Here comes a regular.

03Feb09

London bar

Everybody wants to be someone here
Someone’s gonna show up, never fear
’Cause here comes a regular
Call out your name
Here comes a regular
Am I the only one who feels ashamed?

Here Comes a Regular, The Replacements

About three years ago, before I went to Alcoholics Anonymous the second time around, I decided that I wanted to become a regular at my favorite restaurant/bar, a fabulous little Italian trattoria within walking distance from my house. I loved the food, and they had a small bar and — most important of all — a friendly wait staff. I’d been there often enough, and I figured if I just stepped up my attendance a bit more, the free drinks and appetizers would soon be bestowed upon me. 

I could imagine myself strolling in on a Tuesday night, being greeted warmly and immediately served a glass of my favorite wine. Sort of like a more upscale version of “Cheers” — the chorus of “Norm!” replaced with my name, of course. 

I recall (vaguely) one particularly boozy night, when I downed about 4 glasses of wine in a little over an hour. I think I droned on about my work and romantic woes ad nauseum to my very tolerant server. I made it home safely, but couldn’t bring myself to go back for a few weeks.

When I finally returned, I sheepishly apologized to my waitress for my drunken ramblings. She suprised me by saying that I hadn’t seemed that bad. I’m not sure I believed her. 

I never really became a regular, and I’m glad. I would have hated to embarrass so badly that I couldn’t return, given how much I love the food and atmosphere there.

Now, I’ve focused my energies on becoming a regular elsewhere… 

Newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous are encouraged to attend 90 AA meetings in 90 days. I made it to about 60 in my first three months. It was more due to a failure to manage my time than a failure to find meetings to attend — there are 450+ each week in my city.

I noted in my first post that I had tried AA about 13 years ago, and it didn’t take. Or rather, I didn’t take. I didn’t take the time to investigate more than one meeting, and when I found that particular one not to my liking after a few visits, I gave up.

This time around, I’ve been quite the sober social butterfly, flitting around from meeting to meeting, up north and down south, all over town. I’ve now got three that I like to go to on a regular basis, where I enjoy the vibe and feel that I’ve at least a little in common with most of the people in the room.

I highly recommend this sampling method to anyone just starting out, like me. It’s a good way to understand that alcoholics come in every shape, size and socioeconomic status, and to recognize that you are not alone. There are handy online resources for finding meetings in your city or town, and you’ll likely be surprised at how many are available.

There’s a very small meeting I go to sometimes early on Wednesday mornings, with about six in attendance on a banner day. I love the people, and it’s beginning to feel like home. It’s also the meeting where I was lucky enough to find my sponsor.

Best of all, everyone knows my name.

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One Response to “Here comes a regular.”

  1. I can relate to this one so well that I actually had to catch my breath. I remember telling a friend that I am going to have to go “underground” considering my drunken behaviour at my regular establishment.


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