I like my psychiatrist, but I often find that occupying fifty minutes with an account of my tedious life feels like a high price to pay for responsible prescription.
“Do you try to make him laugh?” my dad asked, when he picked me up from my first-ever appointment. “Do you want to be his favorite patient?” (My dad visited a therapist briefly in the 1970s, hence his expertise.) I explained loftily that this was a medical situation and not like that at all, and that the doctor had been amazed that with my family history I had never been treated before. Then I admitted that yes, of course I wanted to be his favorite.
“When I saw my guy,” said my dad, “I sang to him.”
And he began to sing, very beautifully, to the tune of the Love Story theme,
Dog food is the king
I wish it weren’t but I can’t do anything
It’s so damn good it even makes the sparrows sing
And grown men weep and angels cry.
There was a moment of silence.
“What did he do?” I asked.
“He made me turn around so I wasn’t playing to his reaction all the time and had to actually engage.” Read More