Dear Snarky – A Greedy Grad Has Me Steaming!

Dear Snarky.

 I’m in the middle of a very awkward neighborhood situation. Recently, my family was invited to a high school grad party for our neighbor’s daughter. On the invite it said, “in lieu of a gift please bring $50 for Emily’s dorm fund.”

 First, what is a dorm fund? I’ve never heard of that. Secondly, who spends that much on a graduation gift for an 18-year-old? Third, who requires a cash donation to get into the party?

 Because that’s what happened my family showed up at the party with not $50 in cash, but a $15 Target gift card and we were TURNED AWAY and by that I mean the grad asked us to leave because we didn’t bring the “right present.”

 I want to know how to handle this situation. Do I go have it out with my neighbor and demand an apology?

 Signed, Greedy Neighbors

Dear Greedy,

You are going to do absolutely nothing. Think about what can you really do? Your neighbors are crude idiots. If you believe you’re going to go over and talk this out and get an apology you’re sadly mistaken. They will never admit that they were acting grotesquely greedy and that their actions were at the best mean-spirited and at the worst disgusting.

If I were you I would wear being asked to leave the party like a badge of honor. You were like Superman fighting for truth, justice and good manners.  No one hosting a party should ever demand cash at the door and have guests bounced unless they’re running a nightclub.

So girlfriend just own it and be proud. Also, go treat yourself to something nice with that Target gift card.

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

Dear Snarky – Help Me Shut Down A Mom Who Is School Shaming

Dear Snarky,images

My daughter just graduate high school and she is going to K State for college. The problem I’m having is that another mom whose daughter also just graduated has spent every graduation party dissing state schools.

To make matters worse she won’t tell anyone where her daughter is going to school because quote “they’re still weighing scholarship offers.” She also is lying and telling people her daughter got wait listed by Harvard.  I say lying because her daughter, while a good student, didn’t even take one AP class or have an academically demanding schedule.

How do I shut this mom down the next time she starts in on state schools and that ridiculous wait listed thing?

Signed, Go Wildcats!

Dear Wildcats,

This mom needs to go to remedial charm school and perhaps have a sit down with a therapist and financial planner over her aversion to her child receiving a superior education at a state school while saving thousands and thousands of dollars in tuition.

In fact, the next time she bad mouths state schools I would ask her  – what do you have against great universities? I would also not so gently remind her that most of the people she knows probably went to a state university so she might want to cool it on the school shaming because it’s making her look extremely uneducated and foolish.

As for the wait listed at Harvard thing. Good Lord, give me strength. This is the perfect parent brag because it’s almost impossible to verify. So, I would just deliver a very bewildered – “Wow, just Harvard? Last I heard most kids at least got wait listed by at least three Ivy’s and MIT.”  Yep, just battle her ridiculousness with more ridiculousness.  Sometimes that’s the only way to shut down a parent who’s out of control.

*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 FB page.

Graduation Overload

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 8.42.23 AMI’m so glad I don’t have a single child graduating from anything this month. Last year at this time I had a son finishing his senior year and a daughter (cue the drum roll) 8th grade. My eldest was deeply mystified about why such a big deal was made out of completing the 12th grade.

The fancy graduation announcements, the parties, the hoopla of it all confused him. He asked, “Why does anyone care that you met the minimum educational requirements set forth by the state? Like I know that would make a really bad Hallmark card, but seriously Mom why the shock and awe about getting out of high school?”

I thought about his questions for a moment and responded with, “Well, it’s all about acknowledging meeting your goals and celebrating your impending adulthood.”

“And by goals do you mean 12 years of not forgetting to turn in your homework?” He replied sarcastically.

“Yes and much, much more. Think of all you did and don’t scoff at goals. Even the smallest ones are important. For instance, right now I have a goal to use up all the “buy 1 get 3 for free mini moisturizers I bought from Bath and Body Works over the past two years. Oh and don’t give me that look?”

“What look?”

“The look that says you think you’re superior to me. Trust me, it’s going to be a challenge to use all of them. You have no idea how many I’ve bought. They’ve got a Ponzi scheme going on in that store. First, they draw you in with a huge sale, then up the ante by throwing some coupons at you and before you know it you’ve got enough Tahiti Island Dream body cream to get you through a ten-year moisturizer drought. Just feel my arm. Really rub it.”

“Umm no thanks,” my son said looking scared.

“Oh come on, touch it. I’m telling you my arm is slimy I’ve got so much lotion on. Sure, it’s a little gross, but it’s all part of achieving my goal of using up all that moisturizer.”

“Mom, how do you do it? Take an intelligent question about education and turn it into a story about body lotion. Do you know you have a problem staying on topic?”

“I, thank you very much, do not have a problem staying on topic. I simply excel at using everyday occurrences and using them as stirring life lessons”

“Yeah, you keep on telling yourself that,” he said with what I thought was a less than respectful tone and then as he walked out of the kitchen announced that I didn’t know what a Ponzi scheme was.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Your lotion story. You used Ponzi scheme wrong. A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation. You buying too much creams, or whatever, is in no way a Ponzi scheme.”

“Hey, guess what? You know what I’m celebrating? My “I-think-I’m-way-smarter-than-my-mother” son leaving for college in the fall. So take that mister.”

“Yeah, I’m guessing Hallmark doesn’t make that card either,” he said smirking and then left me alone in the kitchen.

This interchange last year got me to thinking about graduation. I get why my son was experiencing what I would call graduation ennui. He has had a lot of graduations. There was a kindergarten commencement and let me just say this needs to stop. I get it, nothing is cuter than a 6-year-old in a mortar board (expect maybe a puppy in a mortar board), but come on, it’s silly. It’s more of photo-op than a celebration of achievement.

Then he had a fifth grade graduation which featured the aromatic styling’s of cafeteria fumes, mop water and a mystery odor (best guess is that it was a moldy Lunchable and Smuckers Uncrustable that had mated and were honeymooning behind the heat register) and a portable sound system with a reverb so intense that a couple of mothers had to leave due to impending migraines.

That event was surpassed by eighth grade graduation in the middle school gym. It had all pomp and circumstance of getting a wedgie. Sure, the middle school band and orchestra sounded great or at least I think they did. The sound of younger siblings running up and down the bleachers kind of drowned out the music.

Finally, when high school graduation rolls around kids are jaded. Just this week, my, now just finished his first year of college, son announced that he couldn’t understand why anyone would even go to their university graduation.

I answered that question for him. “Don’t see it so much as your graduation, but as a thank you ceremony to your father and I for surviving parenting you.”

“Well, when you put it that way, how could I not go?”

“Exactly.”

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

Myth Buster – High School Edition

feaa3136c2467fb3937d02a894a4397c-1You know what no one has ever asked me to do? Deliver a high school graduation speech. Not even when I was graduating high school did I make the “give a speech” cut. So, I didn’t have a stellar GPA and wasn’t going to Harvard. And yeah, maybe my dad did have to, as he so succinctly put it, “pick up the phone” to get me into Baylor, but still I had some good things to say back then and now, well, hello to years of wisdom that could benefit the 17-18 demographic.

Guess what all this means? Oh yeah, I’m going to “gift you” with the high school graduation speech I wish I could give. Don’t panic, I promise no reflections on my teenage glory years primarily because there weren’t any. Here it goes and lucky for you I’m feeling a little lazy so consider this the condensed or mini version.

Give me a second to get in the mood. I’m humming my high school’s fight school as inspiration. Now, I’m clearing my throat and imagining myself walking to the podium while getting one of those super braggy introductions that makes everyone sitting in the audience hate you just a little bit.

Okay, I made it to the podium. I didn’t trip and I managed to swing my hair. You know, one of those flirty, kind of sassy hair swings. A sort of look at me, I’m smart and have voluminous hair so go ahead and hate me some more.

Yes, I know I’m not that smart and my hair has to be coaxed into voluminous territory with a shopping cart full of product and the art of the extreme back comb, but it’s my faux reality and/or dream sequence and I say why not imagine the best. Seriously, who would want to visualize the “authentic truth?” It sounds like some goofy thing Oprah would say.

Enough of the visualization nonsense let’s go straight to the speech. Where did I leave off? Oh yes, I was at the podium. I look out at the audience, nod, smile and begin by dropping a bomb. I’m talking a big bomb, like the crowd gasps and then one lone member of the audience stands up and cheers, “You tell it sister!”  And another person spurred on by the “you tell it” jumps up and hollers, “Amen!”

I gain back control and then swing my hair again, just because I can, and begin to explain, some might say even justify, the bomb I dropped. To do this I have to repeat the bomb again because I’m nothing if not a lover of dramatic effect (and really who isn’t?).

As I’m preparing to repeat myself for second time I’m hoping the school marching band in attendance would give me a drum roll. Oh yes, a drum roll would be ideal, almost goose bump inducing. Wait, if this is my imagination of me giving a high school speech then why can’t I have a drum roll? Hmm, I totally see no reason why I can’t. Let’s back this story up a bit and now add in drum roll.

So just to review, I’m at the podium. My hair looks amazing. I’ve dropped a bombshell. I’ve gotten two cheers, so to speak, based on said bomb. I’ve nodded, cued the band for a drum roll and now that the stirring drum roll is over I’m about to resume my speech by restating the single sentence that made the crowd go all “Oh no she didn’t” on me. For clarity purposes no one said “oh no she didn’t,” but that’s what I imagine the crowd was thinking.

I then repeat the 10 words that shocked the audience – High school is not the best time of your life.

You can’t think I’m wrong for fantasizing saying this at every high school graduation? And let’s be honest here, would you want the four years you spend suffering through assemblies and AP exams to be the pinnacle of your human voyage? More importantly, who wants to peak at 17? Who would want the next 60 years of their life to be ho-hum, just sort of OK, compared to lunch sophomore year? Hopefully, no one because it would be a tragedy.

The myth that your high school years will be the greatest life has to offer needs to be eradicated. I consider it part of a teenage mental health initiative. Think of the severe bouts of depression that could be averted if, at the start of each school year, a banner graced the entrance to every high school that read, “Relax, these aren’t going to be the best four years of your life. Trust us, it gets better.”

And it does. It gets so much better. The simple fact that I don’t have Algebra 2 homework every night has increased my joy of life exponentially. Now, who needs a graduation speaker? I’m available.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂