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. 😉

Dear Snarky – My Cousin Borrowed My Clothes and Then Sold Them Online

Dear Snarky,

 My cousin and I have been best friends since we were little. We were born three days apart and a lot of people think we’re twins. Now we’re both 25 and still close.

The  problem is that my cousin borrows my clothes all the time. I usually don’t mind as long as I get them back. Lately, she hasn’t been returning them even when I ask her over and over again. I even went to her house to get my clothes back. Her mom (my aunt) helped me look for 30 minutes and we couldn’t find them.

 A couple of days later I’m on a *popular internet resale clothing site and see what I’m sure are my clothes being sold! They’re all name brands that people want like Lululemon and the name the seller was using is my cousin’s nickname so that’s all the proof I needed.

 I want to confront my cousin and I want the money she made from selling my clothes. What is the best way to do this? My mom thinks I need to do it in front of family so I have witnesses.

 Signed,

 Ripped Off

(*Snarky note: I have removed the name of the resale clothing site from the letter and replaced it with “popular internet clothing site.”)

Dear Ripped, Off,

 Whoa, that’s a brazen move by your cousin. Did she think you were just going to forget about the clothes she borrowed?

 The big issue you’re going to have in a confrontation is that your cousin is going to deny that she’s selling your clothes online and she’s going to ask you to prove it. That’s not going to be easy.

 Problem: 1 – The sites don’t list the sellers real name.

 Problem 2 – Even if you were to buy let’s say a pair of your Lululemon leggings back from what you think is your cousin’s listings it would be very difficult to prove that they were yours.

 This means I would stay totally away from going down the rocky path of accusing your cousin of selling your clothes on the Internet. It’s just going to detour into a shit show where your cousin will play the victim card and you’ll end up being the bad guy for accusing her of stealing. If your goal is to get your clothes back I suggest another route.

 Taking your mom’s advice, I would, with some witnesses present, very politely give your cousin a list of clothing she has borrowed and request (or demand based on how the list goes over) all the items back in 48 hours.

 I would also tell her that if you don’t have all your clothing back in that time frame she will need to reimburse you and you have included the price of each article of clothing she has borrowed from you.

 Are you going to get all your clothes back? Probably not. Hopefully, you will get some of the clothes returned and maybe a little bit of money.

 Sadly, what you’re not going to get back is your relationship with your cousin. It’s going to take a long time to recover from a family member blatantly stealing from you. Going forward I would continue to be very wary of this cousin.

 .

 

 

 

 

Dear Snarky – Pool Protocol, the Office Ass & the Family Slacker

I’ve received a couple of Dear Snarky letters that deserve an answer – a short answer. So, I’ve decided to do one of my favorite things – “Snarky in Seconds.” This means I’ll be answering a couple of letters but forgoing my usual in-depth analysis.

READY, SET, SNARKY!

Dear Snarky,

My neighbors are trying to take advantage of our pool. Since a lot of the local pools are closed this summer because of the coronavirus I’ve had people I barely know hinting for an invitation to come over and swim.

I find this very rude and I don’t like being putting on the spot. Also, if the public pools are closed why would I want my pool full of people?

Signed, My Pool is for Family Only

Dear My Pool,

 Wait, did my neighbor write this about me? Because I want to come over and swim. You know when I first read this I thought lighten up and invite one to two people over for a social distance splish splash. But it’s your pool and you can do exactly what you want. I also understand your fear of having two people come for a swim and then it morphs to 10.

I will caution you though to be ready for some splash back from your friends and neighbors. Your reluctance to issue a swim invite may come back and bite you. In other words don’t need a favor from any of these peeps in the near future.

 Dear Snarky,

Our office has opened up for employees to come back to work but one woman in the office has decided to extend working from home due to some “chronic health concerns.” Well, based on her Instagram she’s not doing much work. I’m thinking of showing her posts to our boss because why should I be back in the office while she’s in her backyard gardening.

Signed, Not Fair

Dear Not Fair,

Unless you have been appointed supreme guardian of the workforce mind your own business. Maybe this woman got up at 4 in the morning and started her work day or maybe the social media posts are from the weekend. Whatever is going on stay out of it. Being the office busy body is not a good look.

Dear Snarky,

How do I tell my sister to stop bragging about all she got done during the quarantine? She’s seriously turned it into a competition. Good for her that she retiled her bathroom and painted half her house. I even told that but she’s now acting like I’m lazy because I “got nothing done.”

Signed,Not a Slacker

Dear Not a Slacker,

 Your sister sounds a tad annoying. Just because you didn’t go all home makeover during the lock down doesn’t mean you weren’t doing stuff. Tell her while she was grouting tile you were focusing on more intellectual pursuits and working to improve your mind.

Needless to say, she doesn’t need to know that perhaps those pursuits were watching Netflix. But hopefully she’ll get the message to get over herself.

Also, it’s your sister so can’t you just tell her to shut up? I know I would.

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

 

 

 

Dear Snarky – I Don’t Want to Share My Wedding Dress

Dear Snarky,

My brother’s fiancée has asked to borrow my bridal gown for her wedding next year. I recently got married and to be honest I don’t want her to wear my dress. We’re not even close to the same size. (She’s petite and I’m 5’10) . Plus, my dress was super expensive and one-of-a-kind. It was designed just for me. I’m emotionally attached to it so I can’t even think about someone else wearing it.

I’m also still extremely angry that this woman tried on my dress without permission. My gown is being stored at my parents’ house and when she was at their home alone with my brother she put it one AND posted pictures on Instagram!

For that and many other reasons I don’t like her. She’s very materialistic and super needy. My parents are also picking up vibes that she and her mother mistakenly thought /hoped that my mom and dad would be picking up the tab for her dream wedding or at least helping out with costs and that’s not happening. As my dad puts he’s still recovering from my wedding and my sister’s.

How do I tell my brother’s fiancée that she can’t borrow my dress without causing some big scene or making everyone feel uncomfortable? Most of all I don’t want my brother to be caught in the middle.

Signed, Not Sharing

Dear Not Sharing,

Let’s break this down.

  1. Your brother is already stuck in the middle of all of this so that ship has sailed.

2. You have every right in the world to tell your possible sister-in-law NO she can’t borrow your wedding dress. I suggest going with some subterfuge in an effort to keep the drama at a minimum. Be very straight forward with her and say, “I’m flattered you asked but I’m saving it for my future daughter to wear someday.”

3. Even if this isn’t your plan, as in maybe you don’t even want kids, I’m going to recommend going with this because it’s hard to argue with someone’s desire to save their bridal gown solely for their child.

4. DO NOT feel the need to explain yourself any further and if she tries to pick a fight with you or have your brother guilt trip you – stay firm. Your plan is saving your dress for a future daughter. She’s not your daughter so end of discussion.

Lastly, this woman lost her chance at “borrowing” anything of yours when she tried your bridal gown on without permission and posted pictures on social media. That was a BOLD move infused with many warning signs. Hopefully, your brother saw flashing lights saying “don’t do it” because I have a feeling this wedding may not make it to the altar and if it does – watch out.

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

 

 

Dear Snarky – When a Grad Party Cancellation Gets F-Bomby

Dear Snarky,

I’m so angry at my family! My daughter’s very small high school graduation party was scheduled for this weekend and now I’ve had to cancel it because so many of my family members are idiots. They’re not following any of the coronavirus rules and my brother and his girlfriend were at that packed Lake of the Ozarks pool party.

I sent out an email telling them that “due to their behavior” the grad party was off for the foreseeable future. O.M.G. the responses I got back were ridiculous. My brother even cursed at me, like the F word cursing.

I need your help because right now I hate my family. How come they just couldn’t say something like, “Okay, can’t wait till it’s rescheduled?” Or, “Keep us posted.” But instead I get pot shots at my intelligence, and F bombs.

I plan on emailing them back and letting them all know I didn’t appreciate their reaction. What is the best thing to say to get my point across?

Signed, Still in Shock

Dear Shock,

It times like this that we have to look inward at our own actions and think, “Hmm, is there a different way I could have worded that party cancellation email? And as I’m sure you already know the answer to that question is yes.

Because you seem like a smart person I’m going to conjecture that you took great delight in calling your family out on their actions. You had to know that by sending that email that cast aspersions on their behavior you were going to stir up some drama.

Come on, you can’t act all innocent and hurt feelings now when you knew something like this was bound to happen. That said, you have every right to cancel the grad party and based on what you told me it was probably in the best interest of public health to do so.

But you could have channeled your inner Miss Manners and said that due to ever present current Covid-19 concerns you have decided to postpone the party for a later date.

As for emailing family members back that were jerks – just don’t. It’s not worth your time and since emotions seem to be running very high I fear it might result in more cursing and name calling. I will suggest that when you do have the grad party that you take the road less traveled – the high road – and show your family the type of gracious behavior you wish they would emulate.

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