“My name is Lucinda and I’m a shoppaholic.”
“Hi Lucinda,” everyone in the circle murmured.
I sat back down again feeling a little like I didn’t belong.
“So, Lucinda,” began Jake, the head of the AA (Addicts Anonymous) meeting. “What brings you here?”
Fuck, I thought, I was in a room with a bunch of morons. Clearly if I was at an AA meeting I had an addiction. Idiot.
I smiled my warmest smile though and replied, “Um, my husband is away a lot on business and so I’m pretty bored and I like to go shopping to get out of the house.”
Jake nodded his head as if he understood. Of course he didn’t understand, he was a man for starters; men were incapable of truly understanding such a form of entertainment.
“So you use shopping to ease your loneliness,” he said to the rest of the group, almost as though I wasn’t there.
I opened my mouth to speak up in protest, but he raised a hand.
“Lucinda, have you ever considered calling a friend instead?”
Before I could collect my thoughts my mouth had already spoken the words, “Not really, because all the friends I’d call are out shopping with me too.”
I heard a few titters from the group and thought, judgmental pricks, wasn’t AA all about support? I felt like I was being targeted.
“Okay,” said Jake, “What about another hobby?”
Jesus. Like making dream-catchers or playing bowls. How old did this guy think I was?
“I guess,” I said. “I like eating.”
I knew I was being a bitch, I just felt like stirring. He’d started it by being so condescending.
A woman across from me spoke up. “Oh, I like eating too!” she said.
Clearly. Anyone with a pair of eyes could see that.
Actually, maybe Jake had a point. Shopping and eating went together quite well. He was onto something.
I stood up.
“I feel better already!” I announced. I looked at the woman again. “Want to come to the mall and get lunch with me?” I asked her.