It’s Going On The List!


I’m not afraid of some day having an empty nest because I’ve got a list. The list is going to make me smile, dance a happy jig even, every time I feel a twinge of sadness when all my children are off at college.

I’m not talking about a bucket list. I’m not saying a bucket list isn’t great and all, but a lot of that bucket stuff takes some serious cash. One just doesn’t experience on-the-spot happiness by thinking that way off in the future, and only if your long-term care health insurance premiums don’t rise, you might see India on the back of an elephant.

The list I have is far superior because it’s instant gratification. I have started an inventory of all the things my children do that annoy me. As of today it’s at 218 points of supreme irritation.

Now, I know you’re thinking only 218? Wow, mine would be 218,000. But, in fairness, I only started the list two years ago when my son went away to college and I was down to only kid left at home. Thus I began to fear the future of being childless. So, in the sort of backwards version of counting your blessings I started my List of Reasons I Will be Happy When My Kids Aren’t Around 24/7 Driving Me Crazy.

It has items on it like #23 – no more having to get kids out of bed.

My daughter can hear when she’s get a text even if her phone is on silent and in another county, but she can’t wake up to a freaking alarm! This makes me the Big Ben of the family. It wouldn’t be that much of a huge deal, at all, except I have to go back into her bedroom multiple times to make sure she’s up.

I start out with a chipper, “It’s a great day to be a mustang!”

The phrase irritates my daughter, like no other, because it’s on all her high school announcements and you know what gets kids out of bed? Being irritated. This though, is just the start, after my fourth, becoming more and more ticked off, trip to her room I finally have to go with the walking to school threat to get her vertical.

The whole thing is very draining and so not how I like to start my day. This is why I know deep in my heart that when I’m sad and I look at #23 I’ll feel a whole lot better.

Now, of course, my family knows I have a list and it’s a wonderful thing. Primarily because when they do something that really annoys me I can scream, “You can bet that’s going on the list!” Last weekend was a list spectacular due to my children openly mocking me about my decorating taste.

I have just gotten my dining room updated from yuck to yum. The glory of the room is some cheerful yellow wallpaper and a light fixture that, sort of, resembles a disco ball, but I’m telling you it’s a classy disco ball and no that is not an oxymoron. I was gloriously happy with the room until my children saw it and shared their not asked for opinion.

My daughter told me it looked like the set from “That 70’s Show.” My son jabbed the knife in further and proclaimed that I could sell tickets for people to see it due to the “Yikes factor.” Then my daughter came back for another verbal punch and asked, “What exactly do you think your decorating style would be called mom? I’m thinking there might not be a word for it.”

I proudly replied while stuttering, “It’s, it’s, rage about the beige!”

“Oh, it’s raging all right,” was my son’s smug reply.

My only comeback was, “This, all of this, is so going on the list.”

And it did. Coming in at #217.

I’m now thinking about starting a list feature my husband’s annoyances. Number one would be when I asked him if he liked the dining room, you know as back up for our children giving me attitude, he had the gall to pile on with, “Um, I’m think we all know it’s really never about what I like.”

And then they all laughed.

My family, all of them, so very list worthy.


Dear Snarky – My Mom is Out For Revenge Against My Ex-Fiance

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-9-20-38-amDear Snarky,

I think my mom is losing it. I recently got de-engaged and exactly one month later my ex-fiance got engaged to someone else. Surprise – he was cheating on me! This has made my mom c-r-a-z-y.

So far, she has managed to cancel the reception venue for the new couple by pretending to be the mother-of the-bride. She’s ghosting their wedding registries and by that I mean she’s gone in and set up registries  in the couple’s name so if you look online the “ghosted” one usually pops up first. For example, she set up one at Target that only has adult diapers, hemorrhoid and vag itch cream on it.

How do I get her to stop? At first I thought it was kind of funny, but now I’m worried she’s going to get herself in real trouble.

Signed, Okay With Not Being a Bride,

Dear Okay,

Umm, is it wrong I’m kind of loving your mother? I think she’s my spirit animal. That said, yes she needs to back away from the new couple and their nuptial business. The best way I think for this to happen is for you to sit down with your mom and let her know that you’re okay. In fact, you’re better than okay because you feel like you dodged a bullet by not marrying a man who has real issues with the truth, fidelity –  basically all the wedding vows.

I think once she knows that you’re happy and are moving on with your life she’ll let go of her need for revenge. Tell her that instead of being mad your whole family should be celebrating that you didn’t end up married to a huge loser.

* If you have a question for Dear Snarky – “21st Century Advice With an Attitude” email me at or private message me on my Snarky FB page.😉

Dear Snarky – HoCo Dress Drama

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

My daughter, who is a junior in high school, let a friend borrow a fancy dress for Homecoming and when the girl returned the dress it was a hot mess. Not only did she bring it back wadded up in a ball and stuffed in a plastic shopping bag, but she left the bag on your front porch in the rain!!!!

Then when I took the dress out of the bag it had a stain and the back zipper was broken. I was furious so I told my daughter to call her friend and tell her she needed to either get the dress cleaned and repaired or reimburse us for the cost of the dress. The girl ignored my daughter so I called the mom. The mom totally blew me off and said, “she doesn’t believe in helicopter parenting” and was letting her daughter “deal with it” and then hung up.

I’m so angry I’m researching if I can take the family to small claims court. Is this the way to go?

Signed Furious,

Dear Furious,

I understand your dress rage, but I hope some of your angry is directed at your daughter. Yep your daughter, because she has some of the responsibility for this fashion fiasco. Did your daughter have your permission to loan out what I’m guessing was an expensive dress? Did your daughter take into consideration the character of the person she was loaning the dress too? And has your daughter really try to get her “friend” to do some sort of dress triage or is she letting you do all the heavy lifting?

As for dealing with the girl who borrowed the dress and her family please do not waste your time on small claims court. It’s not worth the emotional price tag.

What I would do instead is use the dress as a teachable moment with your daughter on being a better judge of character and to rethink her friendship with a girl who has zero problem taking advantage of her. I would even open it up to a bigger discussion about why your teenager would let someone treat her in such a disrespectful fashion. I would also tell your daughter she’s out of the clothes lending business – permanently. 

Yes a dress was ruined, but in the end the discussion you have with your daughter maybe even more valuable. She’ll be in college soon and before she segues to the “what’s mine is yours” free for all that can be dorm life she needs to know the value of saying, “no you can not borrow my belongings.”

* If you have a question for Dear Snarky – “21st Century Advice With an Attitude” email me at or private message me on my Snarky FB page.😉

Mind Blown (okay maybe not blown let’s call it more of a mind gust)

mindblownDo you ever have one of those days where you’re just killing it? I’m talking getting everything on your “To Do” list done and then some? That was me last week. I was a multi-tasking tornado.

Check this out – while my car was having it’s oil changed I walked over to Target to get some shopping done and then – bam – got my first ever flu shot.

Did I have plans to get a flu shot? No, but when I saw a sign advertising a $5 gift card with your flu shot I said why not and I also needed it for some vaccination cred. I have some younger friends who are passionate about not vaccinating their children. And every time I share that this mama is all abroad the full vaccination express I get the question about flu shots. As in, “How can you say that when I know you don’t get a flu vaccine?”

So, here I am at Target getting a flu shot so I can primarily shut down the anti-vaxxers, get a gift card and coming in much lower in priority protect my health when the pharmacist during the injection chit-chat asks me, “Did you know QuikTrip is putting in drive thrus at some of their stores?”

(Quick note for those of you not blessed with a QuickTrip it’s the holy grail of gas plus convenience store and has a unparelled Diet Coke mix.)

Sweet baby Jesus, I felt faint and it wasn’t from having a needle phobia. The sheer magnitude and life changing potential of QuikTrips having drive thrus left me so swoony the pharmacist asked me if I was having a reaction to the shot.

I told him I was most certainly having a reaction and wasn’t to the shot. It was to the QuikTrip news. And yes, I would need a minute to recover. It was just all too much to process – good and bad.

First, the good news. I wouldn’t have to get of my car. This would be beyond excellent because it never fails whenever I’m having a great hair day as in my hair is not only lush with full volume it also smells intoxicating. So intoxicating I’ve been known to let strangers rub their face in it. Okay, maybe not rub their face (that much), but for sure sniff a couple of stands for longer than perhaps is socially acceptable.

This awesome hair day is 9 out of 10 times ruined when I have to venture inside a QuikTrip for my Diet Coke with crushed ice and a smidgen of Rooster Booster. As soon as I breach the threshold of the store my follicles become swathed in the scents of QuikTrip which in no particular order are: B.O, smoke and a mystery smell that I think is a combo platter of fuel, fast food, and foot funk.

Imagine the quality of life upsurge if I could enjoy the greatness of a QuikTrip without leaving the first class caliber air control chamber that is my car? Yeah, I know it’s a lot to take in.

Now for the bad news. Can you even begin to imagine the parking lot nightmare this would create? There’s already so many problems right now. You have the landscape and contractor trucks playing chicken with the folks in cars. You’ve got people, totally lacking in any home training, parking like they’re vision impaired or worse just chilling out by a gas pump while they chow down on their breakfast burrito. Never mind that hordes of drivers are circumnavigating the globe trying to find a vacant pump.

To up the “we’re all going to die” factor add in a drive-thru line snaking it’s way through a parking lot or worse a drive thru with two lanes that requires people to merge to one. Trust me there is no better arbiter of brain function than if you’re befuddled by a lane merge. I have extensive research that proves a majority of humans don’t have the I.Q. to pull off the two to one driving maneuver.

Lord, I’m getting nervous just thinking about it. The ecstasy of the drive thru vs. the agony of the parking lot. Seriously, I’m having heart palpitations leaving me no choice but to go my happy place – smelling my hair.

Dear Snarky – I Got Thanksgiving Dinner Dumped In My Lap

215313-grumpy-cat-funny-thanksgiving-quote-about-familyDear Snarky,

I feel like my family is taking advantage of me – again. I have a large extended family and we rotate who hosts Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year my brother and his wife were supposed to do Thanksgiving, but now they’ve backed out and want me to do it.  

I hosted Thanksgiving last year and I’m already doing Christmas so there’s no way I want to be saddled with another holiday. Everyone is acting like it’s no big deal for me to do Thanksgiving AND Christmas, no matter how much I tell them that it’s a huge amount of work and expense.

Help me get out of this without my family thinking I’m a bitch.

Signed, Doormat

Dear Doormat,

I see absolutely nothing wrong with your family thinking you’re a bitch if that means a woman who stands her ground. Maybe it’s time to trade in the doormat label and upgrade to a no means no kind of relative. Remember the saying no one can take advantage of you without your permission.

It sounds like you’ve given your family lots of permission to think of you as someone they can dump all their obligations on. Here’s your chance to change your destiny and all you have to do is say no.

Sure at first your family with be shocked and then attempt to turbo guilt you into changing your mind. When that doesn’t work some members may get a little mean or fake an illness. (Oh wait, sorry that’s my family I’m talking about.) But don’t let anyone browbeat you into doing something you don’t want to do.

You’ve done more than your fair share of playing host for the holidays and it’s time for a) other relatives to step up or b) maybe all of this is a sign that your family is ready for a change and perhaps it’s time to take break from the huge kinsfolk holiday tradition.

Just imagine a Thanksgiving at a restaurant or even better on a beach.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – “21st Century Advice With an Attitude” email me at or private message me on my Snarky FB page.😉

Bite Me

I pulled up in the a6fd4fc6cf89f93e13b59925a0a573bbefter school pick up line topless.

I couldn’t help it. It had to be done. My very survival depended on me having my shirt off.

For clarification purposes and to keep me from getting some sort of indecent exposure rap sheet I wasn’t totally topless. Yes, I had taken off my top, but I did have on a sports bra. Not that I didn’t want to take that off too because I was itching like I have never itched before.

It was as if some sort of alien force was attacking me and my only chance of survival was to scratch as if I was buried alive and trying to claw my way out of a UFO coffin.

I tried, I swear, I tried, to keep my clothes on, but my back felt like if I didn’t scratch every inch I would die. I attempted to maintain some sense of decorum in my scratching frenzy. At first I used my fingernails, then I frantically dug my hairbrush out of my purse and went to itchy town.

All that offered zero relief because I was being semi lady like and scratching through my clothes.

At some point, I reached a critical juncture, I’m sure it was like some a fight or flight scenario where my brain said, “Girlfriend you need to get that top off if this is going to do any good.”

So, knowing I had on a full coverage sports bra I ripped my t-shirt off and experienced the sweet relief of some hairbrush on skin scratching.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but all of a sudden I’ve become ground zero for any sort of insect infestation. This from a woman who hasn’t had a mosquito bite in decades. I, until, two weeks ago considered myself a human citronella candle. No bugs ever bothered me.

Then, in a matter of days, I felt like I was the entrée for a mosquito buffet. Until I found out what I was scratching weren’t mosquito bites. Thus began my quest to nail down what was giving me the worst case of the itchies ever.

There was a good 30 minutes I thought I had bed bugs courtesy of my kids who live to annoy me. My son actually had me convinced, from the comfort of his college apartment, that he was certain his childhood home had bed bugs. Oh, he had me going for a while. It wasn’t until I did a Google search that I ruled those disgusting parasites out as the itch factor. Thank you Lord.

It was while I was at Target, buying a cart full of anti itch products that I overheard a lady asking the pharmacist about a bug bite. He prefaced it with, “I’m not a doctor (quick side bar – how many times a day do you think a pharmacist has to say that?) but it looks like it could be a chigger bite.

So I got on team chigger until I finally receive the diagnosis of oak mites. Yes, my flesh is being feasted on by mites. Yuck! The RX is to avoid pin oak trees. Newsflash – there are more pin oak trees than people in my neighborhood. That’s not a very practical solution to the problem.

This is why I was forced, against all my better judgment, to remove my top and itch with unbridled enthusiasm until I saw my daughter walking towards the car. I almost put my shirt back on, but then I thought I wonder if she’ll even notice because there’s nothing more self-absorbed than a teenage girl. So, I remained topless all the way home and she said nothing. I didn’t even get an eye roll.

This bummed me out a little bit because it seems the only real interaction of have with my daughter these days is annoying her. So, right before I pull in the driveway I requested that she scratch my back.

That got her attention. She made a face that looked she was going to throw up in her mouth. Before she had a chance to ask me where my shirt was I leaned into her, rubbing my sweaty, itchy back on her arm and said, “If you could go right under the back of my sports bra and scratch that would be so great.

She screamed and fled the car. It almost made enduring the agony of the oak mite worth it. As an extra bonus I didn’t put my shirt back on for the rest of the afternoon. It was a two-fer. I had premium access to scratch and my daughter kept saying “hurling was imminent.”

Good times.





Dear Snarky – My Boss is a Go Fund Me Tyrant

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

 I’m about to either quit my job or get fired over this issue. My boss is aggressive and relentless about fundraising for her kids’ activities. Last year, I bought almost $300 worth of cookies, candles, magazines and candy.

Now, she’s really turned up the heat and is asking her staff to donate $250 to a Go Fund Me page so her 16-year-old daughter can raise money for a Europe trip with her high school French club.

 Hell, I’d like to go Europe, but I wouldn’t ask the people who work with me to pay for it.

I feel like I need to stand up for my co-workers and myself and just say no, but I’m afraid it could cost me my job. I know I can’t get fired for it, but I can see my boss starting to give me bad reviews etc.

 What would you do if you were me?

 Signed, Going Broke

Dear Going Broke,

 Don’t take this on yourself. There is safety in numbers so you need to get as many co-workers as you can to commit to 1) Going to H.R. and letting them know that the fundraising pressure is causing a hostile work environment and 2) all of you need to say no to the Go Fund Me page.

If your boss questions you about why you haven’t made a donation honestly share that your family is tapped out on charitable giving for the year and quite possibly the next decade.

 Because here’s the deal as long as you keep caving in to this pressure it’s not going to stop. As you’ve learned yesterday’s $5 box of cookies is today’s $250 Go Fund Me donation. What’s next helping pay for her kid’s college in couple of years?

Stay firm, stand strong and stop the staff extortion.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky “21st Century Advice With an Attitude” write me at or send me a private message on my Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page.


Your Kitchen Predicts Marital Bliss

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-16-24-pmAll sorts of online quizzes claim they can help you narrow down or hone in on what makes a successful marriage. I just took one and it was ridiculous.

The questions were all about feelings. Trust me, feelings don’t determine a marriage’s long-term stability.You know what does? Packing tape.

Specifically a roll of packing tape with one of those built-in tape rippers.

In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that if you want to take a “will our relationship last?” test, all you need to do is go to your kitchen. There in your junk drawer, your dishwasher and fridge are all the keys to predicting long-term marital success. Let’s start with the tape.

Ah, the sweetness of a love never tested by a demon-possessed spool of packing tape.

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who use tape and then fold it under, and those who don’t. The non-folders let the tape go rogue, thus ensuring that the next person to use the roll is left using fingernails to a) find the start of the tape and b) scrap off shards of tape all while decimating the integrity of the roll.

If a tape folder and tape “roguer” decided to couple up, beware of the tape folder having a crying jag in the kitchen that can lead to the folder throwing the roll at the floor in sheer frustration and “accidentally” hitting the roguer. Few relationships are strong enough to endure the clash of such tape-disparate personalities.

Another couple trouble zone is the dishwasher. It’s a psychological profile like no other.

Do you wash your dishes before loading them? Do you have a system based on rocket science for achieving maximum spray thrust for each dish and therefore have a precise location for each plate, glass and pan? Are you so OCD that you have been known to secretly reorganize the dishwasher after it’s been loaded by someone else?

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, than flee like you’re being chased by a giant Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Detergent pod from anyone who is “OK” with putting a greasy, non pre-treated, saucepan on the top rack. Your relationship, if it lasts, will be a fraught with peril and teary arguments and accusations about you adoring Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products more than your significant other. (P.S. If loving Clean Day Lemon Verbena dish soap is wrong, I don’t want to be right.)

If you want to explore the depths or your partner’s childhood feelings regarding money and mother issues, the refrigerator is a stainless steel monument to repressed emotions.

The one and only thing you need to observe is if your significant other is a food hoarder. Do they save one single, solitary olive and put it in lock down in a plastic container in the fridge? Are food expiration dates open to interpretation? Is produce that’s seen better days still “good” because “you can make a smoothie with it and no one will be able to tell that difference”?

The fridge hoarder grew up with a parent who, in a quest to never waste money, could not throw any food away. An early relationship warning sign of this type of behavior is if your partner has a mother with a freezer or extra refrigerator in the garage or basement.

If you see both a commercial fridge and freezer big enough to hold an 18-wheeler full of ice cream then I would recommend you seriously rethink your romantic life. This food-storage psychosis is a sign that if you walk your relationship down the aisle, your love will be saving a lone Tater Tot in a snack size Ziploc till death do you part.

Another indicator of relationship compatibility is the silverware drawer.

What couple can find true happiness when one has zero interest in finding out why the repository for clean silverware has crumbs in it? Even when you clean out the crumbs, they come back. Is it aliens? Is it invisible mini snackers living in your kitchen who are homesteading in your silverware drawer? The mind is boggled.

The good news is that some marriages, despite these seemingly insurmountable odds, can still succeed — flourish even. The key is to have your own packing tape, to never load the dishwasher while anyone is watching, to always eat the last Tater Tot or olive — and to clean out your silverware drawer, even daily, if you must.

There’s no reason you should let some crumbs crush your relationship mojo.



Dear Snarky – My Daughter’s Dorm Roommate is Running A Hotel

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-10-35-00-amDear Snarky,

My daughter is a freshman in college and is going to a school in a very expensive city. Since school has started her roommate’s family has been using the dorm room as a hotel. So far, her roommate’s mother has stayed for week, then an aunt with two nieces came for almost a week and then the mom came back with grandma where she asked my daughter to give up her bed for the grandmother.

 This is not a helicopter parent thing at all. The family is coming to the city and doing all the touristy things and the dorm room is basically a Holiday Inn. My daughter is miserable. A room the size of postage stamp and was never meant to house up to 5 people. Never mind that no kid goes away to college and wants to be roomies with a grandma. 

 How do we handle this situation without it becoming hostile?


One Ticked Off Mom

 Dear Ticked Off,

 Your daughter needs to go to her floor R.A. and call the University’s housing department and report what is going on. From just a safety perspective the number of people living in the dorm room is a fire hazard. Also colleges don’t like their housing being used as a permanent hotel for out-of-town guests so, trust me, they will shut that down.

 When all this comes to a head your daughter needs to tell her roommate that all she did is ask if there was anyway another bed could be put in your room because she felt badly that the roomies family was having to sleep on the floor.  Also I think that the roommate will be grateful. She may not show it, but I’m sure she will be doing inner high fives that her mother, grandmother, and assorted cousins have been evicted from her college experience.

I would also advice your daughter, while she waits for the University to take action, to start Operation Remove Relatives. She needs to be disgusting – belching, farting, fake vomit, ragers in the dorm room – basically creating a hostile hotel environment for her roommates relatives. What are they going to do about it? Report her to university housing? Um, I don’t think so. 

Good luck and let me know how it all turns out!






Dear Snarky – My Son’s New Teacher Was My College “Friend With Benefits”


 Dear Snarky,

I’ve had the shock of my life. At back-to-school night I found out that a guy I repeatedly hooked up with in college is my 5th grade son’s teacher! He’s new to the school and has a very common last name so I had no idea my kid’s teacher was my back-in-the day friend with benefits .

 Do I immediately get my son out of the class or do I suck it up and spend the entire school year feeling very awkward? To make it even worse my son is thrilled about having the school’s only guy teacher.  Help!

Signed, WTF

Dear WTF,

 By doing simple math I’m guessing it’s been more than a decade since you saw this guy. So, that’s loads of time for this not to be that big of a deal. Greet your college friend, have a good laugh and move on to the homework policy.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to get over the awkward phase and you’re married then this is a wonderful opportunity for your husband to get more involved in the teacher parent component of elementary school.

 Now, if you and your “special” friend parted ways very badly or if you know something about this man’s character that is a red flag for him being your kid’s teacher you’ve got a problem.

 The hardest part of removing your child from the class is what to tell the principal and I hope it’s not “this dude was my hook up buddy.” I’d be prepared for some gossip to get around because you don’t know what your former flame is going to say when someone in the teacher workroom asks, “Hey, how come little Trevor is now in my class?”

 This is why if you decided to get a new teacher you have to be professional and keep your mouth shut. No chatter with friends about your past history with the man. And remember even if you do go the new teacher route you will still see this “friend” on field trips and at other 5th grade events which is, again, another great reason for your husband to take on some on those responsibilities for you.

Bottom Line: I don’t think this teacher conundrum will be that insurmountable of an issue unless you make it one. So don’t.


*If you have a question for – Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude – write me at or send me a private message on my Snarky FB page.😉