Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

Thank God. A trip to the psychiatrist should do the trick. He should be able to calm my nerves and make me feel a little better this Christmas holiday. This is exactly what I need before I go into Toys "R" Us and Walmart to be trampled down by overstressed mothers trying to get the latest toys for their kids. Psychiatry was on my ‘to do’ list. Shopping is definitely a sign of love. I absolutely hate it--what an oxymoron!

My girlfriend was so gracious enough to come to the doc’s office with me and wait there like a mental patient watching all the other wackos in need of help. She doesn’t mind. She sticks her nose in some weird magazine for a good hour. While sitting with Madelene waiting for the doc to call me in, Madelene pointed something out to me. In the New Yorker Magazine, it showed Jessica Coen making $30,000 per year just by blogging. Her stats show that almost 2,000 people visit 'per hour’. Holy mother load of bloggers! I know that $30,000 per year isn’t a lot--but just for blogging? How many of us have careers already and yet still blog? Unreal, huh?

So now doc calls me into his office. I walk into his dismally lit hallway into his office. We always do the routine ‘sit and stare at each other’ for about twenty awkward seconds. This guy has had it. I mean, I’m his last call for the day—he’s drained. The poor man doesn’t need to hear me bitch and moan. I should have printed out my posts and called it a night. My doc was tired. The bags under his eyes were almost reaching down to his chin.

“So you're still writing?” Doc chooses his first opening words to me. I start going into paranoia mode thinking, “Shit! He reads my blogs? Does he know my web address? Can he find this out? Does he know I think he has a personality of a rock?”

“Yeah.”
I said, scratching my head out of nervousness trying to erase my paranoia.
“Doc, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety lately.”
“Of course you have—it’s the holidays.”

Okay, obviously this is going nowhere. Maybe my approach is wrong? Anxiety is ‘too generalized’ for them these days. Tell them something they don’t hear. I look around the office and noticed that my framed photos are plastered on his walls. I was really flattered about this. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to gloat. Was he trying to make me feel better ‘during the stressful holidays’ by hanging up my photography? Meanwhile, after I leave his office, those puppies go back in the closet of ‘gifts from psychopaths’.

Don’t you wish they would just say a magic word, and your stress would fizzle into a bunch of nothingness? All of his blandishments to induce cognitive behavior therapy are all meaningless words. They seem so wishy-washy. I can sit and rant and rave, but I walk out feeling like I did when I walked in there. I anxiously wait upon his prescription of relaxation, and make my way out the door.

“How’d it go?” Madelene asks. ”Eh, you know.”

Those are the words that are always repeated when I step out of doc’s office. I bet you anything those words will become a residual haunting for anyone who sits and waits there like we do. ~How’d it go…Eh, you know…How’d it go…Eh, you know…~

Madelene and I head off to Toys "R" Us. As soon as I walk through those doors, I get instant tunnel vision and my chest starts to feel heavy. Everyone is the ‘enemy’ while walking through the mass crowds.

“God damn it Andrew! Get back here! Stop it now!”

Mothers all over screaming bloody murder at their children and tons of people on cell phones bumping into you because they’re not paying attention to what they’re doing. You say ‘excuse me’, and they look at you as if you did something wrong. Then you have your fricken nimrods that stand in a small isle and don’t move. Oh—they know you’re behind them, but hell if they’re going to budge.

“EXCUSE ME!” I say- in an aggressive tone. And they move—instantly. I run over to get the last of my presents for my nephew. He wants pieces for his Thomas train set. I got him more tracks and a little train wash for him. Let me tell you- these pieces weren’t cheap. I get to the counter, happy to get the hell out of there. I start joking with the cashier because my little ‘pet rescue dog’ for my niece started crying out loud. It wouldn’t stop. I didn’t even press the “Try Me” button. It was evil- this thing was alive!

“I’m tellin’ ya, this thing is going to drive me nuts on the way home.” I said to the check out girl. She started laughing because it kept going off each time we spoke. I was dreading the ride home now.

Oddly enough, the ride home was quiet. When we arrived home, we unpacked our things to notice we were missing two bags.

“SHIT! This would only happen to me—and now I have to trek back out there to pick them up! They probably stole it! This is horrible!” I went on and on and on, now starting to slam doors and punch walls. Oh, yeah, it was a scene to be ‘seen’. I couldn’t have thought of the rational technique that Madelene used, could I?

“Hi, we just got back from your store, and left two bags full of toys in there……………..really? Great! And can I have your name so I can refer to you? Thank you, Janice, I appreciate all your help and I’ll be there in the morning.” Madelene says as she hangs up the phone and gives me this, ‘you need help stare’.

I need a drink.