Dear Snarky – My Twin Won’t Let Me Get Botox

Dear dear_snarky_logo-1Snarky,

 I’m 45 years old and I have an identical twin sister. I’ve been thinking for a long time about having some cosmetic surgery procedures done and I’ve scheduled appointments for Botox injections and Restylane filler.

 When my twin found out she threw a fit! She said I can’t have the procedures done because then we won’t look alike. She screamed at me that she doesn’t want to be the “old” twin. She even went so far as to tell me that I should either pay for her to have the work done (since she can’t afford it) or not get it done at all because we need to “match.”

 I’ve always been close with my sister and respect her feelings, but I really think we’ve outgrown looking exactly alike. Snarky, what would you do if you were me?

 Signed, Botox Twin

 Dear Botox,

 Do not walk, but run to your Botox appointment. You, as a middle-aged woman, have every right to do whatever you want to your appearance without getting your twin sister’s permission.

 I mean seriously, do you two have the same hairstyle, weigh the same, have the same workout routine, and always wear the same SPF or even drink from straws? All this affects how you age and look. There is no way you and your sister were going to be mirror images forever. To be honest the whole things creeps me out a little.

 I also think this could be less about looking alike and more about the fact that she’s jealous you’re treating yourself to some cosmetic procedures. That said you have no obligation to pay for your sister’s Botox and she was a brat to insist that you should.

 So, go ahead and do what you want. It’s called being an individual. Embrace 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 FB page. 

Dear Snarky – The Little League Briber

little_league_baseballDear Snarky,

 My son is 11 and plays Little League baseball. There is a boy on his team that is really ticking me off.  This kid’s family has what I’m guessing are very nice seats at all of the Royals games. It’s like a suite or something.

 The child is using his family’s fancy tickets as bribes to get the other boys to do stuff for him. For instance, he told my son last week that if he would say he was hurt and couldn’t pitch, thereby allowing this kid to be pitcher, he could go to a Royals game over the Memorial Day weekend.

 Do I say something to the coach, the parents, who are way stuck up and I’m a little afraid of, or do I just let it go and bite my tongue?

 Signed, Mad Baseball Mama

Dear Mad Mama,

 It sounds like you have a royal pain on your son’s team. Sadly, it wouldn’t be Little League season without some crazy going on and a kid bribing other pladear_snarky_logo-1yers, well, that’s a cray-cray home run.

 That said, I would definitely say something to the coach. He or she needs to know that another player is attempting to mess with the roster via a little ticket payola.  At the very least it’s horrible sportsmanship.

 As for the parents that’s a harder call. If you’re already uncomfortable around them I don’t know if I would say anything. There’s a very good chance they could laugh it off or even do that lame “boys will boys.” They might even be proud of their spawn’s “ingenuity.”

 What I would do is treat this a teachable moment and emphasis to your son that real friendship can’t be bought and that he should feel sorry for his teammate who feels he has to use Royals tickets to get and manipulate friends. The poor kid is striking out in the game of life.

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 the Snarky Facebook page.

Myth Buster – High School Edition

feaa3136c2467fb3937d02a894a4397c-1You know what no one has ever asked me to do? Deliver a high school graduation speech. Not even when I was graduating high school did I make the “give a speech” cut. So, I didn’t have a stellar GPA and wasn’t going to Harvard. And yeah, maybe my dad did have to, as he so succinctly put it, “pick up the phone” to get me into Baylor, but still I had some good things to say back then and now, well, hello to years of wisdom that could benefit the 17-18 demographic.

Guess what all this means? Oh yeah, I’m going to “gift you” with the high school graduation speech I wish I could give. Don’t panic, I promise no reflections on my teenage glory years primarily because there weren’t any. Here it goes and lucky for you I’m feeling a little lazy so consider this the condensed or mini version.

Give me a second to get in the mood. I’m humming my high school’s fight school as inspiration. Now, I’m clearing my throat and imagining myself walking to the podium while getting one of those super braggy introductions that makes everyone sitting in the audience hate you just a little bit.

Okay, I made it to the podium. I didn’t trip and I managed to swing my hair. You know, one of those flirty, kind of sassy hair swings. A sort of look at me, I’m smart and have voluminous hair so go ahead and hate me some more.

Yes, I know I’m not that smart and my hair has to be coaxed into voluminous territory with a shopping cart full of product and the art of the extreme back comb, but it’s my faux reality and/or dream sequence and I say why not imagine the best. Seriously, who would want to visualize the “authentic truth?” It sounds like some goofy thing Oprah would say.

Enough of the visualization nonsense let’s go straight to the speech. Where did I leave off? Oh yes, I was at the podium. I look out at the audience, nod, smile and begin by dropping a bomb. I’m talking a big bomb, like the crowd gasps and then one lone member of the audience stands up and cheers, “You tell it sister!”  And another person spurred on by the “you tell it” jumps up and hollers, “Amen!”

I gain back control and then swing my hair again, just because I can, and begin to explain, some might say even justify, the bomb I dropped. To do this I have to repeat the bomb again because I’m nothing if not a lover of dramatic effect (and really who isn’t?).

As I’m preparing to repeat myself for second time I’m hoping the school marching band in attendance would give me a drum roll. Oh yes, a drum roll would be ideal, almost goose bump inducing. Wait, if this is my imagination of me giving a high school speech then why can’t I have a drum roll? Hmm, I totally see no reason why I can’t. Let’s back this story up a bit and now add in drum roll.

So just to review, I’m at the podium. My hair looks amazing. I’ve dropped a bombshell. I’ve gotten two cheers, so to speak, based on said bomb. I’ve nodded, cued the band for a drum roll and now that the stirring drum roll is over I’m about to resume my speech by restating the single sentence that made the crowd go all “Oh no she didn’t” on me. For clarity purposes no one said “oh no she didn’t,” but that’s what I imagine the crowd was thinking.

I then repeat the 10 words that shocked the audience – High school is not the best time of your life.

You can’t think I’m wrong for fantasizing saying this at every high school graduation? And let’s be honest here, would you want the four years you spend suffering through assemblies and AP exams to be the pinnacle of your human voyage? More importantly, who wants to peak at 17? Who would want the next 60 years of their life to be ho-hum, just sort of OK, compared to lunch sophomore year? Hopefully, no one because it would be a tragedy.

The myth that your high school years will be the greatest life has to offer needs to be eradicated. I consider it part of a teenage mental health initiative. Think of the severe bouts of depression that could be averted if, at the start of each school year, a banner graced the entrance to every high school that read, “Relax, these aren’t going to be the best four years of your life. Trust us, it gets better.”

And it does. It gets so much better. The simple fact that I don’t have Algebra 2 homework every night has increased my joy of life exponentially. Now, who needs a graduation speaker? I’m available.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! :)

The Toilet Whisperer

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 8.50.43 AMThere are so many things no one tells you about parenting. I’m talking real news you can use. For instance, not one book or person warns you about the almost impossible task of putting fitted sheets on bunk beds where one side is pushed against a wall. It’s the Rubik cube of housecleaning.

Once you get two corners done you think you’re golden, but then to get the third and fourth corners wrapped around the mattress you have to become Elasti-girl and do the shimmy-shove with your hand to get the blasted thing on. I can’t be the only one who has scrapped skin off their body trying to successfully put clean sheets on their kid’s bed.

Then there’s something called a district wide middle school combined band concert. Where was the parent alert about this dangerous situation? I was trapped in a gym with iffy air quality and perched and/or glued to a sticky bleacher for h-o-u-r-s! It was so horrific I experienced the five stages of grief.

At first I was in denial that a band concert featuring the musical stylings of four different middle schools would be anything but uplifting. You know, “Yay arts in the school!”

Then after the first hour I got angry that the band teachers decided each school would play 12 songs. Did they not do the math? 12 X 4 = 48 songs! That’s not a band concert it’s a musical triathlon.

Soon, after that I began bargaining with myself like if the band played anymore more tunes from The Little Mermaid it was a sign that it would be okay to leave.

Next, was an overwhelming depression that I would die in the gym. I was already feeling woozy and feared I would pass out, hit my head on a bleacher and have an obit that would read, “slain by a middle band school concert.”

Finally, I just accepted my fate and sucked it up. It was almost four hours of sucking it up, but by God I did it.

Another thing no one gives you a heads up about is how much of your precious, sweet time on earth you’ll be spending at your kids extracurricular activities and how some of those activities will come with the plumbing optional plan.

Now, my daughter is a competitive dancer so this means she partakes of her activity inside, on a stage with all the accoutrements being inside brings like water, plumbing and heat. That is until last week when she had a dance competition in a building that featured only a stage and indoor latrines.

There was no running water, no heat and the only way to heed nature’s call was to do the old squat and drop on a chemical toilet. Now, I know you outdoor sports parents are calling me a wuss right now and yes, you would be right. But in my defense dance is an indoor sport and hefty entry fees are paid to cover the basic necessities like plumbing. Usually such events are held at lovely places like performing arts centers so this explains why I was aghast at a facility that had all the charm of a post apocalyptic zombie bunker.

It was so cold in the building the judges were swathed in blankets like they were on the deck of the Titanic, but much worse than being chilled was the yuck factor of the Porta Potty.

The first day of the competition I managed to never venture into the makeshift commode, but then on the second day the toilets started leaking. Something had to be done and a couple of mothers told me I was just the person to do it. Really, I thought, am I the toilet whisper?

Instead of reflecting on that  (because who wants to examine why people think you’re the “go to” for anything involving fecal matter) I decided that yes I would handle this situation. I marched over to the “in charge” person and sort of implied that I might be working for the health department and many, many codes were being broken. I even said “I’m going to shut this bad boy down if you don’t get the problem fixed” and then whipped out my cell phone, set my timer and told him he had 20 minutes to “make it right.”

Mr. In Charge, a man who looked liked he favors a Valencia orange spray tan, told me that it wasn’t his fault, and attempted to do one of those round about apologies that are less about begging your forgiveness and more about insulting your intelligence, that I foresee a bright future for him in politics. I replied succinctly “tick tock” and then sauntered away with a swagger walk I save for special occasions.

Guess what? In 20 minutes we had fresh, non-leaky toilets with, wait for it, an upgrade to two-ply toilet paper.

Was I proud of myself? Heck yeah. Do I see a future for myself as a toilet whisper? Lord, I hope not, but it just might trump a four-hour band concert.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! :)

Dear Snarky – 4 Ways to Mother-In-Law Proof Your Kids

40d640b17d33c77824444cb08e1d270eI get a lot of letters from women asking for help in dealing with difficult mother-in-laws. The letters run the gamut from mothers who still smother their adult children to what I would refer to as the interfering, insufferable witch. My initial reaction when I get these letters is to think, “Wow, you don’t have a mother-in-law problem you have a husband problem. He needs to man the hell up.”

All of these letters and the “man up” issue got me thinking that perhaps the best way to improve the mother-in-law experience is for parents to raise better kids.

Yeah, that’s right I said to raise better kids and by that I mean as mothers we need to make sure we’re raising strong children so when they become adults and marry they’ll be able to stand up to the most formidable of live forces – their mothers.

So that said, here’s my list of 4 Ways to Mother-In-Law Proof Your Kids.

1) Don’t use the guilt trip as your primary parenting tool. When your go to is guilt you’re raising kids who as adults will be susceptible to any and all forms of emotional terrorism. Long-term exposure to guilt makes people weak, fragile and oh so very manipulatable. No parent can possibly want that for their child.

2) Teach your child to be independent, that’s it’s okay for them to slowly learn to separate from you and become their own fully functioning human. I know many mothers like the fact that their kids are clingy and some take it as a compliment as in, “Look my 11-year-old loves me so much she can’t let go.” Fast forward 20 years and it’s not so cute when your 31-year-old is living in your basement with three kids and on her second failed marriage.

3) It’s okay to say no to family. Be a role model, have your children see you putting your immediate family first and not being bullied into doing something just because “it’s always been done that way” or because your husband’s mom’s grandma will get angry if you don’t have Christmas at her house every single freaking year.

4) Know that your long-term parenting goals is to raise an adult who no longer needs you. Sure, they love you, but they don’t need you involved in the day-to-day  minutiae of their lives.

In fact, I believe the best marital advice I can give is when you get married your spouse occupies the number one spot on your “List of Awesome”. When you have kids they start filling up the number 2,3 (and so forth) spots. You, as a mother of an adult child, have to not only be prepared to be bumped from that number one spot, but to be joyous about it for it means you have done your job well.

If you have questions for Dear Snarky “21st Century Advice with An Attitude” please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

I Got An F In Homeschooling

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.30.18 AMSomeone please explain to me how several weeks ago it was “breaking news” that a 22-year-old woman is pregnant, especially a young woman with no job, no formal education, who lives in the Ozarks and is married to a teenage boy. Wouldn’t it be breaking news if she weren’t pregnant?

Okay, I’ll admit that Jessa Dugger (the expectant mother), whose sole claim to fame is that her mom, Michelle, has a very sturdy uterus and has birthed more than a dozen and half children, is a little bit of reality “star” from the TLC network show “19 Kids and Counting”. But come on, “breaking news” that she’s expecting a baby?

I get why people watch the Duggar’s TV show. I gave it a lookie loo primarily to witness a mother who has that many kids and chooses to homeschool them. I can’t imagine not wanting the euphoric relief of putting at least half of them on the school bus five days a week. If I were that mom the sweetest sound in the world would be the squeal of the school bus brakes as it stopped in front of my house.

Not that homeschooling doesn’t have its appeal. In the TV world homeschooling mamas attract viewers. You’ve got the Duggar Mom on TLC and that Pioneer lady on the Food Network.

In fact, it was fellow homeschooling mothers that helped propel the Pioneer Woman onto the radar of the Food Network. When I discovered that maybe one of the reasons she got a cooking show I felt better about the tastebuds of the world-at-large.

I have nothing against the Pioneer Woman. She seems delightful, but when your cooking show is so void of actual cooking (my theory is because everything she make seems to be based on an eight ounce jar of Ragu or a sleeve of Oreos) that the most consistent and oft-repeated camera shot is a close up of you washing your hands, well, you know you’re not really killing it in the kitchen.

I even feel a little bit guilty right now not having these two legendary homeschooling mothers’ backs. For you see, I was a homeschool mom. I’ll wait a second for you to stop laughing.

Here’s the quick back-story. My husband and I knew, sort of, that we would be moving soon and decided to not subject our then 12-year-old son to a junior high that had more lock downs than school assemblies. I was fully ready to assume the mantel of educator until my son empathetically told me, “I don’t want to get dumb so you better let me handle this.”

Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. Forget about the pressure of making sure your kid isn’t an idiot the real drama is some of those homeschool moms. Talk about cliquey – yikes!

There’s the super holy “Jesus is the reason” group, and then there’s the “toxins in the classroom are killing our kids” group which overlaps the anti-vaxxers which has nothing on the “my kids are too smart to go to school because they were reading chapter books and I mean real ones not that Magic Tree House claptrap 11 weeks post womb.”

Once moms found out I was homeschooling it was like I was being rushed for a sorority. You know, until they found out I was the “our local junior high kind of stinks so we’re giving this a try until we move in a couple of months” mother.

The one thing all the moms did share were very intense emotions regarding homeschooling. A lot of them felt like it was their calling (and I love this and it means these women are far superior to me) which explains why they’ve rallied around and I’m guessing had a hand, due to sheer numbers, of propelling the “19 Kids and Counting” Mom and the “Pioneer Woman” to fame. This all leaves me a little disappointed in myself.

What if I had embraced homeschooling and instead of Snarky in the Suburbs was Harried & Homeschooling. Maybe I would have legions of followers or dare I dream my own cooking show. (I can see the camera close-ups of my hands already)

Maybe it’s not too late for me. I still have one kid in school, my 14-year-old daughter. What if I yanked her out of 9th grade and began a most wondrous mother and child journey of educational awakening and enrichment? I’m getting serious butterflies of excitement just thinking about it.

Wait, no scratch that, butterflies are gone, way gone.

Trapped 24/7 with a hormonal teenager whose mood swings are so turbulent some days I feel like I’m on riding shotgun on a tsunami. Yeah, that’s a great big no can do.

Not any amount of fame would be worth it for either of us. The only reality show that would come out of that would be When Mothers Go Cray – The True Life Tale of a “Yeah, I Thought Homeschooling Would Be Parenting Bliss” Mom.

Not that it wouldn’t be ratings gold.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! :)

Dear Snarky – More Cheer Mama Drama

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.53.02 AMDear Snarky,

 My daughter is a varsity cheerleader at her high school and why that is great I’m afraid most of the cheer moms now hate me.

 The reason is I got sick of the flyer mom clique acting all high and mighty because their daughters get thrown in the air. My daughter is a base and these moms make snide remarks all the time because they think the bases, who they call the “big girls” “just stand there” and hold the “real cheerleaders.”

 So. Over. It.

 Without strong girls as the base their kids wouldn’t get thrown in the air or worse could be dropped. So after a whole year of putting up with this at the cheer banquet I jokingly mentioned to one mom that she better shut up or just maybe my daughter wouldn’t catch her daughter the next time she’s thrown in the air.

 Well, now that comment has turned into a mom shit storm. Any advice I how I can repair the damage?

Signed, Sad Cheer Mom

Dear Sad,

 First, you should never ever joke about the safety of another child. I get it. You were angry. You had put up with this nonsense all year. Seriously, moms forming cliques and pecking orders based on what position their kid is on the cheer squad – totally cray. (Not as cray as the Texas woman who put out a hit on another cheer mom, but good mental health does seem to be in limited supply when dealing with some of these pom-pom parents.)

 As I see it your best course of action is do a group apology via email. Let all the moms know that your comment was taken out of context and that your daughter would NEVER intentionally drop a teammate nor would you EVER want her too. State how proud you are of your strong daughter, her teammates etc.

 Keep your fingers crossed that during the summer this all blows over. Based on the level of deluxe crazy I’ve seen with cheer moms I’m thinking something else will happen soon, like one of the moms wearing her daughter’s cheer outfit to the grocery store, (yeah, that happened in my town. There was a mom just shopping at Trader Joe’s wearing her kids cheer outfit. The only thing missing was the big ole bow) to get the heat off of you.

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

Ugh- Politics

Can we all join hands right now and say a prayer for  all the Hawkeyes out there? And by this I mean the residents ofpolitical-cocktail-party-napkin Iowa who are of legal voting age. These poor put-upon people have to endure a plague of politicians that is so intense it’s Old Testament in nature.

I heart the Constitution and the voting process, but if I lived in Iowa I’d be afraid to visit a local coffee shop or cafe for the next year and a half. In fact, it’s probably next to impossible to leave your house without being molested by campaigners or campaign literature.

And may Lady Liberty have mercy on your soul if you’re a farmer or own a tractor because the TV news crews will want a good old boy soundbite from you. It won’t matter if you just moved to Iowa from New York City. As long as your fanny is perched in the seat of a John Deere something or other, you’re news gold.

I think this is a case of being careful what you wish for. Sure, it sounds good to be the state with its caucus being the first major electoral event for nominating the president. But in reality it has to get old being stuck behind the (insert candidate of your choice name here) van, bus, or shudder, motorcade.

It’s not that I don’t have passion for the voting process. Years ago I was certain my campaign for Richfield High School Student Council vice president would scar me for life and severely hinder my ability to participate in anything political in nature, but I’ve managed to work through the pain and bitterness (not that it didn’t take decades).

I do, though, what to go on record as saying no one should lose an election solely due to an opponent’s throwing a “get out the vote” beer bust. Hello, I had amazing signs lining the school hallways and my campaign speech was stellar and didn’t end in “Dudes, let’s get drunk!” (Too bad my opponent can’t say that.)

In fact, I consider myself politically polyamorous. There are things I like about almost every party’s persuasion. I credit my parents for this. My dad is very much a Republican and my mother, well, she was what you might call a train wreck in terms of her voting record. One of her claims to fame was being the single vote in the Texas county we lived in for John Anderson in the 1980 presidential campaign.

I remember watching the televised returns with my parents and there on the screen pops up John Anderson — 1. She was beaming with pride. For a solid week the whole family referred to her as Mrs. Anderson. We did it to tick her off, but I think she loved it.

I’ve even got some caucus experience under my belt. This maybe why I so keenly feel for Iowans. Back when I lived in Nevada, I participated in the state’s presidential caucus. Of course, because it’s Nevada the caucus took place in a ballroom of a casino.

Nothing says serious debates and thoughtful deliberation like being adjacent to blackjack tables and nickel slots. It also didn’t help that multiple bars were open 24/7. By 10 a.m. folks were tipsy, by lunchtime they were hammered and by 3 p.m. it would be hours (if not days) before a lot of them could pass a field sobriety test.

Not to cast aspersions BUT the most inebriated caucus participants seemed to be for one candidate. I, being for the other candidate, was growing tired of the drunken fratboy-like antics of this opposing group. We were here to make history people — sober up! As the day went on I, finally, had reached the breaking point and felt it was my civic duty to do something about this flock of fools.

So, I got up, strutted over and told them to drink some coffee and be good Americans. I really went red, white and blue all over their asses. Guess what I got in return? Boos. Yes, I was booed! And not gently booed. Oh no, it was boisterous booing with an overlay of heckling.

People, I was thrilled! If you don’t have “getting booed for doing the right thing” on your bucket list, put it on there immediately. It’s beyond stimulating. As the boos grew louder I stood even taller and did what I believe our founding fathers would have not just approved of, but rewarded me with a proud tip of their tricorn. I poured a drink on the loudest booer’s head. And then I quickly walked/ran to the nearest ladies room and hid in a stall for a good 30 minutes.

God Bless America.

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*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! :)

 

 

Dear Snarky – WTH On Gender Reveal Parties?

tumblr_inline_n83ulw2umC1sy7t8zDear Snarky,

Would you please share with me your feelings concerning Gender Reveal parties? I just went to my first one, with at least 50 people there, and was made to feel like a loser because I didn’t bring a gift.

My question is why do you bring a gift if you don’t know the sex of the baby yet? And how has this become a thing? Am I wrong to think it’s just another excuse for people to shake down their friends for gifts?

Signed, Confused

 Dear Confused,

I admit to being baffled over the concept of the gender reveal party so I did some digging (which dear_snarky_logomeans at least 8 minutes of extensive googling) and I blame Pinterest. Somebody a couple of years shared some pics of a super cutesy is it a boy or girl cake and voila – you have the entertainment behemoth that is the gender reveal.

Now, that we have that mystery solved take a deep breath and let these words soothe you. You are not alone. The Gender Reveal party is goofy. Okay, maybe not goofy, but I’m going to take a stand and say People of Earth can we, for the love of all that his holy, quit turning every life event into a party where friends, business associates, co-workers, people you nod at in church or the grocery line and neighbors six houses down and to the left are required to bring a gift?

 So, based on that petite rant – no you were not wrong to arrive at the party empty-handed. In fact, I applaud you for going at all because I have research (yes, research) that shows folks who have gender reveal parties will also be inviting you to at least 4 or more baby showers.  They’ll get that gift from you one way or another – trust me.

 So, stand strong, hold your head up high, and know that you did nothing wrong. You know except be friends with someone who would subject 50 of their “closest” friends to such an event.

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.  

 

The Dog Park

If I had to make a top 10 lisdog-humort of my favorite things in life my dogs would be on it. I know I should feel bad that one of my siblings wouldn’t make the list. I also know I should feel fiercely ashamed that Diet Coke would make the list before the aforementioned sibling, but here’s the thing: Diet Coke’s not crazy. I can’t really say that about my oldest brother.

But enough of my family drama let’s get back to dogs – wonderful, amazing dogs. I’m one of those people who if I was forced to choose would more often than not take the company of canines over people. They’re great listeners, non judgmental and don’t talk back. Does it get any better than that? I mean really, who cares how much they shed?

Recently, one of our beloved dogs passed away. Usually when we lose a dog our family tradition has been to have a period of mourning and reflection before getting a new addition to the family. Last month, my husband freelanced on that rule and while I was out-of-town adopted a dog. He assured me that “Tahoe”, a rescue beagle, was as mellow as they come. In fact, he described the dog as “totally chill.”

This stumped me a little because although I don’t know a lot about beagles I was pretty sure the word chill wasn’t an accurate description of the breed. When I got home Tahoe was indeed a most mellow fellow. We found out that next day this was because he had pneumonia. After a hefty vet bill and one week of recovery Tahoe’s personality was in full bloom.

The dog is gregarious and has never met a stranger. He also believes every animate and inanimate object adores him. A walk with Tahoe through the neighborhood feels like he’s campaigning for public office. I’m certain he could get out of the vote for, at the very least, County Commissioner. Due to his exuberant personality I thought he might enjoy the new dog park.

I took my son with me as backup in case Tahoe with acres to roam went, I don’t know, full wolf or something. Once we got inside the park and it was time to let our dog loose I felt like the theme song from Born Free should be playing.

For those you who not familiar with this almost fifty-year-old movie let me tell you all you need to know. A couple raises an abandoned lion cub and then when it grows up they have to release it back into the wild and many tears are shed as Born free, as free as the wind blows, As free as the grass grows, Born free to follow your heart plays over a montage of the lion bounding off into the open African Savannah. (As a child of the 70’s it’s doesn’t have the full boo hoo quality of say a Brian’s Song, but it’s close.)

As soon as Tahoe is leash-less he takes off like a Walmart shopper first in the door at a Black Friday sale. He even gives us an over the shoulder “so long suckers” look. I feared he was a goner. I knew using simple math that it would be quite a feat for him to jump the fence, but never being one to underestimate the brilliance and determination of the canine spirit I didn’t rule out some sort of elaborate tunnel system dug by the dogs, in shifts, when their humans weren’t looking.

I frantically tell my son to start running after Tahoe. He gives me the teenage “no way” eye roll. I quickly explain that I almost certain the dog is going AWOL. He shakes his head at me and matter-of-factly says, “Relax, no one, most especially our dogs, would ever want to leave you.”

I’m irrationally excited by this statement. It might be, perhaps, the best compliment I’ve ever received in my life, but before I can delve deeper for clarification and a chance to extrapolate on the praise (I mean it’s not like I get many accolades from my teenagers. I think the last nice thing my kids said to me was back in 2013 and it was that  “dinner was decent.”) Tahoe comes barreling back towards us like a soccer ball kicked by the love child of Thor and She-Hulk. My son smirks at me and simply says, “See, I told you he come right back.”

“Because I’m awesome right?”

“Well, maybe and it doesn’t hurt that you feed him steak.”

Not quite the continued declaration of my greatness I was looking for, but I’ll take it. If I want real devotion there’s always the superior mammal to turn to – dogs.

*Attention SnaScreen Shot 2014-12-29 at 11.01.47 PMrky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! :)