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During this pandemic it feels like time has slowed down. With that said, I want to take you back to about one month ago when video emerged of spring breakers partying like it was 1999.  You know the song—Say two thousand zero zero party over, oops, out of time. So tonight, I’m gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety-nine.  It is my hope that you will be singing that the rest of the day and I am to blame:) Back to the spring breakers.  The video captured was damning and the quote that made the rounds was “if I catch corona, I catch corona” made by a young man named Brady Sluder.  The judgment from the internet was swift.  With social media everyone has a megaphone now, couple that with a short memory of our own youthful indiscretions, and you can just imagine the comments this kid received.  Personally, I thought what an ass!!  Then I quickly remembered… I was that ass.

Flashback to 1977.  The drinking age was 18, but everyone knew someone who could get them alcohol before that age and for me that age was 13.  I had just graduated eighth grade when me, my brother Mark, and a friend split a six pack of beer.  The fuse was lit and so was I.  Doing some back of the envelope math, I would dance with alcohol for 17 years, and the beauty of alcohol is the more you drink the better you dance.  At least in your head!  I am so grateful that people did not carry cameras or recording devices with them back then.  Because I speak about it publicly, I would like to think that it is well known that I stopped drinking abruptly in 1994.  That was the year my brother Matt died. I was shocked into sobriety and it was a good move for me.

Now, I would like to take the liberty of this blog to apologize to anyone who met me during those seventeen years.  I have this incredible power to make mistakes when sober or drunk, but it became a superpower when inebriated.  If you knew me then…please accept my apology.

I can’t be all serious so here is one funny story about drinking was after college.  A bunch of us went out drinking and I met this wonderful woman.  She gave me her phone number and I put it in my front pocket and proceeded to get drunk as a skunk.  She got to witness this transformation up close and personal, and waited until I was distracted and reached into my front pocket and take her number back.  I remember waking up hung over and looking frantically for her phone number and calling her friend and asking her to help me!  She told me what her friend did and could not give me the number. I deserved it—-well played!

I am being vulnerable here and from this vulnerability comes strength.  This year I will “celebrate” 26 years sober.  It’s a bittersweet anniversary because of my brother, and I secretly wish the number was higher.  I guess when you put something in a blog, you can’t really say secretly, but you know what I mean.  I admire people like my wife as she can count on one hand how many times she’s been drunk and still have a couple of fingers left over.  I am secretly jealous.  Ok, Dennis, last time—if it’s in a blog, stop using the word secretly. You are being vulnerable—-roll with it.

Enough about me, let’s get back to our boy, Brady.  He has since apologized for the comment and my gut tells me he will grow up to become a fine young man and use this whole experience to help shape future decisions.  Check out his post here:

We live in a world where everyone loves a good comeback.  To all those suffering from addiction and can’t attend your meetings during this pandemic, we are rooting for you.  We really are.  Brady and friends who recklessly went on spring break, we are rooting for you, too.  Covid-19, we are not rooting for you, but hope some of the lessons we all learn during this pandemic stick with us, at least until next spring break!

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