Dear Snarky – My Mother Won’t Share Thanksgiving Recipes With Me

Dear Snarky,

What do you think about a mom who won’t share family recipes with her daughter? Due to the coronavirus our large family has decided to not celebrate Thanksgiving together.

This means for the first time in my life I’m not having Thanksgiving with my parents. So, I asked my mom for three of her recipes so I could recreate her sweet potato pie, sourdough rolls and corn casserole. She straight up told me no.

I was shocked. When I asked her why she told me that they were “cherished heirloom recipes” and that she knew if she shared them with me I would post them on Instagram and my cooking blog.

So, what if I do that? I have more than 10,000 followers on Instagram and I didn’t get those without posting recipes.

I don’t understand what the big deal is? They’re recipes not her social security number. I think she’s being highly unreasonable and mean but she won’t change her mind. She said the recipes need to stay in the family and have been handed down for generations and don’t need to become “blog bait.”

I’m starting to think my mom may be losing it or is jealous of me. What’s your advice on how to talk some sense into her? She’s not rational at all.

Signed, Recipes Wanted

Dear Recipes,

I am totally gobbling up this letter (sorry not sorry for that lame attempt at humor) and laughing because talk about manufacturing drama when there really doesn’t need to be any.

In a surprise to some I’m going to come out and say I don’t blame your mom. It’s her right as the matriarch to be very protective of what she sees as family treasures and to be not a fan of sharing them on the internet.

I know this may sound ridiculous but a lot of people are super possessive over things like this. My family got in a fight over a sugar cookie recipe. True story.

I will admit to being a bit amazed that you never learned these recipes. It appears you like cooking because you have a blog which makes me wonder why you were never in the kitchen during Thanksgiving meal prep. If you were I’m guessing you would already know the “secret ingredients.”

That said, I’m going to bet that you’re a very good cook and clever and that with some trial and error you could probably recreate these dishes and better yet give them your own flair. If you publish the recipes (and I know you will because I’m guessing that’s the reason you really want them) I would suggest saying they were “inspired by warm family memories.”

Do this and move on. It’s a dumb ass thing to fight about and I think you already know that.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

Dear Snarky – A Greedy Daughter Is Out to Fleece Her Parents

Dear Snarky,

I’m not sure you’re the right person to reach out to for advice because to be honest I only read your stuff for the laughs. It’s a little awkward to now be in the position to actually be writing to you but I usually agree with what you tell people so here goes.

 My 30-year-old daughter recently got married. Because of COVID it was a very small wedding. That’s not to say it wasn’t exquisite. It was just very intimate. Now my daughter has asked my husband and I to give her money we saved from “not throwing her a huge wedding.”

 At first we thought she was joking and my husband and I had a good laugh. Unfortunately, she’s dead serious. She even told us that by having a small wedding she saved us at least $40,000 but she would settle for $25,000.

 To say we were taken aback would be an understatement. My husband got furious and pointed out that we still spent a pretty penny on her wedding and that what we spent was what had been budgeted. There’s no extra money laying around.

 I told her that she’s a 30-year-old attorney and her husband is a 35-year-old executive and that they are at little too old to be asking for handouts.

 It got very heated and now our daughter is not talking to us. She’s even blocked both of us on her phone. I’m afraid the longer this lasts the harder it will be to heal the rift. Do you have any advice on how to move forward?

 Signed, Worried and Disappointed Mother

Dear Worried,

 Give me a second because I need to pick my jaw off the floor. Holy-Freaking-Crap that is some brazen daughter you’ve got there. That said I’m sure with those stones she’s an excellent litigator.

 To be clear a 30-year-old highly educated woman and her fast approaching middle-age husband who is also gainfully employed should not be trying to fleece their parents/in-laws. Because that’s  what this is – a fleecing.

 I don’t blame you or your husband for losing it. The greed and total lack of conscience and gratitude is alarming. Both your bank account and your feelings have to be feeling very raw right now.

 As for what to do to heal the rift my response is do nothing. That’s right, just sit tight because your daughter will come back around. It’s obvious that she’s having a temper tantrum and it’s also obvious that she’ll want you to do something else for her.

 My best guess she’s going to come back and try to negotiate for at least $12,500. Stand firm. It sounds like you need to establish some boundaries for your relationship moving forward.

 Also, and this may freak you out. But based on her actions I would never give her medical power of attorney or any power of attorney – EVER.  I don’t trust her and she seems to be very financially motivated in her dealings with you. I apologize if this has upset you further but I felt I had to point this out.

 Best of luck and remember you are not responsible for your adult child’s behavior! DO NOT beat yourself up over what she’s doing. It’s 100% on her.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

Dear Snarky – My Sister Pretended My Baby Was Hers

Dear Snarky,

I’m so angry at my sister right I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

I recently had a beautiful baby girl. My sister had been devoted to my baby and that made me so happy. We haven’t been very close for a while due to her making some really stupid decisions with her life and putting my parents through hell. But since my baby was born she has been with me a lot and seemed so proud of my daughter posting lots of pictures with her on Instagram.

Last week I found out that my sister has been using my baby to blackmail an ex-boyfriend into thinking it’s his kid to get money from him. All those pictures she was posting on her Instagram were just a way to make this guy and his family believe that my baby was my sister’s.

I found out when the ex-boyfriend AND his mom AND his two sisters came to my house to ask me if the baby was mine or my sister’s. One of his sister’s had been comparing my Instagram account with my sister’s and had her suspicions that the baby on my sister’s page was really mine.

When I heard this I got hysterical. I can’t believe my sister was using my infant daughter to get money from a former boyfriend! When I told my husband, he said my sister was banned from our daughter’s life forever. 

I totally agree but my mom thinks I should give my sister a chance to explain herself and she pointed out that this “ban” will ‘mess up every family holiday for the rest of our lives.’

What do I do? My gut tells me to stick with the ban but my mom is now pleading with me to not do this.

Signed, I Wish I Had a Better Family

Dear Better,

Let’s start with how you signed your letter. You do have a better family. The one you’re making with your husband and your baby. So, take great pride and solace in that fact.

Now onto your mother. It appears she has a history of making excuses for your sister and that, I’m saddened to tell you, is probably never going to change. The fact that after hearing how your sister used your baby – her granddaughter – to blackmail a former boyfriend for cash and your mom’s take away was basically don’t be mean to your sister because there goes Christmas dinner is beyond crazy.  Your mom, in my opinion, is as messed up as your sister.

As for your sister I totally agree with you on the ban. Your number one job as a mother is to protect your child and I think your sister has proven herself to be a threat to your daughter’s safety so in my book that means don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out of our lives.

If years later with extensive therapy your sister proves herself to be worthy of another chance you could reconsider your ban. But for now, I think you and your husband have made the right decision and if your mom gives you any attitude tell her she can also be banned. Hopefully that will shut her up.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

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Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law is a Serial Liar

Dear Snarky,

 I’ve got a big gripe about my mother-in-law. She’s a huge liar about her adult children. But she’s sneaky about it. She doesn’t come right out and lie she hints and I’m about to hit my breaking point and feel like I need to call her out.

 The straw that broke the camel’s back was when she posted on both Facebook and Instagram that my sister-in-law was in medical school. This is how she said it: “Whose daughter just might be in med school?”

 Here’s the real deal she’s not. My sister-in-law is veterinarian tech. She doesn’t even want to be a vet. She’s loves being a vet tech.

 I don’t understand why she thinks it’s okay to blatantly lie about her kids. Her other recent whopper was that my husband was being recruited by multiple colleges for a coaching position. Except she said, “When you son gets recruited by Division 1 colleges for a coaching positions” and she showed a meme of a someone jumping up and down.

 My husband is a high school math teacher and coaches the baseball team for fun and the extra money. No college is looking for a math teacher to coach their team.

 I feel like the family needs to shut down her lying but both my husband and sister-in-law say it’s not worth the drama and that everybody know she’s lies already so no one believes her anyway. My father-in-law says, “she exaggerates but it’s harmless.”

 I don’t agree and need your advice if I should be the one that tells her stop it.

 Signed, I Don’t Like Liars

 Dear Don’t Like Liars,

 Perhaps you should post on social media – Guess who has a crazy ass mother-in-law?

 It’s obvious this woman has some serious issues and what she’s doing, contrary to what your father thinks, it’s not harmless.

 Besides spinning huge fabrications about her children’s life’s she’s also letting them know she’s not that proud of them. When she constantly embellishes their professions she’s telling them, “Yeah, I’m not happy with what your real career is so I’m going fib and let you know what I think you should be doing.”

 What she really needs is therapy to get to the root of the problem – why she lies? That said, as the daughter-in-law this is not your battle. It’s up to your husband, his sister and their dad to intervene.

 My best guess is that over the years they probably tried and it was such a cluster that it was easier to just make excuses and/or ignore the egregious lying.

 I’m not saying you should do nothing. I would definitely talk with your husband and his sister and urge them both to get help for their mother. I would also maybe even involve a professional in the discussion.

 What you can’t do is lead the charge. Your role should be one of support and gentle shoving to move the family in the right direction on this mental health issue.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

Dear Snarky – My Sister Is Giving Thanksgiving the Bird

Dear Snarky,

My sister has lost her ever loving mind. We’re already making plans for the holidays and it’s my sister’s turn to host Thanksgiving. Yesterday she sent out a family group text saying all of us have to get a COVID test before we can enter her home AND she would prefer the test be a rapid response taken not any earlier than the day before Thanksgiving.

She even included a link to where you can get a rapid response test. What she didn’t include is that they cost like $100 and that’s with insurance.

Her text, as you can imagine, started a whole mess. We were already going to be socially distancing for dinner. So, my other sister and I thought we had worked everything out.

Now, what should have been a nice meal has turned into family members fighting and even politics has been brought into it and that’s gotten ugly.

Is there any way we can save this Thanksgiving?

Signed, Turkey Trouble

Dear Turkey Trouble,

Slow clap for your sister. I think she’s a freaking genius. What she really wants to do is get out of  hosting Thanksgiving.

Her reasons could be multi layered. I can 100 percent understand her not wanting extended family in her home during a pandemic and I can also totally get that maybe she just doesn’t want the hassle.

I mean, come one, hosting is a lot of work. Add in the political differences in your family and the fact that Thanksgiving is a mere 23 days after the Presidential election and all I have to say is that your sister may be trying to save herself a whole lot of drama.

Perhaps instead of trying to “save” Thanksgiving you reimagine it. It sounds like no one in your family wants to go the rapid response COVID test route. So, I suggest each family does their own dinner.

You can even all eat at the same time and Zoom your meal. If you live close to one another you could drop off your favorite Thanksgiving side or dessert at each family member’s house as a way to share the experience.

Sure, it’s not a traditional big family Thanksgiving but hey, it’s 2020 and if the pandemic has taught us anything it’s learning to be flexible and open to change. The good news with this whole situation is that you’ve got more than two months to figure it out. 

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

Dear Snarky – My Daughter Got Kicked Out of Her Sorority Because of Me

Dear Snarky,

I’m devastated. My daughter has been kicked out of the sorority she just got into. The worst thing is it’s not her fault. It’s mine. Sorority recruitment this year was all virtual because of the pandemic. This means that the girls didn’t meet with any sorority members in person at rush parties. It was all over the computer.

My daughter wasn’t feeling that great and she was very nervous about all the Zoom recruitment so she did it from home. This gave me the idea to have her younger sister, who is a junior in high school and very outgoing, pretend to be her. They look a lot alike so it would be hard for anyone to know the difference.

It worked out wonderfully and my college daughter got into a great sorority and was very happy until someone at the sorority found out and her pledge bid, or whatever you call it, got rescinded.

I got involved and tried to plead my daughter’s case putting all the blame on me but it didn’t matter they kicked her out.

How do I fix this?

Signed, Devastated Mama Bear

Dear Mama Bear,

Umm, haven’t you’ve done enough? You should have stayed the hell out of your daughter’s sorority recruitment. I think you were worried about your daughter doing virtual rush and when she said she wasn’t feeling well you took that as your golden opportunity to insert your more outgoing daughter into the mix.

What you did was wrong. It was a lie. A falsehood. A fraud. The fact that you engineered all this and involved your minor child is all kinds of messed up. Were you at no time worried about what you were teaching your daughters?

Also, what about the self-esteem of your college freshman? How does she feel knowing that you thought her younger sister was a better way to go? That’s right, you told your daughter with your actions that she wasn’t good enough and her baby sister was better.

As for the sorority finding out – well, you know what they say a secret isn’t a secret if more than one person knows it. I would bet money that your youngest daughter couldn’t help but brag to friends how she “got into a sorority.”

The bottom line is you can’t fix this. Forget about the sorority and focus on the damage you’ve done to your daughters. It’s not good Mama Bear, not good at all. I’m also going to guess that this isn’t the first time you’ve messed with your oldest daughter’s confidence and favored your younger daughter. This family dynamic is crying out for therapy. I hope you get some.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

Dear Snarky – Vacay Toilet Drama

Dear Snarky,

My sister has sent me a bill for $250 to cover half of the home insurance deductible she has on her lake house. I can’t believe that she expects me to pay for water damage that I’m not responsible for.

Last month my family went to stay at the lake house. My sister just recently bought it and I asked her if we could vacation there for a week. She said yes and then told me that the plumbing was a little weird and to follow the directions regarding one toilet in the house.

When we got to the lake house there were printed instructions by one toilet about holding the handle down for 5 seconds after every flush. I can’t say I’m positive we did that every time we went to the bathroom. We’re a family of 5 and it’s not like I watched everybody flush the toilet.

I was also told to turn off the water at that one toilet before I left and I forgot to do that. So, it turns out that the toilet did overflow and there was some water damage throughout the downstairs. Luckily a caretaker arrived that night and turned off the water. But now my sister is insisting I pay half her insurance deductible.

I think it’s crazy because it’s her plumbing that was messed up way before we got there. Maybe she shouldn’t have let family stay there until she got the plumbing fixed? I feel like she’s using me to pay her plumbing bill. Also, if I wanted to spend $250 I would have stayed at a hotel. The reason we went to the lake house was because it was free.

Do you think I’m right to stand my ground?

Signed, Get a Better Toilet

Dear Toilet,

Hmm, so you flooded your sister’s new lake house that she graciously allowed you to vacation in for a week and you feel no compunction to pay any part of the insurance deductible? Yeah, I don’t have your back on this one.

There were written instructions about the toilet and from reading your letter I get the feeling that there was more than one bathroom. At the very least you could have not used the troublesome toilet. You also openly admitted that you didn’t turn off the water source to the toilet before you left so basically you’re flushed.

As for your comment that if you “wanted to spend $250 you would have stayed at a hotel” well  good luck finding a lakeside hotel for a family of 5 to stay in for a week that costs $250.

The way I see it your sister is being very kind by only asking you to split the deductible and I imagine that if you had been super apologetic about the flooding and offered to help she might have let you off the hook. The fact that you’ve been a GIANORMOUS ingrate probably induced her to ask for $250.

No matter what you do one thing I’m certain about is that any future lake house invites for your family have  permanently gone down the drain.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Snarky – My Wedding Gift Was Mocked By the Bride in a Video

Dear Snarky,

 I’m extremely upset about how I was treated at my cousin’s virtual wedding shower. Because of the COVID everyone dropped off presents at her house. We did it parade style where the bride-to-be was standing at the end of her driveway and waved at all of us.

 About a week later my cousin sent everyone a video link that showed her opening the presents and also included a “Top Ten” wedding gift list. She actually rated the gifts in the video!!!! I came in at almost the bottom and I got her a $75 gift from her registry at Williams Sonoma.

 I was so upset I called my cousin and told her to not invite me to the wedding because if that’s how she shows her gratitude I’m not interested in attending.

 Now, I’m being made fun of for refusing to go the wedding and my cousin is saying, “I can’t take a joke” and that she was just making content for her soon-to-be launched YouTube channel. How should I respond to people who keep on asking me about this?

 Signed, Stunned

 Dear Stunned,

 Maybe you should have gotten your cousin a manners tutor for a wedding present because it’s obvious she’s lacking in even the most rudimentary of etiquette skills. Even if your cousin is a skilled comedian (and let me just say I doubt that very much) making fun and rating your wedding shower gifts is disgusting and to put that on YouTube is beyond crass.

 What did this nitwit bride  think the response was going to be from guests when instead of getting a thank you for their gifts they were mocked? Also, who makes fun of a $75 gift card? An ungrateful moron that’s who.

 I don’t blame you at all for choosing not to attend this wedding and good for you for standing up for yourself. Based on your cousin’s behavior the whole event sounds worse than a colonoscopy prep. As for how to respond – if anyone questions your decision just send them the video link. I’m sure that will speak volumes about why you made your decision to just say no to a bride who’s a gigantic ass.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

Dear Snarky – I’m Being Harassed By My Hair Stylist

Dear Snarky,

 My hair stylist has taken to social media to try to ruin me. I have been going to this woman for a very long time and we’re friends on Facebook. Once the lock down was lifted she started posting a lot, and I mean A LOT, of pictures of her out and about doing what I would describe as risky behaviors during a pandemic.

 She’s been to tons of bars, a huge Branson pool party where no one was wearing masks and on and on. Based on this I told her privately that I was cancelling my hair appointment because I didn’t want to take the risk of spending three hours with her to have my hair highlighted and cut since she has been around so many people without a mask or any social distancing.

This woman went off on me like you wouldn’t believe. She accused me of trying to tell her how to live her life and that I have no right to comment on anything she does. After that phone conversation I thought the issue was over with forever.

 But a couple of hours later she’s on social media dragging my name through the mud and just making up shit about me. I don’t know what to do. I talked to my boss for advice (Zoom) and to give her heads up on what was happening and she said I should just ignore it and wait it out.

 What do you think?

 Signed, Freaked Out

Dear Freaked Out,

 I’m leaning towards the advice your boss gave you. Under no circumstances should you comment on any post or take to your social media to give your side of the story. It would just be adding rocket fuel to the fire.

 The fact that you talked to your hairstylist privately about your decision to cancel the appointment and didn’t go on social media for a public shaming was the right way to go.

 Now, would I have been so candid about the reason for the cancellation? Probably not, because I wouldn’t want to do that big of a deep dive on it. (#ConfrontationAvoidanceStrategy) But, I can’t really blame you for being honest and thinking that perhaps your friend and hair stylist of many years would want to know how her posts were being received by clients and might, if not alter her behavior, not share it on social media.

 As for this woman having a meltdown, well,  just from a business perspective she’s an idiot.  She’s demeaning a customer and some of her other customers might think, “Whoa, what if she does this to me down the road.” She’s also making herself sound unhinged and no one wants a mentally unstable person near them with extremely sharp scissors.

If she is truly defaming you on social media you or an attorney can send her a cease and desist notice requesting that the defamatory statement be removed, retracted, and an apology made. 

 I would stay strong, stay off social media for the foreseeable future and find a new hair stylist. Oh, and when you do get a new stylist maybe you shouldn’t become social media besties.

 

 

Dear Snarky – A “Karen” Wants a Name Change

Dear Snarky,

 My mother is being ridiculous and I need some words of wisdom to share so she quits making a fool of herself.

 My mom’s name is Karen. She’s not one of those Karen’s. She’s very kind and always wants the best for everyone. But since the name Karen has become a symbol for a woman being a jerk she’s decided to change her name.

 She’s not legally changing it but she’s requested that family and friends now call Lizzie. Her middle name is Elizabeth so she’s shortened that to Lizzie. She’s still answering to the name Karen but every time someone calls her that she corrects them and says, “It’s Lizzie.”

 Also, she’s told us that we have a two-week grace period to get her name right and after that she won’t be responding to Karen.

 How can we get her to stop this? She’s 61 years old. Who changes their name at 61? I think she’s making too big a deal out of this “Karen” thing.

 Signed,  Desperate Daughter

Dear Desperate,

 Back off and leave your mother alone. What’s the harm in your mom doing a little friends and family name change? To be honest she’s an inspiration to me.

 My name is Sherry. It’s never suited me. I’ve always wanted a dramatic name like Valka or Maximillian. Anyone named Sherry is, at best, advanced middle aged. It’s like I don’t even need to tell people how old I am. My name does that for me. So, maybe I’ll take a cue from your mom and start having people call me Valka.

 Okay, yeah, that’s not going to happen but there is no real harm in what your mom is doing. She’s not legally changing it. In fact, I think she’s having some fun and a lot of that fun is coming from messing with your mind.

 Just go with it. I like the name Lizzie. It sounds fun and friendly. Also, you call her “mom” so why do you care what everyone else calls her? And not to split hairs but she’s using a nickname for Elizabeth which is her middle name so technically that’s still a part of her name.

 Relax Desperate Daughter and quit trying to control your mother. 

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉