In the spirit of celebration, I have decided to piss off as many people as possible today. Those of you who usually find me lovable or at least entertaining might want to tighten your big girl/boy drawers. It's about to get bumpy in this bitch.
I was on my way inside my favorite grocery store, Aldi, yesterday when I noticed a protest going on just a few yards away. About 15 people with signs that read, "Church and liquor don't mix" and "God doesn't approve" were shouting at anyone within earshot about the travesty that was unfolding before our eyes. A liquor store was opening right next door to their church and they were not happy about it. And worse, God wasn't happy about it.
Let me briefly interject that I find it hilariously ironic that someone decided to build a liquor store right beside a church, but that's just me.
Anyway, a young man approached me as I struggled to shut the trunk of my van while maintaining a death grip on my reusable bags so they wouldn't fly away in the 40 mph winds. He politely asked if I would sign their petition to prevent the liquor store from opening next to their awesome, wonderful, sent-straight-from- heaven church. I told him I didn't really care whether there was a liquor store next to his church because hey, it ain't my fricking church, but that I would sign the petition if that would make him happy enough to skip his little ass out of my face.
"I don't understand, Ma'am." He was so well-mannered. His mama would have been proud.
I explained to him that it's all a matter of perspective. What if, instead of seeing this situation as a curse, they looked at it as a blessing. If there is a liquor store next door to your church, doesn't that give you countless opportunities to "save" the "sinners" who might have a "drinking problem"?
He said, "Ma'am, I can see how you would think that, but there are many members of our church, including myself, who are recovering from alcoholism and it's not a good idea to have a liquor store there while we're trying to worship."
At this point, I'm about two seconds away from cursing him out because he's called me "ma'am" twice already. Asshole. He starts to rattle off a list of the long line of alcoholics in his ancestry and I told him to save the drama for his mama. My father was both an alcoholic and a drug addict, my mother still is a drug addict, I have at least six other family members with addictions of some kind and my husband is just a shot away from being an alcoholic himself. I, myself have at least three shots to go before I get there, so I'm good. The point is I'm familiar with addiction, so you don't need to sell me on it, Little Preacher Boy.
Here's my question: at what point do we make addicts responsible for their own sobriety? For that matter, when do we make people, in general, responsible for their own lives? I understand that it is a daily struggle for addicts to maintain their sobriety. I applaud anyone who battles with this disease and manages to come out on top most of the time. Temptation is everywhere. How will a recovering addict learn to deal with temptation in a healthy, productive way if we shield them from it? How can they know the victory of overcoming an obstacle, if we hide the obstacles from them?
If you're an alcoholic and you work at a dentist's office in a shopping center that just so happens to be three doors down from a bar, are you going to quit your job? Petition that they uproot their entire business so that you won't have to walk past it everyday? Or will you walk right past it and, when you feel tempted, keep on going until you find an AA meeting? Isn't that what's supposed to happen? When you find yourself in a situation that you feel you can't handle without the assistance of alcohol, you need to seek the assistance of those who are there to support you because they all have been where you are and will not judge you. Right? If that's not how it works, you definitely won't find my ass parked at an AA meeting when I finally fall off the edge of this cliff. Fuck that.
If you walk down the street in any poor neighborhood in America, you will find a church on the corner. If you keep walking in the same direction, you will find a liquor store one block down. Keep walking and you'll find that the pattern repeats itself: church, liquor store, church, liquor store. This is where poor people find solace. If it can't be found in church, we'll just walk down a block and find it at the bottom of a bottle.
I wonder if the protesters would have been as up-in-arms if the store were opening a block away. Is proximity the issue? Is God okay with liquor stores being erected a whole city block away from the church, just not right next door? And wouldn't the recovering alcoholics still have to walk past the liquor to get to the Lord? Or vice versa?
What's your take?
To those who will un-follow me now, I say, "Hey, it's been real." I'll see you at the next meeting. To those of you who will stick around, I say, "Thanks for having my back whether you agree with me or not." And feel free to cuss my ass out if you think I'm being offensive. You know I'd extend the same courtesy to you. That's how love works: I piss you off, you put your foot up my ass, we have a good laugh or cry, and then start that shit all over again.
Oh, well...bottoms up!
****Update: I just remembered that I'm supposed to include a comment or two from the original post. Sorry about that. Here you go!
Anyway, you know good in well that the liquor store is supposed to be a block away--so that everyone can pretend NOT to see fellow church goers patronizing the establishment...
But hey, that's a whole soap box of mine I don't need to get into on your comments. Glad you took away the warning before entering your site - it made me feel naughty.