Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nine O'Clock

It's Nine p.m., and it is time for bed. I had a nice, busy, productive day at work today. I'm nice and tired now. I have a nice, busy, productive day planned tomorrow... followed by the 27th birthday meeting of the man who took me to my first meeting 25 and 3/4 years ago.

Oh, he was such an expert back then. And I thank God for that. He is a gentle, soft spoken man now. But back then he was a bit of a blow-hard know-it-all.

His girlfriend had 12 stepped me on the phone that morning. She said she would pick me up and take me to a meeting. So, they showed up. She had on a long denim skirt and a red and white striped boat neck shirt, it was really cute. He had on khaki pants and a starched blue oxford cloth button down shirt (which I happen to think is the one of sexiest things on earth). He was driving a new Jeep Cherokee. They sure didn't look like alcoholics!

He went to the men's meeting and we went to the women's meeting. On the way into the building - on my way into my first meeting, we, my first sponsor and I, simultaneously, pulled up our panties through our denim skirts. He happened to look back just as we did that, and said - "class act." It was the most ridiculous thing, but made me feel like maybe I belonged here. Here I was, serendipitously dressed the same way as this lovely sober woman, doing this same strange thing as we walked into a building - and this man just kind of rolled his eyes at us - in a loving way.

As we got into the car after the meeting, he asked me if I had a big book. I said no. He got out of the car and came back with a big book and gave it to me (it is one of my most prized possessions today - even though the pages no longer are bound to the cover). He said "read it as if your life depends on it - because it does." oh, goodness, I thought. He wasn't done. Among other things, he told me to go to 90 meetings in 90 days. I told him I couldn't possibly do that. "Why not?" he inquired. I told him I had a husband and three small children. He quickly responded, "Do it, or loose the husband and three children!" And oh, it just went on and on.

For some reason, instead of concluding that D. was a jerk, I took each thing he told me to heart. I read that book as if my life depended upon it. I did the things the book suggested I do. I went to all those meetings. I got a sponsor. And I passed it on.

And 25 and three quarters of a year later, I am still sober, reminiscing about that first meeting. He is celebrating 27 years of sobriety. We are a bit older. We have accumulated a bit more sober history, some of it together. He is now married to a lovely woman. That girlfriend, my first sponsor, now lives in the UK and is drinking again. I hear from her occasionally. She fancies herself a writer - she writes some really odd e-mails in the middle of the night and they just about break my heart.

I know that I would rather be sober. And if D. would decide to be a know-it-all again tomorrow night and tell me what he thinks I need to do, you know what? I think I might listen to him. I do things like that.

Thank God for sober experience, sober memories, and sober friends.


dAAve said...

Good story. But I don't have a blue denim button-down collar shirt.

Syd said...

You would like it down here then where the standard "uniform" is khaki pants and blue denim button-down shirts (and white pressed button down shirts too).

He sounds like a good AA--tough yet compassionate. And you sound as if you were very willing.

Andrew said...

I really do appreciate you sharing your views and experience in living sober here.

I just wanted to say thank you.

Mary Christine said...

OK guys. The ladies were wearing denim skirts. The man was wearing a blue dress shirt. It was not denim.

Trailboss said...

Good story Mary. Very meaningful

Willa said...

I marvel at how you are able to remember the story. And I'm grateful to read all your stories!

AnyEdge said...

I am wearing a blue button down oxford-cloth shirt RIGHT NOW.