Tag Archive | presents

Holiday Gift For Your Therapist?

This holiday season, you are going to fork over cash/gifts to all those people who make your life easier and better.  Maybe you will bake Pinterest-inspired cookies for your children’s teachers.

But what about your therapist?  Have you thought through your gift for him (FN1)?

He’s tricky to buy for, right?  He’s the guy who knows all about your fetishes, frailties, and foibles.  You must choose very carefully, because he’s going read into your gift. You must project pure holiday cheer (and improving-daily self-esteem).  You can’t get too symbolic or you will be “processing” the gift until June 2013.

I’ve compiled gift suggestions that are broken down into two tiers: the token gift for the newbie patient, and those for the lifetime patient.

For the newbie. If this is your first holiday go-round with your therapist, you want to keep it light.  Your gift need only acknowledge the relationship.  Humor always works as long as you don’t hint at your latent sexual feelings for him or your homicidal rage– avoid gifts sending those messages because they will screw up all of your January sessions.

I suggest this:

Freud action figure (available at Amazon)

Freud action figure (available at Amazon)

Put a bow on it and give it to him at your next session.

Lifers.  You are my people.  We both know you are going to see this man until one of you dies (and of course you want to die first because you can’t bear the abandonment).  You can’t run to Macy’s and grab a fiesta ware bowl (what color would you get anyway?) or a bathrobe (way too much sexual energy wrapped in a robe).

You have to show up with something that conveys gratitude, psychological insight, and a dash of constructive feedback on how he could better serve you in the coming year. It’s OK to highlight a few areas where you would like him to bone up in the New Year. (Don’t use the phrase “bone up” with your therapist, because he will think it’s sexual, and it will get awkward. Trust me.)

You know where I am going with this right?  You have to make your therapist a mix tape.  Just like that Depeche Mode-INXS mix you made in high school.  Pack it with messages and hints and blessings and wishes.  That shit worked in high school, so don’t reinvent the wheel.

Here’s a sample of the songs appearing in the 2012 Outlaw Mama Therapy Mix.  Borrow liberally (FN 2):

1. Don’t Call Me Daughter (Pearl Jam) — It’s a solemn nod to your daddy issues. Therapists love that shit.

2. Better Be Good To Me (Tina Turner) — This song sends the message to your aging therapist that he better stay on his game for 2013 because you have dreams to fulfill and at $100+ per session, there is no time for him to have an “off” season.

3. Thank You For Being A Friend (Golden Girls Theme Song) — Yes, your therapist is your expensive friend, but also, you want him to know that you respect old people, because he’s becoming one (like Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty).

4. Man In The Mirror (Michael Jackson) — This is gratuitous, but let him know you are not committed to being a victim. You will start with you.  (He’ll think he taught you that.)

5. One Foot (Fun.) — This song should be included especially if your therapist shoves practices the 12 steps down your throat. You can tell him how you listen to this song and think about “putting one foot in front of the other” and taking it “one day at a time.” I am hoping this is impressive enough that I score a free session or two in 2013.

6. Closer To Fine (Indigo Girls) — No, it’s not 1990 anymore, but I like to include something folksy with a retro-indie flair.  “I went to the doctor / I went the mountain.” He will listen to this mix in his nice domestic sedan, and he will congratulate himself on what a great job he’s doing with you.

7. Tubthumping (“I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again”) (Chumbawamba) — What therapist doesn’t want to hear this anthem from a patient? Show him your resilience! Your “can do” spirit.  (Caution: There are lots of alcohol references, so if you are struggling with “problem drinking,” skip this.  Also skip: Jimmy Buffett.)

8. Many Rivers To Cross (Jimmy Cliff) — This is the song that will keep him on his toes, and make him sweat a little.  This song doesn’t scream “I’m getting out the razor blades, Mother F*ucker,” but it does remind him that you have a few desperate longings that he’s supposed to be “treating” with his fancy Yale-University of Chicago degrees.  Keep him from getting complacent over the holidays.  Send him running to his JAMA articles over the break.

9. This Little Light Of Mine (I’m Gonna Let It Shine) (Gospel version) — If he’s Jewish, it works for Hanukkah because LIGHTS.  If he’s Christian, it works as well, since it’s about Christ.  If he’s an atheist, it works because works as a secular ode to self-empowerment.

Whatever you do, end on a high note. (Maybe the theme from Rent.)

FN 1: For the purposes of this post, I have assumed a male therapist, because my therapist is male, and I have a feeble imagination. Also: it’s all about me.

FN 2: Use the songs that work for your relationship, but you should avoid these: Psycho Killer (Talking Heads), Jolene (Dolly Parton), and anything by Amy Winehouse (don’t scare him), audio recordings of Sylvia Plath and/or Anne Sexton (keep suicidal ideation out of Christmas/Hanukkah).  Also, avoid the work of Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Elvis.

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10 Lies I Tell My Husband

Last week I talked about the lies I sometimes tell my children, as well as those I tell on behalf of my children. This week, I am talking about the lies I tell my husband. Some of them are so automatic that I forget that they are actually UNtrue. My plan is to clean up these false statements so that my marriage will be stronger. Besides, once he reads this post, I will be so busted.

Here are the top 10 lies I tell my husband:

  1. I’m not mad. Why do I even say this when it’s so obvious that I am fuming? Why do I have to start every hard conversation with that defensive salvo, “I’m not mad.” What is so wrong about being mad?  And Lord help him if he’s the first to mention that I might be a little bit angry.  Under those circumstances, you can bet your Pumpkin Spiced Latte that I will never admit anger.
  2. No, I’ve had this forever.  Anyone with me on this one?  Your husband notices that you have something new (sweater, scarf, shoes), but you can’t bring yourself to admit your latest shopping spree?  You roll out the whitest of lies– “This old thing? I’ve had it forever.”  I have diluted the potency of this little trick through rampant overuse.
  3. I had a coupon.  On the rare occasion that I actually admit that my sweater is new, I am quick to follow up with this little gem.  I assume that even though I have never in my life used a coupon and my husband knows that, he’ll still buy this little clump of BS.
  4. It won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want to eat it.  I came THIS close to saying this last night about a meal I had worked relatively hard on (I chopped and sautéed).  If you must know, it was a Spanish chickpea stew with turkey meatballs. When I tasted it, I thought it sucked.  I opened my mouth to tell Jeff that I would not be offended if he made himself a different dinner.  But I stopped myself.  Because that would have been a lie.  (This lie is an example of something I wish was true about me. I certainly wish I was carefree and self-assured enough to absorb the humiliating blows of a spouse who hates your cooking.  But, I am not.  Luckily, Jeff knows that so we can skip this charade most of the time.)
  5. I don’t have a preference.  Sometimes, this is a true statement, but often, it’s just a distortion of the truth, which is that I DEFINITELY have a strong preference (that he change Simon’s diaper, or that he make the salad without onions, or that he stay with the kids while I run to Costco).
  6. You don’t have to buy me a present.  Here’s the deal with this one. I say this hoping that he will know I am lying.  I want to be the person who doesn’t want a present (even though I really do), but by pretending I don’t want one, I hope I will be rewarded.  With a present.
  7. You can have the big piece. Um, this is only true if we are splitting livers and onions.  But if it’s a carb, a sweet, or a vegetable, I want the biggest piece.  Actually, I want it all, and I want Jeff to politely back away.
  8. I just want to say one thing.  Everyone who has spent more than 6 seconds with me knows this is a huge lie, but I still say it all the time.  My husband knows better than anyone that “one more thing” always turns into about 19, which means I either do not understand math or I am a liar.  (Or both.)
  9. Take your time. The kids and I are fine! Much like #6, this is a lie that is born of the disparity between who I am (the struggling shrew who wants her husband to come home to help her) and who I want to be (the patient, wise, modern-day Mary Poppins who has everything under control all the time).  Many times I do mean that Jeff should take his time, but only if that takes no more than 5 more minutes.  Language– it’s so slippery.
  10. I haven’t seen it.  This is a lie that I find myself telling, hoping my husband will think it was either the babysitter or the cleaning lady or our children who threw away something he was looking for.  In my fits of decluttering, I tend to throw away tons of household items that my husband uses.  But, when he’s standing at the counter asking where the special brush for the cast iron pan is, I can’t bring myself to tell him I chucked it.  So, I lie.

I am exposing these lies to the light that emanates from the Interwebs.  Here’s to my getting-more-honest-everyday project! (I just named that project right here, so it has not previously been a thing, but it may be a thing now.)

Do you ever fib to your partner? Do tell!

A Mother’s Day Plea

You know what holiday is just too damn commercial?

Mothers Day.

I am serious.  I don’t want flowers; flowers are for random Tuesdays when you just want to say “I love you.”  I don’t want chocolate, because, frankly, I buy it for myself. (And then hide it so I won’t eat it and then forget where it is and buy it again.  And so on.  Some days this is my only exercise. Don’t take that away from me.) I don’t need an expensive spa treatment.  Well, actually maybe I do need that, but it’s not at the top of my list. So save your money.

You know what I want? I want to go to the bathroom by myself. I want time alone in my house during the day when I can do whatever I want: watch the OWN Network, take a shower, watch videos on YouTube, read Fifty Shades of Gray.

Everything I want is free, none of it wilts and makes a mess in a vase I will have to clean up later, and none of costs vital Weight Watchers points.

I don’t even need all day. Just a few quiet hours.  I want to celebrate being a mom by not having to mother anyone for a few hours.  Ironic? Maybe.  I don’t care.

I would be more than happy to reunite with Jeff and the kids after some ME time, but only if they take me to this once-in-a-lifetime-event: Dee Snider, Twisted Sister frontman and author (apparently), appearing at Costco for a book signing.

Come on.  It’s the hardest job in the world. I deserve this.

Mother's Day Treat

Mother’s Day Treat: One More Reason To Loathe Love Costco