Katie Jo was shocked. After less than a year of marriage her husband was leaving her.
“I feel like I’ve ruined my life,” he had declared, flinging items into suitcases, “I feel like I settled. We have nothing in common!”
In retrospect it was obvious there had been signs of fracture, but Katie Jo had noticed none. She thought they were blissfully happy. Now alone, the shock morphed into catatonic depression and pals became concerned.
One friend intervened and suggested she attend an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting, “it’s a great place to meet new people,” the friend counseled, “everybody there is wounded, like you, they’ll be sympathetic.”
“But I don’t drink!” Katie Jo replied, and then tears welled and she exploded sobbing, “that was one of his complaints. He said I’m no fun because I don’t drink.”
“No one will know,” the friend urged, “besides, you don’t have to speak at the meeting.”
On automatic Katie Jo looked up information for the nearest meeting, it was ‘women only’ and she decided that sounded like a good idea. After showering and dressing there was a half hour to fill and Katie Jo began anxiously to pace around. On a whim she checked the fridge, sure enough there remained some beers, “if I’m going to hang out with alcoholics I might as well be crocked,” she snickered.
Due to zero tolerance for stimulants and after almost the entire bottle of beer Katie Jo was rollicking drunk. With a thick head and slowed motions she descended the steps to the street. The sluggish sensation was not unappealing, and when she stumbled down a step and fell clutching at the banister it was not frightening, instead she was laughing and spittle flecked her cheek.
The meeting was in the basement of a church. A deep wide room with an oval wood table and chairs all around, already filled with an earnest looking congregation. Faces turned to look at her as she took a seat, smiles, discreet nods.
Around the table they went introducing themselves and their predicament. One woman claimed she was, “a slave to Chardonnay.” Another said that at her worst with cocaine addiction she had moved in with her dealer. Then it was Katie Jo’s turn. “Hello,” this came out phlegmy and garbled, so she cleared her throat and recommenced, “I’m Katie Jo and I would like to become an alcoholic.”
All faces were now fixed on her, none of them smiling. The group leader, a portly lady with short grey hair and round glasses shoved her chair back from the table and stood up, “welcome Katie Jo, are you trying to be funny?”
“My huthband left me,” Katie Jo barged on, emboldened, and only slurring slightly, “He thaid I am no fun because I don’t drink. I figured I’d athk the professionals for tipth.”
Everyone stared at her, their mouths set rigidly. One lady, hugely fat in an orange dress, said, “Have you considered gambling?”