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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday gift idea...

I saw an advertisement the other day for a nifty little device that I thought would be a great gift. This electronic thingy can help you back track your steps to whatever location you’ve stored in its memory. It helps locate where you parked your car or where you’re seated in the concert and other places that you need to get back to. And, I know just when Riley should have had this tracker.

Riley was going to the grocery store for bread or milk or something that we needed. That was on a Thursday evening. I didn’t hear from him again until the following Sunday morning. The conversation went along these lines:

Riley:      I’m lost. Come get me please.

Linda:     Where are you? What city are you in?

Riley:      I think I’m in Atlantic Beach. Oh yeah… I’m in Atlantic Beach.

Linda:     Where’s your car?

Riley:      I must have left it at that woman’s house.

Linda:      What woman?

Riley:       I’m not sure. I was at her house.

Linda:      What’s the last place you remember?

Riley:       The party.

Linda:      What party? Where was it?

Riley:       At that restaurant. You know the one.

Linda:       No I don’t know the one. Where was the woman’s house?

Riley:       I’m not sure. There was a hotel close by.

Linda:       Where are you calling from?

Riley:       A drug store.

Linda:      So what do you want me to do?

Riley:      I want you come get me and help me find my car.

Linda:      Why should I do that?

Riley:      Because you have a car and I can’t find mine.

Linda:      I know where my car is and I know where I was last night. You’re almost 50 miles from home. I suggest you find a policeman and tell him you’ve lost your car. Maybe they can help you. I cannot come to Atlantic Beach to get you.

As I was hanging up, I was laughing. This was before MapQuest and Google. We didn’t have a computer at home – back then it was a luxury reserved for the very wealthy. If he didn’t know where he was, then I certainly wouldn’t know where to find him. I just kept thinking to myself – Car 54, Where are you?

I found the whole thing incredibly humorous. The fact that he called me for help – let alone call me at all – well – where was his head? I don’t know a wife who would respond with “Oh my poor hubby! Let me run out in the middle of a cold winter day to help you! And don’t worry about being missing for three days. It’s OK. I’m truly fine with you being at another woman’s house!” 

I was still laughing when my brother called for our usual Sunday call.  He started laughing and he yelled to his wife – “Honey, is it OK if I go out Thursday and not come home til Sunday?” Her response was “Only if you want to sleep somewhere else for the rest of your life.”

Riley found his little green sports car and made it home just before having to get ready for work on Monday morning. I was snickering as he walked out the door. Don’t tell me there is no humor in alcoholism.

If Riley had one of those BackTrack devices he could have used it to find his car – and maybe even his way home! Maybe they should sell them at the liquor store.


Rod said...

Funny, but sad or sad yet funny. The device probably wouldn't do much good as we'd have to be cognizant enough to use it before we crossed "that line." I know I went out many a time never knowing where the line was, much less whether or not I'd crossed it.
I do remember having gone to a bar one night with a "friend" for "Ladies Night." He was looking for a lady, but didn't want to go alone. I was looking only for cheap drinks so of course I went. He apparently found a date and disappeared (after having promised earlier that he would drive me home from the bar.) I found myself behind the wheel and I was scared to be driving. I remember seeing a main thoroughfare and a bus passing by> I parked my car and headed for the bus stop. I did make it home, don't recall if I got on the bus or walked, but it did take me over nine hours of driving up and down each street in my wife's car for miles around the following day to find my car. I was thankful for having been oh so very drunk, but somehow still wise enough to abandon the idea of thinking I could drive.

Ann said...

wow, Linda...I live in the country in the Southeast, too. I wish it was nearby. I don't live with my alcoholic spouse, but the insanity still surrounds me. I love the way you have used common sense and humor to keep a balancing act for yourself and your daughter. This is the first time I've read your blog, and now I'm looking forward to the next entry.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am waiting anxiously to see what other insane events occured. Somehow your alcoholic's insanity brings a little comfort here. I suppose knowing that I am not alone.
I am still so very new to this (due to hubby) and it can be frightening. Thank you so much for sharing, seems nobody else can.

Autumn said...

My alcoholic does the same thing quite often. Calls me lost and can't tell me where he is. He once got lost 1/4 mile from our house while picking up McDonalds, and ended up pulling up to the gates of the Military Base we live next to drunk off his butt. I still laugh at that one, but only because if not, I know I will cry.

Rod said...

Glad to see Riley's chances have improved to 85% for today and tomorrow. Really looking forward to his comments.

Syd said...

I don't laugh at the alcoholic because I know that they are in incredible pain. It is a disease, and each alcoholic that I have known would much rather not have the disease. I love the person but hate the disease. And I have great compassion for those who are sick and suffering.

Linda's Immortal Alcoholic said...

Syd... Laugh at the situation and not the person. Because the world of alcoholism is very dark, to not find humor in serious situations is to live a life without light.

I chose not to rescue him from his own consequences. He must deal with the world he creates. And I must deal with that world in a sane manner. My choice is to balance the darkness with the lightness of humor.