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 , , , , , , | 13 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

Hope and Change

demotivation-posters-auto-344194Luckily, I don’t have a family that embarrasses easily.

It could be because after years of living with me they’ve built up a resistance to your everyday, garden-variety mortification. But one thing that makes all of them uncomfortable is when I pay for things with change.

“What’s wrong with change?” I ask them. “Is it not legal tender?”

Lately, I’ve been forced to use change more and more as a payment for goods purchased. Totally, not my fault, by the way. It seems the American financial system hates change.

Back in the day (two months ago), I used to periodically take all the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters that collected in the kitchen “coin bowl” to one of those automated change-counting machines. And let me tell you something, nothing says living the dream like dumping two quart-sized Ziploc bags stuffed with change into the Coinstar at Walmart. I would hover in eager anticipation as the money “no one wants to use” was turned into dollars.

But then my happy coins to dollar bills metamorphosis was stymied when an almost 10 percent surcharge was levied for the privilege of counting my change. Ten percent! Talk about predatory banking practices. For sure, I get that the coin counting company has to charge something, but 10 percent is a just a little too rich for my blood. I decided to take a stand. I would no longer pay for having my change converted to dollars. I would start spending my dimes, nickels and loads and loads of pennies in an effort to share the joy of coinage.

At first, I sorted all my change into separate Ziplocs. You know, quarters in one, nickels in another, and I kept the bags in my car for easy access for paying for purchases at places like the drive-thru. This proved to be not such a great idea. Last month, I was at McDonald’s, with the windows rolled down, and loudly told my teenaged son, “Hey, grab one of those dime bags for me!”

The McDonald’s employee gave me a weird look and then said, “Ah, ma’am, we don’t do that here” and my son just about crawled out of the car. At first I didn’t get what the big deal was. Like, what’s up? I can’t pay for my Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper with change? Does McDonald’s, home of the Dollar Menu, think they’re too good for 21 dimes, one nickel and two pennies? It took my son explaining to me that a dime bag meant 10 dollars worth of pot.

“Ohhhhhh” was all I said and then I asked him how he would know that. His reply, backed up later by my husband, was that “anybody who’s ever watched a cop show in the last 50 years should know that.”

That incident made me rethink my whole paying in change plan. So, I went to the bank with my purse laden down with a single yet significant bag of coins (by this time I had graduated to the Ziploc gallon-sized freezer bag with reinforced sides) and requested that I wanted to deposit my big old bag of change into my account. A teller quickly told me no. As in “no, we won’t take your coins” and the way she said coins you would have thought I was asking to deposit soiled tokens from Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Unbelievable.

I was close to giving up on my “joy of change” spending plan but I’m no quitter. So, I persevered. My next move was to sort all my change into different bags according to dollar amounts so one bag would have $5 worth of coins, another $10, etc., making it easy to go into the grocery store and take out a bag with $5 worth of change to pay for a half gallon of skim milk. Well, well, well, apparently if you want to really irritate some snippy chick in yoga pants double-fisting a Starbucks and a coconut water, all you need to do is pull out a couple of bags of change. She was behind me in line and when I got my change bag out she audibly sighed and whisper-dissed me by murmuring I “must be crazy or homeless.”

I gave her a look that said, “I can you see your cellulite through your yoga pants,” and then, just because I could, I decided to go “full penny” on her. That’s right, I used pennies. I had planned to use quarters — because I’m not a monster — but the homeless remark really got to me. I had on my dress track pants from Kohl’s for God’s sake. (The crazy, not so much, because, you know, it’s not like I haven’t heard that before.)

As I ever so slowly counted out almost four dollars in pennies I learned something new about coins. They’re not only good for purchasing items, but you can also use them to punish annoying people behind you in line. I call that a financial two-fer.

**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 Banking, Coins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Dear Snarky – Bad Band Manners

dear_snarky_logo(There must something in the spit valves because this is the second case of Bad Band Manners I’ve been alerted to in the past month.)

Dear Snarky,

I am a parent of two teenagers who are in their high school’s band. While, my kids are in what a I could call, a very well-behaved band, the other bands at the football games this season have had horrible band manners. There’s bands playing over one another and blasting away the entire game.

It’s so bad I talked to my children’s marching band teacher and asked him to do something when this happens at the football games but he pretty much blew me off.  Do you think I should say something to the opposing team’s band or is that not my place?

Signed, Marching Band MomScreen Shot 2014-09-29 at 1.18.36 PM

Dear Marching Band Mom,

 I was so intrigued by your letter and the whole concept of marching band etiquette that I did some research. I called some local area band teachers and you, my friend, are spot on. There is a code of conduct for when to toot your horn, so to speak, and when to shut it down.

For example, a band is only supposed to play when their team has the ball and there are times during the game when both bands should be silent, like when the ball is in play, or while the quarterback is calling signals. Also, you never, ever play over another band while they are doing their school song.

I know it must frustrating that you’re having to suffer through a season of band bullies but I can not give you permission or condone you, going full “band mom” on the ill-mannered opposition. It won’t end well. Trust me. I know things.

What I would suggest you do when this happens is to sit in the bleachers and smile, maybe even stick you nose up in the air and luxuriate in the fact that you and your children’s high school, are winning (big time) by having the better, well-mannered, classier band. That should be music to your ears.

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

 

 

 

Posted in Marching Band, Marching Band Manners | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Death By Convenience Store Parking Lot

04787b5aa86b7e966c5e7a63126525e2I think I’m going to run for some sort of national office and my campaign platform is going to be simple yet life changing. Everyone attempting to get a driver’s license will first have to prove proficient at navigating a convenience store parking lot. Because the skills you must possess to successfully exit the area without any discernible damage to your car, your mental health, or your middle finger prove that you are, indeed, ready for any of life’s abundant challenges. The sheer number of people who wouldn’t be able to pass this test would make the roads safer for generations. (You’re welcome.)

Last week, I saw my life flash before my eyes when I made a “QuikTrip” stop for a Diet Coke. The convenience store I decided to almost end my life at is located by an interstate and a busy city road making it ground zero for any kind of IQ/Driver’s test wrapped up in a road rage tortilla. Then to up the danger factor there’s a hospital across the street. Now, I know most of you are thinking wouldn’t a hospital do just the opposite and make things safer? Let me answer that with a great big no. To fully explain why, I will now take you through a morning at the QuikTrip.

I pull into the parking lot and don’t even attempt to find a gas pump. It’s too dangerous at 7:50 a.m. You have the pump circlers and the pump blockers going at it. The pump circlers are those drivers who, at a high rate of speed, much like a pace car at Daytona, lap the gas area in an attempt to find an empty stall. You do not want to get behind one of these goobers as they’re known for stopping short in their rush to claim a soon to be empty pump.

The pump blocker is the fool who, through some divine gift of second sight from the goddess of petroleum, believes they can predict who will be done pumping gas first and then places their car in a “next up” position thus creating a traffic hazard. It can get nasty when the pump blocker impedes the forward progress of the pump circler. Like, turn you right off your morning beverage nasty.

Once I’m parked, preferably off to the side of the store, I exit my car to go inside and get my Diet Coke. When that mission has been accomplished my single goal is to leave the QuikTrip unscathed. But always, something is going on to up the degree of difficulty of me accomplishing that objective. Today, it’s two large landscape trucks nestled on either side of my car and a roofing van, with a large, overburdened trailer, in a “let’s make our own horizontal parking spot” behind me. The sheer size of their rigs has created the mother of all blind spots. I might as well close my eyes and back up because the accuracy would be about the same. I decide safety first and wait it out. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long before the roofing crew leaves and I begin to ever so slowly back out.

Slow is the key word of surviving this QuikTrip. You never exceed 2 mph if you want to get out alive. Because just when you think you’ve dodged all the cars exiting the gas pumps, the parking spots (real and rogue), and the two entrances off the highway something unexpected happens like three women in wheelchairs rolling in from the hospital across the street. Except one woman keeps on rolling backwards because of the slight incline to the QuikTrip. But, wait there’s more – her reverse rolling wheelchair is headed straight for a guy, with a walker. It’s a driver’s ed film come to life.

Thankfully, a gentleman pumping gas, goes over and grabs the wheelchair before it cause any human carnage, and then pushes the woman up to the entrance of the QuikTrip. Of course while all this happening traffic gets backed up and a pump circler gets his journey halted resulting in unhappy honking and in the confusion another car sneaks into the place a pump blocker wanted. This has the pump blocker crying, “No fair, that was mine!” (Last phrase edited for F’bombs.)

I, with my hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel, eyes focused on my surroundings, with a vigilant check on both the side and rearview mirrors, maintaining a speed not to exceed three miles, begin to exit the QuikTrip mindful of ambulatory challenged individuals, large profile trucks and your everyday looking at their cell phones fools. I’m triumphant when I finally navigate off of the property

In my excitement I give myself a celebratory high-five, as in two hands off the wheel high-five, and almost wreck. I blame the Quiktrip.

**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 Convenience Stores, Diet Coke, QuikTrip | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments