My therapist is constantly trying to get me to be less polite.
She says I need to open up, be more emotional, let it all out. I tell her she should hear me address a server after I’ve waited an hour for my food and it comes out cold. Or the screams of frustration when a customer service representative puts me on hold for the 10th time. That’s bad enough. No additional innocents need be subject to my wrath.
But she insists. And it’s been a theme in our chats for a while now. “What if you just let go,” she asks, “and tell me what you really think?”
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I think it’s more fun to tell my partner what I really think—of her—after therapy and behind her back. I’m a little vindictive that way. (We’re working on it.)
I recently discovered standup comedy. Well, I didn’t discover it. If I’d been the original founder I wouldn’t have dubbed it “stand up” comedy. That’s a little on the nose for my taste.
So I recently discovered standup, and I decided to try out a standup bit or two on my therapist. Only, she doesn’t know they’re bits. She just thinks I’m desperate for attention. (She might be right.)
I once made a joke about my vagina, and we had to spend 15 minutes discussing proper vaginal health. Our session ended with a stern warning and a strong recommendation for me to see a gynecologist.
My therapist is also a millennial, but she’s never laughed at any of my jokes, not once, not even a pity laugh. She’s either an automaton or I’m a bad comedian. I choose the former. (If you’re a therapist reading this, there might be a diagnosis here. Email me.)
One point in favor of automaton is her uncanny ability to hold direct eye contact without blinking for what I’m sure is minutes. Intense staring for that long, with anyone but especially your therapist, is incredibly uncomfortable. It’s akin to making unbroken eye contact when you’re having sex with someone for the first time. In my case, it just gives me the weeby jeebies, and I end up having to pay the person afterward but without any semblance of a happy ending.
Another tick in the automaton box is her complete lack of knowledge of all things Harry Potter. Honestly, I’m always suspicious of someone who doesn’t automatically know their sorting house when questioned. (In case you’re wondering, Ravenclaw ALL the way.)
My therapist says I use humor as a defense mechanism. But I don’t know if she realizes that the best part of her own personality is that she has a great sense of humor—albeit that of a 14-year-old boy. She curses like a sailor, laughs hysterically whenever I say “do do” and one of her favorite quips is “if we let our emotions take over, we’d all be covered in blood and semen.”
This professionally licensed practitioner of psychology also spends a great deal of time trying to convince me to stop doing things I don’t want to do—and I’m confused because I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of adulthood.
I feel like I’m quite a boring person so it’s always been a dream of mine to tell her something scandalous. But I recently realized that I could walk into her office and confess to killing a man, and all she’d do is congratulate me for finally letting go and crack a joke about how he probably shit his pants before death.
There. I did it. I said vagina, sex and shit in a post. I’m definitely less polite. Thanks, therapy!
Photo Credit: Nicole Honeywill