A friend was telling me how her boss confronted her about being a tiny bit late for work 78 times last year. She responded by asking him, “Is there a support group for me?”
What would a group like that be called, Latecomers Anonymous? If there were such an organization, I would have been a charter member. I used to be chronically late for work, until I became self-employed. By eliminating a start time and a work schedule, I solved my tardiness problem.
Still, there are other support groups I could use. I was worried that I was addicted to Ed’s Way and wondered if I was powerless over grocery shopping. A cashier assured me that my twice a day habit was “normal.” Could she be an enabler?
It’s no surprise that I have some obsessive tendencies, having grown up with a host of addictions. My first was rocking the bed, which was cured by some tough love administered by my grandfather, in the form of a fist.
Reading became the next monkey on my back. Fiction, non-fiction, textbooks – I was powerless over print. Now, I think I have it under control, though I can’t resist a fresh “New Yorker.” I tell people I only check out the cartoons, but when they hear me spouting off about mining in Siberia or the history of knives, they know I’m in denial.
I’m afraid I’ll always be powerless over words, including spoken ones. I’m a chronic re-teller of stories. Although, I never tell people that I’ve heard their story before, listeners aren’t afraid to remind me. Where are the enablers when you need them?
Besides excessive reading, I also engaged in substance abuse as a child – consuming cinnamon coated graham crackers when I couldn’t get my hands on sugar wafers. There weren’t any self-help groups back then for those cursed with a sweet tooth. Instead, I fell in with other addicts. We spent our whole day gathering money for the candy store. We even turned to crime but were scared straight when our heist of Twinkies and chocolate milk went horribly wrong.
My fondness for cookies faded over the years. Now, when it comes to sweets, I’m completely on the wagon.
Today, my twin addictions are televised sports and news commentary shows. At least I’m not mainlining reality shows. I know someone who watches show after show with blurred nudity and bleeped profanity. I don’t know how she follows the story lines. I also see people hooked on cell phones, overdosing on video games and obsessed with their Facebook page.
As for Forest Park, I think we might be addicted to festivals. I’ve never known a town to have so many parties and be so good at hosting them. Summerfest, Ribfest, Oktoberfest – is there such a thing as a good addiction?