The Worst Part of the HIMYM Finale

Yes, I’m still mad about the How I Met Your Mother series finale a week later. I spent nine years investing in this show. It’s going to take me more than a day to get over the disappointment. It would be like if Pop Culture Dad (who, BTW, I’ve been with less years than I was Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney, and even Robin) came home tomorrow and dumped me in an ugly and unceremonious way. Okay… It’s not actually that dramatic. But the finale did. really. suck. y’all!

But you know what’s the worst part of that horrible finale? We HIMYM die-hard fans have been defending our loyalty to this show for the last couple of years, and these bastards (Thomas, Bays, and the rest of the HIMYM writers) just punched us in the gut and left us lying in the dirt. It’s been hard being a HIMYM fan, and now it was all for nothing.

Pop Culture Dad and I actually met towards the end of the first season of HIMYM. I was a fan. He was not. I quickly caught him up to speed and got him in the HIMYM fan club also. Our relationship grew and blossomed with these characters for five years. And then he dropped out. PCD just couldn’t do it anymore. The writing wasn’t as good as it had been in the earlier seasons. Ted was becoming increasingly more annoying (particularly his on-again, off-again obsessions with Robin). PCD got tired of them not just jumping to how Ted met the mother and getting over it already. Pop Culture Dad would occasionally watch an episode with me here and there, but many times, he would spend the episodes peppering scenes with an interjection of, “This is so stupid!”, “Has this show been cancelled yet?”, “I swear the only thing good about this show is Marshall and Lily!”, “I swear… Ted is the WORST father ever! Why would you tell your kids this story??”, and “WHY ARE YOU STILL WATCHING THIS SHOW??”. There were a few episodes that proved the exception to Pop Culture Dad’s I-Only-Watch-This-Show-When-You-Make-Me rule in the latter seasons: the Robin Sparkles episodes, the Slap Bet, and Barney’s proposal to Robin. Pop Culture Dad isn’t the only one who expressed these feelings; many people–all former fans–said similar things when they realized I was still watching HIMYM. Only a few of my friends loyally stuck around as I did. We were all disappointed with the ending.

So now what? We stuck around for nine years–the last few of them spotty and challenging–and we got nothing for the effort. All of the justifications we had made for this show have melted away. All of the naysayers have completely valid reasons for saying, “We told you so,” and they were right (dammit!). I never thought I would be that chick who stayed in a bad relationship for years and years after all of my friends and family members kept telling me, “He’s no good for you!” and I never listened, because I was clinging to the memories of happier days. But there you have it. I was. And I’m pissed that Bays and Thomas made that kind of fool of me!!

Sigh… But the relationship is over. It’s dead (much like Tracy McConnell, RIP. Girl, R. I. P…). It’s time to move on.

But first, maybe I need some more closure.

Despite our differences in the end, there are some things that I will always appreciate about How I Met Your Mother.

1.  I love that in a post-Buffy, post-Angel, post-Veronica Mars world, I got nine more years of Alyson Hannigan gracing my screen [and, from time to time, even got a glimpse of her lovely husband. Oh Sandy Rivers/Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, how I adore you, too!]. But, let’s face it. Even without HIMYM, Willow wasn’t going to be absent from the small screen for too long, because Alyson Hannigan is a National. Fucking. Treasure, goddammit!

Aly, I know we’re almost the same age and all, but you can totally be my mom, too!
2. While I can’t credit HIMYM for Neil Patrick Harris’s big comeback (that honor goes to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), I can thank the show for keeping that momentum going, reminding me how much I loved Doogie Howser, M.D., and making magic cool again.
I know, hon. I feel the same way about Thomas & Bays!
Though, if I’m being totally honest, this is how I prefer to picture NPH.
And this has NOTHING to do with HIMYM.

3. Jason Muthafucking Segel.
Look, I know he was doing shit before HIMYM. But I never watched Freaks and Geeks or Undeclared until after HIMYM and every Jason Segel role in a movie since then threw me in the Jason Segel fan club. Seriously, the man can do no wrong… Er, scratch that. I watched This Is the End. And that shit was horrible. But Knocked UpForgetting Sarah Marshall; I Love You, Man; Despicable Me; Bad Teacher; Friends with BenefitsThe Muppets; Five-Year Engagement; This is 40… OMG. He was golden in ALL of it. Every last drop!

In addition to the fact that I am such a huge Marshmallow/Lily Pad fan (and they’re only part of the entire series Pop Culture Dad still liked), I love, love, love that fictitious Marshall and I [and my #4] have the same alma mater, even though we would not have graced the halls at the same time [yes, people, I realize that this is fake!! After all, we’re talking about a universe in which New York City has all of four minorities. Dahell…].

4. Brad Morris.
Hey, True Blood only airs during the summertime. So any time I can have an extra bit of Joe Manganiello on my television in various states of undress is a good thing.

5. Robin Sparkles. I would go to the mall with her today and any other day.

So… One would think with all these fond memories, the season finale wouldn’t have stung so much. But one would be WRONG. Oh so very wrong.

These fond memories are exactly why the series finale felt like one huge, never-ending Slap Bet to the face. There was so much good about this show before it started sucking. And I could have even let the sucky parts go if the season finale had been worthy of even the mediocre parts of this show. But it was sooo very bad. It felt slapped together and rushed. We spent an entire goddamn season on Robin and Barney’s wedding, only for the HIMYM writers to slap together 16 years of twists and turns into 44 minutes. It was so poorly done, you would think they were making it up as they were going along. It was a complete disservice to how they’ve built these characters over the years and how they’ve grown. Ted going back to Robin makes NO sense to anyone who believes in having healthy, adult relationships [OMG, they were SO toxic together. At least it was true to previous seasons in that Robin wanted Ted only when someone else had him and that Ted was completely Robin’s puppy dog for some inexplicable reason. But did these people seriously not grow at all over two and a half decades of knowing each other??]. While I’m less broken up about The Mother (aka Tracy) being dead, since we all pretty much expected that even before the hints thrown out this season, the way her death was treated was so shoddy that I almost feel like they could have forgotten to write in the part where Ted meets her, and the net result might have been the same. Barney spent all these years growing as a man, only to turn back into a major douchebag (in his 40s, no less) the second that callous bitch Robin dumps him, only to then magically reform again the second he has a daughter [P.S. I am willing to bet money right now that the “Dad” in the new “How I Met Your Dad” ends up being Barney. But I refuse to watch another Thomas/Bays production, so one of you will have to let me know in a few years if that prediction was true]. You all already know how I feel about the children’s reactions. And we never found out the meaning behind that fucking pineapple.

In co-creator Craig Thomas’s infamous fuck you tweet to fans of the show, he says:

Of course, the irony here is that in a finale allegedly about life’s twist and turns, it never occurred to the HIMYM writers that when your show goes on longer than anyone ever planned, the characters have developed in different ways from what you originally plotted, and the fans have fallen in love with different expectations (by your design, no less), maybe instead of rolling with an ending you taped nine years prior, you need to roll with the “twists and turns” and give your show an ending that makes sense in light of everything else that has happened over the last decade!

Well, I Guess Sleepovers Are Out Now…

As you may have heard by now, on Monday, two boys, ages 4 and 6, died at a sleepover when they were crushed by a 14-foot, 100-pound python. When the story first began hitting the news, my friends and I immediately got suspicious of what really happened. None of the earlier reported details made any sense. The man whose house the boys had been visiting claimed that the python had escaped from its cage in the exotic pet store (which he owned) underneath the apartment, that the python crawled into the ventilation system, punched a hole in the apartment wall, strangled the children, and then disappeared again without a sound. The owner allegedly found the snake in a corner after he discovered the boys had died. Something is just wrong there.

Somehow we’re supposed to believe that this snake broke off two locks [as were reportedly on all of the snake cages in the pet shop]… slithered into the HVAC system… made its way–all 100 pounds of it–through the HVAC system… punched a hole in the wall with its head somehow… made its way down to the boys… wrapped itself around both boys… strangled them… and then moved on? And no one woke up? Pop Culture Dad thought everything was believable except the alleged wall punching (particularly without disturbing anyone). My pals and I weren’t so convinced. Even if you can believe all of the details surrounding the escape and reemergence in the apartment above, there’s the problem of why would the python attack sleeping children simply to strangle them, but not do anything else? Pythons apparently attack in two circumstances: (1) when they feel provoked and (2) when they need to eat. It’s unlikely that sleeping children would have made a snake feel threatened [though Pop Culture Dad did point out that if the wall punching did occur, the snake could have landed and freaked out. That I can believe]; and if the python moved on after strangling the children, it certainly wasn’t trying to eat. Things that make you go hmmmm.

My friends and I [ever the doubting lawyers] suspected some sort of foul play afoot. More importantly, though, it raised the issue for us: under what circumstances would you allow your child to sleepover at another child’s house? Twin Mom (who was part of this Great Sleepover Debate) found this really interesting articles detailing “7 Reasons to Say No to Sleepovers.” Many of the reasons revolved around lack of sleep and the effects of that. Those reasons I (along with the rest of my friends) found pretty weak. Who are these parents having and allowing school-day slumber parties?? There was also a reason related to “Awkward Social Situations,” which is apparently what happens when you’re okay with one kid sleeping over or your kid going to someone’s house, but other kids or other houses are banned, and you don’t want to explain to the parents why. See… I don’t have that issue. If my kid isn’t allowed to go to your house alone, she’s not. And if you expect me to step out of my comfort zone to avoid offending you, then that type of parenting actually just justifies my not sending my kid to your house. My children and their safety are the most important things to me–damn your comfort level. I really don’t care. Nope, not socially awkward for me at all. There were some valid points, too, which generally boil down to “things that you don’t let happen in your own house will happen somewhere else.” Those to me are the most valid reasons. In fact, the only valid ones. And that is perhaps why, when my kids get old enough that we’re both comfortable with the idea of them having sleepovers, the list of families in that “approved sleepover” rotation is going to be very narrow and tight–like the VIP room at a very exclusive club.

I had plenty of sleepovers as a child and teen. I recall going to my first sleepover party in fourth grade. We saw [I’m dating myself here] Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo at the theater and then had an all-girl sleepover where my friend’s (we thought at the time) super cool sister who was in (gasp!) high school made us all pancakes the next morning. My cousin (who was my best friend) and I slept over at each other’s houses all the time from elementary school through high school. I even had one co-ed sleepover [which I recall both my mom and I finding very odd] in middle school. Twin Mom and I had tons of sleepovers in high school–as she said, we would usually go to her house to eat, because there was actually food, but then my house to hang out, because we could pretty much do whatever we want [which, really, for us geeky girls was just staying up all night talking, singing, and playing on the computer].

The landscape has changed since the 1980s and 1990s, though. I cannot imagine letting my girls sleepover at anyone’s house unless I knew the parents really well and knew all of the kids who would be present. I would also have to lack the gut feeling that someone in that house is creepy [always trust your gut, even when it makes you feel guilty]. I used to think that the only pets I would wonder about are dogs and cats, because of how highly allergic Little Diva is to pretty much anything with fur… but now… Well… I think I’m going to need an inventory of every animal in the house or with reasonable (or unreasonable) access to the house; because a few hives and couple of swollen eyelids from exposure to a Cocker Spaniel seems pretty mild in comparison to Death-by-Python.

And what about guns?? I live in Texas, the Concealed Handgun Capital of the World. Even though I grew up around guns, I hate them, they terrify me, and I’m smart enough to know that statistically, we are more likely to be killed by our own gun than we would gain protection from it. So we don’t allow guns in my house. Period. Even my parents know that if they are in my home, the gun stays in the car. And Nonna has always been expressly instructed that the Pop Culture Girls are not allowed to be in her car if the gun is there [we don’t have that issue with my dad, who drives a two-seater convertible the girls would not be even able to legally ride in for another nine years]. Considering the types of precautions I take with my own parents, why in the world would I just let my children go to a house with some random gun owner, particularly when I don’t know what kind of precautions the parents take with securing their guns and, quite frankly, I don’t trust most gun owners to actually be as responsible with their guns.
So, yeah… I think I’m going to need a questionnaire before my kids can go to a slumber party. Or, ya know, just have a blanket rule that their social calendar is based on my intimate knowledge and understanding of the household, and anything that doesn’t pass mom’s smell test and thirty-point inspection is not getting approved.
As for those poor little boys in Canada… the Lawyer Guts were totally right. Reports came out today that this python had not escaped from the pet store in the amazing (and completely full of crap) story that the pet store owner expected everyone to buy. Nope. This snake was already in the apartment… in a glass cage… without a proper lock… and it wasn’t the first time it had gotten out. Others who had seen the snake before described it as aggressive and unused to people. The boys had played with a variety of animals that day, meaning they likely had the smell of snake-food on them. The pet store owner was known for his very lax approach to safety with these dangerous creatures. This was a very tragic and 100% avoidable event. It’s notentirely the mom’s fault for allowing her boys to stay at her friend’s house, seeing as it was her friend who acted (and omitted) with the gross negligence and pure stupidity that eventually led to the boys’ death. But perhaps mom should have [and I know she’s beating herself up enough, so it’s not like I have to do it for her] had a talk with her (dumb) friend about putting his pets away safely before she turned over her most precious belongings to him? Maybe she did? And maybe he lied to her like he (apparently) did to the police and the media. I honestly don’t know what happened there.


But I do know that my kids will not be sleeping at any house over an exotic pet store or with any exotic/killer animals lurking around. I don’t care who the parents are.

PSA for the Day: Your Sick Kids

This morning I was getting Pop Culture Preschooler settled in at the breakfast table at school, and one of her little friends announced to the table, “I’m eating a lot, because I throwed up.” I said something like, “Oh you got the stomach bug last week, too?”. One of the teachers worriedly rushed over and asked the little girl when she was sick (I’m guessing because she hasn’t missed a day of school?). The girl announced, “This morning. And my tummy still hurts.”

Parents, this shit is not cute. It is not like, with the stomach virus creeping around the country and half the kids and teachers at the school out with the virus at one point or another over the last two weeks, you didn’t know when you saw your kid vomit that it was probably something contagious and not just your bad cooking. My kids and hubby were all sick for an entire week because of the bug going around. I have friends all around the U.S. and Canada who have had their families infected with it. This virus is not fun, and, trust me, no one wants it.

This crap wouldn’t spread so fast if when your kid throws up in the morning, you KEPT HIM/HER AT HOME. Do not bring them to school in the hope that if they don’t throw up again, no one will know. If the school calls you and tells you your kid threw up PICK HIM/HER UP. Immediately. Do not let them finish out the rest of the day. I don’t care what time it is. Every hour your sick kid is at school is another opportunity to infect other kids.

It isn’t fair to spread a nasty virus to 30 other kids in the class, and subsequently their siblings and parents, just because you don’t want to use up a couple of sick days. Yes, we all hate to miss work. But this is one case where misery should not love company. Don’t be an asshole.


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Yes, I Judge You for Your Baby in the Movie Theater

Maybe it’s too early. Maybe it’s too late. But since everyone else is weighing in with his or her opinion, I am also entitled to interject my own. If you’re a parent who is hypersensitive about your choice to bring your kids to midnight movies, I suggest you read no further.

No one thinks the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado is a good thing. No one thinks that parents who brought their young children to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises could have anticipated the psychopath running into the theater, throwing tear gas, and shooting at the movie patrons. No one thinks anyone should suffer, let alone innocent children. We all agree that a crazy gunman is a much bigger distraction than a child. And very few people (who aren’t in militias anyway), think that civilians, particularly ones with mental illnesses, should be out purchasing automatic assault rifles that shoot 100 rounds per clip.

Apparently, that’s where the agreement ends. Barely 15 hours after the tragedy in Aurora, the parenting war has begun over whether children belong in a movie theater at midnight. And I have willingly been smack dab in the middle of it.

My position is pretty clear from the title, but I’ll elaborate it here: small children have no place at the movie theater at midnight, let alone to a showing of a loud, dark, and scary movie geared towards adults. At best, it makes you an inconsiderate patron; at worst, it makes you a shitty parent.

Before I had children and back when I was actually young and vibrant enough to stay up late, I used to purposely go to midnight showings to avoid children and, more importantly, teenagers (who are subject to a 10 p.m. curfew). So imagine my disappointment when, time and time again, I saw parents coming into the theater with their small children. American Pie, all three of the original X-Men movies, the first two Harry Potter movies… the list goes on and on.

Look, I don’t care if you want to show your kids R-rated movies. That’s your business. I saw Dirty Dancing probably 30 times in elementary school. Who am I to judge? I don’t even care if your kid stays up until 3 a.m. regularly at home. That’s your business and your lack of sleep, not mine. But when you’re bringing your child to a public adult event at an adult time, prepare to be judged. Yes, we are judging you. And you can rant and rave “my child, my choice!” all you want; but you’re the one who decided to put your parenting choices on display by taking your child to a violent, loud (have I mentioned LOUD???), three-hour movie at an hour most adults couldn’t even sit through.

Spare me the arguments about how a three-month old child is getting up in the middle of the night to eat anyway, so mom and dad may as well get a movie in. There’s a huge difference between your baby’s comfort level at home and his or her comfort level in a packed theater with flashing images on the screen (and have I mentioned how LOUD a movie with explosions is???). Besides, I already did the insomnia dance with my two children, I don’t want to “get up in the middle of the night” with your kids, too—particularly when the hubby and I have shelled out $15 each for our tickets ($18 if it’s 3-D) and $60 for our babysitter.

Don’t give me that crap about your child sleeping through it. If you were watching Pride and Prejudice on the big screen, maybe I would grant you that argument. But Dark Knight Rises? Um… No. And don’t try to pretend that you, new parent who isn’t even experienced and thoughtful enough to realize how your bad choice is affecting everyone around you, already know your child’s sleep schedule so well that you can already predict how s/he will react to a deafeningly loud (have I mentioned loud?), high-action movie between the hours of midnight and 3 am. Pop Culture Preschooler is almost four, and we still could not predict exactly how she would react in that situation. Heck, even Babywise (bane of my existence) recognizes the fact that babies below the age of four months do not have easily predicable or dictatable (yes, i made up a word) schedules. I call bullshit.

And, yes, as a mother of two, I fully understand that parents need/want mental health breaks from time to time, and that includes going to late movies. However, there is no fundamental right to see a movie at the very first screening. There is no pressing or essential need–vital to life, liberty, or health (mental or physical) to do so. And your “right” to mental health breaks is subject to limits, including common courtesy and following the rules.

Many movie theaters now ban children after 6 p.m. I have noticed, however, than many people think that their kids are the exception to the 6 p.m. rule. News flash: they aren’t. If your movie theater has such rules, please be a dear and comply with them.

When Pop Culture Preschooler was a baby, Pop Culture Dad and I used to go to a Saturday “Cry Baby Matinee” at the Angelika (now closed in Houston). It was great. We got to see a current movie (her official “first movie” was The Hangover) in a theater with mostly parents and babies (and a few bewildered and confused adults). The lights were dimmed a little less. The volume was turned down but still very much audible (okay, okay, it was loud). Strollers were more than welcome, as was crawling up and down the theater stairs. They even put a changing table on the floor of the theater, with diapers and wipes. I realize not everyone has this luxury [heck, we don’t even have this luxury anymore], but it’s important to think about why all of these concessions were made for the baby days: the lights were up a bit more because parents of babies need to get up and down the aisle more often, and it made breast feeding easier; the volume was turned down because the level movie theaters use is too harsh for most children’s (especially babies’) little ear drums; strollers, which would normally be a burden and a fire hazard for a normal-sized crowd, were less of an issue and more of a blessing for a smaller crowd comprised mostly of parents and babies; crawling was allowed, because at a certain age (usually, immediately after they learn to crawl), babies don’t want to sit on your lap for two hours or more; and the changing table was present, because with babies comes pee and poop, and it is better to have parents change their babies in a designated place, so that (1) they don’t change their babies in the seats and risk getting those soiled, and (2) parents don’t disrupt others by either (a) allowing a baby to continue to reek (or just cry) in a soiled diaper, because mom or dad doesn’t want to miss a scene, or (b) walking across the aisle several times, obstructing everyone’s view. When you think about all these reasons, it is a little clear why babies in a sold-out show not geared for children can be disruptive, is it not?

There is a reason most major cities have curfews. Crazy shit happens late at night. You are more likely to be carjacked late at night. You are more likely to be killed by a drunk driver. More thefts occur at night. Does any of this mean that you should spend your nights hunkered down in a storm cellar trying to avoid the Big Bad? Of course not. That kind of paranoia is crazy. It does, however, mean that when you are considering making plans with the most precious cargo you will ever handle, you should think smartly rather than selfishly.

Look, I have never been a fan of the “child-free” movement, where our kids should never be seen or heard by those who don’t want to be “burdened” with the fruits of our reproductive (or adoptive) decisions. I have always advocated parents exposing their kids to things. For example, I am a fan of parents taking their kids to fine dining establishments. However, not every kid should enjoy that right. If you don’t know your kid well enough to know how s/he would react, you don’t impose on other people by bringing your children into adult situations simply because you don’t have the desire or the money to get a sitter. And there are very few kids who function well and appropriately at 2 a.m.—certainly less kids than are actually in movie theaters at that time.

Your three-month old does not care if you see a movie at the first showing. Your six-year old doesn’t know what time the first public showing is unless you tell her. Therefore, choosing such a late hour is selfish on your part—100% about mom and dad’s desire to see something first, and not at all about your child.

This rant is not (necessarily) about the shooting in Aurora. It goes so far beyond that. Being a parent means that certain parts of your pre-child life are changed forever, both for the good of your children and for society to function harmoniously. If you want to be selfish and live your life with the entitled attitude that you should do everything you want, exactly I you want, regardless of laws, rules or common sense. That’s fine. Just know that the rest of us are (rightfully) judging you.

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SNL Skit: "You Can Do Anything" — Hm….

Is it just me, or does it look like someone at Saturday Night Live has been reading this blog?:

Okay, okay. The disdain for the new generation of spoiled brats who’ve never heard the word “no” and really do think everything they do is perfect is a common feeling. But, man, did this give me a sense of deja vu. This is officially one of my favorite sketches of the current season. 😀

Huge Parental Fail (Real Housewives)

Ugh! Why do I keep watching this show? Is it some subconscious need to feel better about my own parenting skills? There was a lot going on this week but the one thing that kept popping up in my head was “as a single parent mom, Danielle you fail.” Has a nice ring to it, right?

I think the single thing that annoyed me the most was Danielle’s house. She needs a course in finances for single parent moms or something. First, the camera shows her dogs using the carpet of her “$2 million home” as toilet paper. Danielle, single parent mom of the year, does nothing about it.

Then her realtor comes over to discuss the various repairs the home needs before it can be sold. Here’s where I almost lost it. Danielle is crying about what a deadbeat her ex-husband is being, then she asks the realtor if she called the ex-hubby to ask him for money for the repairs. Hold the phone! You asked your REALTOR to call your ex-husband to ask for money that YOU need? Seriously?! If you can’t handle asking your ex-husband for money or at least going through PROPER channels like, say, your lawyers or your accountants, then how are you supposed to handle the pressures of being a single parent mom?

So Danielle’s realtor wasn’t able to squeeze any money out of the guy. Shocker. Danielle then says she doesn’t want to sell the home, because even at the lower list price they are considering, her husband would end up getting $700,000 out of the sale, and that’s not fair. First, I doubt he’d “get” $700k out of the sale of their home unless there’s no mortgage — which we already know there is. Second, we know that Single Parent Mom of the Year here didn’t run out looking for mortgages for single moms with no job, no appreciable skills, no prospects, and no hopes of ever finding another rich guy dumb enough to marry her. So in all likelihood, her ex-hubby is still paying the mortgage – or at least his alimony is. Shouldn’t he, then, get half the proceeds of a home sale to pay his share of the mortgage. And finally, “not fair”?? Seriously?! How much did YOU put towards the house either financially or with sweat equity?

Her fiscal irresponsibility gives every single parent mom a bad name. There are single parent moms out there who break their backs everyday to keep their kids clothed and fed and to make a living to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Danielle Straub is the kind of single parent mom who won’t even break a nail to keep dog poo off the floor.

There are single parent moms out there who when they say their children’s fathers aren’t helping really MEAN these men aren’t helping; these ladies aren’t whining because he’s asking her to downsize from a “$2 million home” to something more reasonable for three women with zero income. The man is still offering to foot the bill – just not an outrageous one!

There are single parent moms out there who fight their own battles, not who expect to delegate the work to whomever crosses their paths while assigning blame the whole way.

These real single parent moms, these wonderful ladies, are an inspiration. They make the best of a difficult situation. Danielle, on the other hand, is just one big parental fail.

Parental Fail – It Must Be Monday (Real Housewives)

Another week, another episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, another huge example of parental fail! Seriously?! What is up with these chicks??

Once again, Jackie is sitting in her kitchen having another uncomfortable chat with her 18-year old daughter. Her daughter accidentally admits that she’s going to 21+ clubs and drinking with her too-old boyfriend and his too-old friends. As Jackie attempts to correct last week’s parental fail and have a mature discussion about responsible drinking, her teenage daughter stands up and turns her back on Jackie. Jackie continues to talk to her, and for a minute there, I thought I was going to have to reverse everything I said last week about Jackie’s poor parenting skills. For a minute. pretty soon, Jackie was yelling/whining at her daughter, her daughter is yelling back, and no one is accomplishing anything. Finally, Jackie stomps out of her own kitchen—acting like a teenager herself – and tells her daughter to take her laundry with her. HUGE parental fail.
The rest of the episode could have easily been called “pageant moms go wild.” First Danielle gets a call that her daughter is going to be a model for some “totally famous” photographer that “every body in the industry” allegedly knows “makes supermodels.” Sure, lady, whatever. As her daughter models for this “totally famous” photographer, Danielle, an alleged former model, barks orders from the side like a momager from hell. Then we cut to Danielle’s post-shoot interview where she reveals two thoughts in parental fail: (1) she’s “all over” her daughter’s career,and is going to go everywhere her daughter goes; and (2) the “totally famous” photographer who no one’s ever heard of (I guess because we’re not “in the industry?”) wants to photographer her tightly pulled, burnt orange, overly botoxed face. Not only am I calling parental fail on that one, I’m going to call “photographer fail’” as well. Then Danielle’s daughter gets the “cover” of whatever magazine she supposedly did this shoot for [I’m sure it had nothing to do with her mom’s reality show star status], and Danielle decides to throw “her daughter” a party to celebrate. Of course, none of her daughter’s actual friends are invited – just a slew of women Danielle wants to brag to who will “share her joy, her pride” and also bring a curse upon her enemies (namely, one of the other housewives). Danielle’s daughter wasn’t remotely fooled by this “party in her honor.” In her confessional, she outright says that her mom insisted it was a party for her, but really it was a brag party for her mom. Nice.

And lastly, we have a new entrant into the Real Housewife of New Jersey competition for biggest parental fail – Theresa. Theresa already established herself as the consummate stage mom in season one, and the hits just keep on coming. Yes, her daughter Gia is absolutely beautiful. You could fall into those big green eyes of hers. But does Theresa really need to push this child into becoming supermodel of the world at age six (or whatever she is)? I will say this much for Theresa, the effect of parental fail is slightly minimized with her, because her daughter does truly seem to enjoy being the center of attention. But it’s hard to watch Theresa shuffle Gia from interview to interview without thinking that she’s living out her own childhood fantasies through poor little Gia.

Overall, the award for biggest parental fail is a toss up between Danielle and Jackie, and from the previews we’ve seen for the entire season, it looks like these “ladies” (I use that term very loosely) will continue to run a neck-and-neck race. I’m very entertained by watching their examples of bad parenting, but I at the same time can’t help but feel utterly awful for their children.