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Grapevine : October 2011
30 October 2011 so will I. So I promised myself that, if a er three days, I still saw some purpose in sending this funny, scathing reply, then I would. But I would have to wait until the feeling of giddy superior- ity wore o . And, in the meantime, maybe I ought to share it with another sober drunk just to get their reading of the situ- ation. is is my own sort of handgun restraint law, one that I learned at AA meetings. Approaching the end of day three, I was still secretly savoring the sweetness of my reply, wishing I could be there to watch the recipient when she read it. And I still hadn't shared my letter with anyone. It just felt too good, too right on target. I'd condensed my whole credo into one sweetly stinging, shrewd- ly targeted projectile. I took out my disk, ready to transfer my ammo to e-mail. But there was incoming I had to clear up first. Among which were two apologies: one from my brother, assuring me he did not share his wife's opinions in this instance, and one from his wife. e apology from his wife was so directly to the point, so sincere, and so encouraging about my ambitions, that my witty reply felt limp and stupid and petty in comparison, an adolescent attempt at flaming. Restraint of tongue and pen had saved me again---but just barely--- from turning a brush fire into a civil war. It also le me with what I find to be a harder and more awkward task having to graciously accept some- one else's admission that they made a mistake. ere's no nuts--and-- bolts, hands-on kind of information in the Twelve Steps or the Big Book about how to do this. And it always leaves me feeling embarrassed and inadequate. So I wrote to my sister- in-law that I do indeed take too much pride in being incorrigible. I trea- sure my solemnity deficit disorder. I enjoy being a bad little boy. (All I needed for proof was the letter on my special disk.) So I accepted both her criticism and her apology in the spirit with which I know they were intended. She wanted to make things better. And isn't failure a perplexing and miraculous way for us all to grow a little stronger, a little closer together, a little more dedicated to our convictions? at I intuitively knew how to handle this situ- ation surprised me. But our personal experience is our most cherished asset. And who knows more about failure, about making mistakes, about being wrong than an alco- holic? at my response came straight out of AA literature is no surprise to me today. It's just one more miracle along the road of happy destiny. Anonymous She wrote to me how o ended she was by what I'd written, and that she could understand now why I was such an egotistical failure and would probably always be one.