Moms Gone Wild

Courtesy David Castillo Dominici via

Courtesy David Castillo Dominici via

Teenage girls can be manipulative, mean, crafty, and just plain psycho. I say this with authority, as I was once a teenage girl.

As the mom of a boy, I sometimes miss the mani-pedi play dates, pink tutus, and playing with dolls that my son shows no interest in. But I comfort myself with the fact that I’ll never again have to share a house with the frothy adolescent bitchery of a teenage girl.

Granted, there’s a lot to deal with being a girl, like the ubiquitous fashion dos and don’ts, gossip, cliques, Queen Bees, Alpha Girls, and the R.M.G.’s (Really Mean Girls). But now there’s something else for girls to worry about: the R.M.M.’s (Really Mean Moms).

Teenage girls can be brutally mean, but that’s child’s play compared with their mothers.

I’m not talking about the strict moms who won’t let their daughters date until they’re 16 or the ones who won’t let them leave the house on school nights. I’m talking about the seriously mean, total whack job, bordering on sociopathic moms, like Lori Drew.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the infamous MySpace Mom case. Lori Drew, a then-47-year-old Missouri mother, masqueraded on MySpace as a 16-year-old boy, alternately wooing and verbally abusing 13-year-old Megan Meier online. Drew did this to get revenge on young Megan for hurting her own daughter.

Megan hung herself after being rejected online by her fake boyfriend.

The case set off a national fracas when police found that the “boyfriend” was really the mother of one of the girl’s former best friends.

What could she possibly have been thinking? Lori Drew makes Wanda Holloway–who was immortalized so perfectly by Holly Hunter in The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom–look like the junior varsity.

But despite the clear craziness of this crime, no charges were ever filed against Drew, because they were unable to find a statute to pursue a criminal case.

Finally there may be some justice. This month a federal grand jury in Los Angeles started issuing subpoenas in the case, according to the “Los Angeles Times.” The U.S. Attorney’s office is exploring the possibility of charging Drew with defrauding the MySpace website (headquartered in Beverly Hills) by allegedly creating a false account. They are also looking at federal wire fraud and cyber fraud statutes.

While this is surely an isolated incident of a really twisted woman going way beyond any imaginable boundaries under the guise of keeping an eye on the social life of her child, it’s also a scary reminder that there are no standards for entrance into parenthood.

Teenage girls can at least point to hormones to explain their bad behavior. As moms, we need to be able to explain ourselves.

“There used to be this kind of parent-child gradient, where the parent was expected to–and did–function at a different level than the child,” says clinical psychologist Madeline Levine, author of the book, The Price of Privilege, who is considered an authority on childhood and adolescent issues.

Now, Levine says, “that whole notion of parents being in an entirely different space than their children is disappearing.”

Let’s not let that space disappear entirely, and certainly not on MySpace.

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Originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on January 18, 2008.

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