Jesus, Take the Wheel: The (Fingers Crossed) Conclusion

NOTE:  If you are interested, I was a guest blogger over at Running On Sober, feel free to check it out!

I am hoping this is the last in the story arc that has become my Monday morning meetings.  Yes, I am posting this late, and I’m sure a post will eventually follow about transitioning from “School Schedule” to “Summer Schedule,” but suffice it to say that writing has been challenging while adjusting.

Okay, back to the story.  If you are just starting out now, check out here and here.  We had a break in this story because she did not show up for week 3 of her June “commitment” (commitment is in quotes because I’m still not sure with whom she committed).  Okay, so this past Monday is the last in June, I show up, and I am still just praying that her enthusiasm to chair this meeting had waned.

No such luck.

Meanwhile, because it’s the fourth Monday, this is the week that I do some research, and bring some older, more historical pieces of AA literature to the meeting.  In other words, this reading would be something with which few would be familiar.  Which would make it difficult for someone to just step in and chair the meeting.  I’m just saying.

She blows through the door (why is it that chaotic-type people enter rooms so dramatically?), and asks if I received the note she left.  I look around the desk… surprise!  No note.  She says, “Well, I’m sure someone got it.”

Philosophical sidebar:  If you leave a note and no one reads it, does the note have meaning?  Corollary:  If you leave a note and someone reads it, but has no idea what you’re talking about, does the note have meaning?

My answer to both of those questions:  NO.

She explains that she was not present to chair last week because she is sick, her cat is sick, and her boyfriend is sick.  I say, “No problem.”

I promise you, I am not making this up, nor am I exaggerating this exchange in any way.

She starts complaining about her illness (something to do with the throat).  Within 3 sentences, she is hysterically crying, because, and I quote, “None of this would have happened if they hadn’t burned up my medical records!  And they wonder why I’m such a bitch!!!  And I had to pay $400 to get my cat fixed!”

So now I have several competing issues to deal with:

1.  My facial expression, because, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I have the opposite of a poker face; therefore, I have to school my expression so as not to show my confusion, and frankly, alarm that I am alone with this yelling, crying woman.

2.  How best to comfort this woman who is in such distress

3.  General curiosity:  What happened that should have never happened?  How, when and why were the medical records burned?  Why would a vomiting cat cost $400 to cure?

4.  How best to keep this woman from chairing this meeting

I figure the best way to defuse the emotion is to ask detail questions (which has the side benefit of satisfying number 3 on my list).  This has a mixed effect, some of the questions do seem to bring some calm, others promote even more dramatic (picture face in hands, chest-heaving sobbing) emotion.  The story fails to get any clearer, for me anyway, but one thing I have established:  all of the serious health ailments she proceeds to talk about (involving surgery, feeding tubes, and the like) took place a decade ago.  Not sure how and why they’re playing into today’s conversation, but I’m just rolling with it at this point.

The conversation then proceeds to complaints about her sponsor.  Okay, this is ground on which I have surer footing, and I can speak a little more confidently during this part of the discussion.  She definitely calms down at this point, and says to me, “Would you mind chairing this meeting?”

Thank.  You.  God.

A few minutes later, other attendees start coming in, and the one-on-one conversation is over.  The meeting begins (8 people total), we read, and the first person raises her hand to share.  The woman has barely started speaking, and my “Committed Chairperson” noisily gets up and leaves.  She is making lots of noise outside the room, someone goes to check on her, and she winds up leaving.  I am told that she was too upset by what the person sharing was saying, and she could not stay for the meeting (I know you will believe me when I tell you the woman sharing had nothing inflammatory to say).  The remainder of the meeting was very calm, everyone enjoyed the reading, and everyone had something to share related to it.

So, will she be back as an attendee in July?  Will the cat need follow-up medical care?  Will I ever find the note left for me?  Stay tuned!

Posted on June 26, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I laughed and laughed. I was so deep into the story and then … BAM … #4. I see a side of you I have never known. This cyber soap opera is great. I love it, especially since it’s coming from you.


    • Thanks, Lisa. I admit I was anything but laughing in the moment, but I can easily see the comic value for the reader (or listener, as family members did get an earful that day!).

      I’m glad that there was follow-up, so as not to leave people hanging! Now, here’ hoping the story does not jump the shark!


  2. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. This whole situation has made me laugh…because I can totally see that happening at a meeting! Some are sicker than others… 😉


  3. Out of the box

    Hysterical! I just chuckled through the entire thing! Thanks for bringing joy to me during a pretty drab morning.


  4. I can believe a vomiting cat could ring up $400, but otherwise she sounds like a very sick woman. You have been put to the test on how to handle a difficult situation with grace and tact, and you’ve passed with flying colors. Love this update and all the others too.


    • Thanks for commenting, K, and I have to tell you, I read your post after I published mine, and I felt immediate remorse… I had no idea you lost your cat, and I am making blithe comments… I really hope that my re-telling that story did not cause you any pain.

      Thanks for the validation on how I handled it, I just hope that woman is okay!


      • Oh god no, no worries at all! I’ve had cats my whole life and our most recent guy cost us the least in vet bills. Fish are cheapest but they aren’t very cuddly. I still can’t get over your patience with the whole ordeal. You have a big heart.


  5. Even the Lord of the Rings and Roots had to end sometime, eh? And here, hopefully for you, it ends. Or does it? There is always a reason why someone is put in our path, and for some reason, this woman was put in yours. Patience and tolerance…boy did you practice these. As I have said all along, I don’t know how I would have handled this, but nowhere near as nice as you did. the thing that is so important is that you showed others (newcomers?) how it is to ACT in times of pressure and insanity. It’s one thing to talk the talk…but you walked it. Wonderful stuff.


    P.S Congrats on the guest posting /blog


    • Paul, I have complete confidence that you would have handled it with just as much patience and tolerance, probably even more so than I did, but I thank you for the kind words anyway.

      On the one hand, I do not want to, as I said in reply to Lisa’s comment, jump the shark on this story, so I am hoping the drama ends. On the other hand, I also hope this woman finds the peace she is so desperately looking for, and that she feels comfortable sitting in the meeting again. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

      Thanks for the congrats, I have to say, that was just plan fun to guest blog, and talk about validating, so many encouraging people, I get goose bumps just thinking about it! It truly made me exercise a little harder today!


  6. runningonsober

    Oh good grief! Some people just bathe in drama, don’t they? I’m glad you revisited the story–I was curious, we all were. I hope she gets the help she needs, poor thing, drama or not, sounds like she has quite a few things going on. You handed all gracefully and politely–good job, I’m not sure I would’ve been so patient.


    • Like I said to Paul, not a doubt in my mind that you would have been just as patient, but I do echo your sentiment… good grief is right! I have really been thinking about her a lot the past 2 days, and praying for the same thing… that she gets the peace she needs. Thanks for checking in, Christy!


  7. Oh my gosh! This is like a movie playing out! What the heck?! It takes all kinds, right? I’m so proud of how you’ve handled yourself! Not sure if I could’ve held it together like you!


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