A long time ago, I was married. It wasn't a good marriage. Shortly after marrying, I discovered that there were some very basic points my husband and I didn't agree upon, such as:

  • I didn't like him

On his part:
  • I wasn't Jewish
  • He liked Charlie's Angels and I didn't look like Jackie
  • I was no good at big hair or makeup
  • He said I scared the shit out of him


  • He didn't like me

I couldn't figure out what to do about this, so I went to a psychiatrist. I didn't know much about psychiatrists at the time, but it seemed like a reasonable thing to do when you find yourself at odds with the world or someone in it and can't figure out what to do.

The first psychiatrist I saw was a woman, recommended by someone I knew. I arrived at the appointed hour and was shown into her office by a receptionist. There she sat, behind a huge oak desk. It was at least six feet long and four feet wide and had nothing on it except a pad of paper, a pen, and a box of Kleenex. Not a good sign. I took a seat opposite her on the most uncomfortable chair I have ever sat in. It was very quiet other than the ticking of an oversized clock mounted on the wall.

That killed it for me. I don't even remember what she said or what I did. I just remember feeling like a character in a Freudian comic book or a New Yorker cartoon.

So I went to another psychiatrist. His office was on the fifteenth floor of a building. Great view. It was very plush. Leather couch, leather armchairs, potted plants. He was seated in a leather chair opposite a couch. I sat down on the slippery leather and sank. I was not pleased, sitting on an over-sized slippery couch, unable to put my feet on the floor, sweating against the leather. After a pause, he looked at me with a blank expression and asked, "How are you?"
I asked with a smile, "I am fine, how are you?" He didn't like that, not at all. I guess that's not something you're supposed to say to psychiatrists. Following that, he grilled me for 45 minutes about what I thought of my mother, my father, my husband, sex, heaven, hell, and happiness.

I left his office more confused than I had ever been in my life. I drove around the city I lived in for several hours sorting through what he had said and how I had responded.

Then I went home.

By the time my husband came home, I had placed an advertisement in a local newspaper for a garage sale, had packed a few boxes with personal items and suggested that if he had difficulty with my leaving he should see a psychiatrist.

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