Letter to Amber

0006_daddy_amberAugust 17, 2013

Hey ya “Poop”! I was hoping to have a talk with you before you left, but you’ve been so busy and time just ran out. It’s probably better this way. I’ve always been much better at writing, than talking. Talking always involves listening. I’ve never been so good at that part.

Daddy Training

I don’t recall them preparing me for this day when I was in “Daddy Training School”. Your mother and I, particularly me, have sheltered you from a lot of the bad in life. I talked myself into believing, you’d always be a little girl, daddy’s little girl. I guess that started a long time ago with Jessi. With her situation, I always knew she’d be home with us and I could protect her from the world. I guess I just carried that thought over to you as well. Apparently, that isn’t the case at all. You’ve grown up and now you’re leaving home for the first time. I don’t like it. Nope. Not one bit. But the truth is, that’s my problem. And my problems should not cause you to suffer. I know you hear me tell the kitty all the time when she gets too close to the front door, “It’s a big scary world out there and we don’t want to lose you”. Well, that goes for you as well. It is a big scary world out there. There’s danger and ugliness around every corner. But, it is also a very beautiful world too, full of adventure and excitement. You will be an integral part of, and significant contributor to, the beauty the world has to offer.

New Experiences

You are getting ready to face many new experiences. Some good, and some not so good. Perhaps even some I haven’t even thought of. Although I highly doubt it…my mind never turns off, and my imagination is pretty vivid. I’ve always tried to be open and honest with you regarding my experiences. That alone should help tell you what not to do. But you will be faced with a lot of new experiences and you will need to make choices when confronted with them. This is just one of those things that come along with growing up, and unfortunately, I can’t do it for you. But let’s go over a few you are likely to encounter, that I can right now advise you on…before you are faced with the decision.

The biggest one is drugs/alcohol. I’m not in the least bit naïve, and I accept that you will probably experiment. Most kids do, and college is a breeding ground for that experimentation. We’ll start with alcohol, because it’s just an in your face type of thing. You’ll want to avoid people who drink a lot. Yes, I know, I drink a lot. But at that age, people are really stupid. And the stupid ones who drink a lot tend to get dangerously stupid. Boys get aggressive and girls wake up in the morning full of regrets. A lot of times the boys are trying to impress each other and girls, and they just do really dumb things. (You may recall me telling you of the time I rode my bicycle off the roof?) And that was one of my milder dumb things to do while drinking moments. A lot of boys that age get violent when drinking. Violence is never a good thing and drunken violence is 99.99% of the time based on an imaginary slight of some kind. A guy thinks another guy looked at his girl the wrong way and naturally he has to puff his chest and fan his feathers and show all the other birds he is the cock of the roost.

Girls who drink a lot at that age, are usually broken in some way. They are lost, confused, scared, and missing something. I think the pseudo-shrink terminology is, they have daddy issues. Unlike boys, who are usually trying to prove something, the girls are usually trying to find something. To be accepted. To be loved. The bad news is, they never find it, (not through drunkenness anyway) and generally get further lost. Waking up next to a stranger, not remembering what happened last night does nothing to fill that void of loneliness.

As far as drugs, my advice is to just steer clear of them. If you’re going to smoke weed, you know I have no problem with it, but you really have to be careful. Don’t get caught up in dealing. It can be a seemingly easy way to make some quick, and often-times needed cash, but it is just a pain in the ass. I’m not even talking about getting busted by the pigs, which of course, does suck. But the phone never stops ringing. People showing up at the door at all hours. People you think you know, introducing you to people you don’t know (and shouldn’t trust). Ass holes pestering you to death while you’re waiting for your connection to supply you. It just sucks. It becomes a full time job with little reward. So, small quantities for personal use.

Hallucinogenics. At one time, I would have said “Sure, experiment. It can be wonderful!” But nowadays, nothing is pure. They use so much horse shit in the manufacturing of LSD, you just can’t trust it. I certainly don’t. I suppose if you are really tight with a chemistry major, you can rely on the product, and if you do get in good with a chem. major, let your old dad know. And then there is the people thing. It always comes back to the people thing with me. They suck. Bad trips do occur, and you want to be with someone you know you trust in those situations. Very few people, looking back now, were actually there for me to trust. First sign of trouble and they scatter like cockroaches when the light gets turned on. You want to be in a safe environment. Is there such a thing as a safe environment on a college campus these days? Not really. Just another damn police state on a smaller, more confined scale. You can’t just puke to end the trip if a cop shows up and harasses you. You are in it for the long haul when it comes to tripping. So what are you going to do? Sit in your dorm room for 12 hours to experience this mind awakening trip? That doesn’t seem like much fun.

Now ‘shrooms, on the other hand, are generally harmless. Yeah, I’ve heard stories about morons tripping on mushrooms, stripping naked and taking a shower in the fountain, but I’ve never seen anything like that. I did watch a buddy once go into 7-11 wearing nothing but a yellow rain coat…fully open, to buy some beer. I personally just used to laugh my balls off on ‘shrooms. Everything was just funny. They used to be real popular at Halloween parties. You can imagine why. But again, it helps to be with someone(s) you really trust, and somewhere safe. Not a good idea to eat a handful of ‘shrooms and head off to class. One real down side to them is, they taste like shit. Some people even puke. I overcame that down side by convincing myself it was an acquired taste. Sort of like coffee…and cheap beer.

Ecstasy. I would just avoid it altogether. Ecstasy didn’t come around until after my hay day, and believe it or not, I’ve never done it. But I have witnessed people on it, and while the stories are mostly good ones, what I’ve seen tells a different story. I guess the “high” is supposed to be good, but your inhibitions drop to nil. Decision making is compromised and particularly for girls, in an environment of testosterone driven boys, it can be a sticky situation.

The so called hard drugs (cocaine, heroin, and even prescription drugs). Avoid them like the plague. Listen, there is a reason so many people take pain killers…they work! There is something wonderful and magical about these substances, and in the short term, the now, I have no complaints, (other than the potential to overdose). I love narcotics. Partly because I have a lot of pain, but mostly because the high is fantastic for me. The problem with these drugs is, it very rarely, I mean very rarely, remains in the short term. They feeling can be so good, addiction is almost always unavoidable. The desire becomes a craving and the craving becomes a need. And as you know, I have known friends that wasted their lives in addiction, and most are now dead. I count myself as lucky that I have been able to avoid that cycle of addiction. Strong will I suppose? But most people who indulge in narcotics, are not so lucky. The chances of addiction are very good, and addiction is very bad.
I could go on listing different drugs, but the bottom line is, just avoid them. Other than a quick buzz, there really is no long term gain to be had. Marijuana?… (not a drug), again, use your judgment. Small quantities, trusted friends, no dealing. Alcohol?…moderation, avoid drunks, no driving (or riding with those who are dinking). The rest of it?…just leave it alone. If you really feel the need to experiment with something, come home and you and I can experiment together. At least I will know you are safe.
Now I am sure you will go to parties where all of the above and probably more is available. There is nothing at all wrong with having some down time and parties can be a great place to meet new people, relax a bit, and forget about the real world for a while. But the parties you encounter in a college setting, (particularly those damn frat parties) bring out a lot of the horse shit I have already mentioned. Boys acting cool, impressing each other and the gullible girls, excessive drinking, drug use, and often times violence. I can’t remember any party I went to in a college setting that didn’t have at least one fight. And as I said, it is almost always over something stupid and imagined. You should always go to these parties in a group. And you should definitely leave in a group. Never leave alone. And never leave with just one boy. Speaking of boys…

The Male of the Species

Men are dogs. Boys in men’s bodies are pigs. It’s not really their fault. They are exploding with testosterone at that age, have the body of a man, often-times fuelled by alcohol, and have been indoctrinated by culture to think they have to impress everyone. But unfortunately, as manly as they appear physically, they have the brains of boys. They lack judgment, many lack empathy, and they all, for some damn reason, want to show the other men/boys just how damn cool they are. As a daddy, my advice is to avoid them at all costs. They are nothing but trouble. From the time they wake up until the time they pass out in a drunken stupor, they have one thing on their mind. To get you naked. Some of them even hunt in packs. But I can assure you, they are all hunting. So yeah, as a daddy, I say avoid them. But as a realist, I have to accept that they do exist, and you will encounter them. Just remain on guard and vigilant at all times. Never forget, that no matter what bull shit they tell you, their true motive is crystal clear. To get you naked.I would suggest surrounding yourself with all the gay boys, but then the whole ecstasy thing comes into play. Those gay guys really like to “roll” on “x” at the “raves”. But hey, some of my best friends growing up were gay, and they were loyal to a fault.

In Closing…

This is a very difficult time for me. As I said, I really didn’t prepare myself for it, and I don’t think it was ever taught. I think your mother and I have done a pretty good job bringing you this far, and its time for you to start walking on your own a bit. That in no way is to suggest you are on your own. I want you to know, that no matter what, no matter how bad you think something is, no matter how much you may think I may be disappointed, there is nothing under the sun you cannot come to me for. Well, except money. I got no money. And beer. Get your own damn beer. I only have enough for me. I think you know what I mean sweetie. You will always be my little girl, and no matter what you experience in life, good or bad, you can trust me (and mommy) to be there for you. I hope this whole college thing (way over-rated) turns out to be the happiest time of your life.

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