So yesterday at my fellowship we had our monthly 4th Tuesday birthday dinner. Typically I miss these things because I go to morning meetings but the last couple of days just to lengthen my day and get out of the house again I have been doubling up and going at night as well. There is a 6pm meeting and when that ends we do a dinner before the 8:00 birthday celebration dinner where we honor those celebrating a sober birthday of 1 or more years. Twice a week we actually have meetings for people with less than a year but once a month we do the 1 year and over meeting. Every month the activities committee votes on a theme for the dinner which there is a suggested 5$ donation.
So this month was taco bar night. I hadn’t eaten dinner yet so I figured I’d support the fellowship as the 5$ goes towards buying big books and I’d also get a 5$ dinner and kill some time while the fiance was working out. I worked out earlier in the day so I was done with the gym for the day.
I must have seen about 20 different people get some food and eat but curiously I was finding a really hard time finding people putting money in the can for a donation. I did and I am curious to know how much money we raised. In the past typically about half the people who eat pay while the other half don’t. Many of the AA’s have this mentality where they always say birthday dinner 5$ suggested donation nobody goes hungry or if you don’t have money help clean up. I always think this is a huge mistake. Alcoholics and addicts love to find loopholes. We love to find reasons why we are the exception. We love to say oh that doesn’t apply to me. I think it’s a huge mistake to open that Pandora’s box and tell people it’s okay to not pay. Free meal charities are great, nothing wrong with that but that’s not our primary purpose.
Inevitably somebody will always say to me but what if that person doesn’t have any money? Well if you don’t have any money do what you would have done the other 29 days of the month for dinner. If you need a meeting, there is a meeting at 6 then go home or there is a meeting at 8 show up for that. But there’s no reason to show up at 7:10 if you can’t afford to pay the 5$. We’re not here to teach people or condone how to get over. We’re here to be responsible. If I go into a store and I would like to get food and I don’t have money then I”m fucked. This is life. We try to teach alcoholics that we are a part of this world and are subject to the same rules as everybody else. The days of selfishness of trying to get stuff for free of taking advantage of others should be in the past. It’s not just about getting sober it’s about being a productive member of society and if you need charity assistance we have food banks in town we have food stamp programs we have soup kitchens. You will not starve if we don’t feed you. And the people I am bitching about are not the ones that are the homeless jobless moneyless segment of the population they are the ones that make the decision to not bring 5$ or to spend the money elsewhere because they can get away with it.
Anyhow at this thing I went to eat a couple of tacos, one was ground hamburger and the other was chicken and I noticed that the taco shells were ortego corn shell tortillas. The store bought kind that no mexican taco stand in the historty of mexican taco stands would ever ever ever use to make a taco out of. I am a white guy but even sometimes I have to say fucking white people. Then while eating the taco I noticed that this shell was seriously stale tasting. This is really becoming an unhappy thing now. I get resentful when I pay for stuff and other people get the same as me and they didn’t pay for it. That’s alright people who pay for stuff get girlfriends. So life is okay. So anyhow my non mexican tacos sucked because of the stale taco shells. I live in a town where the average income is pretty low to begin with and when you go to an AA meeting typically the people at that meeting make less than whatever the town average is so there is a bit of an income bell curve. Anyhow our fellowship tends to do shit like bring in expired foods so my curiosity got the best of me as this taco shell tasted expired. I went to the ortega corn shell tortilla box and discreetly broke down the empty box and looked at the expiration date and I noticed the shells expired 6 months ago. I saw the lady who brought them in, what the hell lady?
Now this brings me to the original point I wanted to bring up. I hate hate hate when people give me expired food. If you have ghetto standards and you want to subject yourself to eating food that says right on the front that for ideal freshness don’t eat this shit after this date that’s on you. But for me I take it as an insult that you would think I was okay with less than ideal, with less than fresh. You don’t go to your cupboard pull out 3 boxes of taco shells that have been there for 3 years and bring them to an AA meeting. Spend a few bucks and actually buy something to bring. If you don’t want to buy then show up pay 5$ and eat. It’s not only a personal affront to me to give me expired food but I think it’s a huge slap in the face to the poor when people assume that they will be okay with your expired food. It’s insulting to assume anybody is okay with expired foods and will just be grateful for whatever you give them. Be ghetto to your own self all you want but don’t treat others as if they have low standards.
Honest to God we had one asshole who would go to dumpsters and find donuts in pink boxes that were thrown out and you can look at these donuts and tell that they are old. They are so crinkly they look like old guys balls. And he would bring them in to our meetings and not tell anyone where he got them from. He actually told me and another guy that he does this. I am not going to eat stale old man nut sack looking donuts. So what I wanted to ask was how do you feel about giving other people food that is past the expiration date? I have made my case against it but I would like to hear if you have differing standards. Like it’s okay to give a homeless guy old ass food but if you’re courting a woman you want to sleep with then treat her good. Or be a cheap ass with everybody. Or be good to everybody. Or if you can’t afford to be nice then don’t be nice keep your money and don’t give anything. Not giving is okay by me I’m just saying pay for your own meals and don’t give people low quality shit.