Monday Dare: Cake time, fuckers

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

This week: Act like a lady

You know that look you get when you ask the stranger waiting for her Cheddar Broccoli soup at Corner Bakery to hold your baby for thirty-seven seconds because you really need to pee, but you’re by yourself and you forget to bring the stroller, and it’s really hard to do your business with a baby in your arms? You knew it was a bad idea to leave the house in the first place, but goddammit, the house was starting to smell like rancid baby formula and you just needed to be around people who didn’t shit in their pants? And you know better than to leave the baby with a total stranger, but the thought of getting some alone time in a toilet stall really worked you over?

Well, that’s the look I get when I see a wedding invitation: a mixture of fear and “What the fuck is this bitch talking about?”

Weddings make me nervous. I don’t like them because there are all sorts of rules to follow. I can’t wear white because that’s reserved for the bride. I’m not allowed to swear. I can’t answer phone calls during the ceremony. I’m not allowed to open any of the presents because “they’re not for you, Elizabeth.”

I followed every rule during my brother’s wedding last Saturday, and I STILL got in trouble. Marshall and his bride had a beautiful ceremony followed by a buffet reception at a local church. Since my only ladylike dress is white, I donned the next best thing: a colorful number I wore during my BlogHer Voices of the Year speech a few weeks ago (The video is posted below). Yes, it may have been a little low-cut for a church wedding, but where in the rules does it say anything about low-cut? EXACTLY.

It was clear that my mother was not happy with my attire when I walked into the church, and she forcefully gripped by arm to take me aside. “I’m seeing an awful lots of boobs. This is a House of God.”

“Well, Ma, God made boobies,” I said. It’s hard to argue against that shit, no? I could tell she agreed because she refused to make eye contact with me for the rest of the day.

For five hours, I acted like a lady. I don’t want to brag or anything, but I was really good at it.

My brother and his wife had a photo booth during the reception. Each strip printed twice, one to keep and one to put into an album for the happy couple. After seeing my strip, my brother looked unhappy. “Did you just throw up a gang sign at my wedding?” (Gang sign picture posted on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page)

“Sheesh, Marshall, you didn’t say anything about signs. Just swearing.” It’s so fucking hard to win with this family. I just give and give and they take and take and take and take and take. Why are people so ungrateful?

One of my best friends is getting married this Saturday. On my 32nd birthday. I am a bridesmaid. This is probably where I should mention that I’ve never been a bridesmaid before. But, with the recent wedding practice I’ve had, I’m sure it’ll be smooth-sailing.

Funny wedding stories? Horror stories?
I haven’t gotten a gift for my homegirl yet. What’s the best wedding gift you’ve given or received?

(You can also access the video directly here. It doesn’t play on mobile devices. I’m too stupid to figure it out. Please love me anyway.)

P.S. Let’s get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. I’ll be posting real-time updates during the five-day wedding extravaganza weekend. Mostly though, I just need to be connected to y’all in case I find myself in a rough spot and need bail money.

image via blueq.com

Monday Dare: It’s always your favorite sins that do you in

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

This week: Real talk

I’m turning 32 next week. My guardian peoples must be motherfucking tired from keeping me alive this long. Right after the realization that another birthday is fast approaching, it also occurred to me that I still know nothing. Well, not totally nothing. I discovered today that a Twinkie is still good three months after the expiration date. Maybe it’s too soon to make that claim. I don’t have stomach pains or anything, but you should probably just check back next week to see if I post another Monday Dare. Sorry, guardian peoples, please do your job again.

You’ve been so patient with me for these past two years as I’ve attempted to become a less underdeveloped person. If I’m being honest, I would have a hard time not cracking the fuck up after watching someone fail so many times. How do you guys do it? Is it sedatives? If yes, what kind?

And I’ll be the first to admit that I give some asinine shitty advice on a weekly basis. But I’d like to think that it’s part of my charm. I tell you something I think is totally correct, and then you quietly do the exact opposite because you totally know better than to heed anything that comes out of my salty mouth, and BOOM! Everyone’s still safe.

But I want to put the bullshit aside this week and share with you some of the truths I’ve learned. And I hope you’ll share some of the things you’ve learned.

Know when to stop. 

I have a sick habit of always needing the last word. I need to feel like everything ended on my terms or else I don’t feel satisfied. But this much I’ve learned: There are times when I just need to walk away. It may not feel like a victory at the time, but the angst I save myself, not to mention the dignity that I’m able to salvage, makes walking away worth it.

Know when to stay.

I’ve been open with you about all the twisted WTF-esque relationships I’ve had over the years. What I don’t mention as often are the incredible people who have been kind and patient. The people who loved me even when I didn’t love myself. And because I didn’t know then what I know now, I left those good people, seeking more, seeking better. Often, when I realized the error of my ways, I would go back, beg for forgiveness, and try to recreate what we once shared. It never worked. More often than not, that person had already found someone else who saw the value that I didn’t bother to see. I was too busy collecting worthless stones to see the gem I had in front of me.

Be kind to others.

I grew up surrounded by a lot of drama. And because that drama made me feel uneasy and unsure and unstable, I never trusted anyone, and I was reluctant to believe anything that anyone ever told me. It became a habit to pull away from people who meant so much to me, hoping they would chase after me. I needed constant reassurance that I was loved and lovable. Then, I came to the realization that being hot and cold is cruel. It is a daily effort for me to be kind to the people I love. I am not successful sometimes, but I remind myself that people can be good and that good things don’t always have to turn bad. 

Be kind to myself. 

I still hate myself a lot of the time. This isn’t something I like to admit out loud very often. I have probably only uttered those words twice in the past decade. It’s hard to admit something like that. And because I don’t really like myself, I don’t think I deserve anything wonderful in my life. Then, I subconsciously do my best to destroy all the blessings that life has been kind enough to grant. I deserve goodness. 

I still don’t know a lot. Maybe I never will. But these small truths are things I have picked up as I’ve passed one birthday after another. I feel brave enough to be so honest with you today because I spent a lot of time doing bullshit last night, and I haven’t slept in nearly 30 hours. I’m just running on the fumes from that totally-still-good-to-eat Twinkie and a delicious extra-caramel latte from Peet’s.

I hope you’ll share some of the things you’ve learned along the way.

With love, Elizabeth

P.S. Let’s get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page and Twitter. I love the interaction I have with y’all during the week. Yes, I post funny pictures and thug life thoughts and other original content not seen on this blog, but honestly, y’all are some funny motherfuckers and your hilariousness (Is that a word? Let’s pretend it is.) keeps me going. Thanks, bitches.
image via pinterest

Monday Dare: To live and die in L.A.

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: Call a truce with nature

How does that one saying go? The enemy of my enemy is my friend. You don’t have to correct me if I got the wording wrong. The adage doesn’t even apply here except that it uses the word “enemy” twice. I wanted to talk to you about nature and The Great Outdoors, but my ability to form coherent sentences was derailed by visions of the word “horrible” and “enemy,” and then that saying rolled through my head.

I live in L.A. I hate being outdoors. Maybe those two sentences don’t make much sense together, but for me, they are inextricably linked. One of the comments I always hear is, “You’re so lucky to have such nice weather year round! I’d be outside all day, everyday!”

Well, good for you, Nature Lover. I suspect these are also the same people who sit on the veranda with a piping hot cup of coffee and a flaky croissant watching the sun rise with a long sigh of contentment before their weekly REI trip to buy canoe paddles and shit. I hate stepping foot outside of my house.

Even though nature makes me feel hater-y, I give it an honest chance from time to time.

Over the weekend, my family and I walked a mile to the farmers market. Along the way, we passed some fucking bushes and fucking grass and fucking trees and fucking insects and fucking people walking their fucking dogs. I think an industrious family of gnats made a new home for themselves in the dark comfort of my left ear canal. I asked Harv to check, but he said I was just imagining things before shaking his head and mumbling, “Get it together, Elizabeth, get it together.” Why is my family so unsupportive?

When we finally got to the market, my face was wet with sweat and despair and I thought to myself, “It’s over. I want my life back.”

Have you ever been to a farmers market? That shit is OUTDOORS, friends. I was surrounded by a sea of people dressed like they had just climbed Mt. Whitney and then cooled down with a 90-minute stretch session by the ocean because “physical activity is invigorating.” And here they were, with their reusable earth-friendly tote bags, ready to buy organically-grown cucumbers and kale for their dinner (again on that goddamn veranda). People were laughing and holding hands and having a great time in Mother Nature’s glory.

I decided to play along in the sick charade and sampled locally-sourced cheese and tapped some melons. Every fold of my body was sweaty and sticky and I felt like maybe I should do some drugs to take away the misery, but still, I just kept smiling and asking how much the chrysanthemums cost.

I’m not calling a truce with Mother Nature because I like that bitch. I want to make peace with her because my family loves being outside, and I love my family, so I’m going to make an effort to spend more time outdoors this week. Man, that family of mine, won’t even check my ears, but I can’t quit them.

Are you outdoorsy? Indoorsy? What the hell is there to do outside?

P.S. Perhaps you like funny pictures and thug life thoughts and other original content not seen on this blog. Then may I suggest we get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page? I promise not to disappoint you. Probably.
image via pinterest