My parents visited on Saturday, which was nice except for the part where I'm trapped in the house for the whole day. It was beautiful and sunny, and I never made it outside. My Dad also put me in an awkward position regarding alcohol.
I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but my Dad is a high-functioning alcoholic. Most of the time, the rest of my family is blind to it or enables it. I'm the only one who won't do that.
Except for the year-and-a-half after his brain surgery, my Dad has drunk alchohol every single day. He thinks that waiting until late in the afternoon and rarely actually getting drunk means that he doesn't have a problem with drinking. I disagree.
He can't or won't pass up a day here and there. It's every day. When he goes on vacation, he brings his scotch with him-- as if he might have trouble finding it otherwise. On trips to Europe, he has taken a 1/2 gallon of scotch in his carry-on.
I suspect he thinks that if he stays out of bars, he doesn't have a problem. Moreover, my mother (who enables all of this) doesn't like bars and he'd have to go by himself.
But here's the thing: there was a period of over a year when I was in college that he did go to bars. If he didn't have patients scheduled for the afternoon, he'd go to one bar in particular and stay there drinking with the other "regulars" for the rest of the day. That also became most of the weekend. His office partner told my Mom that this was affecting my Dad's reputation, and that it wasn't good. So somehow, for whatever reason, my Dad pulled out of it.
But when he refers to that time now, he only says that it "got to be too much", and he imagines that he has everything under control now.
My thinking is that episodes like that only happen to alcoholics, and moreover, any high-functioning alcoholic who drinks will always be at risk for that kind of downturn.
On Saturday, he asked if he could bring his drinks into the house (we never serve alcohol when he's there). I said yes, but I was uncomfortable with the fact that he couldn't just pass on it. And I suddenly found myself wondering (since I can't remember) whether he used to put his brothers and sisters in that position when he visited them. His entire family, apart from him, was Mormon, and I know that the fact of his drinking hurt them. They've all been Mormon for so many generations that there's no way of knowing if any of the rest of the family would have turned up alcoholic, had they ever consumed alcohol.
My younger sister married an alcoholic the first time around. Now she's dating someone who, though wonderful in all other ways, looks like a high-functioning alcoholic himself. He behaves as if social functions with my family (or any functions) require 'fortification,' and my sister drinks right along with him. But she's blind to the possibility-- god, she and my other siblings give my parents wine at Christmas! She's better off with this guy than she was with her ex, but the potential for sliding off the deep end will always be there.
So. Those are my big, fat issues. I rarely drink myself (Wincon is the most drinking I do all year), but I don't think alcohol itself is inherently bad. However, having grown up with this in the background, it colors some of my thinking.
Sunday, I turned off the alarm clock in my sleep and got a really late start to the day. We went to Lauren's basketball game (a nailbiter, ending in a win), then Christopher scootered with me while I ran. His big event was having a friend come over to watch the Super Bowl. They didn't even make it to the end of the first quarter before they were pestering Lauren, then got sent outside to shoot baskets, then agitated to play video games. It wound up basically being a 4-hour playdate. But they had a good time. Unfortunately, the Super Bowl ran across dinner time, and the rest of the evening was fragmented.
So much for 2 days off! I spent Sunday and yesterday trying to fight off Lauren's cold, but it got me. Christopher has it now too.
On the writing front, I'm poking my Australian flood-auction donors for prompts, so I can finish more of those. I wrote a drabble that is up in the large voting pool at drabble_las (votes are needed!), and a first-attempt drabble that wouldn't fit in 100 words and that I can't post until after the voting is over. All secret, all the time! I'm still not used to it.
Tomorrow? Please let the wind die down...