Well, it's been a really interesting month as our family has settled into our new home in the Pacific Northwest. At the beginning of January, my husband was transferred to the town of Mount Vernon, Washington---just north of Seattle. There have been many new things that I've had to become used to---several funny stories that I will write about soon. However, today's incident tops them all.
Early this morning, after my husband left for work, I was picking up the living room a little when I discovered a round, white pill on the floor near the entryway. Upon examination, I found that it had a tulip design stamped into both sides and it was about the size of an M&M. I wondered if it had just gotten tracked in as my husband works in a big mall and could have got it caught in the tread of his work shoes. But then again I thought, his shoes are flat on the bottom. Then I remembered a few months ago when a co-worker had sent him home with some sort of calcium-citrus tablets that were supposed to be helpful for alleviating cold symptoms. "Perhaps it's just something he got from a co-worker," I reasoned, "for headaches or something". I was trying to get started on the kids' school work for the day so I just set it up on the bookshelf to ask him about later.
Later this afternoon, I was just dingin' around waiting to start dinner and had a few minutes to do a little research on the mysterious pill. I Googled "white pill tulip" and was shocked to find page after page on the drug, Ecstasy!!!
One page had a picture of the EXACT pill I had sitting here---just with a slightly bluer tint to it. As I read through the different sites, the information given seemed to indicate that the "manufacturers" of these pills put different stamps on them--sometimes they can serve as an indicator of what is in the pill and other times they can indicate the location from which the pill was obtained.
This little bit of information FREAKED ME OUT!! You see, we've moved to an area that has been deemed one of the great tulip capitols of the world!! Mount Vernon hosts an annual tulip festival in April and is even home to the 2010 World Tulip Summit! What better logo for a local ecstasy pill than a happy little tulip!
As I continued my research, I found that many Ecstasy pills will have a slight mint smell to them. As my heart raced with the fear of discovering the obvious truth of what this little pill inevitably would turn out to be, I picked it up and gave it a sniff.
Sure enough! This horrible little intrusion to my happy, Christian home had a very distinct smell---Vanilla Mint!!
The idea that my husband had accidentally tracked it in was immediately thrown out---I was furious! Surely someone at work was playing a joke on him! The scenario began to play through my head. I pictured my poor, hard-working husband developing one of his regular migraine headaches and asking his co-workers if anyone had something he could take for the pain. I could see these slick and scheming city guys chuckling in the corner of the kiosk---"let's play a joke on the new country boy!" One of them slyly pulling out part of his clubbing stash and offering it to my naive and unsuspecting husband. Thank God, I thought, that he intervened and kept Jamie from actually taking it!!!!
Relief mixed with the fear of what "could have been" began to settle me down a little and I set the pill on top of my desk so I could make sure and educate him when he got home on the dangers of taking unknown drugs. I planned to show him all the sites I'd found and talk to him about how important it is that we remember: we're not in Eastern Oregon anymore. There are DANGERS here!!!
I headed to the kitchen to make dinner, determined not to dwell on the possible horrible scenarios that could have taken place had one of the kids gotten a hold of it. I really wanted to sit and write in my blog tonight and didn't want this worry hampering my creative thoughts from flowing.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the realization of what was really going on hit me. Co-workers, I thought. I remembered that last Sunday night, my husband had gone to a friends' house to practice medieval sword-fighting. A CO-WORKER friend. When he came home that night, he had explained to me the reason why he was a little late---the friend had given him a couple extra lessons since he wouldn't be available to teach this coming week.
There has to be more to this, I thought. My husband isn't naive. In the twelve years we'd been together, we'd switched character traits as he went out into the world to work and I stayed home with the kids. He knows a lot more about this world than I do...surely he'd recognize a drug for what it is. Panicking, I texted him: "You need to take a break and call me NOW!!!" For the next hour and a half I couldn't think straight. I just sat here at my computer Googling and Googling. I began planning the trip to my mom's that the kids and I would have to take to give my husband time to "think about" this new lifestyle and whether it was really worth it. I considered going through and deleting all my searches on Ecstasy as they would only prove incriminating when he was busted for drugs. No way, I thought, the jerk deserves it.
I went back to the computer and picked up the pill, examining it very closely. A small little twinkling of hope was nagging to get through my thoughts of a shattered life and a destroyed family. There's a stem, I observed. A stem with two leaves and a top petal-sort-of-thingy. However, a real close look at the devilish device made me aware of something I really hadn't noticed before. The leaves were sort of jagged along the edges. And the petals---they were sort of jagged too---and really rather leaf-shaped. Really, the more I looked at the thing, the more it looked like the image of a cluster of mint leaves.
Actually, this image does seem sort of familiar, I thought. Just then, the phone rang---it was my husband.
"Umm...did you maybe happen to drop one of your mints this morning?"
"No," he answered.
*Blink*, there went that little twinkling of hope.
"Why?" he asked.
"Well," I continued, "What do they look like?"
"Round," he answered, "Why?"
Ignoring his question: "And sort of the size of an M&M?"
"And do they have something stamped on them?"
"Yeah...like a mint leaf. Why?" By this time he was getting really irritated with my obviously interrogating tone.
"Yeah, but does it look sorta like a tulip?" I asked, desperately.
"Yeah, I guess. WHY? Oh wait," he said, realization dawning on him, "did you find it in the bedroom?"
"No, by the front door."
"Oh, ok well I had dropped one in the bedroom while I was getting ready for work and couldn't find it on the floor anywhere. It must have fallen in the cuff of my pants and then onto the floor later on. I'll show you what they look like when I get home. I promise, I'm not turning into a druggie!"
Finally, it dawned on me where I'd seen that little "tulip" stamp before. It was on the tin of Starbucks mints that I'd put in his stocking a couple months ago for Christmas.