Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Overindulgence – do you or don’t you speak up?

For the most part, we do not want to appear stuffy or appear that we are getting our nose into someone's business. We are usually governed by politeness and not stepping on toes with our opinions or worries. But is there a point when we are compelled to speak up?

I worked with someone many decades ago. A lovely woman, funny, kind and nice to have around…in small doses. She also drank. She smelled of alcohol when I gave her a ride home and at her desk while she typed out letters. But no one said anything and I didn’t either. 

Overindulgence - Pixaby angelie96mejia
She ate potatoes for dinner almost every day, potatoes for dinner, she laughed because that that was all she could afford. We all knew why. But she was sweet and I’m only guessing here from the stories she told, she was sad. The booze helped.

We attended a musical event a little while back. Not a dress up and put on pearls event but an occasion that warranted changing from your day clothes to go downtown. The musician was a young chap, although I don’t know much about his style of music, he sounded good to my ears. 

He roused the crowd, interacted cheerfully with those sitting close to the stage and he drank. First set  he came out with two beers, haha, get in the mood. Second set, even more lively, two more beers. The lady behind us was getting into the tunes, she laughed at all his jokes and said to her date, isn’t he fun?

And was it just fun? Am I just getting just too solid in my “please be entertaining without fueling it with alcohol” ways? I could feel the energy in the room quieten a bit as time went on. There was some uncomfortable shifting in the seats, although the musician was having a great time by now. Some audience members continued to chatter back and forth with the young man and he got happier.

When the musician returned to the stage for an encore, bringing two more beer I wondered how long this would go on. I wondered if he would recreate this same type of performance the following night and if this was his style? I worried, and I thought back to the people who used to be in my life who could also drink six beers in a matter of a few hours. I know a few of them are dead, I know some switched to another kind of indulgence, I know some who are as they were those years ago and are now a tax on their loved one.

Perhaps, I am over sensitive to this behavior?

The musician said that he would be out selling his CDs after the performance. I had a vision of looking into his soulful eyes and saying ‘young man, don’t do this to yourself”. But I did not. As a talented chap, would he be able to maintain this level of success, would he be able to turn off the overindulgence at his choosing?

What do you think, in these situations should we speak out or not? Should we care?

My thoughts have gone back several times over the last week to this young man, and I wonder. Will there come a day when all he eats for dinner is potatoes?

Does witnessing overindulgence compel you to speak out? (Click to Tweet) 

Is it our business to get into someone else's? (Click to Tweet)


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