Instafamous

Back in the day if you wanted your child to be a star chances are you had to pull a Jed Clampett and tell yourself “Californy is the place you ought to be.” (Sorry for that Beverly Hillbillies throwback.) Now, there’s another way to reach the masses with your kid’s talent without ever having to leave home – social media.

There are legions of parents out there who are ambitiously dedicated to making their children “instafamous.” This term is derived from the Instagram app and to be instafamous is to have hordes of followers on social media.

Usually an aspiring instafamous kid has a social media account “managed by their mother” and features lots, I mean like, thousands of photos of the child. When you’re scrolling through Instagram or Facebook you know when you see pictures of a kid that feature an otherworldly, soft focus glow from the use of the Mayfair filter (because studies show that photos using the Mayfair filter get the most likes) and seem most certainly photoshopped that this child is probably on the instafamous track.

(I’m now going on the record as saying that if you’re parent that believes the natural beauty of your child isn’t good enough so therefore you feel compelled to photoshop, blur and enhance the image of your four-year-old you have problems and need to immediately seek professional help.)

I admit to being bewildered by parents who shamelessly court followers for their children on social media. Is there an upside? I mean how is your darling cherub ever going to usurp a celebrity’s kids in likes and follows? And what’s the end game besides people thinking you’re crazy?

Yes, crazy because everyone knows that for the most part getting your kid instafamous is more about you and your ego issues than your eight-year-old giving a flip about whether or not the last photo you posted exceeded 1K in likes.

My daughter is a competitive dancer (think athlete + artist) and that world seems to breed mothers who are intent on gaining instafamous status for their child. For one thing it’s easy – you’ve got loads of impressive dance pics of your kid and there’s enough going on in the dance world from Dance Moms to So You Think You Can Dance Kids to buoy a parent’s hope that their child could be the next big thing. There’s also the lure of getting a dance apparel contract for your child, which seems to be predicted on social media followers and is step one in the “I Want My Kid To Be A Star” handbook.

What scares and confounds me is that these parents seem to be oblivious or choose to ignore the frightening fact that a lot of social media love comes from creeps. One dance studio in Kansas had a huge security concern after some zealous wanna be instafamous moms hustled their kids so much that “strange men” starting lurking outside the dance studio. And a young dancer “who made it” has mega fans like a prison inmate who has the child’s likeness tattooed on his face.

We live in a hyper vigilant society where we won’t let our kids play outside in their own yard or ride their bikes around the cul-de-sac without an adult present. People freak out and call the police when they see a child walking home from school alone. So, I’m perplexed how there can there be such a huge disconnect for some parents who wouldn’t let their kid run down the street to the neighbors but are actively wooing and inviting the worst of humanity into their child’s life via social media.

Is another Instagram follower worth it? You can’t Mayfair filter or photoshop the ugly out of that question.

Dear Snarky – A Teenage Girl VS Her Dad’s Girlfriend in a Social Media Smackdown

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 I’m getting a lot of pressure to force my 17-year-old daughter to apologize for something she did on social media. The problem is I don’t think she did anything wrong and I want to high-five her and take her out for lunch and shopping.

 Here’s what happened. My loser of an ex husband’s girlfriend went on Facebook and as a status update asked my daughter, who can’t stand her, want she wanted for Christmas.  My daughter replied, “to turn back time and have you not sleep with married men.”

 For background purposes my husband and I were still married when he began seeing this woman and after our divorce my ex pressured my daughter to accept his girlfriend’s friend request.

 Well, you can imagine how things hit the fan after my child posted that statement. To make matters worse the slimy girlfriend was off Facebook for hours and didn’t see my child’s reply so that meant it was up for a while and got a lot of responses. Some were not very kind to the girlfriend who had told many people that my husband was separated when they began dating.

 Now, my ex wants our daughter to post an apology on Facebook for hurting his girlfriend’s feelings. I told him she shouldn’t have to apologize for telling the truth.

 What do you think Snarky?

 Signed, Proud Mama

 Dear Proud,

 Your husband’s girlfriend is a fool! Primarily because she should not have asked your daughter on a social media forum what she wanted for Christmas. Was she trying to show off and pretend that she and your daughter were BFF’s? It makes no sense. Good Lord, she could have at the very least communicated via private Facebook message. Also she must not know how a teenage girl’s mind works because I’d rather wrestle a rabid Grizzly than go head-to-head with an emotional 17-year-old who is working through very raw feelings about her parent’s divorce.

 As for having your daughter issue an apology on social media – worst idea ever!!!  It’s just going to stir things up again in a big way. Tell your ex he needs to let it go and in the future if his girlfriend wants to communicate with your daughter than she can deliver her message either in person or via your ex husband. 

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky, “21st Century Advice With An Attitude” email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or send me a PM on the Snarky FB page. 😉

We Don’t Talk Anymore

3b7a45b437019a9b1cc88a13044facb4We don’t talk anymore. We monologue. We interrupt. We lecture. I don’t know if it’s the fault of social media, our texting culture or if perhaps the lack of conversational finesse is the first sign of a Zombie apocalypse, but whatever it is it’s scaring me.

I couldn’t even watch the presidential debates or the vice presidential one off. I really, really tried, but all of them made me too anxious especially the butting in and talking over each other. For me it was like watching an overlay of every Real Housewives show in the franchise on full volume. Basically, an auditory dumpster fire.

What’s happened to the art of the conversation? I’m already a person who has a very rapid cadence. (My whole childhood I was told by my parents that it was okay to breath while speaking.) But now I find myself talking even faster and I think it’s because I want to finish my point, my story, or get to the punch line of whatever I’m yakking about before someone interrupts me.

On the flip side I’ve finished other people’s sentences in an effort to interject something besides a head nod into a conversation. And I’ve also been a “convo interruptus.” It’s usually my futile attempt to steer the topic in another direction or I like to think I’m mercifully helping someone wrap up his or her story.

Hmm, I don’t like where this is going. I’m part of the problem. What’s happened to my manners? Okay, let’s back track on this. Maybe it’s less about knowing how to converse and more about all of us being in madly in love with the sound of our own voice and for that I’m totally blaming Facebook. I think we all now talk in status updates.

Instead of a give and take of a conversation we’re all about blabbing how we think and feel with no room for anyone else to add their two cents. The problem is the other people you’re talking with also have their status updates to contribute so it’s like everyone is having separate conversations that if you’re lucky overlap at some point. It’s exhausting and boring.

Making it worse is that Facebook, I believe, has emboldened some people to feel like they’re freaking genius. Just because on your FB newsfeed there’s a space with the sentence “What’s on your mind?” Doesn’t mean that outside of your social media universe anyone else cares about your musings on politics, taxes or home remedies for hammertoes. Even if that musing got you five comments, one wow face, three hearts and 11 likes on your page.

No wonder there are people who have embraced a text only lifestyle where they only respond to text messages. Some have taken it a step further and abandon words altogether and only write in emojis.

Which is also scary because writing in emoji’s leads to talking in emojis. I heard a grown woman actually say during a work meeting “sad face.” Yes, she verbalized the sad face emoji which lead me to verbalizing WTH?

You know upon further review I think it’s not that we don’t know to converse anymore, it’s that we don’t know how to listen. A good conversation requires that every participant be equally adept at listening. And I mean really listening. Being present and paying attention to what is being said not just keeping your mouth shut while you wait for your chance to continue your verbal stream of consciousness.

Perhaps the art of conversation can be saved by revisiting the wise words of first grade teachers everywhere. Think about a world where we would all  embrace “using our listening ears.”

 

Dear Snarky – Help! Politics Has Hijacked My Facebook Page


Dear Snarky,
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 Please tell me what the proper recourse is for dealing with people who clog up Facebook with their political rants. I used to love Facebook and seeing pictures of my friends and their kids. Now the ratio is like one cute pic to 50 presidential rants. It’s driving me crazy! I can’t wait for this election to be over.

 Signed, Sick of politics

Dear Sick,

 I feel your pain. A couple of weeks ago I went on a de-friending spree which was surprisingly very, very satisfying.

Yes, I get it if you’re a passionate person who likes to post 100 times a day about the election, but once you cross that bridge into vicious hate filled spewing you’re gone. I don’t care how cute those cat memes are you used to post.

 Here’s what I suggest. You can edit your newsfeed by clicking on the little arrow to the right hand side of every post and you’ll see a “hide post” which will clean up your feed to “see fewer post like this.”

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-7-56-12-am If that doesn’t help you can opt to “unfollow” which means you stop seeing posts but stay friends. I call this the “Southern Manners” maneuver. It’s like when my mother would call someone darling, but what she really meant was dumb ass.

And then there’s the nuclear option where you can go to the page of the person in question and click “unfriend.”

 I also want to alert you to fact that once the election ends in no way is Facebook going to be magically restored to unicorns and rainbows. Immediately after the votes are counted some peeps whose candidate lost will go on a “the world is ending” binge and then after the January inauguration you’ll see posts about Satan, aliens, the dark lord of the galaxy etc – being spotted in the oval office. I wouldn’t give Facebook the “all clear” until probably Valentine’s Day.

 So, you can either edit your newsfeed, take a couple of months vacay from social media or do nothing and just hold your nose while you’re scrolling down through your page.

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

Dear Snarky – I Posted A Mug Shot of My Sister-in-Law on Facebook

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I might have caused a forever-family rift and I need your help. We did a huge family spring break trip to the beach and because we were just with family some of the moms, including myself, wore swimsuits that we would never wear back home.  We looked horrible and super fat, but didn’t care because we were with people who shouldn’t judge us about how we look.

Well, a week after the vacation my super skinny sister-in-law, posted our fat ass bikini pics on her Facebook page! We were all furious. So, a couple of days later I posted a mug shot, from probably 5 years ago, on my page of my sister-in-law when she was arrested for a drunk and disorderly with the tag “throwbackthursday.”

Now, everyone, except the other moms in the bikini pic, hates me and my father told me that because of me all of our “family vacations” are in jeopardy. I already apologized and took the picture down. Is there really anything else I can do? Oh and my sister-in-law still has that bikini picture up on Facebook.

Signed, Sort of Sorry 

Dear Sorry,

I’m not going to say your sister-in-law didn’t deserve a little payback but the mug shot was probably going to far. I think a social media sharing of an arrest trumps a stomach flab status update any way you look at. So, my suggestion is why don’t you and maybe your entire family take a break from kinfolk vacations for a long while. Let feelings simmer down and allow sometime for everyone to get over it or until a messy divorce takes center stage.

I would also suggest no more family beach vacations and next spring break opt for a ski trip where everyone is wearing puffy clothes. Plus, always and I mean always, beware of your sister-in-law. Trust me eventually she’s going to exact revenge.

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

Crock-Pot Selfie

1347476657304_151538It’s the day I thought would never come. Something so miraculous has happened to me that a week later I’m still giddy. I, with chest thumping pride, can now report that I no longer have the lamest phone in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

Just how lame was my phone you ask?

Not only was it so old that no business entity or craft fair would deign to manufacture or crochet a phone cover, but the AT&T store employees at first passed my phone around with wonder like it was a unicorn. Quickly that thrill was gone and I noticed they had fear in their eyes. I knew what they were thinking. I had seen that look before. When anyone under 25 would gaze at my phone they’d freak out a little.

My best guess is that my outdated phone probed their greatest inner fear — that one day a Pacman-like virus would appear and gobble up advanced technology, taking us all back to the flip phone and texting through mashing a button multiple times. Remember when if you wanted a Y you had to really go for it and click the 9 on your phone three times? Well, I was this close to living that life.

Thanks to my children, who staged an intervention and literally marched me into an AT&T store, I’ve got the latest and greatest in cellular technology (which means by the time you read this my phone will already need six software updates). I thought I would be thrilled with having a phone that was cool. At first I was, thanks to being introduced to the world of 1,000 different emojis. I had been emoji-free my entire life and now that I can send a happy-face-with-sunglasses text, well, it changed me. It spoke to my very soul. Who needs the alphabet to communicate when you can talk via panda emoji?

The downside of the phone is having all the social media apps on it. Yuck. I’ve hit the social media wall. I avoid Facebook during a presidential election year. I’ve got a hunch that when people write about politics they think it makes them sound smart. Sadly, the opposite is usually true. I miss the days when people would just stick a sign in their yard and call it a day.

As for Twitter, something’s wrong with my feed. I don’t know what happened, but slow cooker recipes are all I ever see. It’s not like I haven’t “followed” cool stuff like the Royals, but I never see those tweets. For some reason my account has been algorithmed to show only recipes where your food languishes in a hot tub for a six hours.

I just checked it right now and the first nine things on are it, yep, you guessed it: Crock-Pot crap. I saw a recipe for Crock-Pot Coca-Cola lamb stew. Excuse me for a minute while I go brush my teeth because I threw up in my mouth a little bit. And there was also a Crock-Pot cake tweet. Who makes a cake in a Crock-Pot? Like it’s so much harder to dump the batter in a pan and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes. And don’t get me started on cooking oatmeal in a Crock-Pot. Yes, let’s take something you can make in under 60 seconds with boiling water and stretch out that process to eight hours.

Plus, and here’s something hard-core Crock-Potians never talk about, Crock-Pots can be a huge pain to clean. All that leisurely slow cooking creates a crust of baked-on food residue that remains forever stalwartly clinging to the ceramic base. I don’t care if you lube up your Crock-Pot with enough aerosol vegetable cooking spray that it makes the Exxon Valdez oil spill look like a minor leak — you’re still not going to be able to wipe that thing clean.

Heed this warning: Do not make mac and cheese in a Crock-Pot. I’m pretty sure I got carpal tunnel’s from all the scrubbing it took. I’m talking 30 minutes and six SOS pads to get my Crock-Pot sort of clean and that was after soaking it overnight.

With my new phone I could even have taken a selfie with multiple sad-face emojis or done a snapchat while I was scouring my slow cooker. But, here’s the deal: Now that I’ve got this fancy phone, if you ever see me in a #crockpotselfie, please assume I’m being held against my will and do all you can to stage a dramatic rescue. I suggest using the Trader Joe’s parking lot as a command post.

In fact, bring your Crock-Pots. If you have ever used them to cook oatmeal or mac and cheese, they’ll fit the criteria for WMD’s and that means you can really scare my captors into a speedy hostage release.


 

Snarky Gets Hacked the Finale

So, herhackinge’s the deal. I have a really good story to tell that I can’t tell . . . yet. A couple of days ago my Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page got hacked. Apparently, someone really, really wanted to be Snarky and took over my page. (Was this unnamed someone unaware of my cankle affliction? One would think that would be a deal breaker for anyone wanting to be me.) They even started posting stuff. The good news, at least, it wasn’t porn. The even better news as soon as they started posting they left a digital trail which made it easy for the authorities to trace them. All this now has me in the middle of an investigation which is full of intrigue and I have been told to not write about what I know until I get an all clear from the law.

You can’t know even begin to imagine how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut especially when it’s chocked full of juicy goodness. As for my Snarky Facebook, well it had to be completely nuked, like a Grade A thermal nuking of intergalactic proportions to cleanse the demons. This means I went from having well over 166,000 “likes” to zero. In the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. Seriously, with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms when I had 166,000 “likes” sometimes it would show that only 30 people saw a post. That said, with my new book coming out in January I would LOVE to get the word out that folks need to “relike” my page to get their daily dose of Snarky. So, if you would be so kind as to relike my page, share what I post, and spread the word via social media that  Snarky is back I will be forever in your debt.

And as for that story I’m not allowed to share yet, well, here’s a little clue because I can’t help myself. Three words: mom blogger envy.

Yeah, you read that right. Stay tuned, my friends, stay tuned.

For sharing purposes here are my social media links.

Snarky Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/qgbrkdl

Snarky Twitter: https://twitter.com/snarkynsuburbs

Thanks and Snark On!

Bible Verse Throw Down

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I’ve had a busy month being evil.

I’m talking going straight to the burning pits of hell kind of evil where you’re forced to get a bikini wax every hour whether you need one or not. Of course it’s totally not my fault.

It’s my job’s fault. My current work assignment is researching and writing a neighborhood safety guide. Talk about a mind numbing snoozer. And who needs a freaking guide? The whole thing can be summed up in two sentences: Hey, you fools in the burbs practice some common sense. Don’t leave your keys in your car and lock your wrought iron, faux, French country, mahogany enriched front door.

Oh, if only it were that simple, but no I have to drag that information out to create a guide. This dull, boresville, task led me to fall back on my greatest talent – the ability to waste time. Before anyone who works in human resources gets all high and mighty about my “goofing off” during company hours. Relax your ass. I get paid by assignment not how many hours I work. So the only one I’m hurting is myself.

That said, I would sit down at my computer with the best of intentions, but ultimately would get side tracked by Satan’s earth-bound flunkey – Facebook. It was while I was simultaneously checking my newsfeed and looking at shoes on Zappos that I noticed a decided upswing in the number of bible verses being posted by my “friends.”

Now, I’m from the South and went to Baylor so as you can imagine my newsfeed is thick with bible verses. Some days it’s like I’m on the Christian Mingle version of Facebook. Upon further research I discovered that it was two women, who each live in the same town, that were posting a bible verse approximately every two hours. This made me curious so I dug deeper and starting lining up their bible verses. That’s when I got a snarky tingle that started at the base of my spine and worked it’s way to the “Oh no you didn’t” part of my brain because holy crap from the looks of it these two middle-aged moms were bitch-slapping each other with the bible.

Hallelujah!

To confirm my theory I went archival. I sorted through their home pages and discovered what I believed to be the source of the friction. As with most mothers the falling out seemed to be over children. Their Facebook pictures told the story. Each mother has a 15-year-old daughter. The girls both went to the same high school. Back in April both moms had posted about being “So excited for cheerleader tryouts!” 🙂

Scroll down to July and one mother’s page was filled with photos of her daughter at summer cheer camp. The other mom’s page was not AND right about the time the cheer camp photos started popping up is when the non-cheer mom began the first barrage of bible verses. She went Old Testament and it was brutal. Each verse was accompanied by a cryptic personal message.

So proud of my daughter and her values! She would never cheat to get ahead. That’s something for this mom to c-h-e-e-r about.

Proverbs 20:10 “The Lord hates both these things: dishonest weights and dishonest measures.” 

Right after that the cheer mom Proverbs right back.

Proverbs 12:22, KJV Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

And then it was off to the races. Each mom would volley back a bible verse that in some way was a put down to the other mother and her family. From reading between the bible verses I surmised that the non-cheer mom thinks that the cheer mom’s daughter cheated to make cheerleader and that the mom helped her daughter cheat. At first Proverbs got a nice little workout. It seemed to be the non-cheer mom’s favorite go to book of the bible. She even made this verse her Facebook cover photo.

Proverbs 29:27 “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.”

The cheer mom though was no slacker. She didn’t fear going to that scary place – Revelation.

Rev 21:8 All liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to get involved. Wouldn’t you? It’s just too delicious and way better than writing about McGruff the Crime Dog. So, I used my time when I should have been working to invent bible verses and then take those fake verses and share them on each woman’s Facebook page. The women would then use my faux verses in their status updates skirmishes.

Why did I do this?

No, it’s not because I’m mentally unbalanced, well, truth be told that could be some of the reason. But the real reason is I did it as an act of evangelism. Yeah, that’s right I did it for God. Because, although, I’m not a biblical scholar I don’t think the Lord Almighty meant for his Good Book to be used in a bible verse, bitch slapping, battle between two bitter moms.

Now, you might think it’s hard to invent bible verses but I found that if you put a thou or some old-fashioned word in a sentence you were pretty much good to go. I also started out attributing my bible verses to the Book of Zephaniah because I Googled “least quoted book of the bible” and that’s what popped up.

This was one of my made up favorites and the non-cheer mom loved it! Even better when she put it as her status update it got 57 likes.

Zephaniah 1:19 A mother who lies passes thou sin to the daughter who the almighty will curse 1,0000 times over till hell becomes the descendants burial grounds. 

Then I started feeling guilty, like God might smite me or something for incorrectly using the book of Zephaniah. So, I began making up my own books of the bible. I thought I would get busted for this as soon as I posted it on Facebook. As I said I went to Baylor and you have to take a semester each of Old and New Testament religion that are ridiculously hard. So, hard I took my religion classes at McLennan County Community College because I didn’t want the bible to make me cry or lower my GPA.

Plus if you judge my Facebook associates by their posts a lot of my “friends” considered themselves very devout and righteous individuals. I assumed they would know their bible. They did not. I was going on week three of posting gems like this:

Hermesian 4:29 “A daughter’s reflection should be of the Lord and not of her mother who is rife with deceit.”

FYI – It got more than 100 likes. (Yeah me!)

It wasn’t until last night that I got outed by my husband of all people. He went to the University of Texas so we all know that makes him 97% heathen. I was stunned he knew even one book of the bible. He rarely gets on Facebook, but just happened to be scrolling down his newsfeed and saw one of my “bible” verses being shared by the non-cheer mom.

The key here is I never posted the verses as my status update. I only took turns sharing them on the two bickering mom’s pages. Most of the time they would copy, paste them as their own verse of the hour. This time the non-cheer mom gave me a shout out. I was doomed.

My husband, taking the Lord’s name in vain repeatedly, asked me, “What the hell are you up to? And “What the hell is the book of Hermersian?” Adding “Isn’t that a beach in Southern California?”

While cooking dinner I quickly blurted out, “That’s Hermosa beach, you idiot.” And then did the whole bible verse debrief. I knew in my heart my husband would see how I had God’s back and was a virtuous woman. Unfortunately, he was filled with the very unholy spirit of non-forgiveness and insisted that I cease and desist. “Whatever,” I said, “I’m kind of getting tapped out creating bible verses.”

“Here’s a bible verse for you,” he said all pious like while drinking his vodka on the rocks, “Do unto other others as you would have them do unto you.”

“That’s not even original to the bible. It’s a philosophy found in every major religion.”

“Doesn’t matter where’s it’s from. Try following it.”

I rolled my eyes right in his face and said, “Well, Mr. Vacation Bible School Drop Out, I hope if I’m ever a passive aggressive jack ass that uses the bible to go one-on-one with another mom on Facebook that someone will do exactly what I did.”

He got silent for a moment, took a sip of his drink, and said, “You do have a point.”

And then as if God agreed with him a beatific glow of light filled my kitchen. It was that or someone had left the refrigerator door opened. I prefer the hand of God theory myself and that’s what I’m sticking with.

*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs scover_1.3-2eries – 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! 🙂

 

Rantober

In a shock to no one I’m ranting again.  My Halloween candy stash has been forcibly removed from my home.  At first I thought it would be a good idea.  A Pre-Halloween cleanse, if you will.  Like most of my ideas it sounded excellent in theory, but was a disaster played out in real-time.  During a P.M.S. sugar craze I went for the bottle of children’s Gummy Bear vitamins.  One word – yummy. Two words – over dose.  I didn’t know until I shared my secret shame on Facebook that all the extra iron and vitamin A are not a good thing. Think death or at least a case of chronic constipation, Now I’m back on my cleanse with a fiber chaser. It’s made me very crabby and given me a level of gas that is so intense I fear leaving my home.  I have no other recourse, but to vent.  So, here goes.

Facebook  I thought I had seen almost every instance of T.M.I. imaginable on Facebook from a pregnant women’s comment that her “cervix is mushy and dilated to a 6.” To a dude’s “tripod” Viagra story, but nothing tops this: (Please note what I’m about to reveal is a word for word status update.)

“This morning my beautiful 13-year-old daughter’s journey to become a woman has begun.  She finally started her period!  When I heard her call me into the bathroom I just knew it had happened”

Yes, a mother, who I know and until now didn’t think was insane, put that on FB.  What kind of mom shares that kind of personal, private information with the general public?  (I feel justified in using the term general public because the mother has almost 1,000 FB friends.)  This question so haunted my every waking minute that I had to message her and ask, “Aren’t you afraid your daughter is going to kill you?”  She replied, “I can’t imagine she would care.  We’re going shopping after school to celebrate.”   Really, shopping? Is it going to be a mad cap adventure at Target for maxi pads and panty liners?  Maybe even worse than the mother’s over share were her “friends” responses.    Her status update received 59 likes (Why would you “like” that? What’s to like?  “Yeah, you get to enjoy PMS, cramps, and basically being on restroom alert 5 to 7 days out of every month.  Yippee!”) and 24 comments These were my favorite. (Once again, word for word here)

“The Lord has smiled and another girl has flowered into a beautiful woman.”

Okay, that totally creeps me out. The whole God grinning, flowering woman thing sounds beyond disturbing.

“OMG Your daughter just got her period? My Ava started hers at 11.”

Read it and weep mothers are now competitive about when their girls start menstruating?  It’s the Period Olympiad folks. What does that say about us as a society?  I’ll give you a hint. It says we’re, most if not all, bat shit crazy.

Do not let her use Tampons for at least 6 months it will ruin her hymen.

WTH?  How can a Tampon ruin your hymen and how does 6 months play into the ruination schedule? More importantly why should we be obsessed about hymens in general?  Inquiring minds what to know.  I felt compelled to comment on this comment and asked those 3 questions.  I got this response. “The hymen is at its most sensitive the first 6 months of a girl’s period and you want to be sure not to break it.” I commented back, “You really need to read some basic biology books and not rely solely on your “Great Granny’s Guide to the Care and Upkeep of Your Virginal Plug.” Can you believe someone deleted my comment to her comment?   Jerks.

The one thing I’m certain of is this T.M.I. Mom better watch her back. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I’m very, very sure her daughter will seek revenge and it will be painful.  At least I’m hoping it will be painful and that her daughter will share all the gory details on Facebook.  In gleeful anticipation I’ve already sent her a friend request.

Kid’s names  I know it’s none of my business what anyone chooses to name their child.  But for all you pregnant or soon to be pregnant woman out there let me offer this advice.  When thinking of a perfect moniker for your someday baby ask yourself this question: Is there anyway it will make him or her a serial killer?  Remember your kids grow up and if you give them a goofy name they’ll solicit some degree of payback.

I feel the need to offer this advice because today when I was at the park walking my dogs I stopped to talk to a mom and comment on her adorable son.  She told me her son’s name is “Awesome.”  I replied, “Of course he’s awesome.” She corrected me.  “No, he’s not just awesome that’s his name.”  I said, “Really his name is Awesome?  Is that a family name?” (Yeah, I said something that stupid. I was flustered.) She politely said, “No, no one else in the family is an Awesome.”  I asked her how they came up “such an original name.”  She smiled and said, “When he was born my husband and I both looked at him and the first word that came out of your mouths was awesome.”  “Oh what a great story,” I happily replied and bid my farewell.  It took everything I had to not turn around and go back to the woman and talk some sense into her.  I wanted to scream, “Awesome, you named your kid Awesome!”  Doesn’t she know what’s she done.  One of two things is going to happen here. The kid will either grow up to indeed be Awesome (doubtful) or he’ll become the nation’s worst serial killer.  F.B.I. profilers will trace back his mental unhinging and proclaim that it all begin in elementary school when Awesome was teased for being not so awesome.  I can see the news headlines “Awesome Serial Killer Claims Another Victim.”  I’m seriously worried for this child.

Sometimes you just have to talk yourself (or family members) out of name.  My dad (the accountant) wanted me to name my son Cash.  I told my Dad that unless he wanted to pay me lots of cash for naming rights there was no way that was going to happen.  I also have always loved the name Grace.  But, me Klutzy Cankle Doofus couldn’t name my daughter that.  What if she inherited my total lack of coordination?  How grossly unfair to be named Grace when you have problems walking and talking on your cell phone. Never mind that it took me years to master climbing stairs in flip-flops.  It was imperative that I select another name.  The good news here is that my daughter turned out to be very graceful, but I’m certain that if I had tempted fate and named her Grace she’d be a mini-me still learning how to keep clogs on her feet. (It’s all in the toes.) Trust me no one wants that for any child.

Adult Halloween Costumes  My number one Halloween rule is I will not wear any costume that requires Spanx or a bra that through an intricate system of ropes, pulleys and under-wire elevates my breast to the higher altitude of my clavicle.  When did Halloween leave Scary Town and relocated to Slutburbs? Have you been to a Halloween costume store?  They should rename them Skanks R Us.  It’s all thigh high tights, garters, cleavage and stripper shoes.  The worst is they’ve taken sweet, innocent children’s characters like Minnie Mouse and Alice in Wonderland and turned them into (non Magic Kingdom licensed, of course) hooker outfits.  What happened did Minnie cheat on Mickey with Goofy? (Bad choice Minnie. I would have picked Scrooge McDuck over Goofy.  Sure, Scrooge is old, but he’s loaded and I think he looks cute in his top hat.) Did Mickey throw her out of the House of Mouse?  Did Minnie find herself short on cash? Was she forced to relocate to Tramp Toon Town and work the pole at Donald Duck’s Gentleman’s Club “A quack establishment featuring the no pants dance”?  I’m pretty sure that’s what went down because Minnie’s outfit doesn’t say Disney it says Do Me.

While I’ve got your attention I’d like to add that few things are more pathetic than middle-aged women using Halloween as an opportunity to strut around in honeymoon lingerie masquerading as a costume.  I went to a Halloween party last weekend and I hadn’t seen that many almost exposed boobs since I attended a La Leche League breast-feeding class 15 years ago.  There was the sexy sailor, the foxy firefighter, the slutty Cinderella, the voluptuous vampire all way past their nublie years .  I hope they all caught a horrible chest cold or at the very least extreme chapped nipples.

Nerd/Geek Days During the week before Halloween many schools have spirit days that consist of kids dressing up in a different outfits each day.  For example, there’s a Western Day, Pajama Day etc.  Some schools even have a Nerd and/or Geek days where kids come to school with goofy glasses with tape on them, too short pants pulled way past their belly button, pocket protectors – you get the picture.  I’m a one woman wrecking ball when it comes to Nerd/Geek days sanctioned by schools, places that allegedly celebrate knowledge.  Why don’t the schools just have a day that proclaims “We Hate Math and Science!” or “We Never Want to Find A Cure for Cancer!”

A Geek is many splendor thing and these kids need some love.  They’ve been picked on post womb. As the proud mother of a super geek I was appalled several years ago when my son’s school had a Nerd/Geek day.  I had him embrace his geek by dressing up for school in a coat and tie.  I then took those fake $1,000 bills you can find at the Dollar Store and stuffed them in his suit coat pocket and put one of those “Hello My Name is” labels on him that read, “Hello, I’m your boss in 20 years.”   Well, guess what happened next? I got a call from the principal expressing “concern” about my son’s costume.  He felt it was “uppity.” I was up at that school faster than you can say, “Stanford Graduating Class of 2018.”I ever so politely pointed out to the principal that the Geek day was a form of bullying. (Yes, many years ago I learned any variation of the word bully is a parental trump card.)  I then gently suggested that instead of mocking geeks the school embrace their thirst for educational enrichment or at the very least get the costume right.  Goofy glasses and high water pants – please.  I don’t think Steve Jobs, the Google Guys, or any Nobel prize-winning scientist I’ve ever seen looks (looked) like that, especially not the girl geeks.  The principal attempted to blow me off, pat me on the head or whatever by saying, “You need to take off your mom hat.  You’re over thinking this.”  Oh my, that poor, poor man.  I hope someday soon a Dr. Geek/Nerd will invent a 3 part  robotic prosthesis for male genitalia because there’s an elementary school principal in Texas walking around without any of his manhood left.  I ripped it right off, stomped on it and then tossed it the trash on my way out of his office.  Screw “Don’t Mess With Texas” what you really need to do is “Don’t Mess With a Mom of a Super Geek.”  We’re lethal and our kids know how to crash your computer system.

Lord, that felt good to rant.  I’m not even craving high fructose corn syrup.  Now, there’s a Halloween miracle for you.  Well, off I go to venture forth and find something else to irritate me.  I’m sure it won’t take long.

**Many thanks for all of you who “liked” me on Facebook!  May the Snark Be With You.  For those that haven’t done the deed yet to stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs. Oh and while you’re at it go ahead and share my link with friends.  Cheers!

Facebook – Marriage Buster

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Facebook breaking up marriages?  C’mon, what an embarrassing reason to give for your marriage disintegrating. If my marriage was going south I would try to think up something a little better than Facebook to blame it on. Where’s the creativity and spite in blaming Facebook?  At least that’s what I thought yesterday. Today, I have changed my mind while standing in line at the post office. There I was waiting to mail a package.  I had number 145. Unfortunately for me when I walked in they were just on number 112. The line almost went out the door. What’s the problem, I thought. I look at the counter and one lone woman is working and she’s helping someone get their passport.  Talk about something that takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Then I look over to my left and get uber ticked off.  Two postal employees are chit chatting.  The line is heading out the door and two employees are gabbing. Ugh. (My apologies for any postal workers who reads this.  I know you work hard but perception is everything. If your employees are on break for self-preservation purposes alone, they shouldn’t be talking at the counter when there’s a line. At the very least get thee to the break room.) This is what worries me about any kind of national healthcare. If it’s going to be run like the postal service God help us all. After I choked down my anger and talk myself out of going to Fed-X I notice the guy in front of me – Mr. 144 is having a rather animated conversation on his cell phone. Having nothing better to occupy myself with and due to the fact that he is being rather loud I listen in on his call. Jackpot!  His call is fascinating. It seems Mr. 144’s wife has been having a Facebook affair.  What a shame I think.  Mr. 144 is awfully cute.  He seems to be in his late 20’s, well dressed with really good hair. I’m talking “soap opera” good hair. I shift my box to my other side and begin to listen in earnest.

Here’s what went down. His wife, apparently, made contact with a friend of a friend on Facebook. They noticed they were both commenting on the same posts and thought each other were hilarious. (Please, who doesn’t think they’re hilarious on FaceBook?) That lead to a FB relationship which lead to his wife thinking she found “true love.” Now, his wife wants a trial separation so she can see if she and her FB honey are “really meant to be.”  Yes, I got all that from his phone call. I was standing so close to Mr. 144 I could hear his wife’s voice spilling out of his phone. The poor guy hangs up and looks really sad. That’s my cue to do what I do best – offer unsolicited advice to strangers. You may think it’s rude or pushy. My husband is pretty sure it will someday get me killed. I like to think of it as doing the lord’s work. I make my move with the perfectly polite, “Excuse me sir, but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation.”   Mr. 144 looks embarrassed and apologizes. I tell him he has nothing to be embarrassed about and then I go for it.  I say, “I think you should tell your wife to go ahead and run off with her Facebook Fantasy.”  Now, in my vast experience of butting into people’s lives this could go either way – he could tell me to shut the @#%$ up or I’ve just made a new friend for the next ten minutes. It totally went the new friend route. He perks up and says, “Why do you say that?”

“Well, of course, I don’t know you at all and you could be a terrible husband or even a serial killer but I’m going guess you’re an okay guy and your wife on the phone sounded a little crazed. I say tell her she can have the trial separation. It will probably scare her straight”

“Really?” he says sounding all intrigued.

“Plus,she might start thinking maybe there’s someone you have your eye on during the whole trial separation thing. That,” I say, “will be a total bonus for you.”

By this time there’s four people now listening to my post office therapy session. In front of us one middle age married guy and an elderly woman with a sassy look about her. Behind us a pretty, 20-something woman and a mom who looks to be right about my age. Middle aged married man butts in agrees with my advice. But, he goes somewhat overboard. He tells Mr. 144, since he doesn’t have kids he should get out of the marriage sooner than later. He then asks him if he and his wife own a home or any property?  Mr. 144 says no.  That piece of information makes married middle-aged man break into a Cheshire cat grin.

“Oh yes,” he says, “Get out, get out now.  It will be a clean break.”

I interrupt before married, bitter, middle-aged man can get any more enthusiastic about matrimonial destruction. Time to go for the seasoned advice of the octogenarian.  Grandma, who decided she would channel Betty White and comes right out and asks Mr. 144 about his sex life.  Her wisdom – “if it’s good keep her, it’s average or below get rid of her.”  I can’t let this opportunity pass so I ask her “Why’d you go there?”

“I was married 62 years” she says. “ Believe me it’s always all about sex even when you’re my age.”

Hmm, didn’t know that. I don’t know whether to be delighted or disturbed by the information. The mom that looks like me chimes in.  She asks Mr. 144 if he’s sure his wife is talking about running off her a guy she met on Facebook or could it be a woman?

I immediately interrupt. “Really,” I say, “like this is helping.”

The look-alike mom says, “That’s what I did.”

“Did what?” I ask.

“Fell in love with a woman.”

“Oh, okay then.”  So, I ask Mr. 141, “Do you think it’s a man or a woman she’s thinking of running off with?”

He doesn’t answer right away and then says, “It’s a man. Definitely a man.”

My last “helper” is the cute twenty-something girl. She says, “You’re like so hot so I like for sure totally would so not put up with that. Seriously, I would like maybe go out with you.”

Now, Mr. 141 is looking a little less like a sad sack. I’m about to wrap up the community conversation when the grandma suggests that Mr. 141 calls his wife and tells her to take a hike right now.

I hurriedly say, “Um no, no, not a good idea. Hey, were just passing time in the post office. You should think all this through. Remember we’re all total strangers. What do we know.”   But, as I’m saying this he’s calling his wife and putting her on speaker phone. This could go down as my worst unsolicited advice session in my history of offering unsolicited advice.

The wife says hello, Mr. 144, begins telling his wife to go ahead and run off with her Facebook boyfriend. Then grandma leans into his phone and says, “I’m looking at a girl right now that’s ready to show your husband a good time.”

The “girl” (twenty-something) pipes up, “Yeah, that’s right I think your husband is hot.”

Then, the mom who looks like me says, “I do him if I weren’t gay.”

The middle-aged married man grabs the phone out of Mr. 144 hands and says “I’m a lawyer and I’ve already told him to dump you.”

I’m shushing everyone, but it’s not working. They’re having a great time. The wife on the other end of the phone sounds weird. Almost like her voice is echoing.  Oh shit!  His wife is here at the post office and she’s walking towards Mr. 144.

Sweet Alexander Graham Bell we’re all screwed. Mr. 144 looks pale. Since I started all this I stand right beside him. I do admit to holding my box very close to my chest and face as body armor. Mrs. 144 is ticked off. She starts in on Mr. 144.  “What’s going on?  How dare you let these people get involved in our personal life!”

Poor Mr. 144.  Then I have an idea. I introduce myself to Mrs. 144 and by introduce myself I mean say I’m a lady who was trying to offer some advice to your husband because I inadvertently heard some of their previous cell phone conversation. She calls be a “dirty eavesdropper” and she’s got a sort of point there so I don’t argue. But, is it really eavesdropping if you can hear someone’s cell phone conversation from six feet away?  I decided to go in for the kill, “Hey, you might want to get off your high horse and calm down. This is just Facebook in real life.”

She looks at my like she’s wants to punch me and screws up her face and says, “What?”

“Consider me and the rest of us as “comments.”  She’s still giving me the stink eye so I say, “Hey, your husband posted his “status” at the post office by having a cell phone conversation we all could hear and the rest of us just responded with our “comments.” As for this one (I lean my head towards twenty-something) she was just giving your husband a flirty “friend request” or perhaps a naughty “poke,” grandma over there was writing on your husband’s “wall” and this guy ( I look at the middle-aged married man) was just sharing a “link” about divorce with your husband.”

She still looks supremely ticked off, but lucky for me my number was called so I haul over to the safety of the postal counter to mail my package. I try to drag out the transaction and even considered updating my passport so Mr and Mrs. 144 would have left the post office before me. No such luck. There they are arguing by the stamp vending machine and P.O. box area. Why don’t they go home or at the very least to one of their cars to fight? I’m now considering my exit strategy from the post office when Mrs. 144 calls out to me. Oh goody. I walk over and say, “Yes.”  She tells me it’s none of my business, but they have decided to not have that trial separation.   “Congratulations,” I say, “that’s great” and continuing walking. My plan is to go across the street to the Quickie Mart, grab a Diet Coke and make sure the coast is clear before I get in my car. No way do I want to be followed home by Mrs. 144. I kill some time at the Quickie Mart and then go back to the post office parking lot. Yes, it looks like Mr. 144 is gone, but dang it his wife is still there.

She walks up to me and says, “Hey let’s friend each on Facebook.”

Unbelievable. Stunned for a second, I reply, “Awesome,” and then give her the name of  my archenemy. The PTA President at my daughter’s elementary school.

She taps on her phone, giggles and says, “ Okay, I just sent you a friend request. You’ll be my 3,873 friend!”

After that, thank you lord, she takes off in her car. Wow, I think she’s not in love with a friend of a friend she’s in love with Facebook all 3,873 friends and counting.  Mr. 144 doesn’t stand a chance against those numbers.

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new Spring/Summer  Snarky line of clothing and accessories. Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.) Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.