I think I have a new business idea. Check this out: dinner therapy. Like dinner theater, except instead of watching a play or a crappy lounge singer while you eat, you’re pouring out your feelings to a licensed therapist in a cozy, intimate restaurant booth. Great idea, right? I know! The name could be Food For Thought, or some equally clever bit of wordplay. I envision franchises popping up all over the place, sharing shopping center space with Trader Joe’s, CVS Pharmacy, and Great Clips. Therapists would rent table space, kind of like a hairdresser rents a booth in a salon. Brilliant, yes? Yes!
I know it’s brilliant because a couple of nights ago I had my own dinner therapy session. Well, actually it was appetizers, and OK, my husband served as therapist, but I think we made some major analytic breakthroughs over that plate of tater skins and jalapeno poppers in figuring out just what the hell is going on in this head of mine. Not TOO much progress, though. As a good therapist would say, I’m probably going to need an extensive course of several weeks, if not months or years, of ongoing dinner therapy. In my case, we may even explore the innovative and somewhat risky avenue of drink therapy as well.
I personally have never seen a therapist, but I’ve wanted to for a long time, for the same reason I started this blog. I just love the idea of getting to yammer on about me, me, me for a change instead of playing good listener to that overwhelmingly large segment of the population who feels everyone should know all the fascinating, epic details about them, them, them.
I know a lot of people who give the impression that everything they’ve ever seen or done was the most amazing, fabulous, monumental thing ever seen or done by anybody, ever. They like you to think that every time they go out on a Friday night, for instance, they almost end up in the back of a police car because they are, like, soooo crazy and wacky! Some of them might even reach for that old hyperbolic gem and describe practically everything they’re involved in as “phenomenal!” I almost never get this enthusiastic about my own exploits, at least publicly, except maybe sometimes on Facebook, and then it’s usually something as thrillingly phenomenal as, “Got a whole colander full of grape tomatoes out of the garden today.” And I always assume that when anybody hits “like” or makes a comment, they’re just being nice and trying not to leave me hanging.
I like to think I just prefer to keep things to myself most of the time in the name of good taste and class, but my dinner therapist, Brad, suggested that he thinks it’s something else. He looks favorably on a little self-promotion as a sign of a healthy self-image and a zest for life, and he thinks I keep things to myself because I just don’t feel my life is a worthy topic.
He’s right. I don’t. Most of the time I am operating from the unfortunate position of feeling like a major, bigtime, world-class f*ck-up with nothing to say that would be of much interest to anybody.
This weekend was my 25-year high school reunion. Since I’m back living in the town where I went to high school (strike 1 in the game of How Phenomenal Is Your Life?), it should have been a no-brainer that I would be riding in the homecoming parade with the other Silver Grads and then dancing drunkenly to Rock Lobster at the local Indian casino with my former classmates. I pretty much figured for months that I’d be doing those things. But it turned out my heart just wasn’t in it. There would have been some people there who would have been great to hang with, but in general I just didn’t feel up to the task of socializing. It’s a task I feel up to less and less these days. I didn’t feel like being a good listener. I didn’t feel up to the self-promo-fest. I didn’t feel like drinking, which is what I usually have to do in order to effectively socialize. I didn’t feel like finding something to wear that made me feel confident and attractive. I didn’t feel like putting on a happy, confident, let’s-get-crazy-yippee face when in reality I am not entirely happy, seriously lacking confidence, and haven’t seen the far side of midnight for months unless I was getting out of bed to go pee.
All I felt like doing was sitting down in a relaxed, intimate environment with my therapist, Brad, and having somebody bring me something yummy to chow down on while we talked at length about me, me, me. Which we did, and which I think helped a little.
I think I am totally onto something. You should invest. I’m telling you, it’ll be phenomenal.