Monday, May 2, 2016

Dear Cool Mom

[caption id="attachment_3161" align="aligncenter" width="400"]ID-100369415 Photo credit: nenetus @[/caption]

Dear Cool Mom,

You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you. How long has it been? Three years? Four? Doesn’t really matter, because I doubt you’ll read this letter.

While you were being the fun mom hanging with the preteens in the skate park, I was sitting on the bench outside eating McDonalds. The fat mom eating McDonalds. You thought it would be funny to mock me and to tell your children I didn’t really need those fries. My kids heard you. It made them angry and hurt their feelings, and probably embarrassed them too. I wonder if it embarrassed your kids. I wonder if you were embarrassed when you realized my kids heard you.

This isn’t going to be one of those letters where I justify my weight, because I don’t owe you an explanation for how I look or what I choose to eat. I won’t tell you I have a medical condition, or that the McDonalds I was eating was a special, rare treat I was enjoying with my kids. Neither of those things are true, but they could have been. Would that have made a difference to you? Probably not. I doubt you gave it much thought before you decided to be the “cool mom” and mock a stranger to give your kids a good laugh.

This won’t be one of those letters where I talk about how your rude comments changed my life. How I lost fifty pounds in response to your ridicule. Or how you inspired me to change my eating habits to mold my fat body into something more visually acceptable to strangers I might encounter at the skate park. Nope. I’m still fat.

So, if your comment didn’t change my life, why write this letter? To be honest, I haven’t thought about you in a long, long time. Not until I read an article about a bunch of hateful, pathetic people who tormented a stranger on social media. A teenager who did nothing to them. All she did was post a picture of herself in her prom dress. A beautiful picture of a beautiful girl. It’s heartbreaking that these pathetic people stole what should have been a young woman’s golden memory and turned it into a nightmare. The internet has rallied around the young woman, offering words of encouragement and support. But that young lady will never, ever be able to remember her prom without feeling the string of those vicious comments.

The comments you made, Cool Mom, barely made a dent in my day. Your comments, though harmless to me, could have caused deep harm to someone else. And your behavior set a horrible example for your children. You taught your kids that it’s fun to laugh at the expense of someone else. That it’s fun to mock someone based on their appearance. And, by directing your attention from your children to a perfect stranger, you taught them that appearance is more important than anything.

There are enough cruel, nasty people in the world. Plenty of people who are eager to fling social media insults at a person they’ve deemed is deserving of ridicule simply because they don’t fit a particular mold. People who take pleasure in abusing a beautiful teenager in a stunning prom dress. I hope your children won’t be one of those people. It’s up to you to show them a better way to be.


Just Another Mom


  1. This makes me sad, and angry. I'm the mother of four daughters. I constantly preach "don't judge", "don't ridicule", and "never cut someone else down". There is nothing cool about this. I know this applies to all genders, but women are particularly catty to each other and it's a reflection of their own insecurities. I compliment people, especially women, as often as possible. One kind word can make someone's day/week/year/life better. Be kind! Always, be kind!

  2. Great blog. We wonder at teenagers who bully others until the bullied teen commits suicide. Or the teenage kids who brutally kill another for fun. We need look no further than our own example to find why.

    My mother was a "farm girl". They did not live in "town". In high school, they only had 4 typewriters and, although she desperately wanted to learn to type, those four typewriters were saved for the "town girls". The thought being, the "town girls" would have more need for typing skills than the "farm girls".

    All I know is, I asked for and got a typewriter in seventh grade.

    She worked in banks for many years. My mother answered the switchboard, she never did learn to type. She enjoyed answering the switchboard and was only held up once in all the years she worked for banks.

    One day when I was still in high school, I ran by to see her and she answered the switchboard in her pleasant voice and asked how she might direct the call. The man on the phone began swearing and fussing up a storm at her. She calmly pushed a button on the board and disconnected the fellow. My eyes were probably big as saucers when I asked her how she could stand that. She told me people will do all kinds of nasty stuff when they cannot see you. It gives the cowards courage to berate someone they know cannot reach out and slap them.

    She pointed to the disconnect button and laughed. "This thing works wonders for rude people," she said with a smile. "Shuts them up."

    Be careful who you give your power to. We all have the power, like the author of this blog, to push the disconnect button. We need to teach that skill to our children.

  3. Oh, I got the typewriter. Thought I'd add that.

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Words of wisdom here - the apple rarely falls far from the tree, even if parents don;t realize their behavior is outrageous or wrong, children still pick it up

  5. What a shame the abusers don't see the hurt they cause and the group they become classified under because of their actions. Cool mums like this one are not cool and can easily be classified as 'Bitch' which I'm sure is not how they see themselves. Cool mums are those that are supportive, nice people who befriend others. The other Cool Mums just think they are.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  6. Thanks for your comment! I remember sitting around the kitchen table as a child and talking with my brother about a "brat" on the school bus. My father reprimanded us about name-calling and talking about people behind their backs. It's a lesson that stayed with me all these years.

    I think you're setting a beautiful example by complimenting people. Your daughters will learn from your actions and will make the world a better place.

  7. Your mother sounds like a wise and wonderful woman. Clearly, she's passed this characteristic on to you. I think you're right in saying we need to teach our children to press the disconnect button. They don't have to listen to nasty people. It's okay to walk away.

  8. I'm glad you got the typewriter. :)

  9. Thanks for sharing, Jo. Children pick up on everything. I'm sure there have been times I have set a poor example for my kids. I try to admit when I'm wrong and then strive to do better going forward.

  10. How right you are, David. By trying to be "cool" and fit in with the kids, parents give up so much. I believe it's possible to be friends with our kids, but we are parents first. It's up to us to set good examples, not to provide entertainment in the form of hurting others. I agree with you that Cool Moms should be kind and supportive. That's the kind of Cool Mom I'd like to be.

  11. Thank you for sharing! This is a beautiful response to this woman :) Is it okay if I share this on my blog this week?

  12. Please feel free to share. Thank you!

  13. Great! The post will be published this Friday with an excerpt of the story with links to your blog to read the rest. If you are uncomfortable with this, please let me know :)

  14. Thank you. Me too. They bought me some records and I taught myself to type going through the record course. By the time I took typing in high school, I was typing 60 wpm. I understand now why parents want to give their children things they didn't have when they were children. My mother is wise and wonderful. Thank you.

  15. Powerful piece! Have to share 💗

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  17. Sad that she made that statement. Just sad because it means she sees herself as perfect.