by Leslie Logg
During the day I visit with severely impaired individuals. At night I see patients with social problems. This private night time practice supplemented my income and gave me a perspective on thinking in the American culture. I always had my patients write me a Dear Ann/ Dear Abby synopsis for my files.
This writing only works if I am blatantly honest. I will share what I was thinking but what I said came out completely different.
SYNOPSIS 1 My husband is a stupid man. He makes bonehead moves and has cost us our savings and possibly our future retirement plans. What should I do?
When I read the synopsis I looked at Mrs. S and smiled thinking that was his plan — to get rid of you when he retired. It wasn’t only that Mrs S put a new meaning to ‘letting yourself go’ but her personality, the whining the complaining the criticism.
“Tell me Mrs. S. are you considering a divorce?”
“Oh, heavens no. There’s no money for me in a divorce.”
I was thinking, Good because I really don’t know what sex the Blob was and it might be involved anyways.
Don’t, don’t ask you already know the answer. But people will surprise you, so ask. “When was the last time you had sex?” I asked.
“Our sex life is great,” she said.
I thought of the saying ‘roll her in flour and aim for the wet spots.’ Then I thought maybe this guy is Jaba the Hutt and has issues of his own. No surprise being married to the creature who ate Portugal?
“Do you have any current photos of your husband?” I just had to know.
“Oh yes we took photos last week.” She pulled out an envelope of photos and sifted through them and said,” Not the best, but here.”
I’d like to see the best photo is this is the worst. The guy is a stud. James Bond rugged looks, strong upper body and full head of wavy black hair. Unless she can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch, he’s got issues.
She prattled on about how stupid he was, how he did this wrong and that wrong and embarrassed her in front of friends. I’ve heard it all before , just not as much and not with dates and details. How do you tell someone to be happy with what they have especially when you seem to be the bad penny in the relationship.
“He even admits that he is stupid. He brags about his bonehead moves,” she added.
“You are a lucky woman Mrs. S,” I said . Wait for it, wait for it.
“What makes you say I am lucky?”
“Most women who have these complaints have husbands that don’t admit it. But you have that rare gem of a man who embraces his faults. Even brags about them. No wonder your sex life is fulfilled.” I don’t expect her to believe that I just need to get her off that track of thinking.
She looked at me strangely. I first thought it was indigestion. She validated that with an odor that my deodorizer could not cover. I wonder if this got into her thinking. Did I stop the repetition of thoughts. If she gives me a question,then I got a screw driver under the lid, more like a bottle cap.
“Are you suggesting that his behavior is normal?
“Not at all. Most men would never be that honest. It appears that the problem is in your need to accept what you have.”
“Never thought of it that way,” she muttered to herself.
When she told me who she voted for, it all made sense. As she left, waddling through the door, I thought, I hope she doesn’t hit the door jamb. I wondered if she noticed what she was dragging behind her.