Dear Snarky – A 7 Year-Old Has A Birthday Gift Registry

Dear Snarkyfunny-birthday-quote

Here’s a question for you – since when did kids start registering for birthday party gifts? My 7-year-old son was invited to a party and the email invite included a link to where you could see and buy the gifts for the b’day boy and the cheapest one was $25!

Are you kidding me?! I was so appalled I said something to a group of moms and they looked at me like I was crazy and then one mom told me “that’s the only way to do it and that it’s RUDE to get someone a gift that’s not on their registry.”

I’m I the only mom that thinks this is horrible manners?

Signed, One Mad Mama

Dear Mad Mama,

 Relax, take some deep breaths, it’s all going to be okay. Now on to your question – Yes, a gift registry is a fine and fabulous thing for say wedding or baby shower presents BUT I find it overkill to use one for a kid’s birthday.  To me, it seems like it’s a lesson in greed especially when the gifts selected have a starting price of $25.

 As for the statement that’s it’s rude to go free range and not buy off the registry to that I say “Seriously?” A registry is, at best, only a suggestion it’s not meant to be marching orders nor should you feel bullied if you get a gift that wasn’t registry approved.

 So go ahead and let your 7-year-old enjoy roaming the toy aisle at Target and having the fun of picking out a gift for his friend and if any mom gives you attitude for your non registry present just give her the gift that keeps on giving – the cold shoulder (or the extreme eye roll or even better do both). 😉

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude please email me at or leave me a private message on my Snarky FB page.

Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law Is a Party Pooper

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I need help! This year my mother in law gave no gift or card to my daughter for her birthday or me for my birthday. My husband’s birthday was just two weeks later and he got a visit at work with a card and a check. I’m so hurt that she would snub my daughter and I and only acknowledge her son. Am I wrong In thinking it should

I’ve asked him to say something, but he won’t. I feel like he’s chosen to protect his mom’s feelings over mine.

Signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

In a perfect world your husband would be a knight in shining armor and set off to vanquish the rude manners of his mother BUT in the real world he’s going to next to nothing. So, it’s up to you to make the best of a bad situation. This is why I suggest going out and buying yourself your own present from your MIL. Take whatever amount she gave your husband and treat yourself to something fun. 

Now your daughter is a different story and as her mom you need to protect her innocence. So, I would buy your child a present and say it’s from her grandma and then have your daughter write a lovely thank you note to your mother in-law. When your MIL asks you why she got a thank you for a gift she didn’t buy you can explain that you wanted to shield your daughter from knowing her grandma is a jerk.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky 21st Century Advice With An Attitude please email me at or send me a private message on my Snarky Facebook page.

Dear Snarky – I Hate Throwing Birthday Parties

One odear_snarky_logo-1f the more common themes from letters I get are about children’s birthday parties. It can be nerve-racking to throw an awesome celebration and yet not drop some major coin to make it happen. Here’s an example of some of the letters I have received.

Dear Snarky,

I can’t afford a big blow out for my son’s 9th birthday, but I’m afraid he’ll be disappointed if we don’t have a big party like his other friends have had.


Dear Snarky,

I’m so mad I spent what I thought was a fortune on a party for my twins at a Go Kart track and kids were complaining that they were bored!

Oh moms, I so feel your pain.  With a party for six children at an American Girl Doll store costing more than $300 or a trampoline park celebration bouncing up and over the $500 mark it can make you starry-eyed for the days of a Duncan Hines cake mix and a couple of presents from mom and dad.

My suggestion to alleviate all this party anxiety and cost is to embrace the birthday festivities of yesteryear and kick it old school.

Here’s the deal.  Our kids are jaded.  Not kidding about this – one month my daughter went to 3 American Girl parties.  If you really want to throw a bash that will be remembered and not break the bank do something unexpected that speaks to a child’s sense of silly fun.Scan 3

One year I had a party for my son that  featured flour fights in the backyard.  I’m talking baking flouScan 7r. I filled up wheelbarrows with the white stuff and the kids went crazy. It was hilarious.

Another year for my daughter we had a goofy face paint party where the girls did each other’s “make up” and then put on a show.

All of it was very, very low-cost and fun. Primarily, I think because it was different, a little bit unstructured and they were allowed to make a mess. In fact, my son is 18 and he has one friend that to this day, still talks about the “awesome flour fight.”

So relax and don’t over think it and most importantly do not try to keep up, one up or use your kid’s birthday as a I way to impress other parents. That’s not a party. It’s a competition and there’s nothing fun about that.

Dear Snarky – Party Crashers

d46061e43fd6a6aae3b297a1e0d56dccDear Snarky,

My friends and I would like some advice about what to do when a mom brings siblings to a birthday party? There are always a couple of mothers who think an invitation for one of her kids means bring everyone under 21 who still lives at home. Serving a few more pieces of cake is no problem yet it can really add up or create awkward moments when you run out of goodie bags or you’re having the party, at say, a trampoline park and you don’t want to pay for anymore kids. Help! We’re running out of patience and cash.

Signed, Wanna Be Snarky Moms

Dear Wanna Be’s

This kind of boorish behavior calls for a direct approach. These moms know exactly what they’re doing. They’re party crashers plain and simple. Oh sure, some of you maybe saying the “more the merrier” but sometimes for your sanity and cost reasons you need to keep the party to the number invited.

In my parenting career I’ve seen these party crashers in action plenty of times. Their M.O is to walk into a party with all their kids and act like they’re just going to hang out for a couple of minutes and chat with the other moms. Then not so slowly their kids, who were not on the guest list, become intertwined in the party happenings. Before you know it, your party for ten kids turns into an event for 14 and you’re scrambling around trying to turn a couple of gallon Ziplocs into goodie bags and rummaging through your pantry for bag filler which forces you to part with that secret stash of Easter candy you had been saving for yourself. But much worse than having your hospitality taken advantage of is that sometimes extra, unexpected guests, can ruin the dynamic of the party.

For example, bringing a four-year old to a party for third graders at a trampoline park means all the older kids have to watch out for the little kid and you know the preschooler is going to cry or have a melt down because the big kids either aren’t playing with him or he’s going to get hurt trying to keep up.

Even if you hold the party at your home having an uninvited guest that is not in the age bracket of the birthday girl or boy means something as simple as pin the tail of the donkey can become a challenge. And if the party crashers are older kids they’ll call the game “lame” and can and will under the right circumstances take over the party.

This is why you must be proactive. If a mom has a history of party crashing let her know before the event that only child X is invited. Explain that you have a limited number of kids that can attend and if it makes you feel better apologize as in “I’m so sorry but I want you to know up front we won’t be able to have any siblings at the party.” If she shows up with siblings in tow stand firm and offer to give her child, that was invited, a ride home so she doesn’t feel like she has to stay. If she refuses to take the hint sadly your only recourse maybe not inviting her child to anymore parties, at least, for a while. Don’t let yourself feel guilty – that emotion should be saved for the party crashing mom, not you.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at

A Middle Aged Woman’s Birthday Oath

candleshitload Today’s my birthday and I’ll whine if I want to. To commemorate getting another year less young I will commence with the annual reciting of this oath. Feel free to join in.

I do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to my advanced middle age years. I will not shun nor hide my number of birthdays but accept the fact that the phrase, “She looks good for her age” is perhaps the best I can hope for.

I do reserve the right to punch anyone in the face who gender blurs me and attempts to negate my femininity with the comment, “She’s a handsome woman.” Which we all know is code for she has a bit of a beard and noticeable ear hair.

I sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful in my resolve to attempt to shun a surgeon’s knife as a part of my beauty ritual. I swear in the years ahead to not become obsessed with having my boobs inflated and cantilevered to a higher altitude. I know in my heart that no woman’s chest should be so ferociously elevated that her breasts create a book shelf for her chin.

I give you my word that I will not become possessed with having the prettiest hooha money can buy. This includes vajazzling – the ritual of gluing shiny things to a freshly waxed surface located south of the border. I pledge to not take a 10x magnifying mirror and go deep undercover to assess the attractiveness factor of my panty adjacent parts.

I will resist any and all advertising campaigns and peer pressure to return my “personal space” to it’s “virginal state” by having procedures done that sound like a combination of car mechanic and landscaping terms as in: clitoral hood reduction, labia shaping, labia trimming, and vagina rejuvenation with undercoating.

I promise to remain strong and never let fellow middle-aged women make me feel ashamed of my “stuff” by mocking me about my non-vajazzle grooming practices and making the 21st century Socratic comment that a “vajazzle is like putting lipstick on a pig if you don’t have your parts refreshed.”

I vow that the word “injectables” will not become part of my daily lexicon. I will be steadfast in my resolve when I go to the dermatologist for my yearly “Stroll Down Mole Lane” to not fall prey to the youth fever sales pitch. My face will be able to move! Mainly because I want the world at large to know when I’m really ticked off.

I will do my utmost to resist injecting my own fanny fat into my face, ditto for arsenic and other poisons or potions that are packaged and clearly marked with a skull and crossbones. I will also attempt to steer clear of the holy trinity of acid based fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse) or shooting up with any part of a cow to smooth out laugh lines and forehead frowns or transform my lips from slim to portly.

Although, I do enjoy the magic of make-up I promise to never use any cosmetic that could be confused with a basement remodel as in: primers, sealers, spackle or foundation spray.

I guarantee that I, not now nor ever, will make it my goal to be a MILF. Since I wasn’t a GILF in high school or college I sincerely doubt I would ever be granted access to the MILF sorority. Furthermore, since the designation AMA (advanced maternal age) is on both of my pregnancy medical files I know I have passed the acceptable age limit for any sort of sexual innuendo that would, at best, be considered disturbing even for the criminally insane. I will stand proud in the knowledge that I have enough going in my life that I don’t seek and/or covet attention from male children who attend high school to make me feel good about myself.

I pledge to not go gently into the “I’m giving up” zone of late middle age. I will rage against mom jeans, the wearing of elastic waist pants for every occasion and I forever pledge myself as a warrior in the fight against socks with sandals.

But, I also give my allegiance to good taste and stand firm in not: showing butt crack, thong, visible nipple, extreme cleavage or belly button when I pick my children up from school, attend school and/or extra curricular events, (including, but not limited to parent/teacher conferences) or go to the grocery store.

On my honor as a mother I swear that I will never, in the years ahead, have to tell my children that their college tuition for next semester looks “iffy” because I dropped some major coin on a vaginal rejuv with an emphasis on a retro hymen procedure.

I further promise never to utter this phrase, send this statement in either an e-mail or text format or use as a Facebook status update while typing at my desk in a mini-thong so my vajazzle can air: “My hooha is back to full virgin and I got me some epic toxy resty-juv. Bonus – my boobs are so high I can wipe my nose on them.”

So help me God.

*Attcover_1.3-2ention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂