Froggie Went a Courtin’

VINCE

I just came back from a lawn mowing where I took the life of an innocent frog.  It was a cold-blooded murder in the most literal sense.  Wait.  Are frogs cold blooded?  Hmm.  I may be wrong but it sounded funny in my head.

I don’t like to kill things, so I felt bad for a few minutes.  I didn’t do it on purpose, but when his (her?) severed head was staring into my eyes, I could still see life and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  Now that I’ve written about it, I can let it go.

I once killed a deer, for meat, and I once killed a deer with a Pontiac Sunfire.  Oh, and some squirrels, which I also ate.

After months of no formal discipline, I got an intervention today.  That is my sixth in five months, not bad.  The guy with the most discipline in my squad has 21 and three Learning Experiences (LEs).

An intervention is basically a military gig, not a rehab intervention like you might see on TV.  Mine was for not sleeping under one of my two sheets.  It’s very petty.  If I do it two more times which I won’t, I will get an LE.

I redeemed myself today for killing the frog.  I saw him/her just in time while I was pushing the Frog Killer 2000 over the grass, and helped him along into the garden.  Oh, yea, there were two of them.  So if I ever kill another frog, I’m even.

We’ve been working lately in CD on the “ripple effect” of our crimes.  Well, most of us have.  The guy who shot at somebody several times but missed still claims his offense has no victim.

I never denied that selling drugs hurt society, people’s lives, families, and of course the children.  I’m sure the money given to me for meth could have been better spent on food, clothing, and shelter.

My criminality has affected my family as well.  I didn’t directly try to bring harm to them, other than stealing some money from My Mom years ago, and borrowing money more recently without, so far, paying it back.  But I see my Mother, now in her 50s, still beautiful, energetic, kind, and unbelievably patient, without a husband, and I wonder if I am indirectly or directly responsible.  Is that where the shame took hold?  Am I such a black sheep that she didn’t even bother?

She’s had boyfriends over the years but they didn’t stick.  I see myself in the same boat.  37 with no wife and kids, no girlfriend waiting for me out there.  Maybe together, we emit a powerful toxic odor that that repels potential mates.  Hmm…I hope not.

The point is, even if I am not responsible for her mating habits, I am seeing that my choices affect more than just me.  And it can ripple a long way out.  I’m not just staying clean for me, I’m doing it for the whole pond.

[ANNE: My heart sank when I read this.  Vince is in no way responsible for me being one of the 7% of American women my age who have never married.  Take out the lesbian women who couldn’t marry, and I am part of a really small club.  I always wanted to get married.  I assumed I would.  I wrote a blog post about dating years ago that demonstrates the effort I put into finding a mate.

Like a lot of things, it’s complicated.  I wasted my 20s and 30s—the years when most people marry—on Kermit and other alcoholics, abusers, and just plain jerks.  Then I took a break from dating to figure out how to stop doing that.  Then came Vince’s lost year, when I was too distraught to think of anything else.  Then, the older you are, the harder it is to meet people.  So it was a combo of bad choices, bad timing, bad luck and yes, Vince was a factor but far from the only one.  Being single is far from the worst fate, so now I claim my spinsterhood as if it was my plan all along.]

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