Verlene Visits Vancouver August 23, 1997 (and more)

Sixteen years ago, nearly to the day, mama and I left the beaches of the Caribbean to head off on the adventure of "College". I was the youngest person on the plane then and I am on my way to Vancouver, where, thanks to the "Alaska Cruise Season" I am once again the youngest person on this flight

16 years ago, I was off to a new country. I had one bag packed (no wigs then! Oh No! My how times and circumstances have changed!) I had a complete naiveté of what I was about to embark on. Well there is more luggage on this trip. It took the movers 10 hours to pack up the trailer and many many hours of lawyers, powers-of-Attorney, notary publics but I am on my way to yet another country, another life and again, naiveté of the possibilities.

I am sitting her in the very last row of coach on an airline that "loves to fly, and it shows"... they have yet to show me anything that they love to do (except to NOT refill my cocktail quickly!!!) And $4 for a headset...child, go away! Alana, how you like these people is just beyond me!

Why am I not zipping off on a free First/Business class ticket/upgrade? Well ask Ms. Rolohantas. I am not exactly sure what her excuse was, but there was some flurried call about having to overnight in Canada and this flight not eligible for the upgrade. We'll show her where her bread is buttered!

So now, my seat does not decline and the guy next to me is struggling with the simpleton crossword puzzle in the back of the crappy Airline Magazine....I am sitting next to the toilets and I think that someone is changing his "Depends" in there!

With all of this in mind, I thought that I would look back on the last 16 years in the U.S.of A and leave you with some parting words of wisdom about the country that has become such a part of me. Now I am no Kurt Vonnegut, but if I had to give a Graduation Speech...I 'spect that it'll go something like this:

Verlene's Commencement Address at Wake Tech College and Beauty School

Trailer Gals and Nellie-Belles of the class of 1997

Live as if you own the world. Do not actually "own", use credit.

Enjoy your "personal space" It is truly an American Luxury. That, and good hair cuts.

Get a nickname or two! Lovey, Scooter, Pookie, Princess, and Sweetpea are all nice! Keep in Touch with your friends, they love you nearly as much as I do! Meet a real Angel, go to his birthday party. Take a present! Wear a wide brimmed hat! Or date someone named Angel.

Write thank-you cards!

Find a friend that you can trust, and keep their secrets (no matter where and what you saw them doing on video, what surgery I know that you have had...and you know who you are!)

Laugh when your friends insult drunken Canadians. Carefully pick your travel partners. Having a friend explain that you are not dying in Amsterdam, is helpful! SHUT your cabin doors on the train to Prague. Roving blind people!

Think of people who are not with us anymore. Keep them alive in your memories. Volunteer some of your precious time.

If life gives you lemons, make margaritas! Teach your mother this art! At the end of a day at the pool, If you run out of lemons, use anything in the vegetable crisper that will fit into the blender! You will not notice the difference! Get drunk and let your friends take away your car keys and then bring you breakfast.

On New Years, take a tic-tac, believing that you are doing drugs for the first time.

Once a year, get off the diet, splurge and get a blizzard from the Dairy Queen! Buy a pasta maker, a good one! Be creative! Grill out, often, and tell you friends to bring a new friend along.

Pick up the tab unexpectedly!

Watch Infomercials and public access TV, and listen to NPR. Esp. to see if Verlene has made it to the BBC. Expand your mind! Play along with Wheel of Fortune, dream of how you would spend the prize money. This is important...groan audibly with the audience when the contestant misses a letter! Do not play along with Jeopardy. We Trailer Gals are not that nerdy!

Smile and look people in the eye when you talk to them. Agree loudly, disagree quietly! Go to Art House movies. And cry at the appropriate times. Ask Leeza to bring the beer! Get in on the "fads" early in the game. Being the last person on campus to ask "Where's the Beef" looked dumb. Listen to country music, every now and again, it makes your life seem pretty good!

Buy a lottery ticket.

Fight for what you believe in! Dig in those heels! Even if it pisses off the "A-Gay" crowd. Who the hell are they anyway? Hairless Men with breasts!

As the Queen once told me "Joke 'em if they can't take a F*&K!" And Prince Charles told me that his "royal spit, was good enough!", yours is too! Wear makeup/bronzer. That includes you Ms. Ringwold, you are not pretty in Green. Pavrotti sweats! Name Drop. But do not lie!

Practice safe sex. Practice, Practice, Practice!

Visit the nations capitol, and go out to places where valet parking is REQUIRED. Get wet!

Pay your bills on time, and send wedding presents, even if you could not make the wedding! Love people who smell like patchouli and clove cigarettes. (Even though it clashes with your "Charlie")

Learn the first name of the lady at the Krispy Kreme on the graveyard shift. When, she injures her hand, ask her how she is doing! It really is not WHAT you know, it is WHO you know!

Do the circuit thing. But quit when you have had enough! Be very careful what you ask for! Take your medications exactly on time!

Last but not least, please write me and help me keep my sanity!

I love you all!



(Trudy's note: Write to her a and remind her how we weep at her absence. )