Kick it Short story
Recently I have been going to a counselor. I am trying to kick a habit. The counselor suggested I journal the moments that trigger my desire. I agreed to do this. Also She suggested that when the trigger occurs I change the venue. Get up and do something else or leave the room. Exchange one habit with another. I believed this to be excellent advice.
My Neighbor Millie usually stops by first thing in the morning for coffee and gossip. Promptly at 8 am. She knocks on the side door and with a soprano voice calls my name “Paula”
Monday after my husband left for work was no exception. There was a knock at the door, my name was sung out “Paula” I opened the door with my normal greeting “Good morning Millie how are you this morning?”
Millie was in full crescendo of the latest gossip about anyone I may know and those who I do not know. What was different this morning is she stopped mid sentence with a question “Oh Paula I was wondering what you were trying to give up. Coffee! That is why your seeing the counselor. I do not see your coffee pot.”
I said to Millie “Actually Millie I was just on my way out the door for a walk. Then I will be going to read to my elders this morning. Would you like to come along.” I knew she would say no. Those are two things Millie hates to do. She hates exercise and volunteering. Millie believes if you are going to do something for one of the multi million dollar industry’s like health care or housing the elderly they should pay you.
Millie went home I went for my walk. Once home I showered and went to read to some nice ladies at the assisted living facility.
After 2 weeks of me having something to do in the morning when Millie danced over she stopped the routine.
Millie thought it was coffee I gave up. I put this in my journal that it worked. No gossip song sung.
On Saturday mornings my husband plays golf with a friend he leaves at 9am for his regular tee time. His golfing buddies wife usually drives over to have coffee in hopes of me making us breakfast.
Her routine is as soon as my husband picks up her husband, she jumps into her mini van and drives over. I would not mind this so much if Claudia would volunteer to cook the breakfast. Or at least help with the clean up. In the year I have known her she has not done either.
Claudia pulled up in her mini van I was out in my garden puttering around. Claudia walks up and greets me in her usual way “Good Saturday too you Paula. Been looking forward to a girls breakfast.”
I turned to look up at her and said “Good morning Claudia sorry I have had my breakfast.”
Claudia responded as she walked towards my kitchen door “Okay no problem I will just grab some coffee.”
I said nothing to deter her entrance into my kitchen. She promptly came back out and said “Oh you gave up coffee that is why you are going to the counselor. I did not see your coffee pot.”
I simply answered “I put it away off the counter.”
Claudia chatted for a moment then got back in her car. I noticed she went around the block then pulled into Millie’s drive way.
After my husband came home from golf, he asked how it went with Claudia I answered “Same as it went with Millie, they both thought I gave up coffee.”
My husband then said “Wow that is excellent. Okay I agree with you. Tonight Evan will be coming over to mooch beer and pizza. How do you propose I do this?”
I said “Mike I want beer so what we will do is have beer in the cooler. Put the cooler in the back of the garage till Evan leaves. He will not stay if there is no beer in the fridge. Then we can pull the cooler out, have beer and order pizza.”
My husband smiled and said “You are devious. I will do just that.”
Mike took the beer out of the fridge. Went to the store for ice and produce to fill the area where the beer usually sat.”
Like clock work Evan pulled up knocked at the side door. Mike greeted him “Hey Evan what’s going on today. Have any plans?”
Evan “Well I thought I would swing by and have a beer or two with you?”
Mike “Oh sorry there is no beer in the fridge.”
Evan “Wow I heard Paula gave up coffee you gave up beer? You two must be getting old and boring.”
Mike just laughed. Evan stayed all of 15 minutes. Went around the block then pulled into Millie’s driveway.
I came outside by the garage which is in full view of Millie’s kitchen window. Mike had set up lawn chairs. I had ordered the pizza.
In my peripheral I could see face’s in Millie’s kitchen window. Mike and I cracked open our first beer toasted each other and downed the cold brew. The pizza came we had a couple of slices then took our party indoors.
Sunday morning Mike and I went to the lawn chairs still setting outside of the garage had a coffee and some donuts.
Somethings you do not have to wait till Lent nor New Years to give up gossips and freeloaders.