A Very Blotto Xmas
"One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People insist on giving me books.”
– Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
If you intend to give books this Christmas, may I suggest one great gift idea - my memoir, Blotto. You may ask why a book about alcoholism and addiction is the perfect Christmas gift. If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that the misfortune of others makes us feel a little better about our own less than perfect lives.
Christmas is a time of joy and togetherness for many, but certainly not for everyone. All kinds of people tend to lapse into loneliness, depression and over-indulgence. My own holiday memories, especially from my decades awash in booze, could not exactly be considered merry.
Here are a few of those memories, some depicted in Blotto:
During the holiday season, I always found nothing more uplifting than watching TV commercials, an endless parade of ridiculously happy people living the kind of lives I never would. One Christmas, I drunkenly tossed my TV out of my third-story window rather than just turning it off, such was my joy.
Every year my stocking is bare. No gifts because usually there is no one in my life, my social circles having shrunk to the size of a pinhead. I am no longer welcome at my family’s home, after vomiting on their Christmas tree.
I should never have been behind the wheel of a car, but I was convinced that booze made me a better driver. Driving along in the middle of one night, my attention was captured by the Christmas decorations on houses, so much so that I sideswiped six parked cars, then calmly or should I say numbly, drove home.
A friend I hadn’t seen in years coerced me with the promise of free booze to join him with a group caroling at an old folks home where, after we finished our first song, “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” during which I sang very loudly and off-key, the oldsters clapped politely until one elderly woman in a wheelchair screamed out, “Don’t encourage them!”
One holiday season, I actually had a girlfriend, but I broke up with her the day before Christmas. I couldn’t bear the thought of attending her family’s Christmas dinner. My girlfriend claimed she was heartbroken, but I think she was really glad to be finally rid of the reclamation project she had been trying unsuccessfully to “fix.”
And, when I still had a TV, I couldn’t resist watching It’s a Wonderful Life, while sobbing uncontrollably into my tumbler full of rum, with a splash of eggnog, thinking about my less than wonderful life.
Think of how good your life will seem in comparison to mine while reading Blotto - The gift of Schadenfreude!
In all seriousness, I wrote Blotto not just to entertain, but to help, inspire, and to convey to alcoholics and addicts (and their families) that they are not alone, and that there is a solution. Blotto is a book of personal redemption. It finds hope and humor in even the darkest and most desperate situations. I hope it finds a place under your Christmas tree!