Saturday, August 6, 2011


P., the therapist, seemed like a decent enough person during our initial session together.  She listened, made some notes, and responded well to whatever it was I'd blathered on about.

"So far, so good," I'd thought to myself as I left the heavily secured building where P's office is located.

Our next session was less reassuring.  After the initial greetings and what-not, we got down to business.  I can't remember exactly what I'd said, it may have been about my lack of work and social life at present.  That triggered her to ask, "What's going on with the not wanting to come out and drink wine with the neighbors?"  This question was posed as if I should want to drink some vino with the neighbors, but can't bring myself to do so.  My face twisted into a small knot of confusion.  In our intake session I'd a) never mentioned drinking wine with neighbors, and b) never mentioned drinking wine with neighbors.  What was she on about?

I'd seen her write some notes on what I was saying during the intake session.  They totaled, in all, about a half a page.  Not much, really, for the (short) story of my life as it's unfolded here so far since April.  Not once did I mention neighbors, or, for that matter, wine.  I did, however, mention having worked as a bartender here in some shit resto for three weeks before running away screaming at that horror of it all.  Even then I had only ever talked about cocktail-making.  Hmmm.

"I've never drank wine with my neighbors.  In fact, I'm not sure what you're referring to."  (I've sat in the back garden and drank wine alone, but I didn't tell P. that.)  I was trying to be polite.  I should have just told her that she was, unfortunately, mistaken.  And, that I'd never said anything about neighbors, or wine.  She responded by saying, "You might have a head for faces, but I have a head for what people tell me."  I should hope so, given her job.  However, this time she was off-base.  I felt I had to defend my position by saying, "Look.  I've never really met the neighbors.  I sort of know what they look like, but that's about it."  (Meanwhile she's still looking somewhat unconvinced.)  So, then I said, "There are no front gardens on the block where I live, so there's no physical space to hang out with folk at the front of the house and drink wine, or, for that matter, do anything."  Now, it was her turn to look confused.  She then asked, "Don't you live in blah-blah-blah Street?"  I responded that I did.  She looked over at the half page of notes that is my London life, and then said, "Ah, sorry.  I'm having a senior moment.  Sorry."  Why she couldn't have looked a bit sooner at her "cheat sheet" I don't know.  It would have spared us that awkward moment.

So, there must be someone else who's in therapy with P. that lives on my street.  I'm a bit jealous as her neighbors seem to want to hang out and drink with her!  I've got two women on one side who I've never really seen except through the front window when they're on their way in or out, and a small family on the other that never seem to be home.  The kid of that family, a ten year old, made sure to tell us when we moved in that our house isn't a Victorian, if we didn't already know, but a Georgian.  Thanks, boy wonder!  Where's the wine?

We'll see what next week brings.  Maybe I'll get to hear, by virtue of another senior moment of P's, another interesting escapade her other client is on the fence about participating in.  Heck, I'll trade ya!


  1. Pretty much the same with my neighbors, I know their faces and they know mine and we greet each other if we do run into each other...and we certainly don't drink wine together. If we are going to drink something, it would probably be beer, though I'm not old enough, legally that is, for alcohol yet.

  2. Hmmm... she might be a bad fit. Aside from her not remembering you- "What's going on with the not wanting to come out and drink wine with the neighbors?"... isn't something a therapist says. It's a bit loaded, don't you think?

    P- 2 strikes

  3. She might be a bad fit, you're right. This week went a bit better. She'd stuck to speaking in more generalities with a bit of the personal mixed in. About the wine comment, I think it's just an English thing to drink, so it's not a huge deal. I guess?

  4. Yeah, I didn't have a prob with the wine reference (though culturally interesting)- it was more that a mental health professional implied that "there is something up" socially in a very indirect way. Of course- it wasn't about you... because she's an ass and can't keep her faces/notes straight. I just don't think a professional makes "judgement statements".... but hey... look at me, I'm in B-town. We are all hippy-dippy here and into person-first speech. :)

  5. I think that she's really informal in how she communicates, and that borders on the "huh?!" for me. It includes her using lots of colloquial speech that I, of course, am not familiar with. -sort of takes me out of the moment as I then have to ask her what "jobsworth" or some such thing means.

  6. "Jobsworth"... pardon me? Sounds. a. bit. dirty. Hahahaha! :)

  7. @CC: Tess, living here for a mere 17 years, was like, "What? We don't say jobsworth, too?" :)


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