Manners & Misdemeanors
Dear Truly Rich Lady: Etiquette Advice for Modern Moms
On dealing with other alpha moms, school Viber groups, nannies, and more.
ILLUSTRATOR Yzabella Cruz
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Dear Truly Rich Lady,

My BFF feeds her kid stuff plucked from the regular section of the fish aisle. I love her and her daughter is cute, but I don’t want those GMOs and hormones anywhere near my beautiful son, Bilbo III. What should I do?

Eep! I just finished devouring a slab of salmon that was not caught in the wild, and now I feel very bad. Like a mother (I am not one, but I treat my body like a baby), I am doing my best, and I am sure your BFF is also doing her best.

A mother rears her children in a manner she believes is suited for her family. This parenting style can be colored by her background and tradition, shaped by expert books and that black hole that is the Internet, and then further refined by lack of sleep.

In my tribe, for example, salmon is a blessing in whatever shape or form, whether caught in the wild or fished from an artificial pool and then slathered with butter and herbs and baked at 475 degrees—according to tradition. It is because we believe the salmon is a goddess or was it because we love blush tones? My mom doesn’t know anymore because she is always sleepy.

Point is, it is my family’s way, your family’s way, her family’s way. We should all be accommodating of different kinds of fish and feed our babies in peace. 

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

What are the rules of being part of a mommy Viber group? I was invited to the best one, and I want to make a good impression on the Head Mom in Charge.

Siri says that the social codes of real life also apply to the virtual world. Her advice re: the Mommy Message Group, which is practically a 24/7 play date with alpha moms (depending on your phone settings and carrier service), it’s best to remember only two things: Don’t be annoying. And be helpful.

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Do not brag about how Bilbo III is already bored with Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier.” Do contribute tips on how to tackle a 20-pound turkey. Don’t flood the chat window with virtual cakes and Trump-related links. Do offer to help by, say, watching the kids while Head Mom in Charge and her acolytes attend a group waxing session. You can go next week. Siri will book your appointment.

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

Help! I saw someone else's yaya spank her charge with undiluted force. Should have I stepped in and told her off?

Are you sure the concentration of the alleged spanking was 100 percent? Was it perhaps only 83 percent? Did you use a compass, scientific calculator, and a car battery to measure this figure? Was it also raining? Unless you know the full context of the situation, have a degree of closeness with the parent or see that the child is in danger, it is best to let the parents sort this out. Like you, they would have rigorously vetted the nanny and left their child in the care of someone they trust. And if in fact, she was out of line, the head of the household would be the most suitable person to correct the offense.

Dear Truly Rich Lady,

When people meet my family for the first time, they always think that I am the nanny of my fair-haired kids. I feel bad. (P.S. My husband is good looking, and is pure Caucasian.)

First, felicitaciones on locking down a man that is not a quarter anything! Point is, it seems you have a good life, so who gives a... ahem. I mean, what else can you do but advise the uninformed of your true situation?

If it makes you feel better, I, too, am sometimes mistaken for, gasp, a supermodel who has to work for a living, and I just have to correct people by saying, with a soft chuckle that sounds like the twittering of birds: “It is my long neck and elegant bearing that deceive you, kind sir. But thank you.”

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After revealing your true identity in the same melodic tone, the opposite party will be apologetic, so there’s no need to feel distressed or snippy. This situation can also help weed out evil moms from nicer moms; the ones who are open-minded will give your non-organic snacks a nod of approval, and won’t mind that your family comes in a different configuration. So long as you are never spotted at Cafe Cubana, you have nothing to worry about. 

If you have an etiquette question, please send an e-mail to C.C. Coo at  [email protected]

 

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