READING BETWEEN THE PINES

If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

When I was a senior in high school, I applied to two colleges. The first was the school I was destined to attend. The second? An afterthought, just in case the world’s largest sink hole, triggered by a flying unicorn tethered to an alien spacecraft piloted by Tom Cruise, happened to swallow my destiny college whole.

That didn’t happen. Instead I was wait-listed, which for me, was the equivalent of learning that big hair wasn’t a thing anymore. In other words? Devastating. After getting the news, I became sullen and unmoored, sequestering myself in my closet with Erasure’s Oh L’Amour pounding through the headphones of my Sony Mega Bass Sports Walkman.

Remember Erasure? That’s OK, neither does anybody else.

After a few days of intense suffering, dad told me to shower, scrape the caked drool off my face, and put on some clean clothes. It was time for a road trip.

Floating down the highway at a cool 64 mph in his Ford Thunderbird (better known as The Gray Ghost), we somehow ended up at my destiny college. Before I could throw a hormone-inspired fit and demand to be returned home, I found myself face-to-face with the Dean of Admissions, better known as The Dream Crusher. As I sat, immobilized by fear, my dad listed virtues I didn’t even know I had in his pitch to get me a spot in the incoming freshman class. This wonderful man, who’d never raised his voice against me in my eighteen years on earth, now raised it for me, loud and proud.

And you know what? It worked.

Who can argue with one of the most prolific poets the world has ever known? Not me.

If you ask, he’ll tell you what he did was no big deal, and that all he really wanted was to create some distance between his Barcalounger my constant feed of synthesizer-heavy, sappy love songs. But now, a lot older and a little more wise, I understand that his actions were extraordinary. He spoke for me at a time when I hadn’t yet found my voice, and taught me that when you want something to change, the first thing you have to do is ask.

Still have my synthesizer-heavy mix tapes and Sony Mega Bass Walkman (plus a back-up in case my go-to gets stolen).

On that day, I learned huge lessons on a short road trip that got me into the school of my dreams, which altered the course of my life. And for that? Thanks Dad.

In addition to the multitude of things that inspire me to write, I’m a contributor to our local community paper, The Castle Pines Connection. Come check out the neighborhood and people who make it meaningful at www.castlepinesconnection.com.

10 thoughts on “A Different Spin on Thanksgiving Day

  1. Susan Francke says:

    Doug ❤️

  2. Rich Schumacher says:

    We are ALL thankful for your dad’s actions back then! 🙂

    1. Awww you just made my day Rich. Thank you for always being so great.

  3. Laura says:

    Love this story Stacie! But now I have to know what your dream college was, and if that was also where you were destined to meet your dream husband?! ❤️

    1. Ha! I graduated from Miami of Ohio and met my husband in Chicago looking for my dream job (which was a little tough with an English Lit major). So happy to see you Laura. Someday we’re going to cross real paths and not just virtual ones!

  4. Janet Martin says:

    Such a great story. You Dad is a wise man. ❤️

    1. He is indeed. Thanks Janet!

  5. Dani Heart says:

    That is something to be grateful for. 🙂

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