Monday: Extra — RITUALS


When we move away from home and go to college, all bets are off.

I can tell you, that many of our kids are indoctrinated into colleges here in Montreal, through the vehicle of FROSH. The pre-university activity, of welcoming new students into the system, by inviting them into communities, that revolve around alcohol.

Every year, it is the same story.

There are a hundred BARS located on every corner, as far as the eye can see, because we live in a neighborhood that serves two universities, Concordia and McGill.

Every year FROSH begins a few weeks out, during Orientation.

The groups form, and for nights on end, they cruise the streets in town Bar Hoping. Cups in hand, beer and liquor follow.

Tonight, one of our kids, graduating from McGill, spoke at a meeting. She kept a secret, and only told her sponsor the other day. She was advised to share tonight.


When she began university, as a drinker, the group she is affiliated with had all the members buy a can of beer, and put that beer IN a BOX, for safe keeping. Those boxes have been crated and stored for what is about to happen in a few days time.

On the thirteenth, those boxes will be opened by the group. Each member being devoted to their friends, because of the university and their major of study, will be present.

My young lady friend, has her beer she put in that box, while she was drinking. And it is waiting for her. She got sober, since then.

On April 2nd … this same young woman will hit One Year Sober.

A few days before the beer extravaganza.

Tonight we heard that she wants that drink. She is going to drink that beer, no matter what, because these are her friends she has gotten to know over her university career.

These are her friends, who supposedly have her best interest in mind …

She knows that if she drinks, it will only be ONE DRINK, RIGHT ???

The next day, she can come back to a meeting and pick up a Beginner Chip, and start being sober once again.

She may not forget that she HAD been sober, or what she knows about herself today. And that life is linear, she can pick right back up, where she left off.

After she spoke, I got my three minutes in.

And told the story of Lorna Kelly, and how at over thirty years of sobriety, she was faced with a drink, for one reason or another.

On Mother Teresa’s Death Bed, while a priest was saying mass over Mother’s bed, he went to hand her a HOST, dipped in WINE. And she said to the priest, NO, I cannot have the host dipped in wine. NO WINE … Flummoxed he stepped aside her to a sister who did take the sodden wafer.

He came back around with a dry host and she received the Body of Christ.

In the end, Mother Teresa, stuck out her hand and took Lorna’s in her hand and said these words …

Very Good Lorna, You Must Protect Your Special Gift…

Mother knew Lorna was sober over thirty years.

I told two stories in three minutes to get my point across.

If you take a drink, and the rest of us don’t know about it, because it is a secret, is taking that drink, with impunity, still ok ?

I told my young friend that if she TOOK that drink, SHE would know.

And God would know.

You can do one of four things …


My young lady friend believes she must complete the ritual to be validated among her friends, whom she has known her entire university career. She believes that taking ONE drink, will mean, only taking ONE drink.

So I posed the question to her … What if she drinks that beer, and someone hands her MORE, will she stop at ONE, or will there be MORE to FOLLOW ???

What Would You Do ???

Monday: Why is it so Complicated ???


I got an email from New Zealand today, that my Odyn clothing order was now in production. That in a couple of weeks, my order will ship, after my clothes are lovingly sewn by hand.

YAY !!!

Today, I had ONE thing to do.

My doctor got me a consult at the McGill Teaching Hospital, Dentistry department. I got to the appointment early, for paperwork. Shortly there after, my dentist came to get me and to begin my “consult” which did not go very well.

Firstly … I never thought that I would live this long, all things considered. In the order of importance, Living was right up at number one. Staying sober, a close second, being married comes in at three, everything else comes in whatever number it falls in, according to importance.

Oral health has never been at the top of any list.

I thought that having my teeth fixed, was going to be a cut and dry process. Easy Peasy, no problem right ? WRONG !!!

It ain’t that simple. God I wish things could always be simple.

My first trip to see a professional fetched me a $33,000.00 dental bill. They have one job, to build a bridge and put it in place. They did not talk about inconsequential s. They did not mention that I needed more work than they were ready to do, in order to properly build me a mouth that would not fail, in the long run.

Today … My goal was to find out, whether, the Student Dental Clinic would be AS expensive as the professional clinic ? YES, IT IS. To the tune of $22,000.00 on a good day, barring any complications with the entire process.

The process is LONG and ARDUOUS.

I’ve got bad teeth. Ok, Given …

The clinic is talking about orthodontic work, braces for my bottom teeth the straighten them out. And if need be, to extract some teeth and move others, because of a major over bite, and 50-year-old teeth that were never corrected when I was a kid.

They told me that the time investment would be 2 years on a good day.

They want to fix what is there in my mouth. They want to fill all the cavities, do the rearranging, and make sure my mouth is ready for major surgery, extractions, and the building of a bridge on the outside.

This is NOT a cut and dry process. I will need to commit to major mouth surgery, to 2 years of in and out of my mouth, with each of its surgery, and healing processes.

And then, on a good day, gave me the $22,000.00 dollar estimate.

Like I said, twenty-two thousand, barring unforeseen circumstances.

It isn’t going to be that simple.

The professionals were not concerned with the rest of my mouth or the necessary work to get my mouth to a place, where a proper bridge would FIT, Correctly, IN my mouth.

The clinic is a teaching hospital. If I make this commitment, there is no guarantee they will take me, in the end, because I am a complicated case, and I need serious maintenance before any major work can begin.

This is all totally overwhelming. And a bit too much for me to process, at the moment.

I spoke to a long sober friend in Miami, who is getting the same work done there, and they, The teaching hospital in Miami, quoted him the same kind of figures.