Thursday, October 6, 2011
I want it now!!...
There was another argument in my house this morning. It’s not a new issue. We don’t seem to have any NEW issues anymore, just the same ones over and over again.
Each morning we sit at my desk and have discussions on how things should go for the day, what we should spend money on, what needs to be done, and/or what groceries to buy. Today Riley told me that he needs some clothing – socks, underwear, jeans. That’s not a problem. I know he needs some clothes and I’m happy to get them for him. I’m even happy to take him to get them.
Except – there was one more thing Riley wanted. This one thing that he wants is always illogical, unsafe, and even the simple request turns me into a screamy meany. Nevertheless, he asks and an argument ensues. Riley wants his car registered in
. And here we go again… North Carolina
I’ve never had his car registered in this state since we moved from
. When we moved here the car was still legally registered in California . But, the registration ran out and I bought the van. Riley’s car is not a sleek sports car that’s all pretty with fresh paint and comfy interior. No. Riley drives a 1987 Toyota Tercel that has seats that show the cushions under springs. The paint is faded and there is some rust. In spite of its appearance it really is a great running little car. That doesn’t mean I think Riley should be the one running it. The longer I procrastinated in registering the car the longer I would not have to worry about the lives of all the other drivers on the road. California
Yesterday I went to do some shopping. On my way out the door, Riley asked me to bring him back some cash. I asked what he needed the cash for since he never goes anywhere that would require him to have any money. His response was that he just wanted to have it in his wallet – just in case. Just in case?? Just in case of what?? Maybe a travelling vodka sales man will come to our door and he’ll have the cash to pay for it?? I pressed him for a better answer, but the only thing he could say was “I just want it.” I was bewildered and a bit irritated, but I complied. What harm could it do?
This morning his insistence of wanting the car registered generated a discussion that included the statement “I just want it.” Images of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory came immediately into my mind. The song kept running through my head as Riley sat looking at me after making his profound announcement.
As quickly as the words left his mouth, I responded with some insane thing like “Does that mean you are going to detox and commit to sobriety? Because you can’t drive if you’re not sober.” His response was NO! Why is it that I know the answer to that question even before it is asked? I could see all my logical practical words that came from my mouth and entered a word balloon over my head. I knew those words would just hang there in the air and never really reach Riley’s brain. I knew it and I did it anyway. At that moment I felt I must be the one who is insane by expecting to reach his sense of right or wrong and making him understand why I cannot allow him to drive.
Riley says he will stop drinking for 24 hours so he can drive. I tell him it takes longer than 24 hours for him to be sober. He tells me to get a breathalyzer. I tell him that it’s not an issue of his being sober and driving when I know he’s going out. The issue is much deeper than that.
Active alcoholics are liars. It’s what they do to protect themselves because to tell the truth would mean accepting that they have a problem. They lie even when the truth would serve them better. So I know that when Riley promises that he will never take the car out if I’m not aware of it – he is lying. I can tell he’s lying because his lips are moving.
This is how I see things going down if I get Riley’s car registered. I will be gone for the weekend for some reason – writers’ conference, visiting the grandbabies, sewing expo – it really doesn’t matter where I am but I will not be home. Riley will decide he wants something from town. It could be booze, pizza, breakfast, it doesn’t matter what -- he just knows that he wants it. I’m not there to monitor if he has been drinking over the past 24 hours and so he gets in the car and drives to town. Then he has an accident and injuries an innocent person. I come home and will be devastated to learn that harm has come to someone else because of Riley’s ability to drive the car while intoxicated.
When I recite the scenario to Riley, his response is that he promises that he won’t drive the car without my knowledge. Did I mention that alcoholics are liars??
For some reason Riley believes that because he is simply drinking beer that he can sober up in 24 hours. I know that is not the case. I know that he may appear to be sober, but he really is not. It’s that saturated frontal lobe thing that I talk about so often.
My solution to end this madness will be to get the car registered. However, I will have the only set of keys. I’m not even sure if the car will start, but I won’t make ANY effort to make sure it does.
at 8:35 AM