This Week in Janice: Motherly Advice

28 May

So Molly and Mazall got apartment-mugged. Some dude broke into their apartment, ruined all their butter knives and stole Molly’s computer. Molly doesn’t have access to the Internet anymore, which means that Molly doesn’t have access to the blog, which means that Molly is relying on me to update, which means that there will be no new content on here for at least a month.
Actually, that’s not true. I’ve been half-assedly (it’s totally a word, don’t question it) coming up with ideas and then never following through on them for weeks now. Weeks. So now that Molly needs me, all I have to do is search through my email and whip out the belated genius. Like this: An advice column starring Janice.

Janice's dog, Teddy

Janice's dog, Teddy

Janice is a wonderful mother. Not only did she raise me to near perfection but she did it while wearing a nightgown. No, seriously. If you meet my mother in her natural environment (at home), there is a 75% chance that she will be wearing a nightgown, no matter what time of day it is. She cooks gourmet food, gives really good advice, and she has the emotional tolerance of a crocodile. Also, she is ALWAYS on drugs. What more could a daughter ask for?
Obviously, my friends wanted Janice as their own mother and so I let them seek her motherly advice. What follows below is like a Dear Abby column, but with more grammatical errors.

Dear Janice,
How should I deal with my bitchy female boss? She’s so nice to the males in the office and definitely has a passive/aggressive style with the women. How can I prove myself and work best with her? Help!

Glass Ceiling

Glass Ceiling – You can’t do anything about it. She be what she be. And there are a lot like her. Maybe try the dumb Southern female eye batting routine if she is not Southern herself. “oh, you know sooo much more than little ol’ me!” Ask her to be your mentor-only to her face, and not in front of others. Swear her to secrecy.I don’t know-I try to subtract women like that from my life, so I have never been stuck with one. She sounds like a lot of the airline stewardesses I have known. (My then husband would be handed his 2nd drink with her leaning over him, while I was still waiting for a glass of water!) I assume she is”looking for love”,as those stewardesses seemed to be. Your long range plan :job change. (Sr*w the b*tch-vote with your feet!) Unless you can become close pals with 1 of the males and talk him into setting up a “sexual harassment” complaint against her-nope, he won’t go for it if he has any sense. Good luck, sorry if I wasn’t much help. At least you know she is a “Standard Animal instinct type” and it is not your fault.

Dear Janice,
When I was three I promised my mother that I would name my child Mazall (pronounced Ma-zahl). It’s a French family name and it’s my Middle name, her name, her mom’s name, her grandmother’s name, etc. Of course, I had no idea that I’d grow up and not really want to do that. But she still brings it up. How do I get out of this without hurting her feelings (and those of all my dead ancestors)? Or is a promise a promise, even if I made it when I also thought you had to hold your breath while driving past a cemetery or you’d inhale a ghost.

Not actually Mazall

Oh grow up. Give your kid ,when you have one, whatever name you want and stick in Mazall somewhere towards the end- the kid is going to HATE his/her name no matter what you choose. Just make sure you ask significant other parent for his choices too and have him think he is helping you decide. And make sure you pass along incredible-are we not special- family story when kid is old enough to understand it.Cause you guys are Special to do that! For Example:Marianne Elizabeth Lucille Mazall Hilton-there, you’re done. Just like the British Royals! By the way, I didn’t know that was why we were all holding our breathes going past graveyards-thanks for the info! I still do that without thinking! (By the way, has Claire told you how she is named after an an itininerant preacher passing thru Mississippi? And your family has problems???) Another thought- have you been on and looked up all the Mazalls throughout history? good project before Morning Sickness hits.

Dear Janice,
What should I do about smelly feet? Do you have any remedies for the embarrassing odor?


Definitely not Alyssa

I have luckily never had “smelly feet” so I don’t know. However, I do wash “sneakers” in washer due to mud from gardening and walking dog. Also I rinse leather shoes under the shower, also due to mud/dog walking dirt, so maybe the answer is :Try washing shoes??? Also, The grocery store sells spray cans of stuff one can spray one’s shoes with. Also a final tip, make sure you soap your feet, even between toes (with a wash cloth, preferably) every day in the shower. You would be surprised who doesn’t wash their own feet in shower.Perfumed hand lotion on feet should keep away calluses and smell good too. If problem is really bad, could try applying rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad before an important date-but not everyday-will dry out your skin too much. Sharon Stone wanted to get her adopted little boy’s feet Botoxed. Custody argument with her Ex. I think it was People mag who recommended washing kid’s slip-on athletic shoes and making him wear socks.(Advice came with picture of kid-sockless- which he will find on the internet yrs from now -when he is in therapy!) I have heard there is a rare condition – where a doctor will treat “severe feet” ,so to speak.

Dear Lady J…

I once met John Cusack while at a restaurant and made the mistake of calling him “Lane Meyer” (his character in the 80’s classic “Better Off Dead”). I caught my faux pas, apologized profusely, and we both had a hearty laugh about it. Later, in the spirit of being a good sport he sent a drink over to my table. He solidified himself as a great guy in my book that night, are the rest of the Cusacks great people?

Hi Drew!! IS this a question??? For about a year-?-Claire took acting classes with “The Pivens” in Evanston in her youth.As did the Cusack kids, but they are older than Claire by a good bit.That place was small but cool and very professional. Jeremy Piven is their kid.Think I talked to his Mom at the time, like when I signed her up for classes(.It’s been a while.Can only remember what she looked like and that I got a good impression and I was a very picky Mom.) Joan Cusack is supposedly raising her kids in Evanston I hear. Do not know them personally. I do remember being exhausted driving Claire back home after class in killer rushhour traffic.Must have taken a hour to get home. I shopped aimlessly in Evanston or just sat in the parking lot and read and nodded off or listened to the radio.But believe me, the Pivens get a ot of credit for the cusack kids’ acting ability-it was an incredible place,guess I did watch some too.Subtly,like a good Mom.

Claire’s clarifications and corrections:

I am not named for a Mississippi preacher. My grandmother is named for a Mississippi preacher and I am named after her.

I went through an “I wanna be a movie star” phase in junior high. Hence the theater class. Then I got to high school, realized the theater kids were weird, and ran track instead.

My best friend Ryan, once confided to me that he routinely forgot to wash his feet. I made fun of him so mercilessly and for so long that I gave him a complex. Now he never forgets to wash his feet. Also, his cell phone has been programmed to say “I don’t wash” since 2003.

Speaking of Ryan, he called me in the middle of writing this entry and I got distracted and now I have to go to bed so I’m posting without reading it first.


15 Responses to “This Week in Janice: Motherly Advice”

  1. Cara May 28, 2009 at 5:17 am #

    Ack, you wrote about Ryan already. That was the first thing I thought of when reading the feet washing one. Does Janice know about Ryan’s lack of foot washing? She would be so disappointed… Maybe Ryan should Botox his feet?

    Also, the Cusack/Piven reply is clearly the best in this list.

    • Claire May 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

      I dont think she knows the foot story. Also, Ryan and I were talking last night and we are SO EXCITED for Hilton Head. SO EXCIITTTEEEDDDDDD. I’m making him bring Apples to Apples. Also we kind of need to buy box wine even though I haven’t had any in like 3 years.

      • Marc May 29, 2009 at 6:26 am #

        If I could bring box wine on the plane and drink it the entire way to Hilton Head, I totally would.

        Wait, can I?

  2. Molly May 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    OMG. I am so happy. This totally makes up for getting robbed.

  3. Drewpreme May 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    The Cusacks vs. The Pivens….

    *starts snapping rhythmically like in West Side Story*

    The streets of Evanston will flow red with the blood of thespians….


  4. mazall May 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    clairey, good call on signing up for track. i cant see you performing certain activities in a pink, sparkly cowboy hat, which seems to be a pre-requisite to be an actor these days.

    • Claire May 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

      very true. i’m not really the theater type, and my complete lack of talent really tops it off.

    • Molly May 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm #


  5. Claire May 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    From Ryan:

    Thanks for writing about my feet for all the world to read. Also, should I ask Janice about gay things? What would she say?

  6. Ryan May 28, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    It’s true! It’s all true! Why oh why do I have to be such a loser?!

    • Claire May 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

      but Ryan, WE ARE THE SAME PERSON. and i’m awesome. so how are you a loser?

      please write your “Mickey Rooney” rant.

      • Marc May 28, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

        You don’t wash your feet? Gross, Claire.

  7. Molly May 28, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    Also, I like Janice’s creativity with the multiple names, but what if I think people with more than 3 names are pretentious? Then, I’m once again sacrificing my child’s integrity just to satisfy my mother “Mazall”!!!

  8. Molly May 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    Claire isn’t there a BREAKING update to this?

  9. menelaos May 29, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    Janice made my day, a beacon of light down here in B’more.

    Oh no! Now that I’ve said I like the Janice posts will these go the was of the Life is Hard weekly updates?

    Bitter in Baltimore,

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