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Power Outage

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So, I got up this morning, turned on the computer, put the kettle on for tea, went to find my manuscript and…bang.  Power out in the entire neighborhood. 

At that point, I did what any red blooded New Englander would do–I called Connecticut Light and Power to find out when the thing would be over.  The CL&P automated line does this very peculiar thing, where, when you ask when the outage will be over, doesn’t say something like “six thiry” or even “seven fifteen am.”  It starts out with “May…24…2011” in sepculchral tones that make you wonder if it just told you the power will be back on in a couple of months.

I, however, am used to that, so I ignored the date and got “nine am” for the time.

A couple of hours later, I called back, and got the time.  12:15.

I’m annoyed.  And I feel useless.

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really don’t like days when I feel like I’m not getting anything done.

But here I am, so two things, one even happy.

First:  if Greg ever wants to go to a therapist, I’ll be happy to send him, but for myself, I really resist the idea that people need therapy for perfectly normal behavior.  Most of us are nervous going to the dentist.  It’s not a pathology.

Of course, if Greg really had been refraining from going, or resisting going, because of fear, I’d have thought it worth doing something about.  But he wasn’t.   And although he is jumpy when he first meets new doctors, or when something knew has to be done that he isn’t used to the idea of yet, the fact is that he got through two eye surgeries without virtually any fuss at all.  He sees his PCP without needing anxiety medication, either, and his dermatologist. 

But there’s something I should have remembered to say, that might put the entire incident into some perspective.  To give you an idea of just how extreme this woman’s behavior was, while she was talking to me and Greg had been banished to the waiting room in tears, one of her nurses slipped Matt a note saying we should take Greg to this other dentist, who was really a lot calmer and wouldn’t have any problem with him.  As, in fact, the nurse herself hadn’t had any problem with him when she’d done the x-rays.  And, um, we shouldn’t mention this to the Bitch Dentist.

This indicates a very interesting dynamic in that office.  And I am not going back to deal with it again, nor am I going to medicate Greg up to the gills because he responds to monumental bullying in the way he did.

I do, though, worry about that response–not because I think it’s a pathology, but because I think there are a lot of bullies in the world.   Eventually, he’s going to have to stand up for himself.  If he doesn’t, he’s going to get bulldozed. 

Of course, I’m hardly a great role model. I spent that entire incident appeasing like crazy, and I didn’t manage to get furious until I’d left the office, either. 

Sigh.   Maybe it’s genetic.

That all said–here’s something completely different.

Last night, one of the HBO off-channels–I don’t actually get HBO, but I get this side channels, I don’t get it–anyway, one of them aired the made for TV movie of a nonfiction book called Too Big To Fail,  by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

The book is about the 2008 collapse of the banking system, the death of Lehmann and disappearance of Merrill and Bear Stearns, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, AIG, all that stuff.

And, if you’re interested in that kind of thing–yeah, I know, I’m the only one here–

If you’re interested in that kind of thing, I think it’s the best book out there on the subject.  It is also, however, really HUGE.  Although I may read it again when I’m finished with the Trollope.

On top of that, the made for TV movie is really, really, really good, and the mechinations to make sure the audience gets the issues are done skillfully enough so that you never notice that you’re getting little primers on banking law and financial…shennanigans. 

It’s worth seeing if you get HBO channels of any kind and have a chance to catch it.  I know there’s an encore performance tonight at eight, because I intend to watch it.

And I have informed my children that the DVD is likely to come out sometime around Christmas.

Written by janeh

May 24th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses to 'Power Outage'

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  1. And I just want to clarify that the only reason I see for a reasonably functional person to go to a therapist is because they have something they want to work on, *themselves*, to make their lives easier. If Greg wants not to be anxious in whatever situation, then it might be an approach, rather than waiting to be 30 and have life experience teach him what to do.

    That’s not pathology, and for me, pathology isn’t the only reason to go to a therapist. Just making life more pleasant and more livable is the goal.

    The office dynamic you describe is very interesting. I wonder how many *one-time-only* clients she has….and what kind of stories she tells herself about why people take one look and flee…


    24 May 11 at 3:30 pm

  2. Yelling at people like that can be very satisfying, but I can’t see how Greg’s situation would be improved by having TWO adults behaving badly. And you were on her home ground and didn’t need her any more. Disengaging, whether with icy calm or apologies, and never dealing with her again seems a perfectly reasonable solution. I can about see you apologizing when someone really needed to be stood up to.

    As for therapy, I can see the advantage of talking through a problem, but surely only those without friends and family need to hire strangers for the purpose? And being nervous around new physicians is far from being a problem. I’d call it simple prudence.

    And those are skilled, computer-savvy kids. Buy yourself the DVD and let them surprise you. There are things out there you can’t get with a catalog number and a charge card.


    24 May 11 at 5:10 pm

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