Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The psychiatrist is in.

I work with a lot of artists. Some of them are quite good; some, not. But most are at least good for some entertainment. Many of my clients treat this place like their therapist's office. I hear WAY too much.

One lady I've dealt with for a couple of years (I'll call her Sally) was in a month or so back to pick up some things and we chatted for a bit. She told me that she recently got some news from her doctor and she was quite worried. I didn't want to pry for details, but I'm assuming it's cancer. Sally is dreading that this may be her last Christmas, and I'm really hoping she's wrong because she's quite a nice person and she would be missed.

Sally went on to tell me that she almost accidentally killed herself by falling asleep at the wheel and going off the road on her way home one day (she was only a few doors away). Then she explained how she almost got arrested at a furniture store after the clerk there called the police on her because she threatened to eat something in the store after seeing the clerk with her coffee and donut. Apparently there is a sign that says "no food or drink allowed". Sally's under a bit of stress and apparently the clerk was being rude to her. So I guess she said "Well if you can eat and drink in here, maybe I'll eat this slice of pizza I have here in my bag." She apparently bought it to feed to her dog (I don't get it either), but while she waited for the police to arrive, she went outside and ate the evidence.

Sally called her husband in the meantime, and he came to meet her at the store where the police had just arrived. She told me that her husband was explaining to the officers that she's been under a lot of stress lately, and that she didn't realize what she was doing. So Sally is telling me that her husband thinks that she's crazy. She was a bit ticked off about that.

Well, a few weeks went by, and Sally and her husband came into the shop to have some work done. He stepped out to visit another shop in the mall, and I said "Well I haven't seen you in a while, where have you been?"

"I've been in the loony bin for three weeks" she told me.


"Yes, they kept me a lot longer than they should have. You know how I like to make people laugh, so I was being funny acting like a clown to cheer everyone up, and they thought I was still crazy so they kept me."

I thought it was funny that she mentioned the word "clown" because her make-up kinda made me think of that word too. Her lipstick was greatly exaggerated and her cheeks were just a bit overdone with the blush too. It sort of looked like she applied her make-up with a roller. (A friend of mine who works in the mental health field said that it's quite common to see people with mental illness do that.)

Before her husband came back in to get her, she reached into her pocket and said "I've got a present for you". She pulled out a tea bag and a packet of sugar. I was a bit confused, but she said "It's tea - your last name begins with 'T' so I thought you'd get a kick out of it".

Ya, this psych nurse friend of mine told me that's another sign of mental illness. Loose association that makes sense to them, but to nobody else. Gotta agree with that one!

So a couple of weeks have gone by since that day, and they haven't been back to pick up the work they brought in that I told them would be ready the very next day. I'm wondering if she's back in "the loony bin".

I wonder what she'll bring me next time.

I just thank God that my last name doesn't begin with 'P'.

Poor Sally.
Sally's husband came in last night to pick up her picture. She's been at home with a bad cold. At least that's what he told me. Who knows?
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