Excuse me...double dog dare?  Really?  (Pictures by Marylin Warner)

Excuse me…double dog dare? Really?  I don’t think so.  Sounds like a dare a cat would make.   (Pictures by Marylin Warner)

JUNE: the Ancient Romans named this month after the goddess Juno, the patron of marriage—think “June bride”—and June also comes from the Latin word “juvenio” (referring to young people). Juvenile is an excellent way to see the special day of June 1st: DARE DAY.    Not D.A.R.E., the Drug Abuse Resistance Education for students, and also not the first Saturday in June when Dare County, England celebrates its Dare Day.

June 1st DARE DAY is for daring someone to do something risky.   The dare can be heightened by the “double dog dare,” and the highest degree of challenge is the “triple dog dare.”   Whatever that means. The specific rules and consequences are up for grabs, embellished for effect, but often the outcome is dangerous or out-of-character behavior. Which is a good reason why the goddess Juno was also responsible for looking after the well being of women and girls…who might be “dared” to do things they don’t want to do.

When I was growing up, one of the things that got my mother quickly involved was to hear children “dare” another child to do something.   Mom equated dares with the acts of bullies and cowards who prodded others to do something against their best interests.   I remember one day when she overrode a double dog dare by sending me to my room to sort out WHY I had thought making such a challenge was a helpful thing to do to anyone.

At its personal best, DARE DAY on June 1st can be a day to challenge yourself to take a risk, meet a goal, or make yourself do something you’ve been meaning to do but keep putting off.

Michael Jackson wrote this about taking dares: “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”

On June 1st, if we have no personal challenges or dares to give ourselves, we can choose one from Jackson’s list above. Or we can send ourselves to our rooms to think quietly until we create our own personal and positive dare.

Who would dare a kid to try to push over a huge boulder in the Garden of the Gods?

Who would dare a kid to try to push over a huge boulder in Colorado’s Garden of the Gods?

What if someone triple dog dares you to pierce your eyebrow?

What if someone triple dog dared you to pierce your eyebrow?



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, experiments, lessons about life, lessons for great-grandchildren, making a difference, Special days in June, special quotations

63 responses to “DOUBLE DOG DARE

  1. juliabarrett

    I don’t mind stepping out of my comfort zone. But daring… hmmmm. I think my sisters and I rarely dared each other to do anything. No, wait, that’s not correct. We did dare each other to jump off a cliff into a lake. And we challenged each other to float down the Class III rapids in the Roaring Forks River in Aspen. Turned out fine for two of us, not so fine for the third. But she survived.
    I can’t say I ever heard my kids dare each other or anyone else. Interesting. Your mom had the right idea. Although I do like to push myself to do scary stuff sometimes.

    • Pushing yourself to do scary things is one thing, Julia, and my mom would probably later ask what made you do that. But daring someone else to do scary things would have been a different matter. I’m glad your sister survived. 😉
      I still have to make myself take risks and do scary things that get in my way.

  2. juliabarrett

    Wait, correction. Was the Colorado River. Not the Roaring Forks.

  3. Wow. There are places along the Colorado River–and seasons when it’s really raging–that should have scared you and your sisters to jump off the cliff!

  4. Thanks for another great post and interesting trivia that prompts us to delve into our personal histories and wonder, “Did we dare other, or did others dare us?” No thanks on the brow piercing!

    • I remember making “little dares” in elementary school–“I dare you to smile at that boy you like,” etc.–but not truly dangerous dares. But in high school I heard of several classmates who made outlandish dares and then also placed bets with each other behind the scenes about if the person would take the dare or not. Those felt wrong on several levels, so most of us just ignored those classmates, and eventually things just calmed down. After that, I felt uneasy around any dares.
      No brow piercing, tongue or navel piercing for me!

  5. Wonderful tidbit of history! Oh how I remember saying “I triple dog dare you”! Hopefully never for anything too dangerous! 😁 what a great idea, though, to date ourselves on June 1st to do something we’ve been putting off , especially if putting it off because of fear! I must decide what I will do Monday! Have a fabulous weekend! XO

    • I’ve got several in mind, Robyn, but I want to dare myself to dive into the deep end and finish, revise and submit a writing project I’ve had on hold for too long. So the timing is perfect for me: Monday is the day!

  6. Claudia

    Hum, I almost never dared anyone to do anything….and I don’t remember responding to any serious dare. I just float along trying to get along, try to stay out of trouble and try not to make trouble. Not to say I never made any trouble, just TRIED not to! Raining cats and dogs here for so long we are beginning to feel like winter and snowbound times. When I find the deck dry in the morning or afternoon for an hour, I rush out and try to enjoy it before the next rain that is already forming in the west! Stay dry and have a good weekend.

  7. I was only ten or so when I spent time in my room wondering WHY I had made a double dog dare, Claudia, which in our class was a pretty big dare, though I don’t even remember what the dare actually was. Any way, after that I didn’t participate in dares. I seemed to do fine–or get myself in trouble–on my own, without anyone daring me.
    You really did get a lot of rain recently. Your area and my mom’s were both getting hit pretty hard, even though she doesn’t got out any more and probably didn’t notice. Fingers crossed that you have more sunny dry deck days soon.

  8. I was in a boarding school for girls where we had a lot of ” I dare you” things going on. I tried to stay out of it but that wasn’t always possible. I did a few stupid things . Not too much so. It was a good school with excellent teachers.
    These days I don’t step out of my comfort zone very often. I have to think of something for June1.

    • I had several sons and daughters of military parents in my high school English classes, Gerlinde, and two of the girls wrote about taking and giving dares while they were in boarding school. Like you, they didn’t do really dangerous things, but they did say they couldn’t avoid participating.

      I’ve got one my “dare myself” goals for Monday, but I’ll have to get busy on the planning for the other.

  9. Timid mouse that I am, I don’t think I have ever really been involved in dares. But, I did dare myself to start a blog, and that worked out okay. 🙂 If I did dare someone to do something, it would have to be something I was willing to dare as well. Do you remember the game show Double Dare?

    • Gallivanta, I’m so glad you dared yourself to start a blog! That’s one dare all your readers are grateful you accepted. And I like your standards about daring someone else to do only what you’d be willing to do as well.
      Yes, I do remember Double Dare! 🙂

  10. I seem to remember many moons ago that dare and double dog dare often related to girls, like asking for a date or something. Believe me I was a chicken.
    Nowadays I have personal dares like opening the door if someone knocks.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Oh, I find it hard to believe that you, charming David, were a chicken about taking a dare to ask a girl for a date. But what we did or didn’t do as teens has changed now, or at least I hope so! 😉
      I’d much rather make personal dares so I can get things done, especially if the dare is for one day and then it’s over!
      Massive Hugs back to you!

  11. I didn’t know that about Dare County in England! See Marylin, you teach me so much from both sides of the shining sea! I thought I was being super daring when, at 18, my friend and I dared one another to get our ears pierced. How lame is that? But you are right, daring can have a very dark side, as demonstrated by two friends of my middle son’s who recently drowned in the sea at Brighton due to a double-dare to go in during a storm, in the small hours of a Saturday night, both been drinking, utterly tragic. I remember my children’s black D.A.R.E. tee-shirts 🙂 Thank you as always Marylin for a thought-provoking, wise and inspiring post.

    • Oh, Sherri, that is the most tragic double-dare I’ve ever heard. My guess is that the key issue was drinking rather than daring each other.
      The first Saturday in June each year, is Dare Day for Dare County, England, but it’s to celebrate everything in the county rather than dare each other to do things (or at least I think so!)
      Our neighbor, a dentist and also the father of my friend, pierced his daughter’s ears and mine. I was surprised when my parents agreed to it. But they didn’t want me to do what others my age were doing at slumber parties, using ice cubes to deaden the ear lobes, then running a needle through the it. Several had pierced ears that were off center or got infected.
      But you’re right, Sherri, getting our ears pierced wasn’t all that bold. 😉 Should I dare you to pierce your eyebrow? Yikes…

      • Yes, a tragedy indeed, but you’re right, the drinking had everything to do with it…
        I’m afraid I’m a big wimp, so I won’t take you up on that dare Marylin! My daughter would though no doubt. We had the worst arguments about piercings when she was about 15, went on and off for a good couple of years. Now she doesn’t have any, except for a plug in one ear…!!

      • We’ll have to keep our daughters separated, Sherri. Molly did have her eyebrow pierced–that is her picture above–but she also later took out the posts and and let them grow shut. These daughters and their independent choices! 😉 We’ve got to love them!

  12. Moving to another country was a bit of a dare. I have never dared anyone else to do something against their wishes, nor have I accepted a dare from someone else. But I have dared myself to do things to of my comfort zone. Perhaps I should take a page out of your mother´s book and ask myself why I should doing it sometimes. ❤

    • Moving to another country has turned out to be a positive dare you gave yourself, Darlene, and doing things outside our comfort zone often turn out to be very positive.
      I think my mom asking me to decide WHY I did things was more because she didn’t want me to do things without thinking or that would cause problems for myself or others. Youthful whims, you know. 😉

  13. We didn’t do a whole lot of daring in my neighborhood. The kids I hung out with were suburban, mild mannered and bike riding.(maybe this is a good thing!) I love your explanation of June though- my parents were a June wedding!

    • Jim and I had a June wedding, too, Joanne, and it was a gorgeous day for a garden wedding. So we think June weddings are very special.
      We rode bikes all around our neighborhood, and racing each other or curb jumping weren’t dares, but they were certainly challenges!

  14. Jim

    Mary did well to protect kids from the Dare routine. It can be abused.

    However, the Triple-Dog-Dare was an important event among boys in the neighborhood where I grew up. It was how we tested our courage and how we found our leaders, so-to-speak. Our supreme Triple-Dog-Dare leader was Jerry. He proved himself by doing such ‘dares’ as jumping off a neighbor’s garage, diving (not jumping) off the high board at the public pool, and by trying a 10-foot Tarzan-leap from one tree limb to another. He didn’t complete the leap and fell about 20 feet to the ground and broke his arm. He was in pain but he didn’t cry. Then one day Jerry taught us all what true leadership is by refusing a Triple-Dog-Dare. Someone triple-dog-dared him go into a store and steal something. Jerry answered, “That’s not a dare. That’s dumb.”

    • Leaders need wisdom, and need to know when to say no – good for Jerry – although the Tarzan leap may have been a little beyond wise 🙂

    • Well, I’m glad Jerry drew the line somewhere, Jim. Jumping off a neighbor’s garage or tying 10-ft. Tarzan leaps from one tree limb to another don’t sound like such smart moves, especially when he broke his arm. Boys! Please don’t tell our grandchildren these stories, okay?

  15. I am amazed at how you always know about the the tags for special months and days. As always, you manage to both educate – and entertain. My most recent dare was tackling making a rainbow cake with my grand-daughter, knowing it would be complicated: separating the batter into 12 cups of color. Yes, I did blog about today.

    Not a chance I would ever pierce my eyebrow – or even make more than one hole in my earlobes 😉

    Your dog photo is choice!

    • Our dog Maggie is 13 now, and I love taking pictures of her, Marian. Actually, she gets along fine with cats, even one feral cat that seems to trust her, but at a distance.
      Hey, anything a granddaughter suggests has to be at least attempted. It won’t be long before they’ll be older and so busy with friends that we won’t be invited to join in their great plans!

      • Jenna is almost 10, and I know in a few years she’ll want to hang out with girlfriends instead of her Nana. That’s why we got pedicures today together. Her first!

      • Pedicures together! That’s a good idea. Grace and I think we’re doing a good job when we paint each other’s fingernails, and it doesn’t always turn out perfectly. But of course I wear it proudly! 🙂

  16. Oh yes, Marylin, I remember my childhood memories of playing what we thought was a game of “triple dare”. Your mom was so wise. I like how you turned this into a positive challenge. I will think about what I will dare myself to do for June 1st, 2015. I wouldn’t pierce my eyebrow, but I did piece my nose and that hurt so much my tears leaked, but no one dared me to do it. 🙂

    • When we played double dog dare, if you double or triple dared someone to do something and they didn’t do it, then you had to do it…but you could also give them another dare. I think our neighborhood and friends at recess made up their own rules; they were always changing!
      You pierced your nose? I know this is a gross question, but what happened when you sneezed or had to blow your nose, Tracy?

  17. Hmmm. I think I’ll take a rain check. I love exploring and pushing the limits but as a result of my choices. I think I would dare someone to refuse a dare!

  18. I’ve never played the dare game in a bad way. I don’t recall someone daring me to do something dreadful. I’ve done silly things like telling my friends, “I bet I can make that serious man smile”. That’s the extent of the “dares” in my life. I do like the positive twist on the dare. I now dare myself to get rid of all the stuff in my study that I don’t use anymore. 🙂

    • I’ve decided, Elaine, that the dares teen girls used to give each other were actually pretty mild compared to the dares made by the same-age male dare-devils. Most of our dares were very much like your example.
      Getting rid of everything you don’t use in your study sounds like a terrific personal dare! 🙂

  19. I dare you to clean your room never worked – may we should heave tried double-dog-daring. Been trying to find the Dare County England information – but drawing a blank. I have not heard of it before.

    • I found it in an article about little known holidays, Rod. It’s always held on the first Saturday in June, when the residents and guests and visitors in Dare County, England, celebrate Dare Day. But I don’t think it includes making dares for each other to do things, but is more about enjoying the different activities and foods in the county.

      • I can’t find a place called Dare County England on the map There us one in the outer banks US

      • The article didn’t include maps, at least I don’t remember seeing any. I do remember that one of the favorite attractions to Dare Day was a special kind of sweet bread in loaves or muffins.

  20. I was never the dare devil type, so I avoided the dares that involved risk of injury. 🙂 I remember playing truth or dare as a kid. I often went with truth.
    I love the photo of your grandson pushing the boulder…great shot!

    • That picture was taken several months after the F4 tornado leveled all the schools and many homes in their town, Jill. We had gotten the grandkids hard hats and kids’ tool belts so they could “help,” and Gannon was so cute as he marched around trying to help.
      The few times I played Truth of Dare, the options really got carried away!

  21. Boy does this post bring back a lot of childhood memories! Gullibly following orders or copying behaviors of other kids got me plenty of room time. (I don’t remember too many dares but the feeling is similar.) Or sometimes I could go out to play but wasn’t allowed to leave the yard. My yard was not exciting, so I would sit in the corner of the lot and try to entice the other kids to come to the corner and talk. How many times did I hear : If John jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? Yikes.

  22. Happy June month my bf Marylin …Glad to see your article here
    I enjoy to read this, thanks for sharing love it .

  23. I don’t actually remember many dares as such but one silly one sticks in my memory. We were sixteen year old English Lit students away on a cultural week in Stratford on Avon, home of Shakespeare. We had tickets to see Measure for Measure at the theatre so five of us girls dared the sixth one to go to the theatre wearing a very revealing frilly night dress. She did, and strangely no one seemed to notice. This was of course in the 70’s when British street fashion was probably at its weirdest. The rest of us five thought it was terribly funny …

    • And what if she’d refused, Jenny, and your friends dared you instead? 😉
      You’re right, in the 70s you all probably fit in just fine; at least the dare wasn’t to get tattoos or piercings that became so popular much later.
      A cultural week in Stratford on Avon sounds so wonderful. I felt so lucky to be there just for a day in 1970.

  24. Wise words from your mother as usual Marylin, but with a wise message from you too to not be afraid to challenge ourselves.

    • Thank you, Andrea. There are risks in challenging ourselves, but the older I get the more I realize that the risks that go with not challenging myself are even greater.

  25. You got me thinking (and remembering), Marylin. I like how you’ve turned around a negative aspect of daring–the way the bullies and cowards use it to challenge others to demonstrate their courage–into a positive. Yes, we should challenge ourselves to demonstrate courage.

    I never was very susceptible to others’ dares, unless they were fun, harmless pranks, like walking around a shopping mall in Germany with a motorcycle helmut on the top of my head, and asking people what they thought of the latest fashion from America. Most people laughed.

    This month I’m challenging myself to dream. Local travel is something I can do; but long journeys have long been out of the question for me, as I spend so much time recovering from the journey that I can’t enjoy the destination. I’ve been longing to go back to Germany to spend time with my friends there, and Ken has encouraged me to think about how we might spend 4-5 months in Europe. I could get there, spend a week recovering, and then enjoy the destination. Settle into a routine, get comfortable….

    So I’m daring to dream. Planning a journey for 2016; God willing.

    • That’s wonderful, Tracy. Your plan lets you go with the dream while still protecting yourself from the pain of overextending. Excellent!
      I hope you have a photo somewhere of wearing the motorcycle helmut on your head during a different time in Germany. First, to share it with us on your blog; but also for you to look at and laugh as you plan the next trip.

  26. Marylin, this was a fun post but sad that Sherri shared an accident due to a dare resulting in death. How horrible!
    I was one at overnight parties who liked pranks more than dares. Like calling people and asking if their refrigerator was running, then following with, “Oh, you better run and catch it.” Sometimes, we would call boys we liked and ask parents for them to come to the phone, then hang up. I don’t know why but we must have thought it would somehow let him know we liked him? I remember my brother daring our younger brother to do things, but ‘Ricky,’ as we called him then, would not budge. I also know this is not a dare, but an example of Rich’s sensitive side, my Grandpa would often joke around and say, “Put up your dukes.” Randy and my Grandpa would then feign boxing moves. My little brother, Rich, would raise his hands and almost whimper, “These are not dukes!” Smiles.

    • I think that was one of my mother’s fears, that daring–and the daredevils who act on them–might have something bad happen. Teens, especially males, it seems, don’t look far enough ahead, Robin. It’s so very sad.
      I love your brother’s response! He was sensitive, but he also knew how to refuse.

      • 🙂 Marylin, you see the good in things. My brother is the more sensitive one who goes to have breakfast almost daily with my Mom. He and his wife found out it is half the cost up where they live so he is the one who still handles things. I cannot wait, on the other hand. to go up for a week around the 4th of July. Mom’s mind continues to get more forgetful each time (once a month) I see her. . . You help a lot, more than you know with my positive perspective, Marylin.

  27. I used to dread dares when I was a kid. The dare was always something horribly embarrassing or horribly risky–like the time a group of friends and I ran across Lake Shore Drive in Chicago–an expressway with several lanes of speeding traffic. We could have been killed. We weren’t daring. We were foolish.

    • You ran across Lake Shore Drive’s lanes of speeding traffic? Oh, L. Marie, that was more than just being foolish! I’m glad you’re here to write about it. (Did you read Sherri’s comment about the two boys who drowned?) Actually, when we look back on the mistakes of our youth, the surprise is that we survived.

  28. Jane Thorne

    Gosh this reminded me of the ‘dares; in my younger school days and my Mum saying ‘If they dared you to jump off a cliff would you?’…I learned not to follow the herd from my parents example. It is amazing we survived at all when I look back at what we got up to…. Hugs and much ❤ for you all and your lovely Mum. Xx

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