Thursday, July 18, 2019

Is it Time to Let Myself Go Yet?

Now that I'm 45, I feel like it might be time to let myself go already. To let the gray hair seep back into my hairline. To let my eyebrows grow back into their glorious unibrow. To chuck the lipstick in favor of Chapstick.

But then I get my latest People magazine, and I marvel at the 55-year-old actresses, who look twenty years younger. I used to aspire to aging gracefully. But nowadays celebrities don't even age at all past 35. Who knows how much work it is to look 35 when you're 55? I'm already tired of putting in the effort.

There's no reason to craft this fa├žade of eternal youth. I'm married with two kids. The last time I met a handsome stranger's gaze in a bar, it was because it was kids eat free night. We both smiled ruefully at each other as our kids behaved badly.

I'm not sure why women chase the disappearing beauty of youth. There certainly aren't role models of older women readily available in the movies. Women go from nymph to hag with no stopping-point in between.

But I say bring on the hagdom! I will brew pots of herbal tea. I will let my gray hair curl in wicked waves. I will wear caftans and orthopedic shoes.

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Mom Shamin' at Dunkin'

I furtively glance around as I tiptoe into Dunkin' with my four-year-old in tow. Only a horrible mother would allow her child to consume deep-fried carbohydrates laced with sugar, right?

Even Dunkin' itself is even distancing itself from donuts. Their name is no longer Dunkin' Donuts, just Dunkin'. As if you can purchase any item for dunking into coffee.

Still, their display features rows and rows of glossy donuts. My daughter even has a favorite, which is strawberry frosted with sprinkles. I alternate between the French Cruller and the chocolate-frosted classic.

When we enter, I breathe a sigh of relief. The occasional commuter sweeps in for a coffee to go, but the rest of the shop is filled with children and their caregivers. (I always suspect the slender waifs are really nannies, but they could me mothers who are in better shape than I am.)

We sit down in a bright pink booth and nibble on our donuts. I give my daughter my phone to watch mindless YouTube videos featuring millionaires who open toys for the camera.

"Mom, how come that little girl gets to watch the phone?" a cherubic toddler asks.

"Some mommies let their kids watch the phone, but not me," the mom says.

My worry was misplaced. I'm mom-shamed for my phone instead of donuts.

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Don't Be a Helicopter Spouse

Many articles have been written about the dangers of being a helicopter parent. However, I have to stop myself from being a helicopter spouse as well.

My husband does the chore of washing the dishes, with sometimes interesting results. I try to bite my tongue, because after all, I really don't want to do the dishes.

I normally am the farthest person from a neat freak, but neat little rows of ants marching around our sink made me morph into Wifezilla. The combination of a warm spring and dishes left overnight proved irresistible for the ants in our backyard.

Instead of letting my husband wash the dishes, I maniacally cleaned up every dish as soon as it touched the sink. My kitchen never looked so good! I almost wanted to invite people over for dinner just to admire the spotless kitchen.

However, after a week of Type-A dishwashing, I realized I had effectively taken over the chore of washing the dishes. I had to relax into my usual lackluster oversight of the dishes in order to keep my sanity.

Also, my husband called the exterminator.

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

Friday, March 22, 2019

I Tried Rent the Runway -- with Mixed Results

After two children and countless diets, I have a closet full of dresses ranging from size eight to size 14. I haven't worn my size-eight little black dress in more than a decade, but against all advice from Marie Kondo, it's still hanging in my closet.

With a vacation to California planned, I decided to try Rent the Runway for a fresh slate of spring dresses. Unfortunately, Denver weather interfered in the form of a March blizzard, which closed schools, airports -- and interrupted mail delivery.

After more than an hour on the phone the morning of my departure, it was determined that my package was still sitting at the distribution center instead of on my doorstep. Rent the Runway automatically returned the package, but left the charge on my credit card.

Once we arrived in San Francisco, my hotel turned out to be a few blocks away from a brick-and-mortar Rent the Runway store. I happily tried on dresses, and selected a Draper James A-line dress in size XL for a $30 rental. The transaction at the store ended up being fairly easy, and I just dropped off the dress the next day. I could have kept the dress for four days, but I didn't have time for dry cleaning.

When I got home, I had to spend another 20 minutes on the phone to get the charge on my credit card refunded. All in all, I enjoyed the clothes, but it ended up being quite a hassle for the package that was never delivered. My advice would be to spring for the eight-day rental if you live anywhere with bad weather. I had planned on receiving the package the day before I left, but that might not be the best idea.

The saleslady at the store said Rent the Runway plans on opening on a Texas distribution center soon, which will hopefully make renting clothes easier for fashionistas located West of the Mississippi. Right now, all clothes are shipped from a New Jersey distribution center.

Interested in trying it for yourself? Receive $30 off your first Rent the Runway purchase. (I also receive $30.)

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.