Before an AA meeting today some blowhard who isn’t really a member was talking loudly in a two-person conversation about his time in Iraq, including his time with Blackwater. Then he got into complaints about how people of various ethnicities game the immigration system and I, already feeling cranky, suggested loudly that this was probably not the place for a political discussion. He ignored me and went on. When he started on how Bin Laden is alive and living in some beachfront villa I snapped and told him off, including the possibility that he had driven away our Iranian member with his racist claims. As he left he said I should wake up before it’s too late and I wished him a happy time in his paranoid dreamland.
I probably should have kept my mouth shut because AA teaches us that we should put aside our egos and outbursts like mine are also inappropriate in the meeting hall, but I’m turning out to be a pisspoor AAer anyway. Oh well. I even started putting together my reasons for quitting, except one friend wants me to be her inside eyes for a future novel and another, my fake sponsor, took my hand, batted her eyelashes, and asked that I don’t do anything drastic. I’m a sucker for that shit.
ETA: He was trying to recruit another guy to join Blackwater, or whatever it’s called these days, and I have enough trouble believing they have any use for a couple guys in their sixties that I wonder if his whole story is bullshit. AA is a great place to find Stolen Valor types.
He’s the [del]troll[/del] newbie, not me. I ain’t goin’ nowhere.
And I would never reveal anything that wasn’t in the public record–no, THAT’S a bad word considering how many of my friends got there–the public knowledge about AA. And she wouldn’t ask. I assume she will want the basics about how a meeting works.
But if it’s only public knowledge she wants, why have a spy (“inside eyes”?) There are open meetings she could attend, or simply google…I don’t know. Like I said, it just feels violating to me–the anonymous part is there for a reason.
Again, I am sorry you are so upset by that Vets comments. I recently spoke with a friend who did 2 combat tours and said “after your first kill you stop feeling…you have to.” Made me sad.
My guess is that she would want a description in my words so she can cut and paste it. When my daughter was reading the first one I helped with she said, “You are in here. You are a French-Canadian woman but she talks like you.”
“What’s she talking about?”
“She tells how to hide child porn pictures on a hard drive so almost nobody can find them.”
“Yeah, sounds like me.” I felt a little guilty about releasing that one in the wild but I figured the guys who would do it already knew how and computer forensics people definitely knew how.
As for vets, I’ve found that the more, and louder, they talk the less they know. I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy had as much military experience as I–none.
Oh, and a mistake many people new to AA make is to think their story is unique. Live in your car? We got a couple of them. There as a condition of your parole? Plenty of them. Were a successful businessman who drank himself out of a job? I could be talking about several members or AA founder, Bill W. If I change a character’s name and not get excessively specific I could be talking about a friend or somebody out of the Big Book. And as evangelizing the AA message is a part of Step 12, a lot of these people might get a boot out of being in a book. With their permission, of course. And though I’ve come to see serial killers everywhere, I’d ask that the villain not be a member of AA–people are scared enough about coming to their first meeting.
I don’t want a real sponsor. She’s an admitted mother hen I got to be friends with and she told me some things I should do* like a real sponsor except she can’t be mine because:
She hasn’t been in the program long enough.
She’s a she and I’m a he.
She’s cute. I’m pretty sure there’s a rule somewhere that you should not find your sponsor cute, especially if you are married, though I’ve heard that Bill W had no problem with finding some of his sponsees cute enough to hit on.
Another woman who is very attractive was telling me how she keeps seeing members when she’s shopping and doesn’t know if she should greet the, considering the whole anonymity thing. I said that she absolutely should, especially if his wife is there. Then I imagined his wife saying, “You know HER from WHERE? I don’t think I like you going to AA anymore.”
I’m at about 50/50. Half I realized were good ideas so I did them and with half I smiled and nodded in my passive-aggressive way and ignored her advice.
That’s a nice thought but must be balanced by our desire to remain anonymous and out of controversy and the public eye, and how a newspaper article about the police breaking up a fistfight between two old guys at AA could be too funny to not publish.
FWIW, bullshit like this caused my most recent (and probably permanent, since it’s stupid to keep going back to a sick relationship) estrangement from AA. I got sick of this one guy badmouthing other members who were not present to defend themselves, and I got sick of the group doing nothing about it except create drama, which is what the asshole wanted in the first place. So I stopped going.
That being said, AA is full of people like this clown. People who make shit up for sympathy or to build themselves up so they don’t look quite so bad. My advice is to just keep your mouth shut unless you’re part of the conversation. It’s not worth feeding someone else’s fantasies, and it’s not worth creating drama. Just let other peoples’ bullshit detectors work.
That doesn’t mean you have to sit there and listen, either. I have gotten up and left the conversation, and if asked, said with a polite smile, “Sorry, I just don’t feel like talking about politics”. Walk away, in other words.