Laughter, the New Addiction
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Life can be scary. So many afflictions plague our society; alcohol, drugs, and violence are only a few of the negatives that we strive to overcome. Being single, on the other hand, does not have to be seen as a negative condition. Why is it that so many people try to get singles to remedy their situation?

ďWhen are you going to settle down and start a family?Ē

If most of our grandparents had their way, all singles would be forced to adhere to a warped form of rehab. And, ready or not, we would all be married and have half a dozen kids running around our houses. Why canít they see that thereís more to life than being in a couple?

Romantic relationships may come and go; however, family, fulfilling careers, hopes, dreams, and true friends can be tremendously rewarding and last a long, long time. Take me for example: since grade school, my friend Lisa and I have remained friends. Friendly enough that a recent side-splitting conversation had us joking about why all other people who are plagued with afflictions have programs devoted to them. Thatís when she inspired me to create a twelve-step program in favour of singles. The twelve steps go something like this:

  1. We admit we are not powerless over loneliness -- that our lives are manageable and can be a lot of fun.

  2. We come to believe that we are the greater power that can restore us to sanity and help us enjoy being independent.

  3. We make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the dating scene, as we understand it.

  4. We make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, and then, when we canít find a decent person to date, we go out with friends for a drink.

  5. Admit to no one, except Christine, the exact nature of our wrongs.

  6. We are entirely ready to live with all of these defects of character, whether or not members of the opposite sex are.

  7. Do nothing humbly. Ask no one to remove our shortcomings, but to accept them, as we will theirs.

  8. Make a list of all persons we have harmed, and do them a favour by staying away from them.

  9. Make no direct amends to such people because odds are their new lover will answer the phone or open our letter, causing even more problems for our ex.

  10. Continue to take personal inventory, and, when we are wrong, promptly admit it, unless no one catches us. In that case, keep a low profile and hope itíll go away.

  11. Seek not through Weight Watchers and cosmetic surgery to improve our attractiveness to the opposite sex, as we understand them, praying only for knowledge that there is someone out there as naturally fantastic as we are.

  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to singles and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

A) The preceding is intended for entertainment purposes only.

B) If you are offended, refer to A.

C) If youíre in a couple and feel left out of this topic, keep in mind that my friend Lisa McFadden is now Mrs. Lisa Hopkins, and she wasnít left out of the loop.

AA) If you are currently in a serious twelve step addiction program and didnít know about this column in advance, you were obviously absent from the meeting at which the rest of the group okayed this. So be on time to the next meeting, and Iíll have the coffee brewing.

But seriously, we must all stop and laugh at ourselves, for if we take life too seriously and have no balance of humour, we cannot enjoy the addiction that is laughter.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? Email Christine at:

First published in The London Free Press on Thursday, November 21, 2002.

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