Dear Snarky – A Lemonade Stand is Pissing Me Off

Dear Snarky,

My entire cul-de-sac now hates our neighbor’s kids. Since the beginning of the month every single warm day the kids set up a lemonade stand and harass anyone walking, biking or even driving a car by their stand. The kids are also so loud they sound like carnival barkers. I’m in my house with all the doors and windows closed and I can still hear them shouting non stop – “Buy our lemonade! You better buy our lemonade!” (P.S. The lemonade is $1.00 for a Dixie Cup sized sip.)

To make matters worse if you don’t stop and buy lemonade the mom, if she’s outside, will heckle you. Last week, she yelled at me with “What’s wrong with you? Who doesn’t buy lemonade from kids? You just said to no to kids. Unbelievable!”

These kids are homeschooled so they’re always outside even at 11 a.m. on a weekday. It’s like you can’t escape them.

Signed, I Want My Quiet Neighborhood Back.

Dear Quiet,

A person who believes in the goodness of mankind would tell you to have a friendly conversation with this mom and gently ask if the lemonade hawking could be scaled back and perhaps sold at a lower volume.

But because I’m already inclined to believe that this mom is a jerk. I mean, come on, who audibly shames people for not buying her kids’ lemonade, I’m going to suggest a more hard-core option.

I checked with the local police and there’s not much they can do, but they did offer up a back door solution. Call City Hall and talk to their Code Enforcement officer. Your neighbor is quite possibly violating city code in terms of soliciting. It seems a perennial lemonade stand is frowned upon in most suburban neighborhoods.

This solution keeps you out of it in terms of any direct neighbor finger-pointing and it serves as a heads up to the lemonade gang that they’re overstepping the bounds of cute kids selling fruity drinks and entering the harassment zone.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or PM on my Snarky FB page.

 

 

 

 

 

Ode to a QuikTrip

I’ve been battling change for several weeks. I know I shouldn’t fight it. The change I’m warring with is, after all, a done deal. But, I’m still a bit angry and I feel adrift. You can’t take something that has a been a part of your life for years and then when it’s yanked from you all of sudden just get over it or shake it off.

This is why I’m asking everyone to keep me in their thoughts for the next four months as I go through a painful period of adjusting to a profound transition in my life. A door has closed and although I know, for sure, another one is going to reopen this summer, I’m still in mourning because my all time favorite QuikTrip has been gutted.

It’s not like I hadn’t heard the rumors for months. I had even noticed that a mini strip mall was being vacated and one day a muffler shop that was nestled next to the QT just vanished. But I had hoped and on an altar of one hundred Big Q cups I prayed my QT would be spared.

Mournfully, those prayers were not answered and now my QuikTrip is a hole in the ground. It will most certainly rise like a phoenix into what I’m told will be a “next generation” store, but until then I will remain bereft.

This QT has been a part of my life for seven years because for seven years I’ve had at least one child in high school and every single afternoon I would cruise the Blue Valley North adjacent QuikTrip store #240 for a Diet Coke, with the slightest splash of cherry, as my pre-kid pick up picker upper

I’m getting emotional, veering into seriously overwrought, just thinking about all the times that QT was there for me. It’s a challenge being a mother to adolescents. On some days I feel like chum in shark infested waters. You’re always bracing for the worst and after school pick up is prime time for what I call the “mood swing spectacular.”

You never know what child will be getting in your car. Will it be the “super happy I just got an A on a test” sweetie? Or the “I hate the world” child? Or worse, the “I’m going to blame my crappy day on my mom” kid.

I don’t think I could have made it through these seven years without my 42-ounce Big Q. When things would really go off the rails I would take repeated sips on my Diet Coke and practice the Zen meditations of Buddhist monks or my interpretation of Zen meditations, which is to use my Diet Coke drinking as a break between extreme eye rolling.

My son, who is now almost done with college, credits the QT with saving my sanity. I agree because (cough, cough, unlike my children) it was always there for me. My daughter even knows that if I pick her up from school and there’s not a QT drink in my cup holder than she better not even think about dumping her bad mojo on me.

It’s almost like that QuikTrip store was my Yoda providing me with strength to fight the dark side. Believe me the force was strong at QT #240.

It’s not just that the QT aided me in my parenting. It also taught me so much about patience and assertiveness. The store only had eight gas pumps and a parade of cars always trying to fill up. Elevating the degree of difficulty – the pumps were literally a window squeegee away from the road, which jammed up cars like Legos in a toy box.

Getting gas required a hat trick of superior car maneuvering, stalking skills that would put a serial killer on Criminal Minds to shame and a killer instinct when it comes to playing the QT version of musical chairs.

I’ve been to Vegas and it has nothing on the talent and luck combo required to get gas at this QuikTrip. In fact, I’m going to declare that you haven’t really lived until you’ve outsmarted a landscape truck (with a trailer) to tag in on the next available pump. The thrill of victory was so very, very, sweet.

On that amazing afternoon I had exactly ten minutes to spare before I had to get my kids from school and the gas situation was out-of-control. Before I had even pulled into the QuikTrip I saw that it was madness by the pumps and that there looked to be at least a dozen cars waiting or circling for the next empty bay. I started profiling the cars gassing up in an attempt to predict who would be done first. You always want to pick a guy who seems to be in a hurry.

This means you’re usually looking for either a young dude who has probably five dollars in change and just wants to get his tank off empty or a man in really nice shoes. Mr. Nice Shoes always seems ticked off that he even has to stop for gas, like it’s beneath him to do time at a QT while inhaling the off gassing of Rooster Booster fumes. His main goal is to get out of there as fast as he can.

What you never want is to wait for a bay to open up for anyone with children because say hello to that person taking four kids inside the store for Icees and disappearing for at least 15 minutes. Bottom line anyone who leaves their car while it’s filling up should be considered MIA and assumed lost in the beverage section flummoxed by all the ice tea choices. (Psst, go with the peach you won’t be sorry.)

While I was profiling I hit a bull’s eye. I saw a man in what I’m guessing where Brooks Brother’s shoes not sold at DSW and he was holding the pump with what looked like a Windex wipe. Perfect. OCD issues and expensive foot wear equal he’s in a hurry to flee the confines of the QT. I started stalking him.

At first I circled and then right when I saw him reach into his pocket for what I assumed was a fresh wipe I knew he was done and pulled up alongside his car ready to initiate a backup move that should be included into the Driver’s Ed hall of fame for its sheer finesse and beauty. I thought my claim to the pump was pretty clear, but then a landscape truck dared to challenge me.

“On no you don’t Big Rig. This girl’s got this. Don’t mistake my KU Mom bumper sticker for wussiness. The pump is mine!” I muttered to myself.

The landscape truck then attempted to intimidate me with its sheer size. When that didn’t work the driver begin backing the truck up towards my car. So, that’s how he wanted to play this – a game of chicken.

Lucky for me that day I had nerves of steel. In the last 24 hours I had experienced a dog with projectile vomiting, a teenager with a lost phone, attended two events where I had to sit on gym bleachers, out ran a gaggle of women attempting to mom shame me into volunteering for yet another school fundraiser and I survived a three-hour HOA meeting. Nothing that truck was going to do would scare me.

The driver kept on backing up and then when our vehicles were about to kiss he stopped, gave me the angry bird and pulled away. I’m not going to lie it felt good, like eating a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies good, getting that gas pump. To me it was validation, QT style that I can handle what life throws at me.

Oh, QuikTrip #240 this is why I’ll miss you so. You were always there for me. I felt like that perhaps we were even soul mates. You, my friend, were the unleaded, $2.04 gas beneath my wings.

 

High School Confidential

If you want to know the inside story on any high school you need to talk to the person who’s got the deep intel and trust me it’s not the principal or the counselors. The person who can give you a dossier on almost every single student in the school including their current home life situation is the attendance clerk.

Consider this position akin to being a CIA undercover operative. The clerk is a school fixture and like a number 2 pencil often taken for granted. They see, hear and notice things that no one else in the school is privy too. All this imbues the person with super spy skills.

They also talk to the parents a lot. I know that in the seven years I’ve had multiple children attending high school that I’ve conversed with Rita, the attendance clerk, more than anyone else at the school combined. In fact, I can’t imagine my life without Rita. She’s so important to my family I’ve got her on speed dial. Rita is my high school touchstone and perhaps part therapist.

A couple of weeks ago, in a seven-day time frame, my 16-year old was diagnosed with a sinus infection, strep throat, had her foot x-rayed because I was sure it was broken, had some weird tooth thing going on (It turn turns out is was iron buildup from Flintstone vitamins. Go figure?) and got a mild concussion. During that time I also couldn’t find my car keys (Can you blame me? I was highly stressed.)

Sweet Rita was there for me through it all.

When I had to get my child out of school early for the dentist she didn’t even flinch when I mentioned I was sure my daughter had a rare tooth fungus that due to extreme googling I discovered was usually only seen deep in the Amazon jungle. By the time I called her about the foot and head injuries I was certain she was going to notify CPS and have them do a home visit.

And then on that Friday morning when I had to do a mea culpa about my kid being tardy due to the fact that I, the grown up, couldn’t find my car keys she was so kind and understanding it was like getting a hug over the phone. Rita gets me.

It’s not just the absences and tardies that Rita is privy to. She also knows all about your kid’s schedule. If my daughter has to leave school a smidge early she knows it’s for a dance competition. (Fun fact: Rita danced  back in the day and I have no doubt she still has killer moves.)

This woman could write a black ops paper on my family. A who, what, when and where along with a psychological profile. If high schools want to know more about what’s going on with their students they need to have their attendance clerks give daily briefings.

If Rita gave one for my family this past month it would have gone like this. “I’m a little worried about this family and you might want to check Bella’s grades. The student has had a rough week of assorted illnesses, and I think the mom might have unnecessarily dragged her in for an x-ray. Not to mention there was a concussion and a tooth issue. Unrelated, but let’s keep on eye of this girl’s head and teeth. Also, I’m pretty sure this has created some stress issues at home. The mom called this morning about a tardy. She couldn’t find her car keys – again.”

If knowledge is power than every high school needs a Rita.

 

 

Dear Snarky – I Was Job Backstabbed By My Bestie

Dear Snarky,

 My best friend just threw me under the bus. She works for a large company and I noticed they had an opening that fit me perfectly. When I asked her about the job she agreed I would be awesome at it and told me to put her down as a reference.

 Come to find out I never even got an interview and another friend told me that my best friend not only didn’t give me a reference, but she went out of her way to make sure I didn’t get the job.

 I couldn’t believe it so I asked her about and she admitted to me that she thought “our friendship was too precious” for us to work together. Say what? The company is huge and has campuses all over the city. We wouldn’t even have been working together in the same zip code.

  I’m so hurt and I can’t understand why she would do this to me. Do you have any advice what to do next?

 Signed, Betrayed

Dear Betrayed,

 Let’s think positive for a minute. You might have lost out on a job, but you did find out that your best friend is a huge jerk and you need to fire her from that position.

 Yes, I know that doesn’t sound positive, but knowledge is power and now you know not to waste another second being besties with someone who is a liar and backstabber and I’m guessing probably very jealous of you.

 Here’s what a best friend should have done. If she didn’t want you working at the same company for “friendship” reasons she should have expressed that concern straight up and you two should have discussed it. Perhaps, the issue could even be that she thinks you’re a flake and that you wouldn’t be a good hire. If that’s the problem your friend could have  pointed out that the job most likely wouldn’t be a great  fit because it’s very demanding and that the corporate culture goes way beyond 9 to 5.

What she shouldn’t have done is lied to you, encouraged you to apply for the job and then mercilessly sabotaged you.

 My advice is keep on job AND best friend hunting because you need to be in the market for a new one.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or PM on my Snarky FB page.

Dear Snarky – I Think My Boyfriend Is Cheating On Me With His New Hair Stylist

Dear Snarky,e668fb8ad7909a0ad835d3e6370092af

I think my boyfriend (of almost five months) is cheating on me with his hair stylist. About 2 months ago he started going to one of those men’s only hair salons where the stylists are women who dress all skanky. Soon after that I noticed he was getting texts from a woman he claimed was his stylist and that they were just talking about his hair.

I let it go for a couple of weeks, but now he’s getting his hair cut a lot, like every couple of days, and the texts aren’t stopping. I’ve confronted him, but he insists it’s no big deal. He’s cheated on me before so it’s hard for me to believe him.

Do I let it go or start spying on his hair appointments?

Signed, Suspicious

Dear Suspicious,

I’m curious that you see your only two choices as either believing your boyfriend or spying on him. May I introduce a third alternative – dumping him.

If in your brief relationship your boyfriend has already cheated thus leaving you with zero trust in anything he tells you then it’s time to grab some scissors and give this relationship a trim. I’d advise cutting him out of your life altogether.

Unless you love drama AND being miserable AND you consider a good time stalking your significant other while he may or may not be getting his hair cut. If that’s what floats your boat than by all means continue this relationship and embrace the misery it will bring.

Otherwise, end it and move on.

Also, as a shout out to all the amazing hair stylists out there – most are way too busy, have way too much good sense and taste than to initiate a relationship with a client. The problem is not the hair stylist. It’s you and your boyfriend.

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

Team Thin Mint

People are really ticking me off. I’ve beedairy-free-girl-scout-cookies-now-including-all-thin-mints-also-vegann so angry that I’ve been on a social media unfriending spree. I’m so over all this hate.

Seriously, what’s going on? How can people be so blatantly wrong and not admit it? Worse, they embrace their wrongness and get all wrapped in it like it’s one of those overpriced fuzzy, polar fleece, blankets from Pottery Barn. Someone please explain to me why a person would want to get cuddly with wrong and then share it on Facebook?

I’m sure you can guess where all my anger is coming from and what “team” I’m on. For the record let me proudly state, nay scream, from my front porch (that I fear a family of chipmunks are burrowing under in an attempt to infiltrate my foundation) that I’m on Girl Scout cookie Team Thin Mint.

Yeah, you heard me Team, freaking, Thin Mint. So, take that all you traitors who have left sanity behind to embrace and brag on the new S’mores cookie because I’ve got three words for you — Get Over Yourself.

The S’mores is no Thin Mint and you’re embarrassing yourself, and quite possible our country, when you make your egregious claims, usually on social media, of S’mores superiority.

I will admit I was intrigued about the alleged swagger of the S’mores cookie. I had heard a lot of about. How it took everything you loved about the Thin Mint — the chocolate coating, the signature crispness and the special melding of flavors — and then amped it into the cookie stratosphere with the joining of graham cracker and marshmallow.

When I went to place my annual Girl Scout cookie order, which is a case of Thin Mints, (Relax it’s only 12 boxes. Like you haven’t gotten 12 boxes of something at Costco?) I felt pressured, like I was going to be judged and ridiculed, if I didn’t get some S’mores. So, I gave in and order a single box, which made the Girl Scout mom taking my order, sigh dramatically and, announce, “You’ll be sorry.”

When my personal stash of cookies arrived I was excited. My ritual is to enjoy the first Thin Mint of the New Year in the privacy of my car so I can savor the wonder and then eat a whole sleeve on my drive home. (Yep, an entire sleeve and yes I have done the caloric math.) This year due to all the S’mores hype and fear of condemnation and worse fear that I was wrong, that everything I thought was right and just in this world had changed. I decided to break with what I believed in my heart was right and try a S’mores before I had a Thin Mint.

The S’mores looks tempting. It’s square, but I have no prejudice regarding cookie shapes and it does appear to have the same exquisite chocolate coating as the Thin Mint although it does seem thicker. I cautiously took a bite.

The crunch was there and at first nibble I was intrigued, but then the cookie started to change. The graham cracker took over, muscling out the marshmallow flavor and the chocolate became an afterthought. It didn’t have the team player persona of the Thin Mint where the mint cookie and the chocolate coating are working in tandem to bring about exquisite yumminess.

My first thought was why have people become so mentally unhinged over the S’mores when it’s evident that it should be pretty low on the cookie totem pole. Come on, even the shortbread Trefoil can kick it’s butt?

Then I got angry. The Thin Mint deserves respect and this cookie isn’t going to crumble on my watch. So, beware S’mores lovers the Thin Mint, like the truth, won’t be ignored.

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.