Monday Dare: Oops

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

This week: Stop dressing like a homeless person

I don’t know when my downward spiral of apathy began (yes, so dramatic), but lately I’ve been dressing like Balki from Perfect Strangers. There’s really no rhyme or reason to what I throw on in the morning. If it’s clean and it hasn’t been rolling around on the bathroom floor for a week, then I’m a-ok with wearing it.

A while back, I ran out (And by “ran out,” I mean I got into my car and drove a distance which is commonly known as “just a stone’s throw away,” because I so clearly care about saving the environment and getting exercise.) to the neighborhood newsstand wearing a pair of pleated Dockers and a grossly oversized 100% cotton t-shirt with J.R. Ewing on the front. I like to throw out the fiber content of the shirt because I want you to know that I’m all about quality and not about wearing those cheap cotton/polyester blends. Also, I was wearing loafers without any socks. This may be where you decide not to know me anymore, but then let me ask you this: Do you really want to be the type of person that turns away from a friend because of bad life choices like loafers without socks? Is that who you want to be?

“Stop it, Liz, just stop it,” you may be thinking. “Stop making me feel guilty for things that are your own damn fault.”

I picked up the newest editions of The New Yorker and the Smithsonian. Ok, fine, if I’m being honest, I was really there for a copy of Cosmopolitan, but I always hide it in between two more respectable magazines because I care about what other people think. Even people at the newsstand I will most likely never see again, because I’m an underdeveloped adult, and I’m self-aware, and no, I don’t plan on changing anytime soon.

Eager to get home so I could learn how to give myself a fishtail braid as the magazine promised, I looked around for Sal, the newsstand guy, and only saw one other person nearby- a man in a grimy gray sweatsuit hanging out to the side. As I handed over my magazines and a twenty dollar bill, I prayed that Sal hadn’t fallen ill or been fired, because Sal always hooks me up with a pack of gum and some funny knock-knock jokes, and I would totally miss that.

I looked up for the first time and made eye contact with the new guy. Except it wasn’t the new guy.

It was Denzel Washington.

He chuckled good-naturedly and pointed me in the direction of Sal, who was rounding the corner. I wanted to apologize profusely and maybe even bow or curtsy to show my deep regret, but I was speechless. He waved me away and told me not to worry about it. DEAR LORD, THIS IS WHY I SHOULD NEVER BE LET OUT OF THE HOUSE.

I did what I thought was best. I put down the magazines and ran.

So, lesson learned. If one of the most beautiful men on the planet is nearly unrecognizable in a grimy sweatsuit, I’d better get my act together and start dressing better.

P.S. I was about to feed you some nonsense about how I’m really smart and funny on Twitter and the Flourish in Progress Facebook page, but I decided against straight-out lying to you. I post random things on a daily basis on both. Let’s get connected.

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Monday Dare: To the person who stole my Taco Bell Gordita Savings Fund

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

This week: Vent

The ashtray in my car used be a plain ol’ Spare Change Catch-all. Then, I watched a Tony Robbins PBS special about how you have to call out intentions in your life to make them happen, so I started calling the ashtray my Dreams Start Here Fund. THEN, I got wind of some people who were doing vision boards and such, and I knew that I really had to commit to something, lock it down, and the universe would mysteriously align. That’s when I started to get specific about my hopes, dreams, and desires in life.

Hence, the Taco Bell Gordita Fund was born.

I could tell it was the right decision because the very next day, I found a shiny nickel laying on the floor outside of a Forever 21. As I bent down to pick it up and clean it off with my hot breath, I felt like a Greater Force was winking at me from above and whispering, “Here’s a little something to get you started.” It was clear that the Universe wanted me to experience the warm pillowly flatbread covered in a melted three-cheese blend.

Occasionally, I would slide back the ashtray cover and eyeball the slowly growing fortune at stoplights. I’m not good at eyeballing (or “guesstimating” I think is the official term) because once, I was at my daughter’s school fair, and I had to guesstimate the number of gumballs in a really large jar. I guessed 73 but there were actually 991 gumballs in there. A cloud of gloom settled over me after they announced the 9-year-old winner, because I had already thought about all the ways I could enjoy the gum in my day-to-day life.

Sometimes, driving by the Taco Bell near my neighborhood, I wouldn’t look at it directly because some emotions would well up that I didn’t know how to process. Instead, I would give it a quick sideways glance and say out loud, “I’m coming back for you. Wait for me.”

Well, the important thing to know about my Taco Bell Gordita Fund is that someone stole it over the weekend.

That’s probably what I should have started with now that I think about it, but obviously, the shock of the situation has done a number on me, and I just needed to ramble for a little bit, let it out, tell you where I was coming from….you know how it goes.

Someone broke into my car over the weekend and stole almost everything of value. I say *almost* because luckily, they left one important thing behind. An item with no real price tag because it’s priceless to me:

My autographed Kenny G CD that my best girlfriend had The Master sign after one of his concerts.

Criminy, I am really filled with a lot of hate today as I obsess over the different things the thief is doing with MY stuff. What is he buying with the $173 I had left on my Toys R Us gift card? What kind of coffee is she enjoying with my Starbucks gift card? Will this person be using my iPod to house the entire collection of Demi Lovato’s music? Will my Taco Bell Gordita Fund unknowingly pay for bus fare to other neighborhoods so that this motherfucker’s crime spree can continue?

Have I unknowingly supplied a monster with the means to perpetuate a life of evil? Does this make me an accessory to a crime?

In therapy, they tell you that in order to get closure, you need to directly address the person who did you wrong, and if they happen to be dead, then a letter is the next best thing. I talked about my letter idea at the dinner table last night, and Cal was concerned for me because she thought there was a high likelihood that whoever stole my hopes and dreams probably doesn’t read this blog. I thanked her for Keeping It Real and told her that she had a good point. I guess this letter will have to be more about venting and finding some peace rather than a call to action for the perpetrator to paypal me $1.63 at flourishinprogress at gmail dot com.

DEAR HEY THIEF,

YOU OWE ME A FUCKING GORDITA. I’M DECLARING THUG WAR ON YOU.
AND YOU LEFT MY KENNY G CD?! DID YOU KNOW THAT IT WAS AUTOGRAPHED?

I HOPE THE REGRET KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT.

___
Have you ever been the victim of theft?

12/30/12 Update: BUMMER. It looks like all comments still haven’t transferred over from the recent Blogger to WordPress migration. Don’t worry, guys. I got this.

P.S. I’ll be posting some angry thug life thoughts on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page this week. “Like” the page to watch my probable downward spiral.
image via perpetualkid.com

Monday Dare: Are you a runner? And not the kind on a treadmill.

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

This week: Quit quitting

I have a running problem. Not the kind of running problem that happens when you’ve been logging in 18 miles a day and develop shin splints but then power through the pain even when a fragile little tear is forming at the inside corner of your eye as your feet pound pound pound the pavement because you’re a goddamn gladiator.

No, not that kind.

I run from problems.

Maybe you claim to be the type of person that doesn’t run from problems. In that case, let me be the first to point out that you may have a problem with lying.

People this advice will speak to: Young People, Old People, Rich People, Poor People, People with Fake Boobies, People with Real Boobies, People who Appreciate Tupac, People with No Taste in Music, People who Appreciate a Smooth Hit of Crack, People who Just Say No, and Honest People

People this advice will not speak to: People with Denial Issues

I’m not just talking about big problems- the kind that could land you in serious debt or at Heartbreak Hotel. Maybe you’re the type of person to walk away from a copier machine at Kinko’s after jamming it instead of asking a friendly copy expert to help you fix the machine. Not that I would do something so juvenile and dishonest. I should also add here that I’m no longer allowed inside the Kinko’s on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Make of that information what you will.

For a long time, I told myself that I wasn’t running. I was simply “not wasting my time on bullshit.” Which was bullshit.

Now, I ask myself this one question when I am about to walk away:

When this moment becomes a memory, will I regret not sticking it out?

I then remind myself: No deposit, No return.

Well, it’s actually not quite so succinct or eloquent when it’s running through my head. It’s more like, “Are you going to man up, ho? Are you going to see this shit through like a brave motherfucker?”

When something becomes too tough or too complicated or too scary, I want to walk away and put it out of my mind. I don’t want to devote the precious time it takes to see it through because I hate being vulnerable, and I hate feeling like a loser. Misunderstanding with a friend? Just unfriend that homette on Facebook. Rough day with a partner? Erase all sweet reminders and drown my sorrows in cheap champagne. Writer’s block? Smash the computer with my bare fists and renew my vows to full-time thuggery (Is that even a word? Let’s pretend it is.).

I don’t want to be that person anymore. If I fall flat on my face, so be it. If I end up crying in a bar at 2:47 p.m. in a faraway city because shit didn’t work out, so be it.

I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on. Because some things are worth it. Because occasionally, when I practice being dedicated, motivated and patient, the payoff is immense. Mindblowing, even.

I’m afraid. But I’m pushing through it.

How do you decide when to stick something out-a new hobby, job, relationship, friendship, relocation….?

P.S. You + Me + Facebook = YES.
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