Dear Snarky – My Cousin Went on Facebook and Posted Lies About Our Family

Dear Snarky,

My family has recently been devastated by a family member. After what I thought was a very nice Thanksgiving that included 31 members of our family from a great grandmother to nieces and nephews my cousin went on Facebook and wrote a disgusting post about how awful our family is.

She went off on just about everybody including kids. In my case she used my name and my kids’ names and said that I was a “mean girl raising mean girls.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough her post got a lot of likes and sad faces and even my high school math teacher from way back in the day gave it a sad face.

It has taken everything I have not to go on Facebook and comment and defend my family. I want too so bad. I’ve been going back and forth over what to do because it feels wrong to let her say these things without my family defending themselves especially when it comes to the kids.

Signed, Furious

Dear Furious,

To begin let me congratulate you on not losing your mind as soon as your cousin posted about your kids on social media. That took major self-control.

Now let me also share that my advice is going to be skewed because I don’t know anything about your family. You could be the best family in the world or horrible. I’m going to go with that your family is average. This means flawed with a crazy member or two or three.

My recommendation is that you do your family due diligence and get some relatives to meet with this cousin and try to decipher what’s hurting her because her Facebook post could be a cry for help.

After that is done I would let your cousin knew that writing about anyone’s child on social media is basically game over for your relationship.

I would then be prepared for your cousin to go back on social media and post some long, rambling diatribe about how her family tried to silence her. Because here’s the deal – your cousin craves attention, Facebook provides it. She’s probably not going to stop posting.

You also need to realize those likes and sad faces she’s getting are because when people see train wrecks on social media they feel uncomfortable so the easiest thing to do is the sad face.

Don’t fall into her social media pit of cray cray. You need to block her and move on. I’m going to say that again – BLOCK AND MOVE ON. You’re not going to stop her and to engage with her on Facebook is just going to create more fireworks.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

Instafamous

Back in the day if you wanted your child to be a star chances are you had to pull a Jed Clampett and tell yourself “Californy is the place you ought to be.” (Sorry for that Beverly Hillbillies throwback.) Now, there’s another way to reach the masses with your kid’s talent without ever having to leave home – social media.

There are legions of parents out there who are ambitiously dedicated to making their children “instafamous.” This term is derived from the Instagram app and to be instafamous is to have hordes of followers on social media.

Usually an aspiring instafamous kid has a social media account “managed by their mother” and features lots, I mean like, thousands of photos of the child. When you’re scrolling through Instagram or Facebook you know when you see pictures of a kid that feature an otherworldly, soft focus glow from the use of the Mayfair filter (because studies show that photos using the Mayfair filter get the most likes) and seem most certainly photoshopped that this child is probably on the instafamous track.

(I’m now going on the record as saying that if you’re parent that believes the natural beauty of your child isn’t good enough so therefore you feel compelled to photoshop, blur and enhance the image of your four-year-old you have problems and need to immediately seek professional help.)

I admit to being bewildered by parents who shamelessly court followers for their children on social media. Is there an upside? I mean how is your darling cherub ever going to usurp a celebrity’s kids in likes and follows? And what’s the end game besides people thinking you’re crazy?

Yes, crazy because everyone knows that for the most part getting your kid instafamous is more about you and your ego issues than your eight-year-old giving a flip about whether or not the last photo you posted exceeded 1K in likes.

My daughter is a competitive dancer (think athlete + artist) and that world seems to breed mothers who are intent on gaining instafamous status for their child. For one thing it’s easy – you’ve got loads of impressive dance pics of your kid and there’s enough going on in the dance world from Dance Moms to So You Think You Can Dance Kids to buoy a parent’s hope that their child could be the next big thing. There’s also the lure of getting a dance apparel contract for your child, which seems to be predicted on social media followers and is step one in the “I Want My Kid To Be A Star” handbook.

What scares and confounds me is that these parents seem to be oblivious or choose to ignore the frightening fact that a lot of social media love comes from creeps. One dance studio in Kansas had a huge security concern after some zealous wanna be instafamous moms hustled their kids so much that “strange men” starting lurking outside the dance studio. And a young dancer “who made it” has mega fans like a prison inmate who has the child’s likeness tattooed on his face.

We live in a hyper vigilant society where we won’t let our kids play outside in their own yard or ride their bikes around the cul-de-sac without an adult present. People freak out and call the police when they see a child walking home from school alone. So, I’m perplexed how there can there be such a huge disconnect for some parents who wouldn’t let their kid run down the street to the neighbors but are actively wooing and inviting the worst of humanity into their child’s life via social media.

Is another Instagram follower worth it? You can’t Mayfair filter or photoshop the ugly out of that question.

Dear Snarky – A Teenage Girl VS Her Dad’s Girlfriend in a Social Media Smackdown

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 I’m getting a lot of pressure to force my 17-year-old daughter to apologize for something she did on social media. The problem is I don’t think she did anything wrong and I want to high-five her and take her out for lunch and shopping.

 Here’s what happened. My loser of an ex husband’s girlfriend went on Facebook and as a status update asked my daughter, who can’t stand her, want she wanted for Christmas.  My daughter replied, “to turn back time and have you not sleep with married men.”

 For background purposes my husband and I were still married when he began seeing this woman and after our divorce my ex pressured my daughter to accept his girlfriend’s friend request.

 Well, you can imagine how things hit the fan after my child posted that statement. To make matters worse the slimy girlfriend was off Facebook for hours and didn’t see my child’s reply so that meant it was up for a while and got a lot of responses. Some were not very kind to the girlfriend who had told many people that my husband was separated when they began dating.

 Now, my ex wants our daughter to post an apology on Facebook for hurting his girlfriend’s feelings. I told him she shouldn’t have to apologize for telling the truth.

 What do you think Snarky?

 Signed, Proud Mama

 Dear Proud,

 Your husband’s girlfriend is a fool! Primarily because she should not have asked your daughter on a social media forum what she wanted for Christmas. Was she trying to show off and pretend that she and your daughter were BFF’s? It makes no sense. Good Lord, she could have at the very least communicated via private Facebook message. Also she must not know how a teenage girl’s mind works because I’d rather wrestle a rabid Grizzly than go head-to-head with an emotional 17-year-old who is working through very raw feelings about her parent’s divorce.

 As for having your daughter issue an apology on social media – worst idea ever!!!  It’s just going to stir things up again in a big way. Tell your ex he needs to let it go and in the future if his girlfriend wants to communicate with your daughter than she can deliver her message either in person or via your ex husband. 

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky, “21st Century Advice With An Attitude” email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or send me a PM on the Snarky FB page. 😉

Dear Snarky – Help! Politics Has Hijacked My Facebook Page


Dear Snarky,
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 Please tell me what the proper recourse is for dealing with people who clog up Facebook with their political rants. I used to love Facebook and seeing pictures of my friends and their kids. Now the ratio is like one cute pic to 50 presidential rants. It’s driving me crazy! I can’t wait for this election to be over.

 Signed, Sick of politics

Dear Sick,

 I feel your pain. A couple of weeks ago I went on a de-friending spree which was surprisingly very, very satisfying.

Yes, I get it if you’re a passionate person who likes to post 100 times a day about the election, but once you cross that bridge into vicious hate filled spewing you’re gone. I don’t care how cute those cat memes are you used to post.

 Here’s what I suggest. You can edit your newsfeed by clicking on the little arrow to the right hand side of every post and you’ll see a “hide post” which will clean up your feed to “see fewer post like this.”

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-7-56-12-am If that doesn’t help you can opt to “unfollow” which means you stop seeing posts but stay friends. I call this the “Southern Manners” maneuver. It’s like when my mother would call someone darling, but what she really meant was dumb ass.

And then there’s the nuclear option where you can go to the page of the person in question and click “unfriend.”

 I also want to alert you to fact that once the election ends in no way is Facebook going to be magically restored to unicorns and rainbows. Immediately after the votes are counted some peeps whose candidate lost will go on a “the world is ending” binge and then after the January inauguration you’ll see posts about Satan, aliens, the dark lord of the galaxy etc – being spotted in the oval office. I wouldn’t give Facebook the “all clear” until probably Valentine’s Day.

 So, you can either edit your newsfeed, take a couple of months vacay from social media or do nothing and just hold your nose while you’re scrolling down through your page.

* If you have a question for Dear Snarky – “21st Century Advice With an Attitude” email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on my Snarky FB page. 😉

Crock-Pot Selfie

1347476657304_151538It’s the day I thought would never come. Something so miraculous has happened to me that a week later I’m still giddy. I, with chest thumping pride, can now report that I no longer have the lamest phone in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

Just how lame was my phone you ask?

Not only was it so old that no business entity or craft fair would deign to manufacture or crochet a phone cover, but the AT&T store employees at first passed my phone around with wonder like it was a unicorn. Quickly that thrill was gone and I noticed they had fear in their eyes. I knew what they were thinking. I had seen that look before. When anyone under 25 would gaze at my phone they’d freak out a little.

My best guess is that my outdated phone probed their greatest inner fear — that one day a Pacman-like virus would appear and gobble up advanced technology, taking us all back to the flip phone and texting through mashing a button multiple times. Remember when if you wanted a Y you had to really go for it and click the 9 on your phone three times? Well, I was this close to living that life.

Thanks to my children, who staged an intervention and literally marched me into an AT&T store, I’ve got the latest and greatest in cellular technology (which means by the time you read this my phone will already need six software updates). I thought I would be thrilled with having a phone that was cool. At first I was, thanks to being introduced to the world of 1,000 different emojis. I had been emoji-free my entire life and now that I can send a happy-face-with-sunglasses text, well, it changed me. It spoke to my very soul. Who needs the alphabet to communicate when you can talk via panda emoji?

The downside of the phone is having all the social media apps on it. Yuck. I’ve hit the social media wall. I avoid Facebook during a presidential election year. I’ve got a hunch that when people write about politics they think it makes them sound smart. Sadly, the opposite is usually true. I miss the days when people would just stick a sign in their yard and call it a day.

As for Twitter, something’s wrong with my feed. I don’t know what happened, but slow cooker recipes are all I ever see. It’s not like I haven’t “followed” cool stuff like the Royals, but I never see those tweets. For some reason my account has been algorithmed to show only recipes where your food languishes in a hot tub for a six hours.

I just checked it right now and the first nine things on are it, yep, you guessed it: Crock-Pot crap. I saw a recipe for Crock-Pot Coca-Cola lamb stew. Excuse me for a minute while I go brush my teeth because I threw up in my mouth a little bit. And there was also a Crock-Pot cake tweet. Who makes a cake in a Crock-Pot? Like it’s so much harder to dump the batter in a pan and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes. And don’t get me started on cooking oatmeal in a Crock-Pot. Yes, let’s take something you can make in under 60 seconds with boiling water and stretch out that process to eight hours.

Plus, and here’s something hard-core Crock-Potians never talk about, Crock-Pots can be a huge pain to clean. All that leisurely slow cooking creates a crust of baked-on food residue that remains forever stalwartly clinging to the ceramic base. I don’t care if you lube up your Crock-Pot with enough aerosol vegetable cooking spray that it makes the Exxon Valdez oil spill look like a minor leak — you’re still not going to be able to wipe that thing clean.

Heed this warning: Do not make mac and cheese in a Crock-Pot. I’m pretty sure I got carpal tunnel’s from all the scrubbing it took. I’m talking 30 minutes and six SOS pads to get my Crock-Pot sort of clean and that was after soaking it overnight.

With my new phone I could even have taken a selfie with multiple sad-face emojis or done a snapchat while I was scouring my slow cooker. But, here’s the deal: Now that I’ve got this fancy phone, if you ever see me in a #crockpotselfie, please assume I’m being held against my will and do all you can to stage a dramatic rescue. I suggest using the Trader Joe’s parking lot as a command post.

In fact, bring your Crock-Pots. If you have ever used them to cook oatmeal or mac and cheese, they’ll fit the criteria for WMD’s and that means you can really scare my captors into a speedy hostage release.


 

Ache Free

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Last week, I got a bruising social media beat down and not by discussing politics or religion. Oh no, this was a subject infinitely more volatile: motherhood. All it took was two words, one syllable each, to cause a firestorm.

A friend from back in the day had linked to a post a woman had written about her kids getting older and how she ached, painfully — desperately ached — for the days when they were babies. So, as you can guess, many moms were writing ooey gooey prose in the comment bar on Facebook about how they also ached for those baby days. The smells, the smiles, the spit up.

I, on the other hand, wrote my two words. Ache free.

Well, well, well, say hello to a blistering rebuttal of mom hate. Those two words give birth to a firestorm of comments on how I must suck at being a mother because I don’t ache to climb into a maternal time machine and re-live sleep deprivation and sore nipples.

At first, I was all “Holy crap” at the outrage and then I thought to myself let’s do this! Let’s really mix it up! They want ache. I’ll give them an ache right in the old backside. My first course of action was do what I would call a social media airstrike. One ridiculously, outrageous comment to take down (tick off) many. So I posted this: “Maybe I’m not aching because I’m proud of my children and parenting skills and don’t feel the need to go back in time to correct my mistakes.” Talk about a direct hit! The fallout was nuclear winter in it’s intensity. The angry, the hostility, the rage!

Then I focused on the most pompous targets. The most delicious was tweaking the “friend” that posted the ache link. You would have thought she was still clutching her now teenage children to her breast in an XL, steel reinforced, Baby Bjorn. Oh, how she went on and on about the halcyon baby days with her “precious munchkins.”

I have no problem with that. Every mother should look back fondly at those times. What did irk me was that she led the charge in leveling mom hate towards me when all I did was post – ache free. This woman called me a “baby hater” and then went all stabby with the statement that by being ache free I was a bad mother AND she felt “sorry for my children.”

Really? She felt sorry for my children because I don’t want them back in diapers. And this was from a women who had a skill, no, make that a talent, for eagerly leaving her children with other mothers. She’s the one who would invite her child over to your house for a playdate and then forget to pick them up for the next 16 hours. That’s why I had zero problems with posting this:  “@dmj I get why you’re aching. It’s probably guilt festering from 2003 when you petitioned the church to change their mother’s day out rules to accept babies at younger than six weeks so you could have more ‘me’ time.”

That’s right. I wrote that. Yes, it’s horrible but factual and I was thinking of the greater good. Someone needed to call these women out on their mom on mom hate campaign even if it was me adding lighter fluid to whole hot mess. This is what I don’t get – we’re all on this journey together so why do mothers feel the need to keep a constant vigil scanning the horizon for any chance to bring another mother down? Are we that insecure? I sure hope not.

Oh, and do you want to know why I typed ache free? It’s because as the mother of two teenagers every so often, I, get the briefest of glimpses, of what my children might be like as adults and it’s thrilling. More exciting than when they started sleeping through the night or took those first wobbly steps. These nano second glances into their future makes me not only ache free but joyous for what they might someday offer the world.

cover_1.3-2 *Attention 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! 🙂

Decoding The Gratitude Posts

1385804_646492132039328_467233133_nI used to like the month of November. It was a low pressure month. Sure, there’s the whole cooking a gargantuan meal that will take you two days to prepare and be consumed in under 15 minutes because a football game is starting but besides that your only really “must do” is help your kid’s clean out their Halloween candy baskets.

Now November has been ruined. It’s become the show off month. 30 days of “look at me, look at me” where the boastful pummel social media with a flurry of blustery prose disguised as gratitude posts. In an attempt to decipher what all this “gratitude” really means I’ve done extensive research analyzing these posts and have been able to discern through a complex matrix of psychological and environmental evaluations a code to help you translate what the gratitude poster is really saying.

The “I am thankful for such a loving and supportive spouse”: The spouse post usually kicks off the gratitude season and you can expect to see at least five spousal related posts in November – each one getting mushier and/or making the reader feel more uncomfortable as the month progresses. The serial “I love my spouse” poster is usually motivated by one of three emotions or a combination there of 1) He/She is having conflicted feelings about the old ball and chain and hopes that the act of proclaiming how much they love their spouse just might make it so. 2) He/She feels guilty about something related to the marriage and uses the gratitude posts as a way to minimize their shame. In the scientific community we call this the “eraser effect” and find the more heinous the spousal guilt the more lovey dovey the posts as if the person is attempting to expunge their marital malfeasance by an inordinate amount of Facebook/Twitter hugs and kisses. 3) He/She is married to a self-esteemed challenged individual and to keep crying jags and pharmaceutical usage to a minimum must constantly be cooing and wooing their lesser half on the social media stage.

The Hallelujah poster:  The repeat “I love Jesus” gratituder is trying to let us all know that they not only attend church, but are leaders of at least two bible studies, co-teachers of Sunday morning worship lessons, sing in the choir, and are a guiding member of the Spiritual Formation Committee. What they don’t want you to know is that they have a “Shades of Gray” level crush on their minister, work the sanctuary like a Walmart greeter because they need to up their Arbonne sales figures and use church as a socially acceptable way to escape their family.

The “I love my family” gusher:  This continuous stream of familial praise is often a disguise for less than stellar happenings on the home front. In fact, our research shows that the more grandiose the gratitudish compliments, specifically pertaining to teenage sons and daughters, the more likely the chance that child has recently been suspended from school or has a court appearance in their near future.  Any use of a “click here if you love your son or daughter” post on Facebook increases the likely hood of an impending court date to 95%.

The Traveloguer: This poster uses November as an opportunity to share their vacation pictures (again) on social media. The gratitude posts usually go something like this: “I am so grateful for my family’s opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures.” No matter that they went to Disneyworld because there’s Epcot and that counts – right? Each day is a new thankful vacay ditty accompanied by no less than four pictures. A psychological profile of this type of poster reveals a deep-seated need to justify the cost of their vacation by forcing themselves and “friends” to re-live the “good times” every month.

The “I’m Rich in So Many Ways” list maker:  This gratitude post is really a list better suited to share with an insurance company and/or police department in case of a robbery or home invasion. The poster with methodical precision takes you on a tour of their possessions from their 7,500 square foot Mediterranean style home complete with wine cellar to their “I am so thankful for my amazing closet with a Swarovski crystal chandelier and designer handbag cubbies.” What the poster is really grateful for is that the bank has given the family one more month to get up to date on their mortgage. The poster is also honing his/her skills writing product descriptions just in case an Ebay auction of a “few non-essential personal items” is needed.

The Selfie: Beware of this gratituder. Research shows the Selfie possesses an attitude disorder called “Oversharing Dysmorphia” or in layman’s terms “I’m 45 but still hot. Here are the pictures to prove it.” This disorder is known to affect both the male and female of the species. It usually manifests itself in a series of selfies accompanied by a compliment lamely disguised as a gratitude post as in, “I am soooo thankful for my trainer because he helped me get this amazing set of 6 pack abs! oxoxoxo” Mental health care professionals advise that you delete or hide the “Selfie” during November in order to minimize your own anger management issues.

The All in One:  Slowly back away from your computer screen, tablet or smart phone if you encounter the All in One. They are armed and dangerous and have been known to inflict brutal pain and suffering to your visual cortex and are so infused with their own B.S. and deeply hidden (like core of the earth deep) self loathing they could implode at any moment. The All in One is the gratitude poster who has the gift of employing all six aforementioned poster traits in one status update as in – “I am beyond grateful for the eternal blessings of the Lord who daily smiles on me and my wonderful, handsome, triathlete husband who is such an awesome 7 figure provider for our family. Everyday I give thanks for our gated community of million dollar plus homes and my amazing twins who have attended four different private Christian high schools and now are doing mission work by enrolling in the local public alternative school. I rejoice and give glory to my maker and trainer (LOL) that at age 46 I still get mistaken for 25. If you don’t believe me here’s a vacation photo from our summer home in Hawaii. P.S. So not photoshopped. #nofilter. Is God good or what?”

Now that you’re armed with this scientific data go forth and enjoy the November cornucopia of social media and be grateful for your new found skills of deciphering the gratitude code.

**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. 

 

Bible Verse Throw Down

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I’ve had a busy month being evil.

I’m talking going straight to the burning pits of hell kind of evil where you’re forced to get a bikini wax every hour whether you need one or not. Of course it’s totally not my fault.

It’s my job’s fault. My current work assignment is researching and writing a neighborhood safety guide. Talk about a mind numbing snoozer. And who needs a freaking guide? The whole thing can be summed up in two sentences: Hey, you fools in the burbs practice some common sense. Don’t leave your keys in your car and lock your wrought iron, faux, French country, mahogany enriched front door.

Oh, if only it were that simple, but no I have to drag that information out to create a guide. This dull, boresville, task led me to fall back on my greatest talent – the ability to waste time. Before anyone who works in human resources gets all high and mighty about my “goofing off” during company hours. Relax your ass. I get paid by assignment not how many hours I work. So the only one I’m hurting is myself.

That said, I would sit down at my computer with the best of intentions, but ultimately would get side tracked by Satan’s earth-bound flunkey – Facebook. It was while I was simultaneously checking my newsfeed and looking at shoes on Zappos that I noticed a decided upswing in the number of bible verses being posted by my “friends.”

Now, I’m from the South and went to Baylor so as you can imagine my newsfeed is thick with bible verses. Some days it’s like I’m on the Christian Mingle version of Facebook. Upon further research I discovered that it was two women, who each live in the same town, that were posting a bible verse approximately every two hours. This made me curious so I dug deeper and starting lining up their bible verses. That’s when I got a snarky tingle that started at the base of my spine and worked it’s way to the “Oh no you didn’t” part of my brain because holy crap from the looks of it these two middle-aged moms were bitch-slapping each other with the bible.

Hallelujah!

To confirm my theory I went archival. I sorted through their home pages and discovered what I believed to be the source of the friction. As with most mothers the falling out seemed to be over children. Their Facebook pictures told the story. Each mother has a 15-year-old daughter. The girls both went to the same high school. Back in April both moms had posted about being “So excited for cheerleader tryouts!” 🙂

Scroll down to July and one mother’s page was filled with photos of her daughter at summer cheer camp. The other mom’s page was not AND right about the time the cheer camp photos started popping up is when the non-cheer mom began the first barrage of bible verses. She went Old Testament and it was brutal. Each verse was accompanied by a cryptic personal message.

So proud of my daughter and her values! She would never cheat to get ahead. That’s something for this mom to c-h-e-e-r about.

Proverbs 20:10 “The Lord hates both these things: dishonest weights and dishonest measures.” 

Right after that the cheer mom Proverbs right back.

Proverbs 12:22, KJV Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

And then it was off to the races. Each mom would volley back a bible verse that in some way was a put down to the other mother and her family. From reading between the bible verses I surmised that the non-cheer mom thinks that the cheer mom’s daughter cheated to make cheerleader and that the mom helped her daughter cheat. At first Proverbs got a nice little workout. It seemed to be the non-cheer mom’s favorite go to book of the bible. She even made this verse her Facebook cover photo.

Proverbs 29:27 “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.”

The cheer mom though was no slacker. She didn’t fear going to that scary place – Revelation.

Rev 21:8 All liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to get involved. Wouldn’t you? It’s just too delicious and way better than writing about McGruff the Crime Dog. So, I used my time when I should have been working to invent bible verses and then take those fake verses and share them on each woman’s Facebook page. The women would then use my faux verses in their status updates skirmishes.

Why did I do this?

No, it’s not because I’m mentally unbalanced, well, truth be told that could be some of the reason. But the real reason is I did it as an act of evangelism. Yeah, that’s right I did it for God. Because, although, I’m not a biblical scholar I don’t think the Lord Almighty meant for his Good Book to be used in a bible verse, bitch slapping, battle between two bitter moms.

Now, you might think it’s hard to invent bible verses but I found that if you put a thou or some old-fashioned word in a sentence you were pretty much good to go. I also started out attributing my bible verses to the Book of Zephaniah because I Googled “least quoted book of the bible” and that’s what popped up.

This was one of my made up favorites and the non-cheer mom loved it! Even better when she put it as her status update it got 57 likes.

Zephaniah 1:19 A mother who lies passes thou sin to the daughter who the almighty will curse 1,0000 times over till hell becomes the descendants burial grounds. 

Then I started feeling guilty, like God might smite me or something for incorrectly using the book of Zephaniah. So, I began making up my own books of the bible. I thought I would get busted for this as soon as I posted it on Facebook. As I said I went to Baylor and you have to take a semester each of Old and New Testament religion that are ridiculously hard. So, hard I took my religion classes at McLennan County Community College because I didn’t want the bible to make me cry or lower my GPA.

Plus if you judge my Facebook associates by their posts a lot of my “friends” considered themselves very devout and righteous individuals. I assumed they would know their bible. They did not. I was going on week three of posting gems like this:

Hermesian 4:29 “A daughter’s reflection should be of the Lord and not of her mother who is rife with deceit.”

FYI – It got more than 100 likes. (Yeah me!)

It wasn’t until last night that I got outed by my husband of all people. He went to the University of Texas so we all know that makes him 97% heathen. I was stunned he knew even one book of the bible. He rarely gets on Facebook, but just happened to be scrolling down his newsfeed and saw one of my “bible” verses being shared by the non-cheer mom.

The key here is I never posted the verses as my status update. I only took turns sharing them on the two bickering mom’s pages. Most of the time they would copy, paste them as their own verse of the hour. This time the non-cheer mom gave me a shout out. I was doomed.

My husband, taking the Lord’s name in vain repeatedly, asked me, “What the hell are you up to? And “What the hell is the book of Hermersian?” Adding “Isn’t that a beach in Southern California?”

While cooking dinner I quickly blurted out, “That’s Hermosa beach, you idiot.” And then did the whole bible verse debrief. I knew in my heart my husband would see how I had God’s back and was a virtuous woman. Unfortunately, he was filled with the very unholy spirit of non-forgiveness and insisted that I cease and desist. “Whatever,” I said, “I’m kind of getting tapped out creating bible verses.”

“Here’s a bible verse for you,” he said all pious like while drinking his vodka on the rocks, “Do unto other others as you would have them do unto you.”

“That’s not even original to the bible. It’s a philosophy found in every major religion.”

“Doesn’t matter where’s it’s from. Try following it.”

I rolled my eyes right in his face and said, “Well, Mr. Vacation Bible School Drop Out, I hope if I’m ever a passive aggressive jack ass that uses the bible to go one-on-one with another mom on Facebook that someone will do exactly what I did.”

He got silent for a moment, took a sip of his drink, and said, “You do have a point.”

And then as if God agreed with him a beatific glow of light filled my kitchen. It was that or someone had left the refrigerator door opened. I prefer the hand of God theory myself and that’s what I’m sticking with.

*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs scover_1.3-2eries – 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! 🙂

 

Technically Annoying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rantober

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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