Where is the Etiquette Bitch when you need her?

It's one of those mornings where I'm struggling to be a weekday mother and simultaneously struggling with being an urban dog owner.

You suburban people, with your ground level homes and fancy yards and ability to leave your kids in front of the TV for a minute while you pop out for a pee run, you don't know how lucky you are. Me, I have to hustle both kids along with the dog (who'd be just as happy never walking anywhere) out the door, down the elevator, down a flight of stairs, to the corner, and back again. Only this time I decide I'll grab a bag of groceries and an iced coffee while we're out. Brilliant.

My multi-tasking plan nearly works until about 100 yards from our apartment when Sage decides this would be a perfect opportunity to start shrieking CARRYY MEEEEE!, a near physical impossibility. The shriek turns into a full-fledge meltdown and my only consolation is that it's nearly 10 and I'm she's not waking the whole neighborhood up.

I look around for a sympathetic neighbor who might take mercy and grab the dog's leash for me or simply smile that kind "hang in there" smile that we parents have come to live for. Instead I pass a woman about my mother's age, aerobicized, vaguely stylish, with spiky silver hair and IKEA tote in tow. Forget sympathy, she refuses to even make eye contact.

Thalia, Sage, Emily, Mr Iced Coffee and I somehow (God knows how) manage to make it back to the elevator where IKEA lady is also waiting. Sage whimpers, "pick me up"and before she can threaten to cry more loudly in the small elevator, I manage to hoist her up on one of those wide hips that come in handy these situations, if not in 5th Avenue dressing rooms.

I smile at the woman. "I guess this is one of those times a third arm would come in handy."

No response.

We exit at our floor.

"Or one less child," she sneered.

I wished I could have channeled the Etiquette Bitch. But instead, the door just closed and I stood there speechless.

[Junk Food Mr. Rude tee via 80stees.com]


Anonymous SoMo said...

I say we could do with one less cranky bitch, but that is just me.

7/2/09, 11:05 AM  
Blogger Boy Crazy said...

Beee-yotch!You're going to be crafting come-backs in your head all day, aren't you?

7/2/09, 11:16 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...

Whadda beeetch! That's so horrible. Follow her home next time and tell us her address and we'll all leaving flaming bag of dog "mess" on her doorstep, mmmk?

7/2/09, 11:19 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Wow! unbelievable...

7/2/09, 11:20 AM  
Blogger TZT said...

That person gives credence to way too many urban caricatures. What a jerk!

7/2/09, 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Meagan Francis said...

OMG. So tell me, did you come up with the perfect response...AFTER she was out of earshot? That's what I'd have done.

7/2/09, 11:25 AM  
Blogger Susan Getgood said...

Just imagine how miserable she must be in all her perfection to say something so mean. For no real reason.

Then imagine it again. And smile.

7/2/09, 11:25 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Holy crap! Me thinks someone peed in that woman's Cheerios!

7/2/09, 11:26 AM  
Blogger Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

What the hell is in the water these days? This is the exact kind of thing we were talking about on Triangle Mamas yesterday - it was a Whole Foods employee who told a mom she should just shop at Super WalMart if her kids were going to behave "like that". You mean, "like kids?"

The cuteness of your children probably just made her old shriveled ovaries ache and she lashed out.

7/2/09, 11:27 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

One less child is the right advice. Her mom should have taken it.

7/2/09, 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Lizi said...

O.M.G. -- there are no words.

7/2/09, 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dog walking with kids is the WORST. I say saddle up the pooch so he can carry the kids and train them to fetch you the coffee.

As for the bitch in the elevator, I think a "pee on command" seminar for the dog is called for.

7/2/09, 11:31 AM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

@backpacking dad - ROTFLMAO

7/2/09, 11:31 AM  
Blogger Amy B. said...

Are you shitting me??? Some days I just hate people...

7/2/09, 11:31 AM  
Blogger JChevais said...

Holy Fuck!

Did you not what floor she got off on? Can you go put a flaming dog poo on her "welcome" mat?

7/2/09, 11:35 AM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

I'm too busy laughing at SoMo and Backpackingdad to come up with anything else.

7/2/09, 11:35 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

OMFG I don't even know what to say! What a horrible, rude woman. I am 19 weeks pregnant and have lost my filter entirely... I involuntarily say whatever pops into my head. I definitely would have given her what-for.

7/2/09, 11:37 AM  
Blogger Miss Grace said...

She needs a punch in the neck.

7/2/09, 11:45 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Oh HELL no. I think the lack of assistance would have probably caused me to dump iced coffee on your bitch neighbor. Accidentally, of course.

7/2/09, 11:45 AM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Oh no she didn't!!

Awesome. Seriously, she was begging for a response.

Please write the imaginary next chapter of this when you slowly put up one hand to stop the elevator doors from closing and say.......

7/2/09, 11:45 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

Wow. The rudeness of strangers is flabbergasting.

7/2/09, 11:47 AM  
Blogger Marketing Mommy said...

And she lives in your building? Karma will be a bitch.

7/2/09, 11:48 AM  
Blogger sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Can't wait until you see her again.

7/2/09, 11:54 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Let me know if you need help burying the body. I'm in Brooklyn and have friends with a car...

7/2/09, 11:55 AM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

That's where I would've smiled and said "Fuck You."

7/2/09, 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

What the fuck?! She really SAID THAT?!

I would have been speechless too!

7/2/09, 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Wow. I read this 10 minutes ago and I'm still speechless. I can't imagine what would be going on in someone's head that would allow them to say that. Holy shit.

7/2/09, 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

I'm usually pretty good with the comebacks, but that would've left me speechless as well. Dang.

7/2/09, 12:03 PM  
Blogger Gray Matter said...

So babysitting is probably out of the question, huh.

7/2/09, 12:05 PM  
Anonymous She Likes Purple said...

My god, what a horrible, awful wench. I'm burning FOR YOU. Only consolation? Karma is going to kick her ass, without a doubt.

7/2/09, 12:12 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I would've screamed "BITCH!" at the closing elevator door and then had to explain what the word meant to my kids for the rest of the afternoon.

7/2/09, 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Julie @ The Mom Slant said...


My jaw literally dropped.

That's horrifying, even for New York. Does that bitch think she'll never see you around the building again?

(I always dreaded the elevator wail. Small confined space + piercing shriek = humiliation)

7/2/09, 12:26 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

weird that the last etiquette bitch post was almost exactly a year ago. in late june/early july 2010, be on guard and make sure you have mace and emily post on some sort of batman-like tool belt. ever vigilant!

7/2/09, 12:30 PM  
Blogger Sixminutes said...

A relative of mine used to hiss "polluter" at people she thought had too many kids. She's not a happy person--don't know if it helps to know that woman is most likely a miserable bitch.

7/2/09, 12:43 PM  
Anonymous AprylsAntics said...

"I bet YOUR mom heard that a lot when YOU were little."

Yep. It took me a few minutes to come up with that.

7/2/09, 12:45 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh no she did NOT suggest that one of those precious princesses was expendable (***said complete with hands on hips and head wiggle**) What a sad, sad human. I still want to beat her up though.

7/2/09, 1:40 PM  
Blogger laura said...

Wow! My jaw dropped as I read that. Can't wait to hear how the next encounter with the miserable old cow turns out!

7/2/09, 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.... I can't imagine saying that.... wow!

7/2/09, 1:54 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm stunned by that woman. I would have been just as speechless.

Someone needs to shock that three-sizes-too-small heart in her chest to bring some warmth back into it.

And besides, does she think you'll never see her again?

7/2/09, 2:00 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

How did you keep from digging some produce out of your bag and pelting her?

7/2/09, 2:23 PM  
Anonymous egm said...

What an unbearable bitch!

Apartment + dog + small children = a slow unraveling of my sanity that landed us in one of those suburban homes with the fancy yards after I lost.my.mind. on my husband when he refused to do the morning pee run because it meant he had to get up five minutes earlier. Five minutes alone with the dog for him vs. 15-20 minutes in one of Dante's circles of hell for me...hmm. Now he commutes 1.5 hours each way, so I guess that means I won.

Hope your day improves. :)

7/2/09, 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/2/09, 2:48 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

The sad thing is, it's been 5 hours and I still haven't thought of a worthy comeback - at least one I could have used in front of my kids.

And certainly not one better than Backpacking Dad's.

7/2/09, 3:03 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Yes, SoMo and Backpacking Dad said it best, I think.

I would not have been able to come up with something kid-friendly in response, either. The bad part is I might not have been able to hold it in!!! I am proud of you. What a bitch!!

I've needed the Etiquette Bitch often lately...more to come on that soon, at a blog near you.

7/2/09, 3:29 PM  
Blogger GingerB said...

I want to step in, and sadly, my filter is not always working so I usually don't act fully reasonably in such a situation. And because I am sometimes a martyr and rather righteously indignant, I probably would have said "No, what I really need is to be surrounded by supportive, kind people who set a good example in front of my kids but instead I got you."

7/2/09, 4:39 PM  
Blogger RuthWells said...


I'd have knee-capped her.

7/2/09, 4:44 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

Seriously???? What a big "B"!!

7/2/09, 4:57 PM  
Blogger Baby in Broad said...

My jaw actually dropped, Looney-Tunes-like, when I read that.

There's nothing to say to that, except, maybe, "That was a very rude thing to say," which doesn't have the "fuck you" flavor I was going for.

7/2/09, 4:58 PM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

Oh hellz no. Dam. I really wish I could smack her for you. With a freaking shoe.

7/2/09, 5:29 PM  
Blogger Canuckedup mama said...

Wow. I bet that woman's mother is so proud as to how her daughter turned out. *snort*

It's shocking that anyone could be that horrid. Cross your fingers that her neighbour has a colicky baby that's keeping her up at all hours.

7/2/09, 5:40 PM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

Wha? Ack. Gasp. WOW. I wouldn't have known what to say either. Where's Nate when you need the clever comeback, hmm?

It's obvious that her ovaries dried up from bitterness many years ago.

Just take heart in the fave that you are braaaave. I'd be strapping pampers on the dog.

7/2/09, 6:11 PM  
Blogger Chibi said...

I probably would have thrown Mr. Iced Coffee at the back of her head. Cripes.

7/2/09, 6:18 PM  
Blogger JHP said...

Wow! I like the "flaming bag of dog poop on her front doorstep" idea.

7/2/09, 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I curse her karma - in light of the kids near by, I'd have probably called her a wrinkled old cow as the door shut. Don't worry - she will get hers in the end, and I hope it is dog vomit on her doorstep or a nice yellow puddle. (**says the woman who ordered a man out of the fire lane by telling him his car was NOT a fire truck***)

7/2/09, 8:30 PM  
Blogger itgeek said...

Like some of the others, I am picking my jaw up off of the floor. When people say things like this, I always wonder why they thought it was a good idea. What purpose did it really serve?

Wow, just wow...

7/2/09, 8:37 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Or nicer neighbours. Yeesh. And extra obnoxia points for waiting until the doors were closing to cut off response. Don't dish it if you can't handle a reply, lady.

7/2/09, 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Carla said...

Are you f-ing serious? Heartless wench! I'm with Backpackingdad =)

7/2/09, 10:05 PM  
Blogger Serenity Now! said...

wowza... well. someone's going to die old, lonely and miserable. and it won't be you.

7/2/09, 10:34 PM  
Blogger the new girl said...

@Backpacking Dad is the greatest.

I just don't get that level of assholery. Especially when you didn't even rear-end her in her new Jag or whatever.

It's mind-boggling

7/2/09, 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wow. Wow. Did I say Wow? Well, in case you didn't hear me, Wow!

And I think I'll agre with SoMo up there at the top

7/2/09, 10:58 PM  
Blogger Cate said...

Just wait till your kids are teens and it's party time in the building.

Hey - payback's a bitch :-)

7/3/09, 12:33 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Um, I still can't think of what I would say.


7/3/09, 12:56 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Wow. I think I would have thrown the coffee, but then you would have had to go back down the elevator to get another one while wrangling children and dog again . . .

7/3/09, 5:35 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

I agree with kittenpie. What a passive-aggressive asshat! Besides the karmic payback that is surely coming her way, take comfort in the fact that you will almost without a doubt run into her again at some point. So gather up those comebacks and store them in your back pocket. I think you'll need them!
p.s. I'd have helped you in a heartbeat if I'd seen you! I'd also have ripped her head off - I once took on a guy who cut in line at Bakers Square. Long story, but I caught hell with the hubs because I was pregnant at the time! Injustice really pisses me off!

7/3/09, 8:46 AM  
Blogger Dana's Brain said...

Just...wow. I'm speechless just reading that!

Also, I can never come up with good comebacks when I need them!

7/3/09, 9:16 AM  
Anonymous deborahlquinn said...

I love comments like that. Without them, what would we blog about? She violates so many codes of conduct with her remark...but the primary rule is: thou shall not piss off people who live in your building or thou shalt suffer missing newspapers, mail, and perhaps the occasional leak into your (antiseptically clean) apartment. I can only hope that you live ABOVE her (literally - it's obvious that you've got the psychic edge): is it too soon to start one of the girls on those drum lessons? Or tap dancing?

7/3/09, 9:38 AM  
Blogger Carmen said...

Oh my god. I cannot even imagine what I would do. Likely stand there with my mouth open, blinking in a confused manner, wondering if I actually heard her say THAT. Then I'd spend the rest of the day (and maybe the next 2) thinking of all the things I should have said.

7/3/09, 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secretly deep down she is jealous she never had children of her own. Think of that comeback and next time you see her (it's inevitable) gush about your amazing children and how they complete one's life, yada yada. Be totally over the top about it!

7/3/09, 12:10 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

I think I would have dropped my kid just so I could punch the silly lady. I totally would have helped you.

7/3/09, 3:34 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Backpacking Dad has it dead on!

7/3/09, 4:28 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

What a bitch! These are the times where my belief in karma is what gets me through...

7/3/09, 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn!! (and it was Kate Gosselin...)

7/4/09, 1:00 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Wow. There are no words for that. I can only imagine what she would think of my 4 kids!

7/4/09, 9:42 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

That's evil. It's not like you had a set of twins and then sextuplets, right? Jeezus. Should have said, "Oh, are you an only? How about your parents? Bitch." Grrr.

7/4/09, 10:40 PM  
Anonymous dieg said...

eeeewwwwww. what a miserable old hag!

i do not envy you having to drag the dog and kids out together. there are many horrible things to our rural/suburban existance (like a lack of decent sushi within walking distance) but the dogrun is priceless.

7/5/09, 3:07 PM  
Blogger Erica Zamsky Hunt said...

I am still laughing at your post. Although you are a better woman than I that is for sure. I would have accidentally dropped my iced coffee on her. It would have been a tragic loss of the coffee, but well worth the sacrifice.

7/5/09, 9:52 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Seething for you.

7/5/09, 10:28 PM  
Blogger Keep On S'myelin! said...

What a biatch!

I think I would have wanted to go back to look for that woman (ya know, accidentally bump into her ;) ) just so I could say some choice words for the satisfaction. In the end I probably would have taken the high road and not stooped to her level.

Ugh, mean people piss me off!

7/5/09, 11:43 PM  
Blogger La Petite Belle said...

OMG what a bitch!

7/6/09, 2:12 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Holy Crap! That is just horrible! It's more than rude, it's down right nasty!

7/6/09, 10:29 PM  
Blogger Elissa said...

she seriously said that? WOW, WOW, WOW. i don't even know what else to say. i mean, i might make that joke about MYSELF (i have three), but WOW!

7/7/09, 8:40 AM  
Blogger sweatpantsmom said...

That woman probably grew a beard that night and woke up a hunchback.

(If it's any consolation, I always, always think of the best comebacks ten hours later, while lying in bed.)

(I'm getting back into the blogging world. I don't know how I could stay away from yours so long.)

7/9/09, 11:25 PM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

Ugh. Too bad her own parents didn't take such advice.

Next time you get on an elevator with her, let your girls push all the elevator buttons leading up/down to her floor of destination. She'll go to great lengths to avoid you in future...

7/10/09, 5:56 AM  

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