Going to the Wrong Meeting

Many people say there’s no such thing as a wrong meeting… but I disagree.

Once in San Antonio (SA) I looked for a meeting online and found a meeting near by marked as SAA – which I took to mean San Antonio AA. But when I walked into the room everyone kind of stared at me (more than normally), but it’s ok… sometimes I stare at people I don’t recognize at meetings also. So I sat with my coffee and got ready to attend the meeting – I was late apparently as they were in the middle of sharing already. UGH, I hate being late to a meeting.

A guy leaned over and said “Are you here for SAA?” and I nodded yes, “I’m an alcoholic, glad I found this place”. He smirked a little and said in a whisper “No, this is Sexual Addicts Anonymous”

“Oh” I said and probably turned beet red (which isn’t really a red at all it’s like a dark purple isn’t it?)  and stood up calmly and walked out – at least I hope it was calmly, I probably ran for the hills. Not that there is anything wrong with being a sexual addict… or I guess maybe there is if they’re having meetings…

Anyway… tonight I went to the wrong meeting again… but a different kind. Tony saw me last night at a meeting and asked me to share at 5:30 and I said yes… and he probably told me where but I didn’t pay attention… I assume the 5:30 meeting is at PoP so that’s were I was… early even. PoP is close to home and work.

At 5:25 I still didn’t see Tony so I texted him “PoP?” and didn’t hear back right away… but I asked Scotty “Does Tony come here on Wednesday nights?” nope, he goes to VAC… ugh, I’m at the wrong meeting. VAC is near Tempe, which isn’t far, but far enough that I was going to be late.

So I hopped into my car and started speeding across town. Tony called me after I texted “On my way!” (that just auto corrected from O M W to On My Way!, just like it did on my iPhone… I love tech) and he called and said he’d get someone there already. I apologized I need to learn to pay attention. Tony said it wasn’t a big deal and put me on the calendar for 2 weeks from today. That I can do.

Anyway, I rushed out of work at 5 and I’ll have to do it again in 2 weeks… probably good for me to leave on time anyway 🙂

Age Tames the Monster

I think I’ve gotten over being so critical of AA meetings that are being run wrong or AA’s that are stupid… well maybe i’m not completely over that last part. It’s either I’ve given up on a clear message being delivered in meetings or I’m just tired or maybe errors happen and I just don’t notice anymore because it happens so frequently.

Tonight for example I was sitting next to a guy at a meeting who was taking a photo of someone at the podium… and I didn’t even notice. There was a time I would have berated the fool loudly during the speakers share… but I didn’t notice, I wasn’t looking around the room for what was wrong (I do that see this post  ). I was rather shocked at myself and then spend most of the rest of the meeting wondering what had happened to me (ok, maybe just a few minutes but it seemed a lifetime).

When I was new I’d leave meetings that would read non-conference approved material. Or spout traditions as to why this and therefore. I was a strict task master when it came to everything being by the book in AA. I was intolerant of anyone who did it anyway but mine – and I was right, of course.

I don’t think I care less, I still have a deep love and respect for AA as I understand it, but I realize (maybe) that other people might have their own path that is going to lead them in the same direction – that’s hard for me. I so want to be right… most of all… but also want to think of the world in black and whites most of the time – middle grounds don’t work well for me.

I’ll use this over used example on my blog – I want to shake your hand if you come to a meeting. Some people will hug me and not shake my hand and I won’t hug back… I’ve told them if they read all the literature AA has to offer they’ll see the handshake is mandatory and the hug is excessive (this is how I encourage newcomers to read the stuff… ), to be fair I only said this in jest to a few folks that hug first and then walk away leaving my hand empty, and hurt just hanging there. Sigh.

Tonight someone at the meeting summed up the Beatles Let It Be as “fuck it” or that’s what I heard and I rather liked that, and I love and respect the Beatles.

What matters to me today is if I do what I’ve always done, one day at a time. If I continue to show up early, shake hands, help set up, read the Big Book and the traditions over and over again and make sure AA is there for the next guy… I guess I can do that without being all rigid, but I don’t have to like it. 🙂

Blotting Out the Past Doesn’t Make it a Better World

They’re taking the Dukes of Hazard off of TV Land; there is talk of digitally editing the episodes so the confederate flag isn’t displayed. This is going to be as effective as a means of stopping racism as digitally editing out the smoking scenes from old Tom and Jerry cartoons was to combat smoking (this was big idea back in 2006). I’m not so sensitive that I think we should erase the word faggot from songs by Dire Straights or Guns and Roses and when I listen to them today I’m not hurt or shamed by them, it was a different time and a different place. There was a time, during the crusades, when you believed in the Christian God or you were slaughtered – but I don’t think taking down the crucifixes all over the world is going to undo the war, hate and bigotry caused by the church still today.

I was re-reading a favorite book the other day and came across one of my favorite characters talking about being too good

“It breeds intolerance, rigidity, a belief that because I am right, those who don’t believe as I do are wrong.” Fizban Dragonlance – Dragons of Spring Dawning

What’s that old nursery rhyme we used to chant – Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me… nor will symbols of ancient prejudices, cartoons smoking or cars built for transporting moonshine in the south.

Are American’s so easily offended today that we cannot look at history and still grow past the error of our ways? Are we so stuck on the image of a perfect society we’re unable to see the ugliness that creates the character and uniqueness that is us? I don’t know.

Taking that flag down isn’t going to magically change the landscape of black America, it’s an empty gesture that only serves to blot out the past. If we erase the history of our nation how are we going to learn from it and not be doomed to repeat the mistakes we made then? If we refuse to use the past mistakes as ways to grow and be better then I’m not sure it matters at all.

Maybe it’s that I’m living in a red state now and possibly influenced more and more by Fox News that is playing at every establishment I frequent… but I thought were were above all that petty nonsense. Does a flag represent hatred, death and intolerance from years past? sure, so does the Star of David if we think of how it was used during the Holocaust, so does the cross if we think about it used in the Crusades or the people who hung that imaginary guy Christians claim to believe in.

My liberal friends seem to grow more and more intolerant of everything. Nothing is safe, nothing is secure from their judgement – any day now Superman will be associated with Hitler youth and the call will ring from the rooftops to stop publishing him.. or erasing any images of him being a bully. That isn’t a place I want to see, but it’s where I fear we are headed.