Monday Dare: Are we just friends because of my money?

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: Win the lottery.

I don’t want to dump a shitload of shocking information on you during the holidays, but I think we know each other well enough for me to divulge difficult things from time to time.

I’ve never won the lottery.

Hold me.

For several years as a kid, I forced my parents to order magazines from the Publishers Clearing House. I just knew I was going to be one of the lucky few featured on those commercials. You know the one: flashy van, big cardboard check, cheap helium balloons, and lots of screaming. Since I wasn’t yet the legal age to win, I asked my mom to be the frontman for the operation, and in return, I would cut her in on 15% of the winnings.

“It’s always a good idea to get in on the ground floor,” I told her repeatedly. Her English was shaky at best, so she didn’t really understand me. If we’re being honest, I didn’t really understand what I was saying either, but it sounded good. Besides, who the fuck cared if I made any sense? I was going to be rich.

Each year, my mom ordered one or two magazine subscriptions. I had a system; I never ordered the popular magazines. Only the especially obscure ones would do. I felt that it gave me a certain edge over the sad fools who ordered their Sports Illustrated or Good Housekeeping.

I just knew that my orders for Africa Birds & Birding and KitPlanes would catch the eye of the right person at the Clearing House, and they would think, “Yes, this person here really deserves a million dollars a year for the rest of her life. Let’s go and change her world.”

They say the best revenge is living well. Personally, I think the best revenge is living well and knowing the inner workings of homebuilt aviation, courtesy of my two-year subscription to KitPlanes. Oh hell yes, you want a piece of this??

I entered the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes today. I find out on February 29th if I’m a winner. My thinking is that yes, I have this one in the bag. Just to be safe, I will also purchase a lottery ticket from the corner market. AND, I will also give Cal additional homework to do during winter break. That way, if nothing pans out, she has a fighting chance at securing a good job. I will just mooch off of her hard work for the rest of my life.

I plan to use my winnings wisely. I asked Harv to track down the complete set of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards as a Christmas gift. Guess what wasn’t under the tree yesterday?

What would you buy if you won the lottery today?
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thanks for not stabbing grandma

Growing up, my mom repeated the same things on a regular basis:
  • Stop trying to poke your brother in the eye with a fork.
  • Clean that spill up. You think I can’t see it under your father’s paper?
  • Wear dark clothing when you play outside. It’s a bitch to get blood out of light colors.

Those words still circle my thoughts once in a while, but the thing that probably left the biggest impression on me was something she said only once, very quietly, with a hard and ugly look in her eyes- “You better get the first aid kit ready. I’m about to stab your grandma.”

I didn’t believe her. She didn’t even have the balls to pull a loose tooth out of my mouth, so it wasn’t likely she was going to be shanking anyone with a butter knife. But, I went in search of the first aid kit. Just in case.

The potential victim was her mother-in-law, a woman we rarely saw because she lived overseas. Granny had come to visit because she wanted to connect with her American grandchildren. The original plan was to stay for two weeks. I saw a little twitch in my mom’s eye when my dad first mentioned it, but she didn’t say a word. When Granny extended her trip for four more weeks, I saw a small tear roll down my mom’s cheek. Still, she didn’t say a word.

When Granny criticized my mom’s cooking? Not a wayward glance. When Granny asked my dad if he still thought about that lovely girl from middle school? Not a single peep. When Granny asked my mom when she was going to lose all the baby weight since she hadn’t been pregnant for more than eight years? Not even a frown.

During the sixth week of her visit, Granny decided to borrow my mom’s best loafers, the ones she only wore to church or to a funeral, to take a stroll through the neighborhood. She stepped in a pile of dog shit. Instead of cleaning them, she abandoned them in the garbage can at our curb and yelled for my mom to bring her another pair of shoes so she wouldn’t have to walk through the yard barefoot.

That’s when she threatened to stab Granny. Any in-yard violence was sure to get us kicked off the neighborhood block party roster, but I understood. Shit needed to be settled. Woman to woman. Instead, my mom helped my grandma inside. My mom’s patience and compassion left an impression on me that day. But a knife fight would still have been awesome.

In-law troubles? Witnessed bad in-law behavior?P.S. If you’d like to link to your website/blog please click the “Optional: Link to your website” line under the “Guest” option and fill in your information. Thanks, yo.

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