Smartmom has a new persona: Crazy Lady

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Smartmom has a brand new name: Crazy Lady. She gave it to herself because, lately, much of the time she really does feel crazy.

She feels crazy every time the Oh So Feisty One leaves her rock-heavy backpack in the foyer. How many times has Smartmom asked her not to do that? How many times has Smartmom stubbed her toe on that textbook-stuffed thing?

She also feels crazy when OSFO leaves a trail of towels in the hallway after a shower. For Buddha’s sake, how many towels does one girl need? And why can’t she pick them up?

But it’s not just OSFO. Teen Spirit makes her feel crazy every time he forgets his keys and buzzes at 2 am when she and Hepcat are in a deep sleep. Talk about murderously crazy.

And Hepcat makes her feel crazy, too! It’s like she’s speaking in tongues when she asks him to walk his dinner plate to the sink or load the dishwasher.

She might as well be Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” when she suggests that he make the bed or not leave his dirty clothes on the floor next to the hamper, but actually put them in the hamper.


And when she asks him to shop for dinner at the Coop or just to pick up milk and Tropicana at Met Food, it’s like she’s one of the Oompa Loompas in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Crazy Lady. The name fits because Smartmom feels crazy most of the time. And she’s starting to act that way, too. She’s been known to rant to herself when she does the dishes — and when Hepcat asks her what she’s saying she just pretends that she’s singing along to something on WNYC.

La La La.

Lately, her eye has been ticking and she’s even been stealing sips of the Sailor Jerry’s rum she keeps in the cabinet.

And it’s all because nobody listens to her or takes her needs seriously. She’s sick and tired of the adolescent rolled eyes, the exasperated stares, the walking away from her when she’s in the middle of a sentence; the not being paid attention to.

Don’t they get it? If something doesn’t change soon, she’s going to be Really Crazy Lady.

Unfortunately, the more she yells, the crazier she feels — and the more they ignore her. It’s like she’s a lunatic babbling on the subway and Hepcat and the kids are those passengers who don’t even look up from their iPods.

And if she doesn’t say anything, they just keep on keeping on with their annoying, crazy-making habits. What’s a smart mom to do?

And that’s when Smartmom had a great idea: She would treat Crazy Lady as just another persona. That way it would be Crazy Lady, not Smartmom, who was nagging her family all the time.

Crazy Lady would be the invisible and irascible houseguest who never leaves. She’d hover over the apartment like a ghostly super-ego making sure that everyone was doing his share.

With Crazy Lady around, Smartmom can go back to being the mild-mannered, loving wife and mother she wants to be. Crazy Lady could be the bad cop.

So the other day, Smartmom told Hepcat that Crazy Lady found his dirty laundry next to the hamper and nearly stashed it in the garbage. “The woman is a little crazy,” Smartmom whispered.

Hepcat looked nervous and quickly put his dirties in the hamper.

Later, she told OSFO that the sight of wet towels in the hallway nearly caused Crazy Lady to seizure. “And that’s not a pretty sight,” she added. OSFO immediately picked up most of her wet towels and put them on the rack to dry.

When she told Teen Spirit that if he wakes up Crazy Lady in the middle of the night, she might pummel him with a coat hanger, he searched his room for his long lost keys and vowed never to forget them.

So far so good.

It really is great to have Crazy Lady around and she doesn’t take up any extra room. Crazy Lady will be a good influence on the household because she’s just scary enough to keep everyone on their toes. Already, she seems to have had the desired effect.

And it’s nice to have super cool Smartmom back, too. Hopefully, she can go back to baking cookies and being everyone’s best friend.

Yeah, right.

Louise Crawford, a Park Slope mom, also operates “Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.”
Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jane from Park Slope says:
What exactly is "new" about this persona?
March 15, 2010, 2:10 pm
Hard Case from Park Slope says:
Raise the stakes, Smartmom. If HepCat leaves his dirty laundry next to the hamper, don't flush next time you do a #2. If OSFO leaves her towels lying on the floor, leave rotting food on the kitchen counter. If Teen Spirit rings the bell at 2 a.m., scream out the window at him like, well, like a Crazy Lady. Trust me -- your problems will be solved.
March 15, 2010, 9:25 pm
Not Goish from Prospect Heights says:
So that's the name of the woman who walks muttering to herself on 7th Avenue. I always thought she was the lady who owns the Landmark building, but I was mistaken.
March 15, 2010, 10:01 pm
Michael from Bay ridge says:
@ Hard Case - your suggestions are somewhere between cruel and disgusting. Why not just tell them clearly and politely that you don't like these particular things and that they have to stop doing them.
If you don't like badbehavior then you should never do it yorself.
Presently there are three people who are behaving in a rude manner, why would having a fourth person behave rudely solve this problem? Keep your dignity Smart Mom. Be smart, don't be crazy. Tell them directly, firmly, but politely not to do these things. Normal people can respond to that and perhaps didn't know that your muttering was because of what they were doing (though this passive aggressive attack on them in the paper might be a clue that gets them to notice now).
March 16, 2010, 4:32 am
Alum from 3rd St says:
Paging Dr. Phil...
March 20, 2010, 9:07 am
Alum from 3rd St says:
Paging Dr. Phil...
March 20, 2010, 9:07 am
ESB from Crown Heights says:
Every time I think this column can't any more narcissistic, pointless and flat-out uninteresting, Louise raise — or is that lowers? — the bar. How does this at all relate to Brooklyn life any longer? You'd think the author of Only the Blog Knows (White Areas of) Brooklyn would have a better handle on this.
March 21, 2010, 7:51 pm

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