I haven’t memorized the Serenity prayer yet…


 My first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was intimidating.
The meeting place looked like a miniature Cracker Barrel restaurant, with rocking chairs on the veranda, and live oaks providing dappled shade.  The parking lot was filled like Costco on payday with everything from shiny Black Mercedes to beater pick-up trucks.  A Heinz variety of drunks.I sat in my car, like a policewoman on a stake out, and watched suspiciously as people arrived.  Everyone seemed to know each other.  There were a lot of waved greetings and encouraging pats on the back.  The self-satisfaction and do-gooder-ism seemed palpable.Now, I never feel comfortable in large gatherings or intimate groups, and this seemed like the kind of party where I spend most of my time “repairing” my lip-liner in the bathroom.  My ex-husband used to say that the more I drank the bigger my lips got – but that’s another story…

I don’t know why I went in.  Probably because after six months of sobriety, I was bored with the whole thing and disappointed that it wasn’t the romp in the daisies I had envisioned.

The only thing I remember about that first meeting, is that I didn’t know the Serenity Prayer.

Have you ever been to dinner at someone’s house, taken a big bite of pot roast, and gotten the feeling that everyone was looking at you?  You look up to see the whole group holding hands and waiting patiently for you to get the message that they say a PRAYER before consuming the bounty – the gifts they are about to receive.

I was sitting at my first AA meeting, drinking my coffee ($1.00 by the way, not free like in the AA meetings on Law & Order) and waiting to be entertained, when the voices of the alcoholics raised in unison like the Who’s at Christmas,  “God grant us…”.

I didn’t want to just sit there like a conscientious objector – I was seeking their help after all.  I did that stiff, marionette-jawed, mouthing thing people do when they’ve forgotten the words to their school Fight Song, or the National Anthem and pretended I knew the words.  God help me – Just like the Grinch.

Today I’m not drinking because I’m going to an AA meeting, and you can’t show up there with wine-breath, can you?  But I don’t have anything to wear

How come you’re not drinking?