I just got off the phone with my dad. He called to wish me a happy birthday and catch up on life. I love talking to him. Seriously, we have the same mind. I’ve learned a lot from him and as I grow older, it amazes me how much alike we are.
And yesterday was the Marine Corps. birthday.
Today is Veteran’s Day. My birthday.
My dad is a Marine! I think he planned for me to be born on this holiday…(big smiles).
I am reminded of a funny story. When my dad told me these scary words. Well actually my dad didn’t tell me these words, a man in uniform told me said those words.
“I just want to go home!” I yelled into the phone. “Drew, please come pick me up.”
I called my best friend to come pick me up from a graduation party. I was upset over a boy.
“On my way, Ash,” he said back.
Drew was coming from a wedding reception, but he was kind enough to drive out of his way for me. When he got there, I jumped in the front seat and started crying. Telling him my story and swearing off boys. Dramatic? Yes- that might have been my middle name.
He was speeding. Nothing crazy, but it was a 30 mph zone (which really could have been a 50 mph) zone and he was going about nine over.
Sure enough, got pulled over. Great, I thought. But wasn’t too worried. I would just play off the “I’m upset” card if he asked what’s wrong with the crying girl in the front seat.
But lucky me, the cop came to MY side of the car. I rolled down the window. Beer breathe and all.
“In a hurry?” he asked.
“No, sir- just taking my friend home,” Drew said.
“Have any of you kids been drinking tonight?” He asked.
I stared at him like a deer in headlights.
“Yes or no,” he asked again. Demanding a response.
I still said nothing, but Drew said, “No sir!”
Well Drew wasn’t drinking, but I sure had.
Oh boy, well I didn’t lie – because I didn’t respond.
“Ok, I need to see your drivers licenses,” the cop said. “All of you.”
Oh my goodness. I thought. Here we go.
And then I said the dumbest thing of my life, “Officer, I just want you to know my drivers license says at the top of it probationary license because I wasn’t supposed to drive with passengers in more car for 90 days when I first got my license, but I am 17 now.”
What the hell was I even talking about? And why did I even say that?
“Mam, can you step out of the car please?” he said.
And there it all started. He made me take a breathalyzer. The first time I didn’t blow, I sucked on it. Like a straw.
“Blow!” he said.
I let out a little POOF.
“HARDER!” he said.
Okayyyy getting cranky, I thought.
All or nothing – here we go.
I was praying I wouldn’t blow much. Because I only had a few beers.
And my eyes were blood shot from the tears, not the beers.
“0.01,” he said. “Put your hands on the car.”
Thank you very much zero tolerance law.
Okay, I’m toast. My life is over and I’m never going to college. I’m never going to be a famous writer. I’m never going to get married. Because I’ll be in jail my whole life. (Dramatic)
He searched my purse and found my diet pills. Green tea diet pills. They were in a plastic bag. So all he saw was green and a plastic bag.
What do you think he thought it was?
Yeah, so I reply, “Officer – those are my diet pills. I think I am fat and I am trying to lose weight.”
My mom wasn’t home, so he drove me out to my dad’s house. He walked inside first. Woke him and Beth up.
I am seriously toast.
“YEAHHHH TOAST- FRENCH TOASTT!” I sang. Okay, now is not the time to be funny, I told myself.
I saw him walking back out to the, and I had no idea what my fate was for the evening.
“Well, I asked your dad what he wanted me to do with you,” he said. “And he told me that he is a former Marine- and he knows how to take care of his own.”
“Just take me to the drunk tank,” I said.
Instead, he walked me into my dad’s house. Hand cuffed. I’ve never been more ashamed. Well, maybe a few other times.
But it taught me a valuable lesson that night – don’t call Drew to pick me up if I’ve been drinking until I’m 21. (Kidding, it taught me a few other lessons too).
And it made me appreciate my dad so much more. It made me realize how much he really has gone through in his life. He is a Marine. Always.
And no, I didn’t have to do push-ups until my arms fell off. We talked about life and that’s what I love most about my dad. Thank you daddy, for serving and projecting our country. But especially for protecting me- from the drunk tank.