.
There is nothing more intimidating than a group a mean girl mommies and rows of organic fruit and vegetables. As a mom to a “picky eater”, our trips to the church parking lot used to provoke panic attacks, as I watched my daughter knock down the jogging strollers and run straight to the cupcake lady. I would apologize to the moms I recognized— uniform: wide-brimmed straw hats + Tom Ford sunglasses + BPA cups with school logo + monogrammed shopper from Swoozies — and pretend to stock a bunch of collard greens that I had no intention of cooking into my Trader Joe’s bag. Usually I would hear at least one mom bribing their child to be good: “If you stay in your stroller, I’ll give you a sucker!” (It took me a few times to realize a sucker was a lollipop in the southern lexicon.) I would stare at their children, bows in their hair, begging for organic juices, the greenest broccoli and gluten-free muffins, daydreaming what that would be like in my house. Thankfully, with the help of the java guy, I snapped out of it. “Well dear, we’d LOVE to have you all over for a juice party, but we know that your daughter only likes the processed kind,” they would say. My response? “No worries, I grew up on Stouffer’s and Tab, so we’re going home for some pizza.”
Bless their hearts.
Note: Ready for back to school? Send me your favorite Mean Girl Mommy anecdotes for a special edition, OR if you have a question about dealing with them, bring it on!
Bless their hearts.