My Howard Beale Impression

Hopefully I don’t look like Howard Beale making his famous speech. But his words ring true.


What has my ire up?

Usually I’m complaining about something that one of the kids did or didn’t do that has my goat. But when someone hurts my kids, even emotionally with a letter, I’ll act like the Leonean mother that I am. I’m very protective of my cubs. You hurt my kids, you have to deal with me, by God!

It all boils down to a girl who used to be one of my daughter’s friends. The girl made such poor choices that her parents sent her to a wilderness program in Utah followed by boarding school in Arizona never to return home until she has graduated from high school. In the letter, the girl blames my daughter for her poor choices. Shifting the blame! Not taking responsibility!

Although I never felt at ease around the girl’s father, her mother was one of my friends. Now I’m not so sure anymore.

Even though there are rough spots in raising children, I would still take one of mine over 1,000 of the other girl.

Am I being petty if I resent the other girl’s letter telling my daughter that they can’t be friends anymore? Am I petty for wanting to cut off contact with the parents? Do I owe them an explanation of why I want to cut off contact? Do I owe them anything?

Someone talk me away from the window.


  1. I think this girl has done your daughter a great favor by providing an anti example of how to behave and showing in a clear fashion what it does not mean to be a friend.

    Have questionable judgment is a hallmark of most people's teenage years. Ideally the teenager will learn from their mistakes and the mistakes they do make will not have long lasting consequences. Removing someone with bad judgment and poor developing character from your daughters life is a good thing in the long run.

    As to her parents, I guess in most ways I would not discuss this with them, for really there is no good outcome. I would generally act reflexively in that if people were kind to me I would be kind to them and if not I would not not act as such.

  2. I'm with Laoch. Good advice. And sometimes it's better to let the kids fight their own battles without bringing the rest of the families into play. I am assuming, but could be wrong, that the other girl's mother is more of a "sometines" friend to you -- maybe more of an acquaintance with a tad more closeness. If that's true, there's no reason to discuss the problem with her anyway. Neither your daughter nor yourself are really losing anything. Instead, both of you are gaining fresh air and a release from all that negativity. Sometimes blessings come in the strangest of packages, don't they?

  3. Loach said it all, Mrs. Gaelic. That's the best advice you will find and all good.