women suffer too


If you read yesterday's entry I hope you have rinsed off the sticky sweet residue. Some people get swept up in the passion of a lynch mob - me, I get saccharine and rhapsodic when there's a lack of trouble hanging around.

Let me assure you I am not Little Stevie Sunshine, and to prove it I'm going to tell you about the serious problem of addiction which has come to roost in my home.

It's Viv. She's in trouble. Some people, when they've found their drug of choice, will use it constantly, never coming off the high it produces. They'll continue to use, through the denial, past the inevitable life-damaging consequences, until it kills them. Other addicts will binge, staying clean for long periods until they are suddenly grabbed by the urge to use, and then they're wasted for weeks on end. Either way, it's ugly.

Three weeks ago, on a whim, I called up my cable company to order a few more channels. Premiercast Plus, they call it. Premiercast Plus my ass, it's poison. I wanted it for C-SPAN 2, the Independent Film Channel, Ovation, and Speedvision, but there, lying quietly in the mix, was the Game Show Network. I gave game shows up a long time ago. Okay, every once in a while I'll take a little nip of Jeopardy, but that's it.

But Viv, criminy. I had no idea. She never used to stay up past 9:30. But now she's guzzling Match Game '74 every night, with a Tattletales chaser.

I know, I KNOW! I'm thinking the same thing as you! You wouldn't know it to look at her. But then I'll go into the living room and it's a quarter past ten and there she is curled up under a blanket on the big chair, nursing a bag of Fritos, and hanging on to every little word that comes out of Charles Nelson Reilly's mouth. I told you it was ugly.

Oh she knows perfectly well what she's doing. I'll come in, sit down next to her and just look into her eyes, hoping she'll see the concern on my face and maybe think twice about watching that next show. But no. It's as if she's looking right through me. Apparently my love is not as powerful as Bert Convy's wit.

And that's not the worst of it. It's reached the life-damaging consequences stage. Two mornings ago, after staying up to watch Gene Rayburn strut around with his little prissy stick microphone, she overslept and was late for work. I can't tell you how much this is not like her.

Eventually, when the tension has wound down and Bert has thanked everyone for playing our game, Viv will drag her sorry butt into bed. But now she can't fall asleep, her head is still spinning with the memory of how "Dumb Dora was so dumb... how dumb was she?... " well, I can't even type the rest of the joke, that's how disgusted I am. So what does she do to get herself to sleep?

It hurts to tell you, because I'm partly to blame for this next part too. Remember a while back when I brought in those boxes of books? Well, in one of the boxes was a series of little paperbacks. You know the kind I'm talking about. The dog-eared ones that flip open to the good parts. Yep. Joke books. Not grown-up ones either. I've pulled a couple out from under her side of the bed -- just look at these: "1000 Knock Knock Jokes for Kids" and "1000 What's What? Jokes for Kids."

It used to be we made love. It used to be we'd lie there and talk, make plans for the future, laugh about stuff that happened that day. Not any more. I can't be around her now. Not when she just lies there giggling after reading stuff like:

What happened when a truckload of hair restorer was spilled on the highway?

Police combed the area.

It makes my skin crawl.

Part of me says to just let her go until she hits bottom and then maybe she'll see what she's become and get some help. But then I think that she could just go on doing this forever and if I don't do something right now Amy's going to grow up with memories of her mom as this giggling Charles Nelson Reilly-loving woman with a faint smile and a distant gaze. And that's just not right.

The worst part is knowing I'm an enabler.


Today's Music:



Wisdom of the Day:

"Get thee behind me, Satan."

- Bible, Matthew 16:23