Mall Phobia

8e199d75a074ccc7789d1d5ff03cf45dHaving a daughter is one of life’s great joys until, you are forced, against your will, to take her clothes shopping at the mall. I, naive fool that I am, thought that I gotten through the worst of it. And by that I mean I haven’t darkened the door of a Justice clothing store for a couple of years.

For those of you lucky, lucky, mammals that have never had to cross the threshold of a Justice store it can best be described as a migraine machine. Loud, latest Disney boy band music blaring combined with garish clothes for elementary school girls that feature monkey motifs, scratch and sniff scented T-shirts and the always, classic, faux neon fur. Adding to the ambiance is a section of the store that sells accessories best suited for dressing up for a wedding at Chuck E Cheese. Don’t think I’m exaggerating when I tell you I did the happy dance the day my daughter aged out of cheetah skorts. 

Last week, in anticipation of an impending cold front, my youngest announced that she needed new jeans. I did my maternal duty and suggested that all she needed to do was put them on wet and really try to stretch them out. That plan didn’t work. She was insistent that we should go to the “big mall.”

I shuddered. The “big mall” is where the mean stores are. The stores that hurt your feelings or cause you to weep from sensory assault. The stores no women over 25 and 130 pounds wants to go into. I’m talking about the axis of evil known as Abercrombie and Fitch, Forever 21 and Hollister. I pleaded, I begged, I bargained, but in the end she got her way (shocking not) and I found myself at the mall using a free “Youthberry” beverage sample from Teavana to throw back two, “just in case”, Advils, before I entered Forever 21. 

The problem I have with Forever 21 is that there is just too much of everything. The store feel likes it’s merchandised by chimpanzees that instead of throwing poop at each other hurled clothes. There’s so much crap-a-doodle-doo to churn through that whenever I enter the store I feel as if it might swallow me whole, kind of, like a Florida sinkhole. I lasted about ten minutes before whimpering that I was having a panic attack and needed to leave. 

Next, after fortifying myself with Wetzel’s Pretzel Bites (for medicinal purpose), I followed my daughter and shrieked when she began to venture into Abercrombie and Fitch. I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back. “You can’t do this,” I told her. “By entering that store you are a willing participant in a hate crime.”

“Oh no Mom, not this again,” she wailed. 

“Oh yes, this again, my darling daughter. As a member of the ‘thighs rub together when I walk’ coalition I can’t let you do this.” 

You see, the CEO of this horrible store is known for saying comments like (and these are the kinder ones) he only wants “good-looking people to wear his clothes” and that there is “no room for fat people” in his company. In that case, jerk face, there is no room in my wallet to buy anything from A&F. 

Knowing there was zero room for negotiation on this my daughter capitulated and we set off for Hollister. Is it just me that thinks the outside of the store looks like the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land? Sadly, the inside, shares the same lightening scheme, as say, being buried alive, and smells like it was carpet bombed with the world’s most gag inducing cologne. Screw Guantanamo, use Hollister as “detainee chambers” and see if that doesn’t get the prisoners spilling secrets.

Before I subjected myself to the ordeal I took a couple of deep cleansing breathes, put a Wetzel napkin over my nose and ventured in. My daughter, used to my Hollister survival skills, didn’t say a word. Mercifully, she was in and out in under five minutes.

She still hadn’t purchased any jeans, that by this time, I was calling “Denim Slacks” just to punish her for making me endure the mall. Not wanting to be persuaded to go to some store called Garage or please, dear Lord no, not Pac Sun, I called an audible with, “You know what store has really nice stuff, no music, no discernible smell of cologne, bright overhead lights that help you read the price tags and a snack bar? Target.” 

My daughter shrugged and countered with, “Can I get a Starbucks?”

I gave her an enthusiastic yes and we both skipped out of the mall. Okay, it was more of a jog but inside I was skipping and singing. I was free, free at last.

**For all things wonderfully Snarky go to http://www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new fall Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Snarky Tervis Tumbler anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.)

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.

The Shame Trifecta

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 9.12.06 PMYeah, I know summer is over and who cares about my latest Waterpark adventure. But just wait. What I have to share is a cautionary tale. Oh, sure loads has been written about Schlitterbahn’s Verruckt. But this is not about plunging down an incline greater than Niagara Falls. This, my friends, is about humiliation.

I had managed, through careful planning, (which means showing up at Schlitterbahn just late enough that every “reservation” slot would be taken) to avoid the Verruckt all summer. But on Labor Day, my luck ran out. Extensive cloud cover, early morning thunderstorms, and I’m sure a general ennui of all things wet, meant the crowds at 10:05 a.m CST were sparse. Combine that with a moving sob story from my daughter about how her friends were afraid to “Verruckt” and I was trapped.

As I stood in line in my one piece swimsuit with extra long swim skirt, because I’m a woman who believes our nation needs to re-embrace the beauty of full butt coverage, I noticed some equipment that looked out of place at a Waterpark. It was a huge scale, like the kind you would use to weigh elephants at the zoo or something. What in the name of Verruckt was a calibration system of this magnitude doing at the entrance to an water attraction? And then, oh, Sweet God of Atlantis I discovered the hidden horror of the slide. You have to be weighed before you’re allowed to go on the ride!

I have a strict don’t ask don’t tell policy about my weight. When I go to the doctor’s office I never wear jeans, (denim is hefty fabric that can add at least three pounds). I also, always, take off my belt and shoes, and have been known to slip the nurse a $20 to look the other way as I adjust the scale to read at least 10 pounds less. So, the very last thing, as you can imagine, I want to do at a Waterpark is to be weighed. Am I not suffering enough? I’ve got most of my dimpled, doughy flesh exposed and I have some new spider veins that, no matter what I tell myself, do not look like hipster mom tattoos.

Before I even have to chance to make a run for it a life guard calls for my daughter and I to get on the scale. It’s nothing personal I’m told. Each three person raft, due to mass x acceleration, must have a combined weight of at least 400 pounds. They need to weigh us to figure out how chunky our third raft mate needs to be.

Are you freaking kidding me? I have to step on scale, that I’m sure was purchased from a large animal vet clinic, in front of hundreds of people and have my weight barked out like I’m some attraction at a low rent carnival. This isn’t going to happen. I am so out of here. But my daughter gives me a look that says, “Please Mom” and I cave because if my parenting style had a name it would be called “The Caver.”

Off I march to get on the scale with my head held high and my stomach sucked in. I can do this. I get on first and then my daughter hops on. After which an employee screams out that we need a person weighing at least 150 pounds to join us on the scale. We get a volunteer. A youngish guy, who looks like he runs triathlons, sprints over and jumps on. We have hit the magic number and  been cleared through stage one of Verruckt.

Thrilled that my weigh in session is behind me I, after an intense safety briefing that required all of us vowing to uphold the laws of gravity and not to sue the Schlitterbahn, if said laws of gravity do not work in our favor, proceed to climb up 264 stairs. Where, surprise, surprise, we have to get back on a scale. Did they think ascending up 17 stories might have made us drop a pound or two? The answer to that question was a “No ma’am. It’s another safety check.”

I groan and get on the scale. This one is smaller but still has a livestock vibe. After the weigh in we’re told that the heftiest person goes in the back of the raft. Mr. Triathlon assumes it’s going to be him. But a life guards points at me and hollers, “No, it’s not you. It’s her!” I have now hit the mortification trifecta. Shamed, I enter the raft and my daughter asks me if, “I’m scared.”

I tell her no. After this experience a 60-mph, 168 foot plunge in a rubber raft is nothing. Nothing at all.

**For all things wonderfully Snarky go to http://www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new fall Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Snarky Tervis Tumbler anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.)

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.

Dear Snarky – Homeschool Mean Moms

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I have two kids, 8 and 10, and I have just started homeschooling. In an effort to keep my kids around other kids I joined several home school groups. My children love hanging out with the other homeschoolers. I, on the other hand, I’m losing my mind.

I thought one of the many benefits of homeschooling would be not having to deal will the PTA Mom drama etc., but this is worse. These moms are vicious, as in super competitive and talking trash about you behind your back while saying they love Jesus. Oh, and the worst are the group texts. When I get one my stomach starts hurting.

Should I suck it up and stay involved because my kids love the outings or do I do what’s best for me and get out?

Signed, Homeschool Novice

Dear Home School Novice,

You made a rookie mistake. Crazy is everywhere. You can’t hide from it. You can’t avoid it. Pretty much, you walk out the door and crazy is there waiting for you. Did you really think homeschooling would shield you from the mean moms? You’ve just traded the PTA meanies for the Jesus edition.

My advice is for you to try out a lot of different homeschooling groups and find one that is a better fit for you and your kids. Do not, I repeat do not, feel guilty about taking your kids out of the mean mom group. They may be having fun right now BUT if there is one thing I have learned, in a lot of cases, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Sooner than later, I’m sure a few of these kids will start displaying the same character traits as their mothers and that’s when things will really get ugly. Cut your losses now and make a run for it. As for those group texts I’d considering blocking some of those numbers. If anyone asks you why tell them your gastroenterologist  made you do it.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com

Back-to-School Night: The Teen Years

 

a1e412a1ac370de5ec9c05c9c068bd20There are three primary reasons I go to the high school back-to-school night. The main one is for visual evidence of what the school personnel looks like. So, when a child starts describing their teacher as the devil I can interject that I saw neither horns, cloven hoofs nor a tail when I sat in their classroom for ten minutes.

Another reason is to get an overview of what their day is like. I want to be able to look at my watch and know at 11 o’clock my daughter is in Spanish in the classroom with a view of a courtyard that needs a mega weed and feed application. I’m sure somewhere, in all those abundant and varied school fees I paid for my child to have the privilege of attending a public school, there was a line item for landscape beautification. At the very least the Booster Club should make a trip to Lowe’s.

The other, I’ll call it, lesser reason, I go is to people watch. My first order of business is to enjoy the beauty that is the administrative staff. I know, I have mentioned before, that the principal at the high school my children attend is gorgeous and the assistant principal is just as easy on the eyes. Where they GQ models before pursing a career in education? I’m thinking probably.

You should have seen the line of moms circling these two as they held court in the underclassman locker area. I, not wanting to be that obvious, (because you know talking about it in a blog is totally covert) stood back and took it all in from across the hall.

After that I proceeded to my daughter’s first class and was given a reality check that the more things change the more they stay the same. I went to sit down and was told by two women that the seat I was lowering myself into was being “saved for a friend.” Seriously, grown women are still “saving seats”? Say hello to me time traveling back 30 years and getting told to move from the cool kids lunch table. I, having taken a pledge, administered by my daughter, to “not embarrass her at back to school night” kept my mouth shut and found another seat but I did give them an audible sigh and what I thought was an impressive eye roll.

As the evening progressed I was amused by the parents that still haven’t learned back to school night is all about sitting down, shutting up, gazing at the wonder that is the teacher’s PowerPoint and then continuing on to the next class. This is not the forum to approach the teacher and sing the praises of your “gifted” cherub or, and this maybe my favorite moment of the evening, talk to the Spanish teacher in Spanish about your muy talented “niño.” Can you say show off?

No, I take that back, that wasn’t my favorite moment. My most favorite thing about back to school night is the mixed message you receive from almost every teacher. While they’re churning through their presentation they will tell you that your child must learn to “self advocate” and be “independent.” They said self advocate so much I began to believe they were get paid by some sort of for-profit self advocate alliance to shill for them.

Now, here’s where the mixed message comes in. As you are being told to let kids fend for themselves, to grow, to embrace emerging adulthood you are also given cutting edge tools to stalk their every move. There’s Parent Vue on the school website where you can find out everything from what your kid had for lunch down to the sodium consumption (okay, that’s a very slight exaggeration) to the grade they got on a PE homework assignment. Then there’s Edmodo, which I’m almost certain was set up by a joint task force of Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA. Here, you can creep on almost anything your kid does in class so much so it’s almost like your right there with them in Honors English minus the smell wafting in from the cafeteria.

I have no doubt by next semester they’ll have kids wearing heart rate monitors throughout the school day so from home, work, even the grocery store, we can go online and check and see if our darlings seem stressed or if their vital signs are in the normal range.

So, if I may raise my hand and ask a question to the schools out there – which is it? Do you want us to let our kids make mistakes, figure it out on their own and grow in the process or do you want us virtually in the classroom?

This mom needs an answer.

**For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new fall Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Snarky Tervis Tumbler anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parent Super Powers

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 9.02.43 PMThere’s nothing like kids starting a new school year for me to get back in touch with my inner superpowers that tend to lay dormant in the summer. My superpowers are not unique. In fact, I believe all parents possess these mighty skills. To prove this here’s my list of the top 5 Parental Superpowers that we, as mom and dads, only seem to discover once we send our kids off to school.

 Backpack Psychic: This is the gift of being able to predict exactly how your kid’s day went just by how they’re carrying their backpack. This superpower is enormously helpful for determining your opening afterschool question. Based on backpack placement you either keep it light and chatty or go for it or ask, “Hey what happened?”

Human Clock: It’s not as cool as say, teleportation, but it sure saves you time. Your inner parent clock gives you the ability to forecast exactly when your child will be walking out of the school. School may get out of 2:50 for my daughter but due to my forecasting powers I know to not even leave the house to get her until 2:55. She’ll chat. She’ll stare into her locker for at least 3 minutes and go into a mini trance (much like she eerily gazes into the refrigerator at home and announces after I’ve just spent $130 at the grocery that there is nothing to eat). She’ll chat some more. Finally, she’ll begin to walk out of the school, realize she has forgotten something and then turn around to go back to her locker. All this will take a good 15 minutes.

Due to my timing superpower I arrive at the school precisely when she’s walking out the door. No idling at the curb for me. No waiting in the school pick up line. Just a quick stop and go.

Sleepover Clairvoyance: You know when your child asks you if they can spend the night at a friend’s house and you just instinctively know it’s not to going end well. This is the gift of slumber party second sight. It tells you your kid is too tired or won’t be able to go to sleep or this is the night they’ll get some new phobia. The problem with this superpower is too many of us don’t listen to our gift and give in and you know what that means? Yeah, you’re getting a call at 2 a.m. to come pick up your kid.

Ninja: Not to be sexist but I believe dads may have a little more Ninja in them than moms. This superpower is the ability to show up for any school performance or athletic activity almost to the second when your kid will either be performing or doing some amazing athletic feat.

For example, I will have to sit on the gym bleachers through 20 middle school band numbers until it’s my child’s turn to play her instrument. But my husband breezes stealthy into the gym and as he’s perching his fanny on the bleachers, presto, she’s starts playing.

Same thing for sports. You, as the mom, sit through an uneventful basketball doubleheader and as soon as your husband shows up your kid goes on a scoring spree.

If that’s not a superpower I don’t know what is.

Homework “Spidey-Sense”: Your kids tell you their homework is all done or they’ve studied enough for that test tomorrow and yet you know they need to go back and hit the books without even looking at their math worksheet. The Spidey-Sense is also useful when your child tells you they have no homework and yet you have a feeling, a precognition, there’s a book report due tomorrow.

Batmobile: Okay, so none of us drive the Batmoblie and really that’s a good thing because it was built in 1965 so you know it’s one gigantic gas guzzler and yes, I know it’s a car not a superpower BUT I believe that every mother’s vehicle is equipped with attributes worthy of superpower status.

Take any car driven by woman with a child and you can probably find enough food remnants, juice boxes, half empty water bottles, assorted sports shoes, mate-less socks, first aid supplies, pony tail holders and a rogue beach towel or two to survive, at least, a two-week long zombie apocalypse and in pinch perform a tracheotomy with all those leftover McDonald’s straws.

All I have to say is watch out Marvel Comics. Your list of super heroes is, dare I say, hum drum, when compared to the mighty powers of a parent.

**For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new summer Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Snarky Tervis Tumbler anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.

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.

 

 

The Cult of IKEA

36-ikea-humorIf there is one thing I know about myself it’s that I’m a horrible predictor of what the next big thing will be. Take the cupcake craze. When all the cupcakes shops started popping up in every other strip mall I laughed and said,”Yeah, right like who’s going to pay $3.75 for a cupcake?” Apparently, everyone.

Not learning my lesson I continued with my baked goods economic forecasting and thought the cake pop – a tablespoon of mashed up crumbs, dipped in frosting and shoved on a stick with a two dollar price tag – was one of the world’s biggest rip offs. Like, right up there with paying a buck for eight ounces of bottled tap water. I do believe I gave the cake pop, maybe, six months tops, before it would go the way of the dessert burrito.

You’ve never heard of the dessert burrito? Point made. But as for that cake pop, it couldn’t be any more popular. There are cake pop bouquets, cutesy, pink cake pop kitchen appliances, and even, yes, and I take this as the final blow to my skills as an economic futurist, cake pop cupcakes.

Another thing that befuddles me is the cult of IKEA. I don’t get it. I know many, many, people are excited about a new IKEA opening soon two towns over from where I live. So much so, that IKEA announced it would allow customers to line up 48 hours before the grand opening. If I had to compile a list of things I would stand in line 48 hours for, thus requiring me to use a 52-ounce Slurpee cup as a bathroom, IKEA wouldn’t make my top million. (Some of my top ten, just in care your curious, include any kind of cash give away that exceeds the low five figures and seeing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.)

Because we’re talking about stuff right? Not a limited supply of an Ebola vaccine. As far as I know IKEA has furniture, bedding, wooden kitchen spoons and $5.99 mattress pads. For sure, the furniture is cute and inexpensive but don’t you have to put it together yourself? I think if a furniture assembly instruction page is longer than three sentences or in IKEA’s case three pictures and you have to wear reading glasses to magnify the image than you’ve most likely aged out of IKEA. (This would be me by the way.)

The last thing I bought at IKEA was in 1996 in Houston. I was eight months pregnant and attempting to put together an armoire for the baby’s room. The act of basically constructinikea2-1g furniture from almost scratch upset me so much I thought I was going into early labor. There were panels you had to put together and then you had to make sure you got the slide things on right so the drawers would go in smoothly.

The thing that really started my contractions was that I couldn’t get the drawer knobs on. You would think that would be the easy part. Just a little righty tighty and presto the knobs are on. But no, not even using my third trimester of pregnancy mom strength I couldn’t get those freaking knobs in.

I feel my blood pressure rising right now just thinking about it. I curse you armoire from IKEA! Most especially that special Swedish thingy you had to use because a good old U.S. of A screwdriver wouldn’t work. I’m telling you, the whole experience made me proud to live in a country that embraces the Phillips and flat head screwdrivers.

All of this is why I was taken aback when I read that there are 1,200 parking spaces at the new IKEA and store managers’ fear that won’t be enough. They predict 5 to 10,000 shoppers per day during their first couple of months in business. My immediate thought was, “IKEA, you Swedish drama queen, calm down. I think you’re a little full of yourself.”

Then I got on social media and discovered families were planning reunions that are right REUNIONS, based on IKEA shopping. What’s next church services being held in the various IKEA “inspiration room” settings? Will the prayers be directed to the God of Commerce or the coupon holy trinity of 30% off, free assembly or BOGO?

You know, just know, some enterprising mom is already planning her child’s IKEA birthday party featuring fun time in the kid’s play area followed by Swedish meatballs and birthday cake in the restaurant for the kids and salmon lasagna for the parents. Okay, I was sort of kidding about that but I just goggled “IKEA birthday parties” and guess what? It’s a real thing, complete with Pinterest pages.

Is this one of the signs the world is ending? I’m a little scared.

**For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new summer Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Snarky Tervis Tumbler anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School Supplies + Tax Free Shopping = Cray X Cray

Cartoon10080202There are many different ways to approach shopping for school supplies. Some families order their bounty from the PTO. It’s a way to cross yet another fundraiser off the list. Others wait until after the first day of school just to make sure the teacher hasn’t made any changes or additions to their must have’s. But, I think most parents, in eager anticipation of the start of school, hit the shopping aisles at least a week before the big day.

As I seasoned mother I’m used to crowds associated with back to school shopping. But surprisingly I have never, ever, ventured out during a tax-free weekend. Last Saturday, I was at Target pushing my cart to the office supply aisle to buy some computer paper when I was overwhelmed by a horde of school supply shoppers. I had to abandon cart and by that I mean leave it in the men’s underwear section, grab my purse, fresh from the snack bar Diet Coke and shimmy down two aisles just to get close to the computer paper.

Now a somewhat sane person or an individual with superior time management skills would have taken one look at the hustle and bustle, promptly turned around and ventured off to less crowded environs. But none of the above describes me at all. Sure, I thought about leaving but then I heard a mom threaten her two daughters with “ugly notebooks” if they didn’t behave. A parent using school supplies as a punishment, well you just know I had to stay and see how this played out. I took a sip of my Diet Coke and settled in by the bin of wide ruled paper.

Disappointingly, the mother demonstrated very 21st century parenting techniques and did not follow through on her ultimatum at all. Her girls continued to throw pencil cases at one another and they still got pretty spiral notebooks with flowers on them.

As I was standing there contemplating the general lack of follow through in parenting (myself included) a grandma asked me if I knew where and what a dry erase marker was. Indeed I did and it was my pleasure to explain to her the wonders of the white board. I found out she was there buying school supplies for her three grandchildren while the family was on vacation. I told her she deserved a medal. The grandma laughed and confessed that if she had known how long the school supply lists were she might have changed her mind about helping out.

This got us talking about back in the day and the grandma said when she was a kid she went to school with a notebook and a pencil. That got me thinking and I’m pretty sure all I brought to school was lunch. Hmm, when did school supply lists start exceeding one page? Another question for you, what do kids do with all those Post It Notes and 3 X 5 index cards we have to buy? I’m certain in my parenting career I’ve bought enough Post It Notes and index cards to circle the earth. And what’s up with the graphing calculator that exceeds $100? Ouch, on that one.

I might have continued my visit with the grandma but two women were getting agitated over who was going to get the last pink composition notebook. My attention, as you can imagine, was immediately diverted. My money was on the bigger mom being the victor in the notebook grab and go. And this is why I don’t gamble; the smaller mother had some mighty long fingernails, and like a hawk grabbing a Yorki Poo from a backyard that’s country club golf course adjacent, the mini mom extended her talons, clutched the notebook and took off.

I figured that was my excitement for the day (and really it was kind of exciting) so I got my computer paper, found my cart and continued shopping on the other side of the store. While I was pursuing cleaning supplies two youngish moms were having an in-depth conversation about the boxes of Kleenex that were stacked on two shelves below the bleach. Both moms had Kleenex on their kid’s school supply list and their dilemma was whether to go generic Kleenex and get the basic blow your nose variety in the non decorator box or really show you care and buy expensive tissue.

I decided I should help them out and told them you can never go wrong with spending a little more on your school Kleenex purchase. Consider it preliminary sucking it. Oh, and this is most important put our kid’s name in Sharpie on the Kleenex box. That way the teacher knows you spent the big bucks and went Ultra Soft with Lotion.

In fact, put your kid’s name on everything most especially the graphing calculator that cost more than my first car payment.

**For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new summer Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Snarky Tervis Tumbler anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.

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.