My 2015 “Magical” Moment

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.25.26 AMSomething magical happened to me at Target on Christmas Eve. I was there to up my stocker stuffer game because upon checking my stash of stocking goodies I discovered all I had were holiday breath mints. This confused me because I had bought loads of candy a week earlier. My inventory was quite robust. I had Santa Snickers, Peppermint Hershey Kisses and the much-maligned Reese’s Christmas trees.

Let’s take a moment here and talk about the Reese’s trees. For the people who have so much time on their hands that they can go to Defcon 5 on the Internet about a candy not accurately depicting a balsam fir let me offer up this suggestion – get a life and/or seek therapy. It’s chocolate and peanut butter that should be enough. As for the mystery of where did all my stocking candy go I plead the fifth. I may or may not have consumed it. Now on to my miracle.

I was pushing my cart down the smell good aisle (i.e. soaps, lotions and other assorted body washes) I saw something amiss on the second lowest shelf. An item I had been coveting since the day after Thanksgiving was hiding behind some Axe “Dark Temptation” Gift Packs (and by “dark temptation” I’m guessing Axe means smelling like a combination of a high school cafeteria and the tire department at Walmart). I stopped short and immediately dropped to all fours to claw my way through a bevy of overly aromatic dude scents to get my hands on it. When I finally snagged it I assumed a kneeling position and sang thirty seconds of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

Then as I was hoisting myself off the floor I saw another one. Yes, another one, camouflaged by a trio of Vaseline, Spray & Go moisturizer for the mammal that’s too busy to rub in lotion. At first I thought maybe it’s a mirage. How could there be two of the most sought after holiday 2015 item left on Christmas Eve? As I crawled my way to it I noticed a woman intently watching me. To be accurate at first I noticed her Ugg boots with large satin bows on the back. After all I was at ground level. (Note – If you’re old enough to have had an un-ironic disco themed prom and a date who wore a baby blue tuxedo – please try to embrace bow free footwear.) This chick and I were zeroed in on the same item. In fact, Bow Uggs looked ready to pounce. But, I had her. I was already on the ground and there was no way she was beating me to getting another one. It was mine! All mine! (In the spirit of the season I considered sharing, but then, thank goodness, that feeling quickly passed.)

I triumphantly rose up off the Target tile with each arm proudly lifting my bounty like a WWE World Heavyweight showing off his blinged out championship belt studded with 630 cubic zirconia stones. (I looked that factoid up). For you see I had found two Star Showers! Yeah, that’s right. This girl had not one, but two of the latest thing to hit exterior Christmas illumination since net lights.

The Star Shower, just in case you’re remedial on holiday decor innovations, is a laser light that projects a gazillion red and green holographic stars onto your house and the best part is all you have to do is shove the thing in your grass and plug it in. No untangling strands of lights so entwined that you question your sanity and fine motor skills, no hours spent hanging lights until your carpal tunnels flares up, no climbing on a ladder, no freaking light hooks or crying when you can’t find the one blasted light that is out causing you to really start hating the holidays. Nope, the Star Shower eliminates all of that. It’s like idiot proofing Christmas.

I had been looking for a Star Shower for a month. They were sold out everywhere. Amazon got my hopes up and pretended they had some, but two days after I placed my order I was informed that there was a “processing error” on the website and I’d be Star Showerless for Christmas. The struggle was very real.

God bless the Target employee who must be very young and inexperienced in any and all exterior holiday home illumination knowledge and upon seeing boxes with Star Shower emblazoned on them incorrectly assumed the product belonged in the body wash aisle. More glad tidings of joy to the employee who then inadvertently hide the Star Showers behind Axe gift packs and aerosol Vaseline.

As we enter into a new year I shall continue to embrace my holiday magical moment as a reminder that amazing things can happen when you least expect it and that “Dark Temptation” Axe body wash is probably more of a lifestyle choice than a scent preference.

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Forget about all that New Year New You B.S. Jump start 2016 by wallowing in delicious Snarky. Just click on one of the links and presto you can get yourself some Snarky for only, wait for it, wait for it, 99 cents!  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. 🙂

There’s Nothing Wrong With a Lame New Year’s Eve

ecards-auto-238532There’s lame and then there’s New Year’s Eve lame. I’m almost certain I hold the record for the lamest, consecutive New Year’s Eves in the history of modern mankind (and by that I mean starting in the mid 1970’s when Dick Clark began hosting his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve).

Even as a teenager my New Year’s Eves were less than awesome. I didn’t spend it at a party or making out with some guy in his car at the stroke of midnight. No, I spent it at home wearing my flannel Lanz of Salzburg nightgown, spritzed with Love’s Baby Soft cologne, eating what was left of the, now somewhat stale, Christmas cookies, watching my parents and Dick Clark show off their math skills as they counted down from ten.

It didn’t get any better in college. Yes, I was sort of an adult and at that time the drinking age was 18, but I was still home for the holidays and that meant I had to abide by my parent’s house rule which was I had to be home by 10 p.m. because, according to my mother, everyone knows the drunks take over the roads at precisely 10:01 Central Standard Time.

After I became a fully formed grown up I got the grand and glorious idea of throwing my own amazing New Year’s Eve party. Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner? If I couldn’t find a great party to go I should create my own. It was the early 1990’s and Martha Stewart’s Living magazine had just come out. Using Martha as my muse I was hellbent on creating an elegant New Year’s Eve for friends. I had a signature cocktail, an hors d’oeuvres station and a dessert table all set up in my less than 1,000 square feet home. (This meant my hors d’oeuvres station was the kitchen counter and my dessert station was an ottoman, but still I know Martha would have been proud.)

Everything went great. I was the hostess with the mostess until 10 p.m. That’s when not one guest was left at my house. Yep, two hours before the new year everyone had bailed on my party. Unbeknownst to me, there was a “cooler” party with tequila shots, and a hot tub happening. My “friends” had done the old “we’ll swing by this shindig first, get it out-of-the-way and then go to the real party” switcheroo. I rang in the New Year with tears and eating what was left of the Martha Stewart goat cheese with pink peppercorns appetizer.

Thank God for babies because after getting married and having kids no one expects you to do anything on New Year’s Eve until your children are old enough to sleep through the night. (So, in my case it meant when my son turned five.)

It took an exciting New Year’s Eve full of surprises to make grateful for all those years of lameness. I was traveling from Dallas to Reno, Nevada with my then three-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. We were going to meet my husband who was already in Reno working at his new job.

A snowstorm of biblical proportions hit the Sierra Nevada’s and forced the plane, after hours of circling, to land at the San Jose, California airport at 2 a.m. We were on the last plane to land and we’re told that all the hotel rooms, rental cars, you name it, had already been gobbled up by other stranded passengers. This meant we’d be camping out at the airport, but not in the nice part, the part where you wait for your plane. Oh no, we had to spend the night in baggage claim.

I was on the floor with my daughter sleeping in my lap and my son using my thighs as a pillow. I had taken the straps of my purse and used them to tie my kids to my body because I was afraid I might fall asleep and someone could try to steal my children. I never closed my eyes. I’d like to think it was because I was a good parent assuming a sentry like position over my kids to keep them safe. But to be truthful I know it was the automated, never-ending loop of “do not leave your bags unattended” that kept me from nodding off.

Finally, at noon the next day we made it to Reno. When I got off the plane I said a prayer hoping for all my New Year’s Eve to be lame. Lame isn’t bad. In fact, it gets a bad rap. Sure it can mean boring, but boring usually means you’re okay. All is well. Is there any better way to start a new year than that? I don’t think so.

 

 

Dear Snarky – Why Can’t I Keep a New Year’s Resolution?

10689449_1584183268459927_2100437477738605046_nDear Snarky,
 
Every year I make New Year’s resolutions and then by Valentine’s Day I’ve pretty much forgotten what they even were.  Do you have any advice for making 2015 the year I finally follow through with the promises I have made to myself.
 
Signed, Resolution Slacker

 

Dear Slacker,

My advice is simple. Just say no to any and all New Year’s Resolutions. They’re self-esteem busters.

Seriously, think about it. Who wants to start off a brand new year feeling bad about themselves? Umm, no one. And if you feel you must make a resolution let me help you out here. I’ve got a skill, well really more of a gift, for turning any almost any resolution into an achievable goal. I’m like a New Year’s Resolution Whisperer.

For instance, the whole lose weight thing. Well, what that really means is that you plan to practice loving yourself more and therefore not turning to food for comfort. See, the goal is you accepting your greatness not giving up Oreos.

And I don’t know a mother out there who doesn’t make the resolution to be more patient with her kids. This breaks down to mandating that you need more dedicated, scheduled “alone time” so your kids won’t seem so annoying.

Or how about the most irksome of resolutions, you know the one I’m talking about. Yep, the whole exercise more decree. This one is simple. It’s less about you entering into a long-term relationship with your Fitbit and more about laying down the law that your family picks up some of the slack (chores, cooking etc) so you have a smidgen of time to devote to your health.

It’s all about the Resolution Math. Here’s my winning formula. You are already amazing + Other people being shamed into doing the right thing = You being more amazing.

This friend is how you pull off your New Year’s resolutions.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on my Snarky Facebook Page.

 

Reflections On An Old Year

1524858_673213946033813_1167184787_nNew Year’s Resolutions are for suckers. I try to never make any because about six days after I’ve committed myself to a life changing agenda I’m already abandoning ship on the U.S.S. Pledge to a Better Me. Last year was different. I was all about the New Year’s Resolution. I wrote out a long list of things that I was going to change about my life. In my earnest bravado I called it The Manifesto.

 I can shamefully share with you that I didn’t achieve one of my “promises for change.” There were the usual suspects on my list, weight loss, exercise, be more patient with my children, nicer to my husband, even try a new recipe once a week. 

The recipe one really kills me. If you had told me 20 years ago when I thought I was all that and a super size bag of chips that I would be vowing to try a new recipe once a week as a New Year’s resolution I would have thrown myself off a cliff made up of discounted Coach Outlet handbags. Even now, I’m pondering thoughts of freeing the earth from my carbon footprint. The only things that are stopping me is knowing that if I was no longer breathing my dog would never get walked again and the fact that it would open up the possibility for my husband to date 25 year olds and I can’t let the man grasp that kind of happiness – ever.

To cheer up I started going over the last year in my head trying to find some positive things I had accomplished. After much deliberation I managed to remember a two things that, while not life shattering, were I believe contributions to a better tomorrow.

The Tow Job

This past year a woman in a super size SUV plagued me. Every morning at my daughter’s elementary school she parked her tank in the drop off zone effectively blocking traffic. Oh, she did do a lame attempt at pulling her army combat vehicle partially up on the curb as a “Oops, sorry, but look I’ve attempted to get out-of-the-way.”  The problem was her ride was so gianormous not only could you not pull around it but it created an epic blind spot so if you tried to escape it’s girth you risked being rammed by another car or God forbid hitting a child.

Two months into the new school year I had enough. People had talked to Mrs. Super Size SUV, notices had been posted in the school newsletter, notes had been left on her windshield, but mesmerized by her own self-importance she refused to alter her parking routine. The time had come for me to take matters into my own hands.  (To read my list of school drop off and pick up rules please click here and here.)

One morning in late October I set my plan in motion. It was Wednesday. Many moms were at school getting ready for the monthly morning P.T.A. meeting.  The big topic was a riveting vote on whether to continue the gift-wrap sale. I knew the school office would be empty for about five minutes as the school secretary helped the P.T.A. president set up the microphone and podium in the cafeteria. This was when I made my move.

I clandestinely went into the office to use the school phone while no one could see me. My call was to the tow truck service the school district had a contract with. Two days early I had used my son for intel. He was charged with asking at the high school whom the district uses to tow vehicles. I told him to say it was for a story he was working on for his school newspaper. Not totally a lie. He was taking a journalism class, after all.

Armed with that information I used the school phone for authenticity, in case the number showed up on the tow company’s caller i.d. When I got the tow service I stressed that is was a critical a.s.a.p. tow job because the vehicle in question was blocking an emergency exit. Once I was assured that the tow truck was en-route I covertly exited the office and went in search of Mrs. Super Size SUV. I had to delay her exit from the school to give the tow truck time to arrive and haul off her Big Boy mobile.

I found her talking to some other moms and inserted myself into the group by asking who was going to the P.T.A. meeting? Most of the moms were and I made sure Mrs. Super Size SUV was guilted into attending. That job done I sprinted into the cafeteria and closed the blinds on the windows, saying to the P.T.A. president, “Wow, that morning sun is brutal. No one will be able to see the Smart Board if we don’t close these.”

I then speed walked outside to await the tow truck.  I got giddy when it arrived and had to restrain myself from jumping up and down and shouting yippee!  I was amazed how quickly they could hitch a car of that size up. When it looked like they were almost ready to leave I eagerly bolted into the P.T.A. meeting and announced while opening the blinds on the bank of cafeteria windows, “Pardon the interruption, but Mrs. Super Size I think you car is getting towed.”

She screeched and then started swearing as everyone ran to the windows to eyewitness her three-ton vehicle rolling behind the tow trunk. It was a perfect moment in time. Her cursing and using not just the everyday swear words, but the ones saved for special occasions. The principal telling her to “calm herself and to stop with her offensive jargon or he would have to ask her to leave the school,” the P.T.A. president trying to resume control of the meeting and me clapping. I was joined at first by just a small cluster of moms and soon it seemed as if the whole room was joining in. The applause was reverberating off the cafeteria walls. Mrs. Super Size shrieked that we were all “jealous bitches” and ran from the school. Her Lululemon yoga pant butt was the last thing we saw as she began chasing the tow truck.

Ah, life was good that day – very good.

F.B.I. Wanna Be

I believe I share many qualities with Super Man. While I cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound, nor am I faster than a locomotive. I do believe in truth, justice and the American Way. Just last month I was able to demonstrate my love for justice by pretending to be a F.B.I. agent. I, as a mild-mannered middle-aged wife and mother, entered my favorite convenience store one cold December evening to purchase a 32-ounce caffeine free Diet Coke from the soda fountain. I’m a Diet Coke sommelier. Some people have a nose for wine. I have a palate for diet coke. I can tell the carbonation to sugar syrup ratio by taking a mere sip. When I find a store that sells a premium mix of Diet Coke I become a very loyal customer.

A family whose country of origin is not America runs my convenience store of choice. Due to my daily visitations I’ve gotten to know this family well. That evening while I was topping off my 32 ouncer a man walked in to buy a carton of cigarettes. Upon finding out that they cost well over $30 for the carton he went all crazy pants. He began by yelling at the cashier, and then spewing hate speech based on her family tree. I was super ticked off.  It’s one thing to get a little emotionally unhinged about the high price of killing yourself these days, but slow down there buddy if you think you’re going drop the F bomb, terrorist, and N word cocktail, on my watch, to a young woman, no less.

I walked over and told the dude in my best no-nonsense voice to “back off and exit the premises.” He proceeded to tell me to F off. Really, like someone hasn’t screamed in my face to F off before. What an amateur. That’s when I had to go all F.B.I. on him. I raised my voice and said, “Listen up, I’m F.B.I. and I’m going kick your ass if you don’t get out of this store.”

He laughed and said, “You don’t look F.B.I. bitch”

“Exactly,” I declared, “I’m undercover. I can call this in right now or you can leave.” I had on a ski jacket that had an upper pocket where my cell phone was zipped in. I reached in and started to slide out my phone. The crazy pants thought I was taking out a gun.  He ran out of the store yelling “don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” and jumped in his car and took off.

I was a little shaken, but couldn’t help laughing. The young woman in the store said she was okay, but I stayed with her until her brothers came. My reasoning was two-fold. I didn’t want to leave in case crazy pants came right back or was watching the store. I’m pretty sure when I walked out into the parking lot and got in my mom mobile with my dog hanging her head out the window he would figure out I was no F.B.I. agent.

The good news is I got free Diet Cokes for a week. The bad news, the convenience store owners got a little confused and really thought I was a F.B.I. agent. I tried to explain that I was pretending to be with the F.B.I., but I’m not so sure they get it. They keep on calling me “Mrs. F.B.I.”  Truth be told I kind of like it.

Hmm, in retrospect maybe my year was better than I thought.

 

Hey, Snarky friends please re-like my page on Facebook. I got hacked and had to start my page from scratch. Thanks! Click on the FB icon located at the top right hand of blog and let your friends know that Snarky is back.

 **For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

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. 

 

 

3 Things I Learned at Target on New Year’s Eve

target-logo-redLike any good middle-aged, middle class female I’m at Target on New Year’s Eve on a quest to pick through the last of the holiday clearance. It’s in these hallowed four aisles of discount Christmas trees, ornaments, gift wrap and stocking stuffers that I have learned three life lessons I will embrace fully as I enter into a new year.

1) Teachers Deserve Better

As I’m trying to decide if I need to take advantage of the 50% off and upgrade to all LED Christmas lights I start talking to a woman swathed head-to-toe in so much North Face outerwear the logos are giving me vertigo. She’s pushing a cart that’s loaded up with a wide variety of Christmas sweets from Reece Peanut Butter Cups to carmel corn. Mrs. North Face very excitedly shares with me that she’s stockpiling Target food leftovers to use as teacher’s gifts. For clarification purposes I ask, “You really give your kids’ teachers year old food items from Target as presents?”

“No,” she says and gives me a look like I’m a dumb ass. “I would never do that!”

I hear this and I’m relieved and a little ashamed of myself for thinking the worst. But, she then quickly adds, “I take all the food I buy and put it into a rotation system in my basement. The stuff I’m buying now I won’t use until 2015.” Mrs. North Face smiles really big, kind of winks at me and says, “It’s not like they’ll ever know – right?”

I slowly start backing my cart away from her and say, “Somehow I think they’ll know. I’m not an expert in food science or anything, but I’m going to take an educated guess and tell you your teachers gifts probably get chucked straight into the trash can.”

“They do not!” She says agitated. “I always get thanked by all the teachers.”

I quickly say, while escaping to the gift wrap aisle, “I think that speaks more to the teachers’ good manners than yours.”

Dear Teachers, Beware and on the lookout for any blonde, North Face clad mom bearing expired Poppy Cock, candy coated pretzels, and assorted truffles in about 350 days.

2) You Can’t Fight the Side Boob

2013 will be the year I give into the side boob. This year I tried to do all I could to reverse this horrific fashion trend, but now, on this last day of 2012 I surrender. It was a woman in the Christmas card aisle that showed me it was time to call it quits to my valiant fight. This 60-ish mom/grandma was not looking at cards but trying on the last of the very picked over Christmas T-shirts from the junior department that were located at the end of the aisle. She took off the T-shirt she had on and wearing only her jog bra began pulling a holiday shirt over her head. She adjusted the shirt looked at her friend and said, “It’s cute. I just wished it was sleeveless because you know how much I like showing a little side boob.”

Her friend suggested enlarging the arm pit area of the shirt for maximum side boobage. I gasped and had to ask, “What’s up with the side boob? If you ask me it’s the least attractive part of the breast.”

Grandma shared, “Well, you’re probably right about that, but here’s the thing, every women looks good with side boob. Your breasts may sag and all, but no matter what the shape your tits are in you’ve still got a decent side boob.”

So, there you have it – the side boob is ageless. It’s the last part of the breast to plummet to your knees. That means this fashion trend is here to stay and I’m sure by Spring 2013 there will be a Kris Kardashian Jenner Side Boob clothing line at Sears.

3) The World is Still Quickly Coming to an End

Yeah, I know December 21 came and went without a big kaboom, but don’t get too comfortable because I have proof the world is still coming-to-an end sooner than later. I obtained this confirmation while standing in the ornament aisle. I was, is as my habit, eavesdropping on a mother and her two daughters. The girls looked to be around eight and nine and were all pumped up about a rumor they heard while at the mall. According to suburban mall lore Victoria’s Secret might be opening up a children’s version of their store! There you have it – that’s your evidence the world is ending. Because that’s all we need as a society is for elementary aged girls to be jumping on the train to Tramp Town with stops in Slutsburg and Whoreville. I know I always wished there was a “fun” place to shop for thongs with my little girl. Talk about mother daughter bonding! Once this happens, I have no doubt, some force of nature will be unleashed and swallow the earth whole and we will so richly deserve our demise.

Happy New Year!

 

Hey, Snarky friends please re-like my page on Facebook. I got hacked and had to start my page from scratch. Thanks! Click on the FB icon located at the top right hand of blog and let your friends know that Snarky is back.

 **For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

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.