Dance Movie Women…Where Are They Now?

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Join us as we pay tribute and catch up with some famous female characters from the classic musical films we’ve all watched zillions of times:

  • Saturday Night Fever               Dirty Dancing
  • Grease                                          Footloose
  • Flashdance                                  Hairspray

Today’s your lucky day because through the magic of blogging, you’re about to listen in on their group therapy session!

Therapist: Hi ladies, how ya been?

Sandy: Who you calling a “Has Been?”  Fans are still Hopelessly Devoted to me.

Stephanie: Relax, Miss Sandra Dee. You misheard. She’s just asking how we are. Personally, I’m just barely Staying Alive.

Therapist: Great! Whether you’re a mother or whether you’re a brother… well I’m sure we’ve all had enough of those lyrics. I was going to have us go around the circle and introduce ourselves, but I think it’s rather obvious who everyone is — except for you there with the leg-warmers on.  And you are?

Alex: That’s okay. Nobody ever knew what my name was in Flashdance either. When they referred to me, they just said, “She’s a maniac, MANIAC!” Mainly I was known by my iconic sweatshirts. I gave everyone the cold shoulder in the 80’s.

Therapist: You certainly did. Please tell me more about how that feels. But first Baby, could you please scoot your chair back further so I can see everyone. Maybe sit closer to that wall?

Baby: Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Therapist: Hmmm, Paranoia. And Dissociative Behavior talking about yourself in the third person.  I see we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves.

Tracy: I’ve actually already worked hard on myself to overcome society’s criticism about being the fat girl. I’m not ashamed of how I look. I’m just grateful I wasn’t born a negro.

Therapist:  Excuse me!??  Tracy Turnblad! That last part is completely out of character for you!

Tracy:  Sorry, I guess you can take the girl outa Baltimore but you can’t….well the main thing is – I role modeled self-acceptance.

Therapist: And how can any of us really tell when we’ve achieved self-acceptance?

Stephanie: Well you can tell by the way I use my walk, yada yada no time to talk. Music loud and feeling warm, been kicked around since I was born . . .

Therapist:  Really?  You’re amazingly confident even with that kind of child abuse.

Sandy: Me too. I always liked myself just as I was.

Baby: What are you talking about, girlfriend? You purposely turned yourself into a complete slut, forever teaching impressionable young girls that being a goody-two-shoes sucks, and the only way to be well-liked is to put out!

Sandy: Tell me about it, Stud.

Ariel: Yeah…Let’s hear it for the boy!!  Sometimes you gotta cut loose, kick off your Sunday shoes.

Therapist: Please do not remove your footwear here. And I really would like to be the one who leads this discussion.

Stephanie: Wow. Somebody has control issues. And it’s not Tony Manero.

Coco: You know, I just want to belt out one hit song and get some FAME. Okay, I confess…I wanna live forever!

Tracy: Sweetheart, you’re in the wrong room. The Washed-Up Movie Singers Support Group meets down the hall. Sheesh, that Irene Cara is still looking mighty fine.

Therapist: Can we please stay focused? Let’s talk about what dancing did for you ladies. You all have some great moves. What impact did that have on your relationships?

Sandy: Well when I lost the big Rydell high school dance contest, I thought I lost Danny too. After all, he only had eyes for Cha-Cha DiGregorio at that point. But I clung to the hope that “We go together, like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong!”

Therapist: Yes, that makes so much sense.

Sandy: And I’d also remind myself that “We’re one of a kind, like dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo!”

Therapist: Very profound indeed.

Tracy: I have a little issue with my femininity. My mother was also a very big woman. But sometimes she was also a big man. She sent me double messages about which gender she identified with.

Therapist: Well, “Big” was the key. And you did the right thing by telling her, “Mama, I’m a big girl now!” without hesitating or missing a beat.

Tracy: Well, you can’t stop the beat!

Stephanie: Beat? Does this mean it’s time to talk about the child abuse now?

Therapist: I’m afraid we’ll have to stop here for this week. But I’d like to go around and hear from everyone what kind of time you’ve had today and please be honest.

Baby: Now I’ve had the time of my life. No I never felt like this before. Yes I swear it’s the truth. And I owe it all to you.

Therapist: Well at least you owe me $150 for this hour! Sandy, what about you?

Sandy: You’re a fake and a phony and I wish I never laid eyes on you.

Therapist: Lot’s of anger there. Maybe if you didn’t always keep that Elvis and his Pelvis so far away from you.

Tracy:  Or maybe if she ratted her hair earlier in the movie. Personally I loved everything about this session. I just wanna let the whole world know I’m still big, blonde and beautiful. And every day should be negro day!

Therapist:  Honey, maybe you should just say, “Black lives matter.” As for the rest of you, if you take nothing else away from this meeting, just remember this one word….

Sandy: Grease is the word!!!

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Barbra Streisand Accepts Neil Diamond’s Proposal!

eb58900d3a10257b964e34790cb1c50aWell at least they got engaged in my imagination. But first they need a little pre-marriage counseling to make sure they’re compatible and each understands what their expectations are from a marriage partner. Let’s listen in, shall we?

Therapist: Hello you two famous celebrities!

Neil:  Hello my friend, hello.

Barbra: What’s up Doc?

Therapist: Oh please, I don’t have a PhD in psychology, so just use my first name. It’s Caroline.

Neil: Sweet!

Barbra: Hmph. Obviously you’re not a big fan of my films? What’s Up Doc?  Ryan O’Neil. Four plaid suitcases get mixed up?

Therapist: Before my time. But I don’t mean to rain on your parade. I’m sorry if I said something I shouldn’t have.

Neil: No one heard at all, not even the chair. If you know what I mean?

Therapist:  Well, suffice it to say I’m a big fan of your voice, Barbra.

Neil: It’s a beautiful noise. And it’s a sound that I love.

Therapist: Well that’s a great start! So what can I help both of you with today?

Neil: She hardly talks to me anymore when I come through the door at the end of the day.

Therapist:  Oh. Is that all?  Well maybe she hasn’t gotten over the fact that you don’t bring her flowers anymore.

Barbra: And roses aren’t that expensive.

Neil: Money talks but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.

Therapist: Let’s try a different tact. How did you two first meet?

Neil:  Where it began?  I can’t begin to knowing. But then I know it’s growing strong.

Barbra: Isn’t he annoying? Actually we originally met in high school choir. True story!

Neil: She was such a Funny Girl. But I told her, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon.”

Therapist: So now she’s a Funny Lady?

Barbra: Honestly I don’t know what my age has to do with anything. The underlying issue here is that I’m not quite sure Neil is ready to settle down. And leave all those other females out of his refrains, ya know?

Therapist: There are others?

Barbra:  Well for starters there’s that hussy from the Bluegrass state.

Neil: Ahhh, Kentucky Woman. God knows I love her.

Barbra:  See that?  And Cherry, cherry. And don’t forget about Cracklin’ Rosie.

Therapist: Cracklin’ — Sounds like a cereal.

Neil: No, but she was a store bought woman.

Barbra: And then there was that Shilo.

Therapist:  Now I always thought Shiloh was his dog. Neil? Your input.

Neil: Shilo was when I was young. I used to call her name. But honestly I don’t recall much.

Therapist: What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.

Barbra: Thank you. And something else that bothers me. He starred in The Jazz Singer and could’ve easily suggested that I audition for his leading lady instead of Lucy Arnaz.

Neil: I Love Lucy.

Barbra: Well that depresses me too.

Neil: Me and you are subject to the blues now and then….

Therapist: I think the most important question is… can you both be your true selves with each other?

Neil: I’ll be what I am. Solitary man.

Barbra: He’s always proclaiming his identity. “I am, I said!” He shouts around the house.

Therapist: Barbra. I’d like you to make some physical contact with Neil right now. Then look into his eyes and tell him how you’re feeling.

Neil:  Yeah, hands touchin’ hands. Reachin’ out, touching me….touching you.

Therapist: You can do it, Babs.

Barbra:  (hesitatingly extends forearm) Hold my hand and we’re half-way there. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there. Somehow, some day, somewhere.

Therapist:  That’s very good progress this week, folks. But I’d like to see you for another session.

Neil/Barbra:  Do we really even need you anymore?

Therapist:  People. People who need people….are the luckiest people!

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It’s Just Me, Myself & I !

Lermaa1 (pic)When you’re as neurotic as I am, (aside from having a lifetime of writing) you’ve had a lifetime of therapy as well.

But psychologists can get extremely bored with you and your same old stories replaying, so they’ll often have you do simple “therapeutic exercises.” Nothing that would make you feel awkward or silly of course!  Just sitting on their couch and pretending a part of your personality is in the empty chair across from you. And then talking to it. “Speak to your Fear & Anxiety and tell it everything will be okay,” they’ll encourage.

And they love role-playing “games.”  But they always make me play the part of ME. Hmmph.

But if they find out you’re a published author, this one becomes their favorite idea — “Write a letter from your Younger Self to Your Present Self” or “From Your Future Self to Your Intuition.” Or “Your Small, Fragile Child” or “Your Angry Side” or “Your Control Freak.”

However, what they really get off on is having you do certain things with “Your Inner Critic.”

Let’s see . . .  so far I’ve embraced my Inner Critic. Then in a shocking move, I fired my Inner Critic. Apparently I hired him back however because next thing I knew, I was instructed to silence my Inner Critic. I still have to tame my Inner Critic, then challenge and conquer him. We’re very busy together.

My point being with all these different facets of my personality floating around various therapists’ offices, I thought it was high time I did something completely innovative with all of them.  I would invite everyone to a fun cocktail party!

“Hi Personality Traits!  Please come to a formal gathering so we can all get to know each other better and then we can rely on one another when we need help or when we just have an impulsive desire to be one well-rounded, sane person! Potluck, of course!  See you at my house. Oops, I mean OUR house.”

Sincerely,

Sybil err Stephanie

I was nervous an hour before the get-together but my Perfectionist showed up early and laid out the silverware, plates, and napkins in meticulous order. Okay okay, Miss Compulsive might have come along as well, but I think she busied herself threading fruit salad onto skinny wooden skewers. Soon the kitchen was alive with a cacophony of noise and conversation as various parts of me interacted.

Lazy Bones: Seriously?  Who do you think is gonna clean up this huge mess?

Eating Disorder (ED): And how come you’re only putting out healthy fruit and veggies and some measly cheese and crackers?  Where are the Oreos, Nutella, and pints of Rocky Road?

Mean Girl: Like oh my god! You can’t eat anything until you fit back into your cheerleading uniform from high school. And what makes you think anybody will show up to a boring party that Loser you throws anyhow?

Confidence: Hey everyone, after we have a few ice-breakers, I’m gonna read aloud one of my classic Huffington Post humor pieces. You’ll love it and never stop laughing.

My Fiancé: (Yes I just got engaged and he’s the only actual real person at this wild shindig!) That sounds great Stephanie.  I’m so proud of you, but first let’s go into your room…

Me: (tossing hair in a flirty flounce) Oh, really?  Right now?? Well okay, Handsome. Come along Inner Critic, Bitter About Prior Divorces, Blame, Shame, Aggressive, and Sarcasm. Oh alright, Fragile Little Child, you’re welcome in our bed too. In fact, let’s try this with everyone for a change! C’mon y’all — we’ll be swingers!

Inner Critic: Lights off!

My Fiancé:  Yep, that’s the drill.

Bitter About Prior Divorces: You’re just like the rest of my ex-husbands. Already implying our sex life is mundane and predictable.

My Fiancé: Let’s hammer out the details. And shelve it.

Fragile Little Child: I don’t wanna put this discussion on the shelf. Tell me now! You’re leaving me, right?  I feel scared and tiny. And vulnerable.

My Fiancé: I’m not going anywhere as long as you can take all my pounding.

Confidence: (fluttering eyelashes) Well I like it rough, but gentle can be nice too. I can handle anything you got!

Asks For What She Needs: But can I get a lot of support?

My Fiancé:  Definitely. It will hold up to a lot of abuse if nobody throws a wrench into it and you go easy with all your many hang-ups.

Self-Defense Mechanism:  Like you’re so perfect! You have a few skeletons in the closet too, I’m sure. Maybe you’re a skirt-chaser?

My Fiancé:  Skirts?  Nope, I just can’t wait to come out of this closet!

Waiting For Other Shoe to Drop:  What?? You’re gay? See that!  I knew something like this would happen to prevent our future happiness. Can’t you at least fix it to swing both ways??

My Fiancé: Stephanie, can you stop integrating all the different sides of you for just a moment? I need to concentrate on getting this extra storage wardrobe built. Otherwise when I finally move in, I’m afraid I’ll drown in all of your clothing! Why do you have so many dang dresses anyhow?

All Personalities: (simultaneously) Surely you don’t expect all of us to wear the same size, do you? !

Big thanks to my new fiancé who will hopefully be just as understanding as he was when he was my boyfriend that I use his “persona” here for PURE FICTION!

How to Make Sure Your Kids Get Their Fair Share of Therapy!

photo-348A good shrink (like a quality preschool) should probably be booked while still pregnant. Ages 12-15 are the target range, but with any luck, you might get them committed earlier. And remember, therapists have heard everything there is to hear about mothers and how they screwed up the lives of their patients/clients. Originality counts!

So, forget buying a gender-neutral dollhouse for your son or saying, “Look at those thunder-thighs” while looking in a mirror in front of your developing daughter. Way overdone! Having your teen hold up a large, self-mocking sign on a crowded intersection is no longer unique and will have the school psychologist snoozing before they can say “Attachment Disorder.”

I have six kids and here are my tips to make sure your child proudly announces to others that he/she comes from a Dysfunctional Family.

11 Easy Ways to Make Your Children Nutty!

1.  “It’s A Secret!”  – – This only works if you have more than one child.  We look for ways to make kids feel special and unique, right?  They are Individuals!  Therefore, it’s quite depressing for a child to be told you love all the siblings equally.  How can they ever shine?   Here’s an easy fix.  Tell one child in private that he has always been your favorite and you love him more.  Warn him that if the others EVER found out, they would be devastated – –  so it must always stay your little secret.  Repeat with however many kids you have.  Bonus:  This will be the hot topic of the day at your funeral or some far off family reunion!

2.  “Lists Are Fun!”  – –  Don’t be that mother with the mundane grocery list magnetized on the outside of your fridge. (Click HERE to read what’s inside my refrigerator) Tack up a “What I Could Have Been if only I Didn’t Have You!” list instead. Rich Lawyer and Famous Movie Star are always good ones to feature at the top.  But make sure you separately number all the sacrifices you’ve made and hobbies you had to give up.  Never got to have a violin recital?  No worries!  Leaving this list in plain sight will ensure that your kid has sufficient guilt to stick with YOUR favorite childhood dream long enough for you to live vicariously through them. Trust me, being a stage mom is the easiest way to make it to Hollywood.

3.  New Side Dishes — Here’s another option besides the potato, rice, or pasta dishes they’re always complaining they’re bored with. They’ll be scratching their heads over this one! But if you have a real problem with this, Lice Clinics of America is the company I swear by!

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4.  “A Hidden Diary!” – –  Not too hidden!  Write in your journal that “name of kid” must never EVER find out they are actually the Love Child of Walt Disney.  (Don’t worry about the math here)  And if they behave themselves perfectly for the next year (don’t date this page) Walt will come for them (don’t worry about exhuming fees) and they will permanently reside in Sleeping Beauty’s castle with no need to ever go to school or do chores again.  Be sure and write that Walt has a thing for dirty clothes being put in the hamper.  End this journal with an exciting touch of realism.  i.e. Let’s say you have a daughter, Savannah.  So jot down – –   Just think . . . “Savannah Disney.”  Wow.  Just Wow.  (Click HERE to see why you don’t want to set foot in Disneyland, even if it brings back fond memories of your torrid affair with Walt.)

5.  “Getting Your Just Desserts” – – A lot can be accomplished with this.  First of all, remind your kids that Fruit is actually “Nature’s Dessert.”  You will see the number of times they ask to have a friend over for dinner dwindles down to nothing.  And a bushel of bright red strawberries is festive and holds candles quite nicely in place of real birthday cake.  After a year or two of this, tell them you’ve thought it over and realized you’ve been too restrictive and tonight you’re serving Dessert For Dinner!  I don’t provide recipes, sorry.  But here’s a picture below. photo-344 After their first confused taste-bud bite say, “You’ll thank me later when you don’t have to go to the dentist so often.  And by the way, I would have been a dentist if only I. . . ”  Let them finish that sentence.

6.  “It’s Only a Phrase.” – – Cultivate saying, “We’ll See” as an answer to everything.  (Maybe hold up a pair of Googly-Eyes to emphasize “see” when you say this) This will teach your child to have hope, but also not to be disappointed if something doesn’t happen.  The world is not clear cut “Yes” or “No.”  It’s a “We’ll See” life.  Isn’t it?  However if they ask, “Is Walt Disney my Dad?”  The answer is a resounding Yes.  Another helpful phrase is “Because I said so.”  This is a real motivator for them to grow up fast and have kids of their own so they can have a gleeful turn at exclaiming, “Cuz I said so.”

7.  “Saved by the Bell!”  – –  Have an old dinner bell lying around?  (nobody eats dinner together anymore, so surely you must)  Give the bell to your child and tell her whenever she wants you, just ring it.  You can start this ritual on sick days when her throat is sore, but eventually incorporate it into daily life.  This will stop the frequent ear-shattering shouting of “Mom!” that echos most households.  When you’ve had enough of the bell, simply say, “Who do you think I am?  Your servant?!”  “Note:  This can work effectively with your husband too.  Give him the bell at night when he’s in bed and you have insomnia and are wandering aimlessly around the house.   You’ll never miss those moments when he’s feeling frisky – –  he’ll give an efficient jingle.  Tired?  Just respond, “What am I? Your sex slave?”  It will be clear as a bell that the party is over.

8.   “Works of Art!” – –   Of course everything your darling makes in grade school is worthy of a huge fuss.  So by all means, frame it, hang it, magnetize it on the fridge (just don’t cover up crucial list in # 2!) and show the masterpieces off to friends and neighbors who come to visit.  But when they’re in junior high school and your house is completely overrun with “Rembrandt Rubbish,” ceremoniously toss it gracefully away in the garbage, citing that Martha Stewart said that was okay as long as you took digital pictures of everything.

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My “Picasso” drew this self-portrait after telling her teacher that her mom writes blogs teaching parents how to make their kids crazy. I gushed over the vivid colors, then promptly threw it away.

9. “The “Eyes” Have It.” – – You thought Googly Eyes were for craft projects, didn’t you?  The therapist will never hear of nightmares like these!  When you’re playing Beauty Parlor with your daughter, affix a pair of googly eyes under your hair about three inches above your neck.  Ask your daughter to make a french braid and when she stops in shock, say, “Oh!  You found the eyes in the back of Mommy’s head!”  Also, opening the refrigerator just to look and see what’s there will be kept to a minimum if the food stares back at them.  (See Below Photo)photo-349  The list of Googly-Eyed Gimmicks is endless – – this was just meant to open your eyes to potential.

10.  “History Repeats Itself” – – Tell them that when you were younger and misbehaved, your mother (their Grandmother) said, “One day you’ll have a child as naughty as you, so you’ll know how it feels.”  Tell them since that obviously came true, it means Grandma is a witch and can put a family curse on them as well.

11.  Is It Cold In Here Or Is It Just Me? – – Take a tip from Jewish mothers and make your child wear a sweater whenever you feel chilled. It’s wonderful for menopausal moms; every time a hot flash hits, you can rip your child’s sweater off and fling it on the floor in annoyance. “Just looking at you in that thing makes me perspire!”

That’s it! Just be sure and tattoo a registered trademark symbol on their arm that gives proper credit (where credit is due) so the therapist knows who to thank for putting their kids through college. I am partial to, “Neurotic behavior by Mom,” or “Think I’m nuts? Check out who raised me.”

In Synch with Your Shrink – – It’s Not What You Think. . . (Wink, Wink)

photo-292She was my 18th Therapist but I was her very First patient.  Here’s how it went down. . .

(Oh, it’s perfectly okay!  It doesn’t violate the Confidentiality Code when it’s the patient who does the blabbing.)

 

Me:  Um, I usually don’t sit in the leather chair behind the big, important looking desk?

Therapist:  Oh!  Sorry.  I’m a little new at this.  I thought if you had one of those Inferiority Complexes, that would cure you right away.  Plus I just ordered this new $1200 couch and I wanted to try it out myself to see if it was comfortable.

Me:  So how does it feel?

Therapist:  Well, lemme see.  I’m experiencing a little of what we call the Imposter Syndrome which means I’m afraid you might think I’m a fraud masquerading as a professional – – So my defense mechanisms have turned up a bit.  And I have some obsessive compulsive tendencies – – I want to reach behind your head and straighten that picture by a 1/4 of an inch.  Plus I’m feeling a little Borderline Personality-ish this morning with a dash of Seasonal Affective Disorder thrown in, which means I need more sun-exposure.  Would you mind opening those blinds a tad?

Me:  No, the couch.  How does the couch feel?

Therapist:  Oh!  Well the new factory smell is obnoxious and the fabric is kinda scratchy and there’s too much stuffing behind my lower back and I notice a slight tear in the…

Me:  (looking at watch) Well that’s all the time we have for today.  We’ll take up the topic of lumpy, bumpy, grumpy sofas at our next appointment.

Okay!  Keeping in mind that occasionally a therapist has more problems than the “patient,” here are “Ten Tips To Try” when beginning psychotherapy.

 

Miss Menopause’s Modern, Mature (slightly Morbid) Mindset Maxims

 

1.  You’re Not An Entertainer!   –  If you think your therapist looks bored, she probably is.  But resist the urge to liven up the session by ratcheting up your life a notch.  Don’t tell your therapist that you’re the reason Gwyneth Paltrow’s marriage Consciously Uncoupled.  Or that you like the name Gwyneth for that matter.  Save all creative embellishments for your humor blog.

2.  Be Faithful!  – –  See only one therapist at a time.  I once played the psychology field and saw three different therapists to decide which style I preferred.  Because I made the mistake you read in #1, I couldn’t keep my stories straight.  When the clinician on Tuesday asked how my Swinging was going?  – –  I began to embellish on nightly (spicy!) partner swapping and all the feelings of insecurity that brought up for me.  But it turns out that was the anecdote I had told my Thursday Therapist.  A week ago Tuesday, I had boasted that I was a Championship West Coast Swing dancer.   Needless to say (re: either story) I was diagnosed with “Delusions of Grandeur.”

3.   Don’t Do Dreams! – – Just don’t.  I recounted a dream I had that my ex-husband and I were arguing over where we should live.  During the nightmare (it just got upgraded to a nightmare when I recalled my ex wanted to live next to his mother)  I happened to be eating walnuts. (my dreams are weight watcher approved) Therefore I was eager to talk to her about the pros and cons of moving to another country, but instead I spent the next hour listening to what walnuts symbolize.  Thanks to that stupid dream, I now know that a)I care about people’s insides more than their exteriors (this is because I discarded the shells instead of saving them) b)  I’m always trying to get at the heart or core of the matter.  c) I’m searching for something that most people might think is a little nutty.  Oh!  And d) Instead of penis envy, I have testicle envy.  If only I had the foresight to dream about peanuts.  They are in the legume family.

Never admit you dreamed about these.  Instead crack one open behind your back and the therapist will think you injured yourself on her couch and might sue her.

Never admit you dreamed about these. Instead slowly crack one open behind your back and the therapist will think you injured yourself on that $1,200 couch and might sue her.

4.  Just Admit You Hate Yourself!– – You will save a ton of time and money if you just fess up to feeling insecure and nervous about your self-worth like the rest of us.  If you don’t, be prepared to discuss ad nauseam that the reason you lost your job, broke up with your boyfriend, didn’t win the lottery and always choose the slowest checkstand in the supermarket is because you Self-Sabotage.

5.  Do Not Flirt! – – Wear a Freudian slip underneath that short skirt!  No matter HOW attractive your shrink is, it’s crucial to act like you wouldn’t have the least bit of interest in kissing your therapist if you met them on Match-com instead of on a $1200 couch.  Bat even one eyelash and you’re in for a diagnoses of  “Transference” which means you’re redirecting feelings and desires (especially those unconsciously retained from childhood) toward a new object.”  That’s right.  I always undressed my Pet Rock with my eyes and fantasized that we’d run off to Stonehenge together.

6.  Never Utter the Twelve Letter Word!  – – It will send your therapist through the roof and bring out all his or her Anger Issues.  They trained for a long time to get their degree and they know what they are talking about when they say you are “In Denial, need some Self-Actualization and come from a Dysfunctional Family with zero Synergy.”  If you even so much as whisper the word “Psychobabble,” she will immediately regress you to a nose-picking, five-year-old with a bad haircut on the first day of kindergarten.

7.  Don’t Go on an Empty Stomach! – – I don’t care if you’re starving, never even so much as chew a stick of gum.  Therapists are well-schooled about the “Freud’s Oral Stage” and will watch every move your mouth makes.  Soon you will feel very deprived that your mother didn’t breastfeed you long enough.  Or worse, you were bottle-fed and that’s why drinking a 6 oz carton of chocolate milk brings out your passive/aggressive side.  But take heed, if you dare bring a sandwich into your appointment (squeezing in therapy on your lunch hour, right?) you’ll be analyzed for every Eating Disorder in the book.  Hold the mayo?  Anorexic.  Footlong Sub?  Bulimic.  Tuna salad wrapped in just a lettuce Leaf?  Carbaphobe.  Basil Chicken Salad with Arugula, dried cherries and apple butter paired with goat cheese?  Haute Gourmet Eater Syndrome.  Save the calories and aggravation.  Eat at home beforehand.

8.  No Cemetery Conversation! – – Unless you want to be labeled as “having a preoccupation with death,” or “suicide ideation” — never admit that you’ve written your own obituary and laid out the clothes you wish to be buried in.  Fashion tip:  Scarves can add a pop of color to a pale complexion.  Oh, and if you let slip that’s you’re dieting to fit into a size 2 graveyard gown, that Eating Disorder diagnosis will come up again.

Isn't it "normal" to wonder who will show up at your funeral?  Was Tom Sawyer in therapy??

Isn’t it “normal” to wonder who will show up at your funeral? Was Tom Sawyer ever in therapy??

9.  Don’t Use “I” Messages! – – The reason for this is because if you go in knowing too much, the therapist will have no life-coping skills left to teach you and before you know it, you’ll be saying that the squashed cockroach on the floor looks like an ink blot.  So give them an easy lesson that they’ll think they’ve helped you master and (they’ll have such a sense of job satisfaction!)  you’ll be discharged weeks ahead of schedule.  Plus they might even remove their snobby, framed graduate degree diploma from their wall.

It works like this:  Therapists want you to take responsibility for how you feel by using “I Sentences.”  i.e.  “I feel angry right now.”  Or even better:  I feel angry because I don’t know how I can pay your outrageous bill right now.”  Therefore do the opposite and start sentences with “You.”  i.e. – –  “You caused me some grief when you said my son has an oedipal complex.” Or, “You make me feel like I am just another number.”  Or, “You make me feel….like a natural woman.”  The latter is better off belted out like Carole King and yes, going to a Karaoke Bar with your therapist would still count as flirting.

10. Don’t Nail Yourself to a Cross! – – When you hear The Voice that proclaims you’re actually really Jesus, never refer to the incident as anything but Quirky.  Quirky can hide a multitude of crazy.  Best of all, no Self-Described Eccentric will ever find “Quirky” listed as a pre-existing condition on a health insurance exclusion form.  Oh yeah, and today’s your big day, Jesus – so Happy Easter!

That’s it!  If you ever find yourself on a therapist’s couch and there’s not a television and a remote control handy, the above list should keep you out of trouble and from having to talk about the time your mother flushed you down the toilet.  P.S.  That wasn’t you.  You only projected that was you.  It was really just your pet parakeet.