Dear Snarky – Is It a Bad Thing I Turn On My Sprinklers During Trick-or-Treat?

c13c24927c3ab6b0bd965c3e1a893661Dear Snarky,

I’m getting some pretty serious attitude from my neighbors for not being “Halloween friendly” all because last year I turned all my sprinklers on during trick-or-treat. I don’t do Halloween and I thought by having my sprinklers going full blast people would get the hint to not come to my house. How is this a bad thing? One neighbor said it was hostile. Am I in the wrong here?

Signed, Not a Witch

Dear Witch,

Let’s look at this from a kid’s perspective. Sprinklers on equal not squandering my precious candy getting time on your house. So let’s call that not  a bad thing.

 As far as your neighbors are concerned I suggest you, in an effort to not be the witch of the cul-de-sac, abandon your sprinkler attack and just go old school – and by that I mean turn off your freaking lights and get over your bad self.  A dark house is the  traditional sign that nobody is home. Plus you won’t be wasting water. Now get off your broom and go eat a Kit Kat. Maybe that will improve your mood.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice with an Attitude – please email me at or private message me on my Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page.


Halloween What Happened?

9979003Halloween is so misunderstood. How did an evening devoted to kids, costumes and candy turn into something so controversial schools are banning it? Now, that I’ve asked that question I think I know the answer. In fact, I can give you a timeline that will prove adults ruined Halloween.  Well, really it’s two intersecting timelines.

Give me a second I’m getting woozy here. I’m having a flashback to 9th grade geometry and it’s not pretty. Is it just me or did that last sentence just sound like the makings of a geometry word problem? The whole two lines intersect and form a linear pair blah, blah, blah. Deep breaths, deep breaths. Alright now I’m better, still a little light-headed, but I’m going to power through. So, let’s get back to the original topic – Halloween.

Let’s first examine timeline A that I will label Gruesome Grown Ups. This is where adults have taken Halloween and over the years have turned it from a focus on costumed kids collecting assorted Hershey’s miniatures into hoochie fest that today has swelled and festered into to a downright tramp-a-doodle-do. I’m not saying we all need to shop the Duggar costume collection of Biblical characters at Hobby Lobby, but come on if you’re a 45 year-old-mother it might be time to retire the French Maid Costume with white thigh highs. Same for you dads. Some things you can never unsee like your accountant in a “hottie Scottie mini kilt.”

To prove my point all I need to do is suggest you walk into any Halloween super store which is doing double duty as a wholesale club for Frederick’s of Hollywood and the lair for the criminally insane. It could just be me, but I don’t think the Star Wars and toddler Disney Princess costumes should be next to a life-size bloody female torso. And this is just a personal aside, but can we all just get over Zombies?

Timeline B is Halloween Whiners (also known as anti-Halloweeners). This is where some parents have imagined Halloween to be a sinister celebration. (Can you say over thinking trick-or-treat?) Using anecdotal evidence I will now flesh out a series of events that illustrate the disintegration of Halloween.

October 31, 2001 –  My son at that time was five  and his school embraced a full Halloween environment. Lesson plans included a study of spiders and Sam the Skeleton was used to teach about femurs and fibulas. By the time he was seven due to parental concern over a “ritualistic Satan based event” Halloween was replaced with a Fall Festival. This was basically Halloween without using the H word.

Two years later the Fall Festival gets kicked to the curb and it’s a Story Book Spectacular where kids are required to come as a character from their favorite book. Most parents didn’t so much as ignore the edict but sashay around it by explaining that Spiderman was in a book and just a little fun fact here there are more than 35 children’s books that feature candy corn as a character. How do I know this you may ask? Well, I had a kid that wanted to go as a candy corn for Halloween so I made sure it was book related.

By 2006 due to parents not “following the spirit of the guidelines” Halloween became “Great American Day” and kids were instructed to dress up as their favorite historical figure from the good old U.S. of A. This prompted a PTO throw down due to parents complaining that they now had to do two costumes for their child. One for school and one for Halloween. Also, there were problems with some families being confused over just which historical figures are American. Two kids came as Jesus. (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these children were both from  the same family that always brought “Jesus is the reason for the season” cookies to the Winter party.)

By 2007 the school staff had given up. No matter what they did parents complained so October 31 became just another day of reading, writing and arithmetic. And who can blame them? It’s the educational equivalent of “so this is why we can’t have nice things.” Schools don’t have the time to waste negotiating the emotional and politically correct minefield that is Halloween.

Using my timeline as empirical data I believe we can blame the take down of Halloween on the  intersection of the Gruesome Grownups and the Halloween Whiners. Yes, indeed folks that’s all it took for a kid centered event to go poof and disappear like someone cast an evil spell of childhood disappointment.

cover_1-3-21* While you’re enjoying stuffing yourself with your children’s Halloween bounty add to your pleasure by purchasing the latest Snarky book for just 99 cents! All treat no tricks I promise. 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! 🙂


Halloween Etiquette

halloween-candy-ecards-someecardsI love Halloween. It’s an event based on candy and that’s something I embrace one fun size Snickers bar at a time. I do, though, have some rules about trick-or-treating. Well, maybe not rules so much. It’s more of a level of standards that I adhere to. The one I enforce with a vengeance is teenagers trick-or-treating. I believe if you’re old enough to vote and serve your country in the Armed Forces it might be time to retire you candy bag. Also, do not come to my door sans costume and tell me you’re going as a “teenager.” This will earn you zero candy but I will give a number two pencil for taking your SAT’s. Sure, I fear these teens, I tick off with my no candy edict, might come back later and exact a little revenge – ie – toilet paper my house. But, that’s why I leave my sprinkler system on all night.

Another thing that yanks my Halloween chain is adults trick-or-treating. Oh, they do it very discreetly or at least they think they are being all sneaky, but no one is fooled. I’m referring to the grown up who is taking a group of kids around and yet has their own candy bag. Scandalous, right? And this is how they do it. As all the kids are opening their bags for the goodie drop the adult scoots their bag into the fray. This is when I stop mid treat release and ask, “Oh my, do you have your own trick-or-treat bag?” I usually get a sheepish grin. My response is to give them, you guessed it, a pencil.

It’s also a parenting fail. What kind of lackluster parental authority do you possess if you don’t have the upper hand in the post trick-or-treat candy dispersal? It should be a given that mom (and dad) get first dibs on some select items from their kid’s treat haul. This negates the need for a parent to shamefully venture out on Halloween with their own candy bag. Also, for the love of sucrose, why wouldn’t the parent just go the store, buy themselves a 70 piece bag of Hershey’s assorted candy for $8.99, then hid the loot  from their family (my go to is the linen closet because God forbid someone I live with changes their own sheets) and secretly enjoy the sensuous pleasure of eating chocolate alone while watching something shameful on Bravo?

Speaking of chocolate, my trick-or-treat standards also apply to the quality and quantity of the confections. Last year, my daughter had to learn a hard lesson about life. She and her friends insisted on leaving their subdivision and venturing off to what they called the “rich neighborhood.” I tried to warn them that the bigger the houses the less candy. Plus, there’s the time suck of having to walk through all of the estate size yards to reach the front door. This really cuts down on your treat haul. They all looked at me like I was crazy. To them it didn’t make sense. Wouldn’t the bigger house signify that all the candy would be king size? All they could think about was saying hello to extra-large Reese Peanut Cups.

Three hours and a half full candy bag later my daughter arrives home crestfallen. She had to begrudgingly admit (oh the horror) I was right. Not only, were most of the homes “dark,” the universal sign of don’t waste your time knocking on this door but the people who were doling out sweets believed in downsizing their caloric offerings or worse, handed out healthy snacks, as in Whole Food soy treats. This is when I unearthed my secret stash of “me” chocolate, topped off her bag and as we unwrapped Kit Kat’s I shared some cold, hard truths about trick-or-treating.

First, you want to stick to our own hood. The people there know you and are going to give you extra candy because they’ve watched you grow up from Disney Princess to Goth Vampire. Two, the more average the neighbor the more above average the candy. This is where the younger families live. They are 100 percent into Halloween. It’s ground zero for full size candy bars or at the very least, four mini candy bars, of your choice. Lastly, big isn’t always better. Just because it looks like someone has the extra income to spend on upgraded treats doesn’t mean they’re going to open their wallets and go full Hershey bar. They might have all their ready cash tied up in stocks or something.

Lucky for me, this time of year all my assets are in chocolate and my savings account is a Costco size bag of candy in the back of my linen closet.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

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

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Dear Snarky – The Trick-or-Treat Throwdown

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

My daughter just got bounced from a Halloween trick-or-treating group! 14 kids and six mothers were all going to go together to trick-or-treat. This has been planned since the first of October. All the girls are going as Disney princesses. My daughter is going to be Anna from the movie Frozen. Yesterday, I got a text message from a mom (who organized the trick-or-treating outing) telling me her daughter now wants to go as Anna and since it would be “weird” to have two of the same Disney princesses trick-or-treating together it would be “best if I found another group to go with.”

I’m so angry and upset for my daughter I wish I could do a throw down. How do I even begin to explain this to a six-year-old?

Signed, Can’t Let it Go,

Dear Can’t,

Don’t be angry and don’t, no matter how much you want to, engage in a throw down. Instead be happy, relieved and joyous. You, and your daughter, have been freed from spending Halloween with a bunch of evil, controlling witches. The fact that an adult would be such a freak about Halloween and what costumes kids are wearing, scares me, like a lot. And seriously, pretty much every little girl is going to be trick-or-treating as either Anna or Elsa from Frozen. The mom who sent you that text must have been off her meds.

The way I see it you can do one of two things – pick up the phone and find your daughter another kid or kids to trick-or-treat with or go just as a family and savor the experience. Also, on the plus side, I have found you can cover a lot more trick-or-treating ground when you are with a smaller group.

I would tell your daughter an abbreviated version of the truth, as in her Halloween has just been upgraded, and celebrate the news with a full size Kit Kat bar. As for that texting witch, I would get 48 rolls of toilet paper from Costco and decorate her house with it.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

Dear Snarky – We Have Halloween Hitler For Our Room Mom

Deadear_snarky_logor Snarky,

Halloween class parties are in two weeks and the room mom for my daughter’s 2nd grade class is certifiably insane. She’s on her fourth meeting for a party that is only 45 minutes long and most of that is taken up with a Halloween costume parade! She’s so controlling and anal that we now call her Halloween Hitler.

The final straw was when she did a timeline for the party and wanted us to sign our names that we “agreed to and would follow” her timeline. WTH? I, along with a couple of other moms, refused to sign it and she told us unless we did we couldn’t come to the party.

Do I go to the teacher, the principal, or just have it out with her? I have two older children and have never encountered a mom this crazy before.

Signed, Bewildered

Dear Bewildered,

Oh my, you are going to have an interesting school year with this woman as room mom. I would give the teacher a head’s up about what is going on because the teacher is the boss. It’s her classroom and the room mom “works” for her. This kind of control freak crazy needs to be nipped in the bud and the only one who can do that effectively and with any authority is the teacher.

I suggest sending the teacher an email and asking for five minutes of her time to discuss an issue you prefer to handle in person. Always, remember to never diss another mom to a teacher in an email. It could be shared and that creates a whole other category of drama.

When you do talk to the teacher, about “Halloween Hitler,” keep it unemotional and very matter-of-fact. Also, bring another mom with you as back up, so the teacher can’t blow you off and dismiss your concerns as just a little “personality conflict” with the room mom.

Good Luck!

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With An Attitude – email me at or private message me on my Snarky Facebook page.

A Real Haunted House

haunted-house-wallpaper-23011-hd-wallpapers-backgroundWorlds of Fun’s Halloween Haunt, the House of Horrors on the Interstate, you name it, I’ve done it, all while dragging a conglomerate of screaming teen girls behind me. My daughter is impressed that none of the shenanigans at these places scare me. I don’t even jump when a “vampire” sticks his bloody fangs in my face. I do, though, offer him an Altoids.

To me these so-called haunted houses are for wimps. If you want to scare a middle-aged parent you’ve got to come up something that trumps what we’ve already endured. So far, these “bone chilling” residences have nothing on the terror associated with raising a family.

Get ready to scream, brace yourself for unimaginable fear because here’s a tour of a House of Horrors, the Parenting Years.

Your journey of doom begins in a garage where an attempt must be made to put a screaming, inconsolable, thrashing, baby in a car seat. After that nightmare, you then get in the car and are forced to listen to said baby scream, at a decibel level that exceeds the sound of a jet taking off, for at least 30 minutes.

When you mercifully escape the garage you’re chased by a Zombie hoard of HOA board members into a kitchen where it looks like abdominal surgery was performed. You quickly discover it’s only tomato sauce that exploded after being left on the stove for too long. But you start shrieking when a crazed, sauced covered, woman chases you around the kitchen, with a steak knife and a half filled wine glass, begging you to help her clean up the mess because she’s has to drive soccer carpool in less than five minutes.

You manage to flee the deranged mother only to slip on some angel hair pasta and slide head first into a bathroom where the smell, of what surely must be the stench of death, saturates your olfactory system. As you’re fighting back gagging you simultaneously scream when a man pops out from behind the toilet, waving his hands, full of Clorox wipes, in your face, wailing about potty training a toddler with bad aim and a temperamental bowel system that favors explosive diarrhea.

Running for your life you head for what looks to be a darkened family room but instead is a torture chamber. You fall again because what you thought was carpet is really 4,389,073 Lego bricks spread out over the floor. Right when you think the pain can’t get any worse your hand is speared by a Harry Potter Hogwarts castle Lego turret.

Slowly, you attempt to get up but are forced to lie face down in the Lego’s by mini humanoid life forms that want to use your body as a play mat for their My Little Ponies and Thomas the Tank Engine trains. These persistent creatures continue with their foul deeds by violating all four treaties of the Geneva Conventions as it relates to the treatment of prisoners by incessantly chanting, “Play with me?” while the Barney song coupled with a techno rap version of the Caillou theme is played on a continuous loop.

Finally, you break free and run up the stairs and go through the first door you see in an attempt to hide from the small but fierce minions. Alas, this room is even worse! You’ve entered teenage girl hell. Mounds of clothes are piled on the floor so high to scale them would require the assistance of a Sherpa. There’s also a shrill, Kardashian-ish whine coming from the bed. You don’t see the girl making the sound. All you hear is complaining that is so vile you know it has the power to steal your very soul. As you bolt for the door the disembodied voice moans, “I’m so tired. I hate my life. Our wi-fi sucks.”

A fight or flight surge carries you back downstairs and, as you race past the family room, careful not to make eye contact with the tiny ones, you head for the basement. You hope this is where you can finally make your get away. But oh the humanity, the travesty! There’s a twenty something who has made this subterranean dwelling his home! Six figures and counting spent on a college education and here lies the remains of adult child working retail at a GameStop until he can “figure out what he really wants to do.”

As you trip over video game controllers, boxer shorts and yesterday’s late night snack plates you pray for deliverance from this room of dashed parental dreams and give it everything you’ve got, and then some, to make it to the sliding glass door that will lead you away from this terror-topia.

You hit the yard and rejoice, thinking you’re free, until you trip on a bike that was thrown in the grass and are knocked unconscious while the family dog ardently sniffs your privates.

Are you scared yet? I know I am.

9 Ways to Wreck Your Kids Halloween

Picture 51) Bring raw Kale Roll Ups that you describe as “scary good” to the 2nd grade Halloween party.

2) Cry at party because the kids make fun of your Kale Roll Ups calling them Zombie vomit.

3) The family dog has a better costume than your kids AND gets full size Hershey bars.

4) Be the house that hands out pencils with a skull and crossbones note that says “Candy Kills.”

5) Volunteer to chaperone your daughter’s high school Halloween party so you can wear your favorite  MILF costume.

6) Limit your child’s costume choices to characters from the bible.

7) Cry when your child dressed as Noah (minus the ark) gets repeatedly asked by every neighbor if he’s trick-or-treating as Osama Bin Laden.

8) Have a huge yard inflatable of the devil with a banner sign that reads “At Church Praying for Your Souls.”

9) Go as VMA Miley Cryus to your son’s Cub Scout “Mummy & Me” dance. Make your son go as the bear.

I’m F’ing With Your Kid’s Halloween and I Couldn’t Be Happier

Sometimes people ask if they can “guesPicture 3t blog” on my site. This mother after reading Hold On Halloween I’m Coming to Save You requested an opportunity to comment on the other side of the Halloween story. Please note the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the “author” and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Snarky in the Suburbs. In fact Snarky thinks the author needs to relax and eat a Cinnabon.

As a gluten-free, organic, bio dynamic, carbon neutral, free trade, raw vegan with fruitarian leanings I already know you hate me and I couldn’t care less because I’m going to live longer than you, much longer. Why? Because I don’t eat the crap you do and that means I forgo using classic enabling techniques, such as I’m “celebrating a holiday or special occasion” to make excuses for shoveling a backhoe of cookie dough down my esophagus. Let’s get this point straight October 31 is not a holiday or special occasion unless you practice the dark arts and I’m pretty sure those rituals don’t involve a 12 pack of Reese Peanut Butter Cups. Halloween is one thing and one thing only – a sugar fueled festival of greed, gluttony and sloth. How any mother could be pro Halloween is beyond me. It’s like saying, “I hate my kids and I want them to die from early onset cardiovascular disease and complications from stage 2 Diabetes one snack size Snickers bar at a time.”

Wake up moms! By loving Halloween you are an instrument of death. I despise all of you starting with the “butter mothers” with their thighs rubbing together, their lips glossy from the left over marshmallow residue of a pumpkin Peep and their triple layers of ab fat fighting for a way out of the tummy control panel of their J Jill lycra enrich jeans like two brothers brawling over a X Box game controller. These moms can be seen on party day joyfully hoisting a tray over burdened with devil food Halloween cupcakes that not only have a gravy ladle of icing on each one but then give the middle finger to nutrition by dipping Nutter Butter cookies in white almond bark and placing one on top of each cupcake to resemble a ghost!

Good God, why don’t you just smother the kids by placing their heads in a vat of frosting until they experience death by asphyxiation. At least the butter mothers are honest. Their squishy rolls of jiggly back fat are a testament that they eat the death they merrily foist on our children. The worst are the Cross Fit maniacs, the marathoners and the yoga/pilate/fitness fusion hypocrites.

They bounce into the classroom on their $150 Adidas Energy Boost sneakers doing arm curls with a plastic platter of pumpkin shaped sugar cookies, vampire brownies, and Cocoa Kripsy squares all from the Crack House of bakeries – Walmart –  because their too busy romancing their body mass index to actually attempt to create anything from scratch. While one hand is holding the non recyclable, VOC off gassing, plastic offering of sugar, partially hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup solids, animal fat and sodium, the other one is clutching a half-gallon water bottle or adjusting their thong. Yet, what they cheerfully serve to children they would never swallow themselves because they don’t want to move up a size in their Spanx. They poison the most defenseless among us, our children, and abstain only due to vanity. For these mothers I harbor the heftiest scorn.

Because so many mothers are either too lazy or lacking in maternal love, that they willingly pollute our children’s bodies if not their very souls, I’ve had to step up and make the righteous, healthy choice for all of us by staging a Halloween Intervention. My campaign is focused on the elementary school. Yes, I proudly stand before you today as the reason no more sugary based “treats” are being served at school parties. I started slowly and first used my influence to phase in having a variety of healthy food choices at the class celebrations. Then I went full frontal foodie and got chocolate banned from the school.

After those victories I redoubled my efforts and engaged in hand-to-hand combat with sugar, wheat and dairy and before you could say trick-or-treat I had rendered any sustenance that didn’t make the Harvard School of Public Health’s Top Ten Super Foods list person non gratia. Say hello to a school party featuring yummy raspberries, blueberries, brussel sprouts, broccoli, garlic and kale.

Does this list horrify you? Does it make you uncomfortable? It should because while you advocate slowly killing your kid with a smorgasbord of refined sugar and white flour I champion the likes of kale! A cup of which provides 460 percent of your daily vitamin K, 74 percent of your vitamin A and 107 percent of your vitamin C.

Go ahead and call me a kill, or if you like a kale, joy and throw around your weak excuses that it’s only one day a year, that kids need a chance to be kids or the most laughable that if you don’t let your kids have sugar every now and then they’ll binge on it as soon as your back is turned. Yeah right, well if you use that logic then maybe we should let our children have some cocaine or heroin from time to time just to make sure they don’t one day go nose up and needle in.

My victory isn’t complete yet. I’m steadily working towards my goal of having zero food at any party and replacing the kids sitting on their asses doing lame arts and crafts (using non-sustainable crayons that I just know were not made with low impact dyes) with strenuous exercise. Why can’t Halloween or Valentine’s Day be celebrated with a jog-a-thon and a fitness obstacle course with coconut water for all? Why must every party be food related?

I know to some people I look weak and sickly like a white asparagus stalk that was boiled in water too long and yes my kids are extremely thin and so pale if you look at them in direct sunlight you can make out their central nervous system. I’ll admit they do miss a lot of school, but it’s not their fault. Their virgin immune system is constantly threatened and compromised by the onslaught of environmental filth being flung their way via the cesspool of the American lifestyle.

My profound and everlasting love for my three children is primarily why I’m staging the Halloween Intervention and just you wait next on my list is the Winter party in December. Guess what moms?  I’ve convinced the principal to make it a snowflake party with an ice crystal theme. You know what that means – no food – only frozen water! I call that me W-I-N-N-I-N-G!

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

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

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.


Dear Snarky – Happy Trampy Halloween

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

My daughter is 13 and a group of her friends want to go as devils for Halloween. I have zero problem with her being a devil. What I do have a problem with is that the costumes the girls want to buy are highly inappropriate. It seems once you start wearing women’s or junior sizes in Halloween costumes there’s not much to choose from that’s not sexy. Is there anyway out of this without me being the mean mom and saying no?

Signed, Witch of a Mom

Dear Witch,

You are experiencing what I call the tramp-a-doddle-doing of Halloween. Once your daughter ages out of and fitting into Disney princess or fairy costumes it is slim pickings in the not slutty department. I’m not kidding here. Last year I saw a sexy pumpkin costume.  How on earth do you make a pumpkin costume sexy you might be asking?  Easy. This pumpkin outfit had an almost shear front. I’m going to let you use your imagination for what body parts became the “eyes” of the pumpkin. This is just one of the many reasons  why I recommend two wardrobe items that will magically turn an overtly sexy costume into a full coverage extravaganza – the long sleeve black t-shirt and black leggings. They provide head to toe concealment that would make the Amish proud.

Tell your daughter she was to wear the leggings and T-shirt combo under her costume so she stays warm  trick- or-treating and that’s the ONLY WAY you’re going to let her leave the house in a devil costume. Also, talk with the other moms get them on board the black T and leggings band wagon. Sure, there’s always one mom who won’t get it and have zero problem with her daughter being 12 going on 21 but that’s her problem not yours.

Happy Halloween!

If you have a question for Dear Snarky email her at or private message her on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs.


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.

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