Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 24 and 21. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Overlooking Those We Love, Those Who Need Our Love

This isn't a typical "I'm thankful" post. No, today I am feeling very very sad. The religious like to say that God does not give us more than we can handle. I've never subscribed to that point of view, and if you do, more power to you, I'm not doubting your beliefs. I'm just saying that when I was growing up, there were times when we thought, "Hey, God, could you focus on someone else for just a little while? We're gonna have to open a window pretty soon."  But that was then and this is now, and now I'm a grown up and have lots of things to be thankful for, grateful for, and to worry about.

Life has thrown us a few curve balls over the course of the past week. Currently, we are down to one car. The car that is no longer with us saved my husband's life. There is no doubt in my mind that if he was driving our Saturn, this would be a totally different blog post. Then there is 16, who has had a fever since Friday. Doctor says it's the flu and naturally she's gotta ride it out with fluids and Ibuprofen.  And there's Thanksgiving! Who could forget Thanksgiving? I'm cooking for 10! The house needs to be cleaned, the tables need to be moved, the bedding all needs to be washed and redone. Lots going on.

Which is why I feel absolutely horrible about what transpired right under my nose and I had no clue. My beautiful 14 was supposed to play volleyball this winter with the club in which she played last year. She even received an email from the team this past Sunday (when she was out helping me with Thanksgiving grocery shopping) stating that the first team meeting would be on the same night as one of her basketball games. We laughed about it and I told her we'd figure something out. And then I forgot about it because I had to get gas and go home and make dinner and blah blah blah.....

Yesterday, 14 forwarded an email to me. I had taken the day off from work to take 16 to the doctor and then to go empty out the remains of the car that saved hubby's life. I assumed that the email was the same email that 14 had received on Sunday about the team meeting. I ignored it. I've been bitching and whining about the house and no one helping me clean. And I still hadn't checked the email.

Until now. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: 14 LOVES VOLLEYBALL. And she's pretty damn good at it too. She picked up a volleyball in 6th grade for probably the first time at tryouts. And she was good enough to be put on JV AND Varsity. She's good. No kidding. And she LOVES the game. She eats it, sleeps it and breathes it. Are you getting the picture? Good.

So I finally got around to reading the email that she forwarded to me. And my heart sank. The coach had emailed her, apologizing profusely. There wasn't enough interest, they didn't have enough girls to field a team for U15, she was not eligible to play U14. My girl sat on this information and never said anything to be because of all that has been going on around her. She kept this inside. And I know she is brokenhearted about it. The coach did make her a pretty cool offer to help as a volunteer assistant coach for younger girls. She'd get to help them at practices, but it wouldn't be the same for her. She wants to play.  And the coach paid her a very high complement, saying that 14 "is a good person with very high character for only being 14, and is a great role model for young girls just starting out." But still, she doesn't get to play. And she never told me, because of everything else that's going on in our lives at this moment. Her dad. Her sister who's sick. Thanksgiving.

The coach was right, she IS a good person, she DOES have very high character, she IS a great role model to younger girls. But she's also selfless, kind, caring, compassionate, smart, funny, sarcastic, energetic, athletic, beautiful, witty, confident and amazing. I'm so proud to be her mother that sometimes my heart feels like it will explode with pride.

And so, to my baby girl, I'm so sorry that we've overlooked your needs this week. I promise I will try very hard to be aware of your needs and I promise that if you send me an email, I WILL READ IT.

If you ask me what I'm thankful for, right at this moment, I'd tell you I'm thankful for the following:

The restraint system on the Chevy Equinox
The warmth, health and love of my family
The generosity and love of my friends
The patience and love of my daughters
The love of my husband, who I hope will be around for many many more years

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Picture Books, Duran Duran and Highway Robbery

It's no secret that I'm a huge Duran Duran fan. Everyone knows it, and those who don't know it live under a rock. I've seen them live over 20 times, I've traveled far and wide to see them, and to visit my girls for Duranie weekends. Or as we like to call them, BITCHES weekends. We have a tight-knit group of about 30 of us and we all try to get together at least once a year, just to hang out. For us, the band brought us together, but our friendships now go MUCH deeper than our love for the band.

And let me be clear on one thing: NONE of us are independently wealthy. NONE of us live in a mansion, NONE of us shop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Most of us have families, mortgages, car payments, the usual. And we have one more thing in common: we all think the band has GIGANTIC CUJONES for what they are charging for a new book out this month.

Photographer Denis O'Regan followed the band around on their Sing Blue Silver tour and took a bunch of pictures. Now he's put together a book of over 200 color and black & white photos, bound it in cloth and they have the AUDACITY to charge £250 for it (to save you the trouble, that's $403 to us here in the US. Shocked? How about the £500 (That's right, $806 US) for the 'Deluxe Edition' signed by all 5 original band members? If that doesn't get you, there's also a £2500 (you guessed it, over $4000!) edition which is described as: "containing contemporary fine art prints and 1984 vintage prints, together with handwritten lyrics of one of the band's classic hits by Simon LeBon." My guess is it's that over-done, over-played make-my-ears-bleed song Hungry Like The Wolf. YUCK.

Well let me tell YOU something, Denis O'Regan, Simon, John, Nick, Roger and Andy. There's NO way on God's green Earth that I or ANY of my Durannie girls will EVER part with that much green for a book of pictures, with or without your autographs.

You've gotten a lot of money from us over the years, but (to quote Simon LeBon) you've gone too far this time.

If you are a Duran fan and you have the extra cash to fork over for one of these coffee table books, good on ya. But if you are a normal person with a limited income, this is an exorbitant amount of money and for them to expect a fan to part with that kind of cash for this book is BEYOND the scope of fandom. It borders on extortion.

Do we love the band? Yes. Are we insane enough to part with our hard earned money for this? No. Flippin. Way.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. And in the illustrious words of my girlfriend Joelle:

"For £2500 that book better be fucking hand delivered and Simon better be scrubbing my toilets, while Nick does the laundry, John runs the vacuum, and Roger does the dishes. I'll let Dom off the hook since he probably isn't included. Oh wait, Andy's included? Well then take out the trash."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why I'm Out of Contention for Wife/Mother of the Year: A Snarkfest Confession

The amazing Frugalista Blog is healing from a football injury, and in her blogging absence, she's having some guest bloggers fill in for her until she's back in action. And one of her guests is the phenomenal Keesha from Mom's New Stage. Keesha's post is a fantastic confession of ways that she sucks.

This got me thinking that it's been a really rough week at Casa Snarkfest, and I think that it's very important that you all know that I'm NOT a very nice person sometimes (shut up, I said SOMEtimes, not 24/7). I think it's also important that you know that my family usually ends up on the receiving end of my not-so-niceness and they deserve an apology. So to that end, I'm presenting you all a list of reasons I sometimes suck at this whole wife/mother thing. The list below, in no particular order, is my way of apologizing to my family for my short-comings. I hope to improve on this soon. Until then, please don't change the locks on the front door.

A. I am a lousy housekeeper. You know it. I know it. And while I piss and moan to you all about not folding and putting laundry away, I continue to pile dirty dishes in the sink and then bitch that they are still in there days later. I'm just as much at fault as you are.

B. I let things simmer inside until I can't take it anymore, then I explode and let everything pour out, and you are on the receiving end, whether it was your fault or not. I'm talking to all of you. Instead of addressing the issue when it happens, I let it stew and fester, and then one thing sets me off and I look like Milton the Monster when he blows his top. And for that, I am sorry.

C. I am very hard on both 16 and 14. I embarrass them for missing the bus in the hopes that it will motivate them to start making the bus. And apparently, it's backfiring on me. Embarrassing them is mean. And I didn't realize just how mean it was until a 'Come to Jesus' meeting this week in which I realized just how much it has affected them. So I promise to make a concentrated effort to stop using negative reinforcement to motivate, and start using positive reinforcement. Donuts? Puppies? I'm open to suggestions.

D. I have also promised to try to be less, shall we say, 'fly-off-the-handle-like' with my girls. I've never had a teenager before, and they don't come with a manual, so it's pretty much either learn from the mistakes of others, or it's on the job training. So let this be a lesson to other parents who have kids who may soon be teens: listen to them before jumping on their shit. It's a mistake I make way too often. I leap before I look and I often miss the point. And for that, 16 & 14, I'm incredibly sorry. And I'll try to do better.

E. I often phone in my interest, and that's bad. Very bad, m'kay? Phoning in your interest is not cool. So when 14 goes on about how hot Austin Mahone is or how much her You-Tubers crack her up, I promise not to phone in my interest, I promise to listen. If it's important to my kids, then it needs to be important to me too. Because I don't want them to turn to someone else who will feign interest to get them to do things they probably should not be doing. So when you tell me about someone on the team who does this or that, or you tell me that someone in your class is bothersome, or that Harry Styles is the best thing since chocolate Pop-Tarts, I promise to listen and not just nod my head and say 'yup, sure is.'

F. I don't make enough time for my husband, and that's really bad too. Not making time for your husband is bad, m'kay? Marriage is hard, yo. Really hard. But we've been at it for almost 19 years, and he's so cute! It's definitely worth working for, and I am sorry that I don't make enough time for him. I need to make a concentrated effort to make a monthly 'date night' and I'm announcing it here and now (Wolf! Right here and now!) that I'm going to try hard to do this for him and for our marriage.

I think that's enough confession for one day. So to my handsome and funny 49, to my beautiful and amazing 16 and my phenomenal and fantastic 14, I'm sorry that I'm not working hard enough and I promise that I will try harder to be a better person. You girls look to me to be a role model, and I'm going to try to be the person you need me to be. Now go clean your rooms.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sensitivity and the teenager......

I picked 16 up from basketball practice last night and we were discussing the blog. I told her I was trying to come up with some ideas on a blog about her dad. She asked if I was going to throw him 'out of the bus' like I do with her and her sister. And I said "first of all, it's UNDER the bus, not OUT OF the bus. And B, I don't throw you guys under the bus.


She then proceeded to explain to me about how I'm always like, "Oh I'm so proud of 16, she's such an awesome kid BUT SHE MISSES THE BUS and she never listens and she does this wrong and that wrong."

I didn't think that I was being mean. I think all teenagers do a lot of the same things. Messy rooms, not doing what's asked of them, being all-consumed with the iPhone, not doing what's asked of them, no sense of urgency, then blaming everyone else when things don't go as planned. I'm not alone in this. I swear, there are other parents out there with kids who are EXACTLY like mine. I write about mine so that other moms will tell me I'm not the only one. Nothing makes me feel better than when someone else says "Oh the same thing happens in my house." Because it makes me feel like I'm NOT sucking as a parent.

These girls didn't come with any training manual, no instructions on how NOT to fuck up their lives. So it's all been trial and error for me. And after the conversation with 16 I felt like it was WAY more error than trial.

And now I'm left wondering if I'm doing more harm than good by writing about them. Blogging about stuff, writing songs when they miss the school bus. I cannot tell you how much they hate those songs. Their friends give them a hard time, their friends' parents kid them about it. I don't do it to be malicious, I do it as a release. It's frustrating to me and I turn my frustration to humor. I have to. Drinking before work is kind of frowned upon.

She says I never write about the GOOD stuff they do.

Make no mistake, I'm incredibly proud of both my daughters. You'll never meet a more proud mom. They are smart, they are beautiful, funny, caring girls. They never rob banks or kick puppies. They never make fun of hobos or break windows. They almost never steal cars. And if they hate my songs about the school bus, maybe they could try MAKING the bus more often. I've already conceded to not writing songs when they MAKE the bus (which is awesome because I'm running out of ideas), and if they never missed the bus again, I'll never have to come with another witty song, ever. Trust me, that would be just fine with me.

So let it be known here and now and henceforth that I DO love my kids, I AM proud of them, they ARE amazing girls, and I hereby apologize to them if they feel that I'm mean to them on my blog or Facebook page.

And let me also say this: being messy, missing the bus and having to be nagged are problems I am THRILLED to have. Because there are other parents out there who have to deal with their children doing drugs, drinking, teen pregnancy, health issues, behavioral problems. Trust me, if the only thing I ever have to worry about is my daughter missing the school bus, I am the luckiest mother on the face of the earth.