Monday, April 30, 2007

Coasting a Hang Over

I am coasting a hangover this morning. Not a bad one, just a slight one. Yesterday I bought myself a bottle of Chardonnay, Fat Bastard by Thierry & Guy, it was delicious. I invited Aimy over and Heather showed up with two of her kids. I made a pasta salad and BBQ-ed some ribs and chicken.
We drank the whole bottle. They had never tasted wine before. Or Heather said she did out of the box. I just wanted them to see how it was to cook out, enjoy some wine and not party like most people do around here.
This morning as I went for a walk I thought about how we couldn't sit outside and drink a glass of wine without risking going to jail or feeling the guilt of enjoying a bottle of wine. If I didn't explain alcohol is illegal here and anyone caught drinking it will automatically sit 8 hours in the drunk tank at the jail.
I admit I drink a beer to watch my Yankees on TV or when I BBQ. I don't let it get out of control and I don't want it to. There have been times in my life I did drink too much, but that is the past.
But I was thinking this morning as I went for a walk how many people let it get out of control. This reservation is a so called "dry" reservation.
I don't see dry, I see people with no hope. People who start drinking things that kill them faster because they feel as if there is no hope, no body cares, or whatever reason that drove them to be so dependent on alcohol so bad that they hang out outside of grocery stores. They ask for quarters, dimes, anything to go towards there next drink. It is so sad really.
I give them money, I don't know why....I pity them, I guess. I know some people say "Don't give them a thing!" But I keep my change in my drink holder in my car and kind of use that for them.
So as I was driving home I was thinking of things my mom sid to me the other day about people never sobering up and what a joke it was that this was a "Dry" reservation.
She asked me what i would do if I didn't know how to bead.
I don't know, I told her ...probably be like everyone else and pawn all my shit and not have things like this computer or my kids wouldn't have games like many many people I know down here.
She then told me she don't think treatment works for people around here. They get sent away and filled with hope and return to this so called dry rez where there are no jobs, they have no skills. They come back and their hope for a new life slowly diminishes. They turn back to drinking to forget all of it.
My mom taught me so much....she used to be the director of an alcohol and substance abuse treatment place in town for years and she seen alot. She told me the worst thing to do was to "judge" people for what they did with their lives.
Does this reservation being dry solve anything? No.
Will it ever change? Probably not. Maybe if alcohol was legalized...but who am I to say? I just remember reading about the PRohibition and how crime and alcoholism rates went down when it ended. (BTW, if you don't know me I am fascinated with that era!)
Will I ever be able to drink a glass of Chardonnay here without guilt? Probably not. :)

Anyway those were just my slightly hungover thoughts lol.
The picture above I took from Old Hospital Hill this morning, when I went for a walk at the track. I love the sunrise and was blessed to see it this morning. i also plan on doing a blog soon about Whiteclay, Nebraska. The border town...not really a town that sells beer. Second highest beer sales in Nebraska. I am doing a story for the paper this week about an organization in Whiteclay that has a thrift store and is starting a co-op for crafters. But I would also like to write about Whiteclay in my blog...a second part of the town and people that live there.

Ironically this song was playing on the radio when I drove home after my I have a twisted sense of humor


Dorid said...

There are times when you write when I feel like I'm visiting the rez with you :)

you know, there is SOOOO much complexity in the whole alcohol thing, especially for us. I guess I can understand why the rez would want to be dry, and also how that could lead to MORE problems. I don't think there is a GOOD solution...

Josie said...

Sadly, prohibiting something never stops it, it just creates more problems. This is one of the most complicated issues on the rez, affecting nearly every family in some way. It's tragic to me to hear 12 year olds talk of getting wasted on a regular basis. But if I grew up there amid so much despair, I wonder if I would be any different.

Dana, I think you did a great job of covering this issue with both honesty and sensitivity - I see another column for the paper in the making! :)

Missy A said...

If its illegal it doesn't matter if you know where to get it you can doesn't matter what it is.
Here spray paint is locked up, you have to be over 18 to buy it why? because kids don't just graffiti with paint they sniff it, the alchohol might be right there in the supermarket but they have to be over 18 to buy it it's illegal to sell alchohol to minors so they get thier buzz from paint or glue, cooking spray or steal the petrol from a car.
Or they get some so called adult to buy thier booze it doesn't matter what it is or where they get it or even why, if its available to get it will be bought traded whatever

Dana Dane said...

I doubt i would submit this one in the paper...."too controversial" like the one "On being a skin" it was I have to keep my controversial honesty outt of the paper.

Alissa said...

Well, I can totally relate to this. Here, the state controls all liquor sales at a state run store. You can get beer at a grocery store, but you can't purchase it on Sunday's in some cities. It's retarded. Oh, and in the city my in-laws live at, THE CHURCH bought all the liquor licenses so NO ONE could move in and sell liquor. No restaurants, clubs, bars, etc...In fact, because of that, about 26 miles out of that town, there is a new town created just for the purpose of selling alcohol and having clubs. They have 1 street, I'm told, I've never been, and the street is like 8 miles long, full of bars, strip-clubs, liquor stores etc... That's what happens when people are forced to be creative...

Josie said...

Ahh, so the newspaper doesn't want to print anything that might get people thinking or discussing. Hmmm... isn't that exactly the complaint that they had with the press in Rapid City, that they wouldn't cover issues on the rez? I, for one, think you do a really great job of trying to show fair perspective. Maybe if there was more open dialog about this subject some new ideas might come forth.

Josie said...

What I liked about your first column in the newspaper was that it was edgy! It made me sit up and take interest and say, "Who is this?" It's what brought me to your blog. Whether the "good ol' boys" like it or not, some fresh voices are needed!

Josie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy said...

If you're ever interested in looking at Native American specific substance abuse prevention programs, to go this website: I saw the founder of this movement speak in OKC, and he was amazing. I even used a ton of his stuff to complete a research study about substance abuse prevention initiatives when I was working on my MS.

Going "dry" doesn't do shit. People only have to drive farther to get their booze. I live in "the wettest dry county in Arkansas" (labeled such by the statewide newspaper), and everyone just goes to a restaurant or drives 5 miles down the road for their alcohol. But the preachers and their followers won't allow the issue to even be voted upon (though most of those followers booze it up themselves).

Until people choose to focus on the REAL reasons for substance abuse (inadequate prevention and care, socioeconomic factors, and family history), things will remain as they are, which is just sad...

Dana Dane said...

yeah it kind of pissed me off that my one about a skin was rejected....i KNOW it was the mascot issue and it might have offended one of the other columnists. it kind of makes me think as to why there is freedom of the press or why my column appears on the "Opinion" page. I am seriously thinking of finding a new spot...I don't know.
And HEY!
Who deleted their commeent...speak up!

Josie said...

Exactly, if it's your opinion, it's valid, right. Everyone is entitled to one. Why do they feel so threatened?

Never fear, I deleted my comment, for some reason when I wrote it, it posted twice. You know me, if I think it I'm gonna say it, no second thoughts here - and that philosophy has gotten me really far in life, right??? yeah SIGH

Dana Dane said...

oh I thought it was Jase...he does stuff like that.
I don't know if they feel threatened but I did pass up our only syndicated columnist as most read on the web site....maybe thats why.

Josie said...

Well that's not right! (But it wouldn't surprise me... jealousy does mean things.) Just keep firing the good stuff at them and maybe once in a while they'll let one slip thru! :-)

JohnB said...

dana, I would suggest providing a historical semi-detailed account of Prohibition, and leave it at that. I was just reading in the news the other day that the US Drug Czar has admitted that after 4 billion dollars spent on the drug war against cocaine, it has done little as far as "positive result"; cocaine is now cheaper now (~$140/gram) than it was in 1981 (>$600/gram), and now the final product has increased in purity (source: Seattle PI article).

Outlawing the stuff clearly isn't working; it being alcohol or drugs. It didn't work in the 1920's, and it's not working now. (Sorry, I don't mean to introduce controversy, but it is what it is).