homecoming mums sarcasm

I Need to go to the S.P.A (Sarcastic People Anonymous)

10:26 AMHeather

Apparently, I have a problem. Although I'm still a bit in denial. I mean, I don't really think it's a problem. I think, in fact, that it's a sign of greatness. 

It's my magical abilities for sass and sarcasm.

I may not be as magical as others, but I'm telling you--it's taken me decades to fine tune this level of snarky. I started in humble beginnings, with a speech impediment that caused me to be painfully shy.


Me. Painfully shy. Complete introvert. When I commented in Life Group the other night about how I, too, lean toward being an introvert, a friend said she didn't see it. At all. She would, in fact, never have guessed that I could possibly see myself that way.

I've come a long way, baby.

Because I used to struggle to form friendships. And I was an Army brat. Meeting new people was an every day occurrence when you live in an Army base. Not to mention all the great opportunities to be the "new girl." Again. 

I used to be very self-conscious. 

Okay, okay. I still can be. I still can tend to overanalyze a conversation or a text or even a lack of response from a text.  Did I somehow offend? Is that person unhappy with me? Oh, yes, one of my other gifts is my ability to critique and second guess myself. My clothes, my words, my thoughts, my actions. My everything. Oh, the joys of living like a totally confused adolescent who tends to ask repeatedly--"Does this look okay on me?" 

I must say, however, that age is doing wonders to sand off the rough edges on this self-consciousness thing. It must be why older people say whatever they think. Because they've lived long enough to earn the right to, I guess.

When I was a kid, in my recollection, I was most at home with a sketchbook that I would fill with doodles and a sewing kit to make my own stuffed animals and purses. Creativity was my outlet. It was my thing. 

Because interactions with others often left me wondering what I should have said or could have said. 

So you see, it's taken me the better part of my life to fine tune my ability to be completely sarcastic. And personally, I tend to pat myself on the back when I say something that amuses others. I feel as though I've creatively used my talents and abilities to finally become somewhat fluent in the second language of sarcasm.

Just to be funny, mind you. Not to belittle others.

Unless you count my running snarky commentary during the VMA's that I unfortunately watched with one of my teenagers. Look, I'm sorry. Miley Cyrus just gave me so much material. What are you supposed to do when it's handed to you on a silver platter AND you actually amuse your teenage offspring to the point of laughter? I blame it all on mother/son bonding.

So, while I'm all, "ha ha, that's a good one!"... this past Monday revealed to me that I may have a problem?

First sign of a potential issue.

I was in the mum supply store (Yes, they exist in the great state of Texas. And I should totally own one because I'd be raking in some dough off of the mum excess that I'm so prone to blog about both here and here). 

Anyway, I was in this mum supply store having 50 shades of frenzy with all the ribbons and teddy bears and doo-dads and thing-a-ma-jigs and I was thinking that all my criticism of mums had come back to bite me. Because I was, alas, a mom making a mum. All for the love of children. Or rather, tall teenage not-quite-children. Unsure of what were absolutely necessary items to secure so that the mum would be fabulous while staying on budget, my son texted his friend to ask her what she might like on her mum. You know, any of her activities to be represented. 

(SIDE NOTE: Major rabbit trail. Maybe that's why mums have gotten so big and excessive? Because you put a ribbon on for this activity and a doo-dad thingie on to represent that activity? So since our preschoolers are having signing days for select team soccer while balancing their careers in elite dance crews and Mathletes, I guess it stands to reason that by their teen years, their mum must be big enough to reflect all that they have accomplished).  

I hardly know this friend of my son's. But I loved her response.

"Whatever is fine with me."

You are an angel, sweet girl! Bravo, son, for having such awesome friends.

So, in my usual fashion, I told my son to text her back and tell her that his mama said to quit being so high maintenance. 

He's so obedient always that he, of course, did just as I asked. 

She, however, does not know me that well, as I just mentioned.

Unfortunately, I caused a teenage girl to have a moment of uncertainty....

"What?!" (with a concerned face emoji).

Oops! My son, quickly texted back that his mom was totally kidding and that I lean toward sarcasm. She seemed to be put at ease.

Perhaps you have to know me to appreciate me? Or, maybe I should be more selective in my sassy moments and use them all up on people like my immediate family and my closest friends. I have a lovely running text thread with some equally snarky friends.

And we are hilarious, I tell you. We amuse ourselves all the live long day.

So my son and I wrapped up our mum supply shopping but not before I got these two interesting factoids that I simply must share with all my bloggy friends who know my struggle with excessive mums.

1. One of the employees announced she spent over $800 on her mum. But not to worry, she added. Since she was able to work off most of her bill.

2. And, that really wasn't that bad because one girl's mum in a neighboring suburb (if you live around here, three guesses and first two don't count) cost over $2,000.

My mind immediately considered how many kids in Ethiopia or Uganda could go to school for a year with that amount.

(In case you are wondering, about 50 depending on the school program--where they are educated, fed and clothed. Or you know, one girl causes permanent neck damage by wearing a mumstrosity bigger than Texas).

Anyhoo, off to church we went, my son and I, to catch some very relevant teaching at our church's monthly supplement teaching event. The girls and guys were separated, and somewhere in the topic of the church and pornography, the speaker said something about being a recovering sarcastic person. She said this was a habit she was still struggling with but working to break. And she was making strides with it.

And I panicked.

I do not recall seeing the sin of sarcasm on the ten commandments list. Couldn't bring to mind a Bible verse particularly pertaining to "thou shalt not be sassy, snarky or sarcastic." 

So I did the only thing I could do in a moment like that.

I texted my BFF who was sitting three rows ahead of me and said:

" Uh oh!
Sarcastic People Anonymous?"

My sincerest apologies to our speaker if she is reading this. I really was paying attention to all the great wisdom you shared. Such a relevant topic and I am so glad I attend a church that hits on such hard topics. 

(Not an ounce of sarcasm in that statement, by the way. Which may be another problem with sarcasm? Maybe part of the issue is people aren't sure when you are sincere?)

As I sat in that pew, it was a moment of self-examination. About my sarcasm.

At the break, my friend laughed with me and said, "Um, maybe we save that for each other?"

Which of course, I'm totally doing since I'm blogging today about sarcasm here on the world wide web. Totally keeping it to myself. 

And if you're a reader here regularly, you might be quite curious about how one day I blog something deep and meaningful and the next day I am offering this dribble. It's a glimpse into my brain. That's all I can say.

But, I did get the speaker's point. When sarcasm is used to cut people down or to be critical of them, it truly is tearing them down rather than building them up.And there is a Bible verse about that.

Miley Cyrus--forgive me for my VMA snarkiness with my son regarding your choices of attire and lifestyle. I really do hope that someone speaks some truth and wisdom into your life before you something destructive happens.

Sarcasm can be misinterpreted and wounding when not used wisely or with the right people or in the right situations. It can be disrespectful and detracting from an opportunity to encourage and uplift others. And, when not used in the right context or when used in excess, I concede that it might cause people to question your sincerity.

I get that completely. 

So maybe, I really should re-evaluate the appropriate contexts for my propensity for sarcasm? Using my super powers for good and not evil?

Using them to make my husband laugh about something unimportant? Or using it to find a reason to smile about a tough situation? As in looking for humor in hard times. Or maybe laughing with my kids about some eCard or meme about the weather or Baylor football or other benign subjects?

Perhaps it's best to use my sass in my close circles of friends who get me--who really get me--rather than in text responses to a poor teenage girl who doesn't really know me?

Maybe here, on this blog, or in my writing, to make a point, but not at the expense of others?

I don't know. 

It's food for thought.

My need for the S.P.A. 

Or maybe I should just cash in on that idea, connected to my mum supply store, and create an actual spa with a backroom for S.P.A. meetings?

"Hi, my name is Heather. (Hi Heather, says the crowd, dressed in white fluffy bathrobes and hair turbans, fresh from their massage and facials)

"And I have a problem with sarcasm and sass."

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