Daily Prompt: Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves

What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?

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I HATE doing the dishes. Out of all of the chores that need doing around my house, there is nothing I hate doing more than washing up the dishes. Hell, I’ll clean the bathroom before I’ll wash dishes.

When I lived on my own, doing the dishes was nothing. I was the only person eating, so I just washed up my dishes the moment I finished eating. There was no time for the dishes to get gross and smelly.

Now that I’m living with my family again, they have a different idea on how dishes should be done. The plan around here is heap everything in the sink until it’s full, and then load the dishwasher. So by the time anyone gets around to loading, the dishes are soggy, stinky, and covered in a congealed mess of everything that’s been eaten by anyone all day.

Needless to say, not the sort of thing one wants to stick there hand into.

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Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love

Remember your first crush? Think about that very first object of your affection. Oh, the sweaty palms. The swoony feeling in your stomach. Tell us the story of your first crush. What was it about this person that made your heart pound? Was the love requited? Change the names to protect the guilty or innocent if you must! No judgement here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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As I mentioned in my post “Help! I’m in Love With a Fictional Character” I am always more likely to get a crush on a character than an actual person. Well that’s not a new development in my life. Even as a little girl, my first few crushes were on characters I saw on the television.

I still remember my very first crush – at the tender age of about 3 1/2 – and my sweeping declaration that one day I would marry him. He was sweet and loyal and fun-loving, and he had the most charming laugh. And that lucky man was… Mickey Mouse.

Mickey greeting guests at Disneyland Park

Don’t laugh, I was 3! The fact that he was an animated mouse was completely inconsequential.

Part of me still loves that mouse, although I’ve accepted that it’s a love that will never be. (I still hold a grudge against Minnie for stealing him away from me…)

My next crush, at the age of 5, was on none other than Han Solo from the Star Wars trilogy.

Han Solo

Now there’s a man! I’ve got a bit of a thing for anti-heroes. A little gruff, a little rugged, and a little devil may care but with a secret core of good. And we all know he was a little bit of a romantic too underneath it all. I’ve been known to use the “I know,” line on guys when they tell me they love me.

I also use “Laugh it up, fuzzball,” but that’s usually in entirely different situations.

Truth be told, I don’t even remember my first actual person crush. I know that when I started school and finally started meeting kids my age, I was completely floored by the sheer number of boys in my classes. There were so many of them, in all different shapes and sizes. I was a little boy crazy, and I’m pretty sure that at some point, I had a crush on every boy in my year.

I just don’t quite remember what order it happened in…

In the end though, it’s not the boys in my school that helped to shape the men I look for now. It’s those early character crushes. Which is why my dream man is sweet, fun-loving, a little cavalier, but secretly a bit of a romantic.

If that guy is reading this… Happy Valentine’s Day! Gimme a call, yeah? 😉

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Ingredients

Pasta is a feature of the Argentine cuisine

What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?

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I am completely inept at cooking. Like, so clueless I can burn water kind of ineptness.

Needless to say, I don’t exactly have a well stocked kitchen. Everything that I cook comes out of a box with clearly printed instructions on the side. I don’t have much ability when it comes to making anything more complex than a grilled cheese – and even those I have been known to burn.

When it comes to cooking for myself, there is one old standby that can never go wrong. Pasta!

And by pasta, I mean some slightly over-cooked elbow macaroni, but with a little creativity you can make it into just about anything. If you’re feeling simple, some butter and parmesan cheese. For some tang, try Italian salad dressing and olives. A little ranch and some sunflower seeds gives it a country salad feeling. Or you can go with marinara for a cheap spaghetti.

Basically, I love pasta. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s hard for me to ruin it.

Although just give me some time, I’ll figure a way…

Daily Prompt: Ingredients (dailypost.wordpress.com)

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Daily Prompt: Happy Endings

Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?

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I am hopelessly, horribly addicted to Dr. Pepper. I

Dr Pepper

really don’t know what it is about the stuff. I mean, I like the taste of it and as an insomniac I’m never opposed to a little extra caffeine.

At the same time, I hate being addicted to the stuff. I’ve already gained a lot of weight because of it, and not to mention it’s terrible for my teeth. I get twitchy if I haven’t had any, and I have honest to god withdrawals. I hate feeling dependent on it.

I’ve tried to quit several times now, in various ways. Sometimes I go for the cold turkey approach, sometimes I go for the gradual let-down. They all work to varying degrees.

The most recent time I tried to quit (apart from my current attempt) I cut myself off cold turkey. I managed to make it six months without slipping up, and during that time I lost seventeen pounds. Then I took a new job that reversed my hours on me and I started drinking soda again to keep myself awake.

At the moment I’m trying to quit again, this time by the gradual method. So far I’ve managed to cut my Dr. Pepper consumption down to about 1/8th of what I used to drink in a day so I’m feeling pretty good. We’ll see how well it actually works…

For now, I’m going to finish drinking my soda.

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Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now

Write a post entirely in the present tense.

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Decisions. We make them every minute of every day, whether consciously or not. Cereal or toast. Blue shirt or green. Right or left. Death or Mercy.

And every decision that we make affects our future. Sometimes those decisions only cause the tiniest ripple in the timeline, other times they can shift the whole thing around on itself. There’s no way of knowing in advance just what affect your daily choices will have on the future.

Unless you’re like me.

I have an ability – some might call it a gift, but I’m not so charitable. When a person makes a decision, I can look forward and see what will happen because of that choice. It’s not so much predicting the future. I can’t just look and see anything, it has to be something based off a decision and I can only see it once the choice has been made.

Like right now, the old man sitting at the table in the corner there, he just decided that he’s going to take the train into Manchester to see his daughter. The whole thing settles in front of my eyes, unrolling before me like a road. See, now that he’s going to take the train, I can see what happens.

He forgets his umbrella at the station – it rains when he reaches Manchester – he gets pneumonia – he dies in the hospital in exactly thirty-nine days.

I close my eyes and try to shake away the vision. They aren’t always so unpleasant as this one, but a lot of the time they are. After all, everything ends in death eventually. Some choices just get you there faster.

Every second of every day, decisions are being made by people all over the world. I can see those decisions. My name’s Sophie and I’m a Choice Seer.

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Daily Prompt: BFFs

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from the person you’re the closest to?

I want to preface this by saying that as far as best friends go, I have always lucked out. I’ve had a handful of really close friends in my life because of moving around and changing personalities. As a little kid I had a first best friend, although when I moved we drifted out of touch for a long time and have only just recently reconnected – thank you technology!

In the end though I’ve got one person I would consider my absolute best friend. We met when I first moved to my small town – she introduced herself by offering to shake hands, despite the fact that we were only ten – and we became inseparable almost immediately. Now, almost fifteen years later, she’s still my best friend and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She’s been there for everything – the ups and downs, all of those pivotal moments of growing up and becoming an adult.

She’s more than just a friend; she’s family.

There are a lot of really great things that I’ve learned from my best friend through the years. There were so many valuable lessons about growing up that I can attribute to her simply because was went through them together. However, if I’m going to limit this to lessons not that we learned together, but that she taught me, it would be the simple lesson of trying

I will freely admit that for a great deal of my life I was a withdrawn, anxious doormat. To an extent, I suppose I still am a little bit. I was always content to simply coast, to deal with the standard, mediocre and basic. I was okay with just getting by and never really putting myself out there. Thinking back on it, I can pinpoint almost every great chance that I took to her encouragement. And every one of those chances that I took led to discovering something great about myself and introduced me to something new that would shape who I have become today.

At her prodding, I auditioned for my first musical and found a brilliant new form of art that I still revere. It was because of her that I took up dance, since she had been a dancer from nearly birth, and I realised a new form of self-expression that helped me get through the stress of high school. And when it comes down to it, I also took up writing because of her – it was a project we picked up together – and we all know how much that’s affected me.

She urged me to try new things and open myself up to my artistic side, something I had been too complacent to bother with much before. It is because of these early instances of trying that I have the courage to take the chances I do today; posting my thoughts to an online audience, seeking publication, and taking spontaneous trips across the world just because I want to.

That day in November of ’99 when she took a chance on the new girl transformed me forever.

 

 

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The Long Lost Letter | Daily Prompt: Your Days are Numbered

It’s January 26. Write a post in which the number 26 plays a role.

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Today was Friday, and Jason hated Fridays. They meant there was two days ahead of him with no work and nothing better to entertain himself with. Another weekend of sheer boredom and a complete lack of social life.

On the way up to his flat  he stopped at the mailboxes and, after fighting with the stubborn lock on his box, grabbed out the handful of envelopes. He then stormed up to the cramped flat and began flipping through the glossy mail, tossing them into little piles on the kitchen table. Bill, bill, advert, garbage, advert, bill, letter…

Wait, he never got letters, not since Aunt Maggie died two years ago.

Frowning, Jason squinted at the envelope. It was aged and worn, the paper yellowed and one corner torn. The address was written in a cramped script and smudged ink, addressed to Eleanor Matthews. It took him a minute to realise that the number on the address had been smeared; what looked like a three was actually a two.

“Incompetent,” Jason grumbled irritably. For a minute he considered just tossing it in the trash and leaving it, but his hand hesitated above the bin. The letter was clearly very old. It must’ve been lost at the post office a while and just discovered. He felt the envelope – there was a distinct rustle of paper but there was also something else inside the envelope, something small and much thicker.

With an annoyed huff, he threw the rest of the adverts and grocery coupons on the table and let himself out of the flat. It was easier not to wait for the lift so he jogged down the stairs to the second floor and then checked the numbers beside the doors. Twenty-eight, twenty-seven… Ah, twenty-six. Jason tried to wedge the letter beneath the door but it wouldn’t fit through the narrow gap. Resigned, Jason knocked.

It took a minute before the lock on the door clicked and it opened. The woman beyond the door had to have been at least in her seventies, with closely cropped white curls and clusters of wrinkles around her mouth and eyes. She blinked up at him pleasantly with pale blue eyes and adjusted the collar of her floral dress. “Hello, young man, can I help you?”

“Yes, sorry, it’s just the postman gave me a letter and I think it was meant for you,” Jason explained. “You’re Eleanor Matthews?”

She giggled, a sound almost too girly for a woman of her age. “Oh I haven’t been Matthews for a long time,” she said. “That was my maiden name.”

“Well this is for you then,” I said, handing the envelope to her.

Eleanor accepted the envelope, glanced at the return address, and a startled sob escaped her. With a thumb she slit the top open and glanced inside. She immediately put a hand over her heart and Jason was surprised to see that her eyes had welled with tears. “Ma’am, you okay?” Jason asked uncertainly.

“I just – I never expected to get a letter from him again,” she said.

The hand clutching the envelope was shaking and Jason watched her pale face hesitantly. “Ma’am, do you need to sit down?” Jason asked. Eleanor had her free hand pressed against her mouth and she nodded. Jason took her arm and led her into the living room of her flat, easing her down into an armchair. He hovered awkwardly for a moment before sitting down on the sofa opposite her. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No, it’s fine. You’re such a dear,” Eleanor said, finally looking up from the envelope to meet his gaze. Her eyes had reddened and there was a tear sneaking down her cheek. “It’s just – this letter came fifty years too late. And still, I’m am so, so glad it arrived.” She reached into the envelope and pulled out the bulkier object; a slim, silver ring with a little square diamond.

“Is that-?” Jason stopped, wondering if he was going too far in asking, but Eleanor smiled at him.

“Would you like to hear a story, young man?” she asked, and when Jason nodded, she began to spin a tale. It was a story of a passionate romance; a young girl, just turned eighteen,  met a brave soldier. They shared a wild summer of love then he got the papers, he’d been called to return to service. He flew to Vietnam at the beginning of the autumn with a promise that he would return home and marry her and give her the perfect life.

“For three months I received letters, and then one day the letters just stopped,” she said. “I waited for months and months but nothing new ever arrived. I thought that he had grown tired of me, the silly little girl that was completely enamoured with him. I thought he must’ve gotten bored with me or found himself someone better.

“I was heartbroken, of course, but with time I got over it. The war ended, I married a carpenter from my hometown, and we had a wonderful life. It wasn’t until I was a grandmother that I finally found out the truth. My Freddie had died after four months in Vietnam, in a firefight in the jungle. That was why he’d never written, why he’d never come home to me.”

She admired the modest ring in her hand, her eyes watering. She slipped it carefully onto her finger above the gold band that already sat there. Then she pulled out the letter and unfolded it, her eyes narrowed as she squinted down at the faded ink. “I can’t read this,” she said, “I need my reading glasses. Or, could you, love?”

“Oh, sure,” Jason said, taking the paper as she offered it out to him. He smoothed out the paper and cleared his throat. “My dearest Ellie. I miss you more than ever and I count down the days until my tour is over and I can come home to you. Until then, I want you to wear this for me. I found it in a shop here in Hanoi. I promised you that one day I would return and marry you and give you the life you deserve. This is my first step in that. Love always, your Freddie.”

Eleanor sniffled, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue she’d pulled from her pocket. “Oh Freddie,” she said. She twisted the ring around her finger and then sat up. Her eyes were still red but she was smiling. “He was such a lovely man.” She tucked her tissue back into the pocket of her dress and then leaned over to pat Jason’s knee. “Would you like some dinner? I have a casserole in the freezer that I was going to warm up.”

“I’d love to,” Jason said with a smile.

And that was how he earned himself a weekly invitation to Eleanor’s flat for dinner, and how Fridays became his favourite day of the week.

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