Hot Mom Problems

On occasion I like to open up my Snarky site to a guest blogger so they can share their thoughts.  I was approached last week by a woman who thought I was incredibly unkind to the much maligned minority group known as Hot  Moms.  I thought she had a valid point so today our guest blogger, who’s going by the name “Hotter Than You,” reveals the hotter the mom the bigger the hot mess.

Even Hot Moms have problems.  You think it’s easy being tan 24/7 365?  Let me tell you it’s so not.  A March spring break only complicates our lives. It means we have to go from being just yoga pant hot to swimsuit super hot practically overnight.  The hair removal issues alone require advanced strategic scheduling.  It’s not like you can just go in and have a head to toe wax job.  Any Hot Mom worth her silver glitter Uggs knows you have to wax in stages spread out over at least a week for maximum hair removal efficiency.  For those of you who don’t believe that anyone as gorgeous as me can possibly have any difficulties in her life – here’s my List of Hot Mom Problems (Spring Break Edition).

Vajazzle glue causes epic lady business rash.  OMG and WTF are salons all buying their vajazzle glue from China?!!  This is my 3rd crotch rash since last November.  Just stop right there, I know what you’re going to say, “Maybe it’s not the glue, maybe your allergic to vajazzling.”  About that – hell to the no.  It’s not me, it’s salons pretending to be high-end and probably using an Elmer’s Glue Stick or worse Gorilla Glue to get those crystals to stay put. This is what’s wrong with America – not $4 a gallon gas, unemployment or the freaking environment, but sub-standard salon service.  When, I ask you, is a presidential candidate going to man up and talk about that?  You’d think Romney with that big old Ken doll mane of hair would have addressed this quality of life issue.  Just imagine the arsenal of styling products he must use to keep that fullness, color and hair height looking so good everyday?  (Off topic kind of – Can you imagine being the wife of a presidential candidate?  There is not enough Zoloft  in the world to make me stand by my husband’s side every damn day and act fascinated with whatever he says.  God, it would be like dating all over again minus the alcohol.  Eww!)

Should I pre-oil or wait till I arrive at the pool?  This is a tough one.  You want to look your best when you make your pool-side debut which suggest that pre-oiling is the way to go.  This way your spray tan is super shiny and just shouts, “Hey look at me. I’m hot!”  But, if you pre-oil that robs you of the opportunity to immediately attract attention by dropping your swim bag, ignoring your children, grabbing your lotion, putting one leg up on a chaise lounge (or using a pool umbrella as an impromptu stripper pole) and begin massaging shiny goo all over yourself.  Is there anything sexier than me in a bikini, one leg propped up high on the back of a chair, my fake wonder breasts trying to escape out of my tiny triangle top, doing an application of sun tan oil super high on my inner thigh while my vajazz peeks out?  The short answer – Hell No! P.S.  Just to prove that Hot Moms are giving, kind people I’ll share with you this secret.  Pour some glitter into your suntan oil so you not only shimmer, but sparkle.  You’re welcome.

Navel piercing belly bling doesn’t match vajzzle crystals – Seriously people who run salons, how hard is it to keep a decent supply of coordinated crystal colors in stock. Like I want to put on a bikini and walk around the resort wearing mismatched crystals.  I want my body bling to tell a color story of supreme hotness not be a hideous Fashion No.

Should I be worried that the esthetician who does my waxing gets more “hands on” time “down there” than my husband? Could I be a more loving and concerned fourth wife to even think about this?  No, I could not.  This proves that I’m hot and I care. Which is the most awesome combination e-v-e-r!  I wouldn’t have even have thought about this except a group of us mega hotties were talking while waiting for our pilates reformer class (mat pilates sooo 24 Hour Fitness) to begin and the subject of sex came up and one beauty mentioned that she did the math and her hoo haa spent more time getting groomed than it did getting boom boomed. (If you now what I mean.)  Is that so wrong?  Is it our fault that hair really does grow overnight or that our husbands are obsessed with their i Pads?

Hair up or down?  Hot Moms want to wear their hair down at all times. It’s part of our by-laws and a big part of our sacred Hot Mom pledge.  Pretty much no matter what the circumstances or sports activity we like to have our hair flowing.  You really can’t even qualify to be a Hot Mom if you gave birth with bad hair.  Seriously, if you were a sweaty mess with your hair in some kind of scrunchie, pony tail hell while in labor then shame on you. I delivered heavily medicated (Don’t tell me you didn’t demand they top off your epidural?) in full make-up. (Waterproof foundation and mascara are key.)  My hair was freshly blown out and I had on some darling hoop earrings and a tasteful diamond necklace (An early push present.) I even had my husband apply some Channel Lip Plumper (I picked a muted pink color so it wouldn’t clash with the god awful blue/green hospital gown) right before the last push so I would look amazing for the delivery photos. If you think having a C-section is permission to look frumpy, think again.  Surgery is no excuse to slack off.  You take your just styled hair, gently fold it into the surgical cap thingy and ta da – after the C surg and combination tummy tuck (Really why waste perfectly good anesthesia?) you take that cap off, swing your hair a couple of times and you’re back in the game.

Wow, I totally got sidetracked.  What I’ve been trying to get to is the whole pool side Hot Mom hair issue.  Yes, you want to wear it down, but the whole messy bun thing is soo in fashion and if your hair is in a messy bun then you don’t have to worry about it trailing over your boobs and hiding your spectacular cleavage that you paid soo much for.  It’s like Sophia’s choice – do you put your hair up for best boob view or keep it down and stay true to your Hot Mom pledge. I haven’t been this conflicted since I had to decide whether or not I wanted a nipple enhancement when I got my last augmentation. It’s things like this that keep me awake at night.  Thank you pharmacy gods for Ambien.

Bad Spray Tan – Yes, bad spray tans happen to hot people.  Trust me if you’re a Hot Mom you’ve, somewhere in your career of being beautiful, have received a tan that can best be described as ashy orange or as us Hot Moms call it assy orange. It’s a tanning hazard that comes with the territory of being amazing.  The first time this happens you’ll go through the Five Stages of Tanning Tears.  Stage one is denial that your tan even looks that orange.  You’ll tell yourself it’s just the fluorescent light in the store or that it will look better in sunlight.  Next, you’ll get angry at your tanning establishment and strike out at them on their Facebook page calling them the “Orange Julius” of tanning salons.  After you get that out of your system you’ll experience Stage 3 and probably drop to your knees and offer a moving pray to the Patron Saint of Hot Moms – Pamela Anderson –  vowing to never ever ask for “extra custom airbrushing” again if she would use her powers to magically change your tan from pumpkin to sun-kissed.  When that doesn’t work you’ll get very depressed and try to perhaps drink yourself into such a stupor that you no longer know your primary colors – making it no big deal that you’re currently the color of a carrot. Lastly, you’ll accept your orangeness, buy a six-pack of St. Ives exfoliating body scrub at Wal Mart mix that with some Comet with bleach and spend a half day in the shower rubbing your skin raw or as I like to call it a “at home full body chemical peel” to knock down your orange to a more acceptable burnt sienna

The Nip Slip – Is it really that bad?  If I’m in a bikini chances are I’m going to nip slip. Sometimes it just happens and sometimes I’ll admit I make it happen. It’s not because I enjoy showing off my stuff, well it is kinda, but it’s more because I believe my boobs have the power to make people happy.  Take last week for example, there I was in my Hot Mom spring break uniform – super skimpy bikini, belly piercing, hair down with a straw cowboy hat, Ugg flip-flops and a trio of David Yurman “statement” necklaces.  Right next to me was this scary mom in a freaking tank suit or whatever they call swim wear that covers you up from chest to thigh.  This lady didn’t even have a sarong or a maxi dress on instead she was wearing navy blue capri track pants OVER her swimsuit that appeared to have food stains on them .(Psst – It was Snarky.)  I was about to hurl and then I noticed she was physically deformed – cankles and a severe case of whale knees . I hope she’s a member of that support group I donated to. What’s it called? Is it Doctors Without Borders? No, no, that’s not it.  Oh, now I remember it’s – People Without Plastic Surgeons. If that wasn’t bad enough she keep on talking to her husband about something called a “brisket taco.”  God, she couldn’t shut up about it. It was all “the brisket was so lean.  The sauce was so savory.”  Who even eats solid foods after Christmas? I gave up chewing for Lent.  To get this rocking bod I’ve been on a protein shake diet for going on almost 4 months.  I felt so sorry for her poor husband that I did an “on purpose” double nip slip.  I’m sure it just about made his year. Why have incredible breasts if you can’t use them to bring joy to others?  – I guess I can check “good deed done for the day” off my “to do” list.

See, I’ve got my share of problems.  All I ask is that the next time you’re so quick to judge me to remember that although I’m immensely better looking than you and my credit card, of course, has a much higher limit, I could be suffering from a crotch rash from hell and that’s all the reason I need to cut in front of you in the school drop off-line – again.


Breaking News Alert! It has just come to my attention that a few of you do not know what a Vajazzle is. For the love of all the glitters please check out my Vajazz Trilogy: Vajazzle Seriously?, Your Valentine Vajazzle Headquarters and PTA Vajazzle Fundraiser Time Line.

**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 – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.   Thanks also to all the Pinterest folks that are sharing the Snark. Cheers!

The Reverse Stubing – Part 3

You’ll be relieved to know the whole me in disguise scenario was quickly abandoned.  Nikki, diplomatically pointed out that my, “Personality was too unique to camouflage.”  What she really meant was my fat ass, but I appreciated her kindness.

What totally convinced to give up the disguise plan was when Kelly said, “Two words for you – yoga pants. Don’t you remember last year when you said you were going to try on some yoga pants to see how the other half lived. So, you went to Lululemon and got a pair.  You can’t have forgotten what happened next?”

“Yeah, I remember. I pulled them on, which left me a little winded from the exertion of getting them up and over my thighs. It was a like a workout with resistance bands and I spent the better of a day walking around with a camel toe in the front and a butt crack peek-a-boo in the back. Yes, it was horrible.”

Kelly added, “Your exact words, I believe were, ‘It was a 8 hour lycra colonoscopy.’ You also over shared that you ‘needed tweezers to get the pants out of your crack.’  So, yeah, thanks for that. You do know that all the backstage helpers wear black yoga pants, black T-shirts and, I know you’re going to love this, an apron.”

I maybe could have suffered through the yoga pants, but there was no way I was wearing an apron. Sure, it would have covered the camel toe, but the apron to me said, “I’m here to serve.” I couldn’t stomach the thought of “serving” those moms.

So, I went with Plan B – sneaking backstage and saying I was there to take some behind the scenes pictures for the PTA newsletter. We all thought that would work. Nikki, though, would be doing the heavy lifting. She said she was up for it as long as I was right beside her.

We all finished our mojitos, except for ABC who wanted a “roadie.” I gave her a Snapple instead and everyone rounded up their kids and headed home.

The Evening Before the Style Show

Nikki as instructed had signed up to volunteer as a backstage helper. She also e-mailed Charity and said she would be “flattered beyond words” to be her “dresser” for the event. Each mom and child model had a dresser.  A person that would help her them get the clothes they were modeling on and off.  Charity took the bait and picked Nikki to be dresser.

This evening Nikki and I were going to the Bridal Boutique to pick up the gown Charity would be modeling. All the stores that were letting clothes leave their premises for the style show required that you pick up the clothes up right before the event and then return them right after the style show is over.

We were showing up the night before for two reasons. One, I had cased the joint and knew that the owner of the store that help pick Charity’s gown did not work in the evenings. I didn’t want anyone in a position of authority to question us or worse, report back to Charity.

Two, that meant only three young women would be working and I felt they wouldn’t question us. We needed that to ensure we could successfully pull a bait and switch with Charity’s dress.

As soon as we walk in I go up to the youngest looking woman working behind the counter and tell her we’re here from Edgewater Elementary to pick up the bridal gown that they’re letting us borrow for our style show. She knows just what I’m talking about and goes in the back of the store to get the gown.  When she brings it out. I ask her to unzip the bag so I can confirm that it’s the right dress.

I confess to the sales assistant, “The woman this dress is for is sooo picky.  I don’t want to be the one that brings the wrong dress. Have you meet her? She’s kind of orange.”

The young woman laughs and answers, ‘No, but I’ve heard about it. We all call her the tangelo.”

“Oh my,” I say as I’m inspecting the gown, “This dress is too big. It says it’s a size 8.  Do you have this in stock in any smaller sizes? The tangelo is tiny.”

“Wow, sorry. I’ll go check right now.”

The clerk comes and says she had the gown in a size 6 and 2.

I look at Nikki, we’re both smiling, and say, “We’ll take the size 2.”

My only worry is if the manager of the store sees the size 8 gown tomorrow she may wonder why no one has come to pick it up. We don’t want Charity to get a phone call. I ask the clerk, “You know now that I’ve thought about I’m just a little worried to leave the size 8 here. What if Charity, the tangelo, had something planned we don’t know about. We’re both, (I gesture to me and Nikki) a little afraid of her. She’s got a temper. Would you mind just zipping the size 8 in her too and letting us get this worked out. I don’t mind leaving a credit card on file with you if that’s what it takes.”

“Oh no, that won’t be a problem. We’ve got Charity’s card so, yeah, go ahead and take the dresses.”

Five minutes later we’re walking out the store with both gowns. Score! We drive to Kelly’s house so she can change the size tags on the two gowns. Kelly is one of those women who is blessed with crafting abilities.

She knits beautiful hats and does amazing scrapbooks for her girls. Even the paper she uses would qualify as works of art and she gets very excited about pagination.  Out of the four of us she’s the only one who could gently remove the size tags and change them out without hurting either gown.

In a matter of minutes the size 2 dress is wearing a size 8 tag. We are good to go for the style show.

One Hour Before the Noon Style Show 

I’m en route to the country club for the Style Show. I’ve got ABC in the car with me. She’s holding a box on her lap that contains the Style Show programs. When we get there I’m going “backstage” to check on Nikki, to make sure she’s surviving her Hot Mom Tour of Duty and ABC will be busy putting the programs on every table.

I felt kind of bad for ABC. She was feeling left out so I had her work with my son to make up a fake ad for the program which was a faux plastic surgery clinic.

The ad read: The Plastic Surgery Team of Lee, Gummelt  & Martin is proud to support Public Education and Edgewater Elementary.  We’re also proud of our patients. Sixteen of the Mommy Models have experienced our surgical artistry in the form breast implants, tummy tucks, fanny lifts, facial injectables and vaginal rejuvenation – proving our clinic can keep you in “model” form.”

I emailed in the ad from a school computer straight to the company printing the program (good luck tracing it back to me) and yes, it’s mean. So what?

Furthermore, if these women don’t want me messing with their program then they need to quit putting me in charge of all the PTA’s printed material. Doing the school newsletter, directory and crap like the Style Show program is deemed, I’m sure, by the hot moms, work for the “attractively challenged”.

They also need to proof better. The mock ad was in the final proof and the committee signed off on it.  All I’m saying is they need to work on their attention to detail. Plus the ad is like a brain teaser.  The audience can play “Guess Who Got a Boob Job” or  “Whose Hoo Haa is Back To Full Virgin.” It’s just another example of how I’m always giving back.

We get to the country club and ABC and I go our separate ways. I head straight to a portion of the C.C.’s ballroom that has been cordoned off to dress the models. Bless Nikki’s heart I can hear Charity squawking even before I get into the room.

She’s in four-wheel drive bitch mode, screaming at kids and moms, the country club staff, pretty much anyone that crosses her path. She’s got her hair in hot rollers, is wearing a white silk robe, and some angry-looking stilettos that scream “I have my podiatrist on speed dial,” while her acrylic nails keeps tapping a checklist on her I Pad.

I run over to Nikki, put my arm around here and ask her if everything is going okay.

“No, it’s not okay. Charity should not be in charge of anything, ever! I thought she was bad just as a human being.  But, add in being the boss, like she is here, and it’s Cruella De Ville drinking crack cocktails.”

“I’m so sorry, but hang in there this whole this is over in two hours and I know it’s going to be so worth it.”

“The only thing getting me through this is the look on her face when she tries to get her orange butt in that wedding dress.”

“About the dress – has she looked at it?”

“Yes, but all she did was unzip the bag to make sure I picked up the right one.”

“Okay, great?” right after I say this Charity sees me and clip-clops over in her heels to ask me what I’m doing.

“You know behind the scenes stuff for the newsletter,” I say very importantly.

“I guess that’s okay,” she spits out. “Just make sure I get to approve what you write and also no photos without my approval.”

“Yeah, sure. No problem,” I say, but in reality if Charity wants that much control over what goes in the lame PTA newsletter then she can write the damn thing.

The Style Show Begins

I duck out and hang with ABC and Kelly.  We entertain ourselves by watching people leaf through the program and either gasp or laugh when they see the plastic surgery ad.  Right at high noon Charity comes out in a Michael Kors suit and introduces herself and goes to a podium off to the side where she’ll MC the Style Show until right before the grande finale when she comes out in bridal couture.

I stay in my seat and watch the show until I see Charity hand over the MC reigns to her Style Show vice chair – the second ickiest woman on the planet Jacardi Monroe. (For more information on Jacardi please see Do You Know This Woman?#2)  As soon as Charity starts walking towards the “model” dressing area I get up and follow her.

I hang back until she’s out of her Kors suit and begins to step into the bridal gown that Nikki is holding. Nikki gives me a look that says, “Here comes the shit storm” as she’s helping Charity pull the dress up it stops at mid-thigh. Charity begins really tugging at to get it to move. Her face is turning Capri Sun Fruit Punch Red from pulling on the dress so hard. That’s my cue to rush over and ask if I can help.

“No, You. Can. Not. Help,” seethes Charity.

Nikki says, “Charity let’s try pulling the dress over your head and see if that works.”

Good job, Nikki, I think to myself. That will totally tornado her hair.

Nikki stands on a chair and begins to lower the gown over Charity’s head.  The gown makes it as far as Charity’s boobs and won’t budge. The dress has become a chest tourniquet

By this time Charity is having a melt down. She pulls the dress up and off, F bombs are flying like Fritos at a second grade slumber party. Charity screams, “You F’d up. This dress has got to be wrong size.”

That’s when I step over and say, “Nikki check the tag?” Of course, I know what’s it’s going to say, but I had to play this out. By this time we had quite an audience.

Nikki, like she’s trying to tunnel her way to freedom plows through all the dress fabric, finds the tag, and pipes up in a very chipper voice, “No, it’s a size 8!”

“There is no way in hell this dress is a F’ing size 8!” Charity screams. Her bellow was so intense her full body spanx seemed to vibrate.

“I know,” I say, “Let’s really loosen the corset ties and try again.”

The gown was one of those bridal dresses that you lace into like Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind.  So, Nikki and I remove the lacings and enjoy the sight of Charity trying to stuff herself into the dress.  This time it goes on, but there is no way we’ll be able to lace it together. There’s at least a foot of naked back staring at us, but that doesn’t stop us from “trying.”

“Charity,” I say in a very loud stage whisper, “You’re not pregnant (pause) with twins are you?

“F No”!

Well, then girl you must retaining water like a sperm whale or Shamu is in your family tree because I don’t think there is anyway we can make this fit. Could you, I don’t know, do something like “Quadraspanx?”

“What the hell is that?”

“Quadrapspanxing is when you wear four pairs of Spanx.”

“I’ve already got on a body-shaper and booster butt panties and I’m having trouble breathing. I can’t wear any more F’ing Spanx!!”

“Okay, okay calm down FATTY We’ll figure this out.” Oh, what joy that F word brought me!

Right after I said, that two hot moms are running towards us screaming, “Shut up, shut up!  We can hear all of you on the runway, especially you!” They both jab their overly blinged fingers in my face and while we’re talking about fingers whoever thought that “crackled” nail polish look was a good idea was totally wrong.

“What are you talking about?” I ask sounding very confused and innocent.

“Charity, you left your microphone on!”

“I most certainly did not.  I took it off as soon as I came back here to get dressed.”

All eyes turn and stare at me.

Charity points at me and shrieks, “You have my microphone on! Why?”

“Hey, you threw it on the floor.  All I did was pick it up and clip it on my pants so it wouldn’t get trampled on.”

“But you turned it on. I know you did!”

“I don’t even know how to turn it on.” I rip the mic clip off the waistband of my pants and say, “Here, take it and turn it off.”

While, throwing the mic I’m thinking “Excellent, everything is going just as I had planned.”

Remember when we were young and all we needed to get something from a guy was a smile and maybe a deep lean over so he could get a glimpse of our upper to mid boob?

Now, that we’re in the cavernous pit of middle-aged to attract a man’s attention we’re forced to use LPC – Laser Precision Complaining.  A lethal mixture of angry mom and psycho school librarian. That’s exactly the tactic  ABC used with the dude running the sound board at the Style Show.  As soon as I headed backstage she got up and started bitching at the sound board guy about how the mics sounded “scratchy” and everything was “way too loud.” “We’re not paying you for reverb young man!”

ABC in his face distracted/flustered him to such an extent that he never cut off Charity’s mic which meant everyone could hear the meltdown. This is what attention to detail looks like my friends. Don’t leave home without it.

(Alert Snarky readers will also noticed the microphone mix up sounds very much like the ploy I used in “So, I Was Kicked Out of the Junior League. Is That So Wrong?” Let’s just say I’m a firm believer in recycling.) 

I ask, “Could you hear me call Charity a fatty?”  I tried to sound concerned and apologetic.

“Yes, and a sperm whale!  Couldn’t you hear everyone laughing?”

“No, we were far to busy trying to shove Charity into this damn dress.”

Nikki says, “No worries, no worries. Everyone calm down. Charity focus on getting dressed.  We’re just going to lace you in the best we can.”

“You know I have another solution,” I volunteer.  Charity you could get back in your suit and have someone else, someone who might actually fight into the dress, model. Like Nikki, here.”

Nikki quickly answers back with, “Oh no, I couldn’t wear that gown. It would just swim on me.  You’ll need a much bigger girl.”

I step back and look at Nikki, like a proud parent.

Way to come through with the lethal insult!  To think one year ago, she was so shy she cried when another mother complained about the quality of the marshmallows she used in the Rice Krispy Treats she made for the winter kindergarten party.

(Truth be told it wasn’t the marshmallows that were the problem it was the generic rice cereal. I may only have a B.A. degree, but if there’s one thing I know it’s baked goods and cereal based dessert treats.) And now, with my gentle guidance she’s blossoming into a snarky woman. I couldn’t be more pleased.

Nikki and I begin to lace the gown. It looks wonderfully hideous. From the front the dress is simply horrible. Charity’s boobs are barely contained and there’s puckering everywhere from her body trying to escape.

The back, what can I say, the back is a thing of rare beauty. The ultimate fashion no. You see more spanx than dress and the laces look like they’re could give up at any minute. Plus, the combination of spanx, too tight dress and laces that are fighting for their life have funneled any excess skin/flab Charity has into a case of extreme back fat that jiggles when she attempts to inhale air.

Like I said, it’s a sight to behold. We lie and tell Charity she looks fine – kind of.  I believe our exact words are, “This is probably as good as its going to get.”

Charity shoos both Nikki and I out-of-the-way, stops at a mirror, fluffs her hair, attaches some stupid looking blusher veil and starts walking out of the dressing room to the runway.

Nikki and I run as fast as we can so we’re in the audience for Charity’s big reveal. Charity walks out on runway and I’ll give her this, she worked that bridal gown.This 43-year-old, orange, mother of two swayed her hips and sashayed it with everything she’s got, which was a problem.

Each time she gyrated the gown’s corset, whose tensile strength was being severely tested by the fact that a size 8ish body was forced into a size 2 gown, would become looser and looser. Bring on the double nip slip!

It took Charity a couple of seconds to realize her nipples were free, free at last. She quickly turned around to walk back up the runway and that’s when you saw the gown gaping open and the wonder of the back fat funnel.

The gasps that occurred when Charity’s nips winked at the audience were replaced with at first chuckles, then laughter that worked it’s way to howls.

That was our cue to leave – quickly. Nikki, ABC, Kelly and I hauled out of  ballroom. Our work here was done. As we walked out of the Country Club and headed towards the parking lot I couldn’t help myself, I started singing The Love Boat theme, until ABC told me to shut up which, of course, only made me sing louder.

Love, exciting and new
Come aboard, we’re expecting you
Love, life’s sweetest reward
Let it flow, it floats back to you

Love Boat soon will be making another run
The Love Boat promises something for everyone
Set a course for adventure
Your mind on a new revenge.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book 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! 🙂

The Reverse Stubing – Part 2

I judge a person by two things.  If they like dogs and television. If it’s a no to either of those then not only can we never be friends, but I really will never trust you.

I get being afraid of dogs, but not liking any dog – ever, that’s a sign of serial killer.  If you’re one of those people who pride themselves on never watching television or worse don’t own a television then give me a moment while a grab a Kleenex and weep uncontrollable for a few minutes. Please know that I pity you and right now, in between snot sobbing, I’m praying that the good Lord see fits to bless you with some sort of TV viewing apparatus very, very soon.

The longest love affair I’ve ever had has been with television. Not once has it let me down. I can’t say that about any other relationship I’ve ever had and that includes my parents and husband.

As a young child the first thing I learned to read was the TV Guide. It was so much better then Pat The Bunny and the channel listings were an excellent way to learn my numbers. Every extraordinary fact I’ve ever known has come from television.

At times, people will ask me, “How do you know that?” and I quickly reply in my “are you a dumb ass or what?” voice, “From television, of course.”

It was TV, specifically late 70’s early 80’s ABC television, that provided me with the scheme I was hoping would bring Charity Turner to her spray tanned knees.

I grew up watching The Love Boat.  Every Saturday night you could find me in front of the TV in my flannel Lanz of Salzburg night-gown eating Jiffy Pop, drinking Tab and singing The Love Boat theme song. “Love exciting and new.  Come Aboard. We’re expecting you.” 

All of this Love Boat due diligence paid off big time when I remembered the episode when Captain Stubing went on a diet.  His diet made him grouchy so Julie, Doc, Gopher and Isaac let out his clothes out so he would think he had lost weight and thus brightening his mood.

I was going to pull a “Reverse Stubing”.  Somehow, I was going to get my hands on Charity’s style show finale wedding dress and shrink that sucker.

This kind of plan called for back up.  I would need my troops. I sent out a text to my three best friends (Allison, Kelly, and Nikki) that read, “Charity is going down. Who’s in? My house, after school. I’ve got a mojito mix. Can someone bring a couple of limes?”

As expected everyone showed up to revenge H.Q. – my, non-granite countertop, kitchen. (You know you live in deep suburbia when your judged by the geologic composite of your countertops. I’ve had six-year-old girls come to my house, look at my countertops and say in a disapproving tone, “Eww, this isn’t granite.” Who died and make freaking granite king anyway?)

I had Kelly fill ABC (Always Bitter Chick) and Nikki in on what Charity had done/was doing and then I laid out my plan. I first told Kelly she needed to sit this one out. I thought it was best to keep her hands clean. ABC would be providing back up support only.  She had a little, okay big, problem with impulse control and I didn’t think this plan was a good fit for her, um, talents. Sweet, kind, unassuming Nikki was my go to girl for this one. The big question – could she pull it off.

(For those of you who don’t keep up Snarky and really shame on you for that. I’m not running a remedial blog people. I’ve included a primer on my best friends called, what else, but “My Friends” read it and get caught up.)

“Okay, ladies,” I said, “Here’s what I’m thinking”

I was then loudly interrupted by children wanting more food. I gave them a big bag of leftover Sweet Tart conversation hearts and told them to chomp away.

For those of you thinking, “Bad, bad, mommy” because I threw a one pound bag of conversation hearts that I got for 70% off at Target in the discounted Valentine’s candy aisle at a group of kids for a snack, quit your damn judging.  I started out the after school snack bacchanalia with peanut butter and organic Granny Smith apples from Whole Foods. So there.

After I got the kids started on their heart-shaped snack of corn syrup and modified food starch I started over with my plan.

“We all agree that our primary goal is to teach Charity a lesson. Since she deems it okay to call little girls fat I think we should give her a dose of her own medicine.  What I’ve come up is the “Reverse Stubing.”

All three of my friends gave me a blank look.

“You know like Captain Stubing, The Love Boat. When Julie and the gang let out his clothes so he thinks he’s lost weight.”

Blank stares continue.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t spend your Saturday nights watching The Love Boat back in the day. It was great! The ship was the Pacific Princess and they had amazing guest stars. Oh my God, my favorite episode was when they had the cast of Charlie’s Angels on the ship. I’m telling you, I know Farrah, God rest her soul, was the popular one, but I was a Kate Jackson kind of girl. Smart, wore a bra and had very sensible hair.  Like Farrah could do any real crime fighting with those free range boobs and flowing mane.  You can’t really run that hard with your boobs beating you and your hair getting in your face.  I, mean, really, at the very least you’d stumble or have to stop to give your nipples a chance to recover from extreme tube top chafing.”

ABC says while sucking down her mojito , “Yeah, I think I was doing something called dating and going to parties back then not watching The Love Boat.”

“And by dating,” I ask, “Do you mean letting half the boys in the class of 1989 experience the tactile wonder of what was inside your acid washed jeans?”

“Maybe,” she said smiling and sucking on lime.

“What about you Kelly didn’t you watch The Love Boat?”

“Re-runs maybe, but not enough to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every episode. God, wasn’t it on the air forever?”

“Yes, if you can call 9 years and 249 episodes forever.  That’s not counting their three made for TV movies.”

Nikki then piped in and said, “I wasn’t born yet when it came on, but I think I might have seen part of an episode on TV Land.”

I threw two limes at her.

“Whatever. Since none of you are blessed, like I am, with the memories of a childhood spent basking in the loving, warm glow of a television set, let me put this another way.  You know the “Tramp for Day” wedding gown that Charity always models at the finale of the Style Show well we’re going to shrink it.

By that I mean Nikki you and I are going to get our hands on the dress and exchange it for a smaller, much smaller size.  I want to see Charity try to cram her size 10 body into a size 2 gown. I’m seeing tears and a whole lot of screaming in her future.”

“And just how do you think you and Nikki are going to get a hold of Charity’s dress?”  ABC asked.

“That’s easy. We’re going to volunteer to work backstage at the style show.”

“No, I can’t let you do that,” ABC said, “Do you know what you have to do backstage?  Basically, you’re a hot mom’s servant.  No, that’s wrong, you’re a hot mom’s bitch  This plan has too many holes.  First, no hot mom will want you as their bitch and secondly, no one, I repeat no one, will believe you want to work backstage.”

“Duh,” That’s where Nikki comes in.  Look at her.  So pretty, so young, so sweet. Her breasts so high. Her forehead so wrinkle free. If it wasn’t for us the hot moms would be rushing her for their sorority of Tri-Bitch. The three of us have saved her from being sacrificed on the altar of hotness.  They’ll be thrilled she wants to help. They might even think she’s pondering the possibility of going over to the dark side of yoga pants and Uggs. It’s perfect.”

“Okay,” ABC said, “I get Nikki. But, and no offense here Nikki, she can’t pull this off by herself.   Our little Nikki has not had the years of bitterness washing over her to form her into the Four Star General of Revenge we see standing before us today. How is she going to do this solo?”

“She’s not.  I’m going to be her partner.”

“How?” Kelly and ABC said in unison.

“I’m going in disguise. Nikki will introduce me as a “new mom” to the school. No one will know it’s me.”

“Oh dear God, NO!”  ABC yelled and took a swig straight from the rum bottle.

*Part Three of the Reverse Stubing is right here:

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book 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! 🙂

The Reverse Stubing – Part 1

If you want to see ugly go to an elementary school spring style show. Relax, I’m not talking about the 7-year-old girls “modeling” adorable Easter dresses. I’m talking about the moms. 

You have two tiers of ugly at a school style show. Tier Super Creepy and Tier Satan.

Tier Creepy is the moms who sell their soul so they, along with their child(ren), will be selected to “model.” Tier Satan is the Style Show committee. This team of moms led by the Princess of Darkness – Charity (Seriously, that’s her name.) Turner have taken fundraising to the fiery depths of hell.

To get you up to speed here’s a little background on the Edgewater Elementary Spring Style Show.  It was started six years ago in the never-ending quest to find new ways to raise money for the school.  The PTA was already selling cookie dough, gift wrap, magazines and spirit wear.  We had a “Parent Social” and Auction where alleged grown ups went to drink too much and get in a bidding war on their child’s class “basket.”

There was also the Fall Festival and Carnival which worked much like the token shake down at Chuck E Cheese.  A group of enterprising moms thought a Spring Style Show would combine the best of the kid friendly Fall Carnival with the adult appeal of the Parent Social.

The first couple of years it was a quaint affair in the school cafeteria with kids modeling their own clothes and the principal acting as emcee and saying things like, “Ashley loves this dress because it twirls really, really well.” Now the Style Show is held at a country club, the fashions are pre-selected from super fancy boutiques and most importantly mommies now model.

It was year three of the Style Show when it when it was “upgraded” to include mothers strutting their stuff and that’s when the event went from a low-key get together in the cafeteria to our town’s equivalent of Fashion Week. We have Charity Turner to thank for all this.

Charity is on year four of chairing the Style Show Her qualifications for this “honor” are in 2009 her closet was highlighted in the local lifestyle magazine’s “I Heart My Closet” feature. There was Charity in all her white blonde glory standing on a zebra patterned carpet in her leopard wallpapered closet with a blinged out Home Depot chandelier casting glints of light on her overly orange spray tanned arm that look like a sweet potato had mated with a Cheeto, clutching her “favorite item in the closet” a vintage Channel purse from her days as a “fashion buyer.”

What Charity neglected to mention in the interview was to get the closet (which was a former bedroom) that according to her is the “envy of the neighborhood” her two daughters, who are 6 years apart in age now have to share a room. Behind her in the photo are racks of clothes and what Charity calls her “denim” bar. The bar is floor to ceiling cubbies where she stores her “78 different pairs of jeans.” Some women upon reading this were all “Oh My Gawd, I just loooove her closet!”

My take on it was more of an inside glimpse of well-organized hoarder. I mean, really, what woman needs 78 pairs of jeans.  I’d bet my left cankle she probably wears, at best, less than ten percent of what’s in there.  Oh, and the whole fashion buyer thing – total crap unless you call working the Estee Lauder counter at Macy’s before you got married as “fashion buying.” None of this really even matters. What matters is she’s an evil troll.

Upon taking over chair of the Style Show Charity told everyone that she was going to make it more “professional.” By that she meant she would be taking her orders directly from Satan.  Charity insisted that every child and mother who wanted to model in the Style Show must turn in two pictures.  One was to be a head shot and the other full length body shot with their height, weight and sizes listed on the back. (Last year, I sent in two pictures of my dog.  I was told by Charity that my “attempts at humor were not appreciated.”)

After these pictures were turned in Charity and her committee would select a group that would come for call backs. This is where you would demonstrate your walk. Mothers were instructed to wear at least 3 inch heels to “create a runway experience.”  All the moms were also informed that the mother/child modeling was not a package deal. The mom may get selected while the child may not or vice versa. You also had to sign a form that stated you “would not contest, in any way the selection of who was picked to model and that the committee would reserve the right to revoke anyone’s model status at anytime.”

After call backs the list of mothers and children selected to model was posted on the front door on the school. You should have see these moms running to the front door like they were back in high school rushing to see who made cheerleader. If you believe that 30 to almost 50-year-old women have matured past performing the hat trick of hopping up and down, flailing their arms and shrieking like love-sick teenagers then think again. It sounded like they were being doused with acid and my mother’s 1962 bottle of Jean Nate.

As you can guess, I was never one to entertain thoughts of any kind of modeling experience – ever. (My one exception would be working the runway for a Target XL track pant fashion show. Count me in on that.) Thankfully, my children would rather eat brussel sprout and kale cereal than provide someone with a head shot. That meant I could sit back and make fun of the all moms that spent months currying favor with the “selection committee.” Charity would spend all year going up to moms and touching an article of clothing they have on and making statements like, “Oh, I just love this cashmere  tunic. Keep it up and you could be in the running to be a S.S.M.”

S.S.M stood for Style Show Mom. For a small portion of moms at the elementary school achieving S.S.M. status was akin being crowned Mrs. Hot America.  Charity could also be found delivering fashion rebukes. Two years ago she saw me in my track pants at the grocery store and told me I was a “fashion no.” I smiled and said, “Thank you.”

“Thanks for what?” she said in an irritated and confused voice.

“Thanks just for thinking of me. Do you do it a lot?”

“Do what a lot?”

“Think of me. I’m betting you do. Is it just me or do you think we have a connection?”

That freaked her out so much she took her cart and ran off to the frozen food aisle.

The chance at being a S.S.M brought out the five-star ass kissing for the wanna be hot moms. You see, the Style Show is the gateway to being upgraded to full hot mom status and Charity Tuner was the role model for how to go from not to hot.

Charity isn’t bad looking, but she’s not your typical hot mom. By that I mean she’s not a double zero.  Charity, is at best, a size 8 which in the land of hot moms might as well be a size 18.  Things changed for her when she landed the chair of the Style Show. She used her new-found power to claw her way into the hot mom group and thanks to her success many wanna be hotties saw the style show as a way in.

Once you got in you couldn’t relax. There was a bit of a pecking order to the Style Show. If you were kind of hot you were selected to wear the churchy looking Easter dress or worse a maxi . If you were medium hot you got the jeans and sleeveless summer top look. If you were hot you got the shorts and resort wear. Super hot moms with a predisposition to starving and 21st century space-aged polymer synthetic breasts modeled swim-wear.

Yes, swim-wear, I’m talking bikinis and heels.

They start off strutting down the runway with a sarong wrapped seductively low on their hips then take it, turn, giving the audience a full butt shot, and walk back up the runway.

The queen of the hot moms or in this case Style Show chair – Charity Turner – would end the show wearing -and dear God in heaven this is why I love the suburbs so very much – a bridal gown with, and to me this is the very best part, a full length veil.

I will say Charity, or someone, had the decency to at least make it a bridal gown for say your second, or third or fourth wedding. There was nothing princessy or virginal about it.  This gown shrieked “experienced woman with a wide variety of talents featuring advanced training in the horizontal arts.”

For that sight alone I gladly paid $40 for my Style Show ticket.

The kids fashions, as you can imagine, were an afterthought. In fact, since my  kids weren’t involved in this cluster of crap I never gave it much thought until that fateful day when my friend Kelly confided in me.

Our daughters were at ballet and we were killing time sitting in my car outside the McDonald’s enjoying a 99 cent vanilla ice cream cone when Kelly started talking about the Style Show. I perked up hoping it was going to be some juicy mom gossip like Charity had an STD or something, but it was the kind of information that made me sad. Kelly told me that Charity was calling some of the little girls that were going to model fat.

“What?!” I said while still licking my cone, how did you hear that?”

“It was all anyone could talk about at the Multiples Club.”

Now before you think one of my best friends is a swinger the Multiples Club is for parents with twins and triplets. Kelly has twin girls and the Mothers of Multiples meet a couple of times a month and compare notes on raising same age children.

I asked Kelly, “What exactly did the Princess of Darkness say to the girls?”

“Well, two moms told me they had taken their daughters to the You Say Spoiled Like It’s a Bad Thing children’s boutique so they could select their outfits to model in the Style Show and while they were trying on clothes Charity shows up and goes into the dressing room area and tells two sets of 6-year-old twins they were ‘kind of fat and needed to lose those bellies.'”

At this point in Kelly’s story to me I stopped her and say, “Please tell me one of the moms cut off  Charity’s oxygen supply by strangling her with some size 6X pink lace leggings.”

Kelly said, “No, according to them they took it and whispered to their daughters to not listen to the scary, orange lady.”

I, of course, told Kelly I thought it was horrible but, my main anger was directed at the mother of the twins. In my opinion, they should have told Charity to shove it and more importantly not subjected their girls to the satanic ritual that is the fashion show.

Kelly continued and said, “Well, that’s not all she’s doing.  I’ve heard she told a couple of 4th grade girls that need to go on a diet and two girls have been told unless they lose weight they can’t model.”

I look at Kelly, take another lick of my ice cream cone, try to stop thinking about how much I want another one and say, “Well, once again those girls’ mothers are total idiots for putting their daughters in harms way by letting them do the ridiculous style show.  Everyone one with a brain knows Charity is evil and any mom who would willingly expose her child to that dark underworld is worse than Charity in my opinion.”

Kelly kept staring at me. This made me nervous and she wasn’t agreeing me, that made me more nervous. Something was up. I looked at her and said, “What?”

“What do you mean, what?”

“There’s something you’re not telling me. What is it?”

“I’m afraid to tell you because I know you’re probably going to do something and that’s also exactly why I want to tell you.”

“Then tell me! You’re starting to freak me out now.”

“Okay,” Kelly whispered and then she got a little choked up and continued, “The moms told me when Charity was telling their girls they need to lose their bellies she also said if they didn’t they would end up looking like my daughters.”

I was so consumed with angry I almost dropped my cone. I didn’t know where to strike out first. To the dip shit moms who are supposed to be friends of Kelly who told her that. Did a cruel statement like that really need to be repeated -ever?  Why did these moms think Kelly would need to hear that?  The only thing I could think of off the top of my head was misery loves company.

As for Charity’s statement I wasn’t surprised at all. She’s raising two girls that are on the fast track to an eating disorder. I know childhood obesity is a real problem, but I still think when a five-year old  announces at the kindergarten Valentine’s party that she can’t eat a heart-shaped sugar cookie with icing because  “My mommy never wants me to be fat and ugly,”  it’s a little disconcerting.

Also, not being surprised doesn’t mean not be extremely hurt for my friend. Kelly has beautiful strong, healthy girls. Are they rail thin? No, but they’re not fat and even if they were what kind of mother goes around calling little girls fat? I gave Kelly a big hug and said, “Charity will have to pay for this you know.”

Kelly, hugged me back and said with a sniffle, “I was so hoping you would say that.”

“Don’t worry sweetie,” I said while popping the last of the ice cream cone in my mouth, “The Princess of Darkness will soon be eating those words.”

Part 2  of the Reverse Stubing  click here

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book 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! 🙂

Undercover Snarky – “The Game Is Afoot”

I wonder if the three flannel clad Seattle dudes that opened the coffee-house that would lead to Starbucks ever thought that their little bean store concept would become the morning hang out for every evil/hot mom and aspiring evil/hot mom, in America.

Probably not. But, if you want to observe class wars, mom cliques, eating disorders, boobs that have been, thanks to modern science, hoisted to shoulder-blade height and nostrils that have been hot waxed, cleaned and steamed (Don’t tell me you thought you could only do that to your car?) all one needs to do is head to any suburban Starbucks closest to a country club, private tennis facility or elementary school where you can play Hot Mom Car Bingo.  

In this version of bingo the center square is, of course, the Escalade. The Escalady is as common to an elementary school morning drop off scenario as a $128 Vera Bradley backpack for a kindergartener. The other squares consist of the Lexus SUV, the Lexus RX 350, the Land Rover, the BMW SUV, the Denali, the Suburban, Volvo SUV, the big ass Infiniti SUV, loaded Sequoia and there’s always one Porsche Cayenne. If it’s a Turbo Cayenne, that bad boy cost well into the six figures and it’s giving all the other mom cars the middle finger.

Trust me, if you find a Starbucks that meets 2 out of 3 of these requirements you’ve hit bitch gold.

That’s why the next morning, after last night’s meeting with the group of moms I’ve code named “Nut Ups,” I found myself at an unfamiliar Starbucks casing the joint. I had on my uniform of track pants (yes, how shocking), a fleece Kohl’s Tek Gear hoodie, and for privacy reasons, a baseball hat, pulled down low on my forehead. My only salute to fashion was a high ponytail threaded out of the back of my hat.

I had ordered myself a hot chocolate (my Diet Coke was lovingly waiting for me in the car) and had positioned myself so I could watch the door.

Very early this morning I gone on Facebook and checked out the list of names the Nut Ups had given me. I don’t mean to slow down this story, but there’s always time for a safety lesson.  People check your FB privacy settings. None of the six moms whose names I had been given had much, if any, privacy settings.

In fact, I have a theory, the more obnoxiously braggy you are on Facebook the less privacy settings you have. It’s as if you want to shout out to the world, “Look at me!  My life is fab!  I take amazing vacays! Please track me down and kill me.”  So suffice it to say I already had a lot of intel on these bitches. But, I was big game hunting so most of my attention would be focused on Priscilla Davis – PTF president at Spring Creek Elementary.

I gagged a little on my hot chocolate when Priscilla walked into Starbucks. FB did not do her justice. She looked like a combination of a not aging well Taylor Swift and Goldilocks gone bad.  Like if Goldilocks had a really big problem finding the bed that was “just right” so she keep on “trying.”

Priscilla had faux gold hair that went in ringlets all the way down her back. People, I like long hair and don’t ever propose that the middle-aged female population goes back to sensible, short hair and high-waisted, tapered to the ankle denim. But, hair that hits your butt crack is, in my opinion, not a good look when you achieve double-digit birthday status. Especially hair in ringlets that hits your butt crack. She also had a heavy hand with the eyeliner and some gold hoop earrings that could double as a towel holder in your downstairs half bath.

It was her outfit that was most telling. It showed weaknesses that I would exploit. Priscilla had on a tennis skirt, tennis warm up jacket, a fur vest, yoga pants under the tennis skirt and of course, freaking Uggs.

Many women where I live wear yoga pants under their tennis skirts. You can’t go to the grocery store and not see at least 3 Tenoga moms. I would bet a portion of my 401 k that not a one of these moms even plays tennis or has ever done a “plough” on a yoga mat.  I call this the “active douchy mom on the go” look. What was high value intel about Priscilla’s outfit is that it showed a woman who was afraid. Excellent.

Blame it on the recent Sherlock Holmes movie, but I fancy myself a modern-day mom version of Holmes. By dissecting Priscilla’s appearance from the head down I found out that she has an abnormal attachment to super long hair – signaling a need to hold on to her childhood. This most likely is due to some kind of childhood trauma.  (Parental divorce etc).

The hair is also her security blanket. She can’t let it go. The fact that she couldn’t wear just a tennis outfit and had to mix it up with Uggs, yoga pants and that really tacky fur vest suggests she refuses to be stripped of any of her physical trappings.

For instance, if she walked into Starbucks in just a tennis skirt, hoodie and tennis shoes with that icky  hair pulled out of her face, with no eyeliner she would feel naked, maybe invisible This chick has a narcissistic need to be the center of attention.

The hideous furry Uggs, the fur vest and full make up and hair is how she signals her hot mom pecking order. I had all this figured out before she opened her mouth. It was when the witch ordered a Venti hot water with lemon that I added crazy to my list.

The hot water order says so much. Primarily it’s a female power play. Everyone else at your table is drinking some sort of beverage that has a modicum of calories – sugar-free syrup be damned or while, perhaps calorie free has some kind of chemical additive like Equal.

You are better, than that. You,are drinking only hot water. That means you win. By that one simple order you have signaled your superiority. The hot water is the big FU. The lemon is your nod to the food groups and your prop.

You can squeeze it, stir the juice in your cup of hot water, and caress the rind as it lays flaccid on your napkin. This keeps everyone’s eyes on you, your hot water and your absolute control.  It’s as if you’re saying, “Go ahead you losers at my table drink that crap. I will sit here, sip hot water and make you feel as uncomfortable as I can.”

The hot water ploy is also a 100% guarantee that at least one person will make the comment, “That’s why are you’re so skinny. Oh my Gawd, I wish I had your willpower.” Yes, it’s all about  the power.

Once Priscilla set down with her flashy flock of aging crows (where I had scored a seat across the aisle from their table) I pretended not to be listening and stared down at my phone.

This coven talked non-stop about their appearance, dissected other’s peoples appearance with a vengeance, bragged on their children and their bank accounts, and then went deep on their children’s school. After 30 minutes I wanted to sever my own auditory nerve just so I wouldn’t have to hear their cocky voices and plans for PTF domination.

Two Days Before the PTF Meeting

On Monday morning, two days before the Wednesday PTF meeting, I invited the Nut Ups to my house for a rehearsal. I needed to make sure these five women knew exactly what they needed to do. I couldn’t have anybody get scared, squeamish or confused. At exactly 10 a.m. I hear a rumble in my driveway. It’s the freaking conversion van. The Nut Ups had carpooled.

I welcome them into my house and gave extra credit to Eleanor who brought me a fresh Diet Coke, in a 32 ounce styrofoam cup (my beverage container of choice) with my favorite kind of ice – crushed. I shooed everyone into my dining room where I had muffins and assorted drinks laid out plus paper, pens and a handout. Also, because I believe in leaving nothing to chance, I had produced a time line for the take over of the PTF meeting.  I also had given our mission, for fun, a code name, BBG -Bitches Be Gone.

The meeting started out on the wrong foot. Immediately, Orphan Annie objected to the word bitches. Apparently, she was still “reeling” from my “cursing episode” at McDonalds.

I do a swear word inventory in my head and can only come up with three that I probably used – damn, hell and bitches.  Those are itsy bitsy, teeny, tiny curse words. It’s not like I was spewing F bombs. This made me f’ing mad. To think I baked from scratch for this group.

I said, “Orphan Annie, seriously, we are about to do battle with a sorority of evil.  To do this you and everyone else at this table are going to have to leave Goody Two Shoe Land where you’ve allowed, that’s right, ALLOWED yourself and YOUR children to be victimized and enter the world of Kick Some Ass. If you feel more comfortable wearing a Forever Lazy of “Oh look at me, I’m so sweet and gentle that cursing hurts my feelings” then we should just stop right now. I need devious, sneaky, smart women sitting at this table.”

I paused to catch my breath and to cool down. I was still super ticked. As I’m exhaling, Moisturize More, bangs her fist on the table and says, “I’m in!” and then to my delight, she shouts so loud my dogs bark, “I want to get those f’ing bitches!”

Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.  A show of spirit and cursing all while shoving a blueberry muffin in your face. That’s my kind of girl

Eleanor soon follows with, “Hell yes, we want to do this!”

All Business even stands up and says, “BBG is on.”

Cute Blonde responds with, “I’m kind of scared, but I know I’ll regret if I don’t do anything so let’s go.”

All heads turn towards Orphan Annie, I’m thinking to myself, “Girl get a backbone,” when she looks up at all of us and says, “Oh my God, oh my God, I’ll do it, but please tell me it will all work out alright?”

I looked her right in the eyes and say with every bit of sincerity I have, “Yes, it will all work out alright. I’m sure of it.”

Although, I wasn’t, but I figured it’s what she needed to hear. You know kind of like when you tell your husband sex was great, but the whole time you were really going over the carpool schedule for the week in your head and thinking your husband might need get that mole on his left shoulder checked.

Orphan Annie then had a moment of conscience and wanted all of us to pray about whether or not we should really do the PTF meeting intervention. That felt weird to me. I’m so over people using prayer as an excuse to never have to make a decisive decision in their life.  It’s not that I don’t believe in prayer.

I was praying right now that the Conversion Van wasn’t leaking oil in my driveway because my husband wouldn’t notice me mowing the lawn naked, (to be fair he probably would, but only to tell me to put some shoes on) but oil on his precious driveway well, I’d hear about that as in, “Where did the damn oil leak came from?”

So I said,” Really, do you think we should pray for the downfall of others – even if they are daughters of Satan?  I suggest, we continue with the meeting then in private do our praying.”

That appeased Orphan Annie so finally we could get to my timeline.

I walked everyone through exactly what I was going to do at the meeting. Then I had everyone role play about what they were going to do. We went over and over it. I wanted everyone to be confident and not timid. When I felt all the Nut Ups had their parts down I approached the subject of what they should wear to the meeting. No frumps allowed.

This meant the anti hot mom outfit of jeans, generic fleece top and Crocs would not be allowed. I encouraged every women to dress up, not be afraid to use concealor and shared that a little eyeliner was good for the soul.

I slyly managed to mention that a new European Waxing studio had just opened and they were doing a first wax for free promotion. As I’m saying this I make eye contact with Orphan Annie.  I told Cute Blonde she needed to channel her inner hottie.  We needed her to take her youth (I found out she was 25 freaking years old!) and just rub it the face of the peri-menopausal PTF board.

She had what they no longer were and could never be again – young. I instructed her to strut her slut all around the cafeteria that night.  It would distract and piss off the PTF bitches and I needed that diversion if we were going to pull this off.

Last on my list for the meeting was a get away car.  I had learned the hard way (see Warning A Science Fair Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.) that if you’re going to stir things up you better be sure there’s a car waiting to speed you away from the land of hostile moms.

Orphan Annie perked up and said she could drive the get away vehicle. I think, no where in the heist, scheme or covert operation arena, would one’s first thought be, “Hell yeah, a 13 passenger Conversion Van makes the perfect quick get away.” Before I can politely say, “We probably need something a little smaller.”

She shouts out, “I can use my husband’s car.  He drives a BMW M3 Coupe.”

This totally distracts me. My mind instantly goes to a marriage where the wife would be stuck with an aging crap ass van while the husband drives a top of the line sports car. I was thinking Orphan Annie had much bigger problems in her life then a mustache and the PTF board. But I file away that thought for another time and say, “Yeah, sounds great.  You’re my getaway driver.”

The meeting lasted almost two hours. The Nut Ups left my house pumped. I was feeling optimistic and excited.  The show down was in T minus 56 hours.

Coming soon – The PTF Meeting


Parent Teacher Conference – By the Numbers

1236465_612764895442080_848344258_nThe Parent Teacher Conference is one you either look forward to because your seven-year-old little bundle of joy is reading at a college level thus providing you with the opportunity to sit back, sniff an Elmer’s glue stick and bask in the praise being heaped on your budding genius.

For others the conference event ranks right up there with getting your annual pap smear.  As a veteran of many Parent Teacher Conferences I will confess that some years it’s all good and other years, if given the choice, I would pick getting up close and personal with a speculum.  As your kids get older the whole parent teacher conference vibe changes.

No longer do they just have one teacher, they have eight. This leaves parents hanging out in the hallways waiting their turn for the various teacher meet and greets. To make this occasion even better no one closes the damn door when they go in to meet with teacher thus giving people like me (curious and concerned) the chance to share in everyone’s conference experience.

Due to my superior knowledge gathering abilities I’m able to present to you this edition of: Parent Teacher Conference By the Numbers.

11 Moms in yoga pants.  The time has come to “out” the yoga pant. It’s just the 21st century version of the black stirrup pant risen from the fashion ashes of the 1980’s (I’m sure the stirrup pant had to bitch slap the shoulder pad to see who would climb out of the ash heap first) and reborn, stirrup-less and with a trendy, sporty name. Ladies, we all know yoga pants are super comfy, but sometimes you have to peel off the cotton/lycra athletic wear and put on some real clothes. Trust me, if you can insert your legs and then use your super toned arms to yank those yoga pants up and over your firm butts all the way to the land of flat abs then you can do the exact same maneuver to get yourself into jeans, cords or gasp, a pair of dry clean only pants.   It’s exactly the same except you also have to work a zipper and a button.  I know it sounds really hard, but hang tough.  Don’t let a little thing like a zipper and button get you down. I’ve got faith in your fine motor skills and by golly it will give those nifty opposable thumbs a workout too.

For the two yoga pants on the bottom, athletic bra on the top moms that “worked” the conference into their running schedule you get a special shout out.  Please note, I have nothing against marathoners. I applaud their dedication, self-discipline and resting heart rate. It’s that I just don’t care to hear people proselytize about their workouts.  These two chicks over shared, again and again, that they had just “road slammed 13 miles” because they were “training for the New York Marathon in an effort to BQ”.  Which I found out means qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Silly me, I thought they were talking about BBQ.  Imagine my embarrassment when I asked them, “Wow, they have that good of barbecue in New York City?”

The marathon mom with terminal torpedo nipples that looked like they were trying to drill their way out of her jog bra sneered at me with disgust and said, “God, how would I know.  I haven’t had beef since 1992. Besides I said B.Q. not BBQ.”

I said, “Oh sorry” and then asked her if I had any gristle in my teeth. (Seriously, what a witch.)

Those moms needed to run along home, shower and come back. Their beef free sweat stench combined with what I’m pretty sure is urine was making me queasy.  I think one of them may have an incontinence issue that’s been aggravated by pounding the pavement.  May l suggest “Depends for the Girl on the Go” or at the very least a full coverage panty with a deluxe cotton crotch lining instead of the thong peeking out of the back of their yoga pants. With all that running I would think the thong would really irritate your butt crack.  Lord, think of the friction.  I’m surprised it hasn’t worked like a saw and cleaved both women in two or at the very least given them a case of double crack or as it’s referred to in medical terms – a double vertical.  That’s when you have a butt crack that’s twice the normal size.  Just another reason why I don’t run.

Here’s a brain teaser for you – What’s the maximum number of family that can show up for one child’s conference?  According to my data the answer is 8 Family Members.  That’s one mom, one dad, one step-dad, one dad’s girlfriend, two grandmothers, one aunt, one adult step-child.  Yes, indeed it was a blended family festival.  I struck up a conservation with the chatty paternal grandmother and praised her for being so involved in her grandchild’s life.  As predicted that sweet statement got her talking.  She explained that she was here less for the grandchild and more as a support system for her “poor” son who got the “shaft in the divorce.”  As for the adult stepchild and the aunt they were both “certified education professionals.”

According to grandma, “One was a substitute teacher on occasion and the other worked as a day care helper, but they both know a lot about school stuff.”  As for that girlfriend the Dad brought, and couldn’t seem to keep his hands off of, I never talked to her, but I pretty sure she was dragged along for the sole purpose of being a “F You” from the dad to the mom.  I wish you could have seen this crew.  They couldn’t even walk through a door without bickering about who would go in first and where they would sit.   The geometry teacher gently suggested that the biological parents of the student sit in the two chairs provided and the rest stand.  The grandmas didn’t like that one bit. They both got the chairs.

7 Violating the school dress code moms Yes, I know I’ve beaten this horse to death, but, too bad. I’m back on the subject of hot moms. I stopped counting when I easily reached 7 moms who were in violation of the school dress code.  At what age do we get over the fact that we have breasts?  I ask this because it seems that we have a need to bare our middle to lower boob well into middle age.  Do we do this so we don’t forget we have them? Do hoisting our girls up and way out of our tops serve as a fleshy post it note? A “don’t forget these are yours” reminder

I also encountered a new species of hot mom during the Parent Teacher Conference. The Harley Mom. This bad girl was decked out in Harley gear.  Which can best be described as a bedazzled Harley t-shirt and a ridiculous biker hat that has all that skull and crossbones crap all over it. But here’s the thing that propelled this mother to the Hot Mom Hall of Fame – She was in shorts, flip-flops and chaps. Yeah, that’s right, freaking chaps.   (Please note: This is my second chap sighting in less than 3 months. I’m getting alarmed.) Not just any chaps, mind you but black chaps with a hot pink stripe down the side. I was mesmerized and had to strike up a conversation with this Biker Babe.  As an ice breaker I commented that her “hair sure looked good for just getting off a motorcycle.”

She stared at me for a second and said, “I didn’t ride a motorcycle here.  I drove my car.”

Intrigued, I blurted out, “Really, then why the chaps?”

She quickly answered back, “Oh, I’m breaking them in.”

Still curious I go for it with, ”You have to break in chaps?”

“Yes, they’re leather and you need to wear them so they can form to your shape.”

Now, the whole shorts thing makes sense so I ask, “Is that why you’re in shorts so the leather can form to your legs better?”

She gives me a confused look and says, “No, I’m wearing shorts because they match my shirt.”  With that statement the Harley Mom is catapulted to Stupidest Hot Mom status.

6 Really Important Parents  Congratulations you have a very demanding job that requires your constant and steadfast dedication to your phone. I get it, your better than the rest of us moron parents who can actually holster our communication devices for something as mundane as a parent teacher conference.  I saw this repeatedly – parents walking into the classroom for their conference still taking on their phone.  The teacher goes to shake their hand and introduce herself, but the dumb ass parent for some reason, I’m guessing helping land a jetliner that lost all four of its engines or doing brain surgery via their iPhone, won’t hang up.  One parent was even having a conference call with their phone on speaker.  (BTW, your sales numbers in Des Moines sounded awfully low.) She kept on giving the teacher the 1 minute sign with her finger.  I think the teacher was extremely nice not to give that parent the 1 minute sign with her middle finger.  I know I wanted to.

There’s no better time than standing out in a hallway waiting for your turn with the Algebra 2 teacher to strike up a conversation with other mothers you have never seen before.  This all leads to 2 Awkward Confessions.  I found out that one mother’s “dead beat of an alcoholic husband drank away all of their private school money.”  This mom in a Burberry trench coat and handbag was bemoaning to me that her son after “9 years in private school was reduced to a public education and now he’s failing because he’s distracted by the large class size.”

I asked her what grade her son was in and she said he was a freshman.  That lead to my follow-up question which was, “Why is a freshman taking honors Algebra 2?  It’s a sophomore course.”

She explained that because he’s from a “private school background” she felt he would “be at least be 2 years ahead of any public school curriculum.”

Sure, I wanted to strangle her with her $3,000 trench coat, but she wasn’t worth it so instead I said, “Maybe he’s not N.P.S.M.”

“What’s that?” she asked trying to raise her eyebrows without success due to excessive botoxing.

I replied very matter of factly, “It means Not Public School Material.  You know kids who can’t hack it in the real world.  It’s okay, don’t feel bad or anything.  I just hope you’ve got a family business where he can find a job someday.”

Another mom confessed that school is really a “waste of time” because the most important thing a kid needs to learn to succeed is to “not take crap off of anyone.”  I felt I was doing a public service by attempting to disabuse her of the notion.  I gently pointed out that being a successful adult means being able to judge when you should take crap off someone and when you shouldn’t.  On a daily basis any adult will have an occurrence when they’re taking crap. You have to metaphorically weigh that crap and decide “Yeah, I’ll take that” or “That’s a no can do” and begin redistributing said crap.  If you went through life never taking crap you wouldn’t ever get behind the wheel of a car, fly American Airlines, get an education, hold down a job, stay married and most certainly never ever have children. Taking crap is a life skill.   I don’t think I convinced her.  She told me I was “talking crap.”

Beware of 1 Mom Bearing Gifts.  This mom is not just a suck up she’s a show off.  On the first day of school and during Parent Teacher Conference time you can see her up at the school with a red wagon full of treats for the teachers.  In elementary school this is tolerable. When you have middle school and high school aged children and you’re still dragging a Radio Flyer red wagon filled to the brim with your “world famous chocolate chip pumpkin bread” down the hall then you need to roll yourself and that wagon to the closest in-patient mental health facility.

The Wagon Mom is a confused ass pain. Confused because why in the hell would you give high teachers pumpkin bread?  If you really want to suck up try some hard liquor. She’s an ass pain because she parades her Merry Sunshine self up and down the halls stopping every few feet to answer parent’s questions about “What’s in your wagon?”  (I’m I the only one that thinks that sounds dirty?) She’s very eager to answer, in voice that sounds like a Disney Princess after taking too many hits of helium, how she’s got goodie bags for all her kids teachers filed with the “Smith Family Secret Recipe World Famous Pumpkin and Banana Bread.”  Each treat is in a cellophane bag tied with school themed ribbon and pencils that say, “The Smith Family Loves Teachers.” Gag.  One dad at this year’s conference, God bless him, told her,“I can’t believe you still do this.”

She, of course, took it as a compliment and asked the parents standing around “You mean none of you bring treats to the teachers?”

That was my cue to reply, “No, because our kids can stand on their own feet and don’t need pumpkin bread shoes to prop them up.”  Oh my, she took her little red wagon and stomped right down the hall.  Is it wrong to hope she suffers crippling injuries due to a runway red wagon ramming her into oncoming traffic in the near to immediate future?  I sure hope not.


Does This Store Make My Butt Look Big?

You would think after suffering through four months of wearing a swimsuit I would be looking forward to shopping for clothing that covered up my body from abs to ankle.  Sorry make that flab to cankle.  But, no, shopping for jeans is not an adventure I eagerly embrace.  I’ve put it off for two years wearing the same pair of jeans until they finally succumb to the persistent rubbing together of my upper thighs.  A couple of times I was afraid the friction might start a fire.  You know like rubbing two sticks together, except in this case it was more like rubbing two Redwood tree trunks.  The denim finally give in and ripped. Okay, it was more like disintegrated, forcing me to go out and shop for the perfect pair of jeans, as if there is such of thing.  I really just wanted a pair of non-mom jeans, that were sort of comfortable and didn’t require thong underwear.  Oh and this part is huge for me, I was willing to pay in the hundred dollarish range for an awesome pair of jeans.  I did the math if you take the frequency of my jean wearing and extrapolated that over a two-year time period the expense is totally justifiable.

My price point meant that I could shop at all those fancy jean places that don’t call their pants jeans, but rather denim.  My first stop was a swanky denim boutique that had a hot pink interior with a hip vibe. You know one of those stores you walk into and all your unresolved self-esteem issues from junior high emerge.  Adding to that stress, I was forced to bring my 9-year-old daughter with me, thus upping the degree of difficulty exponentially.  It’s not that she doesn’t like shopping.  It’s that she enjoys sharing her opinion which usually causes me some degree of pain and shame.  Upon entering the truly fancy pants store I was immediately approached by a woman who looked like she hadn’t had a carb since Y2K.   I was embarrassed when in a very British accent she forgoes a hello for “What are your sizes?”   Sizes?  I said, “Do you mean like hoping the 12 fits, but betting it’s going to be a 14.” “No, no,” she says, “I need your waist size and your pant size.”    I don’t know about you, but I don’t desire to know my waist measurement and even if I did I wouldn’t ever dream to share that information with the general population.  The last time I bought jeans by a waist size I was in college and everyone wore Levi’s 501 jeans.  Remember the little leather tag each pair of jeans had with the waist and length on it?  The smart girls (me) would get an eraser make that waist size if not disappear than be at the very least unreadable.  So, to avoid the very thin sales associate from whipping out a tape measure I asked, “What’s your biggest waist size and let’s hopefully work down from there.”  She directed me to the, let’s just say, 30 something denim and I started going through the stacks and racks.

This whole size thing was inducing a panic attack.  I saw jeans that were size double 00.  Seriously, what woman and I mean woman, is a double zero besides Mary Kate and Ashley Olson and I’m doubting those twins are shopping in my neighborhood.  Then there was the size zero curvy.  Huh?  Doesn’t a size zero denote that there would be no curves?  Then you have the waist sizes – 20, 22.  Aren’t those sizes for children.  Shouldn’t a female with a size 22 waist be shopping in the children’s department because she is a child?  Even Scarlett O’Hara needed the corset from hell to get under 20 inches.  I grabbed a couple of size 2o jeans for a little experiment and finally found 4 pairs of jeans for me that were neither the pants inspired by satan –  jeggings or almost as bad – slim fit skinny leg.  I took my stack and skadaddled into the fitting room before the British lady could assist me with my selections.  I was afraid she’d make some remark about my 30 something waist size.

The fitting room was plush with a paisley couch and chair. They even offered my daughter and I sparkling water with a lime.  I rate a store’s clothing mark up based on the drink selection.  If you get offered bottled water or “flat” water, fruit free then the clothing mark up is above average, but not outrageous.  If you get sparkling water with a fruit than that lime squeezed into your glass is going cost you about an extra $15 per pair of pants.  Before I started trying on jeans I grabbed one of the size 20’s I had brought in and asked by daughter to put it on.   She’s looks confused and I tell her I’m doing an experiment and to just put the pants on.  Now, about my daughter.  She’s 9-years-old and a 65 pound toothpick. She’s you can count her ribs skinny.  Guess what?  The size 20 jeans were too SMALL.  (Of course they were too long, but in the waist – tight.)  Tell me America, what is being done to womankind when retailers, designers etc. try to market to us jeans that are too small for a 9-year-old.  What woman has the body of a fourth grader?  What woman wants the body of a kid that’s learning fractions?  We need to rise up and take back our body image.  I’m talking a march on 5th Avenue or something.  Who’s with me?  Okay, so that’s no one. Thanks.

After that sobering experiment I grabbed the largest size of denim I had brought in and began extruding my legs into pants.  Praying as I pulled them up that they would go over my junk in the trunk and button.  Which was fitting because the jeans were True Religion.  They fit.  But, I looked like I was wearing two navy blue sausage casings. My daughter, never one to miss an opportunity to state the obvious said, “Those pants show your fats lumps.”  My exasperated reply, “And by fat lumps do you mean my two legs?” I looked so repugnant in the jeans I didn’t even leave the safety of the dressing room for a peak in a bigger mirror.  Off with the sausage casings and on to the next pair.  I had high hopes for this denim.  It was a low-cut pair, but not that skanky, ultra low-cut and boot leg which is really a cankle suffers best friend.  The jeans, 7 for All Mankind, slid on without the use of forceps to get up my thighs (always a good sign).  I even felt brave enough to venture outside my dressing room to look at myself in a larger mirror and that’s where I had what my daughter refers to as my “fit.”  (Granted I was already worked up over the size 22 jeans.)

The store has freaking skinny mirrors!  Not fair, not fair at all.  There are a lot of everyday injustices that I’ll let pass without making a comment or taking a stand.  But, skinny mirrors in a store that sells only jeans. The crucial wardrobe staple of every women and your going to have us gaze upon ourselves in a skinny mirror, drop a couple hundred dollars on a pair of jeans and leave the store feeling pretty good about ourselves.  Only to go home, put the jeans on and wondering what the hell happened.  Oh no, I will not stand for that.  The gauntlet has been thrown down.  You maybe wondering how I knew for sure that it was, indeed, a skinny mirror.  First, I’m kind of a fatty, so when I look in the mirror and I’m no longer a fatty, Bingo, we’ve got a skinny mirror. But scientifically, you can tell if you look thinner and thinner the farther away from the mirror you are.  Also, if a mirror is tilted back at all it will elongate your body making you look thinner.  After gazing at my non fat self in the mirror and giving myself the gift of enjoying looking at less of me, I ask for the sales associate.  Miss God Save the Queen comes over and I say, “Pardon me, but why the skinny mirror?  I really need to look at myself in the “harsh reality” mirror.”  She says she has no idea what I’m talking about.  All their mirrors are the same. She even adds (and points to her for quick thinking) that it’s the jeans that are making me think I’m looking in a skinny mirror.  I then show her how I know the mirror is a skinny mirror, “Watch,” I say, “as I walk backwards I get thinner and thinner. Hello, it’s a skinny mirror.”

As all of this is happening other women in dressing rooms either pop their heads out or come out.  Saying skinny mirror in a women’s clothing store is the equivalent to shouting fire in a movie theatre.  You’re going to attract some attention. One woman wearing Rock & Republic jeans comes out of her dressing room and does the walking backwards trick.  “Yes,” she says in very pissed out voice, “I am getting thinner.  Dammit, it is a skinny mirror!”   This leads to two more women coming out of their dressing rooms and doing the skinny mirror experiment.  The store manager is summoned and she rushes into the dressing room area to find out what all the fuss is about.  She tries to refute our skinny mirror claims with how fab we all look in the jeans when this doesn’t placate us she jumps to righteous indignation and  said her store would never use skinny mirrors.  We invite her to do the skinny mirror test and surprise, she refuses.  That’s when I call out my daughter.  I tell my super skinny (but too “fat” for their size 22 jeans) kid to walk backwards from the mirror.  She slowly walks backwards and her body stretches out to look almost circus freaky.   I ask the manager to explain that.  She can’t, but she does do some huffing and puffing and says, “I stand by our mirrors.”  “Well then, I stand by me leaving your store and may I add shame on you.  What your store is doing is dishonest and despicable.”  Goodie for me, that statement started a bitch storm.  (Oh, how I live for these moments.)  The other ladies in the dressing room got all hot and bothered, put their own clothes back on and left the establishment after offering their opinion of the stores skinny mirror practices.  One lady, even said she was going to start a skinny mirror website listing all the stores that use skinny mirrors.  I, after stirring things up, took my daughter’s hand and tried to leave the store unseen.  No such luck.  The manager said, “I was not welcome back in her store.”  Oh, boo hoo I thought, like I subject myself to that again.  I’d rather have a pap smear.

After escaping the store my daughter and I got in the car and headed to my happy place. Oh no, I wasn’t done shopping.  We were going to Target.  As I walked in my spirit was soothed by the red circle signs and the snack bar.  I got a diet coke for me and an icy for my daughter.  I grabbed a shopping cart and started a soothing stroll through the makeup and hair care aisles and then went to visit my very favorite designer, perhaps you’ve heard of him? Mossimo.   There under the harsh fluorescent glow of the Target lights, cramped in the tiny dressing room with tags on the floor and a door with a broken sliding lock. I found not a great pair of jeans, but a very nice pair infused with the middle-aged woman’s BFF – lycra. I walked out of my dressing room, looked in the communal mirror and said, “Yes, I’m chunky. I look chunky in these jeans.” But, I looked a good kind of chunky (Yes, there is such a thing.) and for a pair of pants that cost $24.99 what more could I ask for.

Many thanks for reading my blog and sharing it with your friends!  To stay up-dated on when I make a post you can go to Facebook, type in Snarky in the Suburbs and click on like.  Enjoy your week.

I Was A Cougar (for five hours)

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 9.53.21 AMLet me state that I, in no way, I’m a cougar.  First, on the cougar scale of “hotness” I would be a three-legged cat with mange and a urinary tract infection. Secondly, I’m married which, I’m pretty sure, disqualifies me from cougardom. My excursion into the land of the cougar was purely scientific. I was there solely to observe and report. An acquaintance of mine, (let’s call her Super Cougar) was kind enough to be my guide into the labyrinth of the cougar habitat – Thursday night Happy Hour. Following her instructions I was to meet her at an upscale suburban bar in our neighborhood at 5:30 sharp. Because I was there only in a reporter capacity I didn’t feel to the need to turbo groom, but I did change into a skirt and attempted to blow dry my hair with the round brush that makes my arms hurt after about five minutes. When my hair was reasonable dry I put on my sandals with an actual heel, some lipstick and was good to go.

I arrived at the bar, right on time, and immediately experienced night blindness. Lord, I had forgotten how dark they keep bars.The only bars I usually frequented were the exceptionally well-lit dessert bars at the end of the buffet line. It took me a couple of minutes to spot my not quite a friend but probably now more than an acquaintance – Super Cougar. There she was in all her feline splendor at the bar. A sight to behold. Surrounded by three youngish men she was holding court. They were laughing, she was laughing, and touching them here and there. One guy she touched at the shoulder, another guy she touched his back. It was fascinating. The guys had to be in their late twenties. Super Cougar claimed to be forty-five. But, If I had to guess I would say she was a very well taken care of fifty-five year old. She was hot no matter what her age.  Great body, nice cleavage tastefully displayed in a designer top, long hair (blonde, of course), and long legs. You could tell she had been moisturizing everyday for the last thirty years. Hell, I didn’t look that good at twenty. Super Cougar is a successful real estate agent, who at last count had been married three times and was now in her words, “enjoying the attention of younger men who don’t think they know it all.” I say, you go girl. I walked up to Super Cougar and her fan club and said hi. The men gave me the once over and you could tell I didn’t pass inspection. I’m afraid the vibe I give off is “mom with kids.” It could be my perfume –  Eau De Tilex or the fact that after I shook hands with the young men I got out my hand sanitizer and asked if anyone needed to Purell.  They could tell, right away, I would not be wasting my grocery money to buy a round of drinks.

In another couple of minutes Super Cougar’s entourage arrived. It was a pack of fellow cougars that would prowl the bars together this evening. Super Cougar ditched her admirers and all the women sat down together at a table in the back of the bar that had an excellent view of the action. It was here the women mapped out their evening. They planned to go to three bars. The suburban bar we were now at was the “appetizer” bar.  It was here they sharpened their cougar claws. Next up was the downtown or “entree” bar where there was a bigger pool of youngish men to flirt with and to finish up the evening it was off to a sports bar. The sports bar had the best ratio of men to women but according to Cougar lore the sports bars are also were the largest number of “loser” guys hung out (and I think by loser they meant chubby and married). From what I could tell the women were looking for a night of ego boosting, flirty fun with young men that made them feel good about themselves. No one was looking to hook up (at least that’s what they told me) or in their words “God forbid” start a relationship. I hung out with the Cougars all evening and all I can say is the Cougs were a whole lot more interesting than the prey they stalked. I am now old enough to proclaim that: A large quantity of young men are boring, egocentric, lacking in good manners, spoiled, cheap and most, if not all, are afflicted with some form of ADHD due to massive amounts of time spent video gaming. Plus, since I do hail from the South I can also say without smirking that a gentleman never lets a lady buy him a drink. That pretty much sums up what I think of the Cougar’s prey. I just don’t see the attraction.

So as not to waste anymore time talking about the (yawn) prey let’s go to the good stuff – the Cougar. I have, once again, (see the Suburban Anthropologists Guide to the Elementary School Mother for more of my categorizing talents) in the interest of science, classified a category of species. Here is my “Felis Concolor” breakdown. (In alphabetical order)

Alpha Cougar (also known as Super Cougar): This is the premiere cougar. She is usually one of the older cougars but also the best looking. Her signifying marks are long, flowing locks, the ability to stride through a bar in very high heels and sit on a bar stool in a super short skirt without appearing vulgar. She commands attention and attracts the looks of not just the males in the bar, but also younger non cougar females. They know to be afraid and will place their paws on their males as a sign that they are taken.  The Alpha Cougar considers all males fair game and will not be deterred by any territorial displays. She owns the room. Young women take note. This cougar has claws and will take you down. You may have youth but she’s got the kind of seductive confidence that only comes from experience.

Big Money Cougar: Money is no object to this cougar. She drives a vintage sports car, just got back from an expensive trip and likes to buy drinks for any male under forty. Big Money Cougar is, of course, very popular. While, not always the hottest cougar her bucks more than make up for it. Her signature move is letting the twenty something men “sit” in her sports car in the bar parking lot. Big Money tells the boys if they’re lucky one night they might get to drive her and the car home.

Cougar-In-Training: This woman is a borderline cougar. She’s almost, but not quite, old enough to officially qualify for cougar status. She views the cougar outings as a chance to check out what her future holds. Most of the other cougars view her as a young competitive poacher trying to intrude on their prey. Approval from the Alpha Cougar is needed to allow the C.I.T. into the pack.

Glamorous Cougar: Do not make the rookie mistake of confusing the Glamorous Cougar with the Alpha Cougar. The Glamorous Cougar while very attractive and stylish doesn’t possess the confidence or the skill of the Alpha Cougar. Usually the Glamorous Cougar is newly divorced and can be either a little too needy or too aggressive. Either of those traits can scare off the younger prey. The Glamorous Cougar excels at turning heads – young and old. She delights in giving middle-aged men (i.e. her ex-husband’s age) the cold shoulder while courting the attention of the young 30 ish set.

Grandma Cougar: This cougar is in her 60’s, (although in a dark bar she can easily pass for 15 years younger) has seen her fair share of action and knows it’s probably time to entertain the thought of perhaps dating men in their late 40’s but the attention of much younger men has become like a drug. She has a fitness regimen that would probably tire a Navy Seal and her grooming is flawless. Yet, her hands and non bar lighting give away her true age. Grandma Cougar shuns sunlight like a vampire.

Sorority Cougar: This cougar is trying to relive her glory days when she was her sorority’s social chairperson. Sorority Cougar is always trying to plan mixers, I mean functions outside the bar environment. Movies, restaurants, etc. She hasn’t yet caught on that most Cougar relationships don’t exist in the alternate reality of the non-bar universe. Sorority Cougar is seen as a fun, safe cougar and is befriended by less sophisticated young men that feel threatened by the Alpha Cougar.

Sporty Cougar: Sporty Cougar is most at home, you guessed it, the sports bar. She knows her pro sports and NCAA Final Four brackets like an ESPN reporter. She also runs marathons, has done “just a couple” of triathlons, and plays any and all co-ed rec sports. Sporty Cougar excels at being one of the boys. Her signature move is challenging young men to try to keep up with her on one of her daily runs. Sporty sees the challenge as a “safe” date that could lead to more action. The young men are so sure of their ability to out run the cougar they have no idea they are being played.

Wanna Be Cougar: This little kitty is a timid cougar. She wants to go off with bigger, leaner and meaner cougars and hunt but just doesn’t have the claws for it. She hangs back in all group activities and is the last one to belly up to the bar. Her trademark move is waiting for the Super Cougar’s leftovers.

From my research I have concluded that for a woman to qualify as a Cougar she could be as young as 40, but she has to go after very young prey. For example, a 40-year-old woman who goes after a 23-year-old college students fits the Cougar Criteria. But a 40-year-old woman who buys a drink for a 35-year-old man is not a Cougar. It is all in the age differential. While I do not totally understand the attraction the Cougar has for the younger man I’m all for equality. Men have been actively hunting younger woman since before we discovered fire and the wheel. So, for you Cougars out there – meow baby, meow.

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to where you can find the new winter Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Flannel Snarky P.J.’s anyone?) 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 – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.


The Suburban Anthropologist’s Definitive Guide to the Elementary School Mother (Revised for 2013)

imagesAs another school year is beginning I would be remiss if I didn’t share this compelling research completed by my keen scientific mind (and by scientific I mean snarky). I consider myself one of the foremost Suburban Anthropologists currently working today.  My area of expertise is the suburban elementary school mother. Known in the science community as -”Mater Ludem.” In my study I have documented that elementary school moms can be placed into 17 distinct species categories. (In alphabetical order)

Bling Bling Mom: Bling Bling yearns to the center of attention. You can spot her a mile away because of her tendency to over bedazzle. From excessive cleavage to turbo tanning Bling Bling likes to think she’s one hot mama. Not big on volunteering she will help out on any “dad heavy” events like Field Day and attend the parent only fundraisers where she usually over imbibes and hits on someone else’s spouse. Her female offspring can easily be identified as the little girls wearing large diamond hoop earrings and kitten heels in kindergarten.

Enviro-Organic Police Mom: This is the sugar buster mom or as I call her, while shoveling McDonald french fries down my pie hole, the no fun mom. The Enviro- Organic Police Mom is armed with science and lots of good sense but her crusade is not tempered with compassion. She’s the mom responsibility for the sugar-free birthday party treats rule, the fruits and vegetables only school holiday parties and the no bake sales or cake walks at the school fair edict. I applaud her healthy mission. I object to her condescending manner. Just because a child has experienced the unfettered joys of the Happy Meal does not a bad mom make. The Enviro-Organic Police Mom can usually be seen wearing hemp shorts, a sustainably grown bamboo velour hoodie, and organic cotton tennis shoes with natural Amazon hevea rubber soles. Do not let her see you with a plastic water bottle.The lecture will be long and intense. Her offspring can be found at my house eating tablespoons of refined white sugar and Duncan Hines brownie batter.

Facebooker/Twittering/Instagrammer: Say hello the social media whore. This is the mom’s whose self-worth is measured by how many followers she has on her various social media sites and she’ll even stoop so low as to request your kids be her “friend”. No hum drum detail of her day is so insignificant it’s not worthy of being status updated, tweeted or shared. Avoid this woman at all cost and if you do see do not make direct eye contact. Chances are if you so much as glimpse in her direction you’ll wind up on her Twitter feed as #momsatmykidsschoolaresostupid

Hipster Mom: Look for the mom in the tight indie rock band t-shirt, cargo pants, some kind of ski hat, (although it’s 97 degrees out), and the newest funky athletic shoe/sandal hybrid and it’s a pretty safe bet you’ve found the Hipster Mom. She excels at being cool and has extensive knowledge of off the beaten track eco-vacations, the latest, tastiest sustainable wheat harvested micro brew, and her iTunes is jammed with the most “awesome up and coming bands ever.” She’s the female version of Peter Pan, never growing up, stuck somewhere in between her senior year in college and grad school.  Her kids are way cool with long hair that looks like it’s never seen a brush, and baggy, saggy, yet expensive clothes that say edgy with a touch of vintage rocker.

iPadder: Beware of this mother at any school event and for the love of God do not sit anywhere near her. She will block your view of the school play, choir recital, band concert – you name it with her iPad hoisted up in the air. When not using her tablet to record every precious waking moment of her children’s life you can find her with her head down transfixed on her iPad. This mom has lost the ability to engage in the conversational arts as Candy Crush is taking up all of her free time.

Marathon Mom: You see this mom running most mornings apres school drop off.  She volunteers for events that feature some kind of physical fitness. She’s usually clad in spandex running pants, jog bra and a huge runners watch to track her time and distance. This mom is motivated and dedicated as long as school events do not interfere with her training schedule and marathon dates. The Marathon Mom can tend to her volunteer obligations all while jogging in place, checking her heart rate, de-wedging her Nike thong underwear and sniffing her armpits.

Mean Girl: Like cockroaches mean girls never die. They grow up and spawn mean children. This is the girl who made you cry in middle school, who you hid from in high school and the one you tried to keep out of your sorority by hiding her legacy references. The Mean Girl is up at the elementary school under the guise of volunteering, but it’s really to stir up trouble. She’s the mom who corrects the Friday spelling tests and then blabs about which kids got bad grades. She’s a fixture at every school function not to help, but to complain about how it is being run and/or start rumors about PTA malfeasance. No surprise her children are school bullies, yet in her eyes, they can do no wrong. She circumvents any of her child’s discipline problems by threatening to take legal action against the district.

Mom Jeans: A staple of any elementary school. The mom who time forgot. Her high-waisted jean clad lower half is usually paired with a tucked in knit shirt (that totally emphasizes the hideousness of the mom jean) and generic sneakers. Her hair is short and facial waxing is a foreign concept. The typical Mom Jean works in the background of school events preferring to keep an extremely low profile.  Although, there have been reports of Mom Jeans with superior math skills ascending to the “lofty” position of PTA Treasurer.

The Old (insert city or town of your choice here) Mom: The old designation does not refer to the Mom’s age, but her family’s social standing as in “She’s Old Dallas” translation she’s “old money” or “once upon a time money.”  Many of the Old (insert city or town of your choice here) Moms trade on the history of what once was and try to block out their more meager 21st century financial situation. This is evidenced by the fact that her children are in public schools.The Old (insert city or town of your choice here) Mom usually has at least four names, with at least one being ridiculous – like Windsor Astor Carnegie Ford.  Her friends call her Winnie or Tor. You don’t call her anything because she doesn’t make eye contact with your kind.  And by your kind, I mean those of us who not only shop at Target, but worship its mighty therapeutic powers. This Mom can be seen at school liberally name dropping and planning her 6 year olds birthday day party with a debutante ball worthy zeal.  Her volunteer skills are not wasted on the elementary school level, but saved for black tie events that may make society news.  One quirk in the Old (insert city or town of your choice here) Mom is that she is surprisingly cheap when it comes to donating to the school.  No contributions made to the school raffle, teacher birthday party fund or even a school directory purchase.  Rumors abound that she habitually forgets her wallet at lunch and one summer never paid for her children’s private swim lessons.  Her female offspring can be identified by their monogrammed hair bows and Lilly Pulitzer shorts.  Her male offspring by their collection of exclusive summer camp T-shirts.

Phoner: We’ve seen this category drop off in numbers as more and more Phoner Moms became Texter Moms or iPadders.  Although, the volume is still significant enough to warrant entry into the study.  The Phoner Mom can be seen and heard yakking into her phone during any and all school functions. Her phone turns her into a play-by-play announcer at kid’s events.  Empirical data example – at school concerts the Phoner Mom is sharing every bit of the action with her phone.  “Oh, there’s Eddie. He’s walking on stage. He looks so cute. I wish you could see him.  I’m waving at him now. He saw me. He’s waving back.”  This goes on for the entire concert. The Phoner Mom’s unhealthy relationship with her mobile device makes it impossible for her to follow school protocol and turn her cell off.  She just can’t do it. No amount of dirty looks from other parents, no intervention from school authorities is enough to break the hold the phone has on her.  She’ll need rehab and a 12 step program to successfully battle this addiction.  Research shows that the phone is a gateway drug that without treatment eventually leads to dual Texter/iPad Mom syndrome.

 Poser: This mom uses the elementary school as her own personal fashion runway.  Every foray into the school is a chance for this Mom to show you what she’s got in her closet.  She comes to pose not to participate. I estimate her morning grooming ritual takes at least two hours. Class party equals Rock & Republic skinny jeans and off the shoulder Marc Jacobs cashmere sweater.  P.T.O. meeting means Tori Burch sundress and matching flats. Her other identifying feature is gianormous bug eye sunglasses.  If the paparazzi frequented elementary schools and In Style magazine did fashion layouts featuring mom’s in the burbs then the Poser Mom’s life would be complete.

 Stiletto: The Stiletto Mom can be identified by her smoking hot shoes. I’m talking Sex in the City worthy footwear. Think Manolo Blahnik’s $965 Chiffon Open-Toe Bootie sandal/stiletto.  When she walks onto school property you hear her first. The distinctive sound of handcrafted Italy leather shoes with an outrageous heel clipping down the hall.  This mom is rarely sited on the grounds of an elementary school.  She’s a career mom with a capital C and doesn’t have much time in her schedule to make frequent appearances at school. Everything about her denotes power and prestige. Her clothes are as expensive as her footwear. She smells like money. If money smells like the Neiman’s couture department. When she shows up though she delivers. Cookies for the school party – they’re not just grocery store bakery issued.  They’re one-of-a-kind creations by a celebrated pastry chef.  Her off spring is the one that is not hugging his/her mom.  Stiletto child learns at an early age not to touch Mommy’s clothes with eager, potentially paste encrusted or magic marker stained hands.

Texter: The Texter Mom can be identified by her obsession with her smart phone. At any school event she can be found transfixed by her phone.  Cradling it lovingly in her hands as her thumbs work themselves into a frenzy.  No matter what is happening at the school her face never leaves her phone screen.  I’ve conducted several experiments over the course of the year to determine the Texter’s love affair with her phone in correlation to her motherly devotion to her child.  Sadly, I must report the phone won – handedly. Here is sampling of data from my research: Child on stage during a performance – Mom’s face staring at phone.  Child taking part in athletic event – Mom’s visual acuity focused on phone screen. Child in spelling bee – Mom’s face still implanted on phone, thumbs moving at high rate of speed.  The last bit of research that sealed the Texter Mom’s cellular preoccupation leaning towards an O.C.D. diagnosis was the Mom texting during her child’s parent-teacher conference.

Two Faced Roving Gossip: Dangerous if cornered the Two Faced Roving Gossip is a nomad moving between all the species categories. How else would she collect ingredients for her slander stew.  Her strength lies in her ability to be a chameleon changing her personality to suit each group and ferret out half-truths and facts to disseminate with the school’s parent population.

Vajazzler:  (Bling Bling Mom’s hotter sister) Her credo is: “I’m hot and you’re not.”  She works the elementary school environment just like she used to work the stage at the “gentleman’s club” – proud and loud. Her biggest challenge is remaining upright due to her overwhelming breast enhancement, that gravity being what it is, tends to tip her over at times. Look for the Vajazzler rubbing up against all the dads at school functions and not being afraid to “bust a move” during Field Day.  Beware having your child go to her house for a playdate. Rumor has it there’s a pole in her bedroom.

Worker Bee: This mom is the glue that holds the school volunteer effort together. She can been seen buzzing around the school multi-tasking at events and doing most of the heavy lifting.  Her unique trait is the ability to give a non- volunteer (i.e. The Poser) a blistering evil eye while simultaneously running the school fair and laminating children’s artwork. She also excels at self-control.  She can listen to anti-volunteer moms (i.e. The Mean Girls) complain about how “lame” a school function is and not punch them hard right in the face. Her identifying physical traits are dark circles under her eyes and hair that you know she’s going to color or highlight just as soon as the fundraiser is over.

Yoga Pant/Ugg Mom: From the first day of school to the last this is the mom who you will never see in anything but Yoga pants and Uggs. It doesn’t matter if it’s 110 degrees and the National Weather  Service has issued a heat advisory this mom will still be yanking on black yoga pants and her beloved fur-lined Uggs. This outfit is most often accessorized with a Venti Starbucks and a superior attitude.

No species groups are pure. In my research I have found that some moms are adept at shape shifting from one group to another or not being fully part of one group but having attributes of several different species.  For example, a Mean Girl could also be an Old (insert city or town of your choice here) Mom and a Poser or a Mom Jeans could also be a iPadder or a Phoner. As in any research you should factor in some degree of author bias. Yet, I think you will find my methodology holds true and my data is sound. For I am, if nothing else, a professional.

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to 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 – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.