Dear Beat Babe,
My son has had a best friend and I have been pretty good friends with his mom. My friend’s son is constantly disrespectful to adults and not very kind to my son. Our son doesn’t want to be friends with him anymore, and we understand why. How do I handle her invitation for play dates in a kind way?
Ready for an Out
Ok… drink up, buttercup, because this is a toughie.
There are a couple of ways I would suggest to go about this. But first, ask yourself two questions: 1) How good of friends are you with this woman? and 2) Does your son miss his little shit of a friend? (Excuse me, but it does sound like he deserved that.)
If you are extremely close with this woman, can’t you speak with her about his behavior? I feel pretty sure you may not be the first one to disclose this kind of information. Teachers, other parents, or they themselves (for god’s sake) must have noticed this abhorrent behavior before now. The article winning the interwebs at the moment is suggesting that parents DO want to know if their kid is a big, jerky asshole. I know I would. And I bet you would, too. If you are truly good friends, I would first talk to her about the situation, because someone needs to if it hasn’t been discussed before. And if she is not receptive, you’ve really won because they won’t be calling anymore anyway. Could be a win/win? Perhaps. Go ahead and pour a big glass of bubbly now, it’s ok.
Listen, hopefully she will be receptive. Maybe she’s been dealing with this hardship in private and is relieved that she can finally confide in someone. Maybe she can confide that she wants, at times, to hang him by his thumbs out of the window. I jest, but maybe she needs a friend’s help. It’s hard, I know, but the truth hurts sometimes…just like a hangover.
Another “out” would be to continue what you are doing. Conveniently be busy, have other plans, etc, etc. The problem with this one is that this tactic would definitely ruin the friendship in the end. And who knows, she could think you’re just a flake. If that doesn’t bother you, maybe that’s the better route if you’re not that close. I call this “The Mid-Century Approach.” You ignore it until it was never a reality in the first place. It worked for my Grams.
Bottom line, do what’s best for your son. He’s obviously got mad people skills if he’s picking up on such douchey behavior from his peers. I say BRAVO! And continue to let your son pick and choose his friends. He’s on the right track as am I… it’s happy hour here!
Dear Beat Babe,
How do I tell my friend she got a bad haircut in a constructive way?
She’s no Farrah
Ah, the great Farrah. A 70’s hair icon. Let’s pour an asti spumante in her honor for this prob.
How vain is your friend? Seriously. Is she a real fashionista who had a bad Bowie hair moment in his honor? Or is she a mom whose husband wouldn’t know a bad haircut if his comb over even actually let him see it in the first place? Maybe you leave that one alone. We’ve got to know our audience here. Is this a repeat offender? As in, her hair-dos are all hair-don’ts, if you will? And very inportantly: does she seem to like it?
My Pops always used to tell me the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is one week. And most of the time, he was right, because you get used to the cut and you learn how to style it the way you like and the way that suits you. People are also used to looking at the disaster you’ve created and are learning to cope with it (mostly at dinner with your other friends behind your back). Just being honest!
Look, vanity always wins. Women want to look hot. If your friend really did a doozy here and is thinking her hair makes her look like Chrissie Hynde when in fact she’s looking like Ronnie Wood at an after party, then tell her! But maybe, first, just wait a week and see if it starts to look any better. And if it doesn’t, get some old pictures out and make a lot of noise about how pretty her hair looks in one of the old pictures. “Look how hot you are!” “Wow, you look amazing here and I loved your hair like that!” Maybe she’ll get the hint. I don’t know if I’d say it outright. Subtle hints over time should start to seep in. And find out who her stylist is and call their ass up! Who in their right hairdressing mind wants that kind of billboard walking around town? Call them to task! Hair police does exist, especially in this town.
Farrah always wins. Cheers, spumante!