Adult Co-Ed Rec Softball – A Field of Screams

If you’ve ever been curious as to what those people who post  political rants all the time on social media are doing in their spare –Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 11.40.18 AM non hysterical the world is going to end if so and so is elected – time than all you have to do is go to an adult rec softball game. It’s less of a field of dreams and more of a field of hubris where Used to Be, Wanna Be and Never Was all populate the diamond with their mouths a-flapping.

I know this because I’ve recently had to watch some adult rec games and just a great big Jesus on how someone’s life got to the point where being a “star” on an over forty men’s softball league became a measurement tool for manhood. I know these kind of men. Well, not know them, know them, but back in the day I was bullied into playing not just rec softball, but couples rec softball with my husband and the experience  ranks right up there with getting a perm as one of my ickiest decisions ever.

For me it was like the humiliation of high school P.E. all over again (Back story: My claim to fame is that in my entire K – 12 career I was always picked last, like I’m talking dead last, for any sport, relay, and contest requiring coordination up to and including three-legged races and the egg toss.) with the added irritation of men acting like they were trying out for the major leagues who thought it was okay to heckle their wives and/or girlfriends. Add in the fact that the rec league was part of the Beverly Hills, California park system and you have crazy calling in on line one.

My husband and I were on a team with folks in the entertainment industry and by that I mean aspiring actors and actresses and twenty somethings who had directed a student film in college and were now waiting tables.

At our first game, against some low level Paramount employees, my immediate takeaway was “Wow, this is one well-groomed and coiffed team.” Some of the guys that were “actors” refused to wear a baseball hat because it would “mess up their hair.” My husband, knowing that I was there under duress and the only woman who had not taken her T-shirt and made it into a crop top, told me to just stand out in the backfield (or wait is it an outfield?) and to keep my glove in front of my face the entire time. “You mean just when someone’s batting – right?”

“No,” he said emphatically, “If you’re on the field cover you face. The ball is not your friend.”

As we warmed up before the game I noticed that a lot of the guys were what I call sports peacocks. They strutted and preened and in between taking turns at bat started telling their high school glory day stories while, because this was in L.A., taking off their shirts to wipe their faces while flexing.

Then right before we jogged out on the field we had a quick team meeting and once again, because this was L.A., everyone went around in a circle and said their plastic surgeons name in case they got hit in the face. When I shared that my husband and I didn’t have a plastic surgeon one very nice woman, who not only had cropped her T-shirt, but had cut the neckline so low her  massive cleavage was at a stage four nipple alert, said she would let us have hers if we needed it. We were also quickly told that in case of emergency it was a call to the plastic surgeon first and then 911.

 When we got on the field I, following my husband’s instructions, went as far back as I could and still be considered a member of the team and then placed the glove over my face. Luckily, I didn’t see much action. I did hear a lot of trash talk. The only printable one is when one guy blamed his girlfriend’s gum chewing for making him miss a catch. The field insults were nothing compared to what happened when it was time to bat. Most of these guys acted like their penis size was determined by whether or not they got a hit.

I just soaked it all in and thought about what I was going to eat after the game. Except as I was pondering chili fries the unthinkable happened. A ball had been hit and was heading straight for me and before I could say “Babe Ruth” it landed in my glove so hard I screamed. What do I do? Do I throw it? But wait I can’t throw. Do I run? But where would I run? Which base?

Then, because my face is still covered, I feel someone take the ball from my glove. It was my husband. He heaves it to third and we get two outs. Suddenly, I’m popular without the aid of a crop top. I’m not going to lie, it felt good to get high fives for catching a ball.

I was now in it to win it. Until the next inning when cleavage girl took a line drive to her nose so severe we all heard her bones crack. Following protocol we did plastic surgeon first, 911 second, and then I ran to the car, my glove still covering my face and retired forever from rec softball.





Dear Snarky – Pissed Off About a Pool Pee Prank

Dear Snarky,Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 12.16.28 PM

My brother pulled a prank that turned ugly. He has a pool and always jokes that my family never seems to use the bathroom at his house while swimming. Last weekend, during a large family get together, while I and my three kids were in his pool parts of the water started turning a greenish  color.

My brother started howling and said it was because we were peeing in his pool. Everyone was screaming and saying how gross we were. I denied that we were peeing, but no one would let it go. Finally 2 DAYS LATER  my brother confessed that he had dropped in food coloring dye  through the pool skimmer while we were swimming to change the water color as a prank.

The problem is he let the whole thing go on far too long before admitting he did it!  He had my kids crying they were so embarrassed.

Now my family thinks I’m overreacting by still being mad. I think my brother can take his pool and shove it. Do you think I’m right?

Signed, Pissed

Dear Pissed,

Your brother sounds like he stopped maturing at about age 10. What an ass! It’s one thing to play a practical joke. It’s another to let it run on so long that kids are crying and to not fess up for two days – that’s just weird.  As for your family freaking out over some pool pee real or imagined – spare me. Pools + Kids = Pee. 

I would tell your brother that if wants you to get over it he needs to send an email to every family member that was there and tell them that he put dye in the water as a joke and that he’s sorry that he let it go on so long that everybody left the party still thinking that you had peed in his pool.

Then I would take a break from your brother and his icky pool. It sounds like you need it. I also tell your brother to watch his back because you never know when you might decide to get even. Not that I would waste my time planning to get even, but it wouldn’t hurt to mess with his mind a little bit.

(And now for some Snarky Fun Facts: Only 1 out of 5 people admit to ever peeing in a swimming pool. Umm, yeah right. Most competitive swimmers, on the other had, say they not only pee in the pool during training, but their coach encourages it. And during most swim meets it’s estimated that each swimmer “voluntarily discharges” at least a half cup of urine in the pool. Now who can’t wait to go swimming?)

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.

You Know You Live In Deep Suburbia . . .

Lawn+weeds_4c096f_5457747You know you live in deep suburbia when your lawn gets a report card more in-depth and extensive than your children have ever received from any of their schools. My yard apparently is a C student with lots of room for improvement. The handwritten part of the report card is an encouraging note with lots of “I know you can do better” undertones.

The lawn report card was from the landscape company we use for “turf management” and I’m going to tell you right now I’m proud of our yard’s C student status because it used to be a big, fat F. None of that was, of course, my fault, at all. Grab an icy beverage while you gaze at your A+  lawn and get ready to hear a tale of a yard gone rogue and my family’s attempt to woo it back to, well, average status.

It all started with a realtor who to put it bluntly fibbed. Five plus years ago when we were here from Nevada looking for a home to buy in the dead of winter I asked why the house I liked the most didn’t have a sprinkler system. I was told because the “Midwest gets a lot of rain and no one really needs lawn irrigation.” Now for a girl who grew up in Texas and was currently living in Nevada – two parts of the country where the state symbol might as well be the TruGreen sprinkler repair logo – hearing that lawn irrigation wasn’t mandatory was a celestial sign from the Lord that we, for sure, needed to move to Kansas.

Fast forward to our first summer in our new home when our lawn sprouted a lovely shade of yellow due to dandelions being more prevalent than grass. Lawn expert, after lawn expert told us that our yard was beyond saving, due to years of neglect and lack of watering (go figure) and that we needed to start over, dig it out and sod every square inch. Cha-freaking-ching.

This is when my husband and I decided that we could save our yard with some extreme TLC and do it all without an irrigation system. Who cares if I got what amounted to rope burns from hauling hoses all over our yard and that we scheduled our life around when the sprinklers needed to be moved. The rewards would be worth it except the very stubborn dandelions along with their BFF crabgrass decided that they were in it to win it.

Now I know some of you maybe thinking that I’m a fool or worse an environmental terrorist for not using my lawn Armageddon as an opportunity for some lovely, eco and water friendly xeriscaping. Well, I’ve got three letters for H-O-A. The day I let my yard go native or even one-quarter gravel is the day I get a cease and desist letter from the homes association. Besides at this point my husband and I were in a throw down with our yard, all the landscape companies that told us to re sod and then pray and our neighbors who we knew probably thought we were crazy for going it alone. We had something to prove and in the name of Scotts Turf Builder (with crabgrass preventer and lawn food) we were going to do it!

After year two we had to admit our unworthiness and call in professional help. There was aeration and seeding and reseeding. Then just when we thought that we were inching our way to still being the worst yard on the street, but so no bad that the UPS man felt the need to make a comment about it, some funky fungus started calling our lawn home and an Ash tree in the front yard got a tumor and had to be cut down. Then all the Pin Oaks were diagnosed as having an iron deficiency and our Burning Bushes got some sort of disease that sounded like they were trying to live up to their biblical name. I’m telling you the list went on and on. At this point I was ready to say who cares about the HOA and go full xeriscape and concrete the entire yard, but seriously have you priced concrete? It makes sodding a yard look like a value meal at McDonalds.

Finally after five plus years our yard has worked it’s way up to a C. I couldn’t be happier. Who cares if a C is average or if my lawn according to its report card needs “more diligent morning watering.” I’m on it, daring to dream that next summer the yard might just get a C+ or, be still my heart, maybe even a B.


Dear Snarky – Pokemon Go Away

Pokemon-Go-Full-Google-Access.pngDear Snarky,

I have a friend who is now calling me a stalker. We both have boys who are 9  and do a lot together. A couple of days ago I texted her about taking our boys out and doing Pokemon Go. She told me that she was already doing Pokemon as a family “team building” activity which I thought sounded weird, but whatever. THEN when I’m out with my son I see her with some other moms from school and their boys playing Pokemon. I parked my car to join them and I heard the mom, that I thought was my friend, whisper stalker.

I’m hurt and angry for my son that he was left out of Pokemon Go and furious that I was called a stalker. Should I confront my friend about it?

Signed, Pokemom

Dear Pokemom,

First, I’m going to tell you what you want to hear. The mom who called you a stalker is a jerk. Now get ready for some hard truths. I’m afraid the problem might not be all  the other mom’s fault. I could be wrong here, but you seem awfully needy and I’m going to guess that possibly you’re more upset that you weren’t included than the fact that your son was left out. So ask yourself why did you feel the need to join up with a group when your friend had fibbed to keep you away? Why didn’t you just keep on driving and have a blast playing Pokemon Go with your son and be done with it?

Attention mothers everywhere you don’t have to do everything in groups. It’s okay and a lot of times preferable to enjoy your child’s company without a gaggle of other moms around. Think back to your childhood did your mom coordinate everything you did to such an extent that each outing was a like a mother/child mixer?

My advice is to get over being called a stalker. Yes it was mean, but who cares. This woman doesn’t sound worth you expending anymore energy on. The fact that you now know this is a blessing. You need to focus on appreciating the things you can control like spending one-on-one time with your kids and not worrying about what everyone else is doing.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky 21st Century Advice With an Attitude email me at or leave me a private message on my Snarky Facebook page.

Are You Suffering From FOKMO?

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 10.10.49 AMBecause, I guess, I’ve made a career out of complaining (proving the adage that everybody is good at something) friends, random strangers, and Target employees quite frequently enjoy sharing their latest outrage with me. It usually starts with, “You’re not going to believe this.”

I act appropriately to their story and by this I mean I shake my head and say, “Are you kidding me?” But more often than not I’m thinking yikes, I can so see myself doing that or much worse, I have done that.

The latest missive of shock and awe that came my way was a mother sharing the insanity of her sister-in-law who was canceling a long-awaited family vacation because her eight-year-old son made a Little League All Star team and couldn’t afford to miss practice. She was all WTH about it and how crazy we had gotten as parents that our family priorities were skewed towards a third graders recreational sports schedule.

I did my “are you kidding me” thing and then felt sheepish for not attempting to defend the sister-in-law. That’s right defend because I saw what happened five years ago when a friend of mine opted to take a family vacay to Hawaii instead of having her, then elementary school, son play on the All Star team. It was a long and winding road of retribution.

Because of “Vacationgate” the next spring when it came to the Little League “draft” her son was not selected until the last round and at the first practice the coach (a dad who lived down the street and was an assistant pastor at their church) came up to the mom and solemnly shared with her that “no one had wanted her son because of the family’s egregious lack of commitment to the league” and then quoted some bible story from the book of Malachi. (Umm, am I the only one who didn’t know there was a book of Malachi?)

Then even when her kid killed it during the regular season hitting home run after home run and being an amazing first baseman he was not selected for the All Star team and the mom was told once again it was because of the “bailing on the team” the previous summer. It took the family years and getting their son in a competitive baseball league for the stench of the “Vacationgate” to finally dissipate.

This level of extra curricular crazy is, I’m afraid, the norm and has led parents in massive numbers to be afflicted with FOKMO – Fear Of Kid Missing Out. FOKMO is like FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) but a million times more intense because it’s about your kids. I mean really once you have children who cares if you’re missing out, but, by God and all that is holy, you don’t want your kid to be a single rider in the not included lane.

I believe FOKMO, fueled by its evil sidekick Social Media, is the number one reason why our children’s summers are so bloated with organized activity. In this day and age is there anything worse than admitting your kid has the big Z.E.R.O. going on? I think for many moms and dads it’s akin to admitting you suck as a parent. If you want to see a group of moms throw down just mention how your kids are so busy and then step back and watch the one-upmanship.

Listen I’m not judging. I’m as guilty as everyone else. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to sign a contract stipulating your attendance, dedication, and obedience to your child’s sports activity. Yeah, my hand is now raised and I can only imagine what my mother would have done decades ago if someone had asked her to sign such a thing. She was a southern lady so it wouldn’t have been hoisting her middle finger, but I’m sure she would said something along the lines of  “Well bless your heart” then she would have gently returned the contract unsigned.

Why is it that our parents never suffered from FOKMO? Was it because they were smarter and  knew the value of boredom? A dollop of boredom allows your brain to recharge, to wander and to create. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my very best ideas have occurred while vacuuming. Now, I feel like as parents we have been conned into believing if our kids aren’t constantly doing a planned activity it will culminate in an embarrassing ACT score.

Recently I put myself in FOKMO rehab. Mainly because FOKMO takes up a lot of time. To be a stellar FOKMO parent you constantly have to be searching for new opportunities for your child and be on high alert for what everyone else is doing. These days I think I’d rather vacuum.


Dear Snarky – Did I Ruin a Wedding By Not Sharing My Hook Up History With the Bride?

4a4d80a20562289ce79e1617a7c49c15Dear Snarky,

 I have recently been accused of ruining a wedding.  I am/was a friend of both the bride and groom and during the reception the very drunk best man gave a toast where he mentioned that I had slept with the groom. What he failed to say in his toast was that it was one time, 12 years ago, in the dorm, when we were both 19!

 The bride freaked out, ran off and her parents asked me to leave the reception. Three days later my gift is returned with a very hateful note telling me that I ruined her special day and I should have told her I hooked up her husband.

 Should I contact her and explain that it was years ago before either of us knew her and is this a new thing when people get engaged are you supposed to compare hook up histories with them?

 Signed, Just Say No To Anymore Weddings

 Dear Just Say No,

 I think in this day and age with people getting married much later in life that everyone has to have a much more lenient attitude towards their future spouses romantic past.  There is no way that a one time amorous canoodle at 19 should be held against you in your 30’s. Nor do I think that you had any responsibility  in telling the bride, “Hey congrats and all on your engagement and by the way full discourse time I slept with your future husband a decade ago.” As far as I’m concerned that is the groom’s story to share, if he so chooses, with his fiancée not yours.

 The jerk in all of this is the drunk best man who I’m sure thought he was being hilarious. If the bride was smart she would have laughed, played it off and the only thing anybody would have thought was that the toast was the ramblings of an intoxicated fool.

 When the bride freaked out she ruined her own wedding. So keep your head held high and take that wedding gift that was returned to you and get yourself something special.

Random Thoughts On the Interstate

images-1I’ve spent a lot of time in my car lately driving our country’s interstates and because my 23 hour book on CD turned out to be a dud I was forced to listen to the radio and the voices in my head – both equally scary.

I was totally bummed that my book, Catherine the Great, in my second favorite reading genre, historical non-fiction, was a WTH audio experience. (Do not even think about asking what my favorite reading category is. Okay, okay, I’ll admit that I enjoy, on occasion, a very well written Regency Romance novel. There I outed myself. I said it. Feel free to judge or in my husband’s case openly mock me.)

Now, back to the audio book, which is, of course, about a woman, although a man read it. No big deal except that the guy doing the narration talked in a chick voice, a really bad chick voice. He would do the historical set up in his, let’s call it natural voice, but then, when the book, based mostly on Catherine of Russia’s diaries and letters, shifted to anything to do with the Empress he would go all high-pitched little girl squeal. It was insulting to both my ears and women everywhere because my gender doesn’t sound like we’ve taken hits of a helium balloon before speaking. Is the audio book talent pool so shallow that this is the best they’ve got – the dude falsetto?

The whole thing left me peeved and angry that my only two choices left for entertainment during a 13-hour drive were either talking to my teenage daughter or listening to the radio. I’m sure you can guess which one I picked. Yes, of course the radio mainly because my daughter, in true teenage fashion, slept almost the entire time.

It’s not that I mind listening to the radio. It’s just that it’s hard to find a station that doesn’t bore you especially on a Saturday. You know what’s worse than watching golf? Listening to it on the radio. How do people do it and drive? It should be against the law because golf radio is a lethal sleep aid. Ten minutes of two golf announcers in whisper mode murmuring about a three putt and I’m nodding off at the wheel.

Then there are the commercials. Does the FCC regulate radio ads? I swear two stations in Indiana were all ads. One though did get me thinking. It was an infomercial for drug research volunteers. I totally fit the profile, good health and between the ages of 45 to 55. The money was what got my attention – $9,600! Even better you got a 16-day vacay from your family, which they made, sound really appealing in a Netflix and chill kind of way.

But then I began to wonder how many times a day do they stab you with a needle and was it in the brain or worse would you be subjected to slow Wi-Fi? And what about the thread count for the sheets and do you have to share a room with other people or, shudder, sleep in bunk beds like a prison or dorm room? At the very least it would need to be a Holiday Inn Express experience to even get me to consider being a drug guinea pig. I wonder if they let you tour the “campus” before you sign up. I would definitely need a tour.

My deep thoughts about possibly pursuing a career as a drug research participant were halted when I stopped for gas and became very curious about gas pumps in states that start with I. At every Illinois and Indiana gas station the pumps had TV’s in them. Has it come to this America? Are we so scared of having one second of non-audio or visual stimulation that even our gas pumps have to “entertain” us? It made me long for my beloved Quik Trips back home.

At a Quick Trip you don’t need any lame gas pump TV because the near death experience of maneuvering to a pump is about all the adrenaline surge and entertainment one can handle. Forget about ponying up the bucks for the “Richard Petty Driving Experience” just go to any Quik Trip at noon and try to get gas as you compete for the next bay opening while dodging landscape trailers without spilling your 32 ounce Diet Coke. That’s what I call a heart pounding thrill ride.

By the time I arrived at the upper reaches of the United States I was exhausted, not from driving, mind you, but from my marathon of random thoughts. Although, a week later, that drug research cash still sounds promising and yet what if that’s how a Zombie plague gets started or what if it’s a cover or code for a terrorist coven? Oh man, I really need to stop thinking.


Dear Snarky – My Friend is Marrying “Mr. No F’ing Fun”


I’m one of six bridesmaids in a longtime friend’s wedding and half of us feel like we need to do an intervention because we feel like our friend is settling in her choice of a husband.  The groom is quite frankly a huge med school nerd and behind his back we call him “No F’ing Fun.”  The bride used to be a blast to party with and was always the girl with the hottest guys. Now, we’re lucky if we can get her to drink and she said no to a girl’s trip to Vegas for her bachelorette party. It’s killing us to see our friend change her personality for a man.

Signed, Bummed Out Bridesmaid

Dear Bummed Out,

 The short answer is no to an intervention and yes to keeping your mouth shut and only using it to smile during the wedding. Have you thought about that maybe your friend, the bride, is growing up and that she doesn’t want to get drunk every night? That maybe she was getting tired of partying and welcomes a more stable relationship not based on booze? And that maybe she said no to a trip to Vegas because she didn’t want to incur the expense or ask her bridesmaids’ to pony up more money?

 Remember just because you think the groom is “no fun” doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a great husband. And your idea of what “settling is” could be vastly different from your friend’s. 

Now if, on the off chance, the bride is reshaping her personality to please her future husband because he’s a control freak your best bet is sit down with your friend and say, “I’m happy if you’re happy,  but remember if you ever need me I’m here for you no matter what.”  That’s the way to have your friends back without her feeling ganged up on or judged.


Lifeguarding: Tank Suit + Whistle = TLF

abd7a6797c983dad55bf9ec19c0f0529This summer represents a milestone for me. No, it’s not that I’m finally throwing caution, decorum and my cellulite to the wind and going to the Schlitterbahn water park without wearing a swim skirt, but thanks for that keeping the dream alive for me. My big ta-da is that for the first time in my parenting career both my kids are working this summer.

My college son has a job in an office where I had to take advantage of the 2 for 1 suit sale at Joseph A Banks and was devastated that he didn’t believe me when I told him that seersucker looks darling on him. Seriously, what’s up with hating on seersucker? It’s a lovely cotton fabric that evokes memories of sipping ice tea on the veranda. Why my son said it “resembled something an Easter Bunny at a mall would wear” is beyond me and truth be told I feel like he’s betraying his Southern roots.

This child wore adorable little embroidered, smocked, seersucker rompers for the first three years of his life. Perhaps, he’s experiencing some sort of repressed seersucker memory because a couple of times okay a lot of times, when he wearing those rompers he was mistaken for a girl. I thought it was because he has such long eyelashes, but maybe, just maybe, it was those rompers.

But enough about seersucker my real excitement is that my daughter is following in my footsteps towards summer greatness. She has her first job and like mother, like daughter, she’s a lifeguard. I loved life guarding! So many wonderful things happened because of it. Primarily my deep respect for the one-piece swimsuit and the glory of the whistle. Talk about two great things that go great together. Let’s break it down and start with the one piece.

It was 1983 and Cheryl Tiegs was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated wearing a microscopic bikini. This of course meant every girl was now trying to emulate Tiegs. I dodged a bullet (correction more like a cannon ball) that year because God Bless America and it’s longstanding lifeguard tradition of full coverage swimwear which gave me not only the perfect excuse to not go tiny bikini, but I could also get up on a high horse (and I’m telling you I went way, way, up like I might as well been sitting on an unicorn riding a cumulus cloud) about how saving lives trumps fashion. Please, even I’m now rolling my eyes at teenage me.

But let’s not allow my grandiose sanctimony to take away from the wonder that was the lifeguard one piece of the early 80’s. It was a thing of beauty. First, it was baggy. Yes, a baggy swimsuit or in 2016 parlance it was a relaxed fit. The one piece was a double lined nylon, almost turtle neck, thick straps, modest thigh cut, navy blue, shelf bra, ode to modesty that even the most discerning nun would be a-okay with. Although it sounds horrible, trust me, it was like wearing p.j.’s to the pool.

There was no spanx-esque Lycra attempting to tame your tummy bulge or any need to constantly suck your fat rolls in and/or re-adjust your top or bottoms. You could just luxuriate in the wonder of what was basically a swimsuit sack. I’m going to admit that when you got in the pool there was the little problem of air getting trapped in the lining of the swimsuit and creating the visual that you could be 40 weeks pregnant with octuplets. But, it was a small price pay for that level of comfort. Almost as awesome as relaxed fit swimwear is the best lifeguard accessory ever – the whistle.

There are so many wonderful things the whistle can do besides alerting people to stop running or scaring 10-year-old boys from going off the high dive with a dozen swim noodles. The whistle is your lifeguard swagger. The way you work your whistle let’s everyone know your status in the pool hierarchy. If you chose to keep your whistle around your neck it says that you’re either timid or bored. Two things no lifeguard should ever be. If you, sort of, swing your whistle, it shows a little more dedication to your job, but if you want to really let everyone know you mean business than you do the swing, walk and roll.

This is when you stroll the pool area swinging the whistle on your very own personalized lanyard. (It doesn’t matter if the other lifeguards made fun of me. To this day I still know I was super cool with my monogrammed whistle.) Large circular swings denote I’m surveying everyone. Small, tight swings, that involving rolling the whistle cord on your index finger mean someone’s in trouble and it could be you. A good lifeguard by the end of the summer doesn’t even need to blow their whistle. All the pool participants should be able to read the swings to figure out what’s going on.

I, as you can imagine, was beyond excited to share my mother lode of lifeguard knowledge with my daughter before she started her job. I assumed she would be grateful and perhaps on the edge of her seat as I regaled with her tips and stories of my life guarding prowess. She was none of the above. Apparently, life guarding has changed since I was rubbing in Hawaiian Tropic SPF 0 sun tan oil on myself. What I thought would be a very one-sided conversation that was me talking and my daughter respectfully listening turned into her correcting everything I said.

I started out the conversation with my best lifeguard story – my first save. There I was perched in the lifeguard chair when I noticed a dad that had gone off the high dive wasn’t coming back up. I dove in, pushed the lining of my swimsuit down as it rose up and acted as a personal flotation device, and swam to the bottom of the pool. My lungs were bursting as I grabbed the man in a lifeguard hold and fiercely flutter kicked my way to the surface of the water. I couldn’t exactly remember if people were applauding when I got the dad out of the pool, so I just went ahead and assumed they were and added that to my story, which was so moving, even I got a little teary eyed.

My daughter was unimpressed. One would have thought she was a forensic water safety expert as she shared, “First, you don’t dive into a pool on a rescue. You jump in feet first. Second, you always have your rescue buoy or tube. Third, your main job is preventing rescues from even happening. You need to ask yourself this question mom – what could you have done to stop that man from hitting the bottom of the pool?”

She went on and on, but I’ll spare you the lifeguard lessons. I’ll just take my memories of relaxed fit swimsuits, monogrammed lanyards and whistle twirling and see if my husband wants to relive the glory years when seersucker suits were all the rage and lifeguards were all about the dramatic rescue.


Dear Snarky – Disney Dumb Asses


Dear Snarky,

 I’m in the middle of a family feud and it’s all because of a Disney World vacation.  Recently, we had a family reunion at Disney and it turned into a nightmare. My cousins thought that they were above the rules and did everything they could to get to the front of every line. They line jumped, they snuck into the Fast Pass lines, they would pretend they were doing single rider and then merge into the front of the regular line. It was horrible!

 Because my husband and I wouldn’t permit ourselves or our children to be that rude and break every rule at Disney World the cousins turned against us and accused us of ruining the reunion claiming we were responsible for the family not doing everything together. By day three of the trip we had relatives not speaking to us!

 Was I wrong? I’m not some goodie two shoes, but I just didn’t feel comfortable being that big of jerk even for family togetherness.

 Signed, Sad Mickey

Dear Sad,

 I only wish you had written me during your vacation so I could have suggested that you alert Disney security to your cousins behavior and have them ejected from the park. You did nothing wrong, I repeat, nothing. The kind of behavior you describe ruins Disney for everyone and I think you’re very lucky an altercation didn’t break out because of the line jumping.

 You need to stand your ground and not give an inch. As a parent you did exactly the right thing by role modeling for your children that you do indeed follow the rules and show courtesy for other humans.

 I would suggest telling your cousins to get over themselves and that the next family vacation you take will be with people who don’t embarrass you by double fisting rudeness and stupidity. 

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