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.

A Dear Snarky Holiday Buffet

So many Christmas conundrums. So little time. In an attempt to help spread some holiday happiness I bring you a trio of letters. Let’s hope my answers deliver a soupçon of seasonal sanity to your family gatherings.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 10.12.49 AMDear Snarky,

My mother-in-law spoils my children and goes overboard with presents. I’ve told her to stop but she won’t listen to me. I don’t think I can handle another Christmas where she’s trying to one up my husband and I in the gift department.

 Signed, Present Overkill

Dear Overkill,

Calm yourself and count your blessings. It’s a grandmother’s prerogative and great joy to spoil her grandchildren. If your kids are drowning in presents, I suggest discreetly donating some of the goodies to charity after the first of the year. P.S. Quit looking so hard for something to get your nose out of joint about. There are parents out there that would be THRILLED for their kids’ grandparents to so much as send a card.

Dear Snarky,

My weirdo and single sister actually expects us to buy a gift for her dog. She says her dog is like her child and since she buys presents for my four kids all the time, we can get her dog something.

Signed, No Way

Dear No Way,

Umm, no way, I say, yes way. Drag yourself off of your high horse and go get your sister’s dog a $10 chew toy and get over yourself. Also, being a pet lover and a single doesn’t make you a weirdo. It probably makes you very happy.

Dear Snarky,

My in-laws make the whole family go to Midnight Mass and I think it ruins Christmas morning for my kids (ages 8 and 10) because they’re so tired the next day. How do I get this tradition to stop?

 Signed, Not a Fan 

Dear Not a Fan,

Grab some caffeine and accept this hard truth. Midnight Mass isn’t going anywhere, and you know where you’re going – uh huh, that’s right to Midnight Mass. So, suck it up, have your kids take a nap and deal with traditions that are older than you are.

*I hope your holidays are drama free BUT if they’re not you know where to send your letter. snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com 😉

Dear Snarky – Swim Team Drop Out Drama

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I recently let my 12-year son quit our huge neighborhood summer swim team. He’s a decent swimmer but he told me he hated waking up for 7 am practice and that it was “ruining his summer.” He quit a week before the first meet and I thought no big deal. It’s not like he was letting his team down by having one less “B” swimmer.

My problem is a couple of moms, with kids on the team, gave me serious crap about my son quitting. One even said he “needed to come to practice and apologize to his team.” WTH? Kids come and go all the time for vacations, summer camp, you name it.

What would you do to get these moms to back off?

Signed, Drowning

Dear Drowning,

These poor women must be bored beyond belief or high on chlorine fumes to insert themselves so forcefully into your business. Other sports parents may disagree with me BUT due to the volume of kids on the team and the fact that you quit before the first meet I’m going to have to say no harm, no foul. Plus, as a general rule, we don’t want our kids to be miserable all summer.

As for the mom who told you your kid needed to apologize to his teammates I would let her know in no uncertain terms that you require an apology from her. When she, visibly shocked, asks why, reply, “For involving yourself in my parenting choices and personal life.”

After delivering this line proudly walk away. Do not engage yourself in any kind of conversation or let this mom have a chance for a rebuttal.

Hopefully, your set down will start out as juicy poolside gossip and then grow into the stuff of legends. God, I love it when that happens.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com

 

 

Dear Snarky – Little League Survival Tips

dear_snarky_logoI get a lot a letters from parents about kid’s sports, but nothing has compared to the sheer volume of letters I’ve received this spring about Little League. 

Those of you who follow Snarky in the Suburbs on Facebook are aware of the “Drama of the Little League Jersey.” A mom wrote me because her son, through luck of the draw, had gotten a jersey with a #1 on it and another mom was so upset because her kid wanted that jersey that she complained to the coach and started badgering the mom.

I took the question about what should the mom do – give up the jersey to maintain peace on the team or stand firm on keeping it – to my Facebook page and I got more than 1,500 passionate responses. Most were to the tune of tell the whiny mom to get over herself.

Just in case you’re wondering that’s exactly what the mom did and guess what? The mom that so desperately wanted the #1 jersey for her kid quit the team!

 So based on that letter and the many others I’ve received I decided to do some Little League Survival Tips for Moms.

Tip 1: Think long-term. With practices and regular season games you are going to be sitting on the bleachers for at least 40 hours. Do you really want to spend all that time feeling uncomfortable because you chose to let something as silly as a jersey number upset you? My advice is before you decide to mix it up with the coaches and other parents make sure it’s worth it because you’re going to be spending a whole lot of time together in very close proximity.

Tip 2: Be Open to Change. So, your kid didn’t get on the team with all his friends from school. Instead of this being a downer think of it as a great opportunity for you. We all know this gives your child a chance to make new friends, but even better it opens up your social circle. It’s hard to make new friends when you get older. Really, who has the time? But with your child being on a new team this is a golden opportunity for you to bond with some new people. Some of the best friends I have right now are women I met through one of my daughter’s activities.

Tip 3: Don’t Let Your Practice Snack Define You. I know a lot of you are thinking – huh? But here’s the deal – Don’t be the mom who gets her baseball pants in a twist over snacks. (Warning: I am not talking about food allergies. I know those are life threatening and should be handled with the utmost of care and consideration.) There’s always one mom, on every team, who turns something as innocuous as a team treat into a Snack Smackdown.

If you are opposed to the dozen doughnuts decorated to look like baseballs that a mom has brought for a 7th inning nosh quietly tell your kid to say no thank you. DO NOT launch into a “This is why kids are obese” tirade or start listing the trans fats, red dye #2, carbs and calorie count. Your family’s nutritional intake is your own private business so let’s keep it that way.

Tip 4: Be Nice to the Coach. If you’re one of those moms that always thinks her kid gets the worst coach ever be proactive and sign up to be a coach or assistant. If you can’t do that then I suggest keeping your criticisms silent or at least tempering them with some positive thoughts. Other parents and Karma will thank you.

Tip 5: The Worst Team Maybe the Best Team. Don’t be upset because your kid, in your opinion, is on the worst team get over it and rejoice.There are a lot of pluses about being on a bad team. If your kid is half way decent he or she will get loads of playing time, learn a whole bunch of valuable lessons that only losing can teach you and in the words of one veteran Little League mom it frees up most of your summer and cash. If you kid’s team wins there goes your vacation because of play-offs and championship game schedules. Instead of being at a beach say hello to riding the bleachers in Topeka.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com

Cheer Mama Drama

51b6aa786d507f5d7f172fd53578d800Dear Snarky,

I’m a mom to a 14-year-old daughter. High school cheerleading tryouts are in two weeks and it’s ruining my relationship with someone I thought was my best friend.

We both have daughters trying out for cheerleader and since the after school tryout camp began last week she’s not even talking to me. I’ve called and texted her and she won’t respond. It’s like our friendship has been put on hold until she finds out if her daughter made cheerleader.

Should I continue to reach out to her, confront her or just take her behavior as a sign that she never was a real friend? 

Signed, Cheerless

Dear Cheerless,

Too bad you can’t give this mom a herkie to the head. I’ll never understand grown women who get emotionally vested, to the point of what I think is a psychotic break, in their children’s extracurricular activities. That said, I’m from Texas so I know how seriously moms take cheerleading BUT freezing out a friend during the tryout process is immature which is why you probably feel like you want to flip her the bird or worse.

Resist that urge and take the high road. Yes, it stinks doing that and I know at times it may seem like you’re the only person on that road, but do it because here’s the perfect situation for you to role model to your daughter. By staying polite and friendly you are showing your child what a grown up acts like.

This doesn’t mean that you have to maintain your “bestie” friendship with this mom. It just means you have to act your age and that’s a cheer I think we can all get behind.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com

50 Shades of Shut Up

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I have a group of married mom friends that make me blush. I’m no prude but they talk about their love lives all the time. What happened to keeping this kind of stuff private? Do you have any suggestions on how I can get them to quit with the over sharing?

Signed, My Ears Are Burning

Dear Ears,

I’m right there with you. I’d rather hear about someone’s colonoscopy than their love life. Yuck. I kind of, sort of, blame the whole 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon where it gave everyone permission to bring on the TMI. And about that TMI, my theory is the more someone talks about it the less someone is getting it – if you know what I mean. Seriously, if everything I’ve heard is to be believed then a significant portion of the middle-aged, female population is very, very, limber.

The way I see it you have 3 options.

Option 1 – Just zone out when your friends go into their adventures in bedroom land and think about your To Do list or chocolate cake which is always my zone out go to.

Option 2 –Call them out on their carnal fibbing.

Or Option 3 –  Which I think is much more fun. Make up some outlandish story that puts theirs to shame and I would suggest at least one time while telling the story to lick your lips, slowly, very slowly. This should shut them up at least for a while and give you a really good laugh.

If you have questions for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com 

Dear Snarky – Halloween Q & A

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Due to the volume of Halloween help letters I received this week I’m going to do something a little different – I call it Speed Snarky.  Five letters, five rapid fire answers
 
Dear Snarky, I’m a tired mother of 6 month old twins. I want to go to my neighbor’s Halloween party but the invite says – Costume Required. Ugh. Who has time to put together a costume?
 
That’s an easy fix. Just go as yourself, no make up, maybe some comfy sweats and wear this name tag; Hello, my name is Exhausted.  Trust me, any mom at the party will understand.
 
Dear Snarky, My son’s school has a no candy or sweets policy for their classroom Halloween parties. We’re supposed to bring vegetables, fruits and cheese! I want to sneak in candy or at least some Rice Krispy Squares. Do I dare?
 
No, you do not dare. I have your back on wanting to share some magical, sugary goodness with the kids but you must comply with school policy. As much as you disagree with it don’t be the mom who thinks she’s too cool to follow the rules. 
 
Dear Snarky, I want my kids to go trick or treating but our church is having a Halloween alternative called a Happy Harvest Festival. I’m afraid to do both because I don’t want the members of my church to be mad at me.
 
If you want to go trick or treating do it! If you go to a church where you’re afraid – change churches.
 
Dear Snarky, I’m a nutritionist at a local children’s hospital and I feel conflicted about handing out candy. Do you think it’s okay to give pencils?
 
Well, you won’t be the favorite neighbor, but go ahead and do what you gotta do. I’d at least check into buying those little cans of play dough. There’s nothing less fun then getting a pencil in your Trick or Treat basket.
 
Dear Snarky, What age do you think is too old to trick or treat?
 
Unless you’re escorting younger siblings my rule is once you’re in high school your trick or treating days are officially over. Also in a survey I did on my Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page 13 was the average age most moms said they made their kids retire the candy bag. Nothing irks me more than teenagers who can drive and vote showing up at my house, not even bothering to wear a costume, and asking for candy. Yeah, to that I just say no can do.
 
 
*If you have questions for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on the Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page.


Dear Snarky – Did I over complain at my kids school?

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Dear Snarky,

My twins have just started the first grade. I love their school but I do have a couple of issues with things like school pick up and drop off, homework assignments and the cafeteria. I have shared my areas of concerns via email and in person to both of my kids teachers and the principal. All three of them were very receptive to my complaints and seemed like they were glad that I brought the problems to their attention BUT now I get the feeling they are all avoiding me. Did I make a mistake?

Signed, Evelyn

Dear Evelyn,

You didn’t actually make a mistake. I would call it more of a misstep in prioritizing. It’s never wrong for a parent to express their thoughts over problems they see at school, but I’m afraid your zeal in pointing out your many “areas of concern” less than 22 days into the new school year might have you tagged as just the tiniest  bit of a high maintenance whiner.

Here’s the deal, the school year is nine months long and like in parenting and marriage you’re going to have to pick your battles. If you’re complaining about everything you’ll get nothing. Prune your grievance list down to the issues that most impact your kids and pace yourself. There are only three times you can really just let it rip about everything that’s bugging you – I’m talking waving that mom freak flag with wild abandon and that’s when your youngest child is in their last year of elementary school, middle school and high school. Those three years you are good to go in sharing your opinion about everything because you’ll never have a child at any of those schools again and that means you’ve got nothing to lose. Who cares if the entire school staff hates you – you’re outta there!

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com.

Dear Snarky – I Hate My Family Reunion

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Dear Snarky,

Do you any advice on how to gracefully get out of attending Family Reunions? Last summer I was guilted into going to five! It was miserable and in my opinion a complete waste of time. I’d say most of the people at the reunions didn’t even know me or my family. So, really what’s the point?

Signed, Not My Idea of a Good Time

Dear Not My Idea of a Good Time,

Reunions are a combination of an I.R.S. audit and being a contestant in a beauty pageant. You get a financial shake down by virtual strangers and your appearance is judged by people who still wear baby blue eye shadow. Not usually the stuff of great times. Sure, some families have their reunions at Disneyworld or the beach?  You get their Christmas cards or see their Facebook posts with everyone decked out in white linen shirts (with just the slightest hint of a wrinkle) that shows off their sun-kissed skin with the sapphire blue rolling waves behind them as an ocean breeze gently tosses their hair. Unfortunately, most of us go to reunions held in musty fellowship halls or swamp adjacent mosquito enriched picnic areas.

My advice is that you put your family on a reunion rotation schedule. Go to one reunion a summer and be firm with your mother, grandma, and great aunts that that’s all you’ll be attending. Anyone can handle  one reunion a year – right? It might not be a blast, but seeing your extended family is full of life lessons. For example, my husband’s family reunion serves as a scared straight program for my kids. They can see what the future holds when you give in to the pull of the dark side of your gene pool, barely graduate high school and think a toothpick is a fashion accessory.

So grab your bug spray, make your best covered dish recipe, and smile. You’re only doing this one time a year.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky message me on Facebook at Snarky In the Suburbs or email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com

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