And here we have another dusty case file from the days of my “Idiot Fondue” blog, wherein I posed as a snooty psychoanalyst, answering emails from actual readers posing as “patients”. Enjoy.
My ebullient assistant, Lanae, just handed me this missive, and then she immediately began prepping a shot of therapeutic tequila, knowing full well that I would soon be reaching for it:
Dear Dr. Brian,
When you are in a fancy department store, should you ask “where the free water is?” or “where the water fountain is?” hmm..
When you are filling out a job application, and you have to check F or M, does this stand for “monday or friday?” or “Female or male?”
These are sure some complicated questions… LOL
Dear Scary Person,
I’ll be honest with you. I actually had to have Lanae check my vital signs to ensure that I had not suffered a small seizure prior to reading your submission. Because, quite frankly, I didn’t think there could be any other reason for me seeing the words that I thought I was seeing unless neurological damage had taken place.
Sadly, Lanae gave me a clean bill of health, or at least as close to clean as she could get, not having had any actual medical training. Then, per my request, she read your letter back to me, and to my horror, the words were indeed the same words that I had hoped I had only envisioned in some surrealistic synaptic misfire. You truly sent this thing to me just as it appears above.
I’m so sorry for your family.
Nevertheless, I am a professional, and I will do what I can to bring you back from the edge of the psychological abyss from which you are currently dangling, apparently by one confused finger, with a strong wind barreling through this canyon of dementia.
I must be strong.
Firstly, do not ever go into another department store for the rest of your natural life. You clearly have lost the fundamental grasp of the true purpose of such establishments, and it is my duty as a purveyor of decency to protect those you may harm with your misunderstanding of proper behavior in an upscale emporium.
Department stores were created for the sole purpose of luring you into over-paying for ridiculous items that no human being really needs. They want you to lust for pointless crap just so you can have the dubious honor of wearing some foo-foo designer’s name on your ass, whilst spritzed with vanity colognes that smell like someone forgot to take the trash out after an especially strenuous orgy.
To clarify, department stores are not watering holes. They were not designed for the tramping about of bone-dry herds. Therefore, it does not matter how one should ask for water in such a den of bling and irritatingly-skinny “sales-models”. You shouldn’t be asking in the first place. Any decent person would satisfy their base desires prior to breaching the gilded palaces of conspicuous consumption.
Yes, I do understand that you may have indeed entered a department store fully intending to purchase some high-end undergarment that requires dry-cleaning and storage in a climate-controlled vault, and then perhaps became a bit parched and throat-scratchy. (After all, no one wants to sound like Cher when the anesthesia wears off in the cosmetic-surgery ICU.)
However, my advice is the same. You should not expect lubrication stations anywhere near an Hermes scarf. It simply isn’t done. If you plan to fondle cashmere whilst surrounded by lock-jawed society women that have never worked a day in their lives, you should be fully prepared and have the proper training.
Perhaps you should read Bitsy Uppercrust’s fascinating survival guide on high-end shopping: “Only the Strong Survive: Beating the Bitches at Barney’s”. You will note that there is an entire chapter on the fact that you should hydrate before asking the chauffeur to take you for a bit of shopping. This is a cut-throat social setting. There simply isn’t time to dash off to a disease-ridden public water dispenser when couture is at stake.
Now, moving on to the bit where you confuse days of the week with gender. I’m completely agog. What lead you to this point, where such a thing can happen? To be fair, there has been considerable buzz in the trendiest medical journals about this condition. You are not alone. (Which makes me tremble, but again, I shall be strong for my clients, or at least those patients with no limits on their various credit cards.)
As if often the case with identity issues that lead to traumatic psychosis, the parents are usually to blame, especially when it comes to gender identity and the calendar. For instance, did your parents jack around with your given name whilst you were growing and budding? This is critical, and it happens far too often than should be legally allowed.
Let us suppose that your given name is Emily. Very feminine, very pretty. You start out in life knowing that when people say this sound, it means YOU, the lovely little girl with the cashmere diapers. But let us also suppose that one day Momma calls you “Emmy”. Well, that’s not quite so feminine, is it? Still kind of pretty, but a little bit more rural, less 5th Avenue. Did mommy think you were ugly today? And that’s where it starts.
Eventually, there’s the shocking day when Daddy calls you “Em”. Well, that’s just downright cruel. Now you’re a trucker wearing flannel and drinking cheap beer out of your plastic bottle. If you happen to have one of those overly-cute Tickle-Me-Elmo calendars hanging beside your crib of confusion, you might make an association with the days that you were called certain demoralizing names. And, thusly, we have the initial stages of DOGS (Days Of Gender Syndrome). I’m sorry to say that it’s downhill from there.
We have various treatment programs that can help you, so don’t be too concerned about this angle. Help is on the way, as long as you can afford it, and no one in your immediate family does any measurable research concerning the success of our treatment programs or the validity of the questionable certifications hanging on my office wall.
But of more immediate concern: Why are you entering information of any kind on applications? You have some very serious issues, young lady, and you should not be filling out anything at this time, whether it be for a job, a dating service, or a claim of malpractice. Until you know who YOU are, you certainly can’t expect anyone else to seriously value any legal paperwork that you might submit, considering your retail ineptitude, unregulated dehydration, and unfocused uncertainty about your actual name.
Your final LOL about “These are sure some complicated questions” is a blatant plea for help. We are here to serve you. The first step in any recovery is admitting that you have a problem that can be temporarily assuaged by making payments to other people. And if you don’t think you have a problem, I strongly advise you to reconsider. After all, this is America, a land filled with people who will happily tell other people how to live their own lives.
Please bring all your insurance forms to the next session. Just don’t fill them out. We don’t have enough time in the day, or tequila, to rectify your recklessness.
Previously published in “Idiot Fondue” and “The Sound and the Fury”. Considerable changes made for this post. Story behind the photo: A sad little cocktail glass that used to contain a satisfying adult beverage, but said glass was left abandoned and forlorn when the host at a certain party in Houston did not live up to hosting expectations…
Categories: Idiot Fondue