8.29.2005

#13 into the Crapometer!


Dr. Eugene Finklemeyer urged me to keep this journal.
"Jot down your feelings and your thoughts," he said, "and maybe what you do during the day."

Having never kept one before, and, of course, since it came from Eugene, I balked. For months I balked. But he kept pushing me explaining that by keeping a journal I'll be better able to see "patterns, problems and even progress." After all these months of resisting, my appointment with him today changed my mind, so I guess there's no better place to begin than with Eugene.

***

Thursday, 24 January 1985

Psychologists don't come any more cliched than Dr. Eugene Finklemeyer. He even looks like a psychologist named Eugene Finklemeyer. A balding four-eyes sporting a fully staffed pocket protector: the nerd who would be psychologist.

He sits across from me in that cubby hole he calls his office, becoming one with his furniture, all the while practicing his professional eyebrow maneuvers. There's his mildly concerned pasty face (eyebrows UP) for when I say something like, "I think self-immolation is the way to go," although I only said it to see if he was listening. And there's his mildly approving pasty face (EYEBROWS down, combined with a reflexive nod for emphasis) saved for those rare occasions I decide to toss him a pity-pass, when I want to make him feel as though he's helped me.

"Oh, Eugene, it never occurred to me that I was substituting Cheese Doodles for love!" Most of the time the eyebrows remain in neutral. Eugene has no mildly amusing face, not even a pasty one.

Today's weekly session was different.

"Tell me why you're here, Mrs. Strasser"

"Why do you still call me Mrs. Strasser?"



if you thought I was cruel to the writer who opened with reading email, you ain't seen nothing yet. I'm just not a huge fan of reading what someone else is writing in a journal as a way to open a narrative. I'm a fan of direct and immediate action. I'd rather see those eyebrow maneuvers myself than hear the narrator describe them.

The writing isn't crap, it's just too removed and distant to grab my attention.

7 comments:

kitty said...

I gathered a while ago that you're an in media res kind of gal.

I'm confused. You wrote, "I'm just not a huge fan of reading what someone else is writing in a journal as a way to open a narrative." Do you like the journal format, or, as in this case, your objection is the lack of action? Or both?

Miss Snark said...

It's hard to say. I try to look at each thing I read for what it says, rather than "Im not going to like this cause it's a journal". If you can bring me into the action in the journal format, go for it. This page made me feel removed from the action. I like being IN the action. How you get me there is your challenge as the writer. I'll go with you but you get to choose the vehicle.

Does that help?

kitty said...

Yes. Thank you :-)

Anonymous said...

I thought this was clever and funny. I wanted to know what was coming next. May not be Miss Snark's cup of tea, but if this is a work from the heart, send it out to see what other feedback you get.

Anonymous said...

I agree with my fellow anonymous. I found it intriguing and I liked the tone. =)

Anonymous said...

I would say the writing is poor. Talk about cliched-- here we have the typical resentful, demeaning and hostile patient criticizing her shrink.

If you are going to try and pull off this kind of topic, you have to do it from a more sophisticated place of commentary on the therapist and the therapeutic process.

Otherwise, it sounds like just another game-playing pain in the ass patient making fun of her therapist so as not to feel out of control with an authority-figure.

Anonymous said...

Yawn, I couldn't even finish it.