Three-Martini Mom, a Tool of the Right.

Not long after I wrote "The Three-Martini Playdate", I was reviewed in "The Weekly Standard,” which I soon discovered to be a scathingly right-wing neo-conservative rag, a publication with which I vociferously disagreed in all matters. They gave my book an excellent review: A long, beautifully written, absolutely glowing review.


I was torn, being a nice liberal girl. A girl who thinks Robert Reich is dreamy. A girl who keeps The Progressive, The American Prospect, and Mother Jones in the bathrooms. I was glad of the review, but too embarrassed to spread the good news.


Soon after that, I was asked to talk about my book on a Fox News show called “Day Side with Linda Vestor.” a show where they generally did a lot of talking about how well things are going in Iraq, and how personable George Bush is, and what a hard job he has. Fox News, I thought, why would Fox News want me to talk about my book? But I went on, being the media whore that I needed to be in order to sell some books.


I was introduced as “Rebel Mom.” And it was actually fun being all quippy and opinionated in front of what was apparently a live audience on the opposite coast. But between trying to hear Linda Vestor’s voice in my tiny earpiece and trying ignore the sound of my own voice echoing back into my ear on a three-second delay, I wasn’t able to shout out to the studio audience “Wake Up America! Your Government is lying to you! We are living in a Fascist State!” before being dragged off to the pokey, thus garnering untold amounts of publicity for my book.


Plus, I didn’t really think of doing that until later. Plus, I didn’t really think of it at all, my husband actually suggested that it might have been really great if I’d done it. But it was then that I realized the message the arch-neo-conservatives were getting from my book: LIBERAL parents don’t know how to say no to their children, it’s the LIBERAL lefties who grew up in the free-lovin’ ‘60’s who don’t know how to control their offspring.


Then, I received a call from the Daily Telegraph, a frighteningly conservative pro-war publication out of Britain. Some nice chap wanted me to talk about my book as part of an article he was writing on the subject of parenting.


The neo-cons were trying to appropriate my message as surely as they had appropriated God and the Flag. I sensed a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy that was aiming to make me, a nice lefty yellow-dog California Liberal Democrat, a Tool of the Right.


I never had looked at parenting in terms of red and blue states. My books merely suggest that parents, whether liberal progressive or to the right of Jerry Falwell, should not make their children the center of the Universe. All parents need to learn how to say no to their children, or their children will grow up to be ill-mannered, demanding, and self-centered; Get a life, or risk ending up one of those horrible grown-ups who can’t talk about anything except how adorable their ill-mannered, demanding, self-centered children are.



Hilarious what people assume isn't it? One thing I really noticed in this recent election is the polarization (in the portrayals at least) of each side as being either neo-cons on the right or socialists on the left, and the caricatures of each "side". These media guys interviewing you for your book just assumed you were in their "camp' and acted accordingly, never bothering to actually try to understand the nuanced, multi-faceted person I'm sure you are.

My God, people. There is a huge variety of thoughts, opinions, childraising customs, religious beliefs, etc.. out there. The world is changing... it isn't so "black and white" "left and right".

That's why I love the Internet... it's global, and full of variety ...


qtpqtootie, please explain to me why you think that liberals lie the most? I'm intrigued...


I just want to comment on one part of this post. It's true, America, our government lies to us. But interestingly enough, the liberals lie the most. Furthermore, why would anyone who knows the government lies to us vote "liberal" and give the government even more power and control over our money and therefore our choices?? I don't get it. Please, someone, explain this to me...


That's really interesting! My parents were very liberal politically, but very strict at home so it didn't occur to me. Do you think that the stereotypes about liberal parents tend to be true?


I picked up Three Martini at a bookstore while pregnant with my first, and read it in one sitting! I loved it so much that I bought copies for all of my friends. However, I did assume that Christie Mellor was conservative, and probably from a judeo-Christian background. Ha, guess I was wrong!

In conservative Christian circles, Three Martini is not new- I grew up with this thinking. However, in liberal California where I live now, her book definite goes against the grain.


This liberal, atheist mum agrees that children should behave in restaurants and make frequent use of the work "please"! I wonder whether it is actually true that there are systematic child-rearing differences among liberals and conservatives. I think not: child-rearing has changed dramatically in the last 50 years in ways that have affected everyone. Some of these changes are very positive (the increased role of fathers for example). But certainly there have been negative changes as well, and conservatives clearly attribute those to a liberal influence.

I loved your first book and will buy your second immediately. Thanks for a stellar article and a refreshing perspective.


Careful. You never know when you might have conservative readers lurking about here, and not just the neo- kind. The kind who are upset their children ride the bus to school because they're deprived of the experience of walking uphill to school both ways in the snow - and besides, oughtn't they be working at the mill for tuppence a day once they turn six?