I've Always Been This Awkward - Seven


I'm feeling pretty good right now. I suppose that's a good thing because I can be a fairly miserable prick at times. I know, you're surprised, huh? In fact I was accused of being giddy a couple of days ago. Giddy? I don't know if I really know giddy though. Isn't giddy something you get when you're called up to be a contestant on the Price is Right and you're all jumping all over Drew Carey and stuff? That's giddy. I ain't no giddy. If I were giddy that would be either really, really good (fun and games) or really, really bad (exhausting) since I can get a little manic when I got a bit running. You know (or you can ask around).

So why all the sunshine and flowers in May my friends? Therapy, bitches! That's what. And, no, a little one-on-one cognitive-behavioral therapy from time-to-time does not mean that I'm nuts. A touch kooky? Sure. But I am not crazy I tell you (in the same baritone as Larry Craig declaring that he is "not gay!"). I go to my sessions because I sometimes get a little lonely for an audience and I often have new material to test. Web-lebrity doesn't come for free.

Laurel is my therapist. She went to college and graduate school to do this. She has a little office with a pastel color scheme and fake flowers and a lamp that's had a crooked lamp shade for at least seven years. She has plenty of tissue boxes and books on shelves about brain and behavior stuff.

Three things you need to know about Laurel: 1) She loves me! I kid you not. I pop in and she's all attentive and taking notes and stuff. It's like I'm teaching a class or something. 2) I can make her laugh like a champ. I mean howl! I can get her going so bad that she's both crying and peeing her pants...figuratively. And, 3) That's why I love her. I try really hard to make Laurel laugh because I know the sound can be heard in the waiting room. Even with that stupid white noise machine thing in there you can clearly hear sobbing, shouting, and I presume laughter. I've heard the sobbing and the shouting but I have an exclusive on Therapy Laughter™. Of course no one has told her that you can hear stuff in the lobby because people want to hear stuff in the lobby. Humans are nosy like that. I am and so are you.

And why is this so important to me, to crack wise in therapy? Because I'm putting on a show, baby! The Ty Hardaway™ dot com therapy show, that's what. And the biggest part of the show is the grand exit. After my fifty minutes are over, I have to walk out into the lobby and if I'm all grinning and Laurel's all giggling the next patient must be somewhat mystified with all with their depression and divorce and abusive aunts and dying parents and bad health and such. Baffled by my HIPAA-compliant and protected shenanigans. That rules! That's my number one goal of therapy, to make Laurel laugh so hard that it baffles other patients. And who says I have no goals? Please! I am goal oriented enterprise solutions for the 21st century.

Laurel's goals, however, have something to do with getting me to "take control of" my "narcissistic, manipulative, control impulses" or something unimportant to my funny-dude gig. I don't really pay much attention to that nonsense. She's just padding the bill with her fancy-schmancy crazy brain talk. I mean I get it. Surgeons want to cut. Dentists want to fill. Shrinks want to tell you you're crazy. Guh! A gig is a gig. I don't hate...I love.

[Note: What issues? Me?]

Laural says that "therapy is a really difficult thing for people like" me. She says that I'm "far too aware of everything; too smart to be humble; and way overly concerned with how everything fits into" my "schema." Her big thing is how my "natural sense of superiority can be off-putting to some people" and how "operating so far ahead of everyone else isn't always a good thing." At one point she actually declared me "psychologically the fittest and sanest person" she's "ever met." Then I did a little goofy skit, made her laugh, and we moved on from there. C'mon, Laurel, stop trying to put words into my head!

I'm guessing she's paying off a sailboat loan or vacation condo mortgage or something because she keeps me coming back week after week, month after month, year after year (matinee on Sundays, bada-bing, I got a million of 'em, folks). By my rough cell-phone calculator calculations, I've given her around $57 or $58 thousand dollars by now. What's a boat cost? That's a hunk of bread, no?

Some sessions we only talk about her. Of course she's all framing it like it's my issues we're discussing or something like me trying to turn things around to deflect or blah-blah-blah I see your lips moving but I'm queuing up the next bit so can't you shut up for one minute. I've now come to realize that I'm as much her analyst as she is mine. We have some weird co-dependent, platonic marriage of convenience thing going. She's my focus group, I pay her bills. I'm going to propose that she pay me for the time we discuss her problems (all disguised as having something to do with me, nice try). I'll charge her about half what she charges me since I don't have the same overhead (rent, tissues, alarm clock that goes off after 50 minutes and disrupts all momentum of me really getting to what is really bothering me, dammit!). I'll laugh at her dumb jokes. I'll tell her how sane she is. I'll even take her insurance.

I just have a wide stance.

I've Always Been This Awkward

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