Sunday, 19 March 2017 —
One of my clients passed me a book written by a local comedian that ran away from Pueblo to Los Angeles. I’ve performed with her a couple times and have seen her perform at many events. She’s alright. When she performed with me in 2015, she was very complimentary to me. She said I had great energy. We have really only performed on the same bill about three times. She talks about drinking a lot and all her horrible mistakes she made whilst drinking. Haven’t we all made mistakes whilst drinking? Whisky is my favorite, vodka makes me a bit loose and confessional, beer bloats me and tequila puts me into a deep slumber. Its just what it is, ya know? Too much red wine makes me argue, but I love the buzz (as long as you don’t argue with me, we’re good), white wine gives me heart burn from out of this world and prosecco and/or champagne makes me feel like skiing in Europe and inviting cameras into my home for a little looksy-aroundsy at my underwear and what kind of olive oil and butter I use to sauté pasta in (very Mariah, if she was European).
Anyway, this book she wrote is called, “Sober Stick Figure” and it contains memoirs of alcoholism running in her family, lamentations of her family life, why we shouldn’t drink, what an asshole she became to her self-esteem and how many times she vomited in bed and peed in public. Okay, I think it could have been a satire. SELL THE CONCEPT as a TV show to Hulu. Make that dark comedy! Instead as you turn page by page and look at words and little stick figure drawings drawn in color pencil, you start to feel sad. The humor is there, believe me, but it’s that kind of awkward humor that makes Zoe Deschanel look like Wanda Sykes. Zoe is dry and awkward, Amber’s drawings in this book make me sad. I don’t want to laugh at her because I feel like we’re reading the screenplay for a very sad sobriety tale.
Do you remember the movie, “Rachel Getting Married” starring Anne Hathaway in 2008 where she returns to her family to be a bridesmaid and all she talks about is her stint in rehab? It’s so uncomfortable to watch. It’s not funny. It’s a cry for help. It’s insanity on a screen sliced with a mental illness knife in tiny pieces called “scenes” that make you roll your eyes, hold your head in embarrassment for the lead character and say, “no. Put that DVD away. We’re never watching this again!”
That’s what “Sober Stick Figure” is for me. I can’t. I just can’t. I think the telling of this story is probably therapeutic to Amber and her family, but I think its uncomfortable. It’s not funny at all.
This week, one of my friends announced on Facebook that she’s an alcoholic and I wanted to throw my phone across the bar where I was sitting when I read the status update. Please shut up. People drink. When people drink and they do dumb shit, they take a time out and go back to drinking socially. They don’t write books or Facebook statuses that make us feel sorry for them, but in 2017, I guess they do! WE all get to track your progress and watch you “feel better” about yourself. I just can’t. I can’t support you.
If you’re doing dumb shit, hire a good lawyer! Also, stop it. We don’t need to know you’re sad. We need YOU to get it together and stop making us feel for you. I personally don’t like a mercy sympathy. I don’t like people coming to me and saying, “so sorry your grandpa died” or “so sorry you overdrafted today.” I would prefer you never knew what was going on. (My grandpa is dead and I did not overdraft, btw, but they are sad situations to use as examples, aren’t they?)
Perhaps my issue is that people are so public and want to be held accountable by the social media jury. Why would you do this to yourselves? Frankly, I don’t give a fuck what people think of me. I enjoy a good cocktail with my friends and sometimes I say silly shit like how I admire their tit size or can’t stand how they pronounce a certain word. It breaks the ice! It’s funny and it’s all in good fun.
My friend admitting she’s a helpless drunk is no news to us that know her well. Her Facebook status was a way of airing out her demons and looking for a kind word. Stop that. Two days later, she announced she’s “in the church” and “working with youth” and that “God appeared to her”. Stop that. That’s all attention getting! Get your fucking shit together and stop screaming from the roof top that you’re sorry for being a mess. Just show us the change in character, don’t hire a publicist called Facebook to tell us.
The book is decent. I think many rehabs and drug and alcohol centers will buy massive amount of copies and pass it on a dozen-at-a-time to their underpaid counselors and ask them to distribute them to the sad, cynical millennial that has never read a book in all their legal-drinking years. I think they’ll praise it and hail Amber as their funny Messiah.
I’m not inspired by this book at all. I closed it and put it in my manbag and can’t wait to give it back to my client. The self-deprecation of its contents have stained my brain with sadness. My friend’s Facebook has done the same. I deleted her. I unfollowed Amber on Twitter. I can’t.
You’re sober attention-getting ploys do not interest me. I wish you both well, but I can’t sit around and feel sorry for each of you. I think you need to work on yourselves by yourselves with great therapy and great alone time and a great support system. I sadly can’t be part of this. I think it’s phony baloney.
…time for a drink.