All Those Pizzas


The last post, in which Vince and I recalled Aspen Glen, reminded me of a vivid memory from that time.

Vince came rushing in the door from school; I think he was in first grade so he would have been six or seven.  Before I could turn around from whatever I was doing in the kitchen to say hi, he was out the door again.

About an hour later, he came flying back in and flung himself to the floor, crying pitifully like his heart was breaking.  “What on earth is the matter!?” I asked in alarm.  Still prostrated on the floor, he sobbed, “We have to sell pizzas for a school fundraiser, and I went to every house in Aspen Glen and didn’t even sell one!  How am I ever going to sell all these pizzas!?”

I hid my laughter.  Every unit in Aspen Glen had kids, and they all went to his school.  Why would anyone buy a pizza from someone else’s kid, especially since we were all on food stamps?

I think about this story when I’m feeling overwhelmed with work or chores (or the demands of this blog).  I say in my head, “How am I ever going to sell all these pizzas!” and chuckle to myself.  It reminds me that nothing is that important that I need to fling myself onto the floor and sob.

But I do wonder if this little episode is emblematic of Vince’s personality traits that may have made drugs appealing.  I know, this is called “taking someone’s inventory.”  I am only supposed to take my own inventory.  But still.

Another example: Vince bought a pair of roller blades with his bar mitzvah money.  He laced them up, hobbled outside, and 10 minutes later crawled back into the house, ripped off the skates, and hurled them across the room, screaming, “I’ll never learn how to roller blade!”  Of course he was a master of it within a week, skating backwards and doing pirouettes in the street, which made me shudder.

And he often complained of being bored.  Lots of kids say, “I’m bored!” but he was saying it up until he was arrested, at age 35.

Okay I’ll just say it: I think Vince is impatient and impulsive.  He needs stimulation and instant results or he complains of boredom or finds something to fire him up.  Just a few years ago, he took a dare to eat a tablespoon of dry cinnamon.  Dry cinnamon!  Maybe a tablespoon doesn’t sound like that much to you, but try it some time.  No, don’t.  He was sick for days.  Why would anyone do that, if they weren’t looking for a little excitement and they didn’t care if it was positive or negative?

I am never bored, so it’s hard for me to understand.  I am also a high energy person, up at the crack of dawn, on the move, tackling my to-do list—go, go, go.  That has its own downsides.  But that’s why I’ve never even been tempted to try a drug that would pep me up, like cocaine.  I don’t need to be any more hyper.

If it’s true that Vince’s personality traits feature impatience, a need for constant stimulation, and impulsivity, how will he manage when he’s out, when he has every opportunity to relieve his negative impulses?

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