Should I get my head examined?
I cant tell my animus from my elbow. The self-help
section doesnt stock Oedipus for Dummies or Id for
Complete Idiots. Would therapy have an impact on
my life? Maybe. Free association is $100 a pop. Okay,
financial impact aside...
Which brings me to a visit with
a friend who lives in Paris. No, not the City of Light.
Paris is a one-horse one-shrink town, a tiny dot on the
Ontario map. It is noted for its fields of root vegetables
and the Paris Academy of the Arts.
My friend is not a major fan of turnips and parsnips, but she is proud of the Academys contribution to the arts. Particularly its annual Showtune Showdown. While I do appreciate a fine rutabaga or a robust Jerusalem artichoke, Im a tad iffy on musicals. Still, I accept her invitation to watch Ethel Merman and Robert Goulet wannabes slug it out.
As I settle into my seat, my friend
discusses her sessions hashing out her childhood in 45
minute increments. He is so precise, my awe-struck
friend intones of her therapist. If he was a brain
surgeon, he would know exactly which three neurons to
tweak in Conrad Blacks brain to turn him into a
I ask her what her therapist looks
like after all this is the man whom my friend
has fallen in love with (on and off) numerous times.*
(in case the term wasnt covered in your Motivation
of Flatworms class).
Since my friend is not sure how to describe him, her therapist conveniently shows up several seats away.
Thats him! she
I glance over at someone who looks
a bit young to be a father substitute.
So what is the protocol to follow
when seeing ones therapist in public? The hell I know... My friend cowers.
Say hi to him, I tell
the Incredible Shrinking Woman.
No! she snaps.
Hell bill me!
Wave to him.
Hell bill me!
So she tries to be one with the
back of her seat. And pretty much succeeds. The shrink
is ignoring her.
Intermission. My friend has to
leave her seat. Oops, the shrink is seated at the end
of the row. So she waits for him to leave rather than
lap dance over him or make a flying leap over the next
row of seats. Bad move, waiting. As it turns out, the
line to the womens room is long. Yup, its
just one wee little room (but a major improvement over
the outhouse out back).
By the time my friend gets back,
the Sing-Along has started. My friend is standing in the
dark next to her therapist who is happily singing along
to The Sound of Music. She looms over him
until he notices her. He wont budge.
Okay, transference time!
She springs into action and signals to him to get up. He reluctantly stands up, starting a chain reaction of rising bodies.
Counter-transference: this is not a happy therapist.
I dont think the other four or five people she oops sorryed past were very happy, either.
However, theyre not the ones shes going to have to face at Mondays session.
Yup, therell be hell to pay for that hostile maneuver. My friends Id, Ego and Super-Ego have a pool going on the shrink's opening volley. The contenders are:
Id like to discuss your anger against me.
Youre making very good progress in asserting yourself.
and (drumroll, please)...
Why didnt you just wait for the Sing-Along to finish, dammit?!
For those of you who put the money
down on the anger, collect $100. Good for one session
with a shrink.