Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another Biloxi Trip.....

I was all prepared to write a post about a one-legged golfer my hubby played with in Biloxi the last time we were there. I thought some of you (okay, maybe one) might be moved to tears to see how this man managed to teach himself to swing a golf club even after he lost a leg.

As I tried to come up with the proper words, I realized I'd heard those words before.

In my own blog post. Does anyone else have that problem? Coming up with a topic and realizing you've already written about it? Please tell me I'm not the only loser who does that.....

So instead of writing about THAT trip to Biloxi, I'll write about our FIRST one.

It was right after my step-mother died, not the queen-of-hell my father was married to when he died, but the one who was so sweet and kind and good that we never figured out just what the hell she was doing married to our father.

Daddy had kept saying he wanted to go to Biloxi, go to Biloxi, go to Biloxi, until I was pretty sick of hearing it. The only way to shut him up was to go, so we agreed to go down there for three nights. He wanted to buy the gas and do all the driving (he always did) in exchange for the washing machine we had given him. Whatever.

Daddy struggled with alcoholism all his life, I guess, and it eventually won. But as long as Doris was alive, he didn't drink. I think she reached her breaking point and threatened to leave him if he didn't quit drinking. She was apparently important enough to him (God knows no one ELSE was), and he quit drinking. So she stayed. For thirty-some-odd years.

I didn't realize at the time that she was his ONLY anchor to sobriety.

We agreed to go to Biloxi with Daddy, and since Sweet Girl was only 14 at the time, we couldn't leave her home alone. So we took her along, thinking ..... oh, I don't know ..... it might be FUN to stay in the hotel room alone while we went to the casinos. After all, they had a pool, and she loved to swim. Never mind the fact that she had the worst ear infection she had ever had in her ENTIRE LIFE. We still dragged her along on this ill-conceived trip. (Sweet Girl, I don't know if I've ever told you how sorry I am for THAT trip. Second only to the one to Jamaica.....)

We got to Biloxi sometime late in the evening. I had never been in a casino in my life, and I thought Daddy really liked gambling. He took several rolls of QUARTERS, and I don't think I ever saw him put more than a few dollars in a machine. He didn't play table games.

I was appalled at the elderly people pulling their oxygen tanks up to the slot machines. It was patently obvious that they couldn't afford to be there. I didn't like the smoky atmosphere. I wanted to go home.

There weren't many people in the casino that night. We walked up to the bar, and Daddy leaned on it and told the bartender, "I haven't had a drink in 11 years."

I was kind of proud of him for that.

Then he said, "Give me a double vodka."

How do you tell a 70-year-old man he can't have a drink? How do you tell a bartender that the 70-year-old man CAN'T have a drink?

That pretty much ruined the trip for me. I felt so powerless. Hubby felt guilty because he was drinking a beer. He said Daddy wouldn't have gotten a drink of liquor if he hadn't had a beer himself.

I think he's wrong. I think Daddy planned it that way all along.

At breakfast the next morning, I told Daddy we wanted to go home. He didn't want to, but he agreed, especially after he saw Hubby putting sugar on his grits.

We were there less than 24 hours. And it was way too long.

I felt like I had let Doris down.


Starry wonder said...

You didn't let Dorris down. He did, in fact he let us all down. And it's ok about the whole going on that trip thing, I was just thinking about that trip the other day when you told me you were going to Biloxi. Glad someone else was thinking what I was thinking.

Maggie said...

I dont think you let Doris down- it sounds like he did, I'm sorry to say. Alcoholics are they way they are.

(And on a side note, yes this is a poor segue but i can't figure out how to do it, is yes I do end up writing posts twice. i swear i'm reading through my old stuff to see if i wrote that already... oh well. )