Haha! I sat in Dr. Thegan’s office, half overconfident, and half pessimistic. I guess it balanced out, then. In walked Dr. Thegan, perhaps a little more pale than usual (was that even possible? In hex, she’d have to go from #FFFFFF to #GGGGGG or something – sorry, a little geek humor).
“I apologize for the delay, Mr. Smith. Shall we get started?” She eked out a smile.
“What is wrong?” I had to ask?
“Haha. This isn’t my session, it is yours.”
“Well, maybe it would do me some good to hear more about you.” I paused, then added,”I promise not to charge this time.”
“One of my patients lost a close relative. She was an absolute mess today, but she didn’t tell me until our session was over.”
“I could’ve waited a little longer.”
“That’s just it, the time you were waiting, I was up at the front desk trying to convince her to stay and talk about it. She wouldn’t.”
As we walk through the chapters of our life, we build a toolbox of consoling phrases to offer people when life throws a curve ball at them. I somehow managed to reach into that toolbox, and pull out a real gem.
“Sucks to be her,” I said.
I’ve never seen Dr. Thegan’s nostrils flare, but it was very coy…she didn’t want me to know that my condolence phraseology had completely hit her the wrong way. All the same, she was not pleased.
“I am here to help people. I put the ballerina in a box, and buried that box very deep, apparently so I could become a psychiastrist.”
I was honored that she remembered telling me about her wanting to be a ballerina.
“I’ve already told you more than I should, but even if people pay me, and sit there and talk to me…I still cannot help them if they won’t be honest with themselves. Today,” she took a small breath and calmed herself,”today, it just hit me a little harder than usual.”
“I can try to give you some good news.”
“You are so blunt, Mr. Smith. Please, though, share some good news.”
“I finished the Electronic Software Planner.”
“Oh, ” she acknowledged, and immediately started thumbing through her notes,” so that just leaves the…the… poster project?”
“Well, maybe the poster project will be ready next time – I will bring one with me so you can see it. ”
“I’d like that. Congratulations on getting one of them out of the way, though. That is good news.”
“Are you going to keep the pattern of working 2 things at a time?”
“I hadn’t really thought about it. But I suppose it would not be a bad idea.”
“Then, you need to choose another project to replace the Electronic Software Planner.”
“Oh.” I stopped. Damn. I REALLY hadn’t that about that. I mean, there were so many things to choose from.
“Can I get back to you on that one, Dr. Thegan?”