Monday Dare: Cashin’ out

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

This week: Spend, spend, spend

Most of us can pinpoint an event which impacts us so profoundly that anything to the left of that Moment in our timeline is known as the Before and everything to the right is known as the After. I thought I had my Moment when I became a mother at 19. Then, when I married Harv, it seemed to me that having two Moments was also a possibility. If only I had been able to see into the future.

I won some money yesterday. I usually don’t throw figures around, but I’m comfortable being candid with you. Plus, I’m pretty good at bragging, so I’ll just go ahead and tell you that in one day, JUST ONE DAY, I pulled in a little over $14 working the slot machine grind in Las Vegas. People say that the house always wins. Who are these people? Do they know about me? If you want, you can share my story: about how someone you know went to Vegas as an ordinary person and came back a winner. How good things happen to good people. Use my name. I don’t need to be anonymous.

I understand a lot of things today that I didn’t back then yesterday morning. It’s becoming clear who my real friends are. This morning, “Sally” called about a lunch date. Assessing a situation objectively is one of my talents, so I immediately picked up on her real motives. It seems odd that I posted a picture on Instagram of my first payout (three almost-crisp dollar bills) yesterday and she’s suddenly eager to enjoy a meal together, don’t you think? I listened to some bullshit about how she “wants to catch up” since we haven’t seen each other in a few weeks. Even though “Sally” asked repeatedly about my availability, I remained noncommittal.

“I just can’t. I think we both know why.”

“Sally” is probably one of many I will have to cut out of my life. I’m not going to lie. It hurts. To distract myself, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the windfall (a ten dollar bill, four one dollar bills, and two nickels). “This is mine,” I tell myself over and over again. It’s been fun arranging the bills on my dark hardwood floor: first in descending value, then in ascending value, and finally with the two shiny coins as a centerpiece. A little lonely, but fun.

Unlike “Sally,” my family has been really supportive. When they congratulated me, I could tell by the ease in their voice that they genuinely meant it. It’s hard not to get jealous when fantastic things happen to people around you. Harv and Cal are encouraging me to spend the entire stack on myself. It seems weird to me, but fuck it…YOLO. Carpe diem. Show me the money.

(Note: I feel like it’s not really cool to say “YOLO.” But I guess that rule doesn’t apply to me because I’m rich now.)

Have you ever won anything?
What should I buy? This money is burning a hole in my pocket.

P.P.S. But hey, I’m not going to be one of those lazy rich people. I’ll still be working the Facebook grind on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page.
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Monday Dare: Bitches and Brains

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: Stop comparing

I’m pretty sure my life would be a lot easier if I were smarter. I can’t be totally certain of this because to have that kind of unwavering confidence about something, I feel like you need to experience it firsthand. But I live with some smart people and I know a bunch. When they rattle off their drink order at Starbucks, they don’t even need to look at the menu board seven or eight times like I do. They can look at it once and be done with it. Sometimes, I think they do it just to show off, but I let them have their moment.

I cheated a lot in high school. I feel comfortable admitting this to you because even if the school takes my diploma away, I’ve been setting aside a Just In Case I Need To Pay For A GED fund. There’s almost three dollars in there, so fuck those bitches, I’m going to be legitimate either way.

There were always one or two kids in each class who aced everything without even cracking open a book. A handful of others did well because they were responsible and had good habits. One of my best friends graduated as valedictorian. I asked her once what I had to do to get better grades, and she told me the key was to study every day. I tried her method for a few weeks, but it really cut into my sleep.

I envied the smart kids immensely. I compared myself to them constantly and thought about how much easier their lives were going to be because they could diagram sentences like it was a motherfucking breeze and knew how to program fun games into their graphing calculators.

The popular kids made me feel all kinds of jealousy too. They were always debating the merits of one party invitation over another. They had a choice. Yes, I had choices for my Friday evening too, but watching the TGIF block of programming on ABC or asking random strangers Age/Sex/Loc in AOL chatrooms seemed less glamorous.

Even now, as an adult, I’m not one of those bitches with a shitload of friends. Every time I’m around a group of new people, I trip over my words and say extremely inappropriate things. Also, I start to sweat a lot, and it’s always a conversation killer when I have to excuse myself to get a paper towel to stick under my arm.

I’m never going to be one of those people who debates going out vs. staying in because she just knows she’s going to run into a dozen people as soon as steps into the streets who all want to say “hello” and make small talk because she’s just so much fun to be around. And I’m making peace with the fact that I can no longer answer any of Cal’s questions when she’s doing her homework.

I’ll just be me. Sweaty me.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; 
but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.
(I don’t know who this motherfucker is, but based on his name,
I’m guessing he was from ancient times.)

Do you ever compare yourself to others? Get jealous about anything in particular?
P.S. A big shout-out to all the fabulous bitches I met during Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas over the weekend. Thank you for not booing me off while I was speaking. Let’s connect on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page or Twitter and stay in touch. Unless I offended you. Then, I’m sorry and it’s totally okay to ignore me forever.
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