Vaccine Madness

Of all the things in my life that have tested my faith in humanity and our government the COVID vaccine rollout might be the thing that breaks me. Never in my many years on earth have I experienced anything so unbelievably messed up. It’s like a cauldron of chaos and confusion being stirred by a giant spoon of ineptness.

I came close last week to having a complete mental collapse when a 21-year-old dog groomer told me that she had gotten her vaccine because she “works in healthcare.” Just a massive WTH on that?

Meanwhile my friends and neighbors who are 65 and older, our most vulnerable population that nationwide account for 80 percent of the COVID deaths, are still trying to figure out how to go from filling out  the county health department’s “vaccine interest form” to actually getting the vaccine.

If you want to experience the trifecta of profound angst, anger and anxiety all you need to do is read the comments on most county health department’s Facebook pages concerning vaccine updates. It’s Dostoevskian. 

People are scared, bewildered, and frustrated. A lot of the posts are from adult children desperately trying to track down vaccines for their aging parents who don’t have the computer skills to navigate the “Where’s Waldo” aspect of getting their first COVID shot.

It seems it doesn’t matter where you live because I’ve experienced the exact same situation in my hometown helping neighbors get vaccine appointments and while attempting to get a vaccine for my 87-year-mother-in-law in Texas. I honestly think it would have been easier to hijack a Moderna or Pfizer cooler.

For the mother-in-law the online sign up process was like a high tech Hunger Games.  If you didn’t know exactly when the sign up was going live you were screwed because there weren’t a lot of spots available. A friend of mine from high school started a group text where people shared any tidbit of information they had discovered about how to get your parents a vaccine in Central Texas.

I felt like an immunization detective following leads about the V.A. hospital having some open spots to a small-town drugstore 20 miles away with a “few vials left.” It took two weeks, hours filling out various vaccine forms and calling multiple providers to finally get my mother-in-law a COVID vaccine.

I’m certain there is almost no way anyone her age could have navigated the internet and spent hours on the phone being pinged ponged (and several times disconnected) from the county health department to doctor’s offices, hospitals and pharmacies. It was time consuming and maddening.

It doesn’t help that as you’re trying to get a vaccine for an 87-year-old you have people proudly sharing how they worked the system. One friend (I’m now classifying as former) bragged about how her neighbor who runs a childcare center is going to say she works there so she can get the COVID vaccine. Then there’s several women I know who have signed up to be substitute teachers at a private school so they can “get in on phase 2.”

What has happened to basic decency when you lie and scheme so you can line jump over the elderly?

The coronavirus has brought out the best and worst in all of us. These last 11 months I think I’ve said “What is wrong with people?” almost everyday. From COVID deniers to masks worn under the nose as an act of rebellion to all the other flagrant stupidity I’m about ready to lose it.

I can see the light at the end of this COVID nightmare so I’ve been telling myself to hold on because things are going to get better. But now I worry that while there’s a coronavirus vaccine there isn’t one for self-centeredness. So, while we may soon have a mask free future we’ll still be plagued with rampant selfishness.

Dear Snarky – I Broke Up With My Boyfriend Because He Sucks at Giving Gifts

Dear Snarky,

I’ve just broken up with my boyfriend and now I’m having second thoughts. We started dating a year ago just before the pandemic and we really thrived when some of my friends relationships tanked.

The reason I broke up with him is because he pretty much failed Valentine’s Day. Due to COVID we did a romantic dinner at my condo. My boyfriend brought the steaks and two bottles of wine. The problem was he didn’t get me a gift. He showed up with some flowers but they were grocery store tulips from Whole Foods not even from a florist.

The whole night I was wondering when he was going to give me a gift and it never happened. I was devastated. When at the end of the night he asked me what was wrong I told him that my love language was gifts and I was heartbroken he didn’t give me one.

He said he thought the expensive wine and flowers were gifts and I told him no that the wine and flowers cost less than eating out at a really nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day.

We got in big fight and it ended with my boyfriend telling me that his love language is “women who aren’t freaks about Valentine’s Day” and that’s when I broke up with him.

Now I really miss him but my mom says I did the right thing “because a man that won’t spoil you on Valentine’s Day when you’re dating is a loser and will be a husband who forgets your birthday.”

(That said, he didn’t do such a great job with my birthday either.) But now I don’t know. I really miss him and before Valentine’s Day I thought he was the one. He’s got a great job, is super nice, funny, handsome and has helped me fix up my condo even tiling the bathroom and kitchen for me. Should I try to get back together?

Signed, Worst Valentine’s Day Ever

Dear Worst,

No, you should NOT try to get back together. Leave this poor man alone. Frankly, I think he deserves someone who isn’t going to judge him based solely on his Valentine’s Day “performance.”

(Full disclosure: I’ve written a couple times about how I’m not a sucker for Valentine’s Day so my advice is going to be harsh.)

A man who can tile a kitchen and bathroom in my book outweighs someone who can go on Amazon and get you a “Forever Love” heart necklace for $79.99. But that said if you’re someone who celebrates their birthday month and has a “love language” of gifts then this man is NEVER EVER going to be the one who will make you happy and I have no doubt you would make him miserable.

As for your mom she sounds like her love language is bitch. Good Lord give me strength! She’s a parent and one would think she would be telling you to focus less on a boyfriend’s gift giving skills and more on his positive attributes like full employment and kindness (and yes his ability to tile).

I’m hoping that for your sake you mature out of this whole ridiculous “gifts are my love language” B.S. because material goodies while great for a social media post aren’t going to bring you any real or lasting happiness. And if you do find a man who is all about the presents please realize the excessive gifts could be acting as camouflage to hid some serious flaws.  

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

 

In Love With Romance

Shh. I have a secret. It’s a big one. In fact, no one outside my family knows it. But due to current circumstances I finally feel safe enough to reveal what I have kept hidden for so long.

Are you ready? Because here it comes. I read romance novels. Specifically, Regency romance novels which means books that are set in England between 1811 to 1820.

Now a mere month ago I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing this information. Women who read romance novels are usually incorrectly categorized as lonely frumps with an addiction to cats and single serving frozen dinners.

But since the Netflix series “Bridgerton” based on the Regency romance book series by Julia Quinn debuted on Christmas day and became the streaming service’s biggest series e-v-e-r (82 million streams and counting) I feel it’s now safe for me to come out of my mahogany gilded closet.

I’d could lie and tell you that I started reading these novels because I became obsessed with the writings of Jane Austen and then segued to romance books as a way to fill my Regency time period fiction void. This would be a strategic way to explain my romance novel leanings because it would cleanse, even legitimize my reading preferences by making it born out of love for Jane Austen thus giving my choice of fiction some gravitas.

But truth be told, back in the 90s I picked up my first Regency romance novel (by the incomparable Stephanie Laurens) on a whim from a Los Angeles library shelf and became besotted.

Now if you think these novels are mostly a lame plot worked around debauchery in the ballroom you couldn’t be more wrong. The best romance novels have humor, a mystery to solve and most always explore how women negotiated a time period where marriage determined their very survival.

Romance writers are also no slouches in the brain game. Some of the authors of these most delicious reads also have backgrounds in science. Julia Quinn of Netflix’s “Bridgerton” fame was a Yale med student before she decided to drop out and write romance novels full time. And Stephanie Laurens, my first love, was a scientist in cancer gene research.

Ugh. Did you see what I just did there? I was trying to defend romance novels. It’s because years of hiding my affection for this genre have made it hard for me to just say I adore them without first offering up a veritable platter of justifications.

There were times on airplanes where I would hide my novels in the pink pages of the Financial Times and read them surreptitiously so no one would notice the often déclassé book covers. One time a gentleman seated next to me remarked on my reading the Financial Times and a romance novel and I looked at him and replied, “What can I say? I’m complicated.”

But dear readers I have saved the best confession for last. I have a Regency romance room in my house. Yes, I took a small room full of bookshelves and turned into a repository for all my novels.

Here, while ensconced in a Regency color inspired pink and lilac toile sofa I allow myself the pleasure of reading the works of brilliant authors in a vastly underappreciated genre. To the 82 million plus people that watched “Bridgerton” and now are hooked on romance I say welcome.

Living the Luxury Linen Life

I don’t know how and I don’t know why but I’ve gotten on the advertising radar of several bespoke linen companies and I’m not mad about it. In fact, it has become a rabbit hole I never knew I needed to go down but now that I’ve dived deep into this abyss I’m afraid I’m not coming out.

For those of you that don’t know what bespoke linens are, and a mere three weeks ago this was me, it’s luxury custom linens for your bed where a single standard size pillowcase can easily exceed $1,000.

Here’s a super fun fact – there are companies that make linens just for castles – like legit castles not a McMansion pretending to be a castle. Fun fact #2 – castle linens are usually heavier in thread count and made from velvet flannel because palaces on the Scottish Highlands and a medieval fortress perched on the craggy rocks of West Wales aren’t known for their central heating.

There are also bespoke linens for your yacht because of course there is. The best thing I’ve read about yacht linens is that the owner gets the fancy custom linens but it’s recommended that the guest cabins due to “laundry demands” go “mass market cotton sateen.” Shudder.

The most important thing I’ve learned though is that you must make sure you know the yarn provenance of your bed linens. This started me thinking if the super-rich hire yarn provenance detectives to scour the globe to ensure that the cotton they’re selecting for their sheets is fancy pants enough?

FYI – if this is a career choice I would like to know how to immediately apply.

That said this whole yarn provenance deduction is not an easy endeavor. Sure, any plebeian knows that the best cotton is grown in the Nile River Valley. But you also have to factor in how you like your sheets – crisp, light (that requires a double twisted cotton. And yes I am showing off my cotton skills just in case anyone reading this is looking for the aforementioned yarn provenance super sleuth), heavy, over easy (Oh wait, that’s eggs. My bad.) And if your preference for bed linens is say on the thicker side (#DraftyCastleProblems) Nile River cotton may not be the yarn you want. Hence provenance matters.

After you’ve established the birthplace of the genus Gossypium (That’s the scientific name for the cotton plant. Oh yeah, you’ve got that right I’m showing off again. Don’t judge. I really want that yarn provenance job. Have I told you I’ve read every Agatha Christie novel? My deduction skills are off the charts.) the next step is making sure the cotton yarn is treated to a trip to Italy to get woven into custom sheets by master craftsmen.

Let’s just stop here for a moment and think about how bespoke bed linens have a better, yes much better, and more exciting life than I do. The Nile, Italy then maybe gracing the VIP suite on a yacht sailing the Mediterranean. Meanwhile a trip to Target is currently the closest I’m getting to a vacation. Sigh.

Another thing that is eliciting a sigh from me is that even if I was wealthy I don’t think I could live in a bespoke linen world. It would be a waste of a talented yarn provenance detective because my bed has been taken over by two dogs and a cat.

It’s their world (okay bed) and I’m just living (laying) in it. With the shedding, muddy paws etc. I’m afraid I’m more of a sheets from Costco kind of girl.

Oh well, I guess sharing my pillow with a beagle who has truly hideous morning breath trumps the bespoke linen life – right?

Dear Snarky – I Didn’t Make a Coronavirus Friend’s List

Dear Snarky,

I’ve been played by someone I thought was a really good friend. This woman has compromised lungs so she has been careful, or so I thought, about following a really strict coronavirus quarantine. I haven’t seen her in person since March 11 but we’ve zoomed, texted, talked and I’ve run lots of errands for her and dropped off food with notes just so she wouldn’t feel so alone.

 I recently found out that “my friend” has been going out to eat with other people, even to bars and  football watching parties for months. I was shocked because she led me to believe that she wasn’t leaving her house.

 I asked her why she was going out while telling me that she was staying home? Her answer floored me. She said that she was spending time with friends who were “worth risking getting the coronavirus for” and I “didn’t make that list.”

 I don’t even know how to begin to process this. Should I drop her as a friend? Was she just using me to get her groceries and run errands? Am I an a-hole for not realizing I was being used? I’m really stunned and need your help.

 Signed, Sad and Surprised

Dear Sad,

 Wow, that is cold blooded wrapped up in so much stupidity I’m almost without words. This woman sounds horrible. It’s one thing if she decided to change her mind about her stay-at-home procedures but having a whole “friends worth risking the coronavirus for” list is just all kinds of mind boggling to me. I wouldn’t worry about not making that list because apparently her lungs didn’t either.

 Right now, I would view this as an opportunity to cleanse your life of this so-called friend. To me the issue isn’t that you didn’t make her dumb ass list it’s that she lied to you and probably would have kept on lying until she was caught.  Don’t allow yourself to dwell on what happened instead think of it as a gift that now you know not to spend another second wasting your time on someone that isn’t worthy of you.

 I also don’t want you to beat yourself up over being kind to this friend. Even if she was taking advantage of your generous spirit by having you run errands for her etc. you didn’t know that. What you did was an act of friendship and that speaks volumes about your character.

 You sound like a very kind person and there are a lot of people right now that could use a friend like you. Don’t let this jerk make you question your inner goodness.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Saying I’m Fat?

Amidst all the pandemic drama it’s heartwarming to know that some January traditions haven’t changed. Indeed having a few things, you can count can be most reassuring.

This is why when I started receiving emails, texts and social media attention about how I could “drop 35 pounds in 21 days” instead of feeling depressed I was overjoyed. Yes, no matter what catastrophe is happening in the world I can always depend on the weight loss industry to remember me.

I was flattered that so much effort was devoted to figuring out what haunted me during these frightening and unprecedented times and apparently it’s back fat.

Yes, forget about COVID because according to the electronic onslaught I’ve been experiencing my one real concern is that I have back jowls and back bat wings. For novices into the world of excessive flab in your scapula and latissimus dorsi regions let me give you a brief primer.

Basically, if you’re a woman and the under band of your bra has company in the form of some extra pudge then you could be suffering from the dreaded back jowls. If this pudge also shakes just a little then you might also be sporting some bat wings.

I was more than a little surprised that back fat was being given such a premier position in all of the weight loss messaging. What happened to the tried-and-true belly bulge guilt trip? Is it really even a new year without seeing photos of six pack abs that “could be mine in just 30 days”?

I’ve also started wondering how so many people and companies know that I’m fat. I could choose to be offended by this but instead I’m curious. Am I being stalked? Are people following me around at Target and jotting down that I’m thigh gap challenged? Is it the “family size” bag of M&M’s in my cart that’s putting me on some kind of chubby list?

And about that back fat – who’s seen me without a jacket on in the last four months to even know if I have excessive scapula area bulk?

What really baffles me is when “friends” on social media see fit to include me in their weight loss shout outs. It’s not like I’m posting unflattering pictures of myself on Facebook that could be deciphered as a cry for help.

Seriously, what goes through someone’s thought process when they decide it’s okay to reach out to a “friend” on social media and tell them how they could “lose weight and gain energy with a “cleaner eating program.”

Do they even consider that they could be hurting a person’s feelings? Or that my energy is just fine thank you?

Worse, and yes there’s a worse, is when not only do they think your BMI is not doing you any favors but they also want you to sign up for their multi-level marketing selling  “opportunity.”

By all means insult me and then try to guilt me into selling “nutritional” supplements that will “change my life.” And I’m guessing that by “change my life” they mean get me involved in a pyramid scheme. (Umm, yeah hard pass.)

I even asked a former neighbor who I haven’t seen in 12 years why she thought I would be a candidate for not only her weight loss plan but also multi-level marketing. I point blank inquired if she thought I was fat.

Her reply was polite saying that she was talking less about weight loss and more about a healthy lifestyle. This led me to follow up with why she assumed my lifestyle wasn’t healthy since it’s been more than a decade since we’ve laid eyes on one another?

Well long story short she’s now unfriended me. No worries. I’m going to count that as I’ve already unloaded some pounds in the form of unwanted social media baggage. Which in my opinion is much better than losing back fat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Snarky – I Want to Expose School Cheaters

Dear Snarky,

I ‘m OUTRAGED!  I’m friends with a mom who yesterday bragged to me over text that her son “aced all his AP exams.” Then she proceeded to tell me that he cheated – big time.

Our high school is virtual right now and this mom with literally no embarrassment told me that her oldest son who is pre-med and majoring in math at college took her high school son’s AP Calculus and AP Physics final exams in December.

Meanwhile, my daughter who is in the same class as the cheater took the same exams and did okay but she sure didn’t ace them.

I want to show the school the text this mom sent me and get this kid’s grades at the very least changed or make him re-take the final in person, at school with a proctor.

My daughter is 100 percent against me doing anything. She says it’s the schools fault for be so “tech lazy” that they make it easy for kids to cheat.

I’m really, really angry and feel like I need to let the school know what’s going on because it’s so unfair to the kids like my daughter who aren’t cheating or don’t have smart siblings that can take their AP exams.

What’s your advice?

Signed, One Pissed off Mom

Dear Pissed, Off,

I would definitely let the school know because if they are in your daughter’s words “tech lazy” they need to get their asses in gear before second semester final exams roll around.

To shield your daughter from any student drama or recriminations I would not tell the school the mother or son’s identity. I would be vague as in you know that there were college siblings that took their high school brothers and sisters finals. I would also tell the principal that the students see the school as being so backwards in their virtual testing that kids feel embolden to cheat.

I know you’re thinking “bull shit Snarky on that advice” because you want to expose these cheaters but really all you would be doing is making your daughter’s life m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e if it came out that you were the one that named names. I advise you without hesitation to put your daughter’s emotional well-being first.

Now, this sounds Pollyanna BUT the bottom line is that to take the national AP Exam in the late spring that is administer by the College Board these kids are going to have to know the material so they are right now only cheating themselves. (Yes, I’m aware that sentence is very dated but it still holds true.)

Cheating is a HUGE character flaw so please take solace in the fact that you are raising a child who doesn’t cheat. As for the mom who is proud and even boastful of her cheating sons well that tells you a whole lot about that family and none of it is good. I would certainly reconsider your friendship with this woman moving forward.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

 

 

Taking Down Christmas

As I’m writing this my Christmas tree is still up. This is an anomaly for me. My usual routine is to ring in the New Year with a house that has been restored to its pre-holiday status.

I’ve always thought of it as starting the year with a clean slate and clean carpet because once the tree comes down it’s time to get out the beloved carpet shampooer and go to town on the area rugs. Yes, I’m in a long-term relationship with my Bissell.

Now excuse me while I veer off topic but I feel the number one baby present for any new parent should be the gift of a carpet shampooer with car attachments. This is because if you make it through a day without a kid spilling, spitting, or any other kind of projectile fluid disbursal then it’s a cause for a celebration and by that I mean a trip to Target without the kids.

Okay, enough about the perfect baby gift and back to Christmas trees. I know there are many varied opinions and customs about how long you should keep your tree up and with more people having artificial trees you could seriously never take your tree down.

That prospect makes me shudder because I’m a firm believer in giving each holiday it’s due to celebrate it’s unique specialness. For example, and I know this is becoming unfashionable, but I stand behind my decision to give Thanksgiving the respect it deserves and not eat turkey and stuffing with an array of ceramic Santa Clauses peeking at me.

My one holiday at a time philosophy induced an anxiety attack several years ago at Disneyland where unbeknownst to me the classic Haunted Mansion had been reimagined into the Tim Burton film the “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

This basically meant that Halloween and Christmas had been robustly intertwined. Ghosts haunting Christmas trees, gingerbread men and candy corn (two great tastes that don’t go together) and possessed ornaments it was all too much.

Half-way through the ride I had to put my head between my legs and take deep breaths. Fortunate, after eating a Disneyland churro I was able to rebound.

All of this is why I’m a little concerned that I haven’t taken down my tree yet. In my world of holiday celebrations Christmas is officially over once I peel the cellophane off my new calendar. Rest assured though I’m not  a Grinch who takes their tree down on December 25.

Oh yes, I know several people who take their tree down on December 25. I have one friend whose former mother-in-law would literally tear down Christmas – like pack it all away the minute the last present was open.

Can you imagine? I told this friend to watch her back because anyone who would demolish any sight of Christmas that aggressively on Christmas morning had in my book serial killer tendencies.

As this friend’s marriage eventually deteriorated she told me she would always be sure she was the last person to open a present and then take an inordinately long amount of time, ever so slowly tearing the paper, admiring the bow etc. just to tweak her mother-in-law who was chomping at the bit to get that tree down.

Honesty, I don’t know if that took courage or if my friend had a death wish.

As for me I’m conflicted about taking everything down. It’s been a rough year and all the holiday décor has been a welcome distraction. I don’t know if I’m ready to face 2021 without the buffer of Christmas.

But soon, very soon, mainly because I have a real tree it’s all going to have to come down and I’ll be left with a clean house devoid of Santa Claus, sparkle and red and green garlands.

My hope is the magic of Christmas will still linger as I embark on a new year filled with hope but still overwhelmed with uncertainty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Snarky – The Most Cringe Worthy Letters of 2020

Oh, 2020 how we all long to see you go BUH-BYE.

To celebrate the impending departure of this super icky year I’m going to count down the four most cringe worthy, oh no she didn’t, are you kidding me – Dear Snarky letters of 2020.

Coming in at number 4 is Toilet Vacay Drama. I picked this letter not because it was outrageous but because it got a ton of comments on social media. Which if you think about it makes sense since this was the year we were all a little preoccupied with all things toilet related. (I’m talking to you toilet paper hoarders.)

The letter writer was upset because her sister wanted her to split an insurance deductible of $500. What happened is the letter writer totally ignored the instructions regarding a toilet while staying at her sister’s lake house FOR FREE and this resulted in the vacation home experiencing a flood.

I told the letter writer to pay her sister the money post haste and beg for forgiveness since her actions caused extensive damage. When I checked back in to see if this woman had taken my advice I got two words emailed back to me. I’ll let you guess what they were.

Third on the most outrageous list is the COVID Wedding Refund letter. A mom reached out to me because her 30-year-old daughter who had recently gotten married in a small but elegant ceremony asked her parents to give her the money they had saved from not throwing her the huge wedding she had planned pre coronavirus.

The parents told their daughter a great big NO and this caused the daughter to quit speaking to her parents and blocking them on her phone. The mom was worried about how to repair the rift and I told her to do nothing because her greedy daughter would circle back around – sooner than later.

Well, well, well, it turns out I was right – again. When I touched base with the mom she told me that her daughter had recovered from hearing the word NO and was now negotiating for her parents to fund a down payment on a new home.

Hmm, is it just me or do you think I’ll be getting another letter from this woman?

And how could any of us forget this letter where a younger sister was pretending that her older sister’s baby was hers to shake down a former boyfriend for money. Yes, this letter My Sister Pretended My Baby Was Hers is #2 on the list.

When the sister and her husband found out about this horrible deception they banned the sister from their life which resulted in the sisters’ mother being very upset that the ban would ruin family holidays forever.

My response was to stay strong and keep that ban in place because the sister sounds like she’s a double D – deranged and dangerous.  I reached out to the couple to see how the holidays went  and I’m happy to announce that the couple did take my advice and did not cave into family pressure to give the sister “one more chance.”

And now for the number #1 letter of 2020 based on all the comments it received. This missive was titled I Don’t Want to Share My Wedding Dress and concerned a woman who had recently gotten married in a one-of-a-kind designer dress and now her brother’s fiancee wants to wear it for her wedding.

But wait, there’s more because dear readers there’s always more – not only does her brother’s fiancee want to wear the bridal gown but she secretly tried it on (the gown was being stored at the bride’s parents house) and then posted pictures of herself in the dress on social media.

The new bride wanted to know what to do without causing family drama.

I told her that she should say she’s saving the dress to hand down to the daughter she might have someday – yes, a little white lie to shut this down.

But my smart Snarky readers had better advice after I published the letter. They told me that this new bride needed to take her gown and hide it so it would be safe from this greedy and overreaching woman.

I passed along that advice to the letter writer and I’m pleased to report that the new bride says her gown is now safe at a friend’s house 300 miles away. Yay!

All’s well that ends well and as we enter into a new year all I have to say is keep those letters coming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Hair There’s a Feeling of Christmas

If you want someone who will always give you the brutal, unvarnished truth, usually unsolicited – have a daughter.

Last week, I was the recipient of some harsh reality tidbits from my daughter when I put on social media a photo that was taken decades ago that featured me with my hair sculpted into a Christmas tree.

This work of a festive hair art was part of a fashion article for an Austin magazine way back in the day. Now, because I consider Christmas tree hair to be, if not iconic, then at the very least radiating the spirit of the season I have shared this photo several times over the years.

When I posted this picture again last week my 20-year-old daughter expressed concern that I was perhaps looking for attention (#desperate) because what almost 60-year-old woman doesn’t want to showcase a photo from her much younger years and then read the oh so flattering comments.

I scoffed at this and then decided to show her that this was indeed not the case because I was going to go Christmas tree hair 2.0. My locks would be full on Tannenbaum – again. A 30 years and counting update.

I texted my friend and hair stylist extraordinaire Kelly Neumer and asked her if she could make my hair into a Christmas tree. Without even inquiring why, which tells you a lot about our relationship, she immediately responded, “OMG love it!”

Several days later I was sitting in a salon chair watching my hair get reimagined as a Christmas tree. The key to this updo was wrapping my hair around a Styrofoam cone which led to statements like, “I’m going to shove this star ornament into the cone but tell me if I start hitting your brain.”

The end result was a masterpiece, a tour-de-force of hair artistry. My hair had been reimagined as a 16-inch Christmas tree. I couldn’t wait to get home where I was going to recreate the magazine picture from 1986.

As I very carefully slid into my car, disaster struck. I had lowered and scooted my seat back to accommodate the hair tree, but as I was opening my sunroof just a tad for more room the tree got wedged into the top of my car  rendering me immobile from the neck up.

Fortunately, I could reach my cell phone and I called my husband to rescue me. “Help,” I said, “ I’m in my car and I literally can’t move because my Christmas tree head is jammed into the roof.”

His reply was, “Can’t you just take it off?”

“You realize the tree is my head? So, no, I can’t take it off. Sure, we have a COVID vaccine but medical science hasn’t progressed to a painless, self-administered easy on and off head detachment.”

“Okay, okay,  calm down,” he said. “I’m coming but why does stuff like this always happen to you?”

“How long have we’ve known each other?” I asked extremely annoyed. “I think it’s more than 40 years so I don’t even know why this is even a question anymore at this point. Also, you need to please hurry because my neck is beginning to hurt.”

I finally got home by laying down in the back seat of my husband’s car to keep my Christmas tree hair intact. When I walked into my house with my majestic updo my children were concerned.

My son had one word, “Why?”

My daughter said, “You didn’t.”

My husband replied, “She did and she got her Christmas tree head stuck in her car. So, if you had that square on your mama drama bingo card congratulations you’re a winner.”

I ignored all of them because I was too engrossed gazing into a mirror at the wonder that was me and my most glorious Christmas tree hair.

Happy holidays 2020!

 

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