Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Go Ask Aunt Becky


Dear Aunt Becky,

I have a blog (that I tend to forget about pretty frequently…  but I’m trying to change).  I think my problem is the whole commenting-conversation thing.  How should I reply to comments?  Email?  The same thread?  On the person’s own blog on a totally unrelated post?

I don’t really think most people (or maybe I’m just a jerk) go back over and over to check further comments on a post they commented on so my response would basically be lost forever.  But on the other hand I don’t want people to feel obligated to talk to me if I email them in response.  I just want to be able to be “Hey you, you’re recognized.  Thanks.  You deserve a cookie.”

How can I do that without being too pushy/annoying?

Good question, oh Prankster, my Prankster (mostly because it’s a question I can answer without having to work my pea-sized brain too hard)! I’ll be very anxious to hear what my other Pranksters say about this, as well.

So when I first started blogging, I was all, Imma respond to comments in my comments! And it worked out well, because the people who read my blog were the people who’d followed me here from Mushroom Printing, where we always had a dialogue back and forth. It was fancy, until I got readers who weren’t the same as people who’d been to my wedding and had likely seen me streak naked around my house while drunk.

Then I realized that it was probably a massive waste of time to respond to comments in my comments because who the hell wants to come back and sit on a blog and hope and pray that the blog owner is responding? Answer: like 2 people.

So I stopped.


So I tried emailing people with the email addresses you left. But since you didn’t always know MY email address, I got a lot of, “and who the fuck are you?” emails.

Then I cried. I wore sadpants for a long, long time.

THEN! I found out about this awesome new plug-in called WP-Threaded Comments! And I installed it! THEN I WORE HAPPY PANTS!

Because I could respond to comments! And if you leave an email address like, ‘’ and I respond with, “Oh, I love you, wise commenter, can we make babies?” I don’t know when the email bounces!

The end!

Dear Aunt Becky,

I have to be friends with women I wouldn’t normally be friends with- their husbands are my husbands’ buds, and we all get together every weekend.  I’ve tried making my own friends, but it’s hard when you don’t really have a hobby and suffer with a mood disorder.  I’ve also tried being genuine friends with these women, and it’s not terrible, just not *me.*

So, I’m looking to go on this Aunt Becky’s Family Reunion Cruise, and I don’t want to let them know about it.  Nothing personal, I just don’t want to be on a boat with them.  We tried an “all girls” vacay and it failed miserably and ended in drama.  I’d rather go on my own and make my own friends, anyway.

Does this make me a bad person?  And how do I explain that I’m going on a cruise (without the Hub nonetheless) and didn’t mention it to nor invite them?

So, Pranksters, this is a good time to remind you that WE’RE GOING ON A MOTHERTRUCKING BOAT. It’s Aunt Becky’s FAMILY REUNION and you’re freaking INVITED so get your ass on a boat with us! The details are here! It’s cheap! And you’re COMING!

When you’re with us, you’re fucking FAMILY, so you’d best act like you LIKE IT. Get your ass on that boat! It doesn’t matter what kind of bits are between your legs. EVERYONE IS WELCOME.

Except, of course, the bitches that this Prankster is talking about. THEY are not invited because they sound like royal assholes.

So, Prankster, back to you, now that I’ve put away my megaphone. Of course you are not a bad person. I once made the mistake of going on vacation with two other girls and it was a fucking nightmare. I’ll have to recount the story sometime. *shudders*

Here’s what you do, if you have to mention it: tell you’re friend you’re going with some people from the INTERNET. Say it like they do on To Catch a Predator. Like we’re going to be plying you with Zima (gags) and condoms and slipping you roofies, rather than pranking and merrymaking on the high-motherfucking-seas.

Tell them it’s some sort of timeshare thing (scares everyone) and that you’ve been conned into selling Mary Kay or Pampered Chef or one of those 4-day long candle party things. Or maybe you’re selling a kidney. Or an arm. Or drug trafficking! Illegal arms deals!

Or you could tell them that you’re going with some bloggers.

Which is the fucking scariest suggestion of all.


Pranksters? Suggestions?

Dear Aunt Becky,

I have been a quiet follower of yours for quite some time. I think I’ve been drawn to following because of what you’ve gone through with your little girl. Now, I won’t pretend for one second that I have a clue what you’ve gone through, because really, I don’t. My son Athan, had heart surgery when he was 5 days old, was released from the hospital at 10 days old and has been doing quite well ever since.

When I first started following you, I thought, “Wow, I can empathize with her,” if only on the tiniest of levels. The thing is, in few short months, we are expecting a little girl we’ve named Jillian. I know your little Amelia had a neural tube defect when she was born, that required her to be in the hospital for far too long after she was born. My little one is facing a very severe congenital heart defect that will require several surgeries and far too much time in the hospital also. We have a 3 1/2 year old son, Oliver and 2 year old Athan and I have no clue how we’re going to manage all the time in the hospital, the stress, the decisions, etc.

My question is this: How the hell did you do it? How the hell do you still do it? How did you/do you maintain a “normal” life, if that’s even possible? I have started a blog- (There was a URL here, but it’s not functioning anymore), so that I can release some stress, while letting friends and family know what’s going on.

Some days I don’t feel like talking to anyone, and I know I don’t owe anyone anything, but I still feel like I should at least let keep them in the loop. In comparison to you, I am shit on your shoes when it comes to blogging, but I’d really appreciate if others could at least take a look and say a quick, simple prayer for her. Can you please make a quick note one day for people to take a look? I’m not expecting followers, but would appreciate any little prayers we can get.

Thank you,
Hurting Mama (aka, Nikki Janik)

Oh Prankster, there are tears pouring down my cheeks right now, and I’ve got to be freaking out my neighbors with my ugly cry and you know what? FUCK ‘EM! Of course we’ll pray for you and your little Jillian! I wish your blog link worked so we could visit you properly.

I hope you’re reading this and know that we’re all sending you and baby Jillian all the love and light and prayers that we have.

The only way I know to get through hell is to keep going. You’ll make it through, even though you won’t know how. I don’t have your email address or any way to contact you except through my posts, but if you need a shoulder, I’m here, okay? I’ll be keeping you and Jillian in my prayers. Much, much love to you both.

I’m sure all my Pranksters will be, too. They’re full of the awesome, my Pranksters.


This seems like a good place for me to tell you that I have a spot for you, Hurting Mama, in case you did shut down your blog. It’s a place for all of us, actually. I’m quietly announcing it today, and I’ll loudly announce it tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and I’ll beg you, all of you, Pranksters, to help me announce it.

It’s called Band Back Together, and it’s a group blog for stories like yours, Hurting Mama. It’s a place to go to share our stories, old and new, and you’re all welcome to use it.

I’m a little shy about it, because I’ve worked really hard on it, but I hope you dig it. It’s not quite done yet, but do let me know what it still needs.

And please, Pranksters, fill in where I left off in the comments. And be sure to love on Hurting Mama. She could use it.

46 Comments to

“Go Ask Aunt Becky”

  1. On September 12th, 2010 at 1:03 am Heather Says:

    Becky, if you hear back from Nikki please send me her email. I will be praying for Jillian.

  2. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:45 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s times like these I wish the Go Ask Aunt Becky feature required an email. It doesn’t. I have no way to track her.

    I’ll holler at you, Heather. I thought of you immediately when I got the question.

    Much love to you and my (your) sweet baby (I think of her as Mimi’s partner in crime).

  3. On September 13th, 2010 at 10:36 am Nikki Janik Says:

    Hi this is Nikki! Someone messaged me on facebook today asking if I had left a message for you, Aunt Becky! My hands are shaking and I’m in a bit of shock. I wrote to you but never really expected for anything to come out of it… wow, I was so wrong!

    The blog address is

    Thank you again so much! I’m literally at a loss for words- this means the world to me!

  4. On September 12th, 2010 at 1:37 am Andra Says:

    Nikki, I cannot pretend to imagine the hurt you must be feeling, not even a little. Sending love, hugs, and prayers to you and baby Jillian. And hope… lots and lots of hope….

    Aunt Becky-I went to Band Back Together. Looked around. I love it! You are freaking amazing! But then, you knew that already!

  5. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:44 am Your Aunt Becky Says:


    I hope you like the new site. I’m really proud.

  6. On September 12th, 2010 at 2:21 am opto-mom Says:

    If the time-share prank doesn’t work, try telling them it’s an Avon cruise with a special emphasis on the Avon perfumes. Can you imagine a fucking boat full of people wearing Avon perfumes? My Gawd, I would never be able to get the old lady smell out of my nose! That is sure to keep any interlopers away so you can go and enjoy yourself!!!

    Nikki, mark down one more prayer said for little Jillian! And one for you! Aunt Becky was right…we Pranksters are full of the awesome (if I do say so myself!), so we will be here for love and support; if you just want to pitch a hissy fit and cry, we can handle that too! Much love to you, sweetie!

  7. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:43 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    That’s brilliant! The stench would be LEGENDARY!

    And exactly, Nikki. My Pranksters are the best people on the Internet.

  8. On September 12th, 2010 at 2:27 am GingerB Says:

    Hurting Mama, click on my name and come visit me, I’ll talk to you if and whenever you want. I didn’t get bitchslapped with advance news, I only get it on the back end and play catch up, but I’ve had 2 hospital babies and a full time job and my little one now has 14 therapy visits a month plus Little Gym each week and she is one rocking toddler – I promise to give you hope. Promise.

    I love comments, rarely do I answer the person who commented ’cause I figure I am not big or important enough that people come back.

    Never vacay with people you don’t love, life is way too short. Way.

  9. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:42 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Gingie, exactly.

    I really hope Hurting Mama is reading this.

  10. On September 12th, 2010 at 5:13 am ScienceGeek Says:

    Thinking of you, Nikki. If I could make a suggestion – while you’re updating friends and family via your blog, don’t be afraid to ask for help to keep things ‘normal’. The people (like me, I’m afraid) who have their tongues double in size from all the things they don’t know how to say will fall over themselves to show how much they care in meals, babysitting and house chores. Just ask. Seriously.

    Cruiser – Chose an event from your past your friends weren’t involved with. Summer camp, high school, whatever (junior anarchists society?) Tell them it’s a reunion from that. If they get snarky, just repeat ‘But you didn’t go to (summer camp, high school, explosive ordinance lessons), you can’t attend’ until they get the picture.

  11. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:41 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Good ideas, Science Geek. There are plenty of kind people out there who will help.

  12. On September 12th, 2010 at 6:47 am Halala Mama Says:

    SOoo Becky, what you are saying is that gof*** is already taken? Because that was on my todo list for this morning.

    Cruiser – tell them it is a family cruise with your great Aunt Bertha who is turning 90 but still likes to wear the short shorts and has a moustache. That ought to keep anyone away. AND since Becky has invited the whole wide Internet there is a good chance that someone like that just might show up anyway, so it’s not even a lie.

  13. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:40 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahahahaha! I love you. And you know what? I do have, but you can have the other one!

  14. On September 12th, 2010 at 6:52 am Maria Says:

    Prayers for Nikki & Jillian.

    I love threaded comments. I don’t have to check back, but I know if someone replied to me. My blog isn’t on WP, so I don’t have it. I’m 50/50 on replying to comments or emailing…I despise comments without an email address!

  15. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:40 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Yeah, without an email address, it’s hard. And I always felt like a douche doing it in the comments.

  16. On September 12th, 2010 at 7:30 am Mandi Bone Says:

    I have answers this morning for everybody. I am a fucking genius.

    I have teeny tiny blog that get very few comments but I think it is very exciting to get them. I know people don’t go back and check them. So if they have a blog I go and comment on one of their posts. I get excited for comments so I think that by me commenting on theirs it will make them happy.

    I have met people that I met on twitter while on vacation in Walt Disney World. She had daughters I have daughters we met a princess breakfast. My mom was with us she hid my daughters in a store just to make she was not a kidnapper. I also went to Blogher this year. I just told people I was going for a writing conference. If you tell people you are going anywhere with people you met on the internet you will get the “you are crazy and they are going to kidnap you look”

    Hurting mama PLEASE click my picture or email Aunt Becky back to get my email address. I was born with a severe heart defect. I have had 5 open heart surgeries. I would love to talk to you!! I also have 3 kids and 2 have special situations.

  17. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:37 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Mandi! You’re a fucking genius every day. DUH.

  18. On September 12th, 2010 at 8:00 am Bell Says:

    Since blogspot hasn’t introduced threaded comments yet, and I am poor with code, I simply respond right on the post. To me, it doesn’t matter if they go back and check it; if they do, the response is there. If they don’t, well…what’s a little more writing on my part?

    If you have to tell them you’re going on a cruise, you could just say you wanted some time alone, or for yourself. Psychologically, it’s okay to want some time to yourself to relax, and you can find a billion articles to back this up.

    I wish the mother the very best with all of her children, and will keep her in my thoughts.

  19. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:38 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    xo. Loves you.

  20. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:41 am Bell Says:

    Awww…I got warm fuzzies. <3

  21. On September 12th, 2010 at 8:25 am Caron Says:

    Hurting Mama, please take care of yourself and know that people care. You don’t have to be happy-pleasant around here, you can be real. Come back often.

  22. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:37 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Exactly. We always keep it real.

  23. On September 12th, 2010 at 8:26 am MamaCas Says:

    My thoughts are firmly planted on Baby Jillian…I hope everything goes as smoothly as it possibly can. I have never been through this particular hell, so I have no helpful advice other than the issue of keeping everyone updated. Can you create an e-mail group (titled “Family and Friends” or something) with the addresses of everyone who needs to be notified? I’m not very tech-savvy, but I think you can set it up so you just click on “Family and Friends” instead of individually clicking 83 different contacts in your address book. Then you can type out a quick message and send it. You can even say, “I’m so thankful for your prayers and good thoughts. That being said, I’m having a difficult day and I don’t feel much like talking. I love you all and I’ll e-mail tomorrow if there’s anything new to report.”

    In other news…..I’d love to do that threaded comment thingymajig, but it looks like you have to be on WordPress which is total HORSESHIT. I’m on blogger. Do you know if there’s anything similar for us blogger pee-ons?

  24. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:36 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Let me look into that, darlin’. I’ll get back to you.

  25. On September 13th, 2010 at 1:11 am MannyRee Says:

    You can get Intense Debate on your blogger page…go to and walk through the works really well, and best of all, you don’t have to edit the html yourself!

  26. On September 13th, 2010 at 9:57 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    GOOD CALL! Yes! Intense Debate and DISQUIS. Forgot about those for Blogger.

  27. On September 13th, 2010 at 8:41 pm MamaCas Says:

    Thank you. Big sloppy kisses to you!! Or not. Maybe if I buy you a drink first?

  28. On September 12th, 2010 at 8:51 am Amber El Says:

    Another prayer for Hurting Mama and her beautiful family. And hugs from through the interwebs.

    And, Aunt Becky, I think your new site is wonderful! I joined and will post and am so full of admiration for you and your everpresent compassion.

  29. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:38 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I can’t wait to have you over there, Prankster.

  30. On September 12th, 2010 at 9:53 am April K. Says:

    In regards to comments…I have a blogger blog and just finally added the Disqus comments platform to my blog. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! (Granted, I only get like one comment per post, but, still). I can either respond directly from my blog or via e-mail and it gets posted as a reply AND e-mailed to the person who left the comment. It works for both Blogger and WordPress. (

    Vacay…I’m totally down with the Avon response.

    Hurting Mama…I am so, so, sooo sorry sorry for what you’ve going through right now. We’ve had our own baby/NICU struggles but they are minor in comparison. Please know that you are in my prayers and I, too, would be more than willing to chat/help/be a shoulder to cry on should you ever need. **Hugs**

  31. On September 12th, 2010 at 10:30 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    *smacks head* DISQUIS for Blogger! YES! Good call. Thank you

  32. On September 12th, 2010 at 10:25 am statia Says:

    My thoughts go out to Nikki. I can’t even begin to put myself in those shoes. But I do have a friend whose baby was born with a congenital heart defect. Long time blogger, Erika’s son was born with HLHS. He’s 4.5 now and one very bright and active little boy. You can read all about him here: and Erika is always happy to answer any questions. She’s good peeps.

    When I first started blogging, it was responding in comments, and then to email. I used to always respond to emails, and then it got hard, because I just didn’t have time to respond to everyone. And I love threaded comments because then people have the option and it also starts a dialogue. So, yeah, threaded comments is the bomb diggety and seems to be the way things are done now.

  33. On September 12th, 2010 at 10:33 am Kerry Says:

    Oh Hurting mama!! like the others, let’s hope she is an avid reader and comes back soon.

    I have to tell her…my friend was told when she was 5 months pregnant with her son that he would have a very serious heart defect and would require several surgeries AND the chances of survival past infancy were slim. And then they said this…do you want to continue with the preganancy? What in the fuck?

    Needless to say, she continued. He did survive infancy, many surgeries and procedures. he also just graduated from High School last spring. Amazing kid and amazing mother.

  34. On September 12th, 2010 at 10:38 am katrina Says:

    All i can offer is prayers and love to baby jillian and her momma, but it seems your pranksters have some good advice and are a good resource. (even the responses made me cry…)

  35. On September 12th, 2010 at 11:09 am Shin Ae Says:

    Not all friends are the same kind of friends. Some are hanging out with husbands-type friends and some are overnight vacation-y friends. Right? You’re not a bad person.

    Nikki, I’ll be praying for your new little one, and for you.

  36. On September 12th, 2010 at 11:59 am Jeannine Says:

    I love you Aunt Becky!
    Also, sending lots of love to Hurting Mama & her family

  37. On September 12th, 2010 at 12:57 pm beta dad Says:

    I don’t have any advice for real problems, since I’ve managed to avoid them so far. Except that I would distance myself from the fake friends as much as possible. How hard is it to just avoid them? They don’t need to know your every move. Come up with bogus excuses for events that you are supposed to attend with them and they should get the message.

    Here’s my theory on blog comments: even if people don’t come back to check whether you have responded to their comments or not (or you don’t have fancy schmancy plug-ins), they can see by your responses that you read and care about comments. That makes them more likely to comment in the future. Also, responding to comments gives you a chance to display your witty repartee skills (theoretically).

    I guess I need advice on how to deal with other peoples’ sick kids. Some friends just found out that their kid has Duchenne’s MD, and I haven’t even been able to compose an email to respond. Although the news breaks my heart, I suck at comforting people.

  38. On September 12th, 2010 at 1:02 pm Sam Says:

    To Hurting Mama; you have all the best wishes and prayers that any legion of slightly-neurotic bloggers/blog readers can muster, and it’s a LOT! Also, you don’t know what you can do until you are forced to do it. I once had an infant hospitalized, and I made it. I made it crying and cursing and praying and face-punching health providers who told me to leave the room. You’ll make it too. And your kiddo will know how much you care.

    And to the writer who isn’t friends with her man’s friends wives? Wanna start a club? I’m not much of a joiner, but for this, I’ll make an exception! This happens to me A LOT. I’m all ‘hey your friend is okay but his wife is Y A W N oops, I fell asleep just thinking about talking to her again…” No excuses, no explanations, you take that cruise and forget sending those ladies a post card. Just find the bar, and you’ll be fiiiiine.

  39. On September 12th, 2010 at 1:50 pm Jersey Girl Gets Real Says:

    My heart hurts for any sick child. Prayers to both you Aunt Becky and Hurting Mama!

  40. On September 12th, 2010 at 6:01 pm meredith Says:

    ohhhhhhh i love aunt becky. thoughts & prayers & everything crossed, hurting mama. we’re here.

  41. On September 12th, 2010 at 7:25 pm A Mom on Spin Says:

    Excellent idea, Aunt Becky!

    As a mother of two daughters who have “flirted” with eating disorders, I would love to see some content of the challenges involved with raising teenage daughters.

  42. On September 13th, 2010 at 7:58 am Melissa the Librarian Says:

    Hurting Mama, know that there is an amazing group of people, all brought together by our Awesome Aunt Becky, who are thinking of you, supporting you and your baby girl and your family, and know you will not be going through this alone.

  43. On September 13th, 2010 at 10:13 am Adrienne Says:

    Nikki, my dear? If you come back and you see this, give us a way to contact you. The online special needs community has saved my ass more times and in more ways than I can even begin to tell you. What your family is facing…no family should ever, ever have to deal with something like this. We can’t change it, no matter how much we want to, but we can make sure you have a community.

    And yeah, come on over to Band Back Together. You are going to find an abundance of shoulders.

  44. On September 13th, 2010 at 10:42 am 3xEMonkey Says:

    Hurting Mama, I’ve never come across a woman pleading for prayers who didn’t deserve them. I’ve dropped your- well, not name, but, situation into the prayer box at church.
    I’m no good at support or doing and saying the right things. Though, if you want to vent and say a lot of angry hurtful things- whether it’s about doctors without answers or family members who don’t get it- feel free to e-mail me. If you don’t want me to read it, just title it “don’t read” or something cryptic like that. I’ve found that venting to the internet is a fantastic way to get the crazy out without damaging relationships with the people-you-want-to-hurt-but-don’t-want-to-really-hurt.

  45. On September 13th, 2010 at 3:57 pm La Printemp Says:

    Becky et al…

    I work for the state of Cowlifawneeyah, (ifyaknowwaudamean). This particular state government has a program that allows its employees to donate to charities through payroll deduction. We are currently campaigning to our employees to donate for the next 12 months. I myself am a bottom-of-the-wrung pledger trying to get everyone in my unit to donate to SOMETHING.

    So, I just wanted to say that I will be recommending Friends of Maddie as my charity of choice for donations this year. I didn’t know until now that it is a 501(c)3 charity (which it has to be in order to donate to it through this campaign). But now that I do, it’s on the top of my list!

    I will also be recommending to our employees that they consider giving outside the campaign either instead of or in addition to their payroll deducted amount, as this will avoid a 14% overhead cost deduction from what the charity receives.

    I just wanted to say thanks for putting this out there on your blog, helping so much with such a simple act. Kudos!

    I’m between websites right now, so just contact me via email if you have any questions. I can’t link to my fb here cos I’m at work and it will block even that link. So, yeah.


    Thanks again!

    Erin C.

  46. On September 14th, 2010 at 7:30 am liz Says:

    I never understood the logic behind commenting to your readers in the comment section either. Obviously, that plug-in works double-duty since it emails the commenter, too. But I know some people in blogland who insist that’s the way to show your readers you care. Um, who the hell has the time or interest to re-visit everywhere they were each day?? Makes no sense to me.

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