Monday Dare: Dumb as a sack of rocks

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: Learn me a skill

I was 6 years old when I decided school wasn’t for me. I could sense the salty bitter disappointment of my teacher as she pointed in my direction during Morning Sing-Alongs. A little indignant, I always had the same response: Mrs. LeFever, WHAT DO YOU MEAN the middle of the alphabet song isn’t M-M-M-O-P?

The resentment built as I shuffled into class each day, forced to learn stupid shit like addition and manners, while my 4-year-old brother was at home watching the Snorks or tagging along with my mom to cool places like the dry cleaner and the DMV.

My parents were pissed when I notified them that I was dropping out. I could tell they were grasping at straws as they made one weak argument after another: “But you only started school last year!” and “How are you going to succeed in life if you only have a first grade education?”


Even at the tender age of six, I already had all the essential skills to win at this thing called Life. I could pop the top off a can of delicious Spam. I knew my favorite treat from the ice cream truck required two big silver coins with ridges and one medium-sized silver coin with no ridges. I learned that calling 9-1-1 for fun and hanging up wasn’t such a good idea because people with guns would still show up at my house. Or that stamps from the Publishers Clearing House weren’t honored by the U.S. Postal Service.

Still, my parents argued that if I wanted to live in their home, I would have to go to school. This was a low blow because I knew that getting a place of my own would probably cost more than the nine dollars I had saved up in my Teddy Ruxpin Fund. Assholes. They knew how to work my weaknesses.

I stayed in school. I got a high school diploma. I even tried out college. But I never took any of it seriously. To this day, I have to count on my fingers and toes. If I’m wearing socks, I’m fucked.

I think I’m past the point of going back for a traditional degree, but I’d consider enrolling in a program to learn at least one marketable skill. Maybe I have a hidden talent with carburetors. Perhaps I’d be a great stenographer. Maybe I’ll get some goddamn coordination and become a certified aerobics instructor. Or I could walk around the shady part of town until I get jumped, become a gang member, and learn how to sell used electronics. The possibilities excite me.

Any suggestions for what skill I should pursue? What’s the most valuable course you’ve ever taken? Or, on the flip side,  a program you consider to be a waste?

P.S. Pro Travel Tip: If you’re in Germany and the hotel is being a stickler about bringing food back to your room from the free breakfast buffet, it’s probably not a good idea to complain loudly to your family, “God, I don’t understand why they’re being such Nazis about two croissants,” in front of the hotel staff. Just trust me. I’m always thinking about you guys and ways to make sure hotel people don’t spit on your toothbrush.

P.P.S. I post thoughtlessly insensitive things + funny pictures + thug life thoughts on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. “Like” the page to see them in your news feed.

image via pinterest


Monday Dare: Dragon Water

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: Stop procrastinating.

I have never, ever told anyone what I’m about to tell you. I mean, yes, some people know portions of this story, but not the most embarrassing part. This relationship has gotten to a point where I either need to marry you or tell you a secret. I choose #2.

I have six tattoos. The first three, I got three days in a row at the age of eighteen. Since I hadn’t been paying attention in class all semester, I needed laser-like focus and a week of dedicated cramming to ace my finals. I packed up my books and a trail mix snack to stay energized and headed to the local library. Three blocks from my destination, I started having second thoughts. I really didn’t want to study, and I needed a way out. What could….what could I do?

Fortunately, I was scanning strip mall signage instead of paying attention to the road, and my eyes caught on the word “Fun.” I pulled into the shopping center, parked in front of the “Fun,” and tried peering inside the windows. The windows were heavily tinted (a sure sign that you should probably run away), so I did the next best thing: I walked into “Fun.” Turns out, it was the Funhouse Tattoo Parlor, and no, we’re not busy at all, why don’t you come look at some of our work.

This was it! Ah-ha! I could get a tattoo and then I wouldn’t have to study! Well, I wouldn’t have to study *while* I was getting the tattoo, but who thinks past one-hour intervals? Oh yes, I thought, this makes so much sense to me.

You know who doesn’t belong in my circle of trust? Me.

I chose a fairy in haste. She was delicate and cloaked in an array of vibrant colors. Sadly, I hadn’t thought the whole tattoo business through and didn’t realize it would, you know, involve needles and pain. To this day, delicate Mindy (Yes, I named her. Be quiet.) is just a sad little outline. No colors. No stars bursting from her wings. Just…just an outline.

Spurred on by my success in delaying the inevitable for a whole twenty seven minutes the day before, it seemed like the right thing to do to visit the tattoo parlor again. Instead of finishing Mindy (since the area was still too tender), I ventured to a spot right above my new friend. Just months before, on a summer trip to South Korea, an elderly woman grasped both my hands and told me that I was as strong and precious as a Dragon’s Tear. It was the best compliment I had ever received, and I was going to have it inked on my body as a reminder to push forward no matter what.

I wanted it in Chinese characters, but I didn’t know Chinese, so I asked my brother’s 13-year-old Chinese friend to write it out. Maybe I should have had someone else proofread it before getting the tattoo.

For thirteen fucking years, I’ve had Dragon Water tattooed on my lower back instead of Dragon Tears.

Lesson learned. Well, not the intended lesson way back when since I never really got around to studying for the finals and did miserably, but it’s clear to me now that I should do what needs to be done as soon as the occasion arises. Because, let’s be real, I’m running out of room on my body.

Are you a procrastinator? Has it ever gotten you into trouble?

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image via pinterest