A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

An open letter to Honey Boo Boo’s Mama

honey boo boo and mama june on anderson cooper

“Those other girls must be crazy if they think they can beat me, Honey Boo Boo Child.”

Dear June,

Like many Americans, I’ve been tuning in each week to follow your family’s adventures on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and discover interesting things like how to bob for pigs’ feet, harvest road kill, and make a homemade Slip-N-Slide with an old tarp, a hose, and a bottle of Baby Oil.

To be honest, I started watching for sport, because as a humor writer, it’s kind of my job. And after all the negative press I’d been reading, I was expecting to see quite the train wreck. Who doesn’t like watching that?

But instead, I’ve come to see you as a kindred mother who adores her family and enjoys spending time with them.

Sure, we are different in some ways. For instance, I have a boring (but creative) old dog for a pet instead of a cross-dressing teacup piggy; and I’ve never spray tanned my daughter or had her fitted for pageant teeth. But you and I are more alike than we are different, I reckon.

We both live in Georgia, love to goof around with our kids, and think farts are funny.

We both have a jacked-up toe that we keep under wraps except for shock value. Yours is the result of a forklift accident. Mine came from a surprise middle-of-the-night encounter with one of my kids’ toys.

We both have a treasured family recipe for spaghetti (or “sketti”) sauce that includes at least one tomato-based product.

We’re both raising our daughters to know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

We also both embrace our gay friends/relatives and are teaching our kids to be compassionate and loving toward all people.

We both refer to our vaginas as funny things like “biscuit” and make up words like “vajiggle jaggle” and “vajibblets” and “vajewelry box.” (Maybe in keeping with that theme you could teach your girls to not let boys butter their biscuits without protection.)

On family game night, your family plays “Guess Whose Breath;” my kids play an even grosser version.

I love how your kids know that people usually “oooh on themselves” during childbirth. I wish someone had taken the time to explain that to me 13 years ago!

June, I was honestly thrilled to learn that your show has been renewed for another season. I hope they pay you enough to get your kitchen sink fixed and then some.

I also wanted you to know that I feel really bad about tweeting that your new granddaughter Kaitlyn is “all thumbs” after seeing that she was born with an extra digit. That was mean. I am humbled by the way you used Kaitlyn’s third thumb to teach your kids that we’re all special in our own way. Amen, sister. I think Alana put it best when she said “I wish I had an extra finger, then I could grab more cheese balls.” I’ll raise a toast of Go-Go Juice to that!

Looking forward to season 2!

Leslie Marinelli
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Originally published In the Powder Room

1 Comment

  1. Brett Minor (@brettminor)

    I still don’t understand the appeal to this family.

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