A recent Thursday, a long, long time ago…
I take Otto straight from school to his pediatrician’s office after the teacher tells me that Otto has complained of a side ache and a headache most of the day. It could very well be a simple case of preschool pestering and an overdose of over sharing but I take no chances and drive straight to the 90210 where I find the clean streets of Beverly Hills littered with a crunchy bunch of old people covered in gold trinkets, generic talcum powder and salacious secrets. We park and walk half a block where we stumble onto a pack of wild paparazzi waiting for someone of star fucker significance to exit the very building we are entering.
As I pass the photogs who ignored me and carry Otto to the elevator I wonder three things to myself. One, what would it be like to leave my gynecologist’s office after a particularly unpleasant Pap smear and anal exam only to be confronted by a rabid throng of telephoto-lensed lunatics vying for a picture of my unwashed hair extensions and $3000 dollar sweatpants? Two, where do I go to get the real, dead- person hair extensions that will make me a star? And three, when should I drop my first album?
We enter the office and sign in and before taking a much-needed breath I tell the receptionist that my son has a boo-boo in the belly and that there is a football huddle of hideous cameras outside and ask what the deal is. She immediately tells me that Kim Kardashian has her nails done next door as well as her yearly breast exams one floor up and that the cameras are here for her and her Buick-sized booty. I am thrilled and disappointed all at the same time. No amount of fake hair, wood glue and silly putty will make me look as famous as her or someone who should be as famous as her so I abandon my plan of a fifteen-minutes-of-fame makeover and focus on Otto’s abdominal abnormalities.
He is pushed and pulled and prodded and poked with no fever and a negative swab and the doctor says, “Eh, go home, lots of water an maybe a poop.”
I have promised Otto a new toy car for being so good and allowing a virtual stranger to stick a four foot Q-Tip down his tiny, Strepless throat. So, we walk to a nearby Rite-Aid where Otto finds a $10 Lamborghini the size of an oven mitt and I take the depressing dive into the pool of middle age by trying on a pair of reading glasses that I have been told will help me read without feeling car sick. The pair I choose reminds me of Lisa Loeb, which, in turn, reminds me of my early 90’s, high-waisted, black body-suited, flannelly youth. There is no question that these glasses will change my life for the better so I take Otto’s hand and steer him toward the cashier and my new career as four-eyed bookworm and a budding coffee house crooner.
While Otto and I stand in line waiting to over pay for our purchases, a Donna Summer doppelganger comes bouncing towards us to get in line. Screaming Studio 54 wearing over-sized, 70’s sunglasses a current day reality star would maim for and a flowing, wrap-around, see-through sundress the color of a mango, her gigantic boobs do their mammalian best to reach out to me and shake my hand with nipples as aggressive and self-assured an American car salesman in 1977.
She parks her fabulous self directly behind us and then looks at Otto as if he is an ample appetizer before the much anticipated main course.
“Oh hello there,” squeaks this disco sister, “You are soooo cute!”
Otto looks up through her cleavage, says a quick “hello” and then turns back to his new car with the cool and calm of Cary Grant at a wet bar.
Donna turns all her fabulous towards me and says, “ He is so adorable.”
“Thanks,” I reply, still fixated on the beach balls that ate Cincinnati sitting directly under her chin.
She hands me her card, which apparently she has been holding in her hand the entire time and confidently informs me, “If you ever need my services please call.”
I look down at the card, happy to finally be distracted from her double-duty décollage and read:
Dr. S. Roberts
Intensive Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
Non-Intensive Treatment of Various Challenges
Learn to enjoy your SELF!
See other side
I, or course, obey the tiny, lavender-trimmed card decorated with flowers that look like Easter-inspired spermatozoa and turn it over to read:
Dr. S. Roberts* is a Registered Psychological Assistant working under the supervision of:
Dr. L. Greenland*, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Just because I am not wearing anything that Bianca Jagger or any half-descent drag queen would use as a kitchen towel AND my hair is confusingly unkept AND I am buying supremely outdated specs AND my small child is lying on his stomach on the pharmacy floor pretending to drive a tiny, $300, 000 car off an imaginary cliff, Bad Girl seems to think I am a rusty car careening out of control. But really, who is the wacko here? She is only an assistant to a head shrinker and is dressed like the twice-fired, pill-popping Pointer Sister who no one remembers and cannot possible have the authority to call out the crazy or prescribe the pills, the two most important components in the one-sided relationship of patient/doctor Doolittling.
“Well, even if they (pointing to Otto) are fine now, you need to get them young just to make sure. Or maybe just a tune-up for yourself?”
“This whole thing is so hilarious,” I say to Lady of the Night. “I could not have written this.”
But I do anyway.
(* Names have been changed to protect the identity of the truly, madly and deeply idiotic)