Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.
Day 8 – Adventure:
Did you go on an adventure in 2013? What sort?
Our adventure of the year is usually our big annual vacation. Travel is very important to my husband and me. My husband actually went to hear Rick Steves speak one night last week and one of things that resonated with my husband was what Rick Steves said about "travel as a political act." I'm paraphrasing my husband's paraphrasing, but basically, by traveling and seeing the world first-hand, you're able to form your own opinions about people and the world, rather than relying on what you hear from various media sources. So yeah, that. Plus it's fun!
Before we got married, my husband and I reached an agreement that we felt worked for both of us. Every other year, we would go to Nicastro, Italy to visit my husband's family (and usually to somewhere else in the general area), and then on the "non-Italy" travel years, we'd go somewhere else.
The last few years have gone like this:
2009: Italy, Greece, Turkey
2010: Sweden, Russia
2011: Italy, Paris
2013: Germany, Austria (day trip), Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, Amsterdam
And the 2014 plan will feature India, and possibly some other places like Nepal, Dubai and/or Maldives. 2015 we're toying with Italy, Spain, Morocco. And the list goes on, and on, and on...
But there was no question that our trip was my big adventure this year. Liechtenstein was a new country to me, and even though I'd been to Berlin and Munich (and of course to Lamezia Terme and Venice) before, going somewhere foreign is always an adventure. Sorting things out when you don't speak the language (Germany), sorting things out when you do speak the language (Italy). Seeing how things have changed, how things have stayed the same, how something is seen for the first time through the eyes of someone you love.
But if I were forced to narrow it down to a single discrete experience that was an adventure -- I guess I'm okay with saying this since hopefully my name will never be associated with this blog -- it was in Amsterdam when I tried pot for the first (and likely last) time.
My husband had done it before a long time ago and he said he would not do it again and didn't particularly want me to do it, but at the same time said if I really wanted to, he wouldn't stop me. He said there was no way he would do it because if he somehow killed someone at work, he'd be drug-tested as part of procedure and he couldn't have anything show up. But of course most lawyers don't get drug tested (I certainly don't).
As I considered the idea for MONTHS before we went, I polled tons of people. Turns out, lots of people have done it and they're just fine (well, fine for now, they'll all probably end up addicted to meth eventually, because marijuana is a gateway drug). Among the people I learned who have done it in the past: both of my parents, several of my brothers, all of my brothers-in-law, and many of my very successful friends. And most of them said it wouldn't be a big deal for me to do it, particularly if I was going to be with someone safe (not alone). They all seemed to compare it to getting drunk.
Because I'm exceedingly paranoid, in the months before we went, I talked about the idea of trying it with not only a medical doctor who I run with, but with my own doctor. Both of them gave me the go-ahead, saying doing it once wouldn't cause any health issues. Just to be safe, and I probably will sound crazy now, I did some research with both my health insurance company and with various drug treatment facilities to figure out where I could go for rehab if somehow I got addicted to it. There are some really ritzy choices! But I found a few options in-state where I could get in without a long wait. My husband told me repeatedly that this was unnecessary, but I think I have an addictive personality (I know I've posted about jigsaw puzzles before!), and I wanted to be safe.
So yeah, in Amsterdam, I did it. We went into a little cafe place on the very last night of our trip. They had a list at the counter with a bunch of choices. I didn't know what kind or how much I wanted. My husband talked to the woman working there and said something not strong for my first time, and they picked something very "natural" apparently. My husband put it in a pipe for me (I know that's not a bong or a joint, but maybe that's a doobie? not sure still). He sat with me for a little while. This place had movie-theater type chairs and little tables and some booths. Most of the tables were full with people about my age or younger. There were also a few people at the counter. There was one table with 4 girls who all appeared to be college-age Americans.
The attempt to smoke it was a total disaster.
Turns out, I don't really know how to smoke. I had tried a cigarette once in junior high and failed miserably then (my best friend took it away from me since I wasn't "really" smoking it and she wanted to save it for later). As in junior high, on our great adventure this year, I kept trying to inhale but I'd start coughing like crazy. My husband thought it was hilarious and ridiculous for the 5 minutes that he managed to stay with me, then he said the smoke was bothering him and he went outside. I proceeded to try to follow his advice on how to inhale and I met with mixed success. I think I probably got 5 or so legitimate puffs, but for the vast majority of the time, I pretty much sucked it into my mouth and blew it out. So I played on my phone and maybe got semi-high?
I must have inhaled some or gotten a contact high from being in there because the rest of the night was weird. It was somewhat like being intoxicated. I was hungry (but uh, it was dinner time so hard to tell if that was related), I was tired (but it was evening, so that usually happens...). But the main thing I noticed was that I was INSANELY forgetful. I'd start talking during dinner and I'd realize that I had no idea how I'd started the sentence I was on or what my point was. At one point, I looked over at my husband, and he was counting something on his fingers. I had no idea what he was counting or why. So I pretended to count on my own fingers. Finally after a few seconds, I asked him what he was counting because I honestly had no idea. My husband looked at me and said, "Seriously???!!! I'm counting how many times we had pizza on this trip, we JUST talked about this like 20 seconds ago." And then I was like, oh yeah, I remember now... The whole night seemed to go like that. Not remembering anything.
The forgetfulness was very unexpected because I really thought it would be like being drunk, and while I might not remember stuff the next morning, I never had the experience of not knowing how I started the sentence I was speaking (though I will admit that I do forget what my point was, but honestly, that happens to me drunk or sober sometimes). I've heard about short-term memory loss, but I thought it meant I'd forget something from the day before or something.
So that was my big 2013 adventure. Now that I've gone through the gate-way, it's just a matter of time until I try crack, heroine, ecstasy, cocaine, mushrooms, speed, uppers, downers, meth and everything else... bear with me, the blog might change drastically when that happens.