For reasons that are too premature to discuss (but have nothing to do with her marriage, children or mother...haaaaaaaaa) and despite her lack of confidence in and lousy track record with the science of the mind, Mrs. G. has decided to seek counseling for a spell. Last Thursday she had the first of four appointments with therapists who might be up to the job. This time around, a decade older and wiser older, she is going to kick a few tires before she shells out her subconscious and co-pay. Her fundamental counselor requirements are minimal:
- The therapist must be a woman over forty.
- The therapist must be covered by Mrs. G’s insurance.
- The therapist must have a master’s degree from somewhere not the University of Phoenix
- The therapist must not pipe new age music of any kind into her waiting room—this includes any music containing bird song, whale song or leprechaun on flute.
- The therapist, after a maximum of ten visits, must remember Mrs. G’s name.
All systems were go when Mrs. G. entered the office of Therapist Number One—the waiting room was silent and pleasantly decorated, a silk Ficus tree in the corner and two pastel prints on the walls.
Therapist Number One was a nice enough woman, warm and engaging. She cheerfully answered Mrs. G’s questions and then asked a few of her own. The back and forth was great—just the facts ma'am. No tears were shed or issues revealed, but twenty minutes into the visit, Therapist Number One made the following statement:
This may sound presumptuous, but I think you might have post traumatic stress disorder.
As if the needle had clawed across her treasured 12-inch Captain and Tennille LP, it was all over for Mrs. G.
Mrs. G. doesn’t have post traumatic stress syndrome.
Unless you want to count last summer’s unfortunate haircut.
Later, when Mrs. G. was talking to her mom on the phone, she mentioned the visit and Mrs. G’s mom confirmed that this was perhaps the world’s fastest, bogus diagnosis.
"But there was something else that troubled me," Mrs. G. admitted.
"What?" asked her mom.
"It’s really petty," Mrs. G. admitted.
"Just spill it. I've got FrontierVille waiting."
"There were stuffed animals on her shelves. Do I need to make it clear to my next three interviewees that my therapy can never involve stuffed animals or hugging them?"
"Listen, that’s legit. Anyone who knows you understands your issues with stuffed bears," said Mrs. G’s mom, a true friend.
"There was one other thing," Mrs. G. whispered, knowing full well she was pushing her luck. "She had SARK posters on her wall, three of them."
Yes, the whole world loves SARK but she makes Mrs. G. itch. She's like e.e. cummings on Adderall.
All you SARK lovers please don't write Mrs. G. hate mail with your colored gel pens.
"OK, that’s just bullshit…there is nothing wrong with SARK," said Mrs. G’s mom, who happens to have a SARK blanket at the foot of her bed. "Holding SARK against a mental health professional is petty."
"Fine," said Mrs. G. and hung up.
Today, Mrs. G. had a 9:50 appointment with Therapist Number Two. At 10:30, after forty minutes of waiting, Mrs. G. walked out the door.
Two down, two to go.