Halloween Etiquette

halloween-candy-ecards-someecardsI love Halloween. It’s an event based on candy and that’s something I embrace one fun size Snickers bar at a time. I do, though, have some rules about trick-or-treating. Well, maybe not rules so much. It’s more of a level of standards that I adhere to. The one I enforce with a vengeance is teenagers trick-or-treating. I believe if you’re old enough to vote and serve your country in the Armed Forces it might be time to retire you candy bag. Also, do not come to my door sans costume and tell me you’re going as a “teenager.” This will earn you zero candy but I will give a number two pencil for taking your SAT’s. Sure, I fear these teens, I tick off with my no candy edict, might come back later and exact a little revenge – ie – toilet paper my house. But, that’s why I leave my sprinkler system on all night.

Another thing that yanks my Halloween chain is adults trick-or-treating. Oh, they do it very discreetly or at least they think they are being all sneaky, but no one is fooled. I’m referring to the grown up who is taking a group of kids around and yet has their own candy bag. Scandalous, right? And this is how they do it. As all the kids are opening their bags for the goodie drop the adult scoots their bag into the fray. This is when I stop mid treat release and ask, “Oh my, do you have your own trick-or-treat bag?” I usually get a sheepish grin. My response is to give them, you guessed it, a pencil.

It’s also a parenting fail. What kind of lackluster parental authority do you possess if you don’t have the upper hand in the post trick-or-treat candy dispersal? It should be a given that mom (and dad) get first dibs on some select items from their kid’s treat haul. This negates the need for a parent to shamefully venture out on Halloween with their own candy bag. Also, for the love of sucrose, why wouldn’t the parent just go the store, buy themselves a 70 piece bag of Hershey’s assorted candy for $8.99, then hid the loot  from their family (my go to is the linen closet because God forbid someone I live with changes their own sheets) and secretly enjoy the sensuous pleasure of eating chocolate alone while watching something shameful on Bravo?

Speaking of chocolate, my trick-or-treat standards also apply to the quality and quantity of the confections. Last year, my daughter had to learn a hard lesson about life. She and her friends insisted on leaving their subdivision and venturing off to what they called the “rich neighborhood.” I tried to warn them that the bigger the houses the less candy. Plus, there’s the time suck of having to walk through all of the estate size yards to reach the front door. This really cuts down on your treat haul. They all looked at me like I was crazy. To them it didn’t make sense. Wouldn’t the bigger house signify that all the candy would be king size? All they could think about was saying hello to extra-large Reese Peanut Cups.

Three hours and a half full candy bag later my daughter arrives home crestfallen. She had to begrudgingly admit (oh the horror) I was right. Not only, were most of the homes “dark,” the universal sign of don’t waste your time knocking on this door but the people who were doling out sweets believed in downsizing their caloric offerings or worse, handed out healthy snacks, as in Whole Food soy treats. This is when I unearthed my secret stash of “me” chocolate, topped off her bag and as we unwrapped Kit Kat’s I shared some cold, hard truths about trick-or-treating.

First, you want to stick to our own hood. The people there know you and are going to give you extra candy because they’ve watched you grow up from Disney Princess to Goth Vampire. Two, the more average the neighbor the more above average the candy. This is where the younger families live. They are 100 percent into Halloween. It’s ground zero for full size candy bars or at the very least, four mini candy bars, of your choice. Lastly, big isn’t always better. Just because it looks like someone has the extra income to spend on upgraded treats doesn’t mean they’re going to open their wallets and go full Hershey bar. They might have all their ready cash tied up in stocks or something.

Lucky for me, this time of year all my assets are in chocolate and my savings account is a Costco size bag of candy in the back of my linen closet.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Posted in Halloween, Trick or Treat | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dear Snarky – The Trick-or-Treat Throwdown

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

My daughter just got bounced from a Halloween trick-or-treating group! 14 kids and six mothers were all going to go together to trick-or-treat. This has been planned since the first of October. All the girls are going as Disney princesses. My daughter is going to be Anna from the movie Frozen. Yesterday, I got a text message from a mom (who organized the trick-or-treating outing) telling me her daughter now wants to go as Anna and since it would be “weird” to have two of the same Disney princesses trick-or-treating together it would be “best if I found another group to go with.”

I’m so angry and upset for my daughter I wish I could do a throw down. How do I even begin to explain this to a six-year-old?

Signed, Can’t Let it Go,

Dear Can’t,

Don’t be angry and don’t, no matter how much you want to, engage in a throw down. Instead be happy, relieved and joyous. You, and your daughter, have been freed from spending Halloween with a bunch of evil, controlling witches. The fact that an adult would be such a freak about Halloween and what costumes kids are wearing, scares me, like a lot. And seriously, pretty much every little girl is going to be trick-or-treating as either Anna or Elsa from Frozen. The mom who sent you that text must have been off her meds.

The way I see it you can do one of two things – pick up the phone and find your daughter another kid or kids to trick-or-treat with or go just as a family and savor the experience. Also, on the plus side, I have found you can cover a lot more trick-or-treating ground when you are with a smaller group.

I would tell your daughter an abbreviated version of the truth, as in her Halloween has just been upgraded, and celebrate the news with a full size Kit Kat bar. As for that texting witch, I would get 48 rolls of toilet paper from Costco and decorate her house with it.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

Posted in Dear Snarky, Halloween, Halloween Hater, Mean Moms, Trick or Treat | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Four Fab Fundraising Ideas

1fb5387a132366d121e67849c4cedcdaI don’t know about you but right now I’m completely stocked up on gift-wrap, cookie dough, popcorn and coupon books. In fact, just when I thought it was safe to open my door, my email, and venture into the office break room the secondary onslaught of school fundraisers has started. Now, I’m being hit up to buy raffle tickets, magazines and partake in school carnival “underwriting opportunities.” This madness has to stop. Lucky for all of us I have a plan.

The problem, as I see it, is that kids are selling things no one really needs. So to more accurately target the desires of the suburban consumer I have come up, what I think are, four full proof fundraising strategies.

PTA Paint Ball – This would replace the “adult only” school fundraiser. Which is where parents buy tickets to attend a party, with hopefully a hosted bar, and bid on auction items to raise money for their child’s school. While, extremely popular in the past decade, enthusiasm and attendance for these kinds of events are waning. Sure, it was fun, in an, “Oh wow, I didn’t see that coming” kind of way to witness parents, fueled by alcohol, fight over who would be the high bidder on the third grade class basket. But even that gets old year after year.

The Paintball event would allow you, under the cover of “supporting education,” to “decorate” last year’s snooty home room mom with a direct hit and blast away at the PTA president who rolls her eyes every time you ask a question at a meeting.

Get Out of Volunteering for One Year Raffle - What mother wouldn’t want to spend a couple or a hundred dollars for the chance to win a Get Out of Volunteering Card from their child’s school. Imagine the joy and sweet, sweet freedom this would bring you. Anytime you get an email asking for help or get harassed by Sign Up Genius you can just type back, “I’ve got the card.”

Even better, when you feel certain you’re getting bullied by some moms, who have been known to surround the driver’s side window of your car at school pick up, because you haven’t done, what they think, is your volunteer due diligence you can just roll up your window, while mouthing, “I’ve got the card.”

TMZ the Suburbs – For a yearly fee, discreetly charged to your credit card, you can subscribe to a monthly digital newsletter that would be gossip central for your slice of suburbia. Want to know who got a brand new set of “twins” that answer to the name of Double D this newsletter can let you know. Or curious about the neighbor who is “downsizing” but you suspect is in divorce mode TMZ the Suburbs can help. The beauty is anyone can write this. No real-time has to be spent investigating or following leads.

For example, if you publish, “a certain mom with blonde hair that’s says ‘I go to the salon twice a month to maintain this Goldilocks wannabe mane,’ and has an acute fondness for XS Lululemon yoga pants, (even though she should really try going up a size or two, just saying) was seen driving her import SUV away from the local fear of aging Surgical Center this morning” you’ve got it made. Because, you’ve just described more than half the women in the burbs and you know at least one was getting something done. So bingo, you’ve got the Circle of Life of gossip. This is the kind that points a finger at many targets and gives the gift of speculation thus fueling more gossip.

Police Ride Along Auction – I want to do this one so badly I would consider selling an organ to finance my attempt to be the high bidder. I mean, who wouldn’t want to ride shotgun with local law enforcement as, per your directions, they patrol the school drop off and pick up lines? Even better they’ll be issuing tickets to all the idiots and the Rules Don’t Apply to Me parents, whom for years have been wreaking havoc, threatening public safety and your sanity, with their morning and afternoon behavior.

Think of the ecstasy you would experience as the Escalady, who almost every afternoon cuts into the front of the pick up line by backing up her rig right into the cross walk, is asked to not only get out of her car but, in front of all the parents, is issued a DWI field sobriety test, because anyone who does this everyday, after repeatedly being told not to, surely must be drunk or high.

I say we start the bidding at $1,500. Do I hear 2,000?

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Posted in Elementary School Moms, Fundraising, School Fundraising | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Dear Snarky – We Have Halloween Hitler For Our Room Mom

Deadear_snarky_logor Snarky,

Halloween class parties are in two weeks and the room mom for my daughter’s 2nd grade class is certifiably insane. She’s on her fourth meeting for a party that is only 45 minutes long and most of that is taken up with a Halloween costume parade! She’s so controlling and anal that we now call her Halloween Hitler.

The final straw was when she did a timeline for the party and wanted us to sign our names that we “agreed to and would follow” her timeline. WTH? I, along with a couple of other moms, refused to sign it and she told us unless we did we couldn’t come to the party.

Do I go to the teacher, the principal, or just have it out with her? I have two older children and have never encountered a mom this crazy before.

Signed, Bewildered

Dear Bewildered,

Oh my, you are going to have an interesting school year with this woman as room mom. I would give the teacher a head’s up about what is going on because the teacher is the boss. It’s her classroom and the room mom “works” for her. This kind of control freak crazy needs to be nipped in the bud and the only one who can do that effectively and with any authority is the teacher.

I suggest sending the teacher an email and asking for five minutes of her time to discuss an issue you prefer to handle in person. Always, remember to never diss another mom to a teacher in an email. It could be shared and that creates a whole other category of drama.

When you do talk to the teacher, about “Halloween Hitler,” keep it unemotional and very matter-of-fact. Also, bring another mom with you as back up, so the teacher can’t blow you off and dismiss your concerns as just a little “personality conflict” with the room mom.

Good Luck!

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

Posted in Class parties, Dear Snarky, Halloween, Room Mom | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A Real Haunted House

haunted-house-wallpaper-23011-hd-wallpapers-backgroundWorlds of Fun’s Halloween Haunt, the House of Horrors on the Interstate, you name it, I’ve done it, all while dragging a conglomerate of screaming teen girls behind me. My daughter is impressed that none of the shenanigans at these places scare me. I don’t even jump when a “vampire” sticks his bloody fangs in my face. I do, though, offer him an Altoids.

To me these so-called haunted houses are for wimps. If you want to scare a middle-aged parent you’ve got to come up something that trumps what we’ve already endured. So far, these “bone chilling” residences have nothing on the terror associated with raising a family.

Get ready to scream, brace yourself for unimaginable fear because here’s a tour of a House of Horrors, the Parenting Years.

Your journey of doom begins in a garage where an attempt must be made to put a screaming, inconsolable, thrashing, baby in a car seat. After that nightmare, you then get in the car and are forced to listen to said baby scream, at a decibel level that exceeds the sound of a jet taking off, for at least 30 minutes.

When you mercifully escape the garage you’re chased by a Zombie hoard of HOA board members into a kitchen where it looks like abdominal surgery was performed. You quickly discover it’s only tomato sauce that exploded after being left on the stove for too long. But you start shrieking when a crazed, sauced covered, woman chases you around the kitchen, with a steak knife and a half filled wine glass, begging you to help her clean up the mess because she’s has to drive soccer carpool in less than five minutes.

You manage to flee the deranged mother only to slip on some angel hair pasta and slide head first into a bathroom where the smell, of what surely must be the stench of death, saturates your olfactory system. As you’re fighting back gagging you simultaneously scream when a man pops out from behind the toilet, waving his hands, full of Clorox wipes, in your face, wailing about potty training a toddler with bad aim and a temperamental bowel system that favors explosive diarrhea.

Running for your life you head for what looks to be a darkened family room but instead is a torture chamber. You fall again because what you thought was carpet is really 4,389,073 Lego bricks spread out over the floor. Right when you think the pain can’t get any worse your hand is speared by a Harry Potter Hogwarts castle Lego turret.

Slowly, you attempt to get up but are forced to lie face down in the Lego’s by mini humanoid life forms that want to use your body as a play mat for their My Little Ponies and Thomas the Tank Engine trains. These persistent creatures continue with their foul deeds by violating all four treaties of the Geneva Conventions as it relates to the treatment of prisoners by incessantly chanting, “Play with me?” while the Barney song coupled with a techno rap version of the Caillou theme is played on a continuous loop.

Finally, you break free and run up the stairs and go through the first door you see in an attempt to hide from the small but fierce minions. Alas, this room is even worse! You’ve entered teenage girl hell. Mounds of clothes are piled on the floor so high to scale them would require the assistance of a Sherpa. There’s also a shrill, Kardashian-ish whine coming from the bed. You don’t see the girl making the sound. All you hear is complaining that is so vile you know it has the power to steal your very soul. As you bolt for the door the disembodied voice moans, “I’m so tired. I hate my life. Our wi-fi sucks.”

A fight or flight surge carries you back downstairs and, as you race past the family room, careful not to make eye contact with the tiny ones, you head for the basement. You hope this is where you can finally make your get away. But oh the humanity, the travesty! There’s a twenty something who has made this subterranean dwelling his home! Six figures and counting spent on a college education and here lies the remains of adult child working retail at a GameStop until he can “figure out what he really wants to do.”

As you trip over video game controllers, boxer shorts and yesterday’s late night snack plates you pray for deliverance from this room of dashed parental dreams and give it everything you’ve got, and then some, to make it to the sliding glass door that will lead you away from this terror-topia.

You hit the yard and rejoice, thinking you’re free, until you trip on a bike that was thrown in the grass and are knocked unconscious while the family dog ardently sniffs your privates.

Are you scared yet? I know I am.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

 

Posted in Halloween, Haunted House, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Homecoming “Ask”

fry-and-homecoming_o_794867

(I’m on a dating roll, my friends. The Dear Snarky letter I got about Homecoming fueled this rant.)

There’s a social scourge plaguing high schools that calls for immediate eradication. I’m talking about the new(ish) ritual of asking a girl to homecoming. No longer can a boy walk up to a girl at lunch or after class and casually go, “Hey, do have a date for homecoming?”

No longer can the girl respond with a nonchalant, “No, not yet.”

No longer can the boy volley back, “So, like, maybe do you want to go together?”

(Excuse me while I get a bit misty eyed because this almost sounds like my husband’s marriage proposal.)

The simple, low-key, “Do you want to go to homecoming?” is no longer acceptable. A production has to made out of the “ask” and the more elaborate the better.

A guy can go lower tier and do a sign on a piece of poster board that has a cute saying, usually related to food, as in – “I do nut know what I’ll do if you don’t go to homecoming with me.” This sign, of course, must be accompanied by a dozen Krispy Kremes. (Don’t make the rookie mistake of getting grocery store doughnuts.)

The more impressive “ask” involves some sort of public male groveling. Like the sophomore who staked out the front of the school in police tape, did a chalk outline of his body, with a sign that read, “I can’t live without you for my homecoming date.”

Now, I know these two examples are just darling, right? And provided the girl with an Instagram opportunity where she can show off how she was asked to homecoming. But, I as a mother to both a teenage girl and boy, I’m here to tell you this is all wrong.

In fact, I was so curious about how asking a girl out became an event so photo-op worthy that you could make a coffee table book out of all the pictures, that I did some research. It appears, all of this started about 10 years with the “Promposal” and of course, in a surprise to no one, was fueled by the Internet. The better the promposal the more of a chance it might go viral.

And, I’m going to have point a finger at all the moms out there. This Broadway-esque production of asking a girl out would have not taken off without the help of mothers.

No boy would ever be able to pull any of this off, let alone think of an idea, without his mom doing all the heavy lifting. Because is there any life form lazier and more clueless about the world-at-large than a 14-year-old male? Seriously, they’re still formulating fart jokes. To expect a freshman boy to come up with a cutesy, lovey-dovey homecoming date “ask” falls under the category of never going to happen. In fact, most of the “signs” I see on Instagram are, without a doubt, written by women that were drilled in the ways of cursive handwriting back in the 1970’s.

The reasons I think this jacked up way of asking a girl out is fraught with peril is multi leveled. Primarily, it means fewer girls will get asked to homecoming or prom because most guys when it comes to dating are a combination of slackers and scaredy cats. What man, never mind teenaged boy, wants to risk doing a big la-di-da production and then get shot down. I mean, hello, that’s going to hurt. Who can blame them for staying home, eating Cheetos and playing Halo 3?

The long-term implication is that, I believe, it impedes the teaching of a life lesson all girls should master sooner than later – men, as a general rule, are not gifted romantics. Learn it and move on. Don’t be standing around waiting for Lance Romance to show up because you know what happens when you do that? Mr. Right just walks on by and you don’t even notice. Then you end up on the Bachelor looking for love and embarrassing your family by being topless in a hot tub, one millimeter away from full nipple exposure, making out with some sleazy dude on national television.

I have been married for multiple decades and I can honestly say my husband, the best of men, has only done something romantic maybe three times. And each time it scared me. I thought he was being all smoochy sweet because he had a head injury and was suffering massive brain trauma.

Now, to really take a walk on the unpopular side I will propose to you that the more romantic the man the less you should trust him. Because you know who was described as being a killer romantic? Ted Bundy. (And please, I beg of you, no emails telling me how romantic your husband, a non serial killer, is. I’m talking in general terms here. I know romance is out there, just not at my house.)

So let’s join together parents and urge our teenagers to kick it old school. Boys just ask a girl out and for you girls out there isn’t more important to just to go to the game and dance than wait it out for an “Instagram worthy” ask?

Let me answer that for you. It’s yes.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

 

Posted in Dating, Dating in High School, High School, High School Homecoming | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Dear Snarky – My Daughter Doesn’t Have a Date for Homecoming

Dear Sdear_snarky_logonarky,

 I’m stressing out. My daughter doesn’t have a date yet to her high school’s homecoming and it’s getting awfully close to the event. What can I do to make her feel better if she doesn’t get asked?

 Signed,  Worried Mama

Dear Worried,

You’ve reached the point in your parenting career where you must tell your daughter the 3 Truths About the High School Male.

1) Guys could be intimidated to ask your daughter out because she’s so smart, so pretty, so funny or all the above

2) Guys are goobers and for the most part would rather hang out with their friends than undergoing the effort a taking shower, breaking out the AXE body wash and doing all the things required to escort a young lady to homecoming.

3) Most teenage girls are too good for any teenage boy.

Now, once you’ve completed that lesson it’s time to move on to your Homecoming Avoidance Strategy. This is when you make plans to maybe, quite possibly, be out-of-town for homecoming. You daughter could share with friends that she “might have a conflict” on that day or her family has “plans.” This doesn’t close the door to a guy asking her out BUT if it doesn’t happen she’s already laid the groundwork that her busy schedule just didn’t have room for such a trivial event like homecoming. Then be sure to take your daughter out and treat her to a fun family evening.

Trust me. This advice is timeless because it works. My mother used it on me back in the day.

If you require some help from Dear Snarky (21st Century Advice With An Attitude) email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on the Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page.

Posted in Dating, High School Homecoming, Homecoming | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments