Dear Snarky – I Posted A Mug Shot of My Sister-in-Law on Facebook

Dear Snarkydear_snarky_logo-1

I might have caused a forever-family rift and I need your help. We did a huge family spring break trip to the beach and because we were just with family some of the moms, including myself, wore swimsuits that we would never wear back home.  We looked horrible and super fat, but didn’t care because we were with people who shouldn’t judge us about how we look.

Well, a week after the vacation my super skinny sister-in-law, posted our fat ass bikini pics on her Facebook page! We were all furious. So, a couple of days later I posted a mug shot, from probably 5 years ago, on my page of my sister-in-law when she was arrested for a drunk and disorderly with the tag “throwbackthursday.”

Now, everyone, except the other moms in the bikini pic, hates me and my father told me that because of me all of our “family vacations” are in jeopardy. I already apologized and took the picture down. Is there really anything else I can do? Oh and my sister-in-law still has that bikini picture up on Facebook.

Signed, Sort of Sorry 

Dear Sorry,

I’m not going to say your sister-in-law didn’t deserve a little payback but the mug shot was probably going to far. I think a social media sharing of an arrest trumps a stomach flab status update any way you look at. So, my suggestion is why don’t you and maybe your entire family take a break from kinfolk vacations for a long while. Let feelings simmer down and allow sometime for everyone to get over it or until a messy divorce takes center stage.

I would also suggest no more family beach vacations and next spring break opt for a ski trip where everyone is wearing puffy clothes. Plus, always and I mean always, beware of your sister-in-law. Trust me eventually she’s going to exact revenge.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky 21st Century Advice with an Attitude please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

Vacationing With Teens – What No One Tells You

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 6.55.00 AMIt might seem like vacationing with your teenage children would be a lark, a breeze, perhaps even one of those golden moments in time when your joyous week of togetherness manifest into familial bonding heretofore only dreamt of or seen on your fakest friend’s Facebook or Instragram feed.

I mean how hard could it be? You’re passed the diaper years, the toddler tantrums, the preschool meltdowns, and the elementary school “Are we there yet?” mentality. You finally made it to the milestone of traveling with almost adults. Yippee! Right?

Yeah, I’d hold off on that yippee because it’s more like a yip. I have found that nothing causes a teenager (or their parents) to regress in behavior or temperament like being trapped, held hostage, (pick the kidnapping verb of your choice) with their family for days on end.

This is why I feel duty bound to share with other parents this helpful Teen Vacay Truth Guide for what to expect when you travel with your teenagers.

The fundamental truth of teens is that they stink.

Male or female there is some reek going on. You may not notice the extent of this stench in your roomy, well ventilated home. You will notice it after hour six in the sealed metal capsule that is your car. Every parent should enforce a strict “no shoes off ever” rule as it pertains to vehicular travel.

On my family’s last trip to Colorado the inside of our car was engulfed with a noxious fume so potent I felt woozy and nauseous. Even my travel size Gain Febreze spray couldn’t make a dent in eradicating the odor. As I was losing consciousness I wondered if this was the end. Was Interstate 70 in Western Kansas the epicenter for a terrorist chemical warfare attack? I believe my last words before almost passing out were, “May God have mercy on us all.”

It turns out it was chemical warfare all right. My son had placed his tennis shoes right under an a/c vent thus constantly re-circulating the reek of teen boy feet throughout the car. To this day he is not allowed to remove his shoes unless he’s outside and at least 500 yards away from any mammal with active olfactory glands.

 You will cry at least one time during your family vacation.

My preferred place to sob with abandon is while taking a shower and using a Hilton Garden Inn washcloth to muffle my weeping. It’s not that I have grown to hate my family or that my family is bad. It’s just that when you’re on day five of sharing a 325 square foot room with hormonally challenged life forms whose emotions are more mercurial than the 450 mile per hour winds blowing on Neptune and who eat Cheetos in the hotel bed, then wipe their day glow, Finding Nemo orange, Cheeto encrusted hands on the sheets and the last clean wash cloth you were saving for your upcoming bathroom boo hoo, well, it’s almost more than most mortals can endure.

Beware of the social or eco “conscious” that will magically appear during your vacation.

There’s nothing that ruins your vacay buzz like a teen deciding this is the time they are going to choose to change their life. I had a friend whose daughter last year, day two into the vacation, declare she was a lacto ovo vegetarian. She shared that she would not be eating meat, fish, and poultry including eggs and anything made with eggs.

Did I mention they were spending 12 hours a day at Disney World? The kid lived on frozen bananas dipped in chocolate from the Storybook treats cart in Fantasy Land. Oh, and of course, as soon as they got to the airport the daughter ditched her new “food life plan” and wanted Burger King.

In the but wait there’s more department, my 15 year-old-niece, while on a beach vacation in Florida, had an epiphany that humans were bad for the ocean and refused to partake in any sand or salt water activities. Sigh.

Do not attempt a tech free vacation.

Listen and listen well my friends. The tech free family vacation is a trap. If anyone shares with you that they had a life changing tech free trip with their teens please note that the only reason they are telling you this is because they hate you. I, because I’m not crazy, have never willingly attempted a tech free sojourn with my teens.

Two years ago, though, my family was trapped in the Sierra Nevada’s with nary a Wi-Fi or 4G signal for miles. And by trapped I don’t mean we were stranded on a mountain summit wrestling bears with our bare hands and contemplating which family member we would eat first if it came to someone making the ultimate sustenance sacrifice. No, we were at a very nice lodge that just happened to be at an elevation that rendered cell phones and other electronics useless. (Sadly, they did not share this little nugget of information in any of their marketing information.)

By hour five without contact from the outside world I feared for my family’s safety. I was going to kill them all, most especially my husband. He was reading aloud to us from a 1998 American Cowboy magazine that he found in the bathroom. I was this close to covering his clothes in bacon grease and suggesting he take a nice, long, solo hike right up to Grizzly Point.

You will think every member of your family age 13 or over suffers from some sort mental illness.

There are so many wonderful things about family togetherness. One of them is discovering new dimensions to each of your loved ones personality. Sadly, some of these discoveries will scare you. Two weeks spent driving around the East coast with my husband highlighted a latent tendency for hoarding. He couldn’t throw any food item away. Two lonely, ragged, cheese nips left in a box must not be tossed in the trash because “someone might get hungry on the road.”

My son frightened all of us with his Rain Man-esque quality for reciting great moments in early American history. He would not or could not shut up about battles, forts or the many moods of George Washington. I was this close to breaking out the Benadryl to take the edge off (I meant for me just in case you were confused).

My daughter completed the trifecta of crazy by insisting that we stop at every cupcake shop on the Eastern seaboard. Her obsession with buttercream still haunts me to this day.

So brave parents of teens stay stalwart in your everlasting dedication to the family summer vacation. You’ve got this. You’re now well-informed and remember it’s all worth it because you’re making memories that will last a lifetime. Okay, cancel that. That is way too much pressure. Let’s just say you’re going to survive it and the whole family will learn that there is no place like home where everyone can go to their rooms and ignore each another.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second 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! 🙂

 

 

All I Really Need to Know I Learned From the Airport

2012-11-15-20121115Travel_Infographic_Travel_Then_and_Now_FriendlyPlanetTravel-thumbIf you want to learn important life lessons all you need to do is spend some time at any airport. Consider it a course in Reality 101 where your classroom is the Southwest Terminal and your teachers are the educational stew known as your fellow travelers.

The first thing you’ll discover is that following directions is important and vital to your existence. You’ll also learn that a majority of the population can’t process information very well or as my son’s kindergarten teacher used to say, “everyone isn’t using their listening ears.”

I mean, come on, how many times do you have to be told to have your I.D. and boarding pass out to go through security? These instructions are not only on a continuous audio loop, but are on signage throughout the airport. Yet people are still stumped by this instruction and flustered to find out they have to dig out their I.D. to pass through stage one of the TSA experience.

Once that hurdle is successfully completed you learn the underrated, yet oh so very important, life skill that sometimes you are not an individual. You’re part of a herd. Most of us were raised to think we’re special, unique and one-of-kind. That’s all good until you do the death march known as putting your crap on the TSA conveyor belt. This is when you must do what everyone else is doing.

Don’t think you’re too important or too much of a free spirit to not follow the rules. Yes, you must remove your bulky sweater. No one cares that it was crocheted by Bakhankala tribal women and you consider it a hand loomed work of art that is much too precious to be shoved in an off brand Tupperware bin for a non stop ride through X-ray island.

All this “I’m special” behavior will accomplish is a disruption in the herd. Primarily because you will be slowing down the herd. Do not make the herd angry. Especially any herd member carrying a brief case and clutching a phone like it’s a primary source of oxygen.

Once you’ve finally cleared the security gauntlet and made it to your gate you will take a pass or fail test on patience (especially if you’re flying on American Airlines) because there’s always a chance your flight is delayed. You can either throw a fit or suck it up.

A person’s reaction to a time change in their itinerary is like an audible I.Q. test. If someone goes ballistic you know they’re an idiot with impulse control issues. Because if a flight is delayed screaming at a gate agent is going to be an act of supreme futility. They’re powerless. It’s like yelling at your television set because the your hometown baseball team is down in the bottom of the ninth inning. Your TV can’t control the outcome of the game and the airline employee at the counter can’t make the plane fly faster.

Your only choice is to accept that you’re trapped in the gate area that should more accurately be called a holding pen for humanity.  Don’t worry about being bored. This is when you settle in and observe the peculiar and sometimes disgusting behavioral characteristics of your fellow homo sapiens. Consider it an anthropology course and take notes under the heading – “Never Ever Do This.”

At the top of the syllabus is grooming in public. Here’s a quick pop quiz. Is trimming your fingernails acceptable behavior outside the confines of a bathroom? If you answered no give yourself a high-five because you’re smarter than three people waiting for the Frontier Airlines Flight to Phoenix.

Nail clippers are the ninjas of grooming implements. They should never be seen. Ditto for your nail remains. Why anyone would think it’s sanitary to prune themselves in public and then let their leavings jettison into the atmosphere for all to experience is beyond me.

I get it. Some folks, who pride themselves on multi-tasking, may be thinking, “Well I’ve already got my shoes off to go through security why not just take out my TSA approved nail clippers and trim that hangnail on my big toe.”

To these individuals may I suggest another mode of transportation that doesn’t require you to commingle with other mammals?

Alas, at least these creatures are using tools to trim their hooves. Prepare to avert your eyes as a man in a $1,000 suit uses his mouth to attack a cuticle and then spits it out all while taking part in a conference call on speakerphone. I hope you’re writing this down because it will be on the final exam – no one wants to hear your phone conservation.

I don’t care how fascinating you think you are being subjected to another person’s phone conversation is an auditory assault. For sure, I’ve make cell phone calls at the airport, but I, using the gift of sight, realize that I’m surrounded by other mortals and therefore talk in a moderate tone.

I don’t know why, but have you noticed that the people with their ears hermetically sealed to their phones at airports all seem to project their voices like they’re in a one act play? Forget Broadway if you want to see showmanship go to gate 34 at JFK on a Monday.

Let’s now move on to a life skills multiple-choice test. If a grown woman who is ambulatory, in seemingly good health, and is wearing fleece pajamas pants to the airport that are so long they’re getting stuck in her Crocs sandal she is:

A) Suffering from a crippling addiction to polyester fleece and rubber shoes

B) Just woke up from a slumber party at the airport

C) Given up on life

D) All of the Above.

If you answered D congratulations. Yes, all of the above are correct. Any healthy person over the age of 10 who can not sufficiently groom themselves, and by that I mean getting out of the p.j.’s when leaving their home, is indeed suffering from chronic life self-esteem issues and is in dire need of a fleece intervention which in my book takes precedent over a 12 Step Program for Crocs addicts.

Your airport class is now over. I urge you sign up for the “Boarding Your Plane” lecture. Don’t worry it’s not that hard. Everything you just learned has laid the foundation for success in this course of study.

The class will feature a shock and awe portion where you can behold people who can’t grasp the concept of how to properly line up to board a plane. Plus you can learn exciting aviation math. Here’s an equation for you.  A suitcase that can hold two months of clothes = not fitting in the overhead compartment no matter how hard a person attempts to cram it in there.

Air travel – where the learning never ends.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second 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! 🙂

 

 

Walmart With Wings

Quotation-Douglas-Adams-humor-language-travel-pretty-earth-expression-Meetville-Quotes-53237-1Raise your hand if you remember wearing your Sunday best to travel on an airplane. I can even recall going shopping with my mother for my plane outfit. It was a big deal to go up, up and away. Now air travel is like Walmart with wings. Last week, I was at the LAX Southwest terminal and you know the People of Walmart website, well I was thinking of starting the Passengers of Southwest Airlines site and it would give the Walmart one some serious competition.

I’d have one category on my site solely for people who travel in their pajamas. Is it just me or does the number of adults (mostly woman) wearing their pajamas in the middle of the afternoon to catch a flight to Dallas give you pause? Like you couldn’t at least have pulled on a pair of track or yoga pants. Same concept – there’s no buttons or zippers to stump you. It’s just stepping into two leg holes and using a modicum of upper body strength to hoist those bad boys up. During my flight delay (of course) I entertained myself by counting the number of fools wearing pj pants and flip-flops. I stopped at 14.

And don’t get me started on the morons who drag pillows and blankets through the airport. Longtime Snarky readers know I have ranted about this before but I firmly believe placing your pillow or blanket on the bacteria collector known as the TSA security conveyor belt should be classified as a terrorist threat. That thing is ground zero for some sort of toxin that will take out half of the West coast. What is it about grown ups needing a full size pillow and a blankie on a plane anyway?

I get the travel pillow. It’s discreet, fits in your carry on and is hermetically sealed. Adults clutching a king size pillow as they wander through an airport makes me a little nauseous. Like literally my gag reflex kicks in. I watch in horror as they take the pillow into the restroom and in one case I saw a woman place her pillow on the floor of the stall (give me a second as I fight through the urge to hurl).

This same woman then took her foul, pathogen laden public restroom pillow into the Southwest terminal Starbucks and laid it on the table! THE TABLE. For this act alone she should have been arrested and charged with endangering the health and safety of her fellow travelers. Thank the lord she and her pillow were not on my flight.

And while I’m counting my blessings, another thing I’m thankful for is that talking on your cell phone is not yet allowed on planes. Because I doubt the science to back up the FAA’s claim that it’s dangerous. Well, it’s dangerous but not in the FAA way. The danger stems from fellow passengers losing their mind and getting violent over the idiot that won’t shut up and get off their phone.

I’ve had to do some cleansing breaths and self medicate with Chips Ahoy’s just from being next to a goober who is in super chatty cell phone mode and with great delight and gusto carries on a phone conversation, about their mole or the size, color and shape of their bowel movement. I tell you when this happens I’m living for the announcement from the flight attendant telling everyone to turn off their electronic devices. What they really need to say and I think this would also make excellent signage for the overhead compartments: People of Earth – just because you have a cell phone doesn’t mean you have to use it. You’re not that fascinating or important. Turn it off.

In fact, I think if and when the non-stop cell phone use gets the green light I might have to seriously rethink air travel. I’m already half way there due to the food carry on. There should be some kind of smell limit (let’s call it a odormeter) that your food can’t exceed if you wish to bring it on the plane. I don’t even have that sensitive of an olfactory system. (Hello, mother of teenagers here. I’ve got a nose that can handle boy feet.) But there’s been some food people have brought on planes that almost did me in.

For example, who carries onto the plane a sushi sandwich that smells like B.O. and decomposing dolphin? (Not that I know what decomposing dolphin smells like but I think I’m taking a pretty good guess here.)The answer to that question would be my seat mate on a flight to New York. I had to go into emergency triage mode and use my scarf, and a one-inch stack of antibacterial moist towelettes (I always travel with a pack) to fashion a breathing mask over my nose and mouth.

Now you would think this would be a clue to my seatmate that he was causing his fellow passengers (or at the very least and most importantly me) great distress, but no. He continued eating and then proceeded to experience extreme flatulence issues. To survive I kept squirting my Bath and Body Works travel size lemon hand gel into my moist towelettes and had to take cleansing hits just to get through the flight. When that stopped working I went to Plan B, which was inserting the hand gel directly into my nose.

Oh, and of course the guy had a pillow which he was using as a lap tray for his food. What do you wanna bet it had also enjoyed quality time on the men’s room floor. Ugh.

**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.

 

Not So Magical – Part 2

6359369You know your day at the Magic Kingdom has changed course considerably when your main concern is seeking air-conditioned shelter. It’s no longer about the rides instead your focus is on which activities you can pursue that will result in AC blasting you in the face. This is why the Hall of Presidents became my refuge. It’s an attraction modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia that features all 43 presidents in “Audio-Animatronics form” which is Disney speak for robots.

Those Commander-In-Chief droids must require a muy refrigerated environment because the Hall of Presidents was the coolest place in the park. I could, at max, go on three rides before I had to get back to the Hall for a cool down. I found an AC vent in the rotunda, that if you stood at a 90-degree angle, you could get a rush of cold air up your shorts. It was like oxygen for someone climbing Mt. Everest.

The only problem was my daughter was getting crabby about my need for an AC refresh. She also complained about the time we were wasting having to constantly go back to the Hall of Presidents. This necessitated me finding another chill zone. It wasn’t quite as cold as the Hall of Presidents, but it got the job done. It also had much better people watching.

It was a Fantasy Land gift shop located right next to the Cinderella Castle where little girls could for the bargain price of $199 could go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and get the full princess treatment. This means hair and make up done and the Disney character gown of their choice.

The mothers coming out of the Boutique, with their coiffured tots in tow, were their own cast of characters. The most tragic was the Sobbing MOP (Mom Of a Princess.) These are the teary eyed mothers dragging a crying princess out of the boutique. The child was usually having a melt down because her “hair hurt.” Otherwise known as bun head burn.

Each princess got a bun and a crown and let me tell you those buns were pulled back tight enough to withstand the G force of Space Mountain. I got why both the child and the mom were bawling. If I had just dropped $200 on a “Princess Experience” and it resulted in my daughter going full royal tantrum I’d need a Kleenex too.

Once the sun had set I was able to significantly limit my AC visits. It’s not that it was that much cooler. I still felt like I was wearing a Grizzly pelt lined with polar fleece and dunked in Icy Hot, but at least I wasn’t getting a solar bitch slapping. I had hoped that after the 10 p.m. fireworks families would start to clear out of the park. I mean, really who would stay till 1 a.m. if you had small children or even an infant? Everyone, is the answer to that question.

The state song of Florida has to be children crying to the tune of It’s a Small World After All because that melody followed me throughout Disney World and it got cranked up every night. You had parents, who had to know better, waking up babies and toddlers to put then on rides. I swear after 11 p.m. Fantasy Land was the Trail of Tears.

To escape the screaming my daughter and I fled to Adventure Land to set sail on the Jungle Cruise. We thought we were safe from unhappy children until a dad boarded our boat with a preschooler who was afraid of water. The poor kid howled. The dad announced that he was just going to let the kid “cry it out.” I gave my daughter the look that said make a run for it and we got off that boat faster than you can say “God Help Us All.”

After that our strategy was to stay in Frontier Land unitl the park closed at 1 a.m. That way we could ride the Splash Mountain log plume, get wet and then blow dry while riding the Thunder Mountain rollercoaster. This was a great plan and upping the fun factor was standing in line with people who didn’t want to get wet.

There are signs posted all along the line stating that you will get wet. When you step into the log it is wet and people getting off the ride are drenched. Yet, there are still people angry, confused and dumbfounded after the ride is over, that they were baptized in Lake Disney. To make matters worse these are the people who usually want to sit in the front log, known in theme park terminology as the super soaker. Who out there doesn’t know the front log takes the biggest direct hit? It’s simple physics – force x mass x person at the front of a log ride = 100% chance your clothes will be soppy wet. I think another Disney improvement would be IQ tests for certain rides. It would certainly thin the theme park herd.

But no matter the tears, the heat, the idiot quotient I did it. I crossed the finish line of 17 hours at the Magic Kingdom. Where’s that T-shirt at the gift shop?

**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 Road to Hell

d3f64f5b77695f1e5d199db2ace120c6If you ever feel like your family is in need of some special bonding time to reconnect and rejoice in togetherness than look no further than a 12-hour car ride to your spring break destination to eradicate those emotions. It starts out all good and then by hour ten you’re fantasizing about escaping to sweet, sweet, freedom by hitching a ride with the driver of the Frito Lay truck you “I spied” at your last bathroom break. There’s at least a 30% chance he could be a serial killer but at this point those odds don’t scare you.

 To be sure the long car ride of today is a massive upgrade from the road trip of yesteryear where as a child all I had to keep me busy was license plate Bingo and riveting games of I Spy with My Little Eyes. An added bonus in the excitement department was my father threatening, about every 125 miles or so, to pull the car over and “give us what for.” Which he never did but it certainly was a vacation cliffhanger. Would this be the time he finally stopped the car? What kid would be the first to get the “what for”? Would all of us be “what for”ed and what really was the “what for”? It was so riveting one year my oldest brother started a betting pool. The winner was the kid who correctly guessed the first and last city my dad would threaten us with the “what for”.

 Today, you would think there would be no need for a “what for” because when most families hit the road they’re basically driving a mobile Best Buy. iPhone, iPads, laptops and heck our car even has one of those thingamabobs so everyone can get the Internet 24/7 thus lulling me into believing that all this technology will ensure a peaceful 12-hour ride down the interstate punctuated by a few brief gas, bathroom, and food breaks.  Sadly, this is not how it goes down. The first couple of hours are a breeze but by hour four I see signs of a breakdown in communication and by hour six, the half way mark, I’m beginning to question the intelligence of my family.

 It begins when not one but both kids violate the prime directive and take off their shoes. The smell is overpowering and not even a two pack of Gain Febreze can power through the stench. I roll down all the windows for a fresh influx of clean air. My mom math tells me that a car driving down the interstate at 80 miles per hour for five minutes with the windows down should equal a vehicle that no longer smells like a high school locker room that time forget. Something must have been wrong with my addition because when I rolled the windows back up it still smelled to such an extent I felt woozy leaving me no choice but to pull over and seal both pairs of kids shoes in gallon size Ziploc bags.

 Just as my nasal passages are healing I’m greeted by a request to stop yet again for a bathroom break. This has me worried and ticked off. What in the hell is wrong with my kids’ bladders? Are they deformed and reduced to the size of cashews or is there some kind of blockage? I swear I can’t drive for more than an hour without one of them pleading for me to stop. Reluctantly, I exit off the interstate for another potty break and while both kids are taking care of business I discover what the problem is.  While reaching into the cooler in the back of my car for an icy cold beverage I come up empty-handed.  Nothing but ice chunks. My kids have consumed what amounts to a 12- pack of Vitamin Water.  No wonder I’ve had to stop so much. I guess the good news is they’re fully hydrated.

 One of the by products of hydration must be the need to freely and zealously express one thoughts because both of my children start fiercely complaining about the other one. It’s like the floodgates of “everything you ever did to annoy me” have been opened. When my daughter starts bringing up perceived injustices her brother committed during the Christmas of 2004 (which I’m dubious she can even remember) I’m forced to go full “what for” on the both of them. I sound so much like my dad I’m freaking myself out a little but I don’t stop. Oh no, I’m on a roll and then I get it. This is what the “what for” is all about. It’s a parental stress reliever. A vacation mantra. A chance to let it all out without ever taking your eyes off the road.

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new winter Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Flannel Snarky P.J.’s anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.)
 Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

Spring Break(less)

collegehumor.ade66de5c31bd858e8fdf376122eb79dCan we talk about Spring Break? The whole concept sounds lovely right? And I’m sure it is unless you’re traveling with my family to go on a ski vacation. Then it won’t be a break at all it. It will be me doing everything I do at home just in a different location. Why? Because we stay at a condo.

Not just any condo but one with a washer, dryer, dishwasher and oh goodie cleaning supplies and a vacuum. Thus ensuring I get to cook and scour all while gazing on a snow-capped mountain vista. That’s what’s it all about right – chores with a view? Because it’s totally different to scrub a toilet if you can get a glimpse of the Rockies while you’re elbow deep in Pine Sol.

The kitchen is the kill joy of the trip. It’s there staring at you, mocking you, almost daring you to waste money on eating out. My husband’s favorite vacation mantra is, “Why go to a restaurant when we’ve got a kitchen? Think of all the money we’re saving. This way the condo pays for itself.” Ugh.

Oh sure, I get to ski and I know I sound like an ungrateful whiner and I acknowledge that my complaining is annoying but sorry I can’t seem to stop myself. Maybe it’s because by March I’m just not that giddy about experiencing more ice, snow and frozen extremities. In fact, that nifty Polar Vortex and it’s long time companion Sub Zero provided me with about all the frosty fun I can handle. I’m a wrong that a spring vacation shouldn’t include pulling on long underwear, three pairs of socks, and shoving bags of thermal toe warmers into your boots and bra?

Then there’s the excitement of careening down a mountain and hitting what the ski resort calls “isolated icy patches”(but in reality is like hydro planning on a land mass the size of the Planet Hoth from Star Wars) because the spring thaw has started. While I’m struggling to stay upright I”ll see many Beware of Bears signs posted all over slopes. Oh yeah, it’s spring and the bears are rested, rejuvenated and ravenous! Bonus, a bear’s nose is super charged. It could be miles away and still get a whiff of my stress sweat and maybe just maybe jog over at an average speed of 35 miles per hour and say, “Howdy stranger.” This will freak me out so badly that I’ll probably forget about focusing on not falling and wipe out so hard I bounce like a basketball being dribbled by a group of third graders during a P.E. skills drill.

Falling is the worst thing that can happen because it means I have to, Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 9.19.27 PMeventually, get up. If you’ve never tried to stand on a slippery, snow encrusted slope with a vertical drop of 6,000 feet while standing on what amounts to a couple of fiberglass Swiffer Wet Jets strapped to your feet than you haven’t really lived. Because nothing says FUN like multiple attempts to hoist your body into a standing position using your ski poles – which are basically the size of two car antennas ripped off a fleet of 1979 AMC Pacers – as your only form of leverage. God help you if you lose a ski. Seriously, start praying because if you have to walk any distance in ski boots you’re doomed. A Sasquatch in six-inch stilettos has more grace and agility than a human being trying to traverse across a frozen tundra in ski boots. You might as well be wearing a toaster oven on each foot.

Once I’m finally up for good, have run out of curse words and I’ve chiseled the frozen tears and ice encrusted snot off my face I’ll head down the mountain because it will be time to make lunch and I’m sure I’ll have a load, or two, of laundry to do.

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new winter Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Flannel Snarky P.J.’s anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.)

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Vacation Quid Pro Quo

dear_snarky_logo

Dear Snarky,

Last month my son went with his best friend’s family to Disney World. I paid for my son’s airfare and all his Disney expenses including food. I even gave the family $200 to cover any trip incidentals. Since they got back the mom of my son’s best friend has been hinting how much her son would L-O-V-E to go to the beach with our family in two weeks. She’s done everything but outright ask if her son can go with us on our vacation. My issue is I have three kids and I really don’t want a fourth one tagging along. Also, we only booked one hotel room for a family of 5. That’s already kind of tight. I’m I now obligated to bring her son? Help!

Signed, Vacation Mama

Dear Vacation Mama,

The simple answer is you are in no way required to practice any sort of vacation quid pro quo. You covered your reciprocal bases by paying all the expenses for your son’s Disney trip. The bad news is you’re going to have to now put on your big girl panties and tell the mom who keeps on dropping suitcase size hints about her son hitching a ride on your vacay that it’s not going to happen. Blame it on the one hotel room (I mean really you could be exceeding the fire code or at the very least hotel occupancy rules) or simply tell her the truth – your 3 kids is the max you can handle. Anything else might send you right over the edge into Crazy Town. You also might want to throw in that there is the very real possibility that her son could be so scarred from the experience of an extended stay with your family he may require prolonged mental health therapy. Any mom should be able to understand that. Oh and the next time that mom asks if your son can go anywhere with them outside the city limits say a big “No Thank You”.

 

I Hate People – Part 3

waterparksI know I’ve complained repeatedly about my feelings regarding waterparks.(See 9 Much Needed Waterpark Improvements and Excuse Me There’s a Turd in the Wavepool.) A reasonable person would think that I had exhausted all my rage and shame. But, you would be wrong because my vacation included a waterpark sojourn that resulted in one of the most embarrassing moments in the annuals of being me.

There were no advanced plans to go to a waterpark. It was never even on the vacation agenda. I, a naive, hopeful creature, thought this trip would be blissfully waterpark free,  But, all it took was for my daughter to spot a waterpark lurking way off in the distance from the 31st floor of our hotel to condemn me to the fate of going down the Spiral Flusher 2000. She begged to go and I caved and volunteered her father for the honor of escorting her.

My husband was too quick. He double crossed me and said he had already promised our son that he would take him to look at colleges in the area. Huh? Our son had just turned 15. He hasn’t even taken his PSAT and I still have to remind him to wear his retainer and use deodorant and they were going to look at colleges. Please, I didn’t believe that for a moment. But he had me, especially when my son perked up and said yes, they had talked about and he was excited.

That’s when I threw their smug faces a curve ball and said to my husband, “Oh, I’ll do the college thing. No worries, you can do the waterpark. Really, don’t you think it’s your turn to do the waterpark?”

Dang it, that didn’t work because my son quickly responded with,“But, I really want Dad to take me.”

Causing my husband just as quickly chimed in with, “You know father-son bonding time.”

They had me. It was low of my husband, exceeding low (and he would pay for it later, oh yes, he would pay) to play the “father son” card, but he did and I was screwed. I drew the short straw. I was going to yet another waterpark. I sighed, almost teared up and resigned myself to the fact that it was time to pull on my chocolate-brown, (well, it was brown when I bought it, but it had now, thanks to the wonders of  chlorine, taken on the hue of a Snookie spray tan) one piece, one more time.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse my 10-year-old got very excited and squealed, “Mom, I just looked up the waterpark on Dad’s phone and it’s not just a waterpark it’s an amusement park too! It’s got roller-coasters and everything.”  Oh sweet, sweet God of Atlantis what have you wrought? I thought as I choked back a sob.

Nothing and I mean nothing is worse than a hybrid water/amusement park. If you go strictly to an amusement park you get to be fully clothed and experience the wonder of cotton candy, funnel cake and vomit from the ghosts of rides past stuck to your hands, feet, face and neck and enjoy a continuous bout of nausea due to the G-force of the triple loop coaster.

If you go to a waterpark you’re mostly naked, barefoot and if you have any sense use the inner tubes for the rides as your fat camo. But, if you’re at a hybrid water/amusement park that means you get to strut your stuff in a swimsuit at the water zone and then lucky, lucky, you all you have to do is just put on a pair of tennis shoes with that swimsuit and you’re ready to walk around the amusement area.

Can you picture it? Is there anything less appealing? A mass of people waiting in line for the roller coaster clad only in swim-wear and tennis shoes, with wet, unregulated, body hair blowing in the steamy breeze. Yes, you could pull on a pair of shorts or please Lord, capris to walk around in, but all the amusement park rides include some kind of water grand finale. So, you’re wet all the time. Not refreshingly waterpark wet, but theme park recycled, brownish, non-potable, swamp water wet.

If you wear shorts or a beloved pair of capris (and people this is how I know there is a God because capris or crop pants have been in style for almost a decade -don’t tell me that’s not the work of a higher power) they get soaked and your inner thighs get to go “squish, squashy” all day as they work themselves into an extreme case of 3rd degree thigh burn due to excessive fabric friction. You are basically walking around in a crock pot of fermenting flesh stew seasoned with sweat and off brand hair care products.  Yummy, it’s not. But, off I go with a very excited daughter holding my hand.

We must have a plan I told her. “Let’s do the amusement park rides first and then the water zone. I don’t want to be flitting back and forth. We need to stay focused.” That plan lasted about 45 minutes. The lure of the waterpark slides keep calling. So our day went something like this: roller-coaster, log plume ride, rapid river ride, back to waterpark for body slides then back to roller-coaster for what my child described as a “blow dry.”

To mitigate my misery I people watched and keep a tally of tramp stamps versus belly tats. It’s while I was playing this mental agility game to past the time as my daughter downed  Dipping Dots that cost more than my first car that I noticed a woman in Uggs, freaking knee-high, fur-lined Uggs in triple digit heat. I was entranced. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I needed to know more, like why in the hell you would wear Uggs in the middle of the summer to a water/amusement park? And not just that, but Uggs with a tankini. Who does that?

She looked maybe 40 and with those hot pink Uggs and her white swimsuit it was off-putting. She closely resembled a Benadryl capsule. I told my daughter I was going to go talk to the Crazy Ugg Lady who by this time was sitting just one picnic table over. My little one gave me attitude about it, but I said, “Hey, chill out. You have a bowl of Dipping Dots bigger than your head to eat.”  She shoveled more dots in her mouth and gave me the sigh/eye roll combo platter and watched me make my move to Uggs.

I got Uggs attention by how else, but commenting on her footwear. “Wow” I said, Uggs at a waterpark, aren’t you brave?”

She looked up at me and beamed. You would have thought I said, “Your royal highness you are a creature of beauty and perfection and bring light to a world plagued by darkness.” Let me tell you something, these Ugg chicks are easy. Note to guys who need a pick up line or serial killers – one comment about their boots and they’re yours.

She smiled at me and said, “Oh my God, I just love my Uggs so much I wear them everywhere! I even wore them when I gave birth.”

“Seriously,” I said, “Are you talking about a home birth or something or do you mean, feet, pardon, Uggs in stirrups, kind of birth?”

She laughed, “I wore these pink Uggs right here since I was having a girl and they were in stirrups for sure. That’s the way I roll! I have 23 pairs of Uggs and counting,” she proudly proclaimed.

This is when the evil forces that sometimes rule my life emerged. (Can you blame me?  I get a stirrup over-share and I’m not going to run with it.) So I said, “This is just so great seeing you here in your Uggs.  I write a blog called I Hug Uggs and I’m sure my readers would be dying to know how your love of Uggs trumps heat stroke?”

“What?” She said, “What do ya mean heat stroke?”

I replied, “It’s like hell out here and I’m sure your feet are on fire in those fur lined boots.” I said all this very slowly thinking she might already be in the early stages of some kind of a heat related health emergency.

She laughed and said, “Oh no, my feet are awesome. The wool sucks up the sweat.”  Then she began to take off one Ugg so she could show me her dry foot.  Ewww, I thought, but in the name of research I wanted to see if her foot really was dry so I stood still as her very much in need of a pedi-egg lower limb emerged and it was not just dripping sweat, but oozing, much like Niagara Falls oozies water.

Uggs seemed surprised to see her foot wet and then rammed her hand inside her boot for a secondary investigation. Her hand also come out slick with foot juice.

“Well, it looks like even the mighty Ugg can’t withstand 102 degrees at a theme park.”  I chirped.

She acted very sad, despondent even, so I added, “I mean what boot could. It’s beyond disgusting out here. If you had any other boot on I’m sure it would have been much, much worse.” That perked her right up and off she went on a passionate defense of her beloved Ugg.

God, I wish someone loved me as much as this woman loved her Australian sheep lined suede boots. Really, I could possible die happy right now if I knew someone in this big wide world of ours was that in love with me. No doubt she wants to rewrite the Declaration of Independence to read – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Uggs!  I tried to be polite and listen, after all I had encouraged her, but finally I begged off claiming my daughter and I had to get back to the rides, specifically the Spiral Flusher 2000.

The Flusher lived up to it’s name. It was a gigantic toilet bowl that you approached via a mighty slide clocking about 40 miles per hour as you rode an inner-tube down a steep incline. When you hit the toilet bowl you would make like a turd and circle the drain, so to speak, a couple of times and then get plunged down a hole to an exit tube.

The line for the Flusher was long and you had to drag a double inner-tube up about 6 million flights of stairs.  My daughter really wanted to “get flushed” so we waited for close to 90 minutes behind a group of dudes that were ground zero for the man boob epidemic currently sweeping the country. These guys weren’t fat. They had that beefy, weight lifter look, kind of like the husbands in The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Their bodies said we lift weights, but might be skimping just a bit on the cardio portion of a workout. I attributed their B cup breast to steroids. Knowledge I accumulated from an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County when Tamara’s son had to have breast reduction due to a steroid addiction. (Who says T.V. doesn’t educate?)

These busty dudes also had quite an impressive collection of tattoos. I was thinking at least two of the guys need to tattoo themselves a bra sooner than later. They had some mighty pert cleavage. I struck up a conversation with them because that’s what you do when you’re waiting in line right – talk in-depth to strangers about very personal issues?  I played the caring mother card and inquired first about their tats and then about their boobs. I just asked them right out. “Guys, what’s with the mammary muscle?”

I knew this would stump the dudes thus letting me explain to them in pseudo medical terms that they have a nice rack and probably could breast-feed an infant in a pinch or at the very least make a nice set of pacifiers. The young men explained to me that man boob was in. “It’s like a chest six pack.”

Gag, I thought. These guys are dumber than they look. I, for one, would never want to date a guy that had nicer breasts than me. Isn’t there enough competition on the boob front with females?  Do we have to start competing with the male of the species in the clevage category?  Because if we do I give up.  It’s bad enough I’m not even the 15th prettiest girl in the room, but now me – Cankles McHefty – has to consider dudes as participants in the Bust Bowl.

The whole icky boob thing was a foreshadowing of the disaster to come. Finally, after frying the sun it was my turn to board the double tube with my daughter and get flushed. I was in the back of the tube and my daughter was in the front. We 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 the bowl. 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, bare breasted!!! The top on my one piece has been pushed down due to the water jets and pressure that make the tube circle the bowl. People, I’m riding the toilet bowl with my middle-aged, I’ve breast-fed two kids, one for longer than is socially acceptable in most 3rd world countries, girls stripped naked.

I try to grab the straps of my suit and pull it up while I circle the bowl. But, you weren’t meant to ride the bowl without a tube and my body is taking a beating. I then attempt to roll over on my stomach, like an harpooned Shamu, to disguise my topless self. Which results in my nipples are getting bitch slapped by the water jets. It was much worse than that case of mastitis I had when my son was 4 weeks old. The pain, oh the pain.

I finally cross my arms over my chest and ride out the agony of the toilet bowl. As I’m dumped down the exit tube I yank up my suit and try to make a quick exit. But no, the man boobs are waiting for me and laughing their asses off. I, with all the dignity I can muster, look them all in the eye and say, “Hey, you showed me yours, I showed you mine.  Jealous?”

I then walk away, my head held high, my spider veins glistening in the sun and my chest throbbing. I find my daughter and tell her it might just be time to call it a day.  My nipples and I have had enough.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand 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! 🙂

 

I Hate People – Part 2

Captain’s log, Stardate: 7232011 – This is the last voyage of the family ship – WTF.  Under my command we have secured a rental transport unit and are proceeding to our final vacation destination.  As per our other previous expeditions we seem to be having technical issues with our guidance support system.  It’s confused and keeps repeating inaccurate directions in a tone that I now perceive as excessively surly.  For the record, a GPS rapping “re-calculating” for 20 miles is neither helpful or instructive. Also, the integrity of our vessel has been breached with an unidentified noxious fume that even a cocktail of Gain Febreze and Lysol Citrus Neutra Air Sanitizing spray can’t eradicate.  Due to this concern we will be docking at the nearest support station. 

Too bad for us the nearest support station was the “The Big Rig Gas & Go” Serving Truckers for 60 years and from what I could see out the car window most of the truckers had been patronizing the The Big Rig for as long as it has been in business.  I was seriously confused.  All the truckers look not just old, but grizzled like they were in the advanced stages of their AARP membership for tattooed, arthritic, osteoporosis bad asses. Then to what do my wondering eyes do appear but, a real live cowboy the size of a troll give or take a couple of inches.

This mini wrangler hops out of his 18 wheeler and he’s styling in a straw Stetson, a big old curly stache, a denim western shirt with fringe and one of those bolo things at the neck. The very best part of his outfit was and I’m not exaggerating, the manly version (I’m using the term manly here very loosely) Daisy Duke denim shorts with you guessed it cowboy boots, but wait there’s more, – spurs.  Spurs that “jingle, jangle, jingle” as he walks into the truck stop with what looks like a towel.

My husband says to me, just a bit freaked out, “Did you just see that guy?”

“By that guy do you mean the mini dude that was cowboy on top and Dukes of Hazard on the bottom, then yes, I saw him. Quite the visual treat” I added.  There was no time for further discussion on the most disturbing sighting, so far, of the day, as the car stench was making us all nausea.

I had my family commence an evacuation of our shuttle pod so I could make a through search for the odor that had permeated the interior. It took 30 seconds. My son, inhabiting the 3rd row of seats had removed his shoes. It’s important to note that in my earlier quest to track down the odor I had asked him if he had taken his shoes off.  He had replied in the negative. Apparently, ladies and gentlemen of the jury at that juncture his shoes were “only half way off his feet, not technically all the way off.”  If that wasn’t bad enough he placed his shoes right under an a/c vent thus constantly re-circulating the reek of teen boy feet through out the vehicle.  Before I could take off one of my flip-flops and beat him with it he had hurried inside The Big Rig to use the restroom.

My son, the alleged honor student, goes into the Big Rig and instead of heading into the restroom he somehow finds himself in the truckers shower area. There he’s an eyewitness to not just naked old man body parts, but the genitalia of the midget cowboy, which according to my son would rightfully earn Mr. Daisy Duke the moniker of “hobbit balls”.

He comes running out the truck stop into the parking lot. I’m so concerned about the high rate of speed my son is clocking that I’m afraid he’s been molested or something. But at 15 and 6 feet tall, I’m thinking that probably isn’t it. When he gets to me standing at the back of car still vigorously Lysoling he begins to tell me, not his father, (oh his father never gets any of the delicate life questions, it’s always me that gets asked the guy stuff) about the horrors he saw in the trucker’s shower.

My first response is, “Why in God’s green earth did you go into the showers!?”

“I dunno, I just followed where the other men were going,” he said in one of those so very special teen “whatever” voices.

I then get regaled with his tale of seeing “old guys without their clothes” and how “disgusting” it was. He then asks me, “Why does that happen to your junk when you get old. It’s just wrong.”

I break it to him that I’ve never seen, thank you very much, a naked old guy and couldn’t answer his questions, but his father could probably help him on the subject.  I enlist the aid of my husband who gives him the sage advice of “Not to worry about it.”

I look at my husband and say, “That’s all you got, a not to worry about it?”

He says, “Yep, that will do for now.”

On those pearls of wisdom we all climb back in the car which is not odor free, but the toxicity has been knocked down a couple of levels and continue on our journey.

We finally reach our destination 9,000 feet above sea level a couple of hours later. My husband craves being in the mountains. At least once a year he has to experience the beauty of some mountain range. The only problem with it is he turns into what I call an A.H.D. – Aging Hipster Doofus. First, it’s the clothes. He puts on Keen mountain sandals and Patagonia cargo shorts with 10,000 zipper compartments for essential hiking gear.  Then he stops shaving.

The worst, the very worst is his music. He breaks out his “mixed tapes” from the 80’s, rolls the windows down and starts “jamming.”  It’s not that I don’t like me some Talking Heads, but sweet baby Jesus seeing my husband turn back the hands of time to 1984 is a disconcerting sight. In fact, the whole mountain resort is chock full of A.H.D.’s. Some of these middle-aged goobers wear their bike shorts or their mountain climbing gear 24/7. I’m afraid the only mountain most of these guys are climbing is the big step up into their SUV’s. Also, gentlemen, if you own a pair of “reading” sunglasses perhaps you’re not quite as cool as you think.

What’s worse is that my very own Aging Hipster Doofus guilts me into doing mountain activities like hike for hours in the wilderness. (Say hello to being attacked by black bears.) Ugh.  My whole family, except me, of course suffers from freaking vacation A.D.H.D.  They can’t sit still.  My idea of vacation perfection would be a beach, a paperback book, and a drink with an umbrella.  But nooo, my brood has to keep on moving, like they’re sharks or something. If I sit still and try to read I get told, “C’mon you can read at home.” Relaxation isn’t a part of any of our family vacations. So, as not to be a party pooper, I soldier on, encased in Deep Woods Off.

Nestled far away from any hiking path and shrouded by pine trees we take a break in our hiking marathon to savor a spectacular lake. I was looking forward to catching my breath and enjoying the wonders of Mother Nature except after we had been lakeside for 10 minutes we become surrounded by a posse of Aging Hipster Doofuses. My husband, at first, becomes noticeably excited that his tribe is near. Then this species of A.H.D. shows that perhaps they are from a much different branch of the Gen X family.

They start blasting 80’s hair band music from their solar-powered jam box. Music and bands in particular are like your children, you love them, but for sure not everybody else does. I was getting ticked off. Their music was ruining my nature vibe and really it was just rude. It was time to take action. I had the perfect opportunity when my husband took both kids deeper into the pine forest to hunt for good fishing sticks. (Yes, I had to wait for him to get beyond the sound of the my voice. He doesn’t approve of me confronting groups of people. He’s sure I’m going to get killed someday, but that’s a chance I’m usually willing to take.)

Just to make sure I wasn’t over reacting I let the guys play their tunes for a while thinking they might leave soon.  Although, here we are in a National Park and I can’t understand why everybody doesn’t spread the hell out. The 40 something dudes seem very comfortable and then they get so comfy they start smoking weed. That was my cue to take them on for Smokey the Bear’s sake, if nothing else.

I walked over and went for their taste in music first.  “Look,” I said, “Could you please lower the volume on your music?”

They chuckled and said they were “chilling.” But, I could tell their whole attitude was that I was busting their chops and needed to take off. Please, please world at large quit thinking you can dismiss me because I have on my capri track pants and Famous Footwear buy one get one free tennis shoes. My less than cool kid attire doesn’t mean I can’t kick your ass.

“Okay,” I said. “Here’s what I’m thinking you either turn off your music or I’m going to hook up my portable iPhone speakers and blast Justin Beiber and some vintage Jonas Brothers your way and just so you know I have Justin Beiber My World and My World 2.0 on my phone. Plus, I have a 10 year girl who will stand on this rock and belt out each song word for word.”

The aging hipsters looked disgruntled, but before they could get a word out I added, “And your, I’m taking a wild guess here, non medicinal marijuana is inappropriate.”

Here’s the thing, I have no patience for inhalants. The only think I inhale is chocolate cake. If someone wants to partake of the weed they sure need to do it out of the visual and olfactory range of my children. Plus, I had noticed that some of the ski bums that worked retail in this mountain town might have been overdoing it on the summer grass.  The first brain acuity that must go with smoking pot is the ability to make change.  Seriously, the act of adding and subtracting stumped them.

So, these frat rats turned corporate suck ups on their “reliving the 80’s mancation” needed to get gone. They all just set there on various rocks and logs and stared at me.  I had no other choice but to pull out the big guns and threaten to take pictures of them smoking and put it on my Facebook page. Oh, that scared them alright because two of the jerk wads had backpacks with their companies logo on them.

I said I would also be sure to “like” their company’s FB page and then post my photos on it as well. That meant for infinity and beyond they would be “tagged” in cyberspace smoking a dubie.  Well, that, of course, did the trick. After being called bitch or worse I’m guessing, “you’re as bad as my wife,” a couple of times they took off and I removed my discount tennies and soaked my cankles in the fresh, pure mountain water. Celebrating the fact that a middle-aged woman whose thighs rub together can still bring it every time over a bunch of Aging Hipster Doofuses.

Next Up the Final Installment of I Hate People – A Travelogue of  a Snarky Vacation.  Also 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.