TRAVEL BUG TALES: STAYING ON THE WRONG END OF TOWN
At this end of my life, I think I must be the luckiest girl in the world, but that might be because I didn’t use up my luck when I was younger. Throughout the first two decades of my life and well into my third, being in the right place at the right time was not a habit of mine. In fact, I don’t think it ever happened. When they were handing out accommodations for our week of Bible Schools, I didn’t get the venue with all the perks, but that was nothing new.
That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles
I don’t blame anyone for my assignment to the Outer Mongolia of Racine accommodations. It was just the luck of the draw. Several of the families hosting us lived near one another and the kids at those homes saw a lot of each other during the week. The girls in our house saw no one besides whoever they were working with on any given day. We were staying on the other side of town.
I had three roommates at the Sheet’s family home – Janis (of course), Susan and Mitzi. Mitzi was the reason I knew I had not been exiled for lack of coolness. Mitzi was the picture of coolness.
Mitzi’s family had a large home in Lake Highlands that frequently hosted events for our church group back in Dallas. Mitzi had a cool car. Mitzi dressed like a million dollars. Mitzi was dating Steve Sawyer – another heart throb of the church who hadn’t come along on the trip. I didn’t want to have to grow up to be like Mitzi. I just wanted to BE Mitzi.
Does Anybody Have an Aspirin?
In my life I’ve probably had three headaches. I got one of them on the mission trip. I think it was the first night in Racine. I asked our hosts for an aspirin and they told me they weren’t allowed to give us any kind of medications. That made sense, but I wasn’t asking for cold medicine or airplane glue. The top of my head was about to blast off and I needed relief. The Sheet’s should have given me the aspirin.
Janis and Susan felt sorry for me, but they hadn’t packed any OTC remedies. Mitzi however offered up the prescription medication she took for cramps or migraines or some other pain-related ailment. I was a little nervous about taking a drug that hadn’t been prescribed to me. I’d had a life-threatening reaction to sulfa when I was little and it had made a permanent impression on me.
Someone suggested I call my parents about it, but I was not going to call my parents. I was the furthest I’d ever been away from my parents and I wanted to be as grown up as I thought I should be. I should have called my parents, but we didn’t have smartphones in those days. It would have been a long distance call and with my mom’s penchant for worry, she might have sent a care-flight to get me. It was just a headache after all.
What’s This For Again?
Eventually, out of desperation, I took whatever Mitzi had offered. She warned that it might make me sleepy. I had not yet learned that I have no tolerance for drugs. Whatever something is supposed to do, with me it does the opposite. If a little goes a long way, then you have to give me an elephant’s dose to get anything to happen. If others take a gallon of it, then a teaspoon will knock me into next week. It took a long time to figure all this out, but I learned, when it comes to medications, with me the cure is usually worse than the complaint.
Mitzi’s medication did not make me sleepy. When everyone else was falling asleep where they stood, I was wide awake. I was awake all night. I played solitaire until the sun came up and then I joined everyone for breakfast. I was wired for several days. I tell everyone it was Quaaludes, but I really don’t remember what it was. It could have been Percocet or Vicodin. I just knew that if this was what taking drugs was like, I’d never be an addict.
More to Come
Our week in Racine was just beginning and I’d just broken the law – or at least I think it’s against the law to take a prescription drug that is not prescribed to you. The up-side was that I was I was forever warned away from experimenting with drugs. There’s more to come, so come back next week for more Travel Bug Tales.