In this memoir showcasing the ugly side of the affluent mothers of the pseudonymous Tate Academy , among the country's most prestigious prep schools, Rouse, the school's director of public relations, explains that his job is that of the Mommy Handler—keeping the families and benefactors of the institution happy. In particular, he works closely with a woman he calls Kitsy, the head of the parent and alumni committees and the ringleader of a group he dubs the M2s or the Mean Mommies, a troublesome squad of beautiful women whose self-appointed job it is to maintain Tate's legacy of exclusionary ways. The tales of superficial demands and backhanded nastiness, as well as the quest for a standardized idea of perfection portray a scene worse than a suburban PTA meeting of Stepford wives. But Rouse, whose first memoir, America's Boy, chronicled his life growing up gay in conservative middle America, justifies silently stomaching it all with a candid explanation of his overwhelming need to be accepted by the in-crowd. Rouse's personal journey toward self-realization is highlighted by moments of compassion for students who are similarly ostracized for not being attractive, athletic or wealthy enough. Sadly, he never actually speaks up for fear of the M2s. Rouse's writing is fresh and funny, and the stories of Botox parties, catty mothers and manicured pet pups make this an amusing insider look into the opulent lifestyle of prep school families. (Sept.)
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Some jobs are decidedly unenviable, but Rouse may have the most unenviable of all: mommy handler. OK, his real title is "director of public relations" for a tony prep school (renamed Tate Academy here). But the job, at its core, is to deal with the very rich, very demanding, very unkind mothers of the school's so-very-fabulous students. His memoir opens during carpool-lane duty, where Wade is accosted by Kitsy Ludington, who becomes his nemesis of the year. Kitsy is the supreme Mean Mommy, and Wade's tales of his misadventures with her are hilarious. Take, for example, the time he tried to drop off an invitation to her home only to find he had stumbled into a Botox party with a Doogie Howserlike "doctor" at the helm. Even as Wade makes strides at understanding what makes these ladies act the way they do, he finds himself the target of their insecuritiesand it doesn't end pretty. But Wade's irreverent look at his career at Tate is laugh-out-loud funny and full of charm, candor, and a boatload of cattiness. Wilkens, Mary Frances --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Loved this book...it made me laugh out loud a lot! Very entertaining, I highly recommend it.Published 11 months ago by Athena, EB
It is funny in places, but the intention is to hurt people who annoyed him. He doesn't really want to solve problems or confront issues, but to attack people who were mean to... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Reader
I loved this book. It was raw and so deep. I cried when Wade was reading to the old woman because it was so tender and because it seemed to give him respite from such... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Leah
Love this book. Great writer. I have read all of Wade Rouses books and each seems better than the last.Published 23 months ago by Vickie L. Harris
Hysterical and witty. Well written and couldn't put it down. It's a great account of prep school moms, struggles to fit in and finding yourself.Published on March 25, 2013 by R. Marrs
Women who live in snowy climates do not wear Lilly Pulitzer and on and on. He is gay and his references are stereotypical in his description of women. Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by bonnie mcnamara
Enjoyed this book a lot. It was quite entertaining.
I would 're commend it to anyone................. Read more
I related to this book a little too well, from the standpoint of being a "handler". After working 4 years of high end baby retail, I can only imagine how much worse some of my... Read morePublished on September 14, 2011 by Jolene Vetterling
I read this book after I read Wade's "At Least in the City ..." and found myself not focusing on the entitled ultra-rich characters of the prep school, but on how Wade had to hide... Read morePublished on September 11, 2011 by muggletrixie