Thursday, August 27, 2009

If I Were Your Shrink

If I were your shrink I would ask you one question.

“How am I different from your father?”

Pondering this question will help you see me (your shrink, and by extension all other men) as individuals rather than players in an improv production of your half-written disowned autobiography. This is what the unexamined life amounts to: a play in which others become the significant others in your life-story-as-novel project without signing on for the role. These things are only my opinion and of course you may take exception but up to now you have never disagreed with anything I have said. Nor have you agreed, remarked, or even responded. Silence can be an answer in itself and some silences echo a quiet murmur of assent, so please consider the question and answer silently if that pleases you. How am I different?

All men would do well to ask the women in their lives this question. “What makes me different from your father?” I pose the question not to gain the attention of women who can answer it, but for the protection of men involved with women who can‘t.

As with any question, the response gives information about the responder as well as about the subject. While it's true that silence fails to leave a question unanswered, there is yet a more vacuous response than silence. That response would be "There is no difference." -- no distinction between shrink and father, or boyfriend and father, or a whole string of displaced aggression victims and the father who deserves it but can never be paid back for neglect and abuse that clouds the eyes of women who then become love's commandos with night vision goggles which overlay the landscape with cross-hairs on the image of Dad, the target. Woe unto the poor man who wanders into that line of fire.

So ask the question, guys. And if there is no answer, or the answer is nothing, then you would do well to start running. The woman who sees only her father in the men she engages is a tiger to run from and keep on running while you still have legs.

If I were your shrink, I would serve these issues to you for lunch, along with...

Vanilla Curry Chicken Salad
Broiled Salmon / Honey Mustard
Ahi Tuna / Sushi Ginger
Turkey Burgers
Asian Mystery Sauce

The doctor is in...

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