Summertime

Therapy session during a particularly difficult time after the passing of our Robbie…

For those of you who didn’t know him… there’s a link to the post at the bottom of this page.

Why Does That Duck Smell of Lavender?

 As we join the therapy session, Dr. Rubber Duckie is floating lazily in circles, trailing one wing in the lavender scented water. 

Dr. RD: What is this scent you have put in the bath Liebling? 

Me: Lavender bath salts doctor. 

Dr.: Well, I approve of these lavender bath salts. Lay up a supply will you? 

Me: (One eyebrow raised)…. Sure, I’ll get right on it. 

Dr.: (Dreamily)How have things been since our last session? 

Me: (Sighing) It’s been a long and gloomy winter doctor. We lost our Robbie you know…he was with me for fourteen years. How old is that in dog years anyway? Things feel very strange without him. It’s been a particularly cold and stormy winter this year. I am struggling to finish my first novel, and I’m not sure, but I think it’s pretty much  fifty-thousand words worth of drivel. I turned fifty-three years old last month. I have peri-menopausal symptoms up the wazoo, and I have found that chocolate no longer agrees with my digestive system. And you? 

Dr. : 

Me: There you have it. My thoughts exactly. 

Dr. : (Glancing around the pink tiled bathroom floor) You know I wondered where our furry friend was. He usually lies down right over there by the closet doesn’t he? You know, I must admit it made me feel quite secure to know there was a dog between us and the big wide world. He, after all, had four legs, sharp teeth, and a suspiciousness of strangers. Something both you and I lack. I will especially miss the songs you two used to sing sometimes. For a canine, he had a remarkably good voice. What was that song you used to sing? Something about summer as I recall. 

Me: (Drip…sniff) 

Dr.: I see, yes. It has been a long and gloomy winter. 

Me: It’s embarrassing to admit that I am depressed doctor. I try not to bother people about it. I know in my head that it will pass and things will be better. I do miss Robbie a little less now than in the beginning and the garden is starting to grow, so I know winter will be over soon. But I’ll still be a peri-menopausal, fifty-three year old, graying woman with chocolate issues and an unfinished novel. (Lower lip quivering)

Dr.: Ever tried Carob? 

Me: (Eyes narrowed) Yeeesssss, I have. It’s nice in its own way, but it’s definitely NOT chocolate. And don’t patronize me. 

Dr.: Swimming to the far side of the tub nonchalantly, Well, you know there are just some things about getting older that are unpleasant. While I do not make light of your predicament, I recommend trying to put it in perspective somehow or try to find something good about it. For instance, think of all the money you will save now that you don’t have to buy chocolate, and how many calories you will avoid…and… 

Me: Excuse me doctor, how would you feel if you couldn’t eat that lemon mousse that you are so fond of, unless you wanted to experience intestinal distress. 

Dr. : 

Me: Exactly. 

Dr. : (Turning to a new page in his notebook) How is the novel going? 

Me: (Placing blue washcloth over my head and face) 

Dr.: (Desperately trying to remember that college course about difficult patients and how to handle them, while running his beak through his flight feathers. What would Dr. Mallard do in this situation?)

Me: (Suddenly sitting straight up in the tub, washcloth falling off my head, causing Dr. RD to flap wings for balance in the resulting tidal wave) 

Doctor! You know what? 

Dr.: (Hopefully) Yes, what is it? 

Me: Well, just think about it. Robbie isn’t old and sick anymore. He is running like the wind, chasing squirrels in the woods, in some other realm and barking with no one to tell him to shush. We are still here. I could finish my novel. I could get published. I could have the best garden ever this year. I have my health, sort of. And now that I think about it, I don’t WANT to be twenty years old again. I was an AIRHEAD when I was twenty years old! People are starting to treat me like a little old lady and being polite to me. Some guy traded places with me in the checkout line at the store today because I only had a few things and he had a basket full. I could start to be eccentric and no one would think too much about it. Really eccentric. Old people can beeccentric. It’s expected! I could start wearing goofy hats! I could dye my hair red! I could start whacking young men over the head with my purse, or pinching them… Pinching sounds better don’t you think?  (Wicked grin.) 

Dr. : (Stunned into blinking silence. Concluding that he must be the most brilliant therapist in the Western Hemisphere … or, she had gone completely psychotic. He was hoping for the former.)

Me: But there is that chocolate problem…… (frowning) 

Dr.: Could I interest you in a little lemon mousse? (Weak, beaky smile) 

Me: (Looking him over carefully.) Tell me doctor, do you know all the lyrics to ‘Summertime’?  Never mind, here’s how it goes: Suummerr tiiime, and the livin’ is eeeasy…

Dr.: (Oh dear.)

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