Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Saturday, 27 July 2013

I fired my psychologist and wrote this post to save you 320 bucks and provide you with almost as many thrills as a Stephen King novel

Maybe it's good when your psychologist pisses you off. Probably a lot of psychologists would say that it is excellent. I am firing my psychologist anyways.

Psychologists are expensive. Most of them are around 150 or 160 bucks a pop. And that's for fifty minutes. Not even a whole hour. They use the last 10 minutes of your session to absorb your angst and take notes.

The love of my life from elementary school is a psychologist now. His name is Alex Crampton. My grade one teacher Mrs. Vanden Bosch said that I was a gifted child, and so after grade one, I got to be in Alex Crampton's grade three class. At the end of the year, the school put on an underwater ocean musical. Our grade three class got to be the starfish. Me and Alex got to say the opening starfish line together. I was thrilled.

"They sparkle and shimmer oh so bright. The starfish is really quite the sight."
Our costumes were big clunky stars made out of bristol board. Mine was yellow and covered with sequins and glitter. At the time, Alex had a big black eye from getting hit in the face with a soccer ball. I thought he looked very cute.

We nailed our lines together. Then all of the grade threes did a little song and dance about starfish. "Star light and star bright, We make such a pretty sight."

Mostly the dance was extending our arms at different angles and wiggling our fingers. The wiggling fingers were supposed to make everyone think of shimmering starfish. Starfish aren't very cuddly. I don't think that Alex and I ever got to touch each other. I would have remembered that perfectly.

In grade eight, I remember writing a story on a computer in the home ec room. It was about a character named Martha. Martha might have been a hippopotamus. I'm pretty sure she wasn't a human.
The story began with,

"A very long time ago, perhaps last Wednesday...."

Perhaps last Wednesday, Martha the hippopotamus or whatever animal she was went for a walk in the forest or did her laundry or some other mundane thing. Alex Crampton read the first paragraph and said,
"Wow, you're such a good writer. I never met another writer like you. You're the best writer I know. Except for Stephen King."
My heart glowed beneath my chest, and then it melted. My cheeks got all red. When I was in grade eight, I used to blow dry my long, thick curly hair. Then I brushed it until it grew wavy and enormous and as thick and coarse as a horse's mane. Underneath my overalls, I wore homemade tie-dyed t-shirts. I wanted the overalls to conceal my nipples. I refused to wear a bra because I was too flat-chested and I thought that people would make fun of me if they saw me wearing a bra when I didn't need one. As far as making it or making out with Alex Crampton, I didn't stand a chance.
I think this might be grade seven. Obviously I also played the violin.
Now Alex Crampton has a beautiful baby and fiancee and a PhD.

I limit my Facebook stalking to about once a year.

When I found out that Alex had his PhD in psychology, I was surprised and somewhat jealous. Alex never seemed to like school that much. He was busy with swimming and girls. Meanwhile, I was a mega-nerd. At grade eight graduation, we all made silhouettes of our heads and wrote down what we wanted to do when we grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher with my PhD.
Now I am essentially a kindergarten teacher's assistant with no PhD.

I throw tantrums on my way to work.

At work, I spend hours with bottles of lysol, spraying tables and blocks so that the children won't get diarrhea. They get diarrhea anyways.

I have also been to way more psychologists than Alex Crampton. It takes a lot of lysol spraying to pay for each session.

I'm sure that Alex Crampton is worth your money.

While Alex Crampton was getting his PhD, I was puking in my mouth. Now I'm puking in my head. My most recent psychologist kindly informed me of this during our last session.

At our first appointment I mourned, "I'm a gifted child, but I'm not doing gifted things." He told me that the hallmark of happy people is that they're in touch with their own values and they chase after these values just like my Big Black Dog chases the raccoon he wants to murder.

For our next session, I had written down all my values. Yoga, the Boatman, my dog, writing. External affirmation, physical health. I turned on my Verbal Machine Gun and rattled off the list to my psychologist, whining and blabbering away between every point. The job with the lysol gets in the way of everything. I will never have enough money. Nothing you do can ever make you happy. I ended the long list of sorrows and grievances and money and lysol with "I really wish my mother had never had me. I am angry at my mother for having me."

"You're ruminating," said the psychologist. "Do you ruminate a lot?"

"Yes," I said. And wasn't it interesting? I used to puke in my mouth, and now there's puke in my head. And I call out for my mother during sex and having an orgasm is very difficult. "I'm a writer," I said. "I talk a lot."

"When you talk that fast, I shut off," said my psychologist. I told him that I thought you were supposed to talk a lot in therapy. He said that therapy wasn't just that. It was about creating a mutual relationship. "And when you talk like that, I feel like I'm not a real person."

What real person charges 160 bucks an hour for a mutual fucking relationship? Being a psychologist and not letting your patient blabber away is kind of like being a prostitute and not giving blow jobs. It's unrealistic and guaranteed to reduce your clientele.

"When you're like this with Robbie, does he turn off?" I admitted that sometimes he does, but I don't pay him, and often he finds me quite entertaining. Then again, he could just be lying because I'm so excellent in bed. Grinding someone who's calling out for her mommy is super sexy.

My psychologist suggested that he let me know when I'm ruminating in session. And that perhaps during my day I could have a bracelet that I can look at when I feel like I'm slipping into a frenzy. A Frenzy Bracelet. Maybe the children can make one for me out of painted macaroni. We can market Frenzy Bracelets and sell them for 160 dollars each.

The other thing he told me to do was to pay attention while walking the dog. I pay lip-service to meditation and mindfulness and yoga, but my head is all over the place and I'm apparently not "walking the talk."

I left feeling like I'd failed the session. Maybe it would be very useful for me to discuss these feelings in therapy. Probably it would be excellent. But like I said, I am firing my psychologist anyways. Who can resist firing someone who makes 160 bucks an hour? When will I ever have this opportunity ever again?

If Alex Crampton lived in Halifax, perhaps I could go see him. I could ask him about his beautiful daughter and fiancee, and how he manages to keep fit. But until Alex Crampton moves to town, I think I will focus on being the best writer he knows except for Stephen King. Maybe I can resurrect Martha the Hippotamus into a brand new short story. 

A long time ago, perhaps last Wednesday, Martha the Hippopotamus had a Frenzy. Then the expensive doctor gave her a macaroni bracelet and she stopped calling out for her mother during sex.

The End.
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Three Things to Make the World a Better Place

When it all comes down to it, we all have about three things inside of us that will make the world a better place. It's a good mental exercise to think of more than three things. Ten things. A million things.  But if over the course of your great big life, you're able to pull off your three favourite things on your list, you will probably change the world. Last Friday night, I was sitting (and perhaps drinking) on the couch with my boyfriend the Boatman and our cool friend Liz. I surveyed everyone on their Three Things and wrote them down.

Here they are.
The Boatman

The Boatman and the Maxi Pad
1. At school they should bring back Shop and Home Economics class.  Everyone is fighting for music and arts, which is important, but in the long run, it would probably be more useful for people to know how to fix things and make things than it will be for them to play the clarinet.  The Boatman played the saxophone in high school.  Maybe that's why he's so good at giving head. I think the long-term benefits of music are evident.  But it's true, nobody knows how to fix and build anything anymore.  Kids should be learning how to build things and fix cars.  And cook and clean and sew.  First this, then the clarinet and then maybe algebra. That's what the Boatman thinks. 

2. Finance Class. In schools, we're very fixated on how to get a job. We start planning by grade seven, or earlier.  But once we get a job, a lot of people don't know what to do with their money.  Nobody's teaching kids about budgets, or mortgages, or even how to get a student loan. Money is this vague stressful thing for a lot of people.  Most people get all their ideas about money from their parents.  That's two people's opinions out of the whole world. The Boatman is passionate about the Finance Class just as he is passionate about Excel Spreadsheets.  He'll spend days watching youtube excel tutorials.  He wants to spread the joy.
3.  Sex Ed (As you can see, the Boatman is very big on Education.)   Sex Ed shouldn't be about teaching children where their hair is going to grow, or how to put condoms on bananas.  We should be teaching kids how to have sex.  How to get and give pleasure.  How to talk about sex. It shouldn't just be the clarinet players who get to be good at giving head.  Everyone deserves a shot.  Our sex hero Dan Savage goes on this rant regularly on his podcast. The hell with putting condoms on bananas.  Probably the whole world can do this with their eyes closed. And we all know where the pubes are going to end up.  This isn't so important. What's important is knowing that sex is supposed feel good.  Really good. And if you want to know how to make it feel good, you should talk about it. And probably schools should hold a Vagina Appreciation Day.

Those are the Boatman's Three Ways to Change the World.

Now it's my turn.

Two pictures of me and the things I should have learned in Sex Ed:

My Three things:
1. A diaper-free world.  I've ranted and raged about this one. In our so-called developed countries, children are able to make complete sentences about sour pineapples before they are able to shit in the right place at the right time. In India and the majority of other developing countries, there are no diapers.  Parents figure out what sort of noise and grimace their babies make when they have to go and accordingly pull their pants down and sit them on a pot. By the time the kids are a year and a year and a half, most kids can piss and shit in the right place at the right time. With diapers, kids are enabled to be cut off from the sensations of their bodily functions.  Because we don't respond to our infants' signals of having to go, the signals and the awareness stop.  At two, children have to relearn the sensation since it is no longer socially acceptable to shit in their pants.  Being two is difficult and traumatizing enough as it is. I feel like the whole set-up is unfair and excessively challenging for everyone involved. And it is bad for the environment.

Isn't it obnoxious when people who have born absolutely no children dispense parenting advice? 
Absolutely.  It is absolutely obnoxious. But as they say, "those who can't do, teach."

2. A chair-free world. Wearing diapers for the first couple of years of life likely has horrendous repercussions on the state and our relationship to our pelvises, lower backs and sexual organs.  But what's even worse for us is the amount of time we spend sitting in chairs.  The two-year-olds at the Montessori school are capable of doing the most beautiful squat. Pelvis elevated, knees behind toes.  But what do I have to tell them when they're squatting on a chair, doing a puzzle or eating snack?  "On your bum, please!" Tighten your groins and lower back from and early age!  Begin the journey towards cardiovascular disease, erectile dyfunction, hip and knee replacements, osteoporosis, obesity, and a generally painful and shitty life, NOW.
Last week I had a dream that someone asked me whether or not I wanted to have children. “Hell no,” I said.  “Why would I bring children into this world?  They get 6 months to two years of happy boob sucking and then the rest of it is a big disappointment.  Our whole education system is just preparing kids to sit in a chair for a really long time. You go to school where you have to follow the rules and put things back on the shelf and sit on your bum in a chair.  Then when you finally grow up and finish university, and get a job, guess what you get to do? Sit in a chair. No, I am not bringing children into this world.”

I think that I make this speech once a week. In my dreams, and while awake.  While, standing walking, or sitting in a chair. Maybe it’s a little one-sided.  But nobody ever died from an exercise ball.

3. The whole world should do sun salutations every morning.

5 Surya namaskar A’s.  If you’re feeling really enthusiastic or ambitious, go for some b’s.  Sit down, not on a chair, fold forwards, take some deep breaths. Sit up, take some deep breaths, try and lift yourself off the floor then lie down.  Or just skip the whole sitting down, lying down part.  Just do some sun salutations. Do one sun salutation.  Stand on your two legs, or however many legs you have.  Find your breath.  Raise your arms above your head and look up at the ceiling.
Kino MacGregor, doing Surya Namaskar A. Your sun salutations don`t have to look like that. Just do your best. And you can do it anywhere you want. In Bali, or in Dartmouth.
People think they need to do elaborate and fancy yoga postures.  They think they’re too busy to do yoga. They’re too stiff and too busy and it’s no use.
Everyone has time for a sun salutation.
I tried to be a rich and famous yoga teacher for awhile.  I think I was too ambitious.  If I go back to teaching yoga, my goal will be for everyone to learn how to do sun salutations, and to do a couple every day. 
All you need are sun salutations.  They will reverse the damage from wearing diapers and sitting in chairs for so long.  This is what I recommend.   Now you have read my three thing for making the world a better place.  Here are our cool friend Liz’s Three Things.

Our cool friend Liz

1. Diapers are acceptable at any time.  Liz is a producer for Vice.  She’s a busy lady, and sometimes she doesn't have much time to go to the bathroom.  Well, fair enough, I suppose.  Although we all know my views on potty training,  if  I am ruthlessly honest and envision myself pissing in a diaper, it does seem rather exciting and arousing.
2. Social Media- Help! What the shit are we supposed to do about social media? With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, Google +, it is eating up our entire lives. No wonder adult diapers seem so appealing. It is all too much, too overwhelming. People should cut down their social media time by at least 75%. Some good suggestions for using your salvaged time: drinking, having sex, eating chips, handstands.  You can do these things every day. Liz also suggested smoking, but I say that was just the liquor talking and so I am omitting it.
3. Creative Exposure. I like this one. People need to be exposed to creativity every day. Watch someone make something, help someone make something, make something yourself. You can make a movie, a radio show, a biodegradable poem, an ugly children’s toy, a blogpost, a macaroni necklace.  There are lots of things that you can make.  You can expose yourself to creativity while wearing a diaper, or in your bare bum.
And that’s the end of our Three Things to Make the World a better place.  Everyone has at least three things inside of them.  What are your three things?  How will you make the world better?
Your three things need not be groundbreaking and monumental.  Just some things you really believe in. Some way to make the world ungeneric.
In the future, 2016, I will write haikus about a Generic Married Man.
I hope they make the world a better place.
The End.
The Big Black Dog made the world a better place over and over again.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, self-help book by Erica J. Schmidt

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