Dear Snarky – I’m Invited to a Teacher’s Lingerie Shower

Dear Snarky,

 I just left my daughter’s second grade Valentine’s Day party and I’m sitting in my car typing this letter to you because I’m so mad. At the party the two room moms were handing out invitations to a bridal shower for the teacher who is getting married over spring break. No big deal except that the bridal shower is a lingerie party and the teacher is registered at Victoria’s Secret. If that’s not enough the lingerie shower will be held in the classroom after school in two weeks while the kids play outside.

 I wouldn’t mind everyone chipping in $5 gift card BUT a lingerie shower – Are you kidding me?  I don’t want to know my kid’s teacher’s underwear size or what kind of bra she wears. I pay a lot of money for my child to attend a catholic school and none of this says Christian education to me.

 Do I say something to the room moms about the party theme or just not go?

Signed, Speechlessscreen-shot-2017-02-21-at-1-44-02-pm

 Dear Speechless,

 I share your angst. I want to right now go on record as saying an elementary school classroom is no place for a Victoria’s Secret cheekster thong. Are these room moms high? Has the teacher temporarily lost her mind due to extreme wedding planning fatigue? None of this okay.

 It’s beyond inappropriate for parents to host a lingerie shower for a teacher. I don’t care if the lingerie is from Walmart. It’s still not cool. If the room moms want to throw a party it should be a joint Bed, Bath and Beyond gift certificate from the class with cards from the kids and some cupcakes.

 Next, the very thought of the innocence of a second grade classroom being sullied with Victoria’s Secret push up bras and other unmentionables is all kinds of wrong. Lingerie and reading charts should never be mixed. At best the whole situation reeks of extreme awkwardness.

 And yes no parent should ever know a teacher’s panty preference.

 I would get with some other like-minded moms, and by that I mean mothers who aren’t crazy, and see if you can talk the room moms into changing the shower theme. Use the excuse that you want it be something the kids could be a part of like a kitchen shower. I also think the teacher needs a stern talking to from her principal. How could she have agreed to this! I don’t care how pushy these room moms are a good teacher needs to be able to say NO All. Day. Long.

 *If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or send me a PM on the Snarky Facebook page.

 

Are You Suffering From Post Valentine’s Day Depression?

Sad, perhaps feeling a little sorril-570xn-707051452-8dmey for yourself, or just mightily ticked off? Don’t worry, I’m here for you during this egregious 24 hours known as the day after Valentine’s Day or what we in the health community call DAVD.

DAVD is not something to take lightly or should it be down played. It’s a serious, although not life threatening condition, where a person (usually a woman, okay always a woman) is battling a riptide of emotions from disappointment to downright horrified amazement that her significant other totally dropped the ball on the most commercialized, show offy, romantic day of the year.

To guide you through your journey of emotions I first need you to unclench your fists and take a couple of deep cleansing breaths that don’t involve any crying jags where you claim your sweetie has the romantic acumen of Homer Simpson.

In an effort to begin healing you must step away from any social media. You’re in a very fragile state and in no way need to see any more pictures of female friends and frenemies sharing their stellar Valentine’s Day experiences or worse (oh so much worse) all the mushy, lovey-dovey prose about how much your sorority sis, cousin or cubicle buddy l-o-v-e their “man.”

Oops, I’m sorry, so sorry. I didn’t mean for that last sentence to make you cry again. It’s all going to be okay. DAVD therapy involves exposing Valentine’s Day for what it really is – an occasion designed to make men look bad.

Oh, you heard me right girlfriend and don’t think I just didn’t see you throw me some side eye. I speak the truth. Allow me to break it down for you.

Valentine’s Day goes way back to the year of 270 and it wasn’t always a man hater. No one can pinpoint that exact date it went off the rails, but I’m going to ballpark it to when woman started receiving flowers at work. The bigger the bouquet the larger the love.

Now, thanks to social media things have escalated into an unprecedented attack on a man’s adoration. If a guy doesn’t deliver an Instagram worthy show of devotion than apparently he’s a dud. This right there is the root of 21st century DAVD depression.

For you to heal you must first forgive your significant other for living an authentic life that doesn’t revolve around “what will my 621 friends on Facebook think” and praise him for being engaged in other less show off romantic pursuits like getting your oil changed for you.

The next step in conquering your DAVD is to think beyond February 14. Ask yourself what does my sweetie do the other 364 days out of the year? If the answer is a lot than please just let his lack of buying power on 2/14 go.

Lastly, I’m going to give you some DAVD coping skills to help you through the next V Day.

1) If you want flowers delivered to your place of employment of Valentine’s Day order them yourself. (So what if you say they’re from your husband. You know he would have gotten you flowers if you texted him like 100 times to do it.)

2) If anyone has the crassness to ask what you got for Valentine’s Day (when in reality you got a McValue meal at the drive thru) respond simply “I got the best human in the world.”

And 3) If you’re feeling left out that you don’t have a braggy social media post to share just quote a love sonnet from Elizabeth or Robert Browning. Bonus, it will make you’ll seem smart and classy.

If none of this works go buy yourself a box of, now discounted, Valentine’s Day chocolate and self-medicate. If you’re still in bad shape I suggest adding in a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies to really help take the edge off. Trust me on this – it works.

Truth In Exercising

It’s been a long time since I’ve bee1f3deb971d5bec65c4a23d580cd61a27n in the fitness arena. That’s my way of saying the last time I went to the gym yoga pants hadn’t been “invented.” (Yes, it was that long ago.) But, in an attempt to maintain my high energy zest for life (that’s what I’m calling it because it sure sounds better than I’ve achieved Defcon 5 regarding the tightness of my pants.) I decided it was time to engage in working out in a group setting.

This has led me to thinking about petitioning the Council on Physical Fitness to rename some common exercise moves. It would all be for the greater good because so many moves are misleading and don’t speak to the true nature of what you’re required to do not only with your body, but more importantly your mind.

Before I send out my letter I thought I would try it out on you first. Don’t hesitate to tell me I’m on to something.

The Plank. This thing is totally misnamed. First, what do most of us know about a plank other than the whole “walk the plank” scene in Peter Pan and other swashbuckling movies. The exercise plank bears almost zero resemblance to a pirate ship plank. Indeed, it has more in common with a push up (before you push down) than a plank. This leads me to ask why didn’t the exercise gurus just call it a static push up? Or even better the Mean Girl. Because when you hold a plank you’re experiencing a level of discomfort that is equal to being asked to leave the cool kid table in the junior high cafeteria. It’s an intense burn that lingers and when you fall out of your plank or worse can’t get into a plank it’s middle school humiliation deja vu.

The Burpee. It sounds like a blast. It’s even fun to say. “Burpee, burpee, burpee.” It, however, is not remotely fun to do what with the up and down, push up, jump back up, rigmarole. Did I mention that at one point your entire body weight is being supported by your wrists? It might just be for a split second, but Lord have mercy, while one of my wrists can support 11 shopping bags from Target, they were in no way made to hold my girth. A more apt name is to call this exercise is Urgent Care because you’re going to be visiting one very soon.

The Pilates 100. It has a regal tone to it doesn’t it? Like something a monarch would give as a medal. “Hear ye, hear ye, today we honor you with the Pilates 100.” In the 100 you assume a sit up position with your head up and legs bent and raised while you pump your arms up and down one hundred times. A delight right? Not so much because as you’re maintaining your form your abs start aching and your instructor tells you to now straighten out your legs while holding them in mid-air. Ouch x 100! The exercise should be rebranded as Gravity Sucks because you’re fighting it the whole time.

The Bosu Ball. I know the Bosu ball is not an exercise, but rather a piece of fitness equipment. The ball resembles an inflated globe cut in half that provides an unstable surface to strut your stuff on. I don’t know where the name Bosu came from, but the correct moniker for the ball should be the Tipsy McStagger. Anything you do on this ball leaves you feeling like you’ve been over served at the bar of your choice.

So everyone stand up give me five Mean Girls and then 10 Urgent Cares followed by 100 Gravity Sucks and then let’s cool down with some squats on the Tipsy McStagger.

Now, that, right there, is truth in exercising.

Dear Snarky – The Over Gifting Room Mom

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

I’ve had it with the room mom at my son’s school. So far, we’ve been hit up to contribute money for teacher gifts to the tune of over $100. I’ve already paid in for a teacher birthday gift, Christmas present, and wedding anniversary gift certificate (and we still have teacher appreciation and end of year gifts we’re going to have to contribute to). NOW we’re being asked to each pay $30 to buy the teacher a Southwest airlines gift certificate so she can use it to fly to see her first grandchild!!!!

The teacher drives a Range Rover, for crap’s sake, I think she has the money to buy an airline ticket.

How do I say no way and not seem like a jerk?

Signed, Fed Up

Dear Fed Up,

If you go deep into the Dear Snarky archives you’ll see I have answered this question before, but because I get letters like this so often I deem it imperative that I address this issue again. So everyone listen up.

The easiest and most effective thing to do is to just say no with pride in your voice and zero shame. I would also tell the other parents you’re saying no because I can assure you most of the moms and dads are looking for someone to be the first brave soul to throw the word out there and then they will follow. 

This room parent obviously has an agenda like extreme sucking up or she’s in some sort of room mom competition where she wants everyone to know that she’s the queen of room parents everywhere. You don’t have to feed her agenda by participating in her illusions of grandeur.

Also, at the risk of getting a social media beat down from teachers everywhere, I’m inclined to think the teacher needs to shut this down and that she should have shut it down when she got a wedding anniversary gift from her students. I mean, come on, a teacher’s anniversary is a personal event and not one to be celebrated with her room of fourth graders. (And before the angry comments start coming my way I know that, yes, the teacher might have said something to the room parent about excessive gifting and was ignored.)

That said, you have no control over the teacher and room parent, but you do have free will so do every kid and parent in that class a favor and be the first one to say no.

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

So This Just Happened

So, um, yeah, this is ehero_diet_cokembarrassing or sad or embarrassingly sad, but I think my emergency contact should be the drive-thru employees at my local McDonald’s. Apparently, these people really know me.

It doesn’t hurt that I’m a creature of habit. Every morning Monday thru Friday between 7:40 and 7:50 I’m at the drive-thru getting my Diet Coke. I love a McDonald’s Diet Coke like the rest of you love a Starbucks venti-grande-trenta-frappy-soy something or other.

Sure, just like you could make coffee at home, I know I could drink a canned Diet Coke (shudder), but I’m telling you there is something about the carbonation/syrup ratio and the amount of ice in the cup that makes a Mickey D’s Diet Coke the best there is.

The realization that the McDonald’s employees had become part of my posse was when I returned from being out-of-town and multiple workers expressed concern about where I had been. I was touched and then chagrined.

The denouement was when one employee, a lovely young woman who runs that drive-thru with the demeanor of a general invading foreign soil and is always a whirling dervish of multi-tasking, shared, “Since we hadn’t seen you in a while we were talking about if we should ask one of the cops that come through here to do a welfare check on you.”

Oh. My. God.

These were the thoughts swirling through my head like waves of storm churned angst. Had my life really come to this – McDonald’s employees thinking I needed a home visit from law enforcement? Do I look so old that they thought I did a slip and fall in my home and my corpse was slowly moldering away in the foyer on the world’s ickest ceramic tile that needs updating, but who has time to chisel out those monster 24 x 24 tiles of 80’s bad taste.

And back to old. How old do I look? Sure, I look pretty crappy in the morning. I’ve just dropped my daughter off at school and I admit I look rough, most days I still have pillow marks on my face. But, some part of me still thinks I can pull off the no makeup look with non-brushed hair in a ponytail. It’s the morning – I’m going back home to groom. That’s what the Diet Coke is for. It’s grooming caffeine.

And back to old again. Do I seem frail? I’m not frail. I’m going to Pilates, dang it. Do they want to see a plank? I’ll do a plank right now. Yeah, I’m going to get out of my car and do a plank which my daughter, the competitive dancer who knows a thing or two about planks, just the other day called, “surprisingly not awful.”

It took a while for me to recover from the phrase “welfare check.” But the more I thought about it I decided to be delighted that the employees notice me. Thinking back they’ve noticed when I’ve gotten my haircut (when exactly zero of my family members did) and they comment on my son being home from college whenever I add on a Diet Dr. Pepper to my morning order.

So, here’s a shout out to the drive-thru employees at McDonald’s – thanks for caring and handing me my morning Diet Coke with a smile.

Dear Snarky – Girl Scout Cookie Mama Drama

56e543e73a77384aa8a9e62d306083ffDear Snarky,

 One mom in my daughter’s Girl Scout troop is ruining the cookie sale experience for the rest of the girls. This mom owns a very popular, upscale clothing store and every year she has a large table in the center of the store where she has the cookies for sale. This means the mom, not her daughter, sells more at least a 1,500 boxes of cookies!

 How is this fair? The girls are supposed to sell the cookies. A couple of us want to demand this mom stop and get the cookie sale back to what it’s supposed to be – girls selling cookies!

What approach do you think we should take? Go to the Girl Scout leader first or just skip that and go straight to that mom?

 Signed, Tired of This

Dear Tired,

The approach I think you should take is chilling out. Yes, in a perfect Girl Scout world boxes of Thin Mints would only be sold by lovely cherubs learning entrepreneurial skills who pull wagons piled high with cookies as they go door-to-door to delight their neighbors with their baked confections while blue birds sing. But, that’s a Disney movie not real life.

 In fact, I can’t remember the last time I bought a box of cookies from an actual Girl Scout. In the past decade all of my cookie buying has been through a parent either at work or social media.

 Furthermore, after talking with Girl Scout parents (shout out here to all the Snarky friends who offered their advice on Facebook) here’s the bottom line.

The more cookies a troop sells the more money the troop has to spend on activities. So, the mom selling cookies in her store benefits the entire troop. Sure, her daughter may get a lot of cookie cred and yep the mom could have a booth sale at her store so more girls can be involved and on and on.

But don’t focus on the negative and please don’t make the cookie sale about this mother.  Focus instead  on your daughter and the additional fun she’ll get to have due to the money the troop, as a whole, has made. 

If this advice is hard for you to swallow than may I suggest self medicating by eating a sleeve of the new S’more cookie. I’m told they’re magical. 😉

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or PM on the Snarky In The Suburbs Facebook page.

Gladys Kravitz 2.0

I’ve entered the full Gladys Kravitzgladys_kravitz zone, and even worse, I’m not ashamed. Not one little bit.

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with the wonder of Gladys she was a character on the 1960/70’s TV show Bewitched and was legendary for her super nosey nature. Being that it’s 2017, I think of myself as the upgraded Gladys. Gladys 2.0, if you will. Because not only am I curious (such an improvement over the word “nosey”) of my surroundings, but I’m also the purveyor of unsolicited advice.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “My that sounds like a delightful personality combo,” and of course, you would be correct. It’s all because I’m a giver and I’ve reached a stage in my life journey where I feel like it’s okay for me to interject myself in stranger’s lives and offer my wisdom whether they asked for it or not.

My husband is certain I’m going to get myself killed or at the very least a beat down by someone who is not appreciative of my charms. I’m willing to take that chance.

Just this morning some lawn crews were doing the leaf suck up thing at my neighbor’s with perhaps the loudest blower ever created. I hate to digress from this treatise on my greatness, but just what the heck on the blowing of leaves? Why do some crews blow the leaves and then vacuum them up? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to go straight to vacuum? That’s your deep thought for the day. Now back to me.

As the crew was using blowers with a decimal rate of a Saturn Moon rocket blasting off I became increasingly concerned with their lack of hearing protection.

So, I did what any advanced middle-aged mom would do who lives with teenagers that don’t listen to her and feels a need to seek out folks who might want to benefit from her awesomeness — I grabbed my yellow ear muff hearing protection headset and ventured off to the unsuspecting lawn crew.

At first they ignored me. I didn’t take it personally. I was sure the sound of their blowers had sent them into some kind of trance. It took me jumping up and down and waving my hands to get their attention. It didn’t matter at all that they looked at me like I might be lacking the full use of my facilities. Heck, I’m very used to that look because again — I have teenagers.

Once I had the crew fully focused on me I gave them an extremely riveting lecture on hearing protection and why they should be using it. I even offered them the opportunity to try out my 3 M Turbo Hearing Protection with AM/FM Tuner. Sadly, I got zero takers. So, I went to Plan B — handouts.

Not just plain handouts, mind you, but color because it made the scary and sobering stats from the Hearing Loss Association of America look even more important. I sweetly suggested they read the packet ASAP then perhaps share it with their associates. Again, all I got were blank stares.

This was starting to hurt my feelings. I’m trying to change lives here and I’m getting nothing. Finally, a woman on the crew reaches up to her ears. At first, I think oh my perhaps she’s going to use sign language because she’s already experiencing catastrophic hearing loss. But, um yeah, that wasn’t’ exactly the problem. She plunged her fingers into her ears and pulled out some impressive looking ear plugs.

“Sorry,” she says, “We can’t hear you what with the ear plugs and all.”

After turning three shades of red I proclaimed, “Excellent, glad to know you’re using hearing protection” and then sprinted back to my house.

Embarrassed? Sort of. Will I stop Gladys-ing? Never. One doesn’t turn their back on a calling.

Would Your Neighbor Make the Cut to be on Your Zombie Apocalypse Team?

zombie-pie-chartI spend a lot of time walking my dogs. Mainly because they’re wonderful and what they want they get. And then there’s the fact that if I don’t walk them they get really annoying, not teenage daughter annoying, but close. Well, that’s not really a fair comparison because if my dogs could roll their eyes and do a hair flip then I think they could reach that lofty height.

The good news is I enjoy being outside with my canine sweeties. Most of the time I don’t even bring a phone. It’s just me, the dogs and my thoughts. Not surprising to most of you is that I don’t seem to have any deep thoughts. What I do seem to think about a lot is the world ending. Okay, that might just qualify as a deep thought.

If you’re now thinking “Good God woman you mention a zombie apocalypse at least once a month” all I have to say it you’re right and it’s my son’s fault.

A decade ago (back in his elementary school days) I went to a seminar on how to be a “good boy parent” and the speaker, a renowned child psychologist, insisted that to bond with your son you should play video games with him. All the games were post-apocalyptic and now years later I’m still pondering the topic.

For instance, as I walked my dogs last week in the snow/ice I thought who would I want to team up with in a post-apocalyptic world – the neighbor with a shoveled driveway or the one just guns their car out of the garage and drives over the snow. Think about it. It’s a tough call.

The neighbor who shoveled their driveway demonstrates discipline and certain obedience to societal expectations. The neighbor who just lets their car act as a battering ram through the snow shows an ability to take risks (because their car might get stuck or slide) and perhaps a need to defy authority.

The way I see it you would want both. The disciple of a snow shoveler and the thrill seeking of the non shoveler. I considered it a draw. So, as I continued walking my hounds (full disclosure one of my dogs is a beagle so it’s less of walk and more of me getting vigorously yanked from scent to scent) I thought I would use outdoor Christmas decorations still left up as a tiebreaker.

If a neighbor still has their holiday decor adorning their abode does it show a jolly, optimistic spirit or a total slackneress? I couldn’t decide. So, I had to refine the parameters to include a decoration degree of difficulty.

Deflated inflatables laying like nylon corpses in the yard = no go on being on my end of the world team. Seriously, how hard is it to drag an inflatable out of your front yard? Those neighbors are riding solo on the Armageddon train.

Now, intricate light displays that could have taken days to put up shows dexterity and even some dare-devil qualities. Not everyone is comfortable climbing a ladder and straddling a house gutter while holding light clips in their mouths. Three things that I think you could need if the world was ending or there were zombies. (It always goes back to zombies doesn’t it?)

When I was done walking my dogs I was feeling very accomplished. I had, in a little under an hour, mapped out my neighborhood end of the world survival squad. The only issue is how do you tell your neighbor they’ve made the cut to your team? Email, Post it Note, announcement on the HOA Facebook page?

Hmm, maybe it’s best to keep it to myself because, yikes, what if someone declined to be on my team? That would hurt wouldn’t it? Your neighbor RSVP’ing a “no thanks” to your post apocalyptic posse invite.

I guess that’s something new for me to ponder on my next dog walk.

 

Dear Snarky – I Was Called A Bully At The Pediatrician’s Office

Dear Snarky,5439acf0cfdf9b62964edaa44ecc89db

Last week I took my child to his pediatrician for his well child check up. As we were waiting for the doctor this one mother, who was staring at her phone the entire time, allowed her very sick child, who seemed to be about 5 or 6, wander the waiting room snoting, coughing and sneezing over pretty much every square inch.

Finally, I had enough and I asked the mom to please keep her child from contaminating the waiting room. Well, she didn’t do that, but she did get up and tell the receptionist that I was “bullying her”!!!!! WTH?

 Her claims went all the way to pediatrician, who has known me for almost a decade, and he gave me a lecture about “courtesy.” I’m livid! Do you think I should change pediatricians or just take it because this doctor is one of the best in town?

 Signed, Devastated

Dear Devastated,

 Since I wasn’t there I don’t know if you were doing a polite, “You Hoo” to the mother of Typhoid Mary or if you were a shrew to an exhausted mom of a sick kid. That said I’m going to give both of you a pass and point my finger at the pediatrician office. 

1) They should have clearly defined sick kid and well kid parts of their waiting room or at the very least signage telling parents to corral their germs. 2) If my pediatrician, who has known my family for 10 years, attempted to give me a lecture on courtesy I would not go back. Because 3) the doctor should have a better trained staff that handles patient issues more delicately and doesn’t go tattle to the doctor about two moms having some issues in the waiting room. And finally the doctor’s focus should be on your child’s health not reprimanding you in front of your kid about an issue that is not related to the reason you have an appointment.

Maybe his practice needs to focus more on the spread of infectious diseases in his waiting room and less on scolding parents. Anyway you slice it – the way this was handled points to a pediatric team I wouldn’t want as my child’s trusted health partner. Do not walk, but run to a new doctor.

*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.

Dear Snarky – A Family Member Is Killing Our TV Buzz

Dear Snarky,

 My cousin is driving my entire family crazy. Her new thing is to tell everyone about how bad TV is and to constantly point out that her family doesn’t even own a TV because she’s raising “better citizens of the world.” 

It wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t come to family get togethers when we’re watching awards shows or  football and  constantly bitch about TV. She even posts on social media about the evils of owning a television.

b0f941a510839a9aff7c97e959e8cf14 I need something that will make her stop so she doesn’t ruin the Superbowl and the Oscars. Can you help?

 Signed, I Love TV

Dear Love TV,

 The easiest thing to do would be to simply not invite her. Why haven’t you thought of that? Don’t be afraid to say, “We didn’t think you would be interested because there would be a TV on and we know how that’s a trigger for your non medicated issues.” (Okay, that maybe a little mean so feel free to sweeten that sentence up.)

 My guess though is that you cousin is a fraud. If she’s posting on social media with her smart phone than she’s probably also watching an assortment of yummy television shows on her phone, on her tablet, on her laptop, desktop or all of the above.

 So, the next time your cousin gets on her high horse inform her that a screen is screen. It doesn’t matter if its 52 inches or 5. The American Academy of Pediatrics says in terms of viewing time it all counts the same. This means unless your cousin is ready to go completely screen free she needs to change the channel to shut up.

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