August – The Bipolar Month

awesome-comics-derp-and-derpina-funny-Favim.com-799200I have a love hate relationship with the month of August. The hate comes, I think, from being water-logged. By now I have clocked so many hours in a pool or at a waterpark I feel like the Center for Disease Control should have me on a retainer for some sort of long-term chlorine exposure experiment.

 I’m also extremely weary of the swimsuit/bathroom shimmy. Now, if you’re a guy or a woman who has only worn a bikini her whole life (and may I just say right now that I admire either your self-confidence and/or dedication to the burpee) you won’t know what I’m talking about. So, let me try to explain to those of you who have never experienced the hand-to-hand combat of peeling off a wet, Lycra infused one piece.

 Imagine if your body was being hugged to death by a slippery, yet very tenacious and amorous seal. Now, envision trying to remove that seal from your body. You tug, you pull and eventually you hop and up down trying to enlist gravity to be on your team. Finally, you manage to roll your one piece down far enough so you can use the bathroom. That, my friends was the easy part because now you have to do the ultimate heave-ho and get that wet sucker back on.

 It’s a Sisyphean task. No matter how hard you yank your swimsuit up it barely moves. Wet Lycra must have the adhesion quality of duct tape infused with Gorilla Glue. By the time I have my suit at my stomach I usually resort to prayer and request divine intervention for the final journey – up and over the boobs. Last month at the Schlitterbahn water park it was such an arduous task getting my swimsuit off and on that by 2 p.m. I had reached my Fitbit goal for the day. It had to be all the jumping.

 Right about now I’m also sick of being hot. Heat is the enemy. Yes, I know lots of folks love living the 110-degree life. I just don’t happen to be one of them. Primarily because I find hot weather unattractive. There’s the sweating, the bad hair days, the melting make up and all the shaving. Could anything be more yuck?

 Now, let’s take a gander at fall and winter, summer’s much more beautiful sisters. These seasons are all about long sleeves, long pants and cable knit sweaters so bulky they conceal a wide variety of sins like weekly trips to the Krispy Kreme drive thru. And then there’s my favorite thing in the whole wide world – low humidity.

When that first crisp hint of autumn is in the air I become giddy. It’s life affirming and that’s just me talking about my hair. It’s got a bounce, a shine, a sheen that says, “Here you go brave girl. This is just for you for surviving summer.”

 August also brings unwanted attention to my lackluster parenting skills. Every summer I become a slacker mom. Anything that smacks of school from reading logs to summer assignments and “must have this done before school starts” packets I completely ignore nagging my kids about until the calendar says August 1.

Then it’s time for me to go into what I call the hurry and harass mode. Hurry, as in, “What do you mean you haven’t even gotten the book yet? You better get a move on it right now!” After that I follow-up with a level of harassment so fierce that my kids accuse me a being a bully or worse a “summer buzz buster.”

 All this school talk brings me to what I love about August. Yep, you guessed it – school starting! I’m not and never have been one of those moms that does the big boo hoo about her precious flock going back to school. The crocodile tears mothers are the worst.

Primarily because their angst is so disingenuous. I believe that these moms are confused and feel that to maintain their “Mother of the Year” street cred they must act inconsolable about their children being gone seven, wonderful, delicious, hours a day.

 So for you ladies getting ready to assault social media with your tales of abandonment because school has started and giving an Meryl Streep level performance of misery and despair at “Meet the Teacher” night may I suggest you rethink this strategy because no one is buying it. Mainly because if you’re that bereft about being child free why wouldn’t you just home school? 

 A couple of years ago at one of those back-to-school coffees I asked a mom who was clutching a handful of Kleenex that question. Let’s just say it didn’t go well.

 Of course, a downside to school starting, besides the phony mom weeping, is school supply shopping. I’m still in recovery from being at Target during a school sales tax holiday. You would have thought it was T minus 24 hours till the rapture. You know if the rapture was all about going to heaven with Trapper Keepers and college ruled notebooks. The best/worst was when two moms began fighting over the last couple of three-ring binder folders.

 It was intense. I got really scared when one mom reached into her cart and started gesturing with a ruler and not one of those plastic floppy rulers. Oh no, she was going all back in the day, little red schoolhouse with a hardcore wooden one. I was like, “Uh oh, it’s a throw down” and settled in with my Diet Coke for what I was sure was going to dinner theatre – Target style. The one-act drama was interrupted when an employee saved the day by restocking folders.

 But trumping even theatrics at Target and school starting the biggest gift August brings is one of new beginnings. For anyone with children still pursing their educational journey this month is when the New Year starts. Forget about January 1. August is where it’s at.

There’s excitement and hope for what the school year will bring. Resolutions are made. New routines are established and parents everywhere, engulfed in the fumes of new backpacks and number two pencils, are wishing for their children to have their very best year yet.

*Attention 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! 🙂 

 

 

Flushed

bathing-suitIf you’re a woman over forty and enjoy shopping for a swimsuit then I doubt we could ever be friends. Our life experiences and view of the world would be so vastly different I fear we would have little to nothing in common.

Swimsuit shopping is so terrifying I wonder why a pharmaceutical company hasn’t concocted a four-day course of mood altering “Happy Swimsuit Shopping” pills to get women through the rough patch of seeing our mostly naked body on full display in the house of horrors that is the ladies dressing room.

As I general rule I go discount when shopping for swimsuits. No Nordstrom’s or Sak’s dressing rooms for me. Those stores have three-way mirrors and my mental health would be at risk if I was forced to get an up close and personal view of my ever-growing backside. (Yes, I know other people have to see it but that’s their problem.) Oh sure, you can make excuses about the fluorescent lights making it worse than it really is but you know common sense and science won’t support your hypothesis that the lights are adding 20 pounds.

This season of swimsuit shopping has an added degree of difficulty because of a new Waterpark ride. I’m now going to have to find a swimsuit that not only covers me with a nod to modesty, utilizes some form of black magic to slenderize me BUT also has a top with the tensile strength of Kryptonite. Curse you Verruckt!

That’s a new water park slide that is supposedly taller than Niagara Falls and exceeds speeds of 60 miles per hour. My daughter is a waterslide junkie and all winter has talked and talked about spending tScreen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.59.24 PMhe summer with me and the slide. Like together, in a raft, plunging to, if not our death, imminent swimsuit loss.

You can’t tell me riding a raft down an incline that steep isn’t going to cause 3 out 5 women to experience, at the very least a significant wardrobe malfunction. It’s one thing for a little peek a boo at 20 but at my age it becomes a peek of eww followed by eternal shame.

Sadly, oh very sadly, I am familiar with that kind of shame. August 2011, Denver, Colorado. I was riding the Ripqurl which is basically like being flushed down a toilet that looks like it was designed for the love child of a Sasquatch and Shamu. My daughter and I took off fast and hit the toilet bowl portion of the ride screaming. We start circling the bowl and my daughter makes a rookie mistake. She thinks this is the end of the ride and abandons tube while we’re still circling.

Her slim, lithe body gracefully slides down the exit tube. I do not. The force of my daughter jumping off the tube causes me to be dumped out. Our tube is AWOL. I’m free floating, circling the bowl, topless! The force of the water jets has pushed down the top of my one piece swimsuit. You don’t know humiliation till you’ve gone bare breasted at a packed Waterpark. It took me till the end of the ride to get my suit yanked up and then some people clapped. Jerks.

Now, I’ve got a case of PTSD about Waterpark slides. Add in shopping for a swimsuit that meets all my criteria and I’m a hot mess.

You know what someone needs to do? Invent what is basically a swim skirt for your chest. Any mother knows the healing properties of a swim skirt. It’s a gift from the almighty that doesn’t look too terribly mommyish. It’s more sporty, like you’ve just played some tennis and don’t have time to change before you go do aqua yoga on your paddle board.

The best thing is it covers your upper thighs and lower butt allowing you to do nifty things like bend over without flashing the family of four in the pool chairs next to you. I think I’m on to something here. Sure, there’s those waterproof T-shirts or Rash Guard things you can wear but they’re hot and puff up in the water making you look like you’re 11 months pregnant. Until then, if you see a women riding the Verruckt in a full length, turtleneck, swimsuit cover up, wave. It will be me.

*Attention 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! 🙂

Radio Snarky – Swimsuits Ugh!

Here is some new Radio Snarky! Click below for a 60 second slice of Snark.  swimsuit_season_1-03_largehttps://soundcloud.com/snarkyinthesuburbs/swimsuits-ugh

It’s coming. It’s going to happen before you know it. It’s been EVER SO s-l-o-w-ly creeping up on you. You’ve been ignoring it. Making excuses. Telling yourself you have time. But now judgement day is in less than three months. The clock is tick, tick, ticking. Quickly go the minutes, hours and days until YOU have to wear a swimsuit.

Oh, it might not feel like it but summer is around the corner and if you do the swim suit math – how many pounds can I lose in 90 days X a Juice Cleanse divided by the Detox Sugar Diet multiplied by the square root of a going back to the gym = at the very best a swim skirt.

There, there, it’s okay if you’re crying a little or a lot because, I, Snarky in the Suburbs, am here for you. So friend go ahead and eat that 600 calorie sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies it’s all going to be okay. If you take my fashion advice and join me in going full beach towel this summer.

Oh sure, the swim skirt is supposed to act as flab camo but let’s be real that skirt barely provides complete butt coverage and in no way conceals that nasty enemy combatant known as wandering cellulite that starts mid fanny and enjoys talking long, meandering walks down the back of your thighs.

This is why the beach towel, a big, fluffy, beach towel will be your most beloved summer 2014 fashion accessory. Wrap it around your waist and you’re good to go . . . to the snack bar.

 

 

 

Dear Snarky – Don’t Fear the Swimsuit

swimsuit_season_1-03_largeDear Snarky,

I am dreading, no make that fearing, getting into a swimsuit this summer. I’m not huge, but I’m not what you call skinny either. I’ve got four kids, all elementary school age, and that means I’ll be living at the pool. Any advice for a mom that gets nauseous at the thought of putting on a swimsuit?

Signed, I Hate Summer!

Dear I Hate Summer,

Listen up  – DO NOT be the mom who spends her whole summer sitting in a lawn chair by the side of the pool in her capris and a XL T-shirt. You are better than that. Yes, it’s scary getting into a swimsuit, but I’m going to help you.

The first thing you need to do is go get yourself a Spanx like swim skirt with military grade tummy control. The swim skirt just might be the greatest single invention since lip gloss. Buy one size up so it’s longer and covers more of your dimpled thighs. You know, if you’ve got that problem.

Once you have your swimsuit and swim skirt on your next goal is to enter the pool quickly and stealthy, staying covered up as long as possible. This is where pool toys become your BFF. Grab a kick-board and use it as awesome ab flab or lower thigh camo as you proudly walk to the water. Also good, swim noodles, the more the merrier and the best, the giant inflatable. Trust me, no one is going to be looking at your love handles when they can gaze upon the wonder that is a six-foot Shamu.

Now, I know you’re still going to be self-conscious, but get over it. Every woman over the age of 30, even the size double zero mom with a chest that defies gravity, is less than happy about how their body looks in a swimsuit. People like you and me may be mortified by our thighs, while the double zero mom is obsessed with how her elbows are aging. I know of all the things to worry about the elbow.  I mean, really who cares about their elbow.

So, c’mon get in the water, have fun! Your kids don’t give a hoot about how their mom looks in a swimsuit. All they want is for you to be the Marco to their Polo

For a companion piece to this post read: https://snarkyinthesuburbs.com/2010/05/14/the-3-way-mirror-satan’s-b-f-f-your-swimsuit-shopping-survival-guide/

Plus, there’s 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.

Bring It Summer!

276329_100000337415897_1943438182_nSummer is a heavy season. It’s laden with humidity that gives you a big ole slimy bear hug all day long and likes you so much it wants to lay on top of you through the night.

It’s a season weighed down with kid chaos brought on by never-ending play-dates and sleep-overs that always seem to be at your house.

Summer carries a burden.

The pressure is on to make if “the best summer ever” or the “summer you’ll always remember.” The same pressure is never applied to the other big 3.  I’ve never once thought, “Wow, I hope this will my families best spring yet.”

The summer hype is everywhere. There’s being “bikini ready” and “10 Tips to Make Your Summer Sizzle.” I don’t recall ever seeing magazines or TV shows proclaiming how to get your “body ready for winter sweater weather” or in tip-top shape for wearing woolen mittens. No one has ever once asked me, “Did you have an incredible autumn?”

But, you have to make sure you’ve got your summer b.s. ready so from Labor Day and beyond you can recite your “Yes, I had an awesome summer” story in 30 words or less to everyone you see up at the soccer field and the grocery store.

In the winter I envision the joys of summer. In my mind it’s a combination of a Kodak moment, a Hallmark Card and a Tommy Hilfiger ad where my family is all decked out in a whimsical preppy motif. I see my husband and I standing in the front yard, wearing matching sky blue linen shirts. My head is on his shoulder. His hand is on my back and nowhere in this vision are either of us sweating.

Our sun-kissed children are frolicking under the night sky catching fireflies. Their joyful laughter singsongs through the neighborhood.  Their golden hair is gently ruffled by a night breeze with a full moon following them like an angelic spotlight.

I’m watching them play, counting my blessings that I was gifted with such a photogenic and blissful family and right then my husband pulls me in his arms and gives me a kiss that is ripe with his everlasting passion for me.  I swoon into his strong body and relish the feel of his erect biceps caressing my skin that’s awakening to his masculine glory.

Then my children gracefully leap over to us (like young deer) and we all unite in a group hug that symbolizes a family bonded by love, exceptional good looks and exquisite taste.

In real life this is how it goes down. My linen shirt would be stuck to my body with a sweat enhanced super glue and if my husband touched my back his hand would be permanently adhered to my torso flab until someone got a spatula from the kitchen to scrape it off. My kids, if I could lure them outside and away from their technology, would be complaining about the nighttime parade of insects that bite, and my son would call the catching of fireflies the first step on the path to a becoming a serial killer. My daughter would then trip on a sprinkler head, gash her leg so badly that I would have to use a beach towel as a tourniquet and rush her to the E.R.

Regardless of this reality, you still have to attempt to bring your A game in the summer. For God’s sake you don’t want your kids on the first day of school to write their 5 paragraph theme on “What I Did Over Summer Break” to include such highlights as eating cereal for lunch because my mom said she was “tried of waiting on us and it’s about time we learned to make our own freaking food,” listening to my mother scream, “Close the door  I’ve got the air on” and swimming so much the lifeguards started calling us “pool zombies.”

As for the pool, the allure of swimming wears off about two weeks after July 4th. That’s about the time the water heats up to 98 degrees and my kids start complaining that they’re “swum out.”

No amount of pool toys or lethal looking water cannons can help up their enthusiasm for the summer savior – known as the City Pool.  That means you have to start shelling out $40 per kid for the Waterpark and you know what a Waterpark means? You really have to watch your children. You can’t read your Us Magazine and glance at them every couple of minutes.  For safety’s sake, it’s your butt in the wave pool on high drown and pedophile alert and your belly flab bouncing with vigor down a curly tube slide for 8 long hours. Your only salvation is the funnel cakes.

I try to shake off some of the summer panic. Why, there’s that vacation to look forward too and the recently reduced margarita maker I bought with my Kohl’s cash. But, just when I’ve got the power of positive thinking working I slip on the pile of flip-flops my daughter left in the hall, wipe out, and watch my mango margarita, which I’ve yet to take a sip of, make like a slinky and start shape shifting down the stairs.

The best way for me to handle summer, I found, is with a full frontal assault. You’ve got to kick in the butt starting Memorial Day weekend. It all begins with that first trip to the pool. I dread it like a visit to the gynecologist. I pull my swimsuit on and yank my body parts this way and that in attempt to minimize the truth.  I then put on a chin to toe cover up, grab the pool bag and head out the door. I knew this day would come and yet, I had always hoped when it did I’d be at least 20 pounds lighter.

When I get to the pool and begin the hunt for a place to perch I feel like a dead man walking. I’m know eventually I’m going to have take off the cover up and get in the water.  This is when I have to give myself the pep talk of the year and tell summer and all the body image issues it brings up to shove it.

I yank off that cover up, fling my flip-flops and I boldly march to the edge of the pool and jump in. Because my body, in all it’s fatitude, is all mine. The flab, the spider veins which give my legs a Rand McNally map look (truly I have the Mississsippi river and all its tributaries mapped out on my thighs), the cellulite, it’s my life story.

Watch me, I’m waving and now I’m doing an enthusiastic flutter kick at those moms perched on the pool chaises, still wearing their cover ups, sitting on the sidelines too caught up in their own body misery to get wet.

I am a life-giving goddess and fat be damned I will swim all summer long!

Oh and those middle-aged moms in their bikinis and navel piercings with their perfect blonde hair that like to strut the perimeter of the pool in all their glory – they can shove it too.

Go ahead, judge my fatness, talk about my heft and giggle at my nonexistent glutes. Do your worst because I’m the winner here. I’m in the one in the water with my kids!  To put an exclamation point on my greatness I get out of the pool, climb the high dive ladder, flex my cankles and do my signature cannon ball, which is a lot like me – big and not afraid to make some noise. Because baby, I’ve got summer right were I want her – wet and with me in control.

Bring it summer. I’m ready!