Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Contest

If you are friends with me on Facebook or in real life you've had about all you can take of 'the contest'.  And I apologize, once again, for bugging the ever lovin' mess out of you for so long. 

If you aren't friends with me on Facebook then you might have missed my incessant pleas to go to and vote for me.  I'm sorry we aren't FB or reality friends, because then I could have bugged you, too.  And I would have, believe me!

Here's how it all started.  Marilee found this contest.  Marilee is my bestie.  I'm a 43 year old woman using the word 'bestie'.....  Well, it fits so there.  And Marilee laughs at me a lot.  In fact, lots of people laugh at me.  So I am either very funny or quite pathetic and laughable.  I choose to think I am being laughed WITH instead of AT.  And honestly, I have some rather strange (funny?) things happen to me on a regular basis.  I can't say why I'm always the one running across a field and cartwheeling through horse poop while 8 months pregnant but it happens.  And, when those things happen and I tell people about them, I've come to realize I'll get no sympathy, only laughter. 

Knowing all of my strange stories, Marilee thinks I'm a shoe in for this contest.  But she has found it a few weeks in and a few of the ladies already in the contest have hundreds of votes.  I bow out.  Marliee persists.  I cave and bring the camcorder.  Marilee says, "Tell the one about getting your boob stuck in the shampoo bottle" and rolls the film.  I tell it.  But I don't say the word 'boob' because this is a family web-site and who knows if they want the word 'boob' used.  Better safe than sorry. 

I submit my video and get a few votes.  I post it on FB and get a few more.  Then that darn competitive streak of mine kicks in out of no where, because I've never really HAD a competitive streak.  And even though the grand prize is a cruise (and I've been on one cruise and never wanted to go on a second) I decide I must win this contest.  I must win at ALL COSTS. 

Friends kick in big time for me.  They exhaust the little orange thumb under my video and it turns grey forever.  They can no longer vote for me and I've still got a lot of ground to make up to catch those early birds.  I beg them to beg their friends.  I start emailing people who I haven't seen in years.  I find people in my address book (the kind in the drawer under the phone!) and mail them a postcard asking for votes. 

It isn't enough.  I've almost given up on this thing.  I start thinking a consolation third place price would be just fine by me.  And then I find the break I've been look for in the most unlikely of all places.  The Mall.

I don't go to the Mall.  I'm not a Mall Rat.  Apologies to all the Mall Rats I know.  I only saw one of you at the Mall.  (Hey, Dot!)  So for me to even be at the Mall was a huge stroke of luck.  I ordered some clothes for Key online, because that is how I shop, and they didn't fit.  So I had to go to the Mall and exchange them.  On the way out I saw two guys, probably in their early 20's, lounging on the sofas.  They each had iPhones and were playing games, probably waiting on their girlfriends to finish shopping. 

At this point in time every iPhone I saw was a potential vote in my mind.  I thought to myself, "Hmmm, they don't look like they have anything better to do at this point.  I wonder if they'd vote for me if I went up and asked?"  I gathered my nerve and did it.  Both guys were happy to do it and didn't really seem to think it all that strange that I'd asked.  Wow!  Two votes, just for asking.  Then we head for the exit.  Three more votes before we get to the door.  Just for asking!  I was feeling giddy. 

And then I hit upon a universal truth.  Mall Rats have iPhones.  Every single one of them!  A new plan was hatched.  Marilee got to watch my kids while I headed out the Mall once a week to hit up unsuspecting Mall Rats for votes!  Mall Rats are extremely nice people.  They carry their phones in their hands and are easy to spot.  They all (with the exception of three people) were very happy to go to PrettyDarnFunny and vote for me.  Many of them bookmarked the site and promised to go back and vote again the next day, without me even asking them to!  I suspect that in the last month of the contest I got between 250 and 300 from those gracious people at the Mall.

Long story getting even longer....I won the contest!  Yes I did!!!!  My husband and I will fly from Atlanta to Miami on November 3rd.  Someone will meet us at the airport and drive us to the Carnival Legend cruise ship.  We will spend 7 nights aboard the ship with stops in Belize, Roatan, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.  All because Marilee insisted I record a funny story.

And that is the story of 'The Contest'.  Many, many, MANY thanks go out to my friends, family, their friends and families, Mall Rats everywhere, Facebook friends, MARILEE, and Deseret Book (contest sponsor). 

I'll blog about our trip and hope that nothing too funny happens while we are gone.  I'm going to take an extra bottle of shampoo, just in case!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Time in Florida

I have to confess.  We've been laughing at you.  Yes, you.  We sit around the pool and laugh.  Because you go all wide-eyed on us when we say we are going to Florida for the summer.  You ask us why we would even consider going to FL during the summer months.  You ask as we are surrounded by school aged children.  We go to FL in the summer because it is the only time we CAN go. 

So we sit at the pool, alone, and laugh.  Because most everyone thinks we must be melting into the chaise loungers on the pool deck.  Only we AREN'T!  To be honest, there is a great sea breeze blowing right over us and sometimes when we get out of the pool it is downright chilly!  No, I'm not kidding!  And we love having the pool to ourselves.  Yeah, people come in for the 4th of July, but then we get the pool and beach back - all to ourselves.  It is beyond awesome!

We go on bike rides each evening.  We pull over on ocean front streets to watch the sunset.  We can ride after dark on the island (of Venice) because we practically have the whole island to ourselves!  We ride in the middle of the street sometimes, because we can.  We window shop the cute stores on Venice Ave. from our bikes.  We stop by the children's fountain to cool off and it is empty.  Just waiting for new customers. 

We cruise down to Sharkey's and walk the pier.  We could eat dinner there, too, if we wanted.  NO LINES!  What?  You don't believe me?  No waiting list at Sharkey's?  It's TRUE!  In fact, we can eat out every night and never experience a line!!!!  Crow's line.  Mi line.  Captain Eddie's....yep, no line.

When we left Greenville this year it was 105 degrees!  It could never get that hot in FL.  FL just produces a big thunderstorm and cools off.  Problem solved. 

I don't really know why I am telling you all of this.  If you really believe me you might head to FL next summer and ruin our deserted paradise.  So, uhhh, just forget all that stuff.  Here are some pictures of us having a miserable time in Florida this summer.  Did I mention how hot it was!?

Sunset over the south jetty
Chilling in our private pool

Drip castles on Siesta Key Beach

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stand Alone, if you must

You know those snippet memories from childhood?  Do you have those?  I have lots of two second memories of seemingly insignificant events that I'll always remember.  I wonder why that is. 

I had this teacher in high school.  I think his name was Coach Thomas.  In addition to his coaching duties he had to actually teach a class here and there.  My brain cells must have worked really well at the time of day I was in his class because I seem to remember a few things he said almost word for word.  Which is strange, because I would never have guessed he would be someone I would even remember at all (no offense intended, Coach Thomas...if that was really your name).  He taught us all how to write a check.  I've thought of him every time I've written one.  I try to write the first number as close to the left edge of the box so no one can slip an extra number in there and scam me.  Maybe Coach Thomas saved me a ton of money with that little tip, maybe not.  But I always think of him when I write them.

I also make sure to hit the 'print receipt' button at the ATM because of him too.  He told us the story of depositing $300 cash once and it never reached his account.  $300 sounded like $300,000 to a high school student and I never wanted to make that mistake.

His most significant learning experience was the day he divided the class into two groups.  He would give a scenerio and tell us if we believed that to be true we should move to one side of the room or the other.  His point was to let us figure out if we were liberal (Democrat) or conservative (Republican).  Up until this point in life, I didn't know the category I fit into.  I already has very strong conservative beliefs, but never knew that was what I was.  I thought we all had firm convictions but that day was a real eye opener for me.  Human nature is a curious thing.  For example, he asked if we believed in the death penalty.  Lots of us moved to one side of the room, in favor of the idea.  But then he'd crank it up a notch and ask if we would still believe in the death penalty if our father were on death row.  Now, to me, that is the same question.  And I thought it would be for everyone else.  I was very wrong, and very disappointed.  Maybe disillusioned is a better word.  You either believe in something or you don't.  You either feel something is right or wrong in your inner heart of hearts or it isn't.  No matter if your dad is involved or not.  But I sat by myself after he asked it that way.  And that still bothers me!

I mark that lesson as one of the most significant lessons I've ever had.  A true life lesson.  One where you find out more about human nature than you wanted to know.  And I still find that to be true in so many ways. 

I think we all try to blur the lines between right and wrong sometimes to suit our needs or circumstances.  But when you feel something is true in your heart, don't let compromise creep in.  Stand for your values and what you hold dear.  Don't let anyone talk you out of what you feel is true.  Shun their attempts at labels. 

Wow, that got deep!  I promise to write again soon with a much lighter topic!  Good night.