A Successful High School Dropout

By Dr. Robert Wallace

April 30, 2020 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: I was a high school dropout, but I would like to give you my experience as someone who did well.

I am now 78 years old and left home 62 years ago, when I was 16. I had many jobs, but I never had an employer ask me how much schooling I had. I even managed a major vehicle dealership for a few decades and had over 50 employees reporting to me.

I know you also often frown on young marriages, especially when those getting hitched are teenagers. I was married at 19, and my wife was 18 at the time. I'm very happy to report to you that we raised three law-abiding children, and we now have seven excellent grandchildren, who all did well in school and are respectful to their elders.

Even though my personal story runs counter to the advice you often give teens, I'll confess my wife and I do enjoy reading your column, and we agree with 95% of your advice to today's teens.

And by the way, I think a 5% to 10% rate of disagreement is healthy, as no two people should always think exactly alike. My wife and I only agree about 90% of the time, and we have been happily married now for 59 years! — Old-Timer, Omaha Nebraska

OLD-TIMER: Thank you for your very inspiring letter. You are, indeed, the exception to the rule. Your story proves that hard work, a strong character, determination and love can overcome the odds and lead to great achievement.

I'm rooting for the two of you to soon enjoy your 60th wedding anniversary together. Only 5% of all couples reach that awesome milestone!


DR. WALLACE: I'm a 17-year-old girl, and normally I don't drink, but last weekend, one of my girlfriends down the street snuck out of her family quarantine and took me to a very small party at her cousin's house on the next block over. It was only a seven-minute walk to get there from my house, so we decided to go. My mom said it would be OK if we wore masks and kept 6 feet of distance from everyone there. We all respected social distancing at this little party (there were only six of us there in total), but we did do some drinking, and the next thing I knew, I was on my third drink! Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit I got a little tipsy.

The next morning when I woke up, it felt like a hammer had hit my head! I had the worst headache of my life, and my whole body was sore.

I later heard from my girlfriend that she felt just as bad as I did. She said we both had "hangovers."

How can I avoid this unpleasant experience in the future? Please don't respond by saying I can avoid the hangover by not drinking anything with alcohol in it. I'm aware that alcohol can cause this, but there must be some good way to minimize it. Wow, did my head hurt; I stayed in bed almost until dinnertime the day after that party. — Painful Experience, via email

PAINFUL EXPERIENCE: A hangover is the body's reaction to irresponsible drinking — ingesting too much alcohol — or ingesting it too fast — is the culprit. Why put your body through this misery? You've now had your fling with alcohol and have discovered it is a potent drug. It's a depressant that alters the activity of the brain, and its continued use causes a multitude of problems.

Experience is a master teacher. Make sure you are a good student. Alcohol use at your age is illegal and a losing proposition. Thank goodness you two young ladies were within walking distance of that party so that nobody drove a vehicle while under the influence.

You dodged what could have been a very bad situation, and you should quit while you are ahead. Be thankful that your only consequence was a bad hangover.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: rebcenter-moscow at Pixabay

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