It’s true, I do like to complain. I think I have a gift for it or at least that’s what my husband tells me. I consider it my calling, an art form, if you will, and it would be a shame, don’t you think, not to share it? So, today in honor of the impending holiday that celebrates sharing I give to you my list of things that are currently irking me.
Icky Christmas – I get it that retailers, in order to hit their sales goals, have to haul out the Christmas decorations in September. I’m totally over finding it odd that while I’m still buying sun screen in bulk my grocery store is setting up their holiday baking display. What I don’t get is, why recently, retailers Christmas decorations look just plain old sad, like they’ve been sitting in the attic of a nursing home for 20 years with huge crates of books and Costco size boxes of Depends stacked on top of them. For instance, I’m at Kohl’s this morning to spend my $10 in Kohl’s cash before it expires and their holiday decor is so tasteless and cheap looking it’s distracting me from my shopping. It’s an abundance of nasty red aluminum Christmas trees with cockeyed branches. It looks as if they’ve taken Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, wrapped the branches in tinfoil and then spray painted it in red glitter glue. The saggy bows on the trees even looked soiled. Totally not feeling the holiday spirit. I then go to Macy’s and you think they might class it up a bit, but no, still icky. The store is full of tired Christmas trees, that at first look, I thought were flocked, but no, it was layers of dust apparently left behind by the ghost of Christmas Past.
Because I was feeling feisty, coupled with my love of complaining and the fact that I had time to kill before I was meeting someone at the Paneras right by Macy’s I went to speak to the store manager about their less than spic-n-span holiday decor. At first he disputed my claim that their decor was dirty, but then I walked him over to a tree and let the grim speak for itself. To his credit, the store manager also found it “less than ideal.” I told him to ask himself W.W.M.D.? (What Would Martha Do?) Any store that carries the Martha Stewart line of cookware and linens should at the very least invest in some of her cleaning products and get to work divesting their decor of what I’m sure is toxic mold disguised as dust. I know were in year 2 of a crappy economy, but that is no reason for the store’s decor to look like it’s on depression meds. Retailers you want us to spend money. You’ve seduced us with lower prices, but we still need to see the pretty or at the very least somewhat sanitary decorations that don’t work off-season as homes to dust mites plump from feeding on years of holiday dander.
Hidden School Expenses – At the beginning of every school year parents always say, “I wish they would just tell us how much everything is going to cost so I write one check and get it over with.” Well, there’s a very good reason you don’t get that magic year-end tally because you’d get so ticked off you would demand some kind of school audit or run for school board. In the first 3 months my daughter has been in public school 5th grade I have written checks to her school for almost $1,500. That amount includes $200 for 3 school fundraisers, $100 for field trips, $50 for teacher presents, $75 for my contribution for the class basket and on and on. I’m tired of writing checks. Oh yes, I could give the school my debit card and they could draw the money out of my account, but I’m not so sure I’m comfortable with that.
Also, my hate for the new principal grows and festers more everyday. In his quest to rid the school of obesity the class parties will now “focus on fitness” and are going off site. The winter party is being held at a bowling alley. (I don’t know about you, but when I think tough cardio work out I think bowling.) My problem with the party is that each child is being charged $60 for the outing. That price is to cover buses, bowling, shoes and an “instructor.” For $60 an hour we could hire each kid a personal trainer! Here’s what really makes me want to slap him. He has the impertinence to suggest that “our parents can afford it.” Has this goober not left the pre-school classroom in two years? Is he not reading at a 3rd grade level therefore making it hard for him to stay up-to-date on current events? The economy sucks. “Our parents” are being laid off, downsized, and when their not job hunting their fighting with Bank of America to keep their homes from being foreclosed on. So, back off with your “can afford it” mentality, put on a dunce cap and give yourself a time out.
I’m Praying for You – No, I’m not satan with cellulite. I believe in prayer. I’m just beyond over certain personality types (pains in the asses) who have managed to turn the 4 word phrase, “I’m praying for you” into a put down. You think I’m crazy, I know, but I have a dear friend going through a rough time and I’ve watched this happen and it’s not like she’s actively seeking out folks to pray for her or even telling people about her problems. This is just from acquaintances that come up to her at school and Starbucks and launch into their go to greeting mode – “murchy” (mom+churchy) as in, I’m praying for you (because I’m better than you) or I’m praying for you (because you have problems and I don’t. Oh, happy day for me.) It’s all in the vocal delivery.
Let’s take the snooty praying for you. It’s voiced with some sincerity, but the give away is the teeny bit of disdain that escapes from the person’s mouth. That coupled with the body language of almost boredom with your plight ensures that you know that they think your just a tad beneath them. The “I’m glad it’s you with problems and not me” praying for you is signified by how the person’s voice gets higher as they speak and you’ll notice they have trouble making direct eye contact. It’s like your misfortune might be contagious. In addition, have you noticed that people saying “I’m praying for you” has become as ubiquitous as saying “Have a nice day.” Are we diluting the power of prayer by mainstreaming it as a daily salutation?
Earlier in the week, I had just finished checking out at the grocery store when the 20 something male clerk said “Thanks and I’ll be praying for you.” I’m thinking, okay, what was in my shopping cart that made him want to pray for me. I begin doing a mental inventory and remember that I did get bacon and he could think I’m killing myself with fatty nitrate enhanced meats or was it the US magazine I got? Yes, US magazine isn’t exactly high brow literature, but it’s not like I had the Star or the National Enquirer in my cart. Even worse, is it like that episode on the X Files where aliens could detect if you had cancer. Crap, what if the clerk is an alien and I have cancer? But, would aliens pray? I’m telling you it freaked me out all the way home.
Hot High School Moms – This year I have a son in high school and it’s been a whole new world for him and me. I’ve recently been introduced to the world of hot high school moms. Yes, I know elementary school is full of hot moms, but I naively thought as we and our children aged that some maturity would happen along the way. Most, if not all of us, high school moms are over 40. So, where does one begin to describe this phenomena. First, I guess the e-mail that got sent to all the moms telling us to wear our lowest cut, sheerest and tightest t-shirts to any and all school functions must have gotten stuck in my spam filter. Ditto for the e-mail telling us (grown and in some cases, very, very middle-aged women) to giggle, yes giggle at school events. Did I miss out on the anti-aging secret of the century – that giggling makes you look younger. It makes you look stupid, yes, but younger, I’m not so sure about that. Secondly, when did being a M.I.L.F. become a goal for anyone not cast in Bravo’s “Real Housewives” series?
Case in point: I’m at my son’s high school open house where you take your child’s schedule and go to each of their classes for 10 minutes. It’s very informative and let’s you take a peek at what your child’s day look like. More importantly it gives you a face to attach to whatever teacher your child is complaining (like mother like son) about. As I’m walking the corridors of the school to find my son’s first class I’m awe struck by the plethora of middle-aged female flesh being exposed. Crinkly cleavage sprinkled with sun spots, nipples, at least one decade past their nursing prime at full alert, and short skirts showcasing legs that look good, but look their age. To top all that off all these women are walking the halls chatting/giggling on their cell phones. If you closed your eyes you would think these women were 17 not 47 by their phone conversation alone. Someone, I beg you, tell me what’s wrong with being a grown-up? What’s wrong with wearing grown up clothes? I don’t want to single-handedly bring back the house coat and pleated jeans, but come on when did the sign of mom success mean being able to squeeze your boobage into your daughters questionable camisole masquerading as a top? Furthermore, has no one told these moms that anytime you have to squeeze your front into something it also means your squeezing your back as well. That can only lead to one thing, back fat that looks like chunky rolls of sugar cookie dough protruding through the rear of that cami/top. Ladies, you’ve got a D cup in the front and you’re working, at the very least, an A cup in the back. Not good moms. Not good at all.
That’s all I’ve got for right now, but thanks for letting me share or more accurately, over share.
*Thank you for reading Snarky in the Suburbs. Check back on Monday for “The Thanksgiving Throwdown”. To stay up to date on new posts you can go to Facebook, type in Snarky in the Suburbs and click on like or twitter @snarkynsuburbs.