Snooty Slack

It has been kindly brought to my attention that my posts have been non-existent of late. Apparently I’m not meeting your needs. You’re so demanding. Though I get hundreds of page hits and regular readers, few will deign to grace my blog with the crumbs of a comment. Even fewer sign up to receive a feed, “like” snooty on Facebook, or acknowledge sometimes I just need a hug. Well, ok, I don’t really do hugs, but you get the point.

I’m BUSY, people. Don’t get all up in my stuff about it. This blogging thing isn’t paying the bills. Though your lack of attention renders you completely unworthy, I’ve been thinking about you. I’ve been on week-long reconnaissance tour of the midwest, scouring for snoot nuggets. Prepare to be snooted.


Color me Noncommittal

I have a jacket that was clearly advertised as “eggplant,” and yet I cannot wear it within the Texas state limits without either being accused of or praised for (depending on your viewpoint) attending Texas A&M University (insert faint whooping, or whatever it is they do when they hear/read/think of the revered name with misty eyes). Let’s be clear: I am protecting myself from the elements, not making a statement of allegiance.

Rule: you may not co-opt an entire color for your cause, worthy or silly.

If I wear pink, then I’m allied with fighting breast cancer. Ok, fine. Then that must mean if I wear any other color that I’m secretly hoping for breast cancer to wipe out womanhood (and a small percentage of males), and I’m the single worst person on the planet. Wear eggplant, and I not only wish horrible things on billions of people, but I went to A&M to boot. Double tragedy! It’s too much pressure to send the right message. Dressing in the morning will be paralyzing.

On second thought, I’m going to amend the rule slightly to, “You may not co-opt a color for your cause, worthy or silly, unless no one cares.” I call this the University of Texas clause. If there is absolutely no danger of wearing or displaying that particular color by choice under any other circumstance, then fine. UT, I think you’re safe with the burnt orange. Godspeed.

Last edit, “You may not co-opt a fake color for your cause, worth or silly, unless no one cares.” I’m talking to you, Michigan. Really, it’s yellow. Not maize, yellow. You didn’t get all fancy with blue, why did you insist on tricking up the yellow? And really, how badass do you feel in maize? It’s not working for you.

So, let’s see, I’ve offended everyone in Texas, half of Michigan (elated the other half, if they are able to read after all), and basically all women, fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, and house pets–all before 10 am. Good work.

Repeat Offender

I know what you’re thinking…why be a hater? I mean, I know what you’re thinking, and I’m asking you why are you hating on my volcano of spite? Get your own!

This personality quirk is finally paying off for me. I didn’t ever win the Good Spirit award at St. James Episcopal school in all of my elementary years. (Note: this was not the school at which I peed on the floor to make a point. This was a different school, altogether. I was not judged as having “good spirit” dry pants notwithstanding. Perhaps had they known my track record, they would have found me positively sunny.)

I was made the skunk in the ballet recital at whom all the other dancers turned up their cute animal noses and said “pee-ew!”. That was actually in the choreography. They are lucky I’m not the Unabomber. I did get asked to play the Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland” without an audition. I was what you might call a sullen child. I did have a few teachers ask me if I were on drugs, come to think of it. I wasn’t unhappy, just keenly aware of what was ridiculous or annoying and had the good sense to point it out. Someone actually wrote in my yearbook that I was “a mean, little wrangler, but a cool girl” and that I should “stay smart.” Not “stay sweet.” I required adjustment to the sign-off cliche!

But what might be vaguely creepy on an 8-year-old makes for good holiday letters and blog content. So, chances are I will offend you at some point. You may be a Nascar-loving, marathon-running, silver-lining type. You may not be asked to guest blog…just sayin’. But I will at least poke fun at myself 10-12% of the time.

Grudge me Not

It’s not that I hold a grudge, it’s more like I strangle the life out of it. Then I relish vengeance and vindication due me. Here are some that are still come readily and joyfully to mind:

1. 1978, First Grade: Mrs. Hedgepeth would not let me go to the bathroom until I had finished my cotton-ball caterpillar. So, I did what any normal 6 year old would do, I created a masterpiece. I also created a mess. As the class filed out for recess, I called Mrs. H back to come admire my magnum opus and my puddle of the floor. That bitch was mine for all of second semester.

2. 1991, Heated Scrabble Game. It might not surprise you that I hate to lose. I played the word “zeitgeist,” hitting the triple letter on Z, a double word score and using all of my letters. It was worth points that can only be expressed with an exponent. Eric challenged. I was affronted. “Zeitgeist” in his woefully provincial 1980 Webster’s dictionary (that was before the inter web) was capitalized. Everyone knows all German nouns are capitalized, and zeitgeist had long been accepted in English usage for some time. I point it out every time I see it in print, uncapitalized, thank you very much.

Incidentally, I’m starting a petition to Words with Friends to add the following as acceptable:


3. 1995ish, A spirited debate (and by spirited, I do mean induced by spirits of the alcoholic sort) about whether or not there was a cupcake called Hoot n’ Toot, similar to Suzy Qs and Ding Dongs. I was the source of much ridicule for the next 15 years. Hoot n’ Toot was the Bigfoot of my social circle, the giant squid. Until, Google proved otherwise–incontrovertible evidence of the Hoot n’ Toot. Note: I have been accused of planting this post and laying in wait for 7 years to unveil it. It actually does sound like something I might do.

Point is, if you don’t want to end up the subject of my blog–just assume I’m right, and no one gets hurt.

File Under…Exists, but Shouldn’t

These are things for which I just can’t find any practical application, whatsoever. Feel free to add to the list.

  1. Baby corn
  2. The Situation
  3. The crossword puzzle in People
  4. Circus Peanuts
  5. Permanent eyeliner
  6. Cursive
  7. Sweatpants advertising “Juicy” on the rear
  8. Glenn Beck
  9. Annual debate over the College Bowl System
  10. Flavored water


I am pretty good at many things. I am super at a very few, but I am confident I have one gift that exceeds all others’ abilities…becoming ensnared on any given protuberance anywhere at anytime with a frequency inversely proportional to the physical probability of such occurrence.

If I have a loop, a strap, a thread, a belt, a hangnail etc. on my person at any time, it will find a doorknob, a cabinet pull, a nailhead, a car door, a twig, a fixture…any stationary object, really. I have gotten stuck to a bathroom stall door with the magnet in my bag. I have ripped open a pocket on a cabinet knob. I have been clotheslined by catching my purse strap on a fence post. I have been tethered to my car by my belt buckle catching on my seatbelt. And that was just last Thursday. I’m not clumsy, but I apparently don’t give anything a wide enough berth. Ever. Apparently I’m so efficient in my conservation of movement, I can hang a loose sweater thread on a wall mounted pencil sharpener. True story.

I think Newton might have had a law about it.  Call it Law of Motion1b: Barbara in motion will tend to find and adhere to an object not in motion to the general amusement of onlookers.

Name Blame

New jeans, starchy backpacks, and the smell of sharpened pencils in the air mean one thing…I get to direct the appropriate amount of snark and derision at the class roster. It gets more interesting every year with more elaborate permutations of spelling and creative combinations of names that were already made up to begin with.

I really don’t think there is a need to make up a name. There are plenty. If you can’t find one in the guide to 50,000 baby names, you just aren’t trying. There are 2 billion people in China and about 15 first names. And I, for one, have never come across a Graxtone Ling.

I know, parents want their child to stand-out, to be unique. But if you think affixing an albatross of a name on poor Gimmee is going to make him unique, you might want to think about the benefits of blending in, say in Cell Block B.

Secondly, I don’t think there is a need to co-opt perfectly well-established boys’ names for girls. Pure boys’ names are practically extinct. Pretty soon all will have gone the way of Leslie, Ashley, Drew, and Ryan. And we’ll be left with Ned. Do you really want that on your conscience? Furthermore, think of all the angst over constant gender confusion when you have to explain that your bundle in the bassinet, “Walter” is a girl. It just leads to a proliferation of bows larger than dinner plates affixed to hairless skulls. Senseless cycle of cruelty.

Made up names are annoying, but made up spellings are worse. Are you asking for your kid to need therapy? If it can’t be found pre-printed on a barrette or pencil case, don’t do it. If you ever find yourself having to say, “It’s Frank, with a ‘Ph'” just step out into traffic immediately.

But I think the real losers in this yearly display of out-weirding one another with bizarre spelling and pronunciation are the Kindergarten teachers. I imagine the first day of school when poor Mrs. Johnson struggles through the roster, calling out names, making corrections and becoming wistful for the slug of Dimetapp in her desk drawer.