Thursday, February 24, 2011


...I accepted Mary's invitation to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. I wanted to say "no," but the part of my psyche that wants to please others and abhors every form of conflict and confrontation said "yes."

So after work today I meet with Mary and the other BM's (seven all together) to discuss dresses. I'm hopin' and prayin' that Mary's colors are not completely hideous. My last bridesmaid experience showcased "Yours Truly" in a lemon yellow, Southern Belle gown with fuschia magnolias pinned to my bodice. With the sweetheart neckline, I looked like a cheap Valentine card.

The good news is I've lost weight, thanks to Rachel forcing me to go to yoga class. I feel energized, have a more positive outlook -- and my Happy Baby Pose is noticeably improved.

I have to reschedule my session with Dr. Channing for tomorrow. I don't think she would approve of the bridesmaid thing. She knows I hate weddings and she knows that I especially hate bridesmaids. Her imminent disapproval gives me pause.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Got Art?

As you may have noticed, I've been absent from the blog the last few days. Work is insane. Noticed I said "work" is insane, not me. I want to make that clear.

For the past two years I've been an administrative assistant at an art museum --- and there's no end in sight. Don't get me wrong, I like my job. But I was hoping that by this time in my life I would be living the dream (and I'm not talking about polar bears.) The fact that I don't know what "the dream" is has been a problem. Hence, my relationship with Dr. Channing.

This week I had to work late almost every night to get ready for a new exhibit. All hands on deck. I was helping Harry arrange some tables for sculptures. The exhibit is called "Atlas Pranced" and was inspired by Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." At least that's what the artist says. I studied art history and philosophy in college and I can tell you that Ms. Rand would be mortified at this horrific display.  

So why did the museum choose this artist? Well, there's a "revolutionary" on the Board who convinced everyone that the artist is a genius. Art is often in the eye of the beholder but is a statue of a man licking his elbow really "cutting edge"?

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine's Day Party

Since I don't have a husband, a boyfriend or even a cat, I will be celebrating Valentine's Day with Ben & Jerry. My favorite flavor is "Peanut Butter Cookie Dough" but I think I'll try "Jamaican Me Crazy" in honor of Dr. Channing. 

I'm looking forward to donning my Hello Kitty pj's and watching Harry's Law. Of course, I promised Dr. Channing that I would start journaling my dreams this week. She wants to try another dream interpretation to see if there are any recurring themes. I hate recurring themes. If I had my way, I'd banish all recurring themes from the face of the earth.

I have two choices. I can tell her the truth and possibly wind up on anti-psychotic medication OR make something up and (hopefully) appear "normal." However, there's always the chance that what I consider a normal dream may, in fact, make me a candidate for the funny farm. 

Mama says to always tell the truth. My gut says listen to Mama.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Dream

Dr. Channing tried something new this week. Dream interpretation. She said that dreams reveal the fears and desires of the subconscious and help us to understand underlying impulses and emotions.

I told her about my recurring dream. I'm walking down a sidewalk in the rain. It's twilight and everything is gray except for the bright pink umbrella that I'm holding. I turn the corner and see two polar bears rushing by pulling a sleigh. One of them looks at me and says, "Would you like some ham and eggs?"

Dr. Channing was scribbling like crazy on her notepad.

"What does it mean, Dr. Channing?"

"Well, Madison, as I've already explained, the interpretation of dreams will hopefully shed some light on your subonscious desires that manifest themselves in your conscious awareness. In this particular dream, the rain and the darkness represent your fear of being alone And although your world is a fearful place, the umbrella signals hope."

"And the polar bears?"

"Your life is spiralling out of control. However, the bears are pulling a sleigh so there is an ultimate purpose. They also represent power. The fact that they are polar bears means that you isolate yourself but you desire to be more adventurous."

"I'm almost afraid to ask about the ham and eggs."

"Food symbolizes the comfort and love you felt in your childhood when your mother met all your physical needs."

"You got all that from one little dream? Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"

Dr. Channing didn't answer. She doesn't appreciate my sense of humor. But that's okay. After all, she's helping me prove to the world that I'm not crazy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best Friends

Last night, Rachel and I talked about life and art over a cup of vanilla latte and a white chocolate mocha. For the record, we are best friends but polar opposites. She's a blonde, I'm a brunette. She wears hiking boots, I wear ballet flats. She likes Chinese food, I like Italian. She's a Sagittarius, I'm a Pisces (Fire and Water!)

Despite our differences, we have a lot in common: We believe in honesty, fairness, integrity and shopping. We are both chocoholics, we drive Hondas and we have insane crushes on Johnny Depp.

Rachel is a go-getter. She works full-time for a veterinarian, takes a drawing class, sings in a jazz ensemble, grows her own organic vegetables, volunteers at  the library, does yoga three days a week and is writing a screenplay.

Me? I'd just as soon stay home and watch TV or read a book, although I will emerge from my cave to go shopping or to the movies. Sometimes I feel guilty because I don't have anything written on my calendar except my appointments with Dr. Channing.

Nevertheless, Rachel is an inspiration. I think I live my life vicariously through her. She always has something interesting going on. She just signed up to run a 10K to raise money for the United Way. Oh, did I mention that she's a marathon runner? Sigh.

Time for a piece of chocolate cake and a glass of milk.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dog Days

Somehow I got roped into pet sitting and spent the weekend walking, feeding and providing entertainment for Placebo, a 75-pound chocolate Labrador Retriever.

Placebo is my brother Grant's spoiled child. Grant refuses to put Placebo in a kennel so he imposes on friends and family to watch the dog when he's off doing whatever brothers do when they're not testing software or taking their wives to Black Eyed Peas concerts.

Actually, I didn't mind hanging out with Placebo. I enjoyed the company. The only problem was taking him for walks. My arm is permanently out of joint from tugging on the leash. I finally rubbed some bacon on my leg so he would heel. It actually worked.

By Sunday afternoon, I was getting used to having a dog around the house. We read the newspaper, had a staring contest (he won), watched "Must Love Dogs" on dvd, snacked on popcorn and danced around the house to Neil Diamond songs.

I will not tell Dr. Channing about this.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I See London...

After my session with Dr. Channing I went to Starbucks. I had to undwind. They say that's what therapy's for, but I couldn't help it. Free associating for an hour was exhausting. I desperately needed a cinnamon latte.

I told Dr. Channing about an incident that happened when I was in fourth grade. I was on the playground and I saw a girl on the monkey bars. She was wearing a blue dress and hanging upside down with her legs wrapped around the bars. Her underwear was in full view. Big, white granny panties. All the boys gathered around and started teasing her. Her face turned red and I could tell she was embarrassed. I was angry at the boys but I was also angry at her.

I glanced at Dr. Channing. She was sitting quietly taking notes as usual, but I could sense a little tension when I mentioned the underwear. Her right eyebrow was higher than normal and her lips were pursed.

So why did I recall this memory? What does it mean? I'm thinking this is the reason I always make sure I'm wearing pretty underwear.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Please, God, Not Another Wedding!

It's Thursday and that means Dr. Channing and I are going to have a little chat. Actually, I chat and she writes. It's called free association. And believe me, I have a lot to free associate about.

Yesterday was a nightmare. An old "acquaintance" of mine, Mary L., asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. I haven't talked to Mary in months. The last time was at a candle party, one of those home decor get-togethers where you invite everyone you know so you can get a free set of placemats. I was on Mary's list of "butts-to-fill-the-chairs."

It appears that Mary wants seven bridesmaids but she doesn't have enough close friends or family to fill the slots. I'm a slot-filler. It was a slap in the face. Not to mention, I hate weddings. I've been a bridesmaid six times because I can't say "No." Dr. Channing is going to have to use her magic wand and get me off this carousel of insecurity.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mama Called

I just sat down with a bowl of macaroni and cheese and was ready to watch "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" when Mama called. Thank God for caller I.D., but I answered anyway. I didn't want to have to call back later. I'd just as soon get it over with.

"Hello, Mama."

"Madison, I thought your were coming over tonight."

"Not tonight, Mama. On Thursday. It's only Tuesday"

"Are you eating? Did I interrupt you dinner?"

"No. Just hanging out."

"Why do I get the feeling that you're not telling me the truth?"

"What do you want me to say? Yes, you're interrupting my dinner. Yes, you called at an inconvenient time. Yes, you're a pain in the..."

"Very funny. Don't you feel better getting all that off your chest?"


"Which reminds me, how is your therapy coming along?"


"Do you talk about me?"

"Of course."

"What's your doctor like?"

"She's a liberal Democrat."

"I don't have anything against Democrats."

"I know you don't, Mama. That's why you've voted Republican your whole life."

"I vote for the best person. Can I help it if it's always a Republican?"

"I've gotta go. My mac and cheese is starting to look like mortar."

"Okay, I'll see you Thursday. Love you."

"Love you, too, Mama."