Friday, March 15
I emailed Terry that I’d grounded Tom and he wouldn’t be at band practice. I didn’t CC JB. My text alert dinged.
“I need to look up our self-defense classes!!!” Tanya texted.
Tanya and I had gone out for coffee after a recovery meeting this morning. She’d watched a self defense video on public access the night before.
“I felt sorry for the padded up guy getting kicked in the crotch, Tanya laughed. “They were making these old ladies really nail him. They didn’t want those ladies to hesitate for a second. ‘Kick him! Knee him! Poke him in the eyes! Now! Do it now!’”
“I want to do that!” I said. “I want to kick the shit out of a padded person. Might help me stop fantasizing about maiming JB.”
“We didn’t get to gossip about Colleen this morning,” Tanya sent in a second text.
Colleen had been at the recovery meeting this morning, too. She's a none-too-bright know-it-all--a lethal combination--and the last person I wanted to waste time on. Colleen had spread a rumor last spring that I was drinking again. It occurred after JB and I'd met with an attorney to draft a will. The attorney had asked me to name a durable power of attorney and I'd frozen, felt like vomiting. The attorney stared at me. JB'd nervously laughed and said, “You can name Blake if you want.” We left my part blank. JB drove to work and I sat in my car crying knowing JB would never fight for me and I didn’t want to be married to him. I'd driven to a recovery meeting looking like hell and run into Kat. She, again, told me being a single mom sucked. Later, while I was sitting in a Jiffy Lube getting my oil changed, my phone rang.
“I have to ask you,” Kat said breathlessly. “Have you been drinking?”
I started laughing.
“Have you been drinking?” she repeated.
“No. Are you serious? Why are you asking me that?”
Kat sighed with relief. “I knew it, but I just had to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Colleen told me she thought you’d been drinking. She said one of her sponsees saw you at a meeting and said you didn’t look good and you smelled like alcohol.”
I started laughing. “Probably after JB and I met with the lawyer.” Then I got angry. “I was broken that day. What a malicious thing to say!”
“I figured it was something like that. I just needed to talk to you first before I called out Colleen for spreading that around.”
“Give me Colleen’s number.”
“I have not been, nor am I drinking,” I texted Colleen. “Malicious gossip.”
Kat called me later. She’d lit into Colleen, Colleen had gotten angry, and they were no long speaking. Colleen approached me at a recovery meeting days later and asked if we could talk.
“I’m listening,” I said.
In her slow, I’m-combing-my-mind-for-words, breathy way, Colleen leaned in and condescendingly said, “Brenda, I only shared information with Kat out of concern for you…”
“Interesting you didn't come to me directly,” I cut in. I turned and walked away.
"Colleen has said, in meetings, that you're unforgiving and wouldn't accept her apology," Tanya told me days ago.
I started laughing. “Colleen didn’t apologize. She began justifying herself.”
“I can totally see that,” Tanya said. “I can totally hear it. I just love how she sits in meetings and pulls everything out of her huge purse, rattles her keys around, chugs out of her water bottle, says, ‘Uh huh,’ or ‘Yeah,’ or ‘Mmm hmm,’ to every comment being made. Her legs totally sticking out. Trust me, I have it down pat. She drives me insane. She is the worst behaved person in a meeting. And she has 25 years of sobriety!
“I get very catty about Colleen with Kiki,” Tanya continued. “It's not right, but yes, we have Colleen down pat. You have to be around us when we imitate Colleen. ‘Oh, I know that,’ or ‘Oh, I did that too!!!’ You can say something like, I jumped off the Empire State building and did a 360 and she would say, ‘Oh I did that!’ Kiki and I are going to deliberately make things up to see if Colleen claims she did them, too. We're so mean.”
“I don’t want to talk about Colleen,” I texted Tanya.
“You’re no fun.”
“Find us a self defense class.”
“You’re no fun.”
"Maybe you can pad up."
"Maybe you can pad up."