Tag: alcoholism

    Knowing When to Mind Your Own Business, or Not

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    scotchHey, Whit,

    On a recent flight, I bumped into the new live-in boyfriend of a very good friend.  He was in first class, so he got on the plane before me. Of course, I stopped to say hello when I boarded the plane – and was a bit surprised that he was having a cocktail (light brown drink – ice – stirrer, NOT a bloody mary) at 7 a.m. My wife thinks I need to tell our friend, but I won’t, because I don’t want to look like a schoolyard tattletale. Is there any way that it’s not a big, red flag that someone is drinking at 7 a.m.? Could the drink have been something else? Really watered-down Coke? Bitters?

    Do you think I should tell her or is this just none of our business?

    Stirred Up

    Dear Stirred:

    First, I believe that your instinct to stay out of other people’s business puts you on solid ground, so we could leave it at that.  From what you say, however, I gather that your wife is on the more squishy turf of offering unsolicited information and poised to lean in. That being the case, let’s organize your decision-making. Drawing on my Marine Corps training as well as business school experience, the question I have for you is, “What do you hope to accomplish?” Then the logical follow-up, “Can you accomplish it?” and, if so, “How can you accomplish it?”

    What you hope to accomplish, if I read you correctly, is to let your friend know that her live-in boyfriend has a drinking problem. You base that conclusion on having seen the guy at 7 in the morning drinking something that looked like a cocktail. As you say, you’re not sure if he was actually drinking alcohol, but let’s assume that he was.

    You ask, “Is there any way that it’s not a big, red flag?” Several factors could explain his having a drink at a time when most people who don’t have a drinking problem would not be drinking: This could be the last connecting flight for him; he could be coming back from a business trip to China, where the time is early evening and a more acceptable time to drink. Maybe he is unwinding from some kind of tense, business negotiation or other similar situation. Possibly he doesn’t like flying and finds that a drink helps to calm him down.

    Mother-Son Authors Discuss Book About Addiction at The Ivy Bookshop

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    grimes double double

    IVY10-e1350927055992Join the Ivy Bookshop in welcoming bestselling mystery novelist Martha Grimes and her son, Ken Grimes, as they discuss their memoir of their struggles with alcoholism and recovery, Double Double, on Tuesday, August 20 at 7 p.m.

    People who suffer from alcoholism as well as their families and friends know that while it is possible to get sober, there is no one “right” way to do it. In Double Double, the award-winning mystery writer and her son offer two points of view on their struggles with alcoholism. In alternating chapters, they share their stories – of drinking, recovery, relapse, friendship, travel, work, success and failure.

    For Martha, it was about drinking martinis at home, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. For Ken, it was partying in bars and clubs. Each hit bottom. Martha spent time doing outpatient rehabilitation, once in 1990 and again two years later. Ken began 12-step recovery. The candid memoir describes how different both the disease and the recovery can look in two different people – even two people who are mother and son.

    Star Poet Alan Kaufman to Read "Drunken Angel" in Greektown

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    Acclaimed poet and author Alan Kaufman reads in Greektown this Thursday evening at 7, at the Acropolis Restaurant, 4718 Eastern Avenue at Oldham Street in Greektown. Dean Bartoli Smith emcees; Rafael Alvarez and Betsy Boyd, Baltimore Fishbowl’s senior editor, will read short fiction.

    “Rebel poet” Kaufman — who gets compared to the likes of Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac — will read from his new memoir, Drunken Angel, an unvarnished chronicle of his jagged journey from alcoholism to sobriety, his personal spiritual quest and his quest to find the daughter he abandoned.

    Kaufman is also the author of the memoir Jew Boy, the novel Matches, and is the editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Key in helping to establish the Spoken Word movement, Kaufman was born in Brooklyn and lives in San Francisco. He is the son of a French holocaust survivor. Dave Eggers said of Kaufman’s Jew Boy, “There is more passion here than you see in 20 other books combined.” Go here to read his poem, “Who We Are.”

    Come for a diverse literary show, free Greek appetizers and live accordion music!

    And watch for regular monthly Greektown readings throughout 2012, always on Thursday evening, all curated by Alvarez — most to be held at neighborhood restaurants, with free-of-charge goodies to nosh.

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