Friday, December 17, 2010

Slightly Sketchy Habits

Hiya Ladies and Gents,

I'm so angry right now. Like ridiculously angry. I spent all night on Monday writing this amazingly wonderful blog post. Like seriously: it was fab. You would have loved it. And you know what blogger did? It fucking deleted it! DELETED IT.

I'm so angry, I can't even calm down enough to finish painting my nails.

That's big for me. I don't do fucked up nails.

This situation is a bit ironic because this week's story was all about perspective (in my opinion, you may feel it's about something completely different). So, in an attempt to demonstrate my own understanding of perspective, I'm going to stop whining now, and move onward to (re)telling my story.

Slightly Sketchy Habits

I am a big fan of rituals. I love them. I find something very calming about doing something the same way every day, day after day after day after day. Most of my rituals are really boring, like washing the dishes. Every day, I stand at my sink and concentrate only on soap and getting the dishes as close to sparkling as I can. I don't think about when I'm going to be able to afford to move to Atlanta or when I'll feel I'm ready to have babies or all the things I need to get done at work. I just kind of hone in on the dishes. My mom says it's a form of meditation.

If you really concentrate, you can make most things into a form of meditation or ritual. Like walking to work every day or lotioning after you get out of the shower. Most of rituals are super normal, but I have one that my friends find a bit controversial.


Have you seen it? It's easily my favorite show on television besides Law and Order:SVU and South Park. It comes on A&E every Monday night. If you haven't seen Intervention, it is a show where you spend forty-five minutes watching the most fucked up moments of someone's life. Then you see their friends and family throw them an intervention. 

The show's subjects are addicted to crystal meth, xanax, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, computer duster, and video games (apparently, I missed that episode). Having never had an addiction, I find this show fascinating. How long has Jenny been sleeping with that guy she met on craigslist in order to get oxycoton? What happened to Ryan in his childhood to make him so insecure in himself? What will happen when Rachel swallows a fifth of vodka on the way to her sister's wedding?

These are all questions that need answers.

Watching Intervention is totally normal. Everyone does it. It's won Emmy awards! What makes my watching of the show so unorthodox is that I drink while I watch it. Sometimes it's a glass of red wine, other times I find a pint of imported German ale, and --occasionally--I'll have honey whiskey on the rocks. Whatever the week's poison, I pour my drink, snuggle into my couch, and prepare for an hour of the best television in the world.

Observers of my habit have called it "sick," "wrong," and "simply disturbing."  I even had a roommate who used to lock herself into her room while I was watching Intervention. What these people don't understand is that I watch Intervention because it's cathartic, as I suspect most people do--whether or not they fess up to it.

If you've ever seen Intervention, you know that someone always cries. They can't help it. The 'cast' and audience literally watch some unfortunate person yo-yo to the edge, within moments of their last breath, over and over throughout the episode. Usually, the tears begin with the subject's mother. Then their kids start crying. And finally, the addicted person breaks into heaving sobs.

Of course, by this point in the show, I'm drunk and crying too. The show always ends by showing the subject of the episode in rehab and letting them tell you about how they feel. They are always thankful they went. This is easily one of the best parts of the show, because--finally--they are so hopeful! They are happy and smiling and they look like real people instead of coked-out junkies.

Then text flashes on the screen to tell you how the subject did post-rehab; this is where you find out if they relapsed.

I cry no matter what. If Bill goes to rehab and stays sober for 3 years and counting, I cry because it's so beautiful. If Nancy drops out of rehab and ends up living in a sandbox, I breakdown because it's such a waste. If it's really bad, I call my sister to calm me down. She knows that Monday nights are my Intervention evenings and she is always ready to talk me back into a world that makes sense. Once, there was a man--an alcoholic--who fought rehab tooth and nail. They had to threaten him with forced psychiatric hospitalization to make him go. He finished treatment and returned to his family, only to die unexpectedly three weeks later. His wife and children gave interviews talking about how happy they were to have him back for those three weeks. I was on the phone for hours.

My best friend compares it to that shtick in Fight Club where Edward Norton attends support groups for the terminally ill so he can let go of his emotions and find peace. While I'm not interacting with people face-to-face, I use Intervention to throw myself into the lives of strangers so I can encounter something more intense than my daily grind, in hopes that it will be just enough to release my emotions and cleanse all of the bad thoughts I spend all week holding in.


So. What do you think: Is my habit repulsive? Is it even unusual? Do you do it too; with Intervention or some other quirky tradition? Tell me what you think and explain to me the point.

In a strange turn of events, I woke up hungover today (Christmas) and my family made me watch 2 hours of Intervention. I did cry. Then my dad handed me a beer.

I love my life.

The Point: It's good to clear out your emotions on a regular basis. 

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