Friday, August 20, 2010

What Price?

Last week before I left to go see my sponsor, I purchased a gift for her from the gift shop at work, and a gift bag from the grocery store. When I got home from the grocery store, I realized I had yet another mishap with the "u-scan-it" machine and had failed to pay for the gift bag. (I really dislike checking my own groceries, really, really, really.) Anyway, I was on my way out of town and did not go back to the store until tonight.

Along with my order tonight, I picked up an identical gift bag and told the young man at the check out that I wanted to pay for it but not take it - explaining what happened last week. He had no idea how to do that. He had to call a manager over to help him. I explained to her what happened. She looked at me like I was from Mars (I seem to get this a lot lately), but did understand. She said "thank you, not many people would bother doing this." I told her that I didn't feel right about it and I needed to make it right.

It is such a small thing. But I think it is small things that can lead to big things and then we end up drunk. That sounds dramatic, but I really believe it is true. I have seen so many people over the years get away with a little dishonesty, then try a bigger one, then a bigger one, and the next thing you know, they have got a big mess on their hands. And when you have a big enough mess on your hands, a drink might seem like a sensible idea. Rigorous Honesty is just that. Rigorous. I cannot afford a $1.99 bag that I did not pay for.

So, tonight I am making sauce for lasagna. Tomorrow I am making a late birthday dinner for my only son. He turned 34 earlier this month. And for the last 31 years, he has wanted the same thing for dinner - lasagna and banana cream pie. These are not my personal favorites, but it is a personal favorite annual custom to make these things for him. He and his wife will come over for dinner tomorrow night. How wonderful. It still makes me cry to think of how happy it is to have him and his little family just down the road... after those years when he was away at war. There is likely another war in his future, but for today, he is at home with his wife, expecting their first child, and will come to his mother's for a huge birthday dinner. Just for today, it is good.

I cannot run with my group tomorrow. I had blisters on my feet after the race last week. The blisters on my heel have already healed, but the blisters on the ball of my foot have become infected and very painful. I saw my primary care doc today who prescribed a course of antibiotics. I need to stay off it for a little while. I also will go purchase a new pair of running shoes. That pair only had 300 miles on them, but I think they are shot.

Enough out of me! Grateful on a friday night for my hot house, reeking to high heavens of tomato sauce, windows open, breezes blowing the sounds of crickets through every room. It is a wonderful night to be sober.


Syd said...

I can smell that lasagna now. Glad that you enjoying every aspect of living sober.

dAAve said...

The food sounds wonderful.
Thanks for your example.

Brian M said...

Wonderful story about the bag. It's nice to be reminded how the small dishonesties lead to the big ones. And, of course, I got a big kick out of the fact that the store didn't quite know how to deal with honesty.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Good gratitudes! My birthday dinner ala mom was always her meatballs and mashed taters and for dessert, butterscotch bundt cake with carmel frosting.

This upcoming Monday I won't be with my mom and dad for my birthday, but I will call them and thank them grateful for every moment that they put up with me (still and always)

Thanks too for talking about honesty. It's another lesson hard learned in the process of becoming real and rigerous in AA :) It's not so scary when others talk about it and the serenity and miracles it brings

Mary LA said...

What a wonderful mother you are, thanks to AA. I would love to try your lasagna.

AnyEdge said...

Once, before I was sober, I insisted on paying the difference between the veal I took home and the meatloaf I was charged for. The manager thought I had a ceiling fan growing out of my head.

Mary Christine said...

Ceiling fan growing out of your head! That's a good one and I will likely borrow it in the future.

Glad you paid for the veal. Yumm. Veal.

Hope said...

I've been gone for a few days and am just catching up now on your blog posts. (I saved the best for last.)
Thank you for posting this. I have sometimes thought I was an oddity for going back and fixing things just like this. I once had a store manager shake his head and tell me they'd never had anyone come back and make it right that they'd been undercharged on a purchase.

Nimrod Saar said...

It's very important to fill time with positive activities.