Tech Tramps

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 8.37.41 AMMy husband is cheating on me – again. Don’t waste any time feeling sad or worrying about me, I’m used to it. He prefers romancing the stylish, sleek, slender types and I’m none of those things and then there’s the fact that I’m human. You see my husband has a habit of falling in love with the latest, greatest technology.

In the 90’s he fooled around on me with a Blackberry. A decade later he had a passionate affair with an iPhone. Lord, that man was in love. I’m talking a head over heels kind of love that comes along once in a lifetime. He couldn’t stop touching the iPhone. Oh, the gentle caresses and looks of adoration he would bestow on it. If someone, just once in my life, would tenderly gaze at me the way my husband looked at that iPhone, I think I could die happy.

Then the unthinkable happened. He two-timed on his iPhone with an iPad. It was like I had sister wives. I really felt for the iPhone. My husband was dating, in essence, her younger, twice as big, sister. You just know that had to hurt. Sadly, alienation of affection is a constant when you’re married to someone always looking over their shoulder for the newest, hottest, tech rush. That’s why today I’m currently sharing my husband with a tacky tramp called the Fitbit.

Ugh. She’s always with him. Holding onto his wrist day and night. She’s clingy and full of information. Wooing him how far he’s walked, how many calories he’s burned, how much sleep he’s gotten. The oversharing is a little sickening. The worst is her incessant nagging disguised as positive affirmation. She makes happy sounds every time my husband hits one of his daily fitness goals. (What a suck up.) It’s killing me because they literally do everything together. The shower, the pool, you name it and there they are – the perfect couple.

In fact, it’s so crowded in my bed I’m beginning to wonder where I belong. Currently, we have what looks to be a five way going on. There’s me and then there’s my husband with the Fitbit hugging his wrist, while an iPad mini cuddles up on his chest and his iPhone is nestled in his left hand. It all just feels so dirty, like I’m in some sort of tech porn and I’m being made to watch salacious acts of data sharing.

Sometimes, I think I have only myself to blame for my husband’s wandering ardor. Even when we were dating I saw signs of this tech fetish. In the 80’s, before he became a “Mac Man” he had a filthy fling with a Kaypro computer. Oh, the things those two would do together with a floppy drive. I was young and naive, holding on to the fairy tale belief, that our love would always, in the end, triumph over technology. Wow, looking back I was kind of an idiot.

I guess I have no choice but to take the course of action I’ve relied on since the late 20th century – waiting it out. Just like with the third generation Apple computer, iPod, iPhone, iPad and now the Fitbit my husband sooner or later will grow weary of his tech trollops and come crawling back to me looking for some old school affection. He’ll briefly tire of remembering pass codes, buying apps, and searching for his collection of chargers or his Fitbit will malfunction and call him a fatty. I just hope, for his sake, when he’s ready to resume human interaction I haven’t entered into a monogamous relationship with my Kindle.

 

Technically Annoying

I’m not a Luddite. I don’t eschew technology. I, by no means, dream of being Wilma Flintstone and using a baby wooly mammoth as a vacuum cleaner. I don’t know a lot about wooly mammoths, but I’m betting they shed worse than any german shepherd and I’m sure not even a case of Gain Febreze would dilute their pre-historic stench.  I embrace technology. Why, I wake up every morning and kiss my phone. What I have trouble with is how technology has turned some parents into total idiots.

I’m not talking about the general daily rudeness of people talking incessantly on their phones anywhere and at anytime. That, I’m sad to say, I’ve gotten used to. I’m almost ready to declare, “I surrender” on social media taking over our lives. Once moms took their obsession in utero, I got my white flag ready. What? You’re kidding me – you haven’t been to a baby shower where the mother-to-be hasn’t made a Facebook page for her fetus?  It’s so 2007 for your unborn child not to already have a Twitter handle? At the last baby shower I attended all the guests were asked to whip out their smart phones and “like” the FB page of the 27 week gestation guest of honor.  The unborn child’s status update was, “Knowing I’m going to love all the great gifts I’m going to get at my baby shower today!”  The profile picture was the most recent sonogram.  The baby also had a Twitter account. The mother was tweeting “for the baby,” during the shower.  After she opened a gift, there she would go, right to her phone, and tweet something about each present. Here’s what she tweeted about mine, “I’m not even here yet, but I already love this super soft blanket.  Mommy could you please put it on your tummy right now?”  (P.S. A Tweet does not replace a thank you note.)

Some of you may think this is just sooo adorable and you’d be wrong.  Wrong, because it’s cloying obnoxious.  Your not yet born child does not need to reach out from the womb and start “liking” Pampers on Facebook and following mommy’s ob/gyn on Twitter.  A pregnant woman should have more loftier concerns then trying to increase her “two month’s away from due date” baby’s FB friends.  One pregnant mom told me her goal was for her baby to have “at least 500 friends before she was even born.” I gently tried to tell her goal should be to get some sleep because that was soon going to be in short supply.  Sleep or Facebook?  What a 21st century maternal conundrum.

Just as I was learning to deal with/disguise my social media irritation every man, woman and child had to go out and get an i Pad.  Did you know the i Pad 2 is the number one requested birthday gift from any child hitting the 12 month mark?  Okay, I made that up, but I did, just last week, attend the first birthday party for a precious boy and he got, you guessed it, an i Pad 2.   His mother remarked that, “He just started using my i Pad so I figured he needed one of his own.”  What did he like best about it using it for teething or slobbering?  That mother’s ridiculous remark was one upped by another mom who contributed that her baby was using an i Pad at four months.  Really, mothers, an i Pad competition? Can’t you just stick to the time-honored tradition of bragging that your child started sleeping through the night when they were only 96 hours old?

Whatever, that whole gift thing is none of my business. What is my business is when parents think their i Pad has super powers like invisibility.  Try enjoying your child’s next band or choir concert when the i Padrent sitting in front of you is hoisting their 7.31 x 9.50 tablet in the air – rendering you blind.  Alert Snarky reader Annie recently commented on this experience. “You get this screen glow and can see them zooming in on their child.  Go ahead and try to look around you can’t. It’s a big, bright light right there in your face.” 

 I’m predicting that before the end of the school year, somewhere in America, there will be a i Padrent throw down.  Two tablet wielding parents will be ready to rumble because one parent’s i Pad 2 blocked the other’s parents i Pad from recording for posterity, Facebook and You Tube their kid singing, My Country Tis of Thee.  I can see the other parents crowding around, forming a circle, chanting, “Fight, fight, fight” as they put their tablets in record mode.

I know what I’m talking about. I got into with a i Padrent last week.  There I was minding my own business (really I was) at the movies.  I had taken my daughter to see Disney’s Arrietty.  The coming attractions had just started when a mom comes in with her two boys.  One looked about 7, the other seemed to be 4.  She pulls two gallon size Ziploc bags from her purse that are stuffed with what I’m guessing, due to the sheer quantity, is left over Halloween, Christmas and Valentine Day’s candy.  She gets her boys settled in the row right in front of us and then leaves. Not the theatre, mind you, but she goes and sits 16 rows in front of her kids.  (Yes, I counted.)  I’m thinking WTH?  What mom doesn’t sit with her young children.  The mystery is solved when she pulls out an i Pad, puts on some huge headphones that resemble what you would wear on an airport tarmac to direct planes to their gate and begins to watch something on her screen.

As you can imagine, the shining beacon that is the i Pad screen can be seen fairly well in a dark movie theatre.  Also, her two boys that are sitting 16 rows behind her are not happy campers.  They’re fighting, using their outdoor voices and when not enjoying kicking seats are standing up in them, presumably to better see their mother.  I wait a good 15 minutes to see if A) The boys settle down and get into the movie or B) Pray that someone, who is not me, will go alert the mother to her children’s distress.  None of the above occurred. Oh sure, other people in the theatre complained to their seat mates about the boys and one grandma kept shushing them, but no one got up.  Tag, I was it.

I get up, walk down to the mother and see she’s watching The Bachelor.  “Good Lord, woman,” I think, The Bachelor.  You’re ruining the movie for everyone in the theatre and ditched your boys so you can watch The Bachelor!” Talk about a cry for help.  I lean over to her and say, “Excuse me, but your two boys seem to be missing you a lot.  You might want to sit with them.”

“Huh?  What?” she says in a peeved voice as she takes off her industrial grade headphones. From the looks of it I’ve interrupted her during one of The Bachelor’s riveting rose ceremonies.  Is she expecting me to apologize or something?  I repeat my previous plea and get another dirty look from her.  To appease me, I guess, she stands up and waves at her boys, but makes no move to go sit with them. So again, I gently advise her to sit with her kids and because I ‘m thinking this mom in spatially challenged add, “You know that i Pad screen is incredibly distracting. If you don’t want people to be bothered by it you could go grab your kids and move to the very back row.”

That really ticks her off and I’m guessing she’s also picked up on the fact that I’m not going back to my seat until she goes to her boys. So she grabs her tote bag, her i Pad, motions to her kids and they mercifully leave the theatre.  When this happens the crowd, or at least, the other parents in the audience applaud.  I’m feeling pretty good about my problem solving abilities until after the movie my daughter and I are getting a drink refill (free with purchase of a large beverage) and we hear people leaving another movie complaining about a mom, two rowdy young boys and an i Pad.  The woman didn’t leave she just switched theaters!   If only I had a cloak of invisibility I would have taken her i Pad and submerged it in a vat of movie theatre butter.  Instead, I braced myself for, what I’m sure will be, more upcoming adventures in i Padrenting – The Technically Annoying Years.

**Many thanks for all of you who “liked” me on Facebook!  May the Snark Be With You.  For those that haven’t done the deed yet to stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.   Thanks also to all the Pinterest folks that are sharing the Snark. Cheers!

Rantober

In a shock to no one I’m ranting again.  My Halloween candy stash has been forcibly removed from my home.  At first I thought it would be a good idea.  A Pre-Halloween cleanse, if you will.  Like most of my ideas it sounded excellent in theory, but was a disaster played out in real-time.  During a P.M.S. sugar craze I went for the bottle of children’s Gummy Bear vitamins.  One word – yummy. Two words – over dose.  I didn’t know until I shared my secret shame on Facebook that all the extra iron and vitamin A are not a good thing. Think death or at least a case of chronic constipation, Now I’m back on my cleanse with a fiber chaser. It’s made me very crabby and given me a level of gas that is so intense I fear leaving my home.  I have no other recourse, but to vent.  So, here goes.

Facebook  I thought I had seen almost every instance of T.M.I. imaginable on Facebook from a pregnant women’s comment that her “cervix is mushy and dilated to a 6.” To a dude’s “tripod” Viagra story, but nothing tops this: (Please note what I’m about to reveal is a word for word status update.)

“This morning my beautiful 13-year-old daughter’s journey to become a woman has begun.  She finally started her period!  When I heard her call me into the bathroom I just knew it had happened”

Yes, a mother, who I know and until now didn’t think was insane, put that on FB.  What kind of mom shares that kind of personal, private information with the general public?  (I feel justified in using the term general public because the mother has almost 1,000 FB friends.)  This question so haunted my every waking minute that I had to message her and ask, “Aren’t you afraid your daughter is going to kill you?”  She replied, “I can’t imagine she would care.  We’re going shopping after school to celebrate.”   Really, shopping? Is it going to be a mad cap adventure at Target for maxi pads and panty liners?  Maybe even worse than the mother’s over share were her “friends” responses.    Her status update received 59 likes (Why would you “like” that? What’s to like?  “Yeah, you get to enjoy PMS, cramps, and basically being on restroom alert 5 to 7 days out of every month.  Yippee!”) and 24 comments These were my favorite. (Once again, word for word here)

“The Lord has smiled and another girl has flowered into a beautiful woman.”

Okay, that totally creeps me out. The whole God grinning, flowering woman thing sounds beyond disturbing.

“OMG Your daughter just got her period? My Ava started hers at 11.”

Read it and weep mothers are now competitive about when their girls start menstruating?  It’s the Period Olympiad folks. What does that say about us as a society?  I’ll give you a hint. It says we’re, most if not all, bat shit crazy.

Do not let her use Tampons for at least 6 months it will ruin her hymen.

WTH?  How can a Tampon ruin your hymen and how does 6 months play into the ruination schedule? More importantly why should we be obsessed about hymens in general?  Inquiring minds what to know.  I felt compelled to comment on this comment and asked those 3 questions.  I got this response. “The hymen is at its most sensitive the first 6 months of a girl’s period and you want to be sure not to break it.” I commented back, “You really need to read some basic biology books and not rely solely on your “Great Granny’s Guide to the Care and Upkeep of Your Virginal Plug.” Can you believe someone deleted my comment to her comment?   Jerks.

The one thing I’m certain of is this T.M.I. Mom better watch her back. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I’m very, very sure her daughter will seek revenge and it will be painful.  At least I’m hoping it will be painful and that her daughter will share all the gory details on Facebook.  In gleeful anticipation I’ve already sent her a friend request.

Kid’s names  I know it’s none of my business what anyone chooses to name their child.  But for all you pregnant or soon to be pregnant woman out there let me offer this advice.  When thinking of a perfect moniker for your someday baby ask yourself this question: Is there anyway it will make him or her a serial killer?  Remember your kids grow up and if you give them a goofy name they’ll solicit some degree of payback.

I feel the need to offer this advice because today when I was at the park walking my dogs I stopped to talk to a mom and comment on her adorable son.  She told me her son’s name is “Awesome.”  I replied, “Of course he’s awesome.” She corrected me.  “No, he’s not just awesome that’s his name.”  I said, “Really his name is Awesome?  Is that a family name?” (Yeah, I said something that stupid. I was flustered.) She politely said, “No, no one else in the family is an Awesome.”  I asked her how they came up “such an original name.”  She smiled and said, “When he was born my husband and I both looked at him and the first word that came out of your mouths was awesome.”  “Oh what a great story,” I happily replied and bid my farewell.  It took everything I had to not turn around and go back to the woman and talk some sense into her.  I wanted to scream, “Awesome, you named your kid Awesome!”  Doesn’t she know what’s she done.  One of two things is going to happen here. The kid will either grow up to indeed be Awesome (doubtful) or he’ll become the nation’s worst serial killer.  F.B.I. profilers will trace back his mental unhinging and proclaim that it all begin in elementary school when Awesome was teased for being not so awesome.  I can see the news headlines “Awesome Serial Killer Claims Another Victim.”  I’m seriously worried for this child.

Sometimes you just have to talk yourself (or family members) out of name.  My dad (the accountant) wanted me to name my son Cash.  I told my Dad that unless he wanted to pay me lots of cash for naming rights there was no way that was going to happen.  I also have always loved the name Grace.  But, me Klutzy Cankle Doofus couldn’t name my daughter that.  What if she inherited my total lack of coordination?  How grossly unfair to be named Grace when you have problems walking and talking on your cell phone. Never mind that it took me years to master climbing stairs in flip-flops.  It was imperative that I select another name.  The good news here is that my daughter turned out to be very graceful, but I’m certain that if I had tempted fate and named her Grace she’d be a mini-me still learning how to keep clogs on her feet. (It’s all in the toes.) Trust me no one wants that for any child.

Adult Halloween Costumes  My number one Halloween rule is I will not wear any costume that requires Spanx or a bra that through an intricate system of ropes, pulleys and under-wire elevates my breast to the higher altitude of my clavicle.  When did Halloween leave Scary Town and relocated to Slutburbs? Have you been to a Halloween costume store?  They should rename them Skanks R Us.  It’s all thigh high tights, garters, cleavage and stripper shoes.  The worst is they’ve taken sweet, innocent children’s characters like Minnie Mouse and Alice in Wonderland and turned them into (non Magic Kingdom licensed, of course) hooker outfits.  What happened did Minnie cheat on Mickey with Goofy? (Bad choice Minnie. I would have picked Scrooge McDuck over Goofy.  Sure, Scrooge is old, but he’s loaded and I think he looks cute in his top hat.) Did Mickey throw her out of the House of Mouse?  Did Minnie find herself short on cash? Was she forced to relocate to Tramp Toon Town and work the pole at Donald Duck’s Gentleman’s Club “A quack establishment featuring the no pants dance”?  I’m pretty sure that’s what went down because Minnie’s outfit doesn’t say Disney it says Do Me.

While I’ve got your attention I’d like to add that few things are more pathetic than middle-aged women using Halloween as an opportunity to strut around in honeymoon lingerie masquerading as a costume.  I went to a Halloween party last weekend and I hadn’t seen that many almost exposed boobs since I attended a La Leche League breast-feeding class 15 years ago.  There was the sexy sailor, the foxy firefighter, the slutty Cinderella, the voluptuous vampire all way past their nublie years .  I hope they all caught a horrible chest cold or at the very least extreme chapped nipples.

Nerd/Geek Days During the week before Halloween many schools have spirit days that consist of kids dressing up in a different outfits each day.  For example, there’s a Western Day, Pajama Day etc.  Some schools even have a Nerd and/or Geek days where kids come to school with goofy glasses with tape on them, too short pants pulled way past their belly button, pocket protectors – you get the picture.  I’m a one woman wrecking ball when it comes to Nerd/Geek days sanctioned by schools, places that allegedly celebrate knowledge.  Why don’t the schools just have a day that proclaims “We Hate Math and Science!” or “We Never Want to Find A Cure for Cancer!”

A Geek is many splendor thing and these kids need some love.  They’ve been picked on post womb. As the proud mother of a super geek I was appalled several years ago when my son’s school had a Nerd/Geek day.  I had him embrace his geek by dressing up for school in a coat and tie.  I then took those fake $1,000 bills you can find at the Dollar Store and stuffed them in his suit coat pocket and put one of those “Hello My Name is” labels on him that read, “Hello, I’m your boss in 20 years.”   Well, guess what happened next? I got a call from the principal expressing “concern” about my son’s costume.  He felt it was “uppity.” I was up at that school faster than you can say, “Stanford Graduating Class of 2018.”I ever so politely pointed out to the principal that the Geek day was a form of bullying. (Yes, many years ago I learned any variation of the word bully is a parental trump card.)  I then gently suggested that instead of mocking geeks the school embrace their thirst for educational enrichment or at the very least get the costume right.  Goofy glasses and high water pants – please.  I don’t think Steve Jobs, the Google Guys, or any Nobel prize-winning scientist I’ve ever seen looks (looked) like that, especially not the girl geeks.  The principal attempted to blow me off, pat me on the head or whatever by saying, “You need to take off your mom hat.  You’re over thinking this.”  Oh my, that poor, poor man.  I hope someday soon a Dr. Geek/Nerd will invent a 3 part  robotic prosthesis for male genitalia because there’s an elementary school principal in Texas walking around without any of his manhood left.  I ripped it right off, stomped on it and then tossed it the trash on my way out of his office.  Screw “Don’t Mess With Texas” what you really need to do is “Don’t Mess With a Mom of a Super Geek.”  We’re lethal and our kids know how to crash your computer system.

Lord, that felt good to rant.  I’m not even craving high fructose corn syrup.  Now, there’s a Halloween miracle for you.  Well, off I go to venture forth and find something else to irritate me.  I’m sure it won’t take long.

**Many thanks for all of you who “liked” me on Facebook!  May the Snark Be With You.  For those that haven’t done the deed yet to stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs. Oh and while you’re at it go ahead and share my link with friends.  Cheers!