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Darla Stories - overseas edition

Other than causing a scene on the airplane, looking like a convict on our Italian shopping spree, a clothes situation and a swimming pool incident, there weren’t a whole lot of Darla Stories on our Italy trip. Maybe there were and I just don’t remember.

The plane situation wasn’t really my fault.

I have to blame it on the movie “Marley and me”. A better title might have been “Bill, Darla and Looper.” You see, we have a golden retriever that we got before we had children. She was my first “baby” and I love my dog. And she’s been with us through the birth of four kids, a move…and now she is getting old. And well, ole Marley got old and they had to put him down.

And I was watching this movie as we were flying over the ocean.

And Bill was sound asleep.

I started crying harder than I might have ever cried in a movie before and then it was like I was sobbing and about to make noises. So I woke Bill up. Not sure why other than he could share the sad moment with me.

And here’s the thing.

When you are flying over the ocean and you wake someone up whose been sound asleep and you are sobbing…well, that person might just think the plane is gonna crash.

I’m just sayin'.

The clothes situation was this: I had bought some khaki shorts and a t-shirt that was from a designer store with a designer name on it. I didn’t care what it was really…I just wanted clean clothes that were 100 Euros or less. When I put the shirt on, it had a super long tag inside that went along the seam of the shirt. Instead of letting it itch me all day long, I decided to rip it out.
But when I ripped the tag…well, the shirt ripped 1/2 way up the side. Nice. My one clean, nice outfit and it was ripped. I tried tucking it in and kind of holding it together, but it didn’t really work.

So pretty much the entire day I had to keep my arm positioned just so in order to avoid a big gaping hole.

In every picture.

Only I had a hard time remembering which side it was on. So there are some pictures where you can see it…and I’m not showing you those. Just trust me on this.

The swimming pool incident went like this:

Basically we looked like we were living the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The lounge chairs were the best I’d ever been on in my life. Mostly because the top flap on the chair could cover your face or you could lower it down and rest your book on it while you laid on your stomach. Which is what I did.

Wanting to get the best sunlight, I turned the chair so that my “book shelf” was over the water a little and I was reading it and enjoying myself immensely. I wanted everyone to know how much I was enjoying myself so I sat up and said…“isn’t this awesome?! I love these chairs.” And then I shifted my weight onto my elbows…I think…all I know is that before I knew it, the chair began tumping towards the water and I began sliding towards the pool. What I’m told is that I looked for a second like I was going to stop it from happening but about 1/2 way into the slide gave up and fell in the pool. Totally wet and totally dying laughing.

Lizzie swears that if we had it on video we’d win $10,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Sadly, there were no cameras rolling. But Lizzie says she watches the whole thing in her mind in slow motion all the time. It was pretty funny.

So, since that’s all I can really think of, I will tell you of one other international incident I had back in college. This was before the terrorist threats we have today, however there were lots of car bombings in Ireland at the time.

I happened to be on the Baylor in the British Isles program. We had taken an overnight train from London to the Isle of Skye to see the Queen’s castle there and some beautiful scenery.

And I was really tired and my backpack seemed really heavy. Especially when some friends asked me to go climb a mountain with them.

The queen was not in the castle at the time but she had several black cars parked out front. Since she wasn’t there I figured the cars wouldn’t be moving anyway and really, who was gonna care if I stowed my backpack under one of the car’s tires for a little while.

The guards is who!

I climbed the mountain but when I came back down it was like an international incident and I was on the most wanted list.


Taken into the police station room which was attached to the castle where not only was my picture up on computers (and I was quite sure my mom and dad were going to see me on the evening news), they also had the state department or embassy or someone on the line. And I’d like to thank them for telling those people I wasn’t a threat.

Even though they had called out the bomb squad to detonate my backpack. Good thing they didn’t though because…foolishly…I had left my passport inside. I was young and naive.

But I learned my lesson.

The queen doesn’t take kindly to bags left under her tires.

I will never ever leave my backpack under the queen’s car or wake up a sleeping man while sobbing when in an airplane flying over the ocean.

Ever again.

Comments: #

Anonymous - Jul 2, 2009

I never knew you nearly caused an international incident. That is the first time I heard that story or I am getting awfully old!!

We saw Marly and Me while you were gone. But I think I told you that story. I also have a Looper story.


Beth - Jul 1, 2009

Oh, Dar - These Darla stories are classics! I can’t pick a favorite between waking Bill up in a massive sob session (I’m thinking that’s my favorite) or the sticking your backpack under the queen’s tire. (I don’t think I had heard that one either! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me that one!) I still say Bill is going to have a special, unique, “I was married to Darla and we both survived” jewel in his crown someday. I love you and your fun life stories, my friend! I continue to believe and say often, “Everyone needs to have a friend like Darla!”