“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

Download Shannon's story, "Beautiful Boy, Brandon Lee," in its full length, excerpted from her book, Smash, Crash & Burn.

She Deserved To Be Judged …!

I went shoe shopping with my friend code-name Tango 5-6. She wanted a pair of 200$ Mephistos.

“Do you think that’s too much money for a walking shoe?” she asked.

“No hey, you’ve got to be comfortable when you walk.”

So she bought them.

Then I was having lunch at our friend code-name The Baker’s house and I told The Baker about Tango’s outrageously expensive shoe purchase. We cackled and got all judgey.

Two days later Tango was working me out in her home gym when she mentioned The Baker had mentioned her “outrageously expensive” walking shoes which I must’ve told her about. Shit. Tango added 20 lbs to my bench-press. Ack. Ack.

“You were judging me!” she exclaimed.

“Okay, I was judging you! Let me up!  Let. Me. Up!”

She added another twenty.

“It’s just. 200$ is a lot. for a really ugly shoe!”

“The Baker told me you went back and bought yourself the same exact pair of Mephistos.”

“Damn that Baker, she spends too much time gossiping, not to mention baking, is she trying to make us all fat? Why doesn’t she get a life?!” (My lungs collapsed)

So my question is…how many times do you judge another woman in a day?  Once. Twice. A bazillion? I judge you if:

You’re too nice to your kids (doormat). Too mean to your kids (Mommy Dearest). You go to church every Sunday (religion is the opiate of the masses!). You send your kid to private school when there’s a perfectly good public school in the hood (entitled WASP, JAP, PERSIAN, MICK, what-have-you). You carry designer handbags (send the money to Haiti). You don’t let your kids have dessert (hemp-wearing, supplement-taking, recycling, repurposing, privileged, liberal, holistic, born-again-smug-virgins!). You eat only raw foods (see previous). The list goes on.

You judge me because:

I let my kids watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (child psychological scar-er). I explained sex to my kids when they were in the 1st grade (they’ll be wild teenagers). I let my kids have dessert everyday, sometimes twice (obesity-promotor, tooth-rotter,vicarious-liver-througher). I don’t take my kids to church (juvenile-delinquency-proponent). I sometimes let them have a cursing free-pass (F-bomb-allower).

I don’t mean to judge you. You don’t mean to judge me. Unless you’re Mother Teresa or on Magic Mushrooms this is just human nature. So Tango and I have decided that every time we internally judge one another we’re going to cry out “Judging!” after.

Sunday we took our kids to the beach:

Me: “Let’s bicycle up the strand.”

Tango: “We don’t have bicycles.”

Me, internal judgement: (You lazy ass! How can you live in Southern California and not have bikes? You’re ruining the fun!)

Me: “Judging!”

Tango and the girls wanted to go down to the water instead of flying a kite.

Me: “It’s too cold.”

Tango, internal judgement: (You’re such a pussy! You’re ruining the fun!)

Tango: “Judging!”

Tango didn’t want to buy her daughter a corn dog.

Me, internal judgement: (You and your f%#king anal-retentive, perfectionistic, let-me-make-you-a-green-smoothie food religion.)

Me: “Judging!”

Tango, internal judgement: (Of course you’re judging because you’re a slatternly, sugar addict that’d sell her kids down-river for a whoopie pie.)

Tango: “Judging!”

Then it was pretty much. “Judging!” “Judging!” “Judging!” “Judging!”  Our mouths got tired of making the affricative “J” sound. (Okay. I googled that).

The funny thing is, after Tango and her kid Tangette left and my girls and I rode off on our resentfully delayed bike trip up the strand I felt kind of lonely for our friends and wistful about how much fun we had with them.

Me, internal judgement: (Man, I love that bitch!)

Me, internal judgment: (I am so much funnier than Tango). Tango, internal judgment, (I better pretend I think she’s funny. She has such a fragile ego.) Me IJ: (God she smells like frangipani incense with her holistic hoo-haa). Tango IJ: (I can smell the gin on her breath!)



16 comments

Write a comment
  1. Desiree Eaglin
    Desiree Eaglin 1 February, 2012, 09:54

    Another great post Shannon!
    I found myself judging a friend once for spending what I felt was tooo much money on gymboree clothes for her kid. The only difference between her and I was, she spent that much in one lump sum and hasn’t spent anymore whereas I’ve spent triple that in the last year. Judging!

    Reply this comment
  2. Jamie
    Jamie 1 February, 2012, 15:38

    LOL Love your posts like always.

    LOL I am a church every Sunday person (or an attempt to be there every Sunday)

    I’m with you on the money judging. I used to do that too. See first hand people dying it was really hard to see people “waste” money on things I believed were frivolous.

    I seem to be simmering down in my old age, though…I understand now that what I may find frivolous may actually not be to the other person. I just don’t understand it.

    Ugh, judging. It is one of those topics that I’ve thought a lot about. Here is my take on it (totally my opinion, whether right or wrong I give you permission to judge it! 😉 ):

    There is a assessment judging, which is healthy and benefits the person assessing the situation.

    Then there is the dreaded judging you mentioned. A negative judgement… Some call it “mommy judging.” I have noticed when I got into the world of mothers it got much worse than even teenage judging (vicious!) It is the kind of judging where someone will put a value on you based on their assessment, “Samantha gives soda to her kids, she’s a bad mom.” That kind of thing. It is mean. (Yes! Mean! I’m talking to you ladies who do it! You know who you are!!)

    What I’ve personally noticed is that judgement comes as a defense to one’s choices or some ignorance on the topic (when the parenting style or topic is benign)…. I’ve had people think because I home school my kids I negatively judge everyone who sends their kids to a conventional school. Things like that…Lots of assumptions no truth behind it.

    Then there are people who judge a parenting style they believe is hurting the child. I feel like in that instance judgement without action is in vain. I’m sure there are situations where someone would feel like they shouldn’t say anything, but then there is no reason to judge either…it won’t help. I’m sure it also is not easy to put those thoughts away, either…but hey it can’t be good to think negative thoughts for your own health- especially if you can’t do anything about it!

    Wow…that sounded much deeper and serious then I intended…ugh…I wasted all this time writing it I now feel obligated to send this comment. :-/ eh…

    Anyway, my point- judging moms scare the bejeazus out of me and I try to avoid them like the plague.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 1 February, 2012, 19:39

      Jamie I wish you were my mom (even if age-wise I could be yours). You are the kindest most thoughtful, loving lady. I haven’t even met you yet and I already know. I love the phrase “assessing judgment.” I will usually tell my kids they can never judge another person because they have not walked in that person’s shoes, but that they can have “good judgment” about a person. And that kind of judgment will inform them what kind of relationship they can have with that person. What you say is so true about moms who judge feeling defensive about their own choices. Of course I never do that (judging!!)

      Reply this comment
  3. Ciaran
    Ciaran 1 February, 2012, 16:28

    Snort. Don’t judge me for nose laughing.

    Reply this comment
  4. Shelby Barone
    Shelby Barone 1 February, 2012, 22:10

    Great piece! Loved it!

    Reply this comment
  5. Kimberly
    Kimberly 1 February, 2012, 22:14

    Great post! Love the humor!

    Reply this comment
  6. Caryn B
    Caryn B 2 February, 2012, 07:29

    Shannon…I just love this post. You have this way of talking so creatively and humorously about a subject that is so much a struggle amongst women, while managing to really show how trivial it actually is. Women can be so judgmental, yet we need each other…for support…for friendship. I’m going to think twice before I start getting all “judgy” : )

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 2 February, 2012, 10:02

      Hi Caryn — did you read Jamie Lynn’s comment? She nailed it with the judgey-ness. Thanks for reading mamacita.

      Reply this comment
  7. norlee
    norlee 25 March, 2014, 20:28

    “you’re a slatternly, sugar addict that’d sell her kids down-river for a whoopie pie”…. bahahahaha

    Reply this comment
  8. Shannon
    Shannon Author 14 February, 2012, 15:59

    Oh are you reading me? This is very exciting! I love to be read. Even if it means excoriation!

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*