“Dr. Sanders, I really need your help.”
“You think?” Katie Sanders sarcastically replied. “I thought you were here just to give me $100 a week to look at my pretty face.”
“I think I have attention deficit. Can a 46 year-old man have ADD?” Paul asked his pretty psychiatrist.
“I guess we’ll find out here in our time together, huh? That is the real reason you’re here right?”
“Yeah, what other reason would I be here?”
“I don’t know. You called me remember.”
“Whatever. I just know I’m long overdue to be a great writer and what’s holding me back is my inability to finish anything I start. It’s been holding me back for years, decades. I have a drawer full of things I’ve started writing over the past 25 years and all of them have one thing in common. They’re unfinished.”
“Why don’t you finish them?”
“Doc, if I knew that I wouldn’t be here. I don’t have $100 an hour to waste. But this problem is kinda important.”
“Did I hear you say you don’t have the money to pay me?”
“No, Doc- can I call you Katie. I’m really uncomfortable with calling you Doctor Sanders. It’s so impersonal. I want to…”
“Yes, call me Katie if you want. But don’t flirt with me.”
“I’m not flirting with you.”
“Oh you’re not. I’m the doctor here and also a woman who’s been hit on for years. I can see it coming a mile away.”
“Ok Katie. If I do have ADD can you help me? A lot is at stake here. I think I’m a good writer but no one will ever know if I can’t finish what I start.”
“Quick, write one paragraph, describing me to a friend of yours,” she ordered.
“If you’re such a good writer, you’re wasting time talking to me when you should be writing. You have two minutes to finish this little exercise. Write!”
Paul started writing and the words flowed like he had planned on writing about this topic for weeks. He looked up a few times at Katie to get the physical description of her right and each time he did she stuck out her tongue at him.
“Time’s up,” Katie announced.
“That’s ok, I just finished the paragraph about you. Can I read it?”
“No, not this week. Our time is up. We’ll read it next week.”
“Can’t I just read it, it will only take seconds. And it’s good.”
“No, our time is up. Goodbye now until next week.”
“Okay,” Paul said sheepishly, hoping he could guilt her into letting him read it now. But she didn’t give in.
“Bye. And oh yeah, you can flirt with me if you want. Just try and disguise it better. I shouldn’t be able to pick up on it so easily. No woman you’re after should.” Katie smiled and winked at him goodbye.
As Paul left the office with some overdone swagger, Katie Sanders sized him up. Rather she looked him up and down and liked what she saw. Nice butt. Women are usually the ones who benefit from having a nice ass, but women like butts too. And Paul had a nice one.
Was she interested in him? Not at all. She professionally couldn’t go there. That’s not to say that therapists didn’t go there. We all have our healthy imaginations we can exercise privately at will, and no one knows a thing. Katie did that often. She liked good looking men. Liked a man who took care of his body, shaved his face, not buying into this recent infatuation with beard stubble being a good look. In her eyes it wasn’t. And having a sense of fashion, of what to put on your body before going out in public, that appealed to her as well. Paul had a nice button-down pinstripe shirt, white with almost imperceptible light red lines. And tight stone-washed jeans. Nice.
More importantly, he was too young to get interested in. Katie was at what she considered the perfect age, 49. She had no problem turning 50. She had been divorced for eight years and was completely happy with her singlehood. But Paul was hardly 30. Not a baby which would have made her a cougar- a label she hated and considered somewhat creepy. But he was still too young for her. Recalling her sexual memory, her “connections” (she also hated the term “hook-ups”) he would hardly know how to please her in bed. He was still of the age where it was all about his pleasure, not something appealing to any woman over the long term.
Was Paul in possession of an intriguing personality, could he make you laugh, did he have a brain? While Katie thought he was no match for her in any play of wits, she assumed he was bright enough to make their sessions interesting. She hated sessions with clients who put her to sleep. Thus the constant nearby cup of not tea, but strong, black coffee.
Attention Deficit was an easy challenge for Katie. She made commonsense out of many of the normal DSM diagnoses. ADHD was at the top of this list. Katie saw this as simply not knowing how to pay attention. And her solution was even more revolutionary- motivating the inattentive patient to pay attention. Motivation was the key word. Find her client’s hot button and voila, they stayed on task, performed well and reached their goals. She kept this commonsense approach to herself though. She knew the rules of her profession, one that was shrouded in complex theories, predictions grounded in research and academic studies.
But Paul was cute in a special way. He would keep her attention. No fear of her losing consciousness in their therapeutic dialogue. She knew she could help him. It seemed he was looking for a pretty muse- and Katie would be glad to take his money for providing that service.
Paul in his own mind knew that one reason he had chosen Dr. Sanders was that she was attractive. Brunette, shoulder-length hair, alluring body, fair skin, not tan, just normal and she had a great smile. He admitted that he was shallow but also knew that he listened to attractive women more easily than those whom he had a hard time listening to, if in his mind, he thought they couldn’t be bothered with taking care of themselves. Looking nice didn’t come easy for the vast majority of the population so he simply rationalized his shallowness by appreciating someone working hard at looking nice.
But after meeting her and sparring with her in a compelling initial dialogue, he liked her personality too. For Paul, half the success of any relationship he had with women was whether or not he was first attracted to them physically. He flirted with women subtlety constantly. But who could blame him, he hadn’t been in a relationship in years.