Monday Dare: the ten second rule

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: I will count to ten before reacting.

My friend Anne has a condition. I bring it up about every third time I see her because I find it endlessly fascinating and alien.

She was born without a single mean bone in her body.

Her condition manifests in different ways. She remembers my birthday. She mentions what we talked about in our last conversation and asks for an update. She regularly compliments her friends….and means it. She turned away a door-to-door solicitor with such grace, he actually apologized for bothering her and scooted away with his head bowed.

Once, a guest I brought to her house broke something. She just smiled warmly and assured us that it was about to break anyway and not to worry about it.

The last time a guest broke something in my home, I sent her away and told her to never, ever come back. She was dead to me and no amount of apologizing was going to resurrect the friendship. I was nine. It was my favorite tea set.

Last December, on our way to Cal’s 10th birthday party, we stopped by the fancy ice cream store in our neighborhood to pick up her highfalutin custom ice cream birthday cake. The one that I painstakingly detailed down to the last swirl in a fifteen minute phone conversation with the cake artist….who forgot to make it. 

I may or may not have lost my shit.

I may or may not have insisted that the cake artist on duty call the offending cake artist so I could leave this message:

“…..I would suggest you find another place of employment 
because this job is obviously too difficult for you….”
I can’t confirm or deny any of these details; rage makes my memory a little fuzzy. Obviously, I wasn’t born with Anne’s condition.
I mentioned my Monday Dare to Harv this afternoon. His response?
“Are you sure ten seconds is enough? Well….I guess if that’s all you can manage,
 then it’s all you can manage.”
I wonder if he noticed the long pause on my end of the line (ten seconds to be exact) before I via Better Homes and Gardens

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  • Patti

    I read about your blog elsewhere and rushed over. Having read one entry, I’m hooked! As an English professor, I primarily teach writing (but am a voracious reader), and I am so impressed by your writing. I could get all technical on you, but I won’t. Suffice it to say, you really use words and language extremely well. Now I’m going to start and the very beginning of your blog and get caught up!

  • Jenny, the Bloggess

    Love this.

  • change in my pocket

    Patti- You put a huge, fat grin on my face! Thanks for the kind words and support. I wish I paid more attention in English class; I wouldn’t have to google grammar rules every five minutes. I just learned what a comma splice is last week…..*gasp*

  • change in my pocket

    Jenny, my hero, thanks!

  • Mikeal

    I literally laughed out loud.

    side note: Your wrath, far more entertaining to read about (from the safety of a computer screen) than be an object of.

    -signed brother of yours

  • sstreet43

    Elizabeth – what is a comma splice? :) I started reading your blog tonight and will be bookmarking. You’ve got something good here!

  • change in my pocket

    Ms. Street- A comma slice is connecting two independent clauses with only a comma. Two independent clauses require a conjunction (and, but, or, yet) or an end stop punctuation (a period, exclamation, question mark) between the two. But, I’ve been told that you can stylistically have a comma splice and it’s okay. To some people. Others think it’s a sin worthy of death. I throw my hands up.

  • Addy

    Great blog post!