Dear Snarky – Revenge of the Spray Tan

Dear Snarky,

I’m writing this letter to you while I’m orange. Yes, orange because I was given a spray tan by a FRIEND who, out of spite, turned me orange. The back-story is I started dating a guy she had broken up with more than six months ago. I even asked her if it was okay with her if I went out with him. She said yes and told me it was no big deal. So, we started dating and this weekend he’s taking me to his cousin’s wedding which is why I got a spray tan from her. I didn’t know she was secretly pissed off at me and her revenge would be giving me a spray tan that would turn me pumpkin f’ing orange!

I’ve taken pictures of my orange spray tan and want to shame her business publicly on social media because people should know she’s crazy but our mutual friends say I should let it go because she’s “suffering from the break up.” Umm, the break up was her doing and it was months ago. Also, all of this is easy for them to say because they’re not ORANGE!

What do you think Snarky?

Signed, Orange and Angry

Dear Orange,

First, I hope you googled how to get rid of a bad spray tan and you no longer resemble Ernie from Sesame Street. As for embarking on a social media shaming campaign I’m conflicted. Does a woman who runs a spray tan business and purposely turns people orange need to be outed? Yes. But, for you to do this means that you’re going to be adding rocket fuel to her crazy and the whole situation is going to get blown up.

Are you ready to be engaging with her on social media and dealing with what I’m sure are going to be threats and accusations of you stealing her boyfriend (never mind that she dumped him)? Also, a woman who would turn somebody orange is going to have zero compunction lying and saying that she didn’t do it and that you photoshopped the pictures because you’re trying to ruin her business after you stole her boyfriend. (Are you sensing a theme here?) 

Because I believe in living a life where you look forward not backwards I would wash off that orange spray tan and let that and your “friend” go down the drain. This means don’t engage. It’s not worth it and it would be a HUGE emotional time suck. Instead live your life without her in it and most definitely find a new place to get a spray tan.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky “Advice With An Attitude” email 😉

I’m Going to Insta So Hard

Brace yourself because I’m attempting to become “Insta Famous.” This, for those of you truly blessed and more enlightened individuals who steer clear of social media, is when a non celebrity with a zero fan base proceeds to launch and build a career as a social media influencer.

The reason I’m doing this two-fold. One, I read an article about how advertisers are targeting the 50 plus female market with a vengeance. Once, largely ignored by advertisers because it’s the not in the sweet spot demo of 18 to 44, the 50 and over female buyer has proven to still be the deciding factor in most family purchases.  Plus, there’s a gold mine of products to market to this group from anti-aging “lifestyles” to health care. And this demographic loves social media. Basically, it’s ripe for influencers who no longer drive a mini van but still love a good hydrating lip balm.

The second reason is because being a social media influencer if you’re a woman usually means starting some sort of lifestyle blog and they are truly hysterical. My university’s alumni association recently highlighted some of these lifestyle bloggers and voracious Instagrammers and I went down that rabbit hole for hours.

Granted most of these women are young and their posts feature a plethora of pictures of their very attractive selfs in various outfits of the day with a lengthy description of their fashion choices and instructions on where you can “shop what they are wearing.”

There’s also usually some travel spread highlighting a pictorial of vacay outfits and the fashion is rounded out with fitness, decorating and/or cooking photos all with links to take you to the shopping sites where the blogger/Instagrammer gets a kickback.

Don’t make the mistake thinking I am making fun of these women.  I’m not. A lot of these “grammers” are making a significant chunk of change and to that I say, “Move over and let me in.”

There are though some significant hurdles in front of me. First, I don’t have an Instagram account. But, I did what any 50 plus woman would do. I had one of my children hook me up. Then there’s the issue of posting pictures of myself in outfits anybody would want to buy. That’s a real problem for multiple reasons starting with the fact that I hate having my picture taken. Add in that just the thought of looking good everyday in cute, new, clothing ensembles triggers my IBS.

Plus, I feel a certain moral obligation to keep it real. It’s one thing for an attractive 27-year-old woman to try to delude people who her life is perfect through the magic of Instagram filters but at my age it would be laughable. Plus, perfect is overrated. So, I’ve decided to enter the Instagram game with unvarnished reality.

So, behold the picture in front of you. This is my first lifestyle fashion post. I’m #nofilter because who wears make up when they’re about to work out? And the deeper issue is would you trust someone who wore makeup to work out? That pullover hoodie I’m styling, that makes me look like I just ate my living room love sofa, is some free swag my husband brought home from a meeting. As for those leggings well, I don’t think I have to tell you those came straight off a clearance rack because they’re about as flattering as that hoodie.

Do I care that look awful? No. What bothers is that I don’t have any shopping links to post to so I can make some sweet Insta coin. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure something out because Insta famous here I come. 😉

Look for me on Instagram and since I just started my account please share in the comment section any good/fun Insta accounts I should be following. Thanks!

Advice. I’ve Got It. Who Needs It?

A friend recently asked me what advice I gave my daughter right before she graduated high school. I laughed and said she wasn’t exactly into taking advice during that time period. She  had just turned 18 and was  battling the dreaded “know it all” disease. Basically, there’s no one dumber than the parent of an 18-year-old in the four months before they leave for college. My parenting style for last summer was the terminal eye roll.

I experienced this same thing with my son before he departed for his freshman year.  I call this period the “summer of hubris.” It’s the sweet spot when your kids are still being coddled by your tender loving care and yet think that because they’re on the brink of leaving the nest they’re geniuses about how the world works. (Never mind that they still lose their phone at least once a day. Sigh.)

This advice thing though did get me thinking about imparting some real-world wisdom. The kind that you won’t find in any book because it’s not that magical or even uplifting. It’s just hum drum common sense that every grown up should embrace. So, here’s five things that make my short list of “Hey, you’re legally an adult now so don’t be an idiot.”

  1. While waiting in line for 15 minutes to order food do be prepared to place your order when you get to the front and not act like you’ve never been to Panera (or a drive thru) before. Also, commit this to memory – a cup a soup is about half the size of a bowl.

2. Never ask a woman when her baby is due. I don’t care if it looks like she has a trio of beach balls stuffed under her shirt. Under no circumstances should you assume any woman is pregnant unless she readily volunteers the information. (Don’t ask me how I know, but I know, like really know.)

3. Be spatially aware. This seems to be a growing affliction where people assume that they are the single carbon life form inhabiting the planet and therefore have no compunction about physical space. Are the rest of us ghosts, phantom apparitions that you can walk through with no consequences? Short answer – no. Also, beware points of egress. A door or any entry way is not a place to park your personhood as you stare at your phone.

4. If you’re returning what amounts to wheelbarrow full of items you ordered on-line to a brick and mortar store on the weekend before December 25 for the love of Saint Nick have your receipt so the sales associate doesn’t have to physically enter, by hand, every piece of merchandise into the computer system thus ensuring your return takes about an hour (which in the Christmas time continuum feels like an entire day to the person behind you in line).

5. You’re not that special as in you’re not that special that anyone, not even your mother, wants to hear you’re one sided, long-winded cell phone convo in a public space. This is why texting was invented to keep people from having to hear you talk. Also, if any of my children ever has a conversation with their phone on speaker at an airport, grocery story or doctor’s office they should officially consider themselves disowned.

Of course, this list could go on and on, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned by being a parent for 22 years is that advice is best given in bite size chunks. Too much at one time tends to get ignored or forgotten and these five pearls of knowledge need to be committed to memory. 

Dear Snarky – The Teacher Returned Our Class Gift

Dear Snarky,

I’m super angry with my child’s teacher. For Valentine’s Day the moms went  all out and collected money for a really nice piece of jewelry from a popular retailer for my daughter’s 3rd grade teacher. The reason we did this is because the teacher is getting married soon and we thought this would be a nice Valentine’s Day and wedding gift from the class.

Well, come to find out from my sister who works at that store the teacher not only returned the necklace we got her but she was a huge, F bombing bitch, about it because she couldn’t get cash back. They would only give her a gift card because she didn’t have a receipt. According to my sister she even insulted the moms who picked out the necklace calling their taste – basic and low-class.

I’ve already told all the moms what happened and now we’re wondering if we should say something to the teacher.

 Signed, Insulted

 Dear Insulted,

 My advice is four words. KEEP. YOUR. MOUTH. SHUT.

Sure, it would be awesome to let the teacher know that you have Intel on what a boorish trog she was but after that thrill what do you have left? I’ll tell you – a kid that’s in her class for another three months. Talk about awkward.

I strongly urge you to not do that to your child. Instead learn a lesson from this. For the rest of your parenting career don’t get a teacher an expensive gift that’s very taste specific like jewelry. If you feel you must get a present go the gift card route. I also suggest the parents in your class skip the teacher appreciation and end of year gifts in favor of handwritten notes from your children highlighting the favorite things they’ve learned that year.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky “Advice With an Attitude” email me at 😉

Nailed It

Do you ever lay in bed at night and wonder where your day went? Then you mentally review what you did and experience a sense of shame that you spent an entire hour looking at something called fingernail art? Okay, maybe that’s just me.

Just to make it clear, before you judge me too harshly, technically I am looking at art and my voyeurism is more motivated imagining the person who had the patience to sit there for h-o-u-r-s so their nails would look like mini masterpieces with teeny-tiny pictures of everything from flowers to images that could qualify as nods to the Post-Impressionism movement. I find myself deeply pondering who has the fortitude to not only endure that level of manicure but to then not ruin it immediately afterward. Because that’s my M.O. – mani/pedi destroyer.

I have a long history of obliterating my nails before I even exit a salon. I don’t even bother to get my hands done anymore because apparently, I’m gifted in the “manicure messed up in ten seconds or less department.” In fact, years ago, I switched over to the pedicure only family thinking it’s a lot harder to ruin your toes than your hands. Well, lucky me because I also have talent in that arena. There’s at least a 50 percent chance that I will not make it to my car without damaging the polish on at least two toes.

The last time I got a pedicure I didn’t even make it out of the salon chair before the polish on three toes were smeared. I, a fully ambulatory woman, couldn’t vacate the salon chair without tripping and smooshing my toes. Meanwhile, an elderly woman, who walked with a cane, was more graceful, lithe even, in her chair departure than I was.

My daughter who was with me laughingly suggested that I just give up the whole mani/pedi experience. “At this point mom you’re just wasting your money.” Sadly, I think she’s right because it doesn’t matter how long I let my nails dry or how much UVA power the drying lamps possess I have issues leaving the salon with polish that is still intact.

At first, I thought my problem was the salon chairs. Those recliners with triple massage action are troublesome. First, the whole “massage” element feels less like a spa experience and more like you’re on a Southwest flight with an unruly five-year-old kicking the back of your seat. Then there’s the issue of exiting the chair which is elevated and usually very close to another chair.

I don’t think much thought was given to the point of egress for women with size 11 feet (Cautionary tale – I wore a size eight until I had two kids. Where’s that Mother’s Day card? Dear Mom, thanks for giving birth to us so your feet could grow by three sizes.) It’s almost impossible to get out of the chair without messing up the polish on at least your big toe.

The problem with that theory is that even when I do my nails at home and use copious amounts of nail polish drying spray, I still don’t escape with the polish on all 10 ten toes staying perfect.

Maybe I need to start a “no polish” movement. It would give me something to be self-righteous about this summer when everybody else is in full mani/pedi mode. Because instead of nail polish I will be wearing the color of “bare and don’t care.” This, I will tell polished toe women, means that by “letting my toe nails breathe” I’m practicing the ultimate in self-care. Only I will know that I’m cursed with the dreaded SPS – smooshed polish syndrome.


Be Careful – I’m Packing

If only going out-of-town didn’t require packing a suitcase.

I love traveling. I just hate packing for that travel. It’s not that I stink at packing. I like to think I’m pretty good at it. I know my way around the various Ziploc space saver bags and I’m up to date on all the packing hacks from how to roll, not fold your clothes for optimum luggage stuffing to condensing your cosmetics.

My problem is I loathe packing. In fact, I despise it so much that when I’m packing, I’m secretly thinking that I’d almost rather stay home than endure the agony of taking a 64-ounce shampoo bottle and squeezing it into a three-ounce container. The blame, like 100 percent of it, goes to my children and my husband.  Over the years this trio has managed to kill my suitcase mojo.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, ruins the packing experience like years spent packing for yourself and your kids. The best thing about my kids getting older wasn’t things like their ability to drive themselves to and fro it was that I never had to pack a suitcase for them ever again.

Because when they’re young not only are you packing a suitcase for each kid you’re packing a “go bag” of items required if anything goes wrong from medical emergencies (coughs, colds, flu, diarrhea, nausea, headache, earache, sore throat, and enough various sizes of band aids to cover the entire body of at least two family members) to food provisions that ranged from fruit to items with a shelf life that would take you through a doomsday scenario.

Then there’s the “backpack of fun” that each child needs jammed with things to keep them busy during the journey, so they don’t drive you or any fellow passengers bonkers. This means craft supplies, books, toy cars and dolls, miniature board games and of course electronic items and at least three back up chargers. Each trip we took more than 100 miles from our home required the skills of a packing Ninja, the Best Buy Geek Squad and a CDC medical specialist.

Meanwhile, my husband would throw some underwear, a pair of jeans and couple of shirts into a suitcase and ponder why it was, one, “taking me so long to pack?” And two, why was I complaining so much about it? Some days it’s a wonder that man is still alive. One year, I did throw a pair of shoes at him. They were kids’ Sesame Street flip-flops, so he got off easy.

Trust me when I tell you that if you go through all that enough times packing to leave town can make you jittery and cause feelings of intense anxiety. Never mind the worry that you’re going to forget something. And what’s up with that? I feel like that when I pack, I act like I’m never going to see a Super Target again. If you’re vacationing domestically and you’re not going off the grid there’s 100 percent chance, you’ll be able to buy whatever you left back at home fairly easily.

My packing phobia has also been known to affect my self-esteem especially when I see large families traveling with only one suitcase. Are they using witchcraft to get a family of seven’s clothes and assorted shampoos into one carry on? Are they privy to some secret space age cramming technology that allows you to shrink your items by 90 percent? It’s either that or the outfits they wore on the plane are the ones they’ll be styling their entire vacation.

One time at the Orlando airport I did ask a fellow mom how she got her family down to one carry on suitcase for her ENTIRE entourage. She gave me one of those condescending looks that moms use when they feel superior to you in both the parenting and intellectual arena and quipped, “We only stay at five-star resorts with laundry facilities.”

Because I didn’t like her la-di-da tone, at all, I shot back with, “Yes, because nothing says vacation like doing laundry,” and then I did a subtle hair flip. After that she dramatically shooed her family away from mine in the gate area. Her loss because I’m the person you’ll want to be close to in case of any travel emergency. I’ve got everything you’ll need from batteries to bacitracin.

Dear Snarky – Help, I Work With Slobs!

Dear Snarky,

I work for a super hip company that has no dress c0e76277b18840f2a65e83f12d2daecc4--office-humor-work-humorode and everyday I’m literally picking my jaw up from the floor when I see what people wear to work. There’s men and women with wet hair. There’s disgusting feet in flip-flops in the middle of winter. More than half of the work force looks like they’re wearing their pajamas and haven’t bathed in days. The smell is so ripe sometimes I feel nauseous. I like my job – a lot – so I need some advice in how to get past working with slobs.

 Signed, Grossed Out at the Office

Dear Grossed Out,

 Ugh, I feel your pain. Grooming is not what it used to be. I totally blame casual Friday which gave birth to no deodorant Monday and free-range foot fungus Thursday. Since you like your job your only recourse is to learn how to accept those things you cannot change.

There’s not a polite way to tell someone they reek nor; can you ask a co-worker to please consider wearing something other than their Star Wars pajama collection. All you can do is be beacon of sanity by continuing to dress like an adult and being a champion of showers, deodorant, and toothpaste.

Take heart some of this will rub off on your co-workers. Every office needs a leader and you, my friend, you hopefully guide others into the fabulous and exciting world of adulting.

P.S. in the meanwhile you can deal with the noxious office B.O. by putting Vick’s Vapor rub under your nostrils. It’s probably best you don’t ask me how I know this.

Wanted: A Career as a Professional “Namer”

I finally know what I want to do with my life. Yes, it took a while and most certainly my career meandered through many twists, turns, and some cavernous sink holes but today I’m going to share with you my true calling. It’s something so simple and yet so glorious I’m embarrassed it never occurred to me that I could do it and do it well. For you see, I’m embarking on a career as a “prénom.

A prénom is a person who names things (hence the French word for name) for a living from paint colors to weather crisis. Did I just make up that whole thing up in an attempt to launch myself into a new job that I’m not sure exists? Perhaps.

But before you roll your eyes let me make my case for the world’s urgent need for prénoms. All you have to do is look no further than when we were at the mercy of a polar vortex. Did you get sick of hearing that term over and over again while you prayed that your pipes wouldn’t burst and become basement water cannons? I’m going to vigorously assume that your answer is yes.

Wouldn’t it have been much more descriptive and catchier if the term polar vortex got some word accessories like “piercing polarthermia” and “below zero brutality.” Admit it both phrases are an upgrade from polar vortex. Just saying “piercing polarthermia” out loud makes me shiver and bonus points for the alliteration. I’m certain TV weather forecasters would embrace the term with gusto. Never mind, the meme gold mine the phrases would create.

Just think of all the bits and pieces of our daily existence that require names, especially in the home design trade. Every single one of us has looked at a paint chip and gone WTH? I’m currently looking at a Benjamin Moore paint chip that is called “Beau Green.” I have two solid take aways from this name. One, Benjamin Moore needs to hire me because two, “Beau Green” tells you nothing about what kind of green it is. A better name would be the “Color of the Pool Water at a Really Sketchy Motel.”

I’m going to bet that you immediately conjured up the correct color green. Not to brag, but that’s what they call a gift. Wallpaper names are just as bad. I almost bought wallpaper for my half bath called “Ebru.” After doing some research I discovered it means paper marbling in Turkish. But a better name would have been “Tree Trunk Under a Microscope.” Again, you’re totally seeing it, right?

Toilet names are an area that is crying for a prénom. Continuing on with my half bath theme I found one called “Empress Bouquet.” What does that even mean and why do I want that in my bathroom? With this toilet’s high-tech features and mega flush power, a more accurate name is “Plunge No More.” Right there, you know what you’re getting and who doesn’t want to retire their plunger?

Sink names are also ridiculous and so pretentious. I was gazing at farm-house sinks and the names all sound like surnames of the British aristocracy during Queen Victoria’s reign. There’s Alcott, Eton, Aldrich, and even a Grosvenor. What does that have to do with a sink? As a professional prénom I would have gone with “Martha Stewart’s Kitchen.” Again, the visual is instantaneous.

I don’t know who is naming all this stuff (and don’t get me started on the names of nail polish colors) but I feel someone with my skill is needed. Our lives are fast paced and confusing and the very least companies can do is attach a semblance of accuracy to their products names. Now excuse me while I go tweak my resume or what I, as a professional prénom, would call a “slightly exaggerated timeline of my talents.”


New Year’s Resolutions – File That Under Never Going to Happen

The first week of the new year is always irritating. You keep forgetting that it’s 2019 and you have to endure people’s social media proclamations what their New Year’s resolutions are. My favorite are the people who say their signing off from social media on social media (of course) usually with some long-winded statement about taking their life back and then a week later, in a surprise to no one, they’re on Facebook posting a cryptic statement, usually about politics, that ends with “I’ll just leave this right here.” Umm okay, crazy.

 I also hate it when people ask you what your New Year’s resolution is because apparently responding with “maintaining my trajectory of fabulousness” is not seen as a sincere answer. I don’t understand why people aren’t fine with that. Who wants to hear the truth that my goal is to remember where I hid two Christmas presents?

 I’m not kidding, I seriously couldn’t find two gifts. And it’s not because my brain is having a moment it’s because our cat is Satan and, in my effort, to keep the presents safe from Satan Claws, I had to become very creative in selecting a hiding place. Unfortunately, now I can’t remember that genius location.

 I realize when responding to queries about my New Year’s resolution I could go with the perennial favorite – lose weight but that’s so pedestrian and who really would believe it? Plus, lose weight has gotten a make-over. You now say you’re embracing a mission to “adapt a sustainable healthy lifestyle.”

 This I love because that phrase is open to a lot of interpretation especially the word sustainable. It gives you wiggle room to get away with a lot because for anything to be sustainable in my life, especially my sanity, chocolate is a must have.

 New Year’s resolutions are also a little creepy and invasive. I feel like changing a part of yourself or attempting to fix a flaw in your life should be something that is private. Like HIPAA or one of those for your eyes only top-secret “Mission Impossible” sequences. Although, psychologists say sharing a goal helps you achieve it. I guess I, sort of, buy that but humble braggers have taken over that whole goal share ideology to such an extent that I don’t want anything to do with it.

Is there anything more hilarious/eye rolling than people who share their resolutions as a way to fly their I”‘m awesome” flag? As in, “For 2019 I’ve set a goal that less is more. This year I’m vowing to right-size my life. Owning two vacation homes has certainly been fun for my family and so many wonderful memories were created in Aspen and Oahu but I’m now focusing on just one vacation home and maybe a Paris condo in an effort to embrace simplicity.” 

Yes, I just made that up but I’ve seen worse. My favorite is when they the over-the-top braggers finish their boast with “your thoughts and prayers are appreciated as I attempt to obtain this milestone.” Yeah, I’m praying for you alright. Praying that you get the gift of self-awareness in 2019. 

Humble braggers aside, just the act of making a New Year’s resolution can be exhausting. Some experts advise breaking your resolution up into “sub-tasks” and then doing an action plan to achieve each task by creating a color coded map. Hmm, am I the only one that got exhausted just reading that? Frankly, I checked out after the term sub-tasks and I don’t think there’s anything I want badly enough to create a color coded map for. 

That might make me sound lazy, but really it’s all about time management. Why waste time on something that’s probably never going to happen? Consider that my first deep thought for 2019.

Holiday Shopping Puzzlers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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