Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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June 17, 2013

GROUNDS FOR INSANITY: In need of a support group — or several

It’s an idea whose time has come.  Actually, the country’s been ripe for it since the oil crisis of the Carter administration, but I was young then and hadn’t twigged to it yet.

It came up when I bared my spleen to a new group of readers.  “Of all the rooms in our house, my brain is most like the pantry.  It’s cramped, chaotic and disorganized, and there aren’t nearly enough shelves,” I said.  Like that, two things became apparent.  One, I’d hit a nerve, and two, I wasn’t alone. And that’s when a light bulb flashed and inspiration struck like lightning in a trailer park.  

 “We’re starting a support group,” I announced.  “It’s called WHOA, or Woolly Heads of America.  You’re invited.  Here’s your card.”

IN AN ERA where there are support groups for everything from bunions to xylophone addictions, why not?  I mean it.  Why not?  Those with painful bladders have one.  So do owners of dachshunds.  And they all need each other.  But so do the woolly heads.  We need each other, too.

All of this reminds me of a group I joined years ago.  It sprang from a late-night coffee discussion when one member shared a rodent horror story.  That’s when WAM, Women Against Mice, was born.

It was my own Close Encounter of the Furred Kind that made me a hater.  There I was, slumbering peacefully in a sleeping bag beneath the stars.  And there it was, scrabbling on my leg with horrid little claws when I awoke on a Sabbath morn.

The scream that shattered the campground peace like crystal in an opera house was not (I confess it) Sabbath-like.  Neither was the snort when my dad said later, “He ran out on three legs—he was holding his nose with the other.”  Thanks, Dad.

While WHOA and WAM were entirely voluntary, there’s another group I was thrust into through no choice of my own.  When four tiny, squalling males took the exit ramp in Labor and Delivery, I automatically joined the MOB. Yes, I did.  And I could tell you more about it, but then I’d have to shoot you.  

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