Party Foul

This guest blog hits on a pet peeve of mine. I would actually like a time-sensitive detonator that would start to smell like rotten fish if you don’t reply in a timely manner. If you specify RSVP, people don’t call. If you say “Regrets Only” they don’t call. If you have free tickets to Taylor Swift, they are going to call.

I have a similar rule with Christmas Cards. You get one grace year. Two years without a card, and you’re off my list. I make exceptions for people who may include me in their will, my Jewish friends, and Kristi Erickson.

Thanks, CSM for the snoot.

RSVP doesn’t mean “Reply If You Feel Like It”, but don’t bother if you don’t!

Why is it so difficult for people to RSVP?  If I’m going to the trouble to invite you somewhere, the least you could do is let me know if you can make it or not.  In today’s world, you don’t even have to talk to me, you can email, text or reply online thru the Evite I sent out.  Just let me know!  Are you waiting to see if you get a better offer for that day perhaps?  Just commit already!

People still reply to wedding invitations at least, right?  Maybe if I really want replies I have to include self-addressed, stamped envelopes with reply cards so all people have to do is check the box and drop it in the mail.  I hate to think this disturbing trend has worked its way up to ignoring formal invitations too.

What I don’t understand is, everyone I know complains about not getting responses to their party invites- or more typically- the invites they sent out for their child’s party.  You know, at the place that charges by the child so you have to have an accurate head count for them a few days in advance?  And where frequently the pricing is tiered based on party size?  Yeah, that kind of place, so it matters if you’ve got 8 or 14 or 24.  And, of course, you have to have goodie bags for the right amount of kids.   But if you didn’t reply and show up anyway, you can bet your kid will be the one going home without a goodie bag if I run out- and I hope he whines to you ALL THE WAY HOME that he didn’t get one.  Then you can tell him that it’s *your* fault because you didn’t RSVP so we didn’t know your child was coming – not because the birthday child’s mom is mean or can’t count.

So, if everyone is complaining that no one bothers to RSVP for parties, that must mean they aren’t replying either, right?  Or is there a small subset of people who not only don’t have the courtesy to reply, but also don’t have the courtesy to reciprocate?  Maybe these people never actually HAVE parties so they have no idea how annoying it is to be the hostess trying to guess who is coming?

I’d like to start dropping the kids whose parents don’t reply from the party list- but of course they’re always kids my child really wants to include.  So, like a good mom, year after year we invite them, and year after year I call a few days before to find out they’re coming or not…

10 Things I Hate About You: An Open Letter to America

Dear America,

We need to talk. Consider this an intervention. I know it’s unfashionable to talk about your faults, but we really need to address your addictions. I don’t mean foreign oil, cheap imports from China, or an unhealthy obsession with all meat in jerky form. I mean the things that are really holding you back. This may be American exceptionalism in the wrong direction. Here’s my list.

1. Metric system already. Rip that band-aid off.

2. Hand sanitizer. Germ-X sales alone are what has halted the slide into deep recession. An alert immune system is a good thing. While, I don’t recommend licking the floor in the DMV bathroom, soap and water goes a long way.

3. Use of “like” and “you know?” as punctuation or dramatic pause.

4. Daylight Savings Time. Either have it or don’t. Indiana, I’m talking to you.

5. Innovation in the form of new ways to get more cheese onto your pizza.

6. Lindsay Lohan.

7. ED commercials with clothed people in bathtubs. Just wrong on so many levels.

8. Goober Grape. Have we really fallen so far as a society, that we have to have our peanut butter and jelly pre-mixed?

9. “American Stuffers.” The name had promise. I thought it was going to be a documentary about an overeating epidemic. No, it’s a reality show about taxidermy. We not only invite ridicule, we serve it up on a platter with Lone Star and venison jerky.

Which brings me to #10…Really could it be anything else?

10. Jumbo Jerky Works Jerky Gun and Seasoning Kit

I know someone who owns this product–actually purchased it, not gifted. It has attachments so you can choose the shape of your jerky. It’s made in America. I looked it up. Who says American manufacturing is dead?

#Facebook Fail

I’m in the 1%. That is, the 1% that can’t keep up with Facebook and how it is constantly evolving to new levels that annoy me. My FB exploded the other day; I wasn’t able to access it from my phone. So you’ll forgive me if I didn’t realize that you went to the grocery store. I realized though, that people had been sending me messages. This was a new concept to me. I had asked some very funny, like-minded snoots to guest blog, and I realized I had a real gem waiting for me. Thanks, CC for the hilarious snark…

Carissa Casbon

Carissa’s Guide to Being More Interesting/Less Obnoxious on Facebook:

1) Don’t show me 100 photos of your home renovation project. To everyone but you, it’s boring. No one wants to see that shit.
2) Don’t give me a play-by-play of your entire vacation. Especially in these economic times. People are losing their jobs on a daily basis. It’s tacky. If you were having such an excellent time, you wouldn’t be making status updates every 30 seconds.
3) If you are visiting in or living in a tropical climate, don’t tell me about it in January. People have been killed for less. Yes, that’s a threat.
4) No one cares about your marathon training schedule. It’s not interesting. It’s just not. Not to anyone. Not ever. Better you hear it from me.
5) Don’t give me a list of things you are going to be doing if it’s not at least mildly diverting.
6) Don’t use over-the-top LOLs or ROTFLs or whatever. Truly there are very few things that are so amusing they are worthy of a floor roll. Even a figurative one.
7) For once, instead of bragging about your new car, your fabulous vacation, your new expensive gadget, or any other inane bullshit, tell me about how your child vomited in the car at exactly the same time as your dog (this happened to me), or what you are reading, or how you hope to be less life-suckingly depressed this year. It’s more relatable and you may just feel better.
8) If you have nothing interesting to say, just don’t post a status for a while. It’s okay. You can take that time to read the posts of your friends and make a few supportive comments instead of constantly yammering about yourself and how fabulous your life is.
DON’T: OMG! We just arrived in Prague and our upgraded hotel room is huge!
DO: Today is measurably less sucky than yesterday. I may make it through the whole day without a king-size bag of peanut butter M&M’s.
DON’T: OMG! I just ran 10.54 miles in just under 84 minutes! Now I’ll hit the showers, do three loads of laundry and go out for drinks with the girls! ROTFL! LOL!
DO: Post an interesting article you read. I promise they are out there.

Saran Wrath

Let’s just put it this way, if I am ever stranded on a desert island with only Saran Wrap, I will use the lot to wrap around my nostrils and mouth and make a hasty exit. The only thing I can get Saran Wrap to stick to is itself. But, should I ever need a giant ball of pliable Vinyloid, I know right where to go. I think “Cling” Wrap is a misnomer. It’s more like Quasi-Adhere To Wrap, Gently Graze Wrap, or Mildly Attract Wrap. More like Crush Your Soul Wrap. It is one of the few occasions that I demonstrate the full range of four letter words in my arsenal. Children hide and the dog cowers.

Since tonight I was stranded on a dessert island with 22 cupcakes needing protection from the elements, Eric tried to instruct me on the finer points of Saran Wrap application. This is like trying to teach me to whistle. I PHYSICALLY AM UNABLE. It doesn’t matter how you try to explain it, how you demonstrate, or think you are “the one” who can break through. It will not happen. Besides, for those of you who do whistle, it does not sound good, no matter how good you think you are. Ok, that PSA out of the way, I cannot be taught to use Saran Wrap, that is why tin foil was made. If you do insist on trying to teach me, I may be forced to demonstrate the sharpness of the foil edge on your jugular.

Holiday Sneer

Ok, I think I have observed the appropriate amount of snipe-free commentary in honor of Christmas. There was at least a good 15 minute span where I refrained. And because many of you are about to board planes and travel to exotic locations, like Buffalo,  I’d like to present my vision of Air Travel, the Snooty Way in time for your forays into the skies.

Snooty Rules of Air Travel

1. If you must speak to the desk personnel to check-in, you get 5 minutes on the clock. Once you have exceeded your allotted time, you must return to the back of the line and start over. Buh-bye!

2. If you and your traveling companions are sporting matching American flag jackets and velcro Rockports you must by-pass the security line and go straight to the interview room and have your passport confiscated. You clearly represent a security threat, a high potential for diplomatic incident, and at a minimum a confirmation of an embarrassing stereotype. I know, there goes any potential I had for running for Congress. My flag pin has been revoked.

3. There is a line for people who insist on wearing belts, shoes that lace, and have chromium hip replacements, and it is always the shortest line. Don’t be fooled. It’s like the farm equipment line at the DMV. It will draw you in, and then it will crush your soul.

4. If I must take off my shoes and submit my bag to an extra search, then TSA must compliment me on my impeccable taste in footwear and handbags, apologize for suspecting me in the first place, and then go clean the hair out of those bins.

5. If the carrier insists on charging me extra to bring luggage, eat or drink, use the bathroom, have a seatbelt, and sit down, I get to bill the airline for the following: injury to my elbow, seating me next to someone whose person rolls over into my personal space, snores, and/or has a phlegmatic cough; late arrival fee, early arrival fee, tarmac-waiting fee, and core body temperature distress fee.

6. If your carry-on is too large to lift over your head, you must buy a seat for it, and it cannot hog the armrest. And if you feel you must Saran-Wrap your luggage, you must also admit that you really don’t have anything of value in there (or else it wouldn’t be checked on a plane) and that you are just asking for it.

7. If when the plane arrives, there is no gate crew to move the jet bridge, passengers are allowed to boo and then use the inflatable slide.

8. I am allowed to request a seat change on the grounds that the person next to me tried to start a conversation.

9. If you allow your child to continually kick my seat, I get to tell him there isn’t a Santa. And if you must use the back of my seat to lift you out of your own, I get to turn around and stare wild-eyed and say things like, “It’s you – just as the prophecy foretold!”

10. If a flight less than 3 hours in duration requires a bathroom break, you must sit on the aisle or provide your own travel catheter.

I could go on and on, and perhaps I will in another installment, but let’s hear from the snoots…


Bumtown, U.S.A.

The stench of Gary, Indiana greets you on the way south out of Chicago.

This post is my homage to the least desirable places I have had the pleasure of visiting. Note: I have not been to Ohio, if you are questioning its absence. Audience participation, please. Think of it as the un-tourist guide.

1. Gary, Indiana (I honestly think the kid in The Music Man was high on refinery fumes.)

2. Slidell, Louisiana (Water is what I would describe as chewy.)

3. Lake Charles, Louisiana (Voted Louisiana city of the year while I was there; obviated my need to see the rest of Louisiana.)

4. Vidor, Texas (The stuff of urban legend, except it’s all true.)

5. Cairo, Illinois (Just like the rest of Illinois south of Chicago. It’s just that you’re almost free!)

6. Newark, NJ (Spent a memorable evening in the airport Holiday Inn karaoke bar, flush with airplane food vouchers. Good times.)

7. Las Vegas, NV (Just a sad-sack of a place. Before you tell me how great it is, recall there is an entire song about leaving the place.)

8. Northern Arkansas (I’m really not sure of the town where we stopped on the drive from Chicago to Dallas, but let’s just say the people at McDonald’s were not wearing shoes. And I do mean the people behind the counter.)

9. Philadelphia, PA (I couldn’t find much redeeming there, except for the Maryland Crab Chowder, and any credit there clearly has to go to Maryland.)

10. Brownsville, TX (Scarred by childhood bird-poop incident; otherwise could be perfectly lovely place. But I suspect not.)

My Marathon Faze

I must have missed the memo that said everyone should add a marathon to his bucket list. Seems like everyone has trained for one, run one, run one on each continent, run as least one in costume, watched someone run one, or read books about running one. It’s the new black, like getting a tattoo or taking up composting.

Let’s be clear. I will not ever be running a marathon. I doubt I will run enough in my accumulated years of living to stretch 26.2 miles. I generally will not run unless being threatened with bodily harm by a pursuer.

I’ve had shin splints before, and as much as I relished spending my junior year of high school smelling of Icy Hot, running is not for the 39 year old body. It’s painful and boring, and I like alone-time. Lastly, I don’t have a 4+ hour block to do anything fun, much less engage in something that will make me lose my toenails, want to throw-up, and require me to ingest a product advertised as “goo.” (Again, inducing vomiting).

But I am generally out of the loop, or more euphemistically, “counter-cultural.” When did everyone get chiropractors? (Lightbulb: maybe if you don’t run, you don’t need one.) Decide to plank anywhere other than a yoga class? Start listening to Ke$ha? Follow single-item food diets? And deem cowboy boots with short skirts acceptable?

And perhaps most importantly, when did I start sounding like Andy Rooney?