I went to my first Dr. Psychiatrist appointment the other day. Oh! I just remembered this funny thing. The next time you spell out a word that contains the letter P, say, “That’s P, as in psychiatrist.” Hilarity will ensue. Continue…
When I walked into Dr. Psychiatrist’s office, the Front Office Lady (she of practically physically knocking me over with her request for insurance information) opened the glass window to her office and there, for all to hear, was country music playing. Country WHAT?!
Country music was so completely out of the realm of what I expected to hear in a psychiatrist’s office. I guess I just assumed that a psychiatrist would play something chill, generic, inoffensive, or — okay, if we’re being honest here — something from my OWN Volvo driving, Starbucks drinking, NY Times reading, NPR listening, sushi eating play list. If Dr. Psychiatrist was going to play a very particular type of music, I’d expect Kate Bush, not COUNTRY! Are you with me here?
But then I thought, “Okay, the quote-unquote music is playing in the Front Office Lady’s glassed headquarters. She can play whatever she wants in her own evil lair, even if it is incongruous with my expectations for Dr. Psychiatrist.”
Then I went into the waiting room, where the country music was ALSO blaring from the speakers. To be clear, it wasn’t some charming, old-timey, Cohen-Brothers-movie-soundtrack kind of country music. This was 90-point-something, Ashley/Amber/Tiffany (can’t remember which) calling from Barrington (for real) to say that she LOVES her Cat Country RADIO music.
So, I’m just sitting there, inadequately medicated, struggling with a resting heart rate of about 100 beats per minute, trying to sit as far away from the speakers as possible, searching for another place to wait where I can escape the awful, overly-earnest music, growing more and more agitated by the minute, when I saw it! A compendium of New Yorker cartoons sitting on the coffee table. Thank the good fucking liberal genius! New Yorker cartoons are what one EXPECTS to see in a psychiatrist’s office. I immersed myself in the book’s funny and tried my best to ignore the Sounds of Hell.
Let’s travel back…about twenty-five years…when I was in therapy as a young woman…my therapist fell asleep on me, not once, but twice. His excuse? That he was the father of a newborn baby and was exhausted. I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just testing my ability to advocate for myself, seeing if I would yell at him and tell him to wake the fuck up! (I failed both times; I just sat there.) ((Still traumatized by the whole thing and would likely do the exact same thing today.))
Is the country music some kind of Dr. Psychiatrist test or lesson, as in, if you can stay calm through this Chevy truck driving, Dunkin’ Donuts drinking, Wall Street Journal reading, Fox News watching, “American Fries” eating music, you can do anything? I dunno.
What I do know is that I seriously need to manage my expectations of a psychiatrist’s demographics, which — after writing all of this — seem a lot more like STEREOTYPES. Let’s just hope that the free med samples he provided can calm me the fuck down, because the ONLY kind of music I hate is country AND western and if that shit is playing during my next appointment, I’m gonna wait in my Volvo.
FOOTNOTEY THINGY: “Country AND western” music is a reference to a line from “The Blues Brothers” and I typically wouldn’t cite it here, because, just like with Dr. Psychiatrist, I just ASSUME that we — me, the writer, and you, the reader of similar background, attracted to this blog — all inherently GET “The Blues Brothers” reference, but — if you don’t — well, there it is, cited for legal as well as other purposes, and — also — you REALLY should see that movie.