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    Sometimes you just need to turn to the 9 kabillion people on the Internet for advice

    August 5, 2008

    In a couple of weeks we’ll be celebrating my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. In the invitation, we asked everyone to send pictures from the last 50 years. It has been the BEST thing ever.

    Last night some pictures came in the mail and I thought I was going to cry. With laughter. You see, I was going to cry because on one particular picture of a large group, there was a small Postit note that said “Turn over.” On the back was a long explanation of how the sender loved this picture from years ago so much because it had everyone in it. And that was part of the apology. Everyone included the prior Mrs. Derek. Not that she loved Mrs. Derek. You hare hard pressed to find anyone who has anything good to say about the former Mrs. Derek.

    I’ll be honest. I have only seen one picture of the former Mrs. Husband. It was a wedding picture (not theirs) from a former marriage of a relative (which also ended in divorce). Other than attempting to sell her waterford wedding crystal on E-Bay (the only thing she didn’t take when she left), I would have to say she really isn’t a subject of conversation over here. So there she was, in all her glory, complete with her microbangs.

    K: What the???? Where are her bangs?
    D: It was the soccer haircut.
    K: You mean she had those bangs with a mullet?
    D: Sort of.
    K: Damn that Janine Turner.
    D: Who?
    K: The Northern Exposure chick with the microbangs. Making everyone else think they could pull it off too. And let me tell you, my friend. It didn’t work.
    D: (overwhelmed with boredom over a fashion discussion) Whatever.
    K: So what are we going to do with the picture?

    People are a little sensitive in my husband’s family about the former Mrs. Derek. It’s not like we can leave her in there because people will be sad when they see it.  “Wasted his youth, years of torment, broke his heart.” He could not care less about her being in the picture.  Honestly.  And neither could I.  If she wasn’t so poorly behaved, I would have to be doing a LOT more around here to keep him happy.  Wrong, but true.  We started to brainstorm about keeping the picture but removing her.  Sharpie out her face?  Cut her head out with manicure scissors?  Photoshop in Cheryl Tiegs (hey, that’s his middle school fantasy)?  Make her face into a talk cloud above the head of the person in front of her?

    Then, with my husband’s permission, I suggested we ask you, oh great Internet, for your brilliant ideas about what to do with the dime-sized former Mrs. Derek in the nostalgia picture.  I can’t post the picture because I am protecting the guilty.  But can I just say my husband was HOT in the ’90’s.

    So let me know what you think we should do with the picture.  If you think we should go with the conversation cloud in lieu of her head, tell me what it should say.   We’ll pick the winner together and we’ll send you a little something.  It’ll be a surprise.

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    1. Mir says:

      Color her face black. Then over the top, in white courier font:


      August 5th, 2008 at 7:40 am

    2. Jenni says:

      Put a red “Censored” button over her face, or if you’re going with the conversation cloud, it should say “I’m with STUPID!”

      August 5th, 2008 at 7:47 am

    3. Mark says:

      Simple photoshop D wearing a shirt that says “Husband Needed A New Wife” and white her out.

      August 5th, 2008 at 8:18 am

    4. tiff says:

      I would vote to do nothing, except epople are going to be sad, and that’s no fun.

      scrape her face off with a sharp knife. That ought to feel really good.

      August 5th, 2008 at 9:28 am

    5. Manic Mommy says:

      If it doesn’t bother you, just leave it. You’ll definitely come out looking like the bigger person. No one’s paying that close attention. If you can’t leave it, just black it out and be done with it.

      August 5th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    6. Kimberly says:

      True Story: My Nana had a beautiful black & white family picture in her living room for years. After my asshole father left my mother, she carefully cut his face out and replaced it with the (picture) head of my uncle who wasn’t able to be in the original photo.

      It didn’t matter to her that the picture head of my uncle was cut from a COLOR photograph. She cared not. She cut my father out like a cancer and replaced him.

      August 5th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    7. Kate says:

      Photoshop in a picture of yourself – but make it look like you’re “crashing” the picture. If everyone is doing a dignified wedding party pose – you can be there in the middle wearing a tee shirt and giving the double thumbs up (or something equally ridiculous). If you’re going to use it – you may as well have fun with it. (And blacking someone out does kind of make you seem spiteful – which you’re obviously not.)

      August 5th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    8. Miss Thystle says:

      Black out her teeth and give her devil horns! That’s the mature thing to do!

      August 5th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    9. JessicaAPISS says:

      Write a big Impact font FAIL above her head


      Photoshop in a pic of yourself in the 90s, preferably something Kristin hilarious like a prom or frat party pic.

      August 5th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    10. Denise says:

      Photoshop in the line drawing logo of Mommy from “Mommy Needs a Cocktail.” The older crowd will complain that they can’t remember that relative, and the younger crowd just won’t care.

      August 5th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    11. Danyelle- The Cake Lady says:

      Photoshop her out and put in one of the following:

      1. Abe Lincoln
      2. George Washington
      3. Lewis and Clark

      August 5th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    12. Sky says:

      For Brand’s 30th birthday there were a lot of pictures of his ex (the dated 5 years, married 11 months – heh!) wife so his sister cut them out and put in photos of “busty” women. He’s a boob man.

      August 5th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    13. A.A. says:

      Swap her out with a picture of Waldo?

      August 5th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    14. Drinking for Two says:

      Lose the picture. All of it. Editing makes you look crass, while leaving it in could invite uninvited questions.

      August 5th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    15. tara livesay says:

      hmmmmm. this is a tough one.

      it would be kind of fun to put Ethan in her place — Derek’s replacement problem …

      and a look into the future …

      maybe Ethan can have a shirt on that says “My Dad had no idea what he was doing before he met my Mom!”

      August 5th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    16. Georgie says:

      I say put a big ol’ cocktail in her place no not that kind of cocktail but a cock taillll LOL I kid I kid…sorta

      can you not cut around everyone cutting her out then kinda paste back together?

      or get really creative and insert “waldo” in the pic in her place and say “Wheres Waldo?”

      if your going with the bubble cloud…
      I’m Hot shes Not
      At 2am they all look the same

      August 5th, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    17. Shannon says:

      I think putting in Cheryl Tiegs would be hilarious!

      August 6th, 2008 at 5:44 am

    18. tvtown says:


      August 6th, 2008 at 5:59 am

    19. CounterClckWise says:

      Don’t edit it, that just makes it seem more important to you than it is. But if you want to go for drama, the first time someone points it out to you, just pretend you didn’t see her in the picture. After a few minutes of public tears and misdirected anger, no one will ever mention her in your presence AGAIN.

      August 6th, 2008 at 8:04 am

    20. Sarah, GOon Squad Sarah says:

      Can you just photoshop your head over her?

      August 6th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    21. Melissa (cffg) says:

      Love the suggestions! (Abe Lincoln was the best!)

      The way I see it here are the choices:
      a) don’t use the photo
      b) use the photo and don’t alter it

      Making any changes says more about YOU than anyone/anything else. Take the high road.

      August 6th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    22. Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas says:

      We have a similar situation in our family. Big Bro #1 is on Wife #2 (and will stay there until he dies if he’s smart), but we have great pictures of the entire family, including ancient ancestors, from their wedding. Do we use them in birthday/anniversary scrapbooks/video montages?

      Yes. We may not the clothes we’re wearing, our crazy hair, or the people we’re with, but it is what it was. You can’t go back and change history.

      I say be the bigger person, include the picture and use it as an opportunity to fish for those “oh honey, you’re twice the woman and wife that she ever was” compliments that are bound to come up.

      August 6th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    23. synge says:

      photoshop a random burqa over her, that way no one will know who she is and everyone will be astounded by how worldly the husband’s fam is…because hey, nothing says cosmopolitan like a good old burqa

      August 6th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    24. Mar says:

      Is this picture going to raise any questions from or conversations in front of your children? I’m guessing they don’t know Dad was married to someone else and frankly I don’t think it’s something they need to know, especially this young.

      If there is any chance this would affect the kids, don’t use the picture or do something jokingly about getting her out of the picture – literally. You’ve got lots of good suggestions from previous commenters on how to do this.

      August 6th, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    25. Tracee Sioux says:

      Leave her – i hate when people REWRITE history. Mrs. Derek existed. She belongs in that picture.

      August 6th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    26. NES says:

      If you’re going to do it, you need to do it with humor. How about a thought balloon that says something like “Hey! This isn’t my family anymore. But at least we all look good…”

      August 6th, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    27. Heather says:

      hmmm, I really don’t know what I would do in this situation. I probably wouldn’t use the photo.

      August 6th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    28. Kristin says:

      I’d love to say photoshop and add Waldo or yourself, but if I were in the situation I would either not use it or, if I really liked the photo of everyone else then I’d use it unaltered. I agree with the poster that said that it represents that time (crazy hair and crazy spouses).
      Good luck!

      August 7th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    29. Deb says:

      I agree with the folks who say to leave it as-is. Makes you look great for leaving it, and great in comparison. Because he’s so happy now, it matters much less that he was miserable then. Plus, if he hadn’t gone through that, he mightn’t have met you! No one’s going to be focusing that closely anyway.

      This advice is too boring to win a prize, but I think it’s the best way to go.

      August 7th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    30. becky says:

      i would definilty photoshop “where’s waldo” in the picture.

      that would be fabulous!

      August 8th, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    31. The G-Ma says:

      Enlarge the pic and give everyone in it a dialog balloon with side-splitting hardy-har dialog. Then the former Mrs. D won’t stand out expecially except for her pitifully stupid comment.

      August 9th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    32. Jerri Ann says:

      Two things:

      1. Are you putting conversation clouds in other photos? If not, then I say that’s not a good idea.

      2. Were there children from this marriage that are part of this celebration? I asked that because I did a flickr book of my family a couple of years ago. The present wife of one of my uncles can’t stand the first wife. But the first wife is the woman that is mom to my cousins who were very much part of my book and thus I left her in one photo. No one ever said anything TO ME, so I don’t know how well it went over, but not well I suppose. I didn’t care…that woman might have been evil way back when but she was still part of our family, part of our lives and this was the only photo of its kind and she was in it….right in the middle. So, I couldn’t crop her out, I didn’t do the conversation clouds in any other photos and I just left her there, I didn’t say anything about it…who knows? I don’t care, lol. I’m evil.

      There is a photo of all the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren that were alive in 19902 when I was married to my first husband that hangs at my g-mas house. The photo was a work just to get made. We all gathered from hundreds of miles apart before T-giving just to have the photo made and although I’ve been married 3 times since then, the picture remains on the wall. That husband was not evil and my present husband has never said it bothered him so I haven’t mentioned it to my g-ma. Now, when my kids start asking who the man is???I dunno?

      August 9th, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    33. Jess says:

      I think leave it…then everyone will be saying “Gosh…she is such an awesome lady”

      August 10th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    34. Amy says:

      I’m loving the redacted idea, but also the Waldo suggestion. Hopefully the family would be adjusted enough to get a kick out of it. Then again, maybe not.

      August 13th, 2008 at 2:51 am

    35. califmom says:

      Replace her head with your Muppet-of-choice. Although, I like Muppets. So, that might be sad. On second thought, go with Redacted.

      August 13th, 2008 at 3:48 am

    36. Leanne says:

      Yep. Waldo.

      August 13th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    37. Danielle says:

      At a reunion, my grandmother nonchalantly pulled out horribly dusty photo albums for everyone to go through.

      There were bright yellow star stickers on all of the exes. As if that wasn’t obvious.

      The funny part was she totally did it after every breakup. She would go into the albums and sticker star their face.

      So stupid, yet so funny!

      August 13th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    38. The Girl Next Door says:

      Wow – crazy ideas. I know you’ve already choosen one and I’m late, but I just had to say you have some creative readers!

      August 15th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    39. Valerie Pappas says:

      Hey your Aunt Barb hooked me up to your site. Nice. The picture issue. I think the best solution is to put your fact in the picture. Easily done on Photoshop. Why not your are his wife now…..How cool would that be. Love this site and the one on PBS. Don’t let your aunt read this, she says I can’t spell and she it right, but I am artist…..Val

      August 22nd, 2008 at 1:09 pm

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