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Mommy Queerest The Reality Show

My darling 6-year old niece came up to my sister the other day, holding a finger in the air, and said, "Now, um, mom, before you say NO....."

She wanted a pop, and, of course, permission was not granted.

Our friend Nancy was part of this email exchange in which this story was relayed, and she commended my sister on her mothering acumen:

As I see it, your work here is nearly complete - they already know the answer, so you just have to break them of the thought that they should still try to ask the question. As soon as they recognize the futility, you will soon be able to go to the bars and drink freely again!

I, on the other hand, simply responded, "Mean Mommy. Mean mean mean."

Apparently, this was the wrong answer.

I have just received the following challenge ...

Dear Uncle Bobby,

I was in receipt of your e-mail where you called your sister a "mean Mommy", "mean, mean, mean" I think you said. In response and defense of her Mommy status, where mind you I deemed her as Brilliant - I must now give you a "reality challenge".

I propose that for a period of ONLY one month that you and Larry switch lives with Karen and I - this will prove the test of her meanness. So, let me play it out for you - you will arrive on an airplane at the Greater Cincinnati airport where you will be greeted by either your 3 children or your 5 children - whichever Mom you choose to be. They will of course greet you with open arms, and open hands as they always have those out and want something put in them.

Regardless of which Mother you become, there are some basic similarities which you must now acquire - all ready cash must disappear, all except for the coins in the car ashtray or your purse and you will need to scrape that together to get out of the airport parking lot, so use it wisely. Additionally, your credit cards are all maxxed out, so don't even think about it. Everyone is always hungry so you better start thinking about what you are going to cook when you get home.

Peace and quiet as you now know ceases to exist, everyone must talk at once or they must all be sick and that is an entirely different reality that I hope you won't have to deal with during your one month stay - but it could always be added as an option package! You will not only have to care for the children, you must also go to work everyday, get everybody ready for school, fed, lunches packed, after school activities coordinated, making sure that no one is left standing waiting for you or their ride to get there, help with homework, laundry, - do I need to make out the whole list or is that enough to get started?

Now, you will have to worry about "things" much more that you do today, - things like, will we be able to make the bills this month is a personal favorite, next is will the car hold out which always comes back to will we be able to make the bills this month - see, you've got it now - it is a vicious cycle but the good news is you only have to last ONE MONTH, without getting mean!

To get out of the reality (that is our lives) you cannot get mean, not even once within that one month period - the kids are the judges and you can't just come in and be the nice guy and keep them happy with some futile effort and let them do what they want - there are basic things that must hold true - the grades must be kept at a minimum of their current levels, they must not miss school, they must not be late for practices/games, they must eat a minimum of 3 meals per day (and because of the $$$ situation it can't be McDonald's 3x for the 30 days, no new cavities, you can't get fired from your job, etc.

Now, the other thing - you are now a parent, so any vices that you have would need to be virtually eliminated - see, we used to drink a little more than we do now, smoke (oh, I still miss that), there were other vices too, like fun that has nearly been eradicated. You can have an occasional glass of wine - but not too much, it makes you tired in the morning when you have to get up to get the kids off to school. You are only allowed to go out once during the month of the reality challenge and you can't go out too early because you have to get the kids dinner before you go and you can't drink too much because you have to drive yourself home and you have to get up early, so you can't stay out too late.

Sounds like fun doesn't it? You are allowed to talk on the phone with Larry, but while you do, there must be a minimum of 2 children making a lot of noise while you do it. With that being said, I am hopeful that you and Larry are up for the Midwest mother reality challenge for just one month!

So, now for the other side - Karen and I will arrive in NY City, where we will be picked up by some of our fun friends, we will stop for cocktails on the way home, drink all that we want, stay out as late as we want and catch a cab. Once home, we will unpack our bags while sipping on some wine and listening to whatever music strikes us or perhaps the sheer silence it that strikes us. We will have to go to work where we are loved by our employers and collect our pay checks that we only have ourselves to spend it on - tragedy! We will plan our vacations while we continue to enjoy the sights and sounds and culture of the city. We will have money again! Did I say, we will have money again? Oh, yes I did! It will be a struggle for us, but I am hopeful that we could survive as 2 gay men in NY city for a month!

So, are you ready? If not up for the challenge, you have only one option, acknowledge that you were just not thinking when you wrote that mean statement to my brilliant friend AND send money - lots of money! NOW! If you fail to send to money, you will wake up the next day in the Greater Cincinnati airport and the game will begin!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Karen and Nancy, soon to be Bobby and Larry

As delightful a reality show as this may be, I propose an alternative win win situation. We leave the kids with their fathers, happily nestled in the Cincinnati suburbs and Nancy and Karen come to Manhattan for a long weekend, whooping it up with us gay boys.

We'll even buy the drinks. And pay for a massage, which they clearly need.

Just give my baby a soda pop.