Monday, June 4, 2012

Call the Doctor!

Or in my case, a Psy.D. Craig, Luke and I were just having the discussion in the car, en route to meet with Luke's counselor, herself a PhD, on how I would prefer to be addressed after I become a licensed counseling psychologist. An official doctor. As per my last blog, I strongly dislike being called "Andrea." There's always "Dr. Miklasz," but that's so stuffy, and nobody pronounces my last name correctly anyway (even people who've known me for decades, or fuck, people I've slept in the same bed with for that matter!). Luke's counselor prefers to not only be called "Doctor," but we have to refer to her by her fucking hyphenated married last name! Hello, DOCTOR FORMALITY OVERKILL!**

**I really have no bitching room there. When I DID get married, I legally made Miklasz my 2nd middle name (my middle name is Caroline), and frequently, legally went by the dreaded-hyphen myself, until I reduced myself to being identified purely as "Someone's Mom," when I was just "Mrs. Bechtel," which Craig gets more than a chuckle out of when I'm called 5 years after separating from him. He thinks it's hilarious to still be his namesake ball and chain, while I find it gravely annoying.**

I suppose it's theoretically possible that I could be re-married by the time I finish my studies, whereupon I could use the name of my non-existent future, as-yet-undetermined new spouse, though Luke and I have already had the talk, and if he has his way, I shan't ever re-marry. (Oh! But Craig officially gave HIS seal of approval on me dating whomever I want, and that I shouldn't listen to Luke. Craig said I could date anybody except Chris. I didn't realize I needed my ex-spouse's seal of approval, but thanks, Craig! Sheesh.)

Besides, I sort of vowed, when I got divorced and felt strongly enough about removing the moniker of "Bechtel" to insert a clause into my divorce decree legally (purposely, so the judge would read it aloud in court) to resume use of the name "Miklasz," that I'd never change my name for the sake of a man again. (Unless he's, well, famous or something, then I'd consider hyphenating again...NO. What was COOL? How John Lennon legally changed his name to John Winston Ono Lennon when he married Yoko.)

Anyway, in the car, we all championed the use of the straightforward "Dr. Annie." In-clinic, anyway. (If I happen upon a patient while I'm at the grocery store or something, I believe it entirely appropriate to be called-out with a "Hey, Annie, nice farmer tan!")

It's friendly, welcoming, casual and ill-snooty. I mean, really. If the topic du jour in therapy one day is the patient's heroin detox loss of bowel control and hallucinations, wouldn't you rather confide in "Annie" as opposed to "Dr. Miklasz?" (Yes, my patients will know I was once a junkie and/or alcoholic anorexic, bipolar, anxiety-ridden cutter like them. Yes, like my therapists, if they use foul language in describing the aforementioned trots, I'll agree that they're fucked for the time being. No, I won't wear a lab coat or worse, like my former psychiatrist, hang a giant lithograph of Icarus falling in my waiting room, that freaks everyone out. I'd (ideally) hang one of Kate's paintings, or a Wayne Coyne psychedelic, bleeding vagina mega-color painting. Yes, I plan to have a hot/cold water cooler in my waiting room, with fixings for tea or cocoa, and if I'm so inclined, similar to my chiropractor's office, my iPod on shuffle, which hopefully won't deteriorate my patients' psychological conditions any further. (I remember one appointment for acupuncture when I questioned why my chiropractor had SO much Hall & Oates playing in his waiting room. Turns out, he forgot to put the iPod ON shuffle.) I think I'd rather have interactive shit for them to DO while waiting, like my Buddha Board, or a sand/rock Zen garden to play with, or origami, than the monthly copy of Motor Trend or People. How about Bitch Magazine, Pop Culture for Feminists? That's it!)

It always stuck a thorn in my side when the wives of the doctors I worked for would ask for their husbands by "Dr." Whomever when they'd call the practice lines. Or, "This is Mrs. DOCTOR WHOMEVER. Is THE DOCTOR available?" Please, women. We know your husbands' first names. All of them. We're all grownups. Jesus. Some of us even knew their, gasp, nicknames! Or that one preferred to go by his middle name, when his "DOCTOR NAME" was really, legally, his first name.

One of the doctor's wives worked for us part-part-part-time. (More like a hobby than a job, methinks.) Several people in the office called her "Mrs. DOCTOR'S LAST NAME." For all intents and purposes, in that context, she was my co-worker. Why would I call her "Mrs." Anybody? I called her by her first name. Hell, I would even greet her with a "Hey!" or, worse yet, a "Yo!" Anyway, that whole name-calling scene on the phone made me lurch for surgical gloves so that I could reach through the phone lines and remove the poles from the wives' asses, collectively. "Please hold, Ball and Chain. Your Balderdash and/or Verity will be with you shortly." (Hey, I just thought of a joke. What do you call a lying hat-maker? A balderdashing haberdasher!)

Craig and I both understand and respect manners, and properisms, and societal norms, though we both question them and have taught Luke to do the same, without compromising certain levels of respect and enforcing dignity, and have been rewarded with an extraordinarily well-behaved child who's renounced his punk obsession (as of late) with death goth music, sits in the tub and now blares "Yellow Submarine." (His favorite song from that album is, evidently, "Hey Bulldog.")

It's still mildly disconcerting, however, the way Luke's counselor insists on POINTING OUT at like EVERY SESSION that Craig and I have taught Luke to question authority, which, come on! Any remotely vital person in this world has been one who has questioned, if not utterly defied, authority and the norm. Who was this Jesus fella, again? Oh yeah. A punk.

My son says "please" and "thank you," holds doors open for people and doesn't belch in anyone's faces. He doesn't sass his teachers, pastor or other parents. He has a HUGE problem respecting Craig's mom, but that's because she's historically disrespected HIM, and ME, which he simply will not tolerate. True enough, he's mostly respectful of my mom, because she treats him like a young adult and tries to impress upon him good values, though our parenting styles are very different.

Speaking of defying authority, being a punk and obsessively making e-cards, if you haven't read the last blog? This was this afternoon, outside:

When I call MY doctor and speak to him personally, I don't even greet him with Dr. Annie's Doctor. I call him "Stosh," his nickname. Same with visits. I think my mom, who is also his patient, knew his nickname, but I learned it chiefly from Tatus. I have to call Stosh tomorrow, for I am out of the LEGALLY OBTAINED Lomotil that keeps me from spending half of my life in the bathroom. God save the Queen! In describing the photo below to my mother, she said in reply, "Well, the whole of London is in the celebration," which made me crack up, even though she said "whole" and not "hole," given I'd posted a picture of the Queen on a toilet. Anarchy for the UK!

Surprisingly, a bag that wasn't ticking or otherwise stinking was left on my front porch this afternoon. It contained the following:

For shame, I don't have a turntable, though I'm dying to hear "The Whiffenpoof Song." I have no idea who left it at my house, though it could be a peace offering from my sin-accusing church friend, or Craig, though he didn't let on in our texts tonight, and I'm texting Steven about it now.

Me: Someone left a "50 Lawrence Welk Favorites" LP collection on my front porch today. I have no idea who.
Steven: That's pretty great.
Me: Right?! Too bad I don't have a turntable!
Steven: Maybe Luke did it to mess with you!
(Luke sat around all day in his boxers and I don't think was dicking around on the front porch with LP's.)
Me: But where would he get it from? It was in a bag. I posted a pic to Facebook w/a thank you and love, but no one's come forward. It's not like the whole world (thank God) knows I still watch Welk!


Me: ...which is a hysterical show, in hindsight...I am dying to hear "The Whiffenpoof Song."
Steven: "It's about scatological homosexual proclivities in Germany, 1932.
Me: And a one, and a two, crank up-ah da bubble machine!
Steven: And the IV methedrine!

Speaking of stinking, my 12-year old little man came outside this afternoon while I was writing and blaring music to announce, wearing solely a pair of boxers at 2pm (Yes, I did manage to feed him at 11am when he woke work was done) that he was bored and asked for lunch. I offered him several possibilities, which he all refused. Noticing dirt on his face, knowing he conked out before a bath last night, I exclaimed, "If you're bored, go take a bath! I won't even ENTERTAIN the IDEA of socializing with you until you're clean!" No, he didn't get all snippy on me. He said "Ok" and marched upstairs to blare and sing along with "Yellow Submarine" in the now-filthy, Ma will go apeshit bathtub.

Speaking of IV's, my guy friend is back from his 2 weeks in a third world country during June, because nothing spells vacation like the threat of amoebic dysentery and witnessing abject poverty in between bus jaunts to a resort near the equator in the summertime with one's family. I'm more easily agitated by family togetherness than he is, I think, but this would be me right now in his shoes, er, sandals:

I want more "us time," so I sent him this someecard today:

Speaking of abject poverty and the need for food and doctors in third world countries, it was with alarm that I read in the news today that the World Health Organization is revamping the BMI calculator as of 2013. The new criteria for anorexia nervosa will be a BMI of UNDER 18.5. THAT BODES WELL, given MY BMI is 17.8. It's causing an uproar in the modeling world, as most models are anorexically thin, by choice! My team of physicians would like to see my BMI at or around 20, which is a stretch, given I still weigh 117, when I should be 135. You'd think my life of sloth would put some weight on, but alas, it hasn't. And I eat sometimes too! People have seen me! But I still tout, for the overweight, the patented All Stress and Nicotine/Constant Diarrhea Diet.

And it was with great sadness that today marked the end of life's great journey for the Smooch-a-Riffic Richard Dawson, at age 79, from esophageal cancer. Yet another reminder to quit smoking. Never watched "Hogan's Heroes" but was a HUGE fan of him on "Match Game," where he was frequently drunk off his ass, and the excessive smooching/nuzzling of the chicks on "Family Feud," one of whom he ended up marrying. After Brett Summers, Charles Nelson Reilly and Richard Dawson dying, it seems Betty White is one of the only regular "Match Game" panelists still not only kicking it, but being badass. Rest in peace, Richard, MWAH! Everything in TV is so polished now, we miss out on half-drunken fits of laughter like this:

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