Monday Dare: This one may kill me. Nice knowing you.

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Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.This week: Swallow my pride

I like to give out free advice. Actually, I prefer to be paid, but no one’s willing to fork over any cash, so I’m giving away my golden nuggets of wisdom for free. You’re welcome. 

Sometimes, I give out advice, and I know it’s well-received because no one punches me in the face. Like Saturday. I found out on Facebook that my brother, Marshall, got engaged. I texted him: “Congrats! Also, some free advice- CALL first with any future big news before posting on Facebook. Please.” He agreed. We hugged via text.

His bride-to-be is kind and lovely and so ladylike. Clearly, we are very different people. I’m looking forward to having a sister-in-law.

Well, I already have a sister-in-law….but that brings us to the other times I give out free advice, and people hang up on me.

In Ellen’s defense, I might have spooked her with my stalkerish ways. When I found out that Harv’s brother, Terry, and his wife, Ellen, were moving to the area, I called every week for a whole month to arrange a get-together. How about a family dinner? Let’s get the kids together! Wanna go get our toenails painted and drink cheap champagne?

After five messages, Ellen finally called back and reluctantly agreed to a family dinner. I add “reluctantly” because she was all “Welllll, yeah, I *guess* we can do something together.” Those might have been her exact words. It didn’t bother me. Stalkers never let little things like disdain get in the way. I was determined to be Ellen’s friend…whether she liked it or not.

At dinner, she called me “fancy” and rolled her eyes. She gave one-word responses. No biggie, I thought. I’m gonna wear this homette down until we’re bosom buds. 

Soon after, at another dinner, Ellen refused to say hello and avoided eye contact or conversation the entire time. In my head, she and I were at a sample sale, one of us distracting the masses away from the 70% off sweaters while the other dug through the pile for both of our sizes. I let that fantasy carry me through the whole 90-minute dinner.

Since I’m such a lady, I did what I thought was best. I wrote her a scathing email with a shitload of free advice which may or may not have included phrases such as:

  • I’m more than slightly mortified that we are connected in any way.
  • Your continued insolence is no longer acceptable.
  • I don’t wish ill on you. I wish you the best of luck. Because you’re going to need it.

She forwarded it to my in-laws. I called her. She hung up.

We haven’t spoken since. I’ve been thinking about her lately. Cal doesn’t have many cousins, and if I have to make amends so she can have buddies to raise hell with as a teen, I’m willing to do it.

So, I’d love YOUR free-of-charge advice. Should I reach out to her? Make peace?

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Monday Dare: Let’s be friends. I pay top dollar.

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Friends. A whole group of them.

IN MY DEFENSE, I DIDN’T KNOW THEY WERE GOING TO BE SO TERRITORIAL.

Now that you know my stance on the incident (which is widely regarded as the truth…according to pretty much only me), I feel comfortable telling you the rest.

Whenever Harv, Cal, and I eat at Buffalo Wild Wings, I use that time to practice being a high roller. Would I like an appetizer? Bring it. Would I like a veggie boat for an additional charge? Bring it. Would I like a refill on my soda? Bring it. Oh, it’s a free refill? Gimme another veggie boat then. ‘Cuz that’s just how I roll. 

When I’m not pretending to be a high roller, I like to look around. Sometimes, I like to eavesdrop on conversations. I’ve turned around a couple of times to add my own wisdom to a conversation, but no one has appreciated my input. Yet.

As I scanned the bar area the other day, my gaze landed on a group of friends. At least fifteen people were crammed around three very small tables, looking very happy to be together. The kind of group with an inside joke. The kind of group that has survived a few cockamamie stunts. The kind of group where each person knows everyone else’s quirks and loves them so fucking hard anyway.

I wanted to be a part of that group.

I’ve moved twenty times in thirty years, so most of my buddies live out of state. I miss them. The few friends I have in town are precious to me.

After a few margaritas, I came up with a genius idea. If I couldn’t have a big group of friends in real life, I was just going to pose next to them and ask Harv to take a picture. Then, I could use it as one of our Christmas card photos with the caption: “These are my friends. I am very popular. Please do not ask me to name names. They are private people.”

Harv tried to dissuade me, and by “dissuade” I really mean that he rolled his eyes and refused to play any part in my “pathetic” (his word choice, not mine) plan.

So I walked over, camera phone in hand, and took a few shots myself. I tried not to get TOO close to the group, but I also didn’t want to make it obvious that I was a stranger, so I inched closer and closer until I accidentally bumped “Virgil” (he looked like a Virgil to me). This of course caught the attention of the whole group, and then they were all “Hey, what are you doing?”

I ran.

It didn’t turn out the way I hoped, but I’m still fairly certain that a large group of people somewhere would be willing to let me hang out with them. If I paid them a shitload of money. And maybe drugs. Well, maybe not the drugs because then I would have druggie friends, and that might be a dark spiral of doom. <—See? This is why I can’t have friends. Because they haven’t even said “yes” to me being a part of the group, and I’ve already accused them of being drug users and labeled them as doom-y.

Do you have a group? How did y’all meet? I need ideas.
Is your group taking applications?
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Monday Dare: Yes, you too may use this idea

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Read gooder books

Hi. It’s good to see you again. It’s been a while. Like…a whole week. It was just really hard to write a blog post from jail.

JUST KIDDING. I SWEAR. Also, to the people who I used to date that have previously been or are currently incarcerated- I was not making a dig at you. Y’all have taught me everything I need to know in life about eating whole meals with just a spoon, even tough pieces of meat, and creating fine weaponry out of toothpaste caps.

Going to jail is one of my biggest fears. That, and mothers of ugly babies asking me what I think of their offspring.

I try to be prepared for all of life’s obstacles, so I’ve devised a plan to keep me out of the shithouse if I’m ever doing time.

After watching a lot of movies about incarceration, it’s clear to me that people who are locked up like to earn at least two masters degrees (usually, one of them is in psychology or religion) or acquire useful skills they can use “out there.” They seem to like to read a lot. That’s when this brilliant plan came to me. BAM!

Prison book club.

I can see it now: Women badly in need of eyebrow grooming and dental work, shedding a tear or three over the last few pages of a touching novella, comparing notes about character flaws and the Mametian twist at the end.

So, I need your help. I’ve had the misfortune of reading a lot of terrible books in the past few months. What’s your favorite book of all time? Anything you’ve read lately you’d like to suggest? I’d like to gather your recommendations. Just in case.