C.S.I. – The Suburbs

I see dead people. O38-learning-from-watching-from-CSI-graphK, not actually dead people, but I do see serial killers, which makes me “this” close to seeing dead people.

You now may be beyond curious as to how I’m seeing serial killers and perhaps thinking to yourself, “Is she visiting maximum security prisons?” The answer to that is a firm no.

But if you’re a stranger that knocks on my door, chances are I’m getting a serial killer vibe.

In fact, last week I’m almost certain a serial killer was stalking my neighborhood and I was all over it like a SWAT team on a “I just ate two sleeves of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies in under three minutes” sugar high. (If you’re doubting if the whole two sleeves of cookies in under 180 seconds can be done. Don’t. I know on good authority it’s very, very doable.)

It all started on a brutally sunny morning where the humidity was so thick that the mere act of stepping outside made you feel like a deep-fried mozzarella stick dunked in expired chunky marinara sauce.

This is why, when my doorbell rang, I knew something was off.

The heat mandated that no one would voluntarily be outdoors and more importantly, the doorbell ring was suspect. It wasn’t the rapid ding-dong of the Fedex or UPS guys who are always in such a hurry.

No, this ring was impatient, yet leisurely, like the person on the other side of the door wants to make sure you hear the ding dongs and that they’re not leaving no matter how long it takes you to get to the door. It was an overture of evil.

So, of course, I sprinted into action and approached my front door armed with a Swiffer Wet Jet and a beagle. I felt invincible.

I had a cleaning tool that not only could whack someone in the head, but spray cleaning solution in their eyes at the same time. Add in a barking beagle who enjoys the sound of his voice, more than any Chamber of Commerce president I’ve ever met, and I was well armed and ready to rumble. My strategy was to have my dog’s barking act as a distraction while I clubbed the doorbell ringer on the head.

I slowly opened my door and was greeted by a young man who with a cursory glance of someone lacking in serial killer profiling seemed harmless. He was handsome, semi-muscular, well-dressed in pressed shorts and a polo shirt, was exceedingly clean and he wasn’t sweating, at all.

Two words for you — red flag. For those of you who haven’t spent the best years of your life watching crime procedurals, let me break it down for you why the guy at my door was a killer.

First, Mr. Doorbell was almost hairless.

He did have hair on his head and eyebrows, but the rest of his body looked like it had been bathed in Nair. This can only mean one thing. He’s shaved his extremities to cut down on leaving behind any DNA evidence.

Second, he was too clean, like you just knew there was some OCD grooming issues which is No. 4 on the serial killer checklist.

Third, his fingernails were super short, which speaks to not wanting to have a nail pierce the surgical glove you’re wearing as your dismember a middle-aged woman in XL Target capri pants.

Not being a fool, I didn’t let the man in my home, but being curious and adamant about public safety I walked him off my front porch and into the yard. Still holding my Swiffer I began to interrogate him. Mr. Doorbell was selling (wait for it) “concierge level home extermination.”

“Oh, I bet you’re mighty good at that,” I said clutching my Swiffer a little tighter. He enthusiastically shared that for the low price of $99 he could spray my home for bugs right this very minute starting in the (again wait for it) basement. To make things Ted Bundy meets Steve Jobs, Mr. Doorbell had an iPad that showed a map of my street and he was fast-talking and pointing on his iPad about which neighbors he had “already done.”

When has said “already done” the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and then I thought good God, he’s planning to literally exterminate the whole neighborhood.

So, I sprung into action. I asked to see a photo ID, pesticide license and an environmental impact study. This confused him so much he bolted from my yard. Then when I followed him down the street, while still wielding the mighty Swiffer, he hauled out of the neighborhood. I’m not ashamed to admit I high-fived myself, my dog and the Swiffer. How could I not? I had saved my hood.

 

Dear Snarky – Help Me Say No to the Back-to-School $ Shakedown

Dear Snarky,dear_snarky_logo-1

I’m going through a divorce and money is really, really tight. This has me dreading school starting because as soon as I walk through the door with my kids everyone has their hand out from the PTO to room moms asking for money for school improvements, teacher gift and classroom parties. I need your advice on how to nicely, but firmly say no without sounding pathetic or feeling embarrassed.

Signed, On A Strict Budget

Dear Budget,

You came to the right person for advice. Back in the day I bounced a $10 check to my daughter’s elementary school PTO. Totally not my fault mind you. It was an accounting error.  ;) Now back to you.

My advice is to not be afraid of no. No is not a four letter word. You can use it often and without regret. As in “No, I can’t contribute this year, but I’d be happy to volunteer in the classroom.”

Or “No thank you, I’ve already scheduled my donation to the school.” And you’re not fibbing because your donation could be chaperoning a field trip.

Don’t even feel like you have to follow your no with a “I’m sorry”.

OWN THE NO.

Your basic family needs come before extras like school parties and you have nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about. Now go out there and make it a great first day of school.

*If you have a question for – Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude – write me at http://www.snarkyinthesuburbs.com or send me a private message on my Snarky FB page.

 

 

Going Rogue On the “Love Your Spouse Challenge”

magnets-and-the-best-part-we-never-argueThere’s something about working from home that can mess with your mind. For sure not going into an office is great. You can work in your pajamas and basically eschew any and all grooming. (Except I have a friend who works from home who actually gets dressed in office attire including blow drying her hair and putting on makeup so she feels more “professional.” Never mind the waste of time. It’s a huge waste of cosmetics and hair care product.) Then there’s the glory of throwing a load of laundry in whenever you feel like it and I’ve even unloaded the dishwasher while in the middle of a conference call, not easy, but doable.

These, of course, are all wonderful things that surpass being in an office setting. But, I’m telling you all that alone time can make you weird and cause you to do things you probably wouldn’t attempt if you had a couple of co-workers to shoot the breeze with.

For example, last week I went total squirrel. Part of my morning pre work ritual is to waste large quantities of time on social media and reading Bravo Real Housewives blogs (all except Real Housewives of New Jersey. I could never get into that one and I’ve lived in Jersey). Feel free to judge me all you want, but I consider The Real Housewives a sociological study of human interaction in 21st Century America and a bellwether of the upcoming presidential election. Okay, yeah you’re right I read it because I’m intellectually stunted.

All was well in my little work from home world until I noticed the latest Facebook trend called the “Love Your Spouse Challenge” which is sort of like an Amway sales pyramid where friends ask other friends who ask other friends to post one photo with their spouse each day for seven days to keep the “celebration of love and traditional marriage going.” My “news” feed was bloated with photos and cooing lovey dovey, treacle.

Most of it was from my Facebook friends in Texas who are either married to pastors or on their second marriage to a pastor and then there’s the vacation bible school co-worker, from back in the day, who had an affair with the youth pastor and then a mere year later married the head pastor. (Is that the biblical version of marrying up?)

Now some people may find very personal martial over sharing on the internet as uplifting. I think it’s silly and uncomfortable. To me love means never having to talk about your “deep passion” for your spouse online.

As luck would have it last week I received three request called “nominations” to take part in the “Love Your Spouse Challenge.” I responded each time with a thanks, but no thanks. This resulted in me getting emails asking if my “marriage was okay?” I typed back, “LOL yes it’s fine. I just don’t want to do the challenge.”

A couple of days later I find out that I’m now on two Dallas Baptist Church prayer lists regarding my marriage. Sigh. The next day I get four more Facebook private messages asking me “if I’m okay” and one saying “I’m so sorry to hear about the tough times you’re going through was it cheating?” WTH?

Apparently not partaking of the “Love Your Spouse Challenge” equals marriage in trouble. I felt I had no choice, no choice at all, but to go big (and for those that don’t know me going big is always my de facto choice, but rarely the wisest). So, I changed my Facebook personal information from “married” to “in an open relationship.”

Was that the greatest idea ever? Probably not, but I blame it on working all day without the benefit of human interaction. If I had someone to bounce the idea off of while I went to get a Diet Coke from the vending machine it most likely wouldn’t have happened.

My Facebook page, as you can imagine, blew up and because I’m a giver, yes a giver, I felt fabulous. I had enlivened and perhaps brought the joy of juicy gossip into some people’s day with my revelation. But, then, sadly,  it was back to reality time so I responded to all the messages about my open relationship by telling people “Golly, I must have been hacked” and then changed by personal information back, not to “married” mind you, but to “in a relationship” just to give all the “Love Your Spouse Challenge” folks something to chew on.

The best part is that my husband didn’t notice at all. And that, right there, is why I love him.

Dear Snarky – Sorority Rec Rescinded

61110c99cb154b855df4ab9b6b85d9a7Dear Snarky,

My daughter is leaving for college in a few weeks and is going to go through sorority rush. I recently found out that someone, whom I thought was a very good friend, and is an alumna of a sorority my daughter is very interested in, did not, after promising and volunteering too, write her a recommendation  letter for her sorority and you need an alumna recommendation letter to be invited to the rush parties!

When I confronted her about why she didn’t write a rec, as promised, she had the nerve to tell me that my amazing 4.0 GPA, tons of high school awards, daughter was not “sorority material.”

I’m so angry and so hurt for myself and my daughter I don’t know what to do, but I know I need to do something. Any suggestions?

Signed, Stunned

Dear Stunned,

Take a breath. It’s not like someone backed out of giving you a kidney.  Please know that just because your crappy friend didn’t write your daughter a rec doesn’t mean she’s not going to get into a sorority. You need to survey your friend and acquaintance base and see if you know someone else who can write her a rec letter for that sorority. Also, if a sorority really wants a girl, trust me, they’ll manage to get her a rec letter.

Now, and this is going to hard, stop fixating on that one sorority. Let’s say worst case scenario you don’t get someone to write her rec letter. Big deal, maybe, if the alumnae are any indication, it would be an awful sorority and she’s better off not having that experience.

The absolute worst thing you can do is blow this up so it overshadows what really counts – the life event of your daughter leaving for college. Focus on that and as for your “friend”  I would give that B the polite cold shoulder (or middle finger) for the rest of eternity.

*If you have a question for – Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude – write me at http://www.snarkyinthesuburbs.com or send me a private message on my Snarky FB page.

 

Adult Co-Ed Rec Softball – A Field of Screams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Dear Snarky – Pissed Off About a Pool Pee Prank

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

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

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

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

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

Signed, Pissed

Dear Pissed,

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

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

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

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

If you have a question for – Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude – write me at http://www.snarkyinthesuburbs.com or send me a private message on my Snarky FB page.

You Know You Live In Deep Suburbia . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dear Snarky – Pokemon Go Away

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

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

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

Signed, Pokemom

Dear Pokemom,

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

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

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

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

Are You Suffering From FOKMO?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

4a4d80a20562289ce79e1617a7c49c15Dear Snarky,

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

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

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

 Signed, Just Say No To Anymore Weddings

 Dear Just Say No,

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

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

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