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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Monday Dare: Choose your own adventure, dummy

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 the easy way

I’m the densest motherfucker I know. I don’t mean that my protons and neutrons and that-other-thing-I-cannot-remember-the name-of are packed tightly together, making me strong and impenetrable. (Side note: Let my ignorance be a warning to your children. Pay attention in class.) (Second side note: Is it proton or protron?) (Third side note: Please remember my first side note.)

I’m not Strong Dense. I’m Learn the Hard Way Dense. Every little bit of know-how and knowledge I’ve scraped together is a result of the poor choices I’ve made. When given an option, I always pick the one that tastes like a bad decision.

As a kid, I started borrowing Choose Your Own Adventure books from the library instead of buying them because I always ended up dead or trapped in a dark and dank pit. I would use the money I saved to buy large bags of Funyuns to console myself. Emotional Eating Due to Pretend Death or Entrapment-it’s a real thing. Word on the street is that there are 40 or more possible adventure paths per book. Good for you, Careful Choice Makers. Must be nice to be all alive and shit after solving the Mission of Molowa or breaking the Curse of the Pirate Mist.

Familiar with poor outcomes at an early age, I continued the same pattern of picking the worst choices as an adult. Does this option burn, bite, sting, or cause a bruise to my body or psyche? Then, yes please. I’m a glutton for punishment and a master of learning things the hard way. I will close my ears when friends start giving me advice. Fuck that shit, I think, I know best.

This attitude is probably why, in my single days, I ended up in some asshole’s apartment lobby with my bags and no place to go.

Cletus and I got into a fight over fried chicken. Well, it started out as a discussion about what to eat for dinner, but it turned into an argument when a friend called to ask what Cletus was doing. He pretended to be alone and said he had no plans for the evening, even though I had just traveled several hundred miles to see him and would be staying with him for a week. When I confronted him, he shrugged it off and said I was being sensitive. I started packing my bags out of anger. I don’t know why, since I had no place to go and knew no one else in the city. For ten minutes, as I packed up, he sat on the couch and watched me, not saying a single word. My pride took over and I actually walked out of Cletus’s place. I sat in the lobby for half an hour, weighing my options.

Then, I saw a Domino’s Pizza delivery guy. He called a unit for access into the building. Guess who’s voice was on the other side of the call? Yes, you are correct. In the half hour that I had been in the lobby, Cletus had ordered a pizza. I did what I thought was best. I called Cletus to apologize for my irrational and sensitive behavior. We stayed together for months afterwards. After each fight, I would apologize. My friends said he was a motherfucker. I didn’t listen. I stayed until he brushed me aside for someone else.

I’ve always been pretty content to root around in the filth of my insecurities and shortcomings. I’m dense! That’s just me! I need to learn the hard way! 

No, dummy, that’s not how sanity works. I’m giving myself permission to learn from others’ mistakes instead of making all of them on my own. I deserve a break.

Do you need to learn the hard way? Has it gotten you into any particularly memorable binds?
Ever apologized just to keep the peace?

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