Dear Snarky – My Mom Needs to Quit Wearing Sexy Halloween Costumes

Dear Snarky,

 I need help with my mother. I swear she thinks she’s Jennifer Lopez and by that I mean at 55 she is very proud of her body and loves to show it off. Every Halloween she goes all out with the sexy costumes. This Halloween she is wearing a costume that is a replica of the iconic dress J.Lo wore where she’s almost naked.

 My problem is she’s planning on wearing it to a Halloween party hosted by my boyfriend’s parents. I told her that costume was not appropriate for this kind of party and she told me I was just “jealous.”

 Seriously, she can’t show up to meet my boyfriend’s parents for the first time in a costume where she’s that exposed. How do I get her to wear something that at least covers her chest?

 Signed, Distressed Daughter

Dear Distressed,

First, let me say I’m not into body shaming nor am I the Fashion Police. In fact, the only style crimes that get me really ticked off are adults wearing P.J’s on a plane or people who wear shorts and flip flops to church weddings.

 As for your mother I’m afraid you’re not going to get her to wear a nun costume. I think the more you beg her to cover up the more she’s going to want to take the girls out. That said if I had a body that resembled Jennifer Lopez’s I might be inclined to be queen of the crop top.

 I suggest that perhaps the first time your boyfriend’s parents meet your parents is not at this party. Maybe you can schedule a coffee get together so their initial “how do you do” is with your mom wearing clothing and not a costume.

 Remember you’re not responsible for your mom’s behavior or life choices. At 55 years old how she dresses is her business and her business alone. Maybe she’s living her best life.

 As for your boyfriend’s parents if they are going to judge you based on your mother’s Halloween costume than that is just messed up.

 Now as for that  jealous comment it sounds like your mother’s maternal instincts might need a refresh. Her quip was very unkind and leads me to believe that her entire self worth is tied up in her appearance and let me tell you as an aging female that totally sucks.

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

Holiday Shopping Puzzlers

il_340x270-1.1358738970_n9r8I actually enjoy holiday shopping but sadly my family has ruined it for me. Now, I get lists where all I have do is point and click to their on-line shopping bag. Efficient? Yes. Fun? No. This means the only real shopping I do is for myself because, yes, I buy my own presents.

There are though a few things that puzzle me about shopping in December and one of them is the music being played in stores. Props to Bath and Body Works for their traditional approach in regard to holiday tuneage. Burl Ives gentle crooning on “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” is something to be treasured and lulled me into buying yet another “Fresh Balsam” holiday candle. And when Johnny Mathis started singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” I felt duty bound to double up on my “Peppermint Twist” bath gel purchase.

Sadly, the music segued to ghastly at the next store I went into. What’s up current singers butchering a classic? Jingle Bells doesn’t required vocal gymnastics? I’m tone deaf but even I don’t think that “dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh” requires a show-offy take on the lyrics.

Another thing that confuses me are coupon conundrums. Pretty much retail speaking, no matter what store you go into everything is marked down by at least 30 percent. You also then have your digital coupons and loyalty savings for a “joining” the store “club” etc. The problem is that the math required to use your coupons is ACT worthy and presents a mathematical brain teaser.

Can you combine the current discount with your coupon and loyalty card? If the answer is no, you then have to try to figure out what will be cheaper just taking the discounted price or going the coupon route combined with the loyalty reduction? And then what if you return the purchase will you get your loyalty bucks back?

The people who say you never use math once you graduate are fools. I use math every time I shop and not to brag but I can add up what’s in my Target cart and I’m usually not off my more than 15 cents. It still amazes my kids. My son once asked me how can I do that but not know basic algebra? I told him my skill set was “everyday math.”

Holiday shopping also woos me to make dumb decisions. As in I recently bought a hat. Not a hat to wear when I walk my dogs, but a fashion statement hat. A beret to be exact. J Crew had all these cute berets laid out on a counter and the fact that they looked like giant macaroons might have influenced my decision to buy one. (I was hungry.) As soon as I attempted to wear my beret in public, I felt very self-conscious, like the people might be feeling sorry for me kind of self-conscious.

I just don’t have the face or the head for a beret. But, then not two days later I was seduced by a fedora at Anthropolgie. It didn’t help that some very lovely young ladies were in the store wearing fedoras. I decided to give it try and let’s just say it wasn’t for me.

I was bummed. I want to be the kind of woman who can pull off a hat. But then I started thinking positive about my beret. I was going to wear it but only when I go out with my daughter. At 18 she’ll be mortified to see me styling a huge hot pink wool macaroon that’s perched on my head at a very jaunty angle. Hmm, maybe that beret wasn’t such a bad purchase after all.

 

 

The Upsell is Ticking Me Off

53853949c74cb236cae412a229775635I want to live in a world where you can get your oil changed and aren’t subjected to a five-minute upsell on various fluid replacements and the granddaddy of them all – new air filters. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I’m beginning to believe that each oil change shop has one all-purpose grimy, Darth Vader black, air filter that they keep behind the counter to convince you that you do indeed need to spend upwards of $100 on new ones. And because I was having an annoying morning I floated that idea to the oil change guy.

I told him the air filter he was showing me looked like I daily drove my car into the belly of a coal mine. There was no way that was my filter. Mainly because I just had my filters changed last time. Dropping that bomb got the guy to back off on the upsell which was a good move on his part. There was some bad mojo happening inside my brain and I felt like I was about to lose my mind. I had the tag lines for all the Real Housewives of Atlanta stuck in my head (which FYI is a million times worse than having a song on cranial auto loop) and it’s was making me super cranky.

If you’re right now going huh over the whole tag line thing here’s a quick Real Housewives primer. The opening of every Real Housewives show features the “ladies” (Yep quotes around ladies because the women who are featured as “housewives” don’t demonstrate even remotely the gentle graces of that appellation. If there was truth in tilting all the shows would be called the Real Shrews of Insert City of Your Choice Here.) saying some ridiculous one liner about their lives. For instance on the Real Housewives of New York one unemployed woman, getting a divorce for the last decade, and quite possibly suffering from some sort of Botox poisoning that has led to delayed cognitive skills says “I have a taste for luxury, and luxury has a taste for me.”

When the oil change guy was berating/scaring me about my filter I was this close to belting out Atlanta housewife Kandi Burruss’s tag line from 2015 “I’m not about the drama. Don’t start none, won’t be none” which would have been muy embarrassing. Plus, I know it’s not the oil change employee’s fault he’s aggressively trying to upsell. It’s part of the 21st century retail experience.

There’s not a store I can think of you where you can complete your transaction without some sort of upsell or continued invasion of your privacy. It’s gotten so bad when I check out at Target I immediately look the cashier in the eye and politely state that, “No I do not want a Red card in either debit or credit form.” Even worse are all those stores with point systems and now some retail conglomerates have grown greedy tentacles and created point octopuses. This is where you can sign up for points at say a clothing store and also get gas points at a convenience store that’s not even in your time zone.

It’s so confusing that to use all those points you would need at least a Bachelor of Science in forensic retailing. Forget about the reality TV show Extreme Couponing that’s for amateurs. Clipping coupons and digging through dumpsters for newspaper circulars is downright remedial. The real drama would be watching someone track, sort, and use all their shopping points.

Enter the RPI – Retail Point Investigator. (Think of it as a CSI combined with the shopping acumen of Black Friday groupie.) This breed of scientist would look at your points and determine their DNA (ie what store they really came from), if there’s any cross contamination between retail establishment thus rendering your points invalid, use the latest in mass spectrometry to find important clues like if  your points have been combined with your husband’s or if there were cast off points and if there’s trace evidence to suggest if you should be receiving double or bonus points. I can’t be the only one who thinks this would be must watch television. If there’s a CSI:Cyber there’s no reason why there can’t be a CSI: Retail Points Investigator.

Plus imagine the viewing audience it would pull in. Thankfully most of us have lives that aren’t touched by a murder, but all of us have retail points. I’ve already got a great idea for the pilot. A woman walks into an oil change shop and just as the guy is trying to sell her a new filter she whips out a points card. Does the woman buy the new filter with points? Does the oil change guy declare that they no longer honor those points? Is there a throw down? Is it time to call in the Retail Point Investigator? Stay tuned.

 

The Casper Syndrome

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 10.02.43 AM

You know I’ve never minded getting older. My go to has always been as long as I stay young in spirit and have a certain cheerful zest about life I’m okay with the aging process. Well, let me now share that ship has sailed and I’ve entered the full-blown cranky person phase of my existence.

I blame the mall.

I know some of you maybe thinking, “Dear God, she’s going to rant about the mall again? Here’s a tip quit going.”

If only I could my friends, if only I could. But alas, I’m the mother of a teenage age daughter and going mall free is not a viable option. Granted I did not have to go to the mall the day after Christmas, but some grandma money was calling my daughter’s name and after spending 48 hours in what I would refer to as a forcible lock down with her family my 15-year-old was fixated on getting to Abercrombie.

Stay with me; don’t go over to Buzz Feed  just yet. I promise I’m not going to linger on Abercrombie. I’m aware that I’ve beaten that horse to death  blog wise. Instead I will be discussing the mall in a larger context starting with addressing a pressing social issue that I think is being egregiously ignored – the 14 to 24 demographic being totally bereft of having any spatial self-awareness.

These poor young people, raised on iPhones, have zero idea of how to walk or stand in any sort of group setting. In fact, I would go as far to suggest that they all might be suffering from some sort of delusional depth perception where they perceive themselves of being invisible or even ghostly apparitions where people are able to just walk through their human form. In the interest of science, I have labeled this disorder the Casper Syndrome (as in Casper the Ghost).

This generation of Casper’s will come to a dead stop in the middle of a surging crowd to look at their phones blissfully unaware that they are impeding the flow of mankind and even causing other fellow carbon life forms to stop short and wipe out by a ridiculous store for girls called Garage. (I’m sure aptly named because that’s about the only place I would let my daughter wear that collection of tramp-a-doodle-do.)

These Casper’s also have the innate ability to place their bodies in the most well-traveled place in any store and basically camp out on their phones while they block the forward movement of any other bipedal mammal. Even when another person says a very polite “pardon me” or a more aggressive, “you and your phone need to move out-of-the-way” the Caspers are unable to grasp the dual concept that they are making people feel stabby and that they have created a human barricade.

You know the Casper Syndrome is widespread when you witness a mall cop spending his day telling teens to keep walking and explaining the fundamental concept of moving their bodies to the side of a walkway or aisle instead of parking themselves in the center.

Another thing that catapulted me into the extreme crank zone is the age old question of not why did the chicken cross the road, but how long does a line have to be for a store to open up another cash register? I even felt compelled to assist one retail establishment with basic math.

Here’s the word problem. There are four registers and only two cashiers working. Meanwhile, there are two “managers” sashaying down a line so long customers have nicknamed it I-35 and asking people if they had “found everything they needed.” What is the best way to improve the speed of this line?

The correct answer is telling the sashayers, “Hey, how about if the two of you stop with the chit-chat and get on a register because four working check out stations equal four times the customer service.”

I got the stink eye, but I’m proud to report that an additional register was open. Not all the registers of course, because that would have made sense. Then when it was FINALLY my turn to check out I was told they couldn’t take cash! WTH? That’s spitting on the very foundation of the American economy. I’m sure it’s even considered a treasonable offense. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I had a breakdown.

Finally, the manager confessed that the problem was they couldn’t open the cash drawers of the registers. (Hello, have your tried a nail file?) That was my cue to storm out in a very dramatic fashion until my exit was abruptly stopped/blocked by what else but two Casper Syndrome teens. God help us all.

 

 

I’m a Fashion No

This is it. Fall 2015 is when I’m gScreen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.41.39 AMoing to up my wardrobe game! I’m going really get out there and reinvent my look. This might be a bit of a problem because I don’t have a look. I have a more of a “lo” which is half a look or barely a look. To be honest my “lo” translates into me having two categories of wardrobe: Decent and Vintage Slob.

The “vintage” look I wear on days when I’m not venturing farther than a one mile radius from my home or only going to Walmart. (Hand to God, one morning I was the worst dressed person at  Walmart. I owned it and pushed my cart down the aisles with a swagger that had a smidgen of slob joie de vivre.)

My decent look is essentially a go to uniform of jeans, blouse, cardigan sweater and a shoe that is neither athletic wear or has the word flop in it. In terms of make up let’s just say if you ever see me sporting the “smokey eye” it means those black marks aren’t the result of an over application of Lancôme Precision Point EyeLiner but bruising from some sort of cornea surgery.

Yep, it’s time to do a fashion intervention on myself. I’m going to go out of my comfort zone. Good bye elastic waist pants (you were my everything) and hello high fashion. (Okay let’s be honest here and call it medium fashion because I don’t have the money or petite waist circumference to go all Vogue magazine)

To begin my journey to a more fashionable me I decided to go solo. Sure I could have brought my daughter with me, but have you noticed how teenaged girls have an almost magical skill to turn any shopping expedition into a journey that is all about them?

You go to the mall to buy yourself a pair of shoes and the next thing you know you’re feeling light-headed from the Abercrombie fumes and you’ve been conned into spending way too much money on something called  “Teaspoon Freebird” (Is that a kind of hummingbird or something?) denim for your daughter. It’s witchcraft that’s what it is or there’s some kind of mind altering chemical in the reek that permeates the store and makes anyone over the age of 40 surrender control of their wallet.

My first solitary stop was to a department store I was familiar with. I figured it was best to ease myself into this fashion thing and go somewhere I knew the terrain. Although, I was going to an area of the store I have always walked by and never given a second look to because the clothes looked a little intimidating (as in requiring full Spanx and had dry clean only tags). I selected three items that frightened me because that’s what Oprah says to do. You know the whole “Do one thing that scares you everyday” mindset.

The most horrifying was a dress with a fabric brocade so thick it reminded me of my grandma Stella’s sofa. The bad news it was beyond ugly even through the sales associate told me it was “totally on trend.”  The good news that bulky brocade could hide a multitude of lumps and bumps. It should have a sign that reads “buy me and you’ll never have to suck in your stomach or forego dessert again.”

This made me very excited as I attempted to get the dress on my body. Please note the word attempted because try as I might that brocade wasn’t budging over my shoulders. Yeah, that’s right shoulders. I bet you thought I was going to say hips because who hasn’t had that problem, but no this garment was stuck at my neck. Well, to be accurate it was strangling me. Who know brocade had the same compression quality as a surgical grade tourniquet?

Finally I managed to free myself from what I thought was certain death and examined the garment more closely and realized I hadn’t unzipped it all the way. I grabbed a tissue from my purse and had a good cry. So, it’s come to this has it? I now have to wear reading glasses to get dressed.

After my cleansing sob in the dressing room. I gave the dress another try. Totally unzipped it went on my body without a hitch. Unfortunately, I looked like I belonged in a living room. If I had worn it to a furniture store and laid on the floor I’m certain a family of four would have set on me because I just didn’t look like a love set or even a regular couch. No, in this dress I was so huge I appeared to be working a “sectional sofa” look. I couldn’t get it off fast enough.

Because I’m no quitter I decided to buck up and persevere. I wasn’t going to let a couch dress rob me of my courage. I was going all in and headed to a store that downright scared me. You know the kind of store where everything is fancy and from the moment you walk in you feel like you’re being judged.

I opened the thick glass door with a handle that was doing double duty as a work of art and felt like it was telling me to “flee the premises with my unworthiness.” I wanted to listen to the door and take off for the parking lot, but I thought to myself, “Stay strong, you are a woman on a mission and will not be denied your chance at wardrobe wonder.”

As I perused the racks a sales woman asked me if I needed help and because I was still feeling vulnerable from the brocade bomb I blurted out what I had just been through (leaving out the whole reading glasses/zipper thing because it’s one thing to admit you resembled a sectional and quite another to share that you’re an aging idiot) and bless her heart she took pity on me. This woman steered me to clothes that had qualities that were in no way related to home furnishings. I, with trepidation, tried on a variety of looks that screamed “fashion is my passion.”

The problem is I could have sort of liked these clothes if they hadn’t reminded me of the 1980’s. It seems one of the muses for fashion this year was that wonderful time period of shoulder pads, Dynasty, and leopard prints. It’s as if they put Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington and Nancy Reagan during her White House years in a Vitamix for a smoothie and then topped it all off with a little Material Girl Madonna whipped cream. I mean, what girl doesn’t love a little animal print, but just wow on a cheetah inspired, shoulder padded, blouse with a bow.

I had no choice but to raise the white flag of surrender. I was done attempting to brave the fashionista waters, at least for today. It was time to go home and reunite with my BFF. No, not my husband or children are you insane? Where’s the comfort in that? If I told them I almost asphyxiated myself with an unzipped dress they’d would not only howl with hysterics, but use it against me for years to come as in “well, at least I’ve never choked myself by not fully unzipping a piece of clothing.”

My savior, the healing balm for this emotional journey was one thing and one thing only – my decade old, elastic waist, sweat pants. They’re not high fashion or even low, let’s call them aspirational bottom feeders of the style world, but they sure are comfortable and I have no doubt, at all, that they love me. In fact, even though I’m fashion challenged I’m blessed. Most women want a wardrobe they love. Lucky me, I have a wardrobe that loves me back or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

 

*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! 🙂

 

Mall Phobia

8e199d75a074ccc7789d1d5ff03cf45dHaving a daughter is one of life’s great joys until, you are forced, against your will, to take her clothes shopping at the mall. I, naive fool that I am, thought that I had gotten through the worst of it. And by that I mean I haven’t darkened the door of a Justice clothing store for a couple of years.

For those of you lucky, lucky, mammals that have never had to cross the threshold of a Justice store it can best be described as a migraine machine. Loud, latest Disney boy band music blaring combined with garish clothes for elementary school girls that feature monkey motifs, scratch and sniff scented T-shirts and the always, classic, faux neon fur. Adding to the ambiance is a section of the store that sells accessories best suited for dressing up for a wedding at Chuck E Cheese. Don’t think I’m exaggerating when I tell you I did the happy dance the day my daughter aged out of cheetah skorts. 

Last week, in anticipation of an impending cold front, my youngest announced that she needed new jeans. I did my maternal duty and suggested that all she needed to do was put them on wet and really try to stretch them out. That plan didn’t work. She was insistent that we should go to the “big mall.”

I shuddered. The “big mall” is where the mean stores are. The stores that hurt your feelings or cause you to weep from sensory assault. The stores no women over 25 and 130 pounds wants to go into. I’m talking about the axis of evil known as Abercrombie and Fitch, Forever 21 and Hollister. I pleaded, I begged, I bargained, but in the end she got her way (shocking not) and I found myself at the mall using a free “Youthberry” beverage sample from Teavana to throw back two, “just in case”, Advils, before I entered Forever 21. 

The problem I have with Forever 21 is that there is just too much of everything. The store feel likes it’s merchandised by chimpanzees that instead of throwing poop at each other hurled clothes. There’s so much crap-a-doodle-doo to churn through that whenever I enter the store I feel as if it might swallow me whole, kind of, like a Florida sinkhole. I lasted about ten minutes before whimpering that I was having a panic attack and needed to leave. 

Next, after fortifying myself with Wetzel’s Pretzel Bites (for medicinal purpose), I followed my daughter and shrieked when she began to venture into Abercrombie and Fitch. I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back. “You can’t do this,” I told her. “By entering that store you are a willing participant in a hate crime.”

“Oh no Mom, not this again,” she wailed. 

“Oh yes, this again, my darling daughter. As a member of the ‘thighs rub together when I walk’ coalition I can’t let you do this.” 

You see, the CEO of this horrible store is known for saying comments like (and these are the kinder ones) he only wants “good-looking people to wear his clothes” and that there is “no room for fat people” in his company. In that case, jerk face, there is no room in my wallet to buy anything from A&F. 

Knowing there was zero room for negotiation on this my daughter capitulated and we set off for Hollister. Is it just me that thinks the outside of the store looks like the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land? Sadly, the inside, shares the same lightening scheme, as say, being buried alive, and smells like it was carpet bombed with the world’s most gag inducing cologne. Screw Guantanamo, use Hollister as “detainee chambers” and see if that doesn’t get the prisoners spilling secrets.

Before I subjected myself to the ordeal I took a couple of deep cleansing breathes, put a Wetzel napkin over my nose and ventured in. My daughter, used to my Hollister survival skills, didn’t say a word. Mercifully, she was in and out in under five minutes.

She still hadn’t purchased any jeans, that by this time, I was calling “Denim Slacks” just to punish her for making me endure the mall. Not wanting to be persuaded to go to some store called Garage or please, dear Lord no, not Pac Sun, I called an audible with, “You know what store has really nice stuff, no music, no discernible smell of cologne, bright overhead lights that help you read the price tags and a snack bar? Target.” 

My daughter shrugged and countered with, “Can I get a Starbucks?”

I gave her an enthusiastic yes and we both skipped out of the mall. Okay, it was more of a jog but inside I was skipping and singing. I was free, free at last.

**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.

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

The Cult of IKEA

36-ikea-humorIf there is one thing I know about myself it’s that I’m a horrible predictor of what the next big thing will be. Take the cupcake craze. When all the cupcakes shops started popping up in every other strip mall I laughed and said,”Yeah, right like who’s going to pay $3.75 for a cupcake?” Apparently, everyone.

Not learning my lesson I continued with my baked goods economic forecasting and thought the cake pop – a tablespoon of mashed up crumbs, dipped in frosting and shoved on a stick with a two dollar price tag – was one of the world’s biggest rip offs. Like, right up there with paying a buck for eight ounces of bottled tap water. I do believe I gave the cake pop, maybe, six months tops, before it would go the way of the dessert burrito.

You’ve never heard of the dessert burrito? Point made. But as for that cake pop, it couldn’t be any more popular. There are cake pop bouquets, cutesy, pink cake pop kitchen appliances, and even, yes, and I take this as the final blow to my skills as an economic futurist, cake pop cupcakes.

Another thing that befuddles me is the cult of IKEA. I don’t get it. I know many, many, people are excited about a new IKEA opening soon two towns over from where I live. So much so, that IKEA announced it would allow customers to line up 48 hours before the grand opening. If I had to compile a list of things I would stand in line 48 hours for, thus requiring me to use a 52-ounce Slurpee cup as a bathroom, IKEA wouldn’t make my top million. (Some of my top ten, just in care your curious, include any kind of cash give away that exceeds the low five figures and seeing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.)

Because we’re talking about stuff right? Not a limited supply of an Ebola vaccine. As far as I know IKEA has furniture, bedding, wooden kitchen spoons and $5.99 mattress pads. For sure, the furniture is cute and inexpensive but don’t you have to put it together yourself? I think if a furniture assembly instruction page is longer than three sentences or in IKEA’s case three pictures and you have to wear reading glasses to magnify the image than you’ve most likely aged out of IKEA. (This would be me by the way.)

The last thing I bought at IKEA was in 1996 in Houston. I was eight months pregnant and attempting to put together an armoire for the baby’s room. The act of basically constructinikea2-1g furniture from almost scratch upset me so much I thought I was going into early labor. There were panels you had to put together and then you had to make sure you got the slide things on right so the drawers would go in smoothly.

The thing that really started my contractions was that I couldn’t get the drawer knobs on. You would think that would be the easy part. Just a little righty tighty and presto the knobs are on. But no, not even using my third trimester of pregnancy mom strength I couldn’t get those freaking knobs in.

I feel my blood pressure rising right now just thinking about it. I curse you armoire from IKEA! Most especially that special Swedish thingy you had to use because a good old U.S. of A screwdriver wouldn’t work. I’m telling you, the whole experience made me proud to live in a country that embraces the Phillips and flat head screwdrivers.

All of this is why I was taken aback when I read that there are 1,200 parking spaces at the new IKEA and store managers’ fear that won’t be enough. They predict 5 to 10,000 shoppers per day during their first couple of months in business. My immediate thought was, “IKEA, you Swedish drama queen, calm down. I think you’re a little full of yourself.”

Then I got on social media and discovered families were planning reunions that are right REUNIONS, based on IKEA shopping. What’s next church services being held in the various IKEA “inspiration room” settings? Will the prayers be directed to the God of Commerce or the coupon holy trinity of 30% off, free assembly or BOGO?

You know, just know, some enterprising mom is already planning her child’s IKEA birthday party featuring fun time in the kid’s play area followed by Swedish meatballs and birthday cake in the restaurant for the kids and salmon lasagna for the parents. Okay, I was sort of kidding about that but I just goggled “IKEA birthday parties” and guess what? It’s a real thing, complete with Pinterest pages.

Is this one of the signs the world is ending? I’m a little scared.

**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.

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cray Cray at the Costco

53a9919516357a329d34bf85665ba8d4Costco is not just a mega store. It’s entertainment and I’m not talking just about the thrill of buying in bulk, that’s a given. I’m talking about how almost every individual or family pushing the jumbo cart could be part of a sitcom, group therapy reality show or docu-drama about women who date produce. I took my car in recently to get its tires rotated and after spending two hours browsing the aisles I observed and/or stalked a cast of characters.

The parking lot alone should be made into a Driver’s Ed film featuring the crazed cart ladies who fear they’re not doing their consumer due diligence unless they leave Costco with enough sustenance and T.P. to survive a zombie apocalypse. With their carts stacked with 10 boxes of 196 rolls of toilet paper they’ve essentially blinded themselves from seeing on-coming traffic. And then to up the degree of difficulty, they’re straining to push their cart, weighed down, by two 40 pound bags of dog food, thus causing them to bob and weave through the parking lot like a kid’s floatie that has gone rogue in the ocean. You don’t enter this arena without your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wall, your mirrors adjusted, and your driving focus in at least a state of DEFCON 3.

Once I got inside I made my Costco promise which is; I will not eat a churro, I want a churro, but I do not need a churro, therefore I will not eat a churro. Besides who needs a churro when there’s an abundance of food samples.

I head straight for the chocolate macadamia nut line and totally scored. I got a full size sample that had yet to be cut into those itty-bitty tasting bites. This is when a mom with a lot of kids (I’m sorry I can’t give you an exact count because they would wander and then come back hoisting an open jumbo box of Fruit Roll Ups above their heads like they were Moses with the Ten Commandments) got ticked off that I got a bigger sample than her. She complained to the very nice senior citizen about my sample size versus hers.

This is when I should have walked away and gone to lonely quinoa salad sample station. But try as I might I just couldn’t. I had to see how the Sample Mom story was going to play out. Well, this lady was hell-bent on getting a full size treat not just for her, but for her kids because in her words, “fair is fair.” Because I believe strongly in coming to the aid of the elderly I enthusiastically shouted like I was Christopher Columbus suffering from an acute case of scurvy and had just seen land after 90 days at sea, “Look, they’re giving away huge cups of that cheddar and caramel popcorn stuff.”

Sample Mom, grabbed six paper cups of the un full size chocolate macadamia nuts and hustled her brood over to the popcorn man. Where she then proceeded to comment on how the samples were small, like only four pieces of popcorn per cup, small. I thought it would be best if I hide on the other side of the store so I wandered over to the fruit section. This is where I encountered a woman with a passion for produce.

She first caught my eye because of her aggressive and arduous sniffing of the strawberries. I watched as she basically made out with a two-pound carton of berries. Then she moved on to fondling the peaches. It wasn’t your basic squeeze and go. Oh no, she rubbed the peach all along her face. I’ve seen a lot of people get down with fruit at Whole Foods and Farmer’s Markets but this was something different, more intimate. It made me so uncomfortable I ran away and found myself in the diaper aisle.

Here, a dad was talking on his phone and turbo upset over a baseball game. He had what looked like a four-year son in his cart wearing a rec baseball T-shirt. From what I could gather the umpires in the Pre-K league “suck.” I almost start laughing. Who gets that upset over Pre-K baseball? Especially when your kid is young enough that you’re still buying a 228-count box of nighttime Pull Up’s.

I felt it was my calling as an experienced mother to offer some guidance to this overwrought father. I waited until he got off his phone and said, “You know, all this sports stuff, it’s a marathon not a sprint. You should pace yourself.”

Sports Dad looks at me like he’s not sure I’m talking to him and then says, “Sucking is still sucking no matter what.”

Hmm, I wonder if Costco sells Thesaurus to aid this man in expanding his vocabulary and for sure he should probably load up on some sort of stress relief supplement or perhaps aromatherapy.

I smile and nod at Sports Dad, like I kind of agree with him, and quickly walk away. I was headed to my happy place. Yep, I got myself a churro. I deserved it.

**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.

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

 

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 https://snarkyinthesuburbs.com/2012/02/23/the-reverse-stubing-part-2/

*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! 🙂

Black Friday – The End Is Near

black-friday-meme-20If there was one thing to get me shopping on Black Friday it would be Kohl’s cash. At my previous destinations it was all about the people watching. At Kohl’s I was ready to consummate my relationship with Black Friday. How could I resist with the Kohl’s spend $50 get $15 dollars back they were literally paying me to shop. Talk about retail foreplay? For that kind of cash action I’d let Kohl’s round all the bases and slide into home. Plus, I had a 15% off coupon. It was like a menage a trois. Me, Kohl’s cash and the coupon.

Just thinking about what awaited me I walked into the store all worked up and then had a major case of coitus interruptus. It was jammed packed. Not packed with people shopping, but packed with people waiting in line to pay for their purchases. I kid you not, the lines to pay for your robes, blouses and socks wound through the store twice like a double helix.  Kohl’s even had signs up, like they have at theme parks, that said, “Congratulations you are only 60 minutes from the check out stand.” The only way to get a fast pass was to open a Kohl’s charge card.  Sure, I wanted to shop, but it was almost 2 a.m. and I didn’t want to have to stand in line till the sun came up. Since I was there I decided to circulate through the store and see what discounts Kohl’s was offering that would justify standing in line for hours and bringing your own stadium seating chair.

I had made it half way through the store when I saw two precious little girls sleeping on top of a “bed” decked out in Vera Wang sheets in the linen department.  The girls who looked to be about two and four were in cuddly p.j’s and pink slippers. I inquired in a curious voice, “Whose adorable little girls are these?”

One grandma-ish woman piped up, “I don’t know.  I haven’t seen anyone check on them and I’ve been standing in this area for about 20 minutes.”  I asked the woman to stand guard over them and she said, “Honey my eyes haven’t left these angels.”

I asked another woman to please go to customer service and get some help. She was a little hesitant, but the person in front of her in line promised to save her place.  I then started working my way up the line asking people if they know who the two little girls belonged to that were sleeping in the linens department.

Finally, a woman said they were her granddaughters. “Are you kidding me?” I asked, “Your letting your grandbabies sleep at Kohl’s while you stand in this stupid line? You do realize your about half a store away from them and anybody could just take them and poof they’re gone.”

She didn’t even try to defend her actions. She just said, “Well, you’ll have to talk my daughter about it. She put them there and then told me to hold a place in line while she shopped.” I almost felt sorry for her. She sounded like she was afraid of her own daughter.

“Good God woman,” I said, “Go get your grandchildren and what does your daughter look like I’m going to find her?”

The woman described her daughter as wearing a baseball hat, jeans and (wait for it, wait for it) a hot pink bedazzled hoodie that says, “This Mom of Two Rocks.” Armed with that description the woman was easy to find in the jewelry department. Which as any Kohl’s shopper knows is near the front of the store and about as far away as you can get from where she left her sleeping daughters. I adjusted my fanny pack and said in my most authoritative voice, “Excuse me, but are you the woman who abandoned two little girls one of the beds in the linen department?”

She didn’t even take her eyes off the ring she was trying on and sighed, “Did they wake up or something?”

That really got me peeved so I went to my old stand by – lying about my occupation and threatening people with some sort of legal action. “No!” But I’m affiliated with Children’s Protective Services and unless you take your kids home right now I will forced to take then into custody.”

She finally looked up at me and said, “Don’t you think you’re over reacting?  What’s that thing people say.  Oh yeah, It takes a village.”

“Well, in this case it take one social service agency employee and I’m going to give you about 3 minutes to get your precious girls, your mother and yourself out of the store.”

She sighed again and seemed very put out and said, “Whatever.” Then she asked, “What if I have my mom stand by them as they sleep can I stay then?”

It was at this point I realized I was out of my element it was time to turn it over to a higher power – Kohl’s security. They assured me they had the situation in hand. Before I walked away, I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask this blinged out “Mom of Two,” Why didn’t you just leave your kids at home with your mother? Wouldn’t that have been easier than dragging your babies out at 2 a.m.?”

She looked at me like I was the biggest loser on the planet and said, “But then who would hold my place in the check out line?” I just shook my head in disgust and left the store. I was growing weary of this thing called Black Friday and promised myself after checking out Old Navy I would head home.

Why Old Navy you ask? I was drawn to the store because it seemed to be the place to be if you were female and under the age of 30 plus it was right next door. The store looked like it had been attacked my a flash mob. Jeans were strewn about, hoodies were laying on the floor and women were in various stages of undress. Not willing to wait for a dressing room (the line did look brutal) women were shedding their clothes in public. I found this a little unseemly. First,  why would you need to try on clothes?  You’re Christmas shopping right? Not buying $15.99 denim for yourself.  Then there’s the naked part. I know if I were at any swimming pool I would, no doubt, see the same amount of skin. But people in their underwear, in public, as they attempt to shimmy into skinny jeans is, I daresay, a little different. It also brings up the thong issue.

What’s so wrong with a full coverage panty?  You’re out shopping in the middle of night while wearing sweats and you feel your outfit calls for a thong. Ladies, there is no visible panty line when were wrapped in a pair of baggy sweats. Embrace, at the very least, a bikini cut panty. In addition, if you must wear a itsy bitsy thong and feel the need to take your pants off in public please make sure your nether regions don’t resemble Chewbacca on a Rogaine Plus regime.

I was averting my eyes as much as possible when out of my peripheral vision I saw what looked to be a large woman totally nude from the waist down. I thought, that can’t be right. So, I rubbed my eyes and looked again.  Yep, she seemed to be going fancy free in the women’s sportswear section of Old Navy. Isn’t there some sort of health code that prohibits trying on clothes butt naked?

As I ponder that point, I noticed what looked to be a small piece of nylon peeking out from south of her belly button.  It looked like the tip of a ski trapped in an avalanche of flab. Oh my, this young woman had her fat rolls disguising her thong thus giving her the appearance of being naked. I wanted to go over to her and proselytize the superior hygiene and comfort qualities of a real, honest to goodness, panty. Some call them Granny panties, but I call them underwear that won’t become bff’s with your butt crack. I took all this nudity as the final sign that I needed to go home and cleanse my corneas with some sleep.

Five hours later my phone rings. It’s my mother. From 1,000 miles away she asks me to do the unthinkable. She wants me to go the mall. It gets worse. She wants me to go the American Girl doll store. I tell her she’s crazy and I’m not doing it. “Why can’t you just order all the doll stuff on-line? I ask. Well, that a big “no can do” from her. She wants two dolls and according to her the money she would save from not paying for shipping and handling would allow her to also get some “really adorable accessories” to go with the dolls. Plus, there’s some “incredible” today only bargains. She also points out that one of the dolls is for my daughter and thus begins the never-ending guilt merry go round.  I swear under my breath and tell her I’ll go. Bad move.

The mall is almost Walmart crowded and so over heated it feels like it’s doing double duty as a tanning bed. When I reach the American Girl store it’s chocked full of high maintenance moms who smell like they were assaulted by the Sephora perfume bomb.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Sephora, but you can’t go in there without a safe word. Once you cross the threshold of the store you’re besieged by women spritzing perfume and sales associates wanting to give you a make-over that always ends with you slathered in a quantity of cosmetics that would put a drag queen to shame. Although, they tell you, “Oh no, that’s not a lot of make-up.  It’s just an evening look.” Yes, an evening out working the corner.

After I surrendered my sense of smell I adhere to my game plan of grabbing the new Marie Grace and Cecile dolls and ski set and ice skates accessories.  Why the hell my mom wanted to pair up dolls based on girls that live in 1853 New Orleans with down hill skis and ice skates confused me so much I had to call her to verify the purchase. I wanted to make sure I got just want she wanted because there was no way I was coming back here and doing a return. I moved to one of the corners of the store to call my mom which unbeknownst to me would be a front row seat to Battle of the Doll Beds.

As I get off the phone with my mother (yes she wanted those doll size skis and skates) I noticed two women each grabbing for the what I’m guessing was the last “Dreamy Daybed and Bedding” box. Both women looked to be what I call Classic Cul-de-Sacers. They had the blonde highlighted hair, skinny to point of being butt-less with their bead and stitch True Religion jeans and some sort of long sleeve bejeweled burn out t-shirt. The only distinguishing characteristics between the two were one had on cowboy boots and the other Uggs.

Uggsy made the first move by trying to pull her side of the box away from Cowboy.  Cowboy did the arm over-arm for a double handed tug. This gave her some more box real estate. Uggsy panicked and did a tug and twist, trying to wrench the box from Cowboy’s grip. Cowboy dug in her heels and yanked on the box so hard she managed to get Uggsy off-balance. Now Uggsy was super ticked. She kicked Cowboy in the shins. This was a tactical error. Everyone knows in an Uggs vs Cowboy boot throw down cowboy boots win.  They’re pointy and have heels. Uggs just have ugly on their side. But Uggsy wasn’t going to give up just yet. She went for Cowboy’s rhinestone belt and tugged hard. This almost toppled over Cowboy. Finally, Cowboy knelt the death-blow and took her pointy boots and just wailed on Uggsy’s shins. Uggsy screamed and dropped her grip on the box enabling Cowboy to establish full control of the package and sashay up to the check out.

I was stunned by this mom-on-mom action. I followed Cowboy up the check out area and decided the best course of action was to not make any sudden moves or eye contact with this chick. Then the unbelievable happened. Cowboy looked at the box, stood there a moment and then put the bed set on the nearest shelf and walked out of the store.  I thought perhaps, upon reflection, she was ashamed of herself and left the store in personal disgrace. I was so intrigued that I picked up the box she had left behind.  Holy crap, it was empty.  Two moms had been fighting over an empty box. Nothing could have been more symbolic of my Black Friday experience.

You know what’s a freaking good deal? My Snarky book series. If you haven’t experienced a Snarky book yet may cover_1-3-21I gently suggest you give it a try like right now. Yes, my friend 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. 🙂