The movie New Jack City and various television shows give a very vivid picture of a crack house. They depict an abandoned building in a run-down neighborhood where people are dirty and lying on the floor. It implies that those who smoke cocaine disappear for days and live inside the filthy walls of this undesirable situation in order to get high. While that may be true in some cases, it is absolutely not the norm.
You meet someone for the first time and your heart flutters. You find yourself drawn to them without knowing why. Perhaps you find that your feelings for a friend of a friend are growing, and it perplexes you. Instead of being free to explore your emotions, you hold back because the individual who is giving you butterflies is of a different race. You hesitate because you are not sure if he or she feels the same, or if family and friends will approve.
Cocaine, whether it is snorted, shot in the veins, or smoked from a pipe has a long lasting affects on the loved ones of addicts. I know a man who used to smoke crack, and he had a different ring tone for all of his buddies. When you were around him and certain ring tones went off, his demeanor changed. You could tell if it was a dealer, or a fellow addict trying to score. Years later after this man had cleaned himself up I would be in a store and hear a certain ring tone and recall his actions. I know a young woman who said that their cable was turned off many times when one of her parents was using cocaine. She was a teenager and would have to go to sleep listening to Mash on the local channel. Now decades later she says that whenever she hears the Mash theme song, those memories of not having cable TV come back, and the reason why.
A holiday Sprite is a familiar spirit that shows up on holidays to wreak havoc. Most families have that one person who drinks too much and makes an idiot of him or herself on holidays. These individuals are normal the rest of the year, except on Christmas, Labor Day, Memorial Day, or even family gatherings. Sometimes it’s on the day of the event, other times it’s a day or two before or after, but you can always count on it to show up. You see the person get antsy, and you know what is coming. Year after year, decade after decade, even when they do not drink or do drugs they seem to always pick fights and cause trouble on special occasions.
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I grew up as a young girl in the late 1960s and as a teenager in the 1970s. Most married women I knew were stay at home moms. They cooked, cleaned, took care of the house and children while their husbands worked. Even the couples where the wife had an outside job, it was normal to see the woman still do the housework and no one complained. I grew up with an understanding that marriage vows were sacred and spouses looked after each other. Recently, however, my 7-year-old granddaughter said something that troubled me.