Dear Snarky – I was invited to a virtual bridal shower that I think is a shakedown for cash

Dear Snarky,

A sorority sister sent me an Evite to a virtual wedding shower. The Evite suggests that instead of gifts we Venmo her money. The reason she gave is that she didn’t want to put a “strain on the delivery service by having people send gifts.”

She says she’s throwing herself a virtual shower because she still “wanted to celebrate her love” and we shouldn’t let the coronavirus “steal our joy.”

The kick in the ass is that this woman’s wedding isn’t until February of 2021. Who throws themselves a bridal shower almost a year before the wedding? My Evite RSVP was that I wasn’t “going” to her virtual shower because I didn’t appreciate the “shake down” for cash 13 months before her wedding.

I guess because people are bored the whole thing blew up and the bride played the boo hoo card and said that I’ve “devastated her and her character.”

Who’s right here?

Signed, Guess who got disinvited from the wedding

Dear Disinvited,

The short answer is not only are you right but you’re RIGHT IN ALL CAPS. The bride has no character to devastate because her behavior is reprehensible. Who during a pandemic where people have lost their jobs or are worried about their jobs and, oh yeah, NOT DYING, sends out a virtual shower invitation asking for cash? Never mind that the wedding is a freaking year away.

To further add to my arsenal of hostility is the wording of the Evite where the bride acts like she’s doing the Lord’s work by pointing out the cash is good because she doesn’t want to “put a strain on the delivery service.” Yeah, right. Cue the world’s largest eye roll. Cash is good because she’s a greedy witch.

As for the whole “steal our joy” B.S. – by “steal our joy” does she mean let’s use a worldwide health crisis to make some money?

Consider yourself lucky to be disinvited. This bride sounds she’s riding shotgun on the Hot Mess Express. Trust me on this – the wedding will be an epic train wreck.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉





Hand Wringing About Hand Washing

The coronavirus has taught me a lot of things. For example, who knew that after spending five plus decades on this planet I really didn’t know how to wash my hands. I always considered myself an exemplary hand washing. But come to find out I was, at best, lackluster.

My problem area it seems was in the length of my hand washing. I was a soap and go girl. A hand washing sprinter if you will when apparently I needed to be a marathon runner in the hand hygiene event.

I‘m estimating I spent 10 seconds at the sink. Two seconds for soap application, six seconds for the scrub-a-dub-dub of it all and another two seconds for the drying sequence. I was shocked to discover that I should have been doubling my sink time.

My hand washing failure so disturbed me that I felt compelled to do some personal hygiene math. If you take the average amount of times a day a person washes their hands and combine that with my years on earth I have washed my hands incorrectly more than 150,000 times.

The shame is real my friends.

I furthered grossed myself out with the realization my now 20 second washed hands can’t stay off my face. Like, I literally can’t stop touching my face. I blame this on the fact that I’m also a hand talker.

Yes, I’m one of those people who uses their hands a lot while talking and one of the characteristics of being a hand talker is that you’re also a serial face toucher.

I certainly knew I was a hand talker because it’s a genetic trait. There’s not one person I’m related to who doesn’t love the added conversation oomph of using their hands to further their communicative ability.

A conversation without using your hands is like toast without butter – totally lacking in any real flavor satisfaction. Unfortunately, those hands also like landing on the face.

Yesterday I counted myself touching my face 13 times in less than 30 minutes and this was when I was earnestly trying to not touch my face. Never mind that I was home alone and the only person I was talking to was myself.

Another lesson that has become apparent is one that thankfully is not about my personal failings but instead is a shout out to my Grandma Stella. Because of this woman’s greatness I was a bleach warrior before it was mandatory.

Yes, while everyone was scrambling to buy disinfectants I had three gallons of bleach in my laundry room because I heart bleach. I even have “bleach clothes” that I wear when doing housework because as any good bleach aficionado will tell you things aren’t clean unless they’re bleach clean.

This I learned from Grandma Stella who should go down in history as the world’s most compulsive cleaner. As a young child I would follow her from room-to-room as she would use bleach and a toothbrush to clean every surface of her home.

This wonderful woman taught me the power of Clorox and thanks to her I never fell prey for all those smell good cleaners that were low on sodium hypochlorite and high on essential oils.

Hmm, based on this memory maybe that hygiene math I did earlier is wrong. Because if I’ve had my hands basted in bleach while I‘ve done thousands upon thousands hours of housework this means that my hands have been a lot cleaner than I’ve thought.

Yes, let’s go with that. Now I feel a lot better which is a good thing because I just touched my face – again.

Dear Snarky – Coronavirus = Family Fury

*Almost all of the letters I’ve gotten the past several days have, in some way, been about the coronavirus. So, because of this strange time we’re living in I decided to answer a couple of letters this week. Please note these letters have been edited for length and language. 

Dear Snarky,

 I have informed my family that I will not be attending my cousin’s destination wedding over Memorial Day weekend because of Covid-19. This made my aunt lose it and now even my own mother is telling me I’m overreacting because she is sure it will all be over with by May.

But, I don’t want to take any chances and to be honest I’m not really that close to my cousin. She’s always been a bit of jerk. Please give me some courage to stand up to my family.

 Signed, Not Feeling Like a Wedding

Dear Not Feeling,

I think with everything that is happening in the world right now you have every right to make a decision that is tempered with caution and not feel badly about it. Also by giving the bride’s family two months notice it’s not like you’re bailing at the last minute.

I would stay strong and stick by your decision. But remember that the bride and her mom are probably freaking out and worried about possibly having to cancel the wedding, so I suggest treating them with kindness as you stand by your decision.

Dear Snarky,

 My sister’s super shady husband is hoarding Clorox wipes and Lysol. It’s disgusting. He’s the loser you see cleaning off all the shelves at Walmart. I took a picture of the bedroom in his home where he’s stockpiling and I want to post it on social media and shame him. Can you please talk me out of this because I’m this close to letting loose the internet on him?

 Signed, Let’s do This

Dear Lets,

You 100 percent know you can’t do this because it will hurt your sister. The Internet is mean and dangerous and as much as you hate your brothers-in-law’s lack of moral character and concern for public health you can’t unleash the fury of the Internet on her or any children they may have. Trust me when I tell you it will not end well for anyone.

Why don’t you instead start secretly taking some of his stash and donate it to a charity. You got in the room to take a picture so I’m thinking you probably would have the time to take some of the products and try to do some good with them as you wait for karma to kick in.

You could also reach out to law enforcement and see if they would have a come to Jesus talk with your brother-in-law about how his hoarding is impacting public health. If he starts selling any of this stash and price gouging that is against the law and he could be charged under the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

 Dear Snarky,

 We just cancelled our family reunion spring break trip because of the coronavirus and now it looks like some relatives are trying to stick me with the hotel bill. I made the hotel reservations with my credit card back in October and then when everyone was going to check in they would use their own credit card for their rooms.

The problem is when I went to cancel the rooms the hotel hit us with a sizeable cancellation fee that was charged to my card.

 I sent an email to everyone telling them what their room cancellation fee are and now three family members are saying they don’t have to pay me back because I made the room reservations so it’s “on me.”

 I am livid. Any suggestions how I can get my money?

 Signed, Unbelievable

Dear Unbelievable,

Ah family, what a joy. My suggestion is to enlist the other relatives that have paid you to help you harass, cajole, whatever these dead beats to pay up. Their behavior is totally unacceptable and sadly it will harm the dynamics of the family moving forward because nothing ruins family relationships like disagreements over money.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉

The “Barrister of the Air”

I love traveling for all the obvious reasons and for the fact that it never disappoints in giving me something to write about. For example, as soon as I got on a plane bound for D.C. last month it only took 30 minutes for me to have a “there’s a blog” moment.

The plane we had recently boarded had yet to leave the tarmac due to a “maintenance issue.” Now, we knew about this issue before the boarding sequence began. When we got on the plane I assumed, I’m guessing along with the rest of the passengers, that whatever the problem was it had been taken care of.

As so often happens in my life, I was wrong. Once we had all been herded on the plane and buckled in there was an announcement that the aforementioned maintenance issue was still being worked on. Hence, there was going to be a “departure delay.”

This didn’t even elicit a sigh from me because if there’s one thing getting older teaches you it’s prepare for life’s inevitable holding patterns. This meant that I had two books with me that didn’t depend on any sort of battery and thus I could entertain myself for at least six hours. I also had a “sharing” size package of peanut M&M’s so I was good to go in the sustenance department for quite some time.

I settled in and started reading. After about 15 minutes of being on a plane that was still grounded some passengers began to grumble. The number one grip was, “Why didn’t the airline wait to put us on the plane until the problem was fixed?”

That’s a solid compliant. But, I’m going to assume that they wanted everyone in their seats so the plane could take off as soon as it was good to go without the inevitable time suck of the passenger loading dance and shoving my carry-on into the overhead bin waltz.

Twenty minutes into still being tarmac tethered things started getting more heated. This was led by one man who by this time I was calling the “Barrister of the Air.” He was very vocal and prided himself on knowing his passenger rights, primarily that he was “emphatically due a beverage.”

All I could think about was how would this guy act in a real crisis if he was losing his mind over not having drink service after less than 30 minutes on a plane. This made me ponder that perhaps this cry baby should not be seated in the emergency exit row. It’s obvious he couldn’t handle the pressure of opening the exit door or assisting in a plane evacuation. Besides, I’m sure he would refuse to open the door until he got at the very least a Sprite.

I desperately wanted to say something to this know it all because while he was obviously in love with the sound of his own voice no one else was. In fact, I can’t imagine any scenario where I would be appreciative of another human orating a series of opinions while sequestered in a steel tube. At the very least he should tweet his outrage and spare the rest of us his bluster.

But, I knew that me speaking up wouldn’t end well so I shoved peanut M&M’s in my mouth to keep quiet. Finally, we took off. I silently rejoiced. This was premature.

When we were 15 minutes into the flight the “Barrister of the Air” started up again. This time it was about his “inalienable rights to recline his seat.” The fool didn’t know the emergency exit row seat didn’t recline. I decided this time to not put a M&M in the mouth and with great joy shared this information with him.

It made my flight. 

I’m the Real Cookie Monster

True confession time here. I’ve been in a long-term relationship with Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies for more than forty years. As I’m writing this I’ve got a shiny foil sleeve of Thin Mints on my desk that I’m slowly savoring. The crunch of the wafer cookie loaded with minty goodness and covered in a yummy chocolate coating is snacking nirvana.

My goal right now is to not eat the entire sleeve but I’m afraid I’m five cookies away from that not happening. The pull of the Thin Mint is just that mighty. It’s my siren song.

This weakness for Thin Mints started when I was child and selling Girl Scout cookies for the first time. At our troop meeting the leader had the awesome suggestion that to be better at selling we needed to taste all the cookies.

Needless to say, I was all in and with extreme pleasure devoured Lemon Crème, Peanut Butter Patties, and Savannahs as fast as a I could. Then a defining moment happened in my life. The Girl Scout leader asked me I wanted to try a Thin Mint.

I picked up the chocolate cookie that at first glance is unassuming. There’s no crème filling, no peanut butter, coconut or chocolate chips peeking out. It’s just a rather smallish cookie with a dull chocolaty finish. But, oh my, when I took my first bite I was hooked. My love affair had begun.

When I hit the streets to sell cookies, by knocking on the doors of complete strangers, by myself, with no parent or older sibling standing guard on the sidewalk because this was life in the 70s, I was preaching the Thin Mint gospel.

If someone didn’t order a box I would urge them to dedicate another dollar (the amount of box of Girl Scout cookies cost in 1974) to the wonder that is the Thin Mint. My sales pitch was so powerful that I sold the most boxes of Thin Mints in my entire Girl Scout Council.

The next year the Girl Scout cookie sale was one of sheer joy. My mother was the cookie mom. This meant all the boxes of Girl Scout cookies for several troops were sent to our house. Our living room was piled high with cases of cookie goodness.

This turned out to be a bit of a problem for me and was perhaps when a fondness for the cookie took an ugly turn to addiction. I covertly opened up a case of Thin Mint cookies, took the boxes to my room, hid them and then at night I would secretly eat Thin Mint after Thin Mint.

As you have probably guessed this did not turn out well. Most especially when my mother discovered the escapade of sheer gluttony I had embarked on.

One would think this shameful episode would have been the wake-up call I needed to stop with my Thin Mint dependency. But no, here I am decades later with six boxes of Thin Mints hidden in my laundry room and three sleeves of cookies in my freezer concealed under a large bag of frozen Tortellini just to make sure no one in my family can find them and, gasp, eat my secret stash.

I wish I could give up the cookie, but I just took another bite of a Thin Mint and I can in all honesty say I don’t see that ever happening. But being a Thin Mint optimist, I prefer to look on the bright side – that my cookie addiction is helping fund the Girl Scouts and that I only buy Thin Mints once a year.

I’ll celebrate that by eating another cookie.







Dear Snarky – Overheated at the Office

Dear Snarky,

 I work with a woman who is temperature control freak. She complains that she is always freezing. It could be the middle of August and she would say she was “sooo cold.” Because of her whining louder than anyone else our office thermostat is set so high the rest of us are sweating buckets.

 This annoys me for a lot of reasons but none more than the fact that I’ve seen this woman away from work dressed in shorts in February. For example, a couple of weeks ago it was 38 degrees out and while I was at Target I saw this women in shorts and a T-shirt.

 This really made me mad, so I shot a video of her walking outside in the Target parking lot in summer clothes. The next week I saw her at the soccer fields also in shorts when it was below 45 degrees, so I took a video of that. I sent both videos to my co-workers with the question – 40 degrees in shorts so why is the office so hot?

 The whole thing blew up in my face because the woman showed it to the owner of the company and now I’m in trouble for “stalking her.”

 How do I explain I was just trying to get the office thermostat off of 80 degrees?

 Signed, Hot and bothered

Dear Hot,

 Temperature wars at the office are definitely a thing. So, I can understand you being miserable. I too, would have a problem working in an 80-degree office. But just because you’re dripping sweat didn’t make it cool for you to take videos of this woman.

 This is totally my personal opinion, and I know some people will disagree, but I don’t like people videoing other humans without their permission. It’s one thing to have some random strangers in the background while you tape your kids at a birthday party but to make a co-worker the focus of a video without asking is just wrong. And then to send the video to co-workers – again not cool.

 You messed up. I get it, this “always cold co-worker” was wearing shorts outside when the temperature was in the 40’s and you’re thinking WTH? But you crossed a line when you took videos of her. You should have taken your temperature concerns to management instead of becoming an amateur film maker. Admit it –  what you did was immature.

 I would apologize profusely and offer to buy this woman a state-of-the-art space heater for her desk. Yes, this woman is wrong for holding everyone in the office hostage to her temperature needs and yes it’s compounded by the fact when she’s not at work she’s outside in shorts in February. But by taking the videos and sharing them with co-workers you made yourself the problem.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉


Dear Snarky My Life Coach Embarrassed Me

Dear Snarky,

I need your help to get someone banned from their job. I have been seeing a life coach for several months. I really liked this woman and I found her advice helpful. Our relationship after a couple of sessions was really less life coaching and more like two girlfriends talking over coffee except I was paying her 50 bucks an hour.

A couple of days ago I was at my son’s middle school basketball game and he got called for a foul. When this happened, a woman stood up on the bleachers and shouted at me, “Maybe you need to add teaching your son to play basketball to your personal goal list!”

The woman screaming at me was my life coach. It turns out her son was on the opposing team and he was the kid who my son got called for fouling. I didn’t notice that she was at the game because she was above me in the bleachers. When I looked up and saw that she was the person yelling at me I almost cried. It was so embarrassing.

I can’t believe this happened and that this woman was so unprofessional. I think other people need to be warned about. Isn’t what I tell her supposed to stay confidential? I would think she could lose her accreditation over this.

What steps do you suggest I take?

Signed, Disappointed and embarrassed

Dear Disappointed,

I hate to be the bearer of more disappointing news because I know you feel like your trust has been 100 percent violated BUT I don’t think there’s much you can do to this loser of a life coach. It’s currently an unregulated industry. You’re not required to have any certification to be life coach. In fact, I could decide to be a life coach right now. Hmm, I’m kind of liking that idea. . . Sorry, I got distracted now back to you.

What you can do is post a bad Google or Yelp review and do a vigorous word -of-mouth campaign that this life coach is less than awesome. The most important thing you need to do is move on. If writing this life coach, a “you’re horrible” letter helps you do this then by all means start typing.

And here’s another fun fact from a non-life coach – you don’t need to waste any more time marinating in what happened at the basketball game. Wallowing in this episode is taking time away from getting your life in order and/or living more fully which, is what, I’m guessing, you were seeing a life coach about.

I also don’t think this should stop you from having a life coach. You did say you found it helpful. I know some people who are life coaches and they have excellent reputations. I would suggest doing more research and asking people who you respect for life coach recommendations if you decide to venture in this direction again.

Until then, there’s always me, Dear Snarky.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉







Sprinkling Our Outrage

The human brain is fascinating. It lets us conveniently forget unsettling facts and allows us to process information in a way that shields us from thinking too deeply or even logically. My current deep thoughts about brain science are brought on by the outrage over the Super Bowl halftime show. I know totally old news, right?

But is it? Because I think it’s a case study in how people chose to get all riled up about the little things instead of saving their fury for bigger issues.

I must confess that I didn’t even see the halftime show. But after all the “clutching my pearls” horror about J. Lo and Shakira’s 12 minutes on stage flooding my social media newsfeeds I went back and watched it.

My fundamental takeaway as a 50 something woman viewing the performance is that Jennifer Lopez at 50 is now my spirit animal. Just wow.

That said, I can understand how some people, people who have never experienced a swimming pool or been on the Internet in the past 20 years might have been dismayed to see women exposing more than their clavicles. For the rest of humanity who sees more skin revealed at their local Walmart I just didn’t get all the “world is coming to an end” verbal ragers on social media.

It boggles my  mind, like really astounds me, that with all the horrific and frightening things happening right now why would any of us focus this much energy and emotion on a Super Bowl halftime show that lasted 720 seconds?

My theory is because it’s easy. It’s outrage for the lazy who want to bask in the attention from making a statement that has no real impact on anyone’s lives. It also makes me think of sprinkles. Sprinkles on cupcakes to be exact.

Years ago, my children attended an elementary school that banned sprinkles on cupcakes. The reasoning was that during school parties the cavalcade of sprinkle enriched treats that were brought in created a mess.

I totally understood the ban because sprinkles, much like Christmas tree tinsel, is the gift that keeps on giving. You think you’ve got it all cleaned up but weeks later you’re still finding tinsel or in this case sprinkles.

The backlash from the sprinkle ban was intense. There was even a “Save the Sprinkles” petition. Meanwhile, the state legislature was annihilating the school funding budget which was already gutted. Yet, this issue that had a real and lasting impact of education didn’t even garner half the attention the sprinkle ban did.

It’s because being pro sprinkles was so much easier than doing any work that was focused on advocating for education funding. Sprinkles are colorful, fun, easy. A grassroots effort to fight the legislature not so much.

Never mind that our kids could survive and even, fingers crossed, thrive in a sprinkle free learning environment. Something you couldn’t say about schools without art education and increased class sizes.

The sprinkle protest much like the recent halftime show fury quickly died down and was replaced with more interchangeable outrage over things that have zero impact on our lives but yet bring some form of, dare I say, enjoyment over getting all worked up about.

It makes me wonder what we could accomplish if we retrained our brains to think more deeply and instead of reacting over the trivial focused our attention on issues that have a real impact on our lives, our future, our humanity.

But I know that sounds like a whole lot less fun and and requires a whole lot more effort than going off on two middle-aged women dancing and singing during halftime at a football game.

Dear Snarky – I Tried to Give a New Mom at School the Inside Scoop and it Backfired

Dear Snarky,

A new family has moved into our neighborhood. One of the kid’s is in my daughter’s class. I met her mother and she seemed really nice. The problem is there’s a mom at the school who tricks  other parents into watching her kids.

It goes something like this: The mom suggests you start a carpool. You agree. Then before you know it you’re doing all the driving and the mom starts sending you texts asking if her kids can go home with you and she’ll pick them later and by later it turns out she means like way after dinner.

I saw this mom being really nice to the new mom and I knew what was up. She was going to start using the new mom as her latest free childcare.

I, being a really nice person, decided to warn the new mom about this woman. The new mom then told the other mom about what I said and now they’re both saying means things about me.

I’m really angry because all I did was give the new mom a head’s up, which by the way I wish someone had done for me, and now I’m the horrible mom. It’s really pissing me off.

Is there any way I can turn this around? It’s getting to me. I’m not going to lie the Valentine’s Day party at school was rough.

Signed, Just trying to help out

Dear Just Trying,

File this under no good deed goes unpunished and mind your own business. The problem here is that while trying to do what you thought was a kind thing (and I’m hoping that was your motivation) with your heads up to the new mom you entered into unknown territory.

 And by that, I mean you didn’t know the new mom well enough to judge how she would handle what you told her. Some mothers, for example – me, would be most appreciative of being told a little inside info. Other mothers are going to think that what you shared was mean spirited and perhaps gossipy. And there’s the third unknown that maybe this new mom is a pot stirrer and she’s going make her mark by really living large on what you shared.

 I think we all know which way this turned out. That said, there is really nothing you can do. I would ignore it. Keep your mouth firmly shut. To say anything else is just going to extend the life span of this drama.

I enthusiastically suggest in the future you need to be a little more circumspect about what you share with strangers and yes, this woman was essentially a stranger. What did you really know about her besides the fact that your kids attend the same school?

 Also, you can take some satisfaction from knowing that the new mom will most likely become the de facto childcare are provider for this woman. When this happens fight the urge to say, “I told you so.”

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at 😉


Pet Therapy For Troubled Times

I recently thought I might need some pet therapy. My dogs and cat are just fine, thank you and I don’t need a licensed emotional support animal because according to the quickest of Google searches I can get a “certified support canine” I.D. card for both my dogs for a mere $29.99.

Granted the I.D. cards look about as official as a fake I.D. a college student would attempt to use to get into a bar but still to the less than discerning eye the canine support I.D. might fool you and bonus having you oohing and aahing.

This is because the I.D. has a picture of your dog on it. Thus, rendering it adorable and then there’s the “full access required by law” red, white and blue banner on the card that does give it a dash of official government document gravitas.

But faux support canine I.D.’s aside my pet therapy issue stems from the fact that I think I’ve been enjoying my dogs company far too much. I realize being an almost empty nester (and by “almost” I mean I don’t consider my nest empty until my children have vacated my home and my wallet) I could be projecting the affection I used to lavish on my children onto my pets.

But I fear my affliction goes way beyond that. If given the option of going out or staying home with my dogs, it’s almost always advantage dogs.

I was really worried about myself until I did some research and came up with a theory totally not supported by voluminous scientific data because, well, let’s just say that sounded like a lot of work. My non peer reviewed hypothesis is that the reason more people are favoring animal companionship over human interaction is due to the hostile political climate. (Note: I am referencing all politics – no matter what party you may align yourself with.)

To support this statement, I tracked the increase in pet ownership since the divisive 2016 presidential election. This also turned out to be divisive because the American Pet Products Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association stats don’t match up – at all.

I’m clueless about what the methodology was for each organizations numbers but I think maybe one group must have gone full Dr. Doolittle and talked to the pets and the other group polled humans. This madness forced me to use math (my least favorite thing) and average the numbers that showed pet ownership has, indeed, increased every year since 2016.

I then conducted my own survey and interviewed friends and acquaintances about their social interaction choices. The question I asked was if given a choice would they rather go out or stay home with their pets?

Pets was the top choice more than 70 percent of the time. And because I consider myself a social scientist with about the same level of authenticity as those “certified support canine” I.D.’s I organized a focus group.

The group backed up my hypothesis. The most overwhelming sentiment was that people would rather enjoy the company of their pet than venture out to a social gathering where someone will invariably turn the topic to politics. One woman shared that after attending a black-tie event where a man she didn’t know told her that her political beliefs were “based on false memories” she pretty much swore off voluntarily leaving her house or her dogs.

All my research made me feel not only much better but superior even. Why would anyone choose to leave the unconditional love of their pets  to venture out into the politically charged conversational chaos if you didn’t have too? Maybe by staying home with my canine companions I’m living my best life in an angry world.