Now my Mom and Dad raised me to be an incredible man, not an 18 year old wanna-be Spicolli. Mine was a childhood of dreams: fantastic family vacations, extracurricular endeavors encouraged and church every Sunday. MTV was even blocked, though my brothers and I still watched Beavis and Butthead through the static.
My mother painted ethics across my soul’s genetic makeup like Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. And my Dad exemplified a man’s man. He was a phenomenal provider, passed along the value of hard work and encouraged whatever pursuits we enjoyed with vigor. His sense of humor could make the stoic Ben Stein laugh. Hard.
Sure we argued at times. I was a bit of a handful in the classroom, but never anything too serious. Early in childhood, some teachers suggested I exhibited behavior problems. I did. But I made my way through high school with both academic and athletic accolades.
So I’m relatively certain three days before I was departing for a top 30 liberal arts college, Mom and Dad were mortified to hear the news from a friend’s mom that she discovered my 2 stash of marijuana – pot I painfully watched her flush down the toilet.
That pot was going to be my seedy startup. I was going to become the Tony Montana of Greencastle, Indiana. My dreams of drug money, however, fittingly turned into unconventional toilet paper.
My folks obviously questioned my readiness for the demands of higher education. But addicts, as you may know, possess a sinister talent – a silver tongue ready to appease any doubts. Though I’m certain uncertainty remained, off I went, unknown to me, to a half semester of absolute failure.
I started DePauw University on half scholarship, accepted into an Honors Business Program and a golf team member (almost, I was too stoned at tryouts to make the team). I spent a half semester smoking enough pot to make Cheech and Chong jealous. Never one to fear arrest, I grew a pot plant in my dorm room. Horticulture was not my major.
To give you an idea of how awful I was as a short-lived freshman at DePauw, my roommate wrote an article about me. I link to it with the absolute hope you won’t read it.