A Dear Snarky Holiday Buffet

So many Christmas conundrums. So little time. In an attempt to help spread some holiday happiness I bring you a trio of letters. Let’s hope my answers deliver a soupçon of seasonal sanity to your family gatherings.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 10.12.49 AMDear Snarky,

My mother-in-law spoils my children and goes overboard with presents. I’ve told her to stop but she won’t listen to me. I don’t think I can handle another Christmas where she’s trying to one up my husband and I in the gift department.

 Signed, Present Overkill

Dear Overkill,

Calm yourself and count your blessings. It’s a grandmother’s prerogative and great joy to spoil her grandchildren. If your kids are drowning in presents, I suggest discreetly donating some of the goodies to charity after the first of the year. P.S. Quit looking so hard for something to get your nose out of joint about. There are parents out there that would be THRILLED for their kids’ grandparents to so much as send a card.

Dear Snarky,

My weirdo and single sister actually expects us to buy a gift for her dog. She says her dog is like her child and since she buys presents for my four kids all the time, we can get her dog something.

Signed, No Way

Dear No Way,

Umm, no way, I say, yes way. Drag yourself off of your high horse and go get your sister’s dog a $10 chew toy and get over yourself. Also, being a pet lover and a single doesn’t make you a weirdo. It probably makes you very happy.

Dear Snarky,

My in-laws make the whole family go to Midnight Mass and I think it ruins Christmas morning for my kids (ages 8 and 10) because they’re so tired the next day. How do I get this tradition to stop?

 Signed, Not a Fan 

Dear Not a Fan,

Grab some caffeine and accept this hard truth. Midnight Mass isn’t going anywhere, and you know where you’re going – uh huh, that’s right to Midnight Mass. So, suck it up, have your kids take a nap and deal with traditions that are older than you are.

*I hope your holidays are drama free BUT if they’re not you know where to send your letter. snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com 😉

I Finally Got a Clue

clue-boardMy family loves board games. Well, that’s actually a lie. The truth is my daughter loves board games and forces us to play them with her. This is why on Thanksgiving while feeling very uncomfortably full or as my Southern relatives like to call it “tick stuffed” (yeah, I know – yuck) we all settled in for a not so riveting game of Clue.

Clue was bad when I played it with my kids when they were in elementary school and they fought over who was going to be Colonel Mustard. But playing it with four adults is mind numbing. The game has zero excitement. It’s not like Scrabble where you get all jazzed when you get a Q and a U, and that triple word score is wide opening and waiting or even Life with the cool spinner thing or Monopoly where you’ve got money and houses to keep you awake. Heck, I’ll even take the game Are You Smarter Than a 5thGrader? over Clue which, spoiler alert, apparently, I am not.

My son, for years, has managed to avoid playing board games, but this Thanksgiving even he fell prey to his just home from college sister’s pleas. As we settled in to play, I was already miffed because

I got stuck with the maid token – Mrs. White. I already felt like a servant after cooking a Thanksgiving dinner and then cleaning the kitchen with some very lackluster family assistance. I wanted to be the erudite Professor Plum but someone (cough, cough, my husband) got to him first and wouldn’t relinquish him.

My mood didn’t approve when I kept on getting lame rolls of the dice and for some reason the game dragged on longer than usual. In what universe does it take more than 15 minutes to play Clue? Usually it’s seven minutes max before it’s Miss Scarlett in the conservatory with the rope.  When I asked why the game was never-ending the response, I received rattled my entire world.

It seems for my entire life I had not only been playing Clue wrong but had also taught my children a half-baked or “sketchy way” to play the game. My son, after 22 years of being on this earth, had actually read the directions to the game and for the first time in my life I was playing it the correct way.

He basically had me at “read the directions.” Who reads the directions to Clue? The game is self-explanatory. You roll the dice, mark some stuff down and then make a guess. Who needs directions for that? Well, apparently, I did.

But, was it really my fault we had been playing it wrong for years? My own mother had taught me how to play Clue. How could she be wrong? Hmm, could that be the issue? Did my mom teach me an abbreviated version to get the game over with faster so she could continue on her way with all her other mom duties?

Within seconds I immediately knew that’s how it must have went down. What mom in 1973 had time to play a long-winded game of Clue. Heck, the microwave hadn’t even been invented yet. I’m sure she jettisoned the directions for a mom version that would get her in and out of the game in under 10 minutes. I had then, unknowingly, carried on the tradition.

Instead of feeling betrayed I was bowing to my mother’s genius and wondering what other 70’s parenting hacks she had employed. I do remember that Monopoly went by rather fast and sometimes she thought there was a gas leak in the house and for our safety she told us it was best everyone played outside for h-o-u-r-s.

Oh, well-played, mom. Well played.

Why Am I So Impatient? (Deep thoughts while waiting in line.)

 

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You would think with everyone having a phone to occupy their brains that we, as a society, would have gotten better about waiting in line. There are emails to answer and the universe of social media to peruse. But for some reason it seems like we’ve gotten even more impatient. And by we, I mean, me.

I have become so impatient that the other day at the Nordstrom Rack I had to do some soothing inhales and exhales. What has happened to me that I think I’m too good to wait in line? Correction: Too good to wait in some lines because I’m still processing why in July of 2014 in a Florida heat wave (Wait, it that an oxymoron?) with a humidity level that was so miserable I felt like I was swathed in wet towels that had been soaked in Dollar Tree mayonnaise I stood in a line at Disneyworld for 93 minutes to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which ended up being the lamest ride in the history of theme parks).

So, why was I okay enduring the misery of standing in that line and yet I was having a mental health crisis at the Rack? Needing human interaction and because I love chatting up strangers, I asked a woman standing next to me in line that very question. To her credit she didn’t look scared about my sudden and unasked for true confession wrapped in an inquiry and gave it some serious thought.

Her three-word response was “self-checkout lanes.” Could that be it? Had the efficiency of checking ourselves out upped the irritable factor as we were forced to wait in line for a human to do what we’re totally capable of doing ourselves?

I will share that, at first, I wasn’t a fan of self-checkout. It seemed like another chipping away of customer service. But it didn’t take long for me to get on the self-checkout band wagon. It was so fast, and I got to bag my groceries just how I liked them. Even better no chit-chat with the checker.

It’s not like I don’t like chit-chat (see the former paragraph where I divulged my love of talking to strangers). It’s that I don’t like comments about my grocery purchases. Hello, Trader Joes and your super skinny cashier that made a sarcastic comment about me buying waffles and maple syrup at 7 pm and asking if “that’s what I’m calling dinner?” Because my answer is yes that was my dinner and it was delicious.

My new “friend” standing in line with me soon began to open up sharing that Sam’s had ruined her in regards to checkout experiences because at Sam’s you just use your phone to checkout. You don’t even stand in line. When she told me this, I got goose bumps. I was that excited.

But not so excited I wasn’t doing a mental overhaul of the Rack and it’s three open checkout stations. They used to have a separate stand for people just using credit cards but when I first walked over there the cashier told me his “devices weren’t working” which I think is code for they need to be charged. Also, why isn’t there a separate area for returns only? I was timing it and the average return was taking seven minutes or more and sadly most of the people in line were returning. Where was the love for the person buying?

That got me all riled up again requiring more deep breathing leading me to the conclusion that I was perhaps not even a self-checkout girl but worse – a dedicated on-line shopper. I’m afraid once you can buy 36 rolls of Charmin 3 ply on-line and get free next day delivery it changes you – forever.

 

 

Is It Really Christmas Without a Hallmark Holiday Movie?

Fake snow, meeting cute, and the classic two second end of movie smooch means Christmas is here and warning I’ll throw down with anyone who doesn’t agree with me.

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 Being an influencer is a huge deal right now.  You’ve got your YouTube influencers that include people with make-up tutorials that teach you how to do the “perfect face” which really bothers me because who wants to use 23 different cosmetic products and take two hours before you can leave the house? Never mind all that blending of seven different foundations. I want to live my life, not spend it seamlessly merging liquid and powder concealers and inner eye shimmer. And then there’s the fashion and foodie influencers and on and on.  All of this kind of makes me mad, because I was an influencer before it was a thing.

Case in point, I feel like I’m single handedly responsible for the current Hallmark holiday movie craze because I was a fanatical Hallmark holiday movie watcher before those movies were cool.  18 long years ago I was watching Hallmark holiday movies and enthusiastically proclaiming their greatness in the face of friends and family giving me the side eye.

But did I care? No, because “Special Delivery” staring Andy Dick (yes, comedian Andy Dick, in a sweet movie full of hope and redemption – go figure?) or “The Flight of the Reindeer” featuring the cinematic talents of Beau Bridges and Richard Thompson proving that reindeer really can fly should be celebrated by all of humanity with a box of Kleenex and a side of gingerbread.

Yes, I know for all you new converts that it’s hard to fathom that there was ever a Hallmark holiday movie made without the acting talents of Lacey Chabert or Candace Cameron Bure. But I can assure you, back in the day the movies were made without the allure of 80s and 90s TV stars. Totally mind-blowing, right? But for true hardcore Hallmark holiday aficionados this is our truth.

The whole Hallmark bandwagon started to blossom in 2011 when the networked launched their “Countdown to Christmas.” Before you could say, “Jingle Bells,” people were hooked and acting like they had discovered holiday paradise when, in fact, it had been around for a solid decade.

I can remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was at a party when two women dressed in “This is my Hallmark Christmas movie watching shirt” dared to attempt to one up me about Hallmark movies. I wasn’t having it, not one bit. One of the women, who I’m sure was a little tipsy on spiked eggnog, spouted off about how the first Hallmark holiday movie was “Matchmaker Santa.” Are. You. Kidding. Me.? Just because it starred Lacey Chabert before her, some would say, overzealous Botox injections doesn’t mean it was the first Hallmark holiday movie. I know for a fact that movie is from 2012.

I got in both of those women’s faces and let them know that they were frauds in their Hallmark shirts, nothing more than wannabes. I told them that I have been “Hallmarking” for almost two decades.

I was there when the sets were tacky, and it looked like they were filming all their interiors in an abandon Sears. I was there when the Christmas décor looked like Hobby Lobby rejects purloined from the 75 percent off bin and all the fake snow had a hint of beige like it was a cast-off from a Christmas carnival. I was a loyal fan when all the actors looked like they did their own hair and makeup. How can anyone forget the 2004 “Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus” when poor Crystal Bernard’s hair looked like she was wearing a wig made from the straw in Rudolph’s stall. If ever there was a cry for a deep conditioning treatment and a stylist who knew their way around a round brush this was it.

To say I unloaded my Christmas bucket would be an understatement. But it had to be done. Hallmark holiday movies, most shot in the summer and made in about a month, starring a 42-year-old Candance Cameron Bure (aka Her Royal Highness of Hallmark) as a twentysomething spunky up and coming executive should be respected. They’re all future classics. 50 years from now, forget about “A Wonderful Life” because weary mothers will be watching “Snowmance” from 2017 pondering the fashion choices (Why all the flannel?)but never questioning the plot where a snowman comes to life and turns out to be, of course, the most perfect man ever.

Pass me the hot coca because I’ll drink to that all month long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Christmas “Do Not Want” List

I have no idea what I want for Christmas besides the mom trifecta of world peace, love and the eradication of disease and famine from our planet. I do thodfb611ed1d99e87277defbdda9836e41--birthday-cards-happy-birthdayugh know what I don’t want and what I will be ticked off if I get.

It’s not that I’m picky. In fact, I consider myself a low maintenance human (currently open to debate by my family) who has no need for anything flashy. No jewels or designer apparel appeals to me. The only exception I’ll make is designer cleaning appliances. Because without a doubt, one of my best Christmas presents in the history of me breathing has been my Dyson with some super over-the-top pet hair attachments.

It’s my chore bestie and I can’t imagine my life without it. Go ahead and make fun, but I’m telling you my vacuum has life changing properties. You don’t know true joy until you see its suction prowess in regard to kitty litter eradication.

In terms of what I don’t want, well I’ll stick to my top three staring with one of those DNA family tree deep probes. I just read that these kits are predicted to be one of the top gifts for Christmas. Ugh.

I get people wanting to find out that they’re half Scottish, so they can use that as an excuse to stuff themselves with Walker’s shortbread cookies to make up for lost time, but what I don’t want during the holiday is discovering I have a gene pool floating with every worst-case medical diagnosis known to 21stcentury medicine. And as a proud hypochondriac all that information would be like throwing lighter fluid on my already extensive list of ailments, I’m positive I have.

Another gift that I don’t want, or need is new freaking phone. I’ve tried in earnest to explain to my children that perhaps one shouldn’t get a new phone until the one you have is worn out or no longer compatible with current technology. I don’t think my iPhone 6 is obsolete. It’s not cracked, still holds a charge and I can text with wild abandon so why do I need an iPhone 10 that will up by cell phone bill by at least $25 a month? I’m still miffed I was shamed into parting with by precious iPhone 3 G.

But what will really trigger a conniption fit is if I, or anyone that resides in my home, gets another Alexa, Echo or other subversive spying device. I hate those things and know they’re ground zero for world-wide robot domination.

The other night I was home all alone, my husband was a thousand miles away in Washington D.C., and as I’m drifting off to sleep, I hear what sounds like a demented serial killer singing “Good night, Sherry” over and over.

At first, I thought maybe I was hearing something or one of my dogs had mastered the English language. But then I heard it again and again. I was now knocking at the Defcon 1 door of hysteria. My fist through was to flee the premises. But where was the killer? Was he or she waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs? I called my son for help who informed that was “probably Dad because he’s hooked up all the Echoes, so he can communicate remotely from his phone.” Are. You. Kidding. Me?

Yes, it was indeed my husband. Who, “didn’t mean to scare me” and “just wanted to say goodnight.” Whatever, because you not what I said goodnight and goodbye to – ever single Alexa/Echo in our home. Those spying robot overloads will no longer rule my domain and I’ll consider that the perfect Christmas present.

The Smoking Thanksgiving

Change is smokingturkehard especially when it comes to trying to “update” your holiday traditions.

Back in early October I made a momentous announcement to my family and like any announcement that would shake my husband and children to their very core I did it over Snapchat and text. Snapchat so they would actually read it, and text to date and time stamp it in case I ever needed to do the, “I told you this back in (insert date and time here) and here’s the text to prove it.”

As I feared my family took the “big news” like huge, whining babies. When I hit send on my proclamation that Thanksgiving would be “a-changing” there was a communal freak out. I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t have included my four-point plan for a Thanksgiving refresh with bullet points in the text, but I was proud of all the work I had put into it. Not to brag, but it was PowerPoint worthy.

The problem, of course, isn’t me. It’s my family. They are very averse to any change regarding the holidays. Good Lord, they still bring up, at least a couple of times a year, the horror of the Thanksgiving of 2005. The heinous act that was committed 13 years ago was that we went out to eat for Thanksgiving (first and last time) and it was – brace yourself for this unspeakable act – a buffet – deep breath – at a casino.

In my defense, we had just moved to Reno, Nevada and all the best restaurants were in the casinos and they advertised really scrumptious Thanksgiving menus. How was I, a recent transplant to the gambling state, to know that we would be seated in the overflow dining area situated amongst a valley of hundreds of slot machines.

This resulted in us being serenaded with the nonstop ping, ping, ping of the one arm bandits while being basted in cigarette smoke from the ardent casino patrons. The smoking was so ferocious that a nicotine cloud seemed to be lingering over the dessert section. The pumpkin pie tasted like it has been infused with tobacco juice.

I will confess it wasn’t very Martha Stewart-esque. It was more like how I would imagine Thanksgiving would be in hell, but I’m guessing there wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving in hell because, you know, it’s hell. What would you even be thankful for?

This one-time misstep has resulted in my family being very anti any changes in their holiday ritual. A couple of years ago I wanted to eat Thanksgiving at 6 pm instead of our customary 2 p.m. and you would have thought I told my kids I didn’t love them anymore. The angst was real.

This year, though, I thought things might be different. After all, everyone is a whole lot older and should be able to roll with change better. I was, of course, wrong. And here’s the kicker; all I wanted to do was elevate our dining ritual. It was just a couple of tweaks like replacing the sweet potato casserole that’s more mini marshmallows than actual vegetable with a yam soufflé, and RIP’ing the canned cranberry because nothing says gracious entertaining like a burgundy tube of goo tatted with rings from the can it was birthed out of.

I also wanted to buy the pies. This was the one that really elicited a protest. Apparently I’m living with such devout food connoisseurs that a store-bought pie is verboten. It’s hard to explain that level of devotion to “everything should be homemade” when you know your daughter is on a first name basis with the Taco Bell drive thru employees and got “depressed” when the nacho fries were no longer on the menu.

In the end I had no choice but to totally cave to their tyranny. In the spirit of family harmony and holiday traditions I’m keeping everything status quo. It’s basically self-preservation, because I don’t want to hear for the rest of my life how the turkey day of 2018 was the worst ever. I’ll reserve that distinction solely for the “Smoking Casino Thanksgiving.”

 

 

Dear Snarky – My Sister-in-Law is Pocketing Money Meant for Our Parents Christmas Gifts

Dear Snarky,problem

 I think my sister-in-law is stealing from the family. For the past couple of years, she has volunteered to be the person who buys my mom and dad their Christmas gift from all of us kids. There are six of us and we each chip in $200. So, that’s $1,200. The first year the gifts were good, as in they looked like we spent $1,200 on them, but then for the past two years the gifts have been really cheap. So, cheap, everyone but my brother (her husband), thinks my sister-in-law is pocketing at least half of the $1,200. Our solution last weekend was to tell her that I wanted a turn buying the gifts this Christmas but she got livid.

 So, my big mouth sister told her that we know she’s stealing. This sent my sister-in-law to mom crying about how she’s bullied by the family. Now my mom is angry at all of us and I’m kind of already over spending the holidays with anyone I’m related too.

 Is there any way we can patch this up so Christmas isn’t ruined?

 Signed, Not feeling It

Dear Not Feeling It,

To be totally honest I’m in awe that you and your siblings pony up $1,200 to spend on gifts for your parents. It makes my Bath and Body Works Scented Lotion set from my kids look really, really lame. But putting that aside I feel that the best solution would be for all the kids to start a new tradition of getting your parents individual presents. That way everyone oversees their own money and expenditures.

As for your sister-in-law, you and your siblings are going to have to apologize for accusing her of stealing. She might have been but there were a million better ways to solve that problem than just blurting it out. So, give her an apology and remember extended family relationships require finesse. Wait a minute I’ve just thought of the perfect present – family therapy – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky “Advice with an Attitude” 😉 send an email to snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com.

Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law Thought Helping Out After I Just Had a Baby Was Supposed to Be a Vacation

Dear Snarky,xmjr57fd2hwy

 I can’t believe the latest stunt my mother-in-law pulled. I just had my second baby (my first is only 18 months old) and my mother-in- law literally begged to come stay with us and help. I was hesitant because she’s not exactly grandmother of the year, but my husband said we should give his mom a chance to redeem herself. The entire two weeks she was here she did nothing except complain that she was bored and ask when were we going to “finally” do something fun. 

 Then after she left she posted on Facebook that it was the “worst vacation ever.” WTH? Who thinks offering to help your daughter-in-law after she just had a baby is going to be a vacation?

 I told my husband we are done with his mom and he thinks I’m being “postpartum overly emotional” Who’s right here?

 Signed, Not Happy

Dear Not Happy,

You know who needs to take a vacation? You, from your mother-in-law. Perhaps, she doesn’t need to be shunned for life, but you deserve the mental break from having to deal with that hot mess because anyone with a functioning brain stem knows that a “visit” to a house with a new baby and an 18-month-old is not going to be cocktails on the beach. 

Also, it sounds like your husband has some mommy issues and feels like he needs to defend her behavior – so, my condolences to you. Hopefully, as he matures into, what’s that word, oh yeah, a man he’ll wise up to his mother’s head games.

As for now, let your angry go. Your mother-in-law isn’t worth the emotional investment. You need to focus on the positives – your babies.

Oh No, She Didn’t

When a trip to Walmart results in deep thoughts about face creams and “jowl alerts.”

I am not a grandma. It’s important for mto say this because I just got an ego beat down at Walmart. Could I be a grandma? Sure. Could I be a grandmother to a 22-year-old? Yes, I mean biologically speaking, I guess I could be, but a lot of tumultuous twists and turns would have had to happen for that to take place. And for the record, Walmart should be a safe space concerning your appearance. You should be able to walk into any Walmart and as long as you’ve got on a bra you’re Miss America.

Imagine my shock when I was standing in a Walmart check-out line with some plastic hangers chatting up the woman behind me about moving kids into dorm rooms and seeing kids graduate college. You know, the whole cycle of life thing and then being asked, with a straight face if the 22-year-old “child” I had mentioned was my grandson.

This caught me so off guard I was, at first, rendered speechless. My immediate thought was, “Oh no, she didn’t.” I responded with a smile that I hoped conveyed that I thought she was mentally unbalanced for asking that question and responded with, “No, the 22-year-old is my oldest CHILD.”

This cretin, who looked to be in her late 30s, didn’t even seem embarrassed or even attempt to back pedal (and I wanted to see some first-rate backpedaling). She just shrugged her shoulders and crooned, “Oh, I would have thought grandmother.”

By this time, I was clutching my Walmart Mainstay 18 pack of plastic hangers with all my might because if I let go someone was going down. I channeled my mother, smiled back at her again and said, “Well, aren’t you sweet,” which is southern for “insert four letter word here” and then “you.”

Once I checked out I held my apparently very aged head high and did my best swagger walk out of Walmart. Unfortunately, I had hurt my knee a couple of days ago so it was more of a swagger stumble. At best, it was a Captain Hook – inspired peg leg pirate swagger. But, I still owned it. No one was going to age shame me and think I minded in the least.

When I got to my car I immediately did a thorough inspection of my face in the most unforgiving mirror known to man –   a rearview mirror on a sunny day – and concluded that perhaps it was time to do what I had been tenaciously avoiding. Yep, I had to admit that I needed to up my game and so I ventured to where no woman in the deep throes of advanced middle age wants to go – the department store makeup counter.

It’s not that I don’t like makeup or face creams. It’s just that I hate that the new sales tactic seems to be pointing out your flaws. One time I was told that I needed to be on “jowl alert.” Not just any jowl alert, mind you, but a “Defcon 2.” Ouch.

I also don’t appreciate being assaulted with dire predictions of “rapid advanced onset aging.”

Excuse me, that the only sunscreen in my childhood was Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil. No one had ever heard of SPF’s. If you had asked me what an SPF was back in the day I would have looked up from drinking a TAB while reading “Young Miss” magazine and responded with a “I dunno.”   

What happened to wooing the customer? I want to be told that I look amazing and with just a little dollop on of this and that I would be beyond stunning. Instead, I have to give myself a pep talk before I darken the Lancôme counter at Macy’s.

Hey, wait a minute. I think I’ve figured this whole “grandma” thing out. That lady at Walmart must work at a cosmetic counter. Come to think of it, she did have on a lot of eye shadow. Maybe her whole “grandma” statement was more of a sales pitch and less of an overview on my face.

That must be it and even if it’s not – that’s the story I’m going to go with.

The Brag-A-Thon

 

I think bragging could be an Olympic sport or maybe it could have its own Olympics because there’s so many different bragging disciplines. There’s everything from the well-known boisterous bragger, and then there’s the hard-core marathon bragger, plus the newest entry in the bragging universe the subtlest. I had an encounter with a subtle bragger recently and it was eye-opening and confusing.

The problem with the subtlest is, at first, you’re wondering if they’re bragging or just being a pal and imparting information you might need to know. Then you start picking up conversational cues and realize that you’re talking (Or listening because does a bragger every desire communication that features input from anyone else?) with a hard-core bragger who thinks they’re disguising their boasting.

This I have a big problem with mainly because I think the subtlest believes I’m an idiot and they’re pulling one over on me. I have more respect for the blow hard bragger who owns their obnoxiousness and lets their bluster flag fly.

I was delighted though to discover, thru trial and error, the subtlest’s Kryptonite. It’s never asking a question. This is because their bragging is disguised as informational so if you don’t ask a question, most especially a follow-up question, to their boasting it can shut them down.

I think of the subtlest as the humble bragger (which was all the rage several years ago) all grown up. The humble bragger is all about boasting under the pretense of humility. The subtlest has cast the faux humility aside and is now masking their bragging as informational.

What I don’t understand is this trend of camouflaging your bragging. Everybody brags, at least a little, and it’s okay. Being excited about an accomplishment feels good and if you’re not a perpetual bragger than I don’t think anyone minds. So, why the need to pretend that you’re above bragging while you basically brag your brains out?

I’ve thought about this and here’s what I’ve come up with. One, braggers think they’re smarter than the rest us and two, attempting to shroud your bragging lets you justify more bragging. It’s the bragging perfect storm. Plus, there are so many more forums today to unleash your bragging thanks to social media.

Back in the day bragging was a whole lot harder. I remember my mom telling me that in her prime they were only three places you could get a good brag in – at a neighborhood coffee get together, in the stands at a football game and church.

My mom called church the “holy grail” of bragging. She said after all that praying and singing most people felt like their soul was cleansed enough that it was “time to put the Good Book aside” and go the fellowship hall after Sunday service for a brag-a-thon. My mother, being a very private person, wasn’t big on bragging but she did enjoy listening to other people boost. She always said she learned something and she shared with me that “the people that bragged the most were hiding the most.”

Social media has proved that statement to be true. Today’s post of “deep, life affirming love” for having the “most amazing spouse ever” is tomorrow’s status change from “married” to “it’s complicated.”

All this bragging intrigue has prompted me to try to predict what will be the next new boasting maneuver and think I know what it is. Stealth bragging. I’ve already seen parents who “manage” their children’s social media write amazing things about themselves and then post it on their kid’s Instagram and Facebook accounts as if it has been written by their child.

I can only imagine what my mother would say about that.