Shrink-o-Matic

The Drama of Human Neuroses: When Every Little Thing Matters

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Aug 24, 2009

No Love Today

Posted by La Belle Femme

There are days when I just don't like people. There. I've finally admitted it. For a social, friendly, compassionate person such as myself (really, it's true), that confession is as bad as they come, because it sounds so curmudgeon-y and intolerant. But it's true. There are days...when the mere sight/sound of another person within 12 feet of me is just too much to bear. This dislike is not limited to strangers, either. In fact, it's especially true when it comes to those I know/love (i.e. friends, significant other, family members). These special people get the special treatment, indeed! We hurt the ones we love, the saying goes, right? I wouldn't go so far as to say that I hurt the ones I love, but I certainly want to on days like today...

I don't really have a psychological explanation or neurotic logic behind this...except that sometimes, people's inconsideration, rudeness, ignorance, arrogance, and selfishness even gets to me. Alright, maybe those are the reasons why and maybe the reasons are not so neurotic after all. But when things build up inside a person from life pressures, sometimes...people.just.really.bug. And this is just one of those days.

However, somewhere in my anti-people mode, a small glimmer of hope remains that by tomorrow, I'll love the people I'm supposed to love, will tolerate the ones who deserve it, and that I'll be as patient as a saint with the rest of human kind. That day is definitely not today, though as Scarlett O'Hara used to say, "Tomorrow is another day". But today, I've lost that loving feeling.

May 11, 2009

Hallway Etiquette

Posted by La Belle Femme

For the second time this month, someone just bumped into me in the hallway, nearly causing me to dump my soup-of-the-day on my white shirt. So, now I need to spell it...because it seems that many people are unaware of hallway rules and etiquette.

Hallway etiquette is very simple. Not unlike driving, the unsaid rule is that one always keeps to his/her right of said hallway. Whether you're coming or going...you want to keep yourself close enough to the wall to allow for passers-by and those taking a right or left turn into different hallways. And, you never want to stop without prior notice...and cause a domino-effect of oncoming traffic of bodies bumping into one another, front to back. If you intend on stopping, the correct etiquette/rule is to slow down your pace, turn around and look over your left shoulder - away from the wall - and make eye contact with anyone that might be coming up behind you...giving them a smile (this is similar to signaling in a car), holding their graze briefly to let them know..."Hey, I'm coming to a full-stop".

If you're changing hallways...look over your left shoulder, slowly change lanes, and turn into the appropriate hallway, making sure to give the right of way to the oncoming traffic that's going straight ahead.

And if you want to stop and chat with someone in the hallway, for Pete's sake...do it in the middle of the hallway, leaving either sides of the hallway clear for opposing traffic. Or better yet, step aside and spare us all the u-turning and maneuvering around various bodies blocking the way.

It's very simple, really. The only time I could maybe understand oncoming traffic ending up toe-to-toe with me on the same side of the hallway is...if the person happens to be a recent transplant from the U.K. who is used to driving on the opposite side of the road. Otherwise...isn't hallway etiquette fairly easy to figure out?

Tell that to the schmucks running into me on a regular basis when I'm doing my lunch run at noon every day.

Apr 28, 2009

The Innocence of Youth

Posted by La Belle Femme

Official Resignation

To Whom It May Concern:

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of a five-year old again.

  • I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four-star restaurant.
  • I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples in a pond with rocks.
  • I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.
  • I want to lie under a big oak tree and watch the ants march up its trunk.
  • I want to run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer day.
  • I want to think a quarter is worth more than a dollar bill cause it’s prettier and weighs more.
  • I want to go fishing and care more about catching the minnows along the shore than the big bass in the lake.
  • I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes. When I didn’t know what I know now. When all I knew was to be happy because I was blissfully unaware of all the things that should make me worried.
  • I want to think the world is fair.
  • I want to think that everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible.
  • I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
  • I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, or the loss of loved ones.
  • I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, dreams, the imagination, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, a kiss that makes a boo-boo go away, making angels in the snow and that my dad and Superman are the strongest people in the world.
  • So…here’s my checkbook and my car keys, my credit cards and the bills too, my 401K statements, my stocks and bonds, my collections, my insurance premiums, my job, my house and the payments too, my e-mail address, pager, cell phone, computer, and watch.
I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this with me further, you'll have to catch me first, ‘cause...

Tag!... You're IT!Author Unknown

That about says it all for today...

Mar 26, 2009

Human Nature?

Posted by La Belle Femme

Humans seem to have a weakness for the unattainable - whether it's the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, or the other guy's woman, or that last piece of pie in the 'fridge - many seem to covet that which they cannot have. Time and again, individuals make poor decisions, investing wasted energy to obtain the just-out-of-reach, only to excuse their behavior with "But I'm only human". Madonna seems to agree with this: "I'm not sorry; it's human nature". Sure, being human means being fallible, but where do you draw the line?

I'm not completely angelic in this regard. I've wanted the food I couldn't (or shouldn't) have been eating; or the newest electronic toy that I didn't need. But the other guy's woman? Or the other girl's man? No way. The "other" person is where the line is drawn. Oh sure...there have been challenging times in any of my relationships where for a brief period, especially after I'd met some attractive potential person, the thought passed through my mind, too. But it stopped there. After all, life experiences show us that the grass is most often not greener on the other side. Challenges exist in every type of relationship, but in this age of "instant" everything, so many seem ready to toss the tried and true for the new and shiny. But is that a sign of the electronic times, a side effect of the detached interpersonal relationships built on E-mails, texts, instant messengers, or has this always been the way of man/womankind?

I'd like to find a way to blame modern times for the downfall of human relations. In a way, it makes me feel better to think there is some sense of control if things are going to ruin in the present day. Heck, maybe we can even change it. But when that fails, I suppose we can always blame the Tree of Knowledge, can't we?

After all, everybody else has been doing it for ages.


Jan 15, 2009

Sign of the Times

Posted by La Belle Femme

Researching specific neurotic behaviors, I accidentally came across an article in Time Magazine stating, "In general, more highly developed personalities tend to develop neurotic quirks, more primitive personalities to go really crazy." Uh uh, they did not just say that! Time magazine qualified mental disorders as "crazy"? Is this a joke? Who wrote this? In my search for the un-PC (politically incorrect) author's name, I caught the date of the article: April 15, 1935. Oh, ok, that makes more sense. 1935. And on Tax day, too!

What fascinated me about this article is not only its elementary psychological language ("crazy"?) but its explanation of what psychotherapy means. Nowadays, there is hardly anyone alive who doesn't know what therapy is all about: to some, it's for the "crazies," and to the rest, it's a way of life! In either case, therapy is a staple of the medical field and neuroses don't even begin to describe the disorders that can creep out from the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) into your medical chart.


But at the end of the day, what does it all come down to? Do people today still uphold the ignorant stigma that psychotherapy/psychology is only for the "crazy"? You betcha! However, ignorance of the field aside, I admit I got a chuckle out of the Time magazine article. After all, according to that, my neurotic quirks are not only not bad, but a sign of a highly developed personality! In other words, if you're intellectually evolved, you're likely neurtoic. Otherwise, sorry - you so crazy!

How un-PC is that? And yet, I'm laughing.

Is that so very wrong?

Jan 2, 2009

Feast or Famine?

Posted by La Belle Femme

After such a lengthy absence from my blog, I'm back with a vengeance - two blogs in two days! I wow myself. ;)

But this is a typical behavior pattern for me. I actually believe myself nearly incapable of doing anything halfway: it's an ALL or NOTHING scenario here. This kind of behavior is somewhat compulsive and is one hairline away from being obsessive-compulsive in nature, but it's also one punctuation away from being dysfunctional. A fine balancing act, don't you think?

For instance, I was suffering from serious guilt for over-eating during the recent holidays, so instead of modifying my eating habits, I took it to the other extreme and didn't eat much but crackers for two days. Today, however, when a nice box of 6 (six), large, chocolate-dipped fortune cookies was delivered to my home from my attorney, I couldn't resist but eat one...or six. Initially, I put the cookies away in the pantry, determined to give them away or eat one every few weeks. However, by the time I'm done writing this blog...I will have eaten the entire box of cookies. I feel as if I've morphed into the Cookie Monster.

Yes, it was an unhealthy feast, alright, but it was so difficult to resist the (compulsive)urge. Okay, maybe I didn't try all that hard to resist. Like a scene straight out of "Alice in Wonderland," the cookies called my name, whispering "eat me". I did; oh, did I ever. Regardless, the guilt has set in once more.

How many of us exhibit compulsive behaviors in other areas of our lives? Clearly, eating is a big yo-yo struggle for many with a feast/famine pattern (and it is also the making of eating disorders). But what about love/hate patterns seen in a romantic relationships? Or excessive exercising versus doing the couch potato? Add to that the hourly compulsion to check email, or repeatedly log into popular social-networking sites, like Facebook or MySpace, and you have the making of a very neurotic generation of people.

Feast or famine themes seem more common in people's lives than most realize. And in a twisted fashion, since most of us suffer from one or another form of obsessive/compulsive behavior, it seems to "normalize" the existences of dysfunctional behavior in the rest of us: "Oh go ahead, have that extra cookie! We all do it!" Sure, but at what cost?

Then again, misery loves company...they say.

Jan 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Posted by La Belle Femme


Firstly, I want to wish all of you a very happy 2009. May this year be the one where all your wishes come true.

I also want to thank all my readers for your wonderful support of my blog, and for guilting me into once again picking up my cyber-pen and addressing more neurotic thoughts.

Thirdly, I hope everyone is enjoying this first day of the New Year, now that the hula balu of Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year's Eve has worn off and reality is starting to set in in the form of: outrageous credit card bills, weight gain, and the most holiday-free time of the year.

Let's say it together: Hooray for January 1st!