Christmas 2010

“As the World Famous Marion Barry once said, “The Bitch Set Me Up.”

Dear Loved Ones Near and Far,

Well, it’s that time of year again.  The pressure to write this letter almost met it’s maker today.  Damn card doesn’t mention our name.  When life hands you lemons, I drink Lemonade…Sweet Tea Vodka that is.  Sweet Tea affords me a hydrated break from my day, and allows me to plan on how the heck I’m going to move forward towards where I want to be, kind of like yoga, but no sweat.  The letter got out late this year, because, let’s just say, I’m not the ONLY one with issues.   I’m certified drunk as of the printing and sticking, but it’s been one of those days.  A year shouldn’t be measured in the events of one day, but a series of bad days in a year should make a great novel.  You enjoy these annual letters?  Buy my book.  What doesn’t kill us, well, thank God for good wine, Firefly, & the last of my blessed Xanax pills from when my health insurance covered my ear doctor.   What?  I can’t hear you, please don’t yell, but speak clearly in not too deep a voice in my left ear, the right ear is deaf, but rings constantly (confirming my belief in Santa Claus), the pitch is out of tune.   The one bit of advice that I shall drill into the brains of my children is that the only way to survive the “good times & the bad” is to marry your best friend.  It helps if they have a sense of humor, and you find that space between their teeth very, very attractive. John can make me laugh even as tears are streaming down my face just from the sheer disappointment, sadness, and aggravation of it all.   I am so fortunate to have girlfriends that are there to support me (or listen) when I need it, & have the blessing of my family to know that they love you when things seem at their darkest.  But all is not lost, I know & believe in “The Secret” & so we keep moving forward, simply throwing out the garbage placed in our path & keep focusing on the destination.  But, If I call, Pick up & Thank You God for inventing Skinny Tea Vodka (due out for release March 1st, and my local booze shop promises to call me and sell me the first bottle, as we have that type of relationship).

I don’t know what I was thinking, but as the world famous Marion Barry once said, “The Bitch Set Me Up.”  She was so darn small & cute & had the most beautiful hair & she loved to cuddle & I was lulled into this delusional, ill-conceived fantasy that she would cure my latest anxiety.  Actually, about three days into our inviting her into our home after she had just enjoyed my Coach mink slippers for breakfast, I snapped out of my NyQuil induced slumber & wondered what in the H*E* double hockey sticks was I thinking?  If you haven’t noticed by our latest collage of our blissful family looking very tan & at our best, there is a new jet black Giant Schnoodle with no eyes in the mix, we named her “Lucy”, but it was IMMEDIATELY changed to “Lucifer”.  John doesn’t even call her by name, she’s “Sinclair’s Dog”.  In the three months we’ve had her, she has tripled in size (she’s now 50 pounds & shall double again), ruined our carpeting in her sheer apathy to please anyone, eaten our staircase, eaten carpets, wood furniture, upholstered furniture, barbies, legos, hair bows, important documents, catalogs, magazines, mail, school projects, destroyed new (& old) shoes, perfected the art of stealth counter surfing (consuming several pounds of Boar’s Head turkey & raw chicken), can chew through a leash in 3 minutes, and absolutely annoys Lille, although I have caught Lille instigating some roughhousing.   She’s so beautiful, but friends, she’s up to no good & it’s impossible to stare her down, because you can’t see her eyes.  And she’s fast.  You can’t catch her.  She’s like a cross between Tigger, Alf & Satan.  We have enrolled her in dog obedience training, but I’m not optimistic.  Lucy spends most of the class teaching the other dogs how to swipe treats off the table with her skill of paw swiping, much to the shock & awe of the trainer.  Dogs learn by hand gestures, & the bitch can’t see but her paws are as large as baseball gloves.  Five minutes into her first session, she had successfully eaten her leather leash & was harassing the “shorter” dogs.  Yep, she’s officially a Montgomery.   Lucifer’s so obnoxious, when it’s time to go outside, she waits for Lille to get in just the right position so she can hurdle her just as Lille is about to relieve herself.  Lille has taken up residence & constipation under the desk in John’s office where she sleeps & passes gas in her last days with peace & quiet, and folks, as of today, Lille’s days are numbered, literally.

Have no fear though, Jack 10, Ashton 8, & Mignonne 6, continue to live charmed lives.  We kicked off the New Year in New Orleans, and returned to enjoy Mardi Gras with family & friends, and took a trip to Asheville & Chattanooga for fall break.  We trekked back to the Big Easy for a few days over the Christmas Holiday (with the black beast & the old grey dog too), as I hadn’t done enough damage to my liver this year (I’ve been successfully dieting.  Listen up!  Less alcohol + less food = amazing weight loss).  Jack’s tennis team won the 10U city championship in the Spring, and was a finalist in the Fall.  Ashton & Mignonne are also enrolled in the tennis program, although I also admit, under protest.  John & I concur that tennis for our children is probably equivalent to piano lessons for a kid that wants to play the drums, but I don’t know of any scholarship programs for Wii & Lego enthusiasts.  Mignonne has decided that she wants to be an ice skater, but she’ll settle for just going skating with me for now (I’m not signing up for a five a.m. skating lesson!)  Ashton grew out his hair, and I am not sure if it’s the volume of his current lack of hair style, but he’s caught up in height with his brother.  I’d rather get a pap smear than go to the children’s haircut place, and so, well, my children look a bit weathered, but we fit right in on Daufuskie Island when we go.  Mignonne continues to be my sweetest girl in the world and lights up the room & my heart.  She’s the best snuggler in the family and still can’t say her “R’s” so we love to have her say, “Pweetiest Gurl in da Wurld”.  Ashton has turned out to be quite the creative type, and has been known to outsource his homework to his sister, as her handwriting is neater.  According to suburban public school  standards Mignonne is now “gifted” (as are all three of our heirs – go figure).  Jack is ready for a cell phone, but he’s not getting one.

We spent the summer again on Daufuskie, however, I was prohibited from “cooking crab in the house” by our home owner, which caused me to have less frequent, but more productive crabbing with the crab boil operation taking place remotely.  If I was spotted at my favorite spot, a golf spy would notify our house owner in Canada, who would then “follow up” with the gentleman doing house repairs (the house is always under repair), who would stop by to “verify I wasn’t in business” catching me ‘blue crab handed” with a dozen or so of my little friends resting over ice in a bucket on the front porch.  He likes my Gumbo, so I was safe.  I shuttered my deviled crab business before relaunch, and spent my ten weeks of heaven playing tennis, & drinking Sweet Tea (Firefly).  Daufuskie is up in the air as of this letter, as I have accepted an opportunity with a national consulting firm and go undercover on an assignment disguised as a career working mom and start a project with another of my favorite drink manufacturers in January.  I’m hoping to negotiate an arrangement whereby I can “summer on my island”, I didn’t think it would be prudent to bring it up just yet, as it didn’t come up during the interview, and I left my crabbing business off of my resume. I figured they would need to see my amazingness in action away from a dock with a crab net, Miller Lite, sexy boots & 3 kids in tow.

Today turned out to be my greatest challenge of the year, and I am proud to be notorious for “speaking up”.  Lille escaped her funeral today.  I know it is coming, but didn’t think I’d have to edit this years missive at printing time (hence the stupor & the blessing of Firefly & my last Xanax).  I never would have thought that bringing her in for a checkup for a little UTI & dehydration would lead to a nightmare diagnosis of diabetes, pancreatitis, heart murmur, & a failing system the day before Christmas Eve.  Kids were crying, I was bawling, John even teared up.  But, as I explained to my mother when I brought her home (alive) from the vet (everyone was expecting a burial, even Lucy who had enlarged the hole we dug in the back yard for her this afternoon), I just couldn’t put her down when she was wagging her tail & giving me big halitosis sloppy kisses.  We did both have a great time in New Orleans, but we both promised to lay off the sauce again for 2011.  I popped her a Zantac, gave her a rawhide bone & me the last one of my faithful friends.  I pray she survives through the week & Christmas vacation.  Sleep peacefully this holiday season my friends knowing LIFE IS GOOD.  Have sweet dreams as you picture my offspring kicking each other & screaming in the back of the duct taped minivan, Lucy chewing through what is left of the upholstery, and John riding shotgun on his laptop. Lille is alive.

Secret = Your Destination & I know exactly where I’m going.   Everyone can come with me, you just can’t ask any questions.   All is right with my world.

Sincerely yours,  Sinclair & the Rest of the Montgomery’s (John, Jack, Ashton, Mignonne, Lucifer, & Lille.

Target Christmas Shipping Nightmare Continued: Still Can’t Get It Right

Twitter Today:

SuburbanMartyr @SuburbanMartyr has continued to make my Christmas “Not So Merry”.  Now the lost item, which hasn’t been assigned to a carrier, is delayed again.

Ugh.  Got another email this morning from my fan club at


Subject: Your order (#XXXXX)

Date: December 7, 2010 6:25:57 AM EST

To: Sinclair Montgomery <>


Thank you for shopping at

We wanted to let you know that there is a delay with one or more items

in the order you placed on November 30 2010 (Order# XXXX).

Please accept our apologies for this delay.

Order status can change quickly, and it is possible that your order may

even be delivered between the time we send this message and the time that you

read it.  When items in your order are shipped, you will receive an

e-mail confirming the date, contents, and method of your shipment.

Keep in mind that if your order arrives too late, you can refuse delivery or

return it to us for a refund. For instructions on returning an item, please visit

our Returns Center (

For more information, please visit the following Order Update page in

My Account:

If clicking the above link doesn’t work, you can copy and paste the

link into your browser’s address window, or retype it there.

If you used an account to place your order, you can also access this

Order Update page by clicking the My Account button in the upper-right

corner of any page at  Once there, you can make changes

to unshipped orders, cancel unshipped items, track shipped packages,

modify your account settings, and do much more.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this delay.

Thanks for shopping at We hope you’ll visit us again soon.


Online Guest Services

*** This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please don’t reply to this message. If you have further questions, please visit our online Help section. ***

So, I pick up the phone and call my friends in Mumbai at

Dowan, my new friend, simply tells me that “no problem. Once it delivered to the place where it is going, you just take it to Target and they will credit your account, you refuse delivery.” Again, I say, “It’s an island, and no one is HOME. Once you deliver the package to the island, there is no way that it will get to me by Christmas.” I explain, there is no Target on Daufuskie, and the General Store’s operating hours are questionable.  I ask if he has ever seen the show, “Fantasy Island”.  Crickets….

I asked politely if there was a phone number I could call to the distribution center, or the IT department to put a back office “kill” to the order, and he said, “No, der er no phones der.” Useless.  Waste of Time.

So, I am going to spend my day looking around town for the freaking Galactic Lego Cruiser, ensure that I have it, and then just continue to post negative feedback on their business ratings subscription websites until some ding dong figures this out.

This shall be my second to last order EVER with, and I should have just ordered it from Amazon when it was available, but I had this online only gift card from March that I was trying to use. God help them try to figure out how to reinstate that “credit”….

Then I receive this from my friend, Dowan at

We always strive to provide a high level of service, and we would appreciate your feedback.  Please let us know if we resolved your inquiry.

If yes, click here:

If not, click here:



Online Guest Services

No offense Dowan, but I click “Not”.


Please read your message below. Need to make changes? Click the “Edit” button. If you’re happy with your message, click “Submit.”



E-mail address:


Feedback to

Order ID:



Again, I receive an email saying that my order, which apparently has not been assigned “a carrier” is being delayed, now not expected to be delivered to “THE WRONG ADDRESS” until December 13-20th. I call to hopefully once again have you CANCEL the ORDER so that I can get the item mailed CORRECTLY to my billing address. Your system won’t allow you to fix this once the item has been placed in whatever que it’s in, and apparently, no one can go and find my particular item and fix the address that it is being shipped to (even though the mailing label hasn’t been printed yet, since it hasn’t been assigned a carrier.) This is ABSOLUTELY frustrating. The item is being sent to an address that I don’t reside at, and no one is there to return the item once it is delivered. I dare say that this is my last order from as this is totally unacceptable.

So I am now about to take off my pajamas, and head out to Christmas Shopping Hell, to find a freaking Galactic Space Lego Cruiser for my 10 year old son, absolutely disgusted at the thought that I might not find it and pissed off at that fact that I have to spend $100 on a freaking Lego set, instead of the $50 that I had to fork out of pocket from Target (since I was using my useless “online only $50 gift card).

In other updates in the Suburban Martyr’s life, yesterday I spent 10 hours doing at least 14 loads of laundry, sheets, and towels, since both boys wet the bed and it was our weekly wash day.  I was so over it.  Then I made a delicious Emeril’s recipe of Beef Stroganoff that they all bitched about, except John, his eyes rolled back in his head.  I am about to rock their little world.  Momma has a job interview on Thursday with a National Consulting Firm….yep, I might be going back to work.

I have very mixed feelings about it, but I think my children take a lot of things for granted, and I personally am pretty exhausted from “giving up what I need” to give what we do have to them.  I’m anxious and excited all at the same time.  I really don’t know how it will all work out, because I don’t even have time to do the things I’m supposed to do for John’s business since I’m spending so much time making sure they are all happy and well adjusted children.

It does give me pride, when a girlfriend compliments that fact that my children are so good, and I think to myself, that it’s because I gave up ME for THEM, which when I look at other people’s kids that are terrors, and then look at the parents, I know why.  But, then another girlfriend commented to me that kids take us for granted because they don’t respect us, because they think that all we do all day is watch TV, talk on the phone, and shop, and that who they do respect is their mom that works.  I think, I WORK!  I work for John, for Free.  Not anymore.  If Target can outsource their customer service to Mumbai, then I can outsource motherhood, or at least make a go of it.

Stay tuned….

Target Christmas Shipping Nightmare: Why Target Has Failed me

Twitter Today: has failed me again!  Cant seem to change a shipping address when a package hasn’t left the warehouse.  Fail Target!  Fail!

Poor Jack.  He wrote a beautifully crafted letter to Santa Claus after unsuccessfully winning the Space Police design your own model contest (see picture above) that he knows that his mommy refuses to buy him any more Legos, but he really wanted the Lego Space Police Galatic Enforcer for Christmas.  So, I order it online, from after discovering that there was “Free Shipping” and a temporary price cut, and I had a 50$ online only gift card to use that Ashton had received for a birthday present, but I refused to pay for shipping so I gave him $50, and traded him the gift card last March.

I had a $50 credit to spend at Target, and being that I had this credit, I rationalized the crazy Lego price of $100.99 that it was “50.99” and ordered it, on November 30th.

So, today I open my email (December 3rd) and had sent me a “change notification” to my order, and the only “change” I could tell was that the freaking order was not going to my billing address in the suburbs, but was now going to our Summer Address at Daufuskie Island.  Um, we’re not expected there for 172 more days, but CHRISTMAS IS 22 DAYS AWAY!!!!  I immediately call the Target Online Orders Customer Service Number of 1.800.591.3869 and am put on hold where I wait 25 minutes before….I’m DISCONNECTED.  Then I dial the number again.  Target Online Orders Customer Service Number of 1.800.591.3869.  This time I am on hold for 18 minutes before becoming distracted and hanging up.  I call again.  This time, on hold for 11 minutes.

Patiently inform the customer service dude that my package was being sent to the wrong address, and that I need to let them know that they needed to cancel the order and return it to Target.  He politely, in a very scripted tone, lets me know that I just need to return the package to once I receive it.

Me:  “How can I return the package, if I’m not there to receive it?”

Him:  “When it is delivered, you just need to refuse to accept it”

Me:  “I’m not going to BE there.”

Him:  “Well, then you will need to notify the carrier that he needs to return the package”

Me:  “Who is the carrier”

Him:  “Well, it’s not in the system yet, because it hasn’t been SHIPPED”

Me:  “I am about to start to cry”

Him:  “………I HEAR CRICKETS……..”

Me:  “What am I supposed to do?”

Him:  “You can order another one, and we’ll credit your account if the other item is returned”

DO YOU SEE WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS EPIC FAIL ON BEHALF OF TARGET.COM?  Certainly, if their system is so highly in sync with the shipping process, that if a customer calls them to notify them NOT to ship the item, then they should NOT ship the item, or if it hasn’t left the warehouse, certainly, they can put a stop on the item and REDIRECT the item to the appropriate address?  You’d think?  Wouldn’t this SAVE TARGET millions of dollars a year in lost inventory, unhappy customers, and future lost business?  COME ON TARGET!  This makes absolutely no sense at all!

So now, I must wait for the item to be returned to Target, and for them to cancel my order and credit my account before I order the item…..which will most likely no longer be on sale, no longer have free shipping, and, oh….be on backorder.