September 29, 2005

A Hag of a Different Color

Psychological therapy – those who probably need it the most can’t afford it and those who need it the least probably misunderstand the whole concept anyway.

I’ve had a particularly bad day. I would like very much to pick up the phone and engage a psychological counselor today. I won’t. After having been involved years ago in an emotional workout of sorts, the one thing that resounds in my head at the bottom of each session was “Well, our time is up, how does Tuesday look for you?”

It didn’t matter if I was near catatonic at that point or completely awash of hot, briny tears …when time was up, time was just plain up. It’s difficult to neatly squeeze into one fifty-minute session a) things you’ve kept buried beneath your skin for a half a lifetime in the name of remaining socially acceptable, and b) things that will undoubtedly create a profound need for at least two more consecutive fifty-minute sessions just so that you can compose yourself enough to drive home.

Since I don’t wish to be silenced in such an icy cold manner, I’ll hold my own little session here – in blog format. When I’m done, I’ll let YOU know, how’s that?

Blank WP page: What would you like to talk about today, Hag?
WH: Today, I’m miserable. I’m not sure where to begin. For starters, everyone hates me, okay maybe that’s a bit harsh, but I’m so completely hate-able that it amazes even me.

BWPP: Hate? That’s a strong word. Can you elaborate?
WH: Of course, I can. But just for the record, before I’m through even you will probably find cause to hate me. Fair warning.

BWPP: Even me? I doubt that, please continue.
WH: I smoke. Everyone hates smokers. Except other smokers of course, who I suppose are all to be considered useless murderers as well, so there’s that. They all hate me because I smoke.
BWPP: Well I don’t see that as hate, really. It’s probably more like disgust or anger, don’t you think?
WH: Oh and that’s supposed to make me feel a whole lot better? So you’re saying they are disgusted by me and rather than going for anger management or hey, just ignoring my smoking ass, they’ll just be permitted to bombard me with their double-barrel, righteous and often rude bullshit as IF I haven’t heard it all before … as IF it’s going to make a difference. See where I’m going with this? But it’s not just the smoking.

BWPP: Hmm. I’d like to come back to the smoking issue, but go on.
WH: I drive an SUV. Need I say more?
BWPP: Well … no.
WH: Well I’m going to. I drive it roughly once a week to a grocery store, but do they bother to even get to know that? No. They need somebody to hate and I’m pick of the liter.
BWPP: That’s probably just frustration on their parts … you know, concern for the environment, concern over gas and economy, that sort of thing – not really “hate.”
WH: Stop trying to sugarcoat things. I’m big on words. I pay close attention to words. People HATE SUV owners/drivers and that’s all there is to it. And they hate us because, basically, they’re told they should; stupid can’t-think-for-themselves, ignorant and arrogant asses.

BWPP: Okay, we can come back to this also. Why else would people hate you?

WH: I’m overweight. Not obese, but overweight. The only ones who don't hate me for this are other folks of too much weight. Again, I’m a full fledged member of a club nobody wants to be part of … it hasn’t gotten to the point where they stop and stare, but I read things. I listen. I hear their message loud and clear, “You’re a chunk butt so you suck.”
BWPP: I’m not sure that’s entirely fair. I think most people are just concerned about your health.
WH: I’m not paying them to be concerned about my fucking health.
But that’s not all.

BWPP: What more could there be?
WH: I’m wishy washy about politics.
BWPP: I, for one, love you for that!
WH: Thank you, but most see me as part of “the problem.” I don’t stand up and fight and speak in loud tones about awful political situations – I sit back quietly and observe and wonder who will resolve them, if ever? People hate that crap.
BWPP: No, I won’t give you that one. Many, many people just sit back silently and never take an active stand. You do vote, don’t you?
WH: When there’s someone decent to vote for, sure. It’s just that there so rarely is. Can we move on? I’m feeling sexually harassed, but without the sexual part. I’m uncomfortable.

BWPP: Sure. There can’t be much more though, right?
WH: I had a child out of wedlock, I’ve been married three times, I quit high school in the second year, I refuse to jump on the accusation bandwagon where Jacko is concerned, I used to be a vegetarian and they hated me for that. Now I eat meat and they hate me for that. I listen to … hold onto your seat … I love jazz and funky music – I even like certain types of rap, I’m disorganized, I’m forgetful, I was born in New York City, maintain much of the accent, and my dearest friend left on this earth, aside from my daughter and Ed, is a well educated, amazingly articulate black woman straight out of Harlem. Um, wait … I’m sure there’s something else…
BWPP: I don’t think any of that stuff is reason for anyone to hate you.
WH: Neither do I. But they do. Someone out there, maybe even someone reading this session right now is wishing at least one of those things wasn’t so. Hell, you probably do too.

BWPP: Well again Hag, I think it comes down to anger, frustration, misunderstanding; perhaps just ethnic, religious or well, social differences, that’s all. I don’t think it has much to do with hate at all.
WH: So you’re saying I’m wrong then? All washed up? A total screwball? A freaking nutjob? You think I haven’t lived long enough to read through all that stuff you just went on about? It’s hatred I tell you – hatred. I’m just feeling so – grrrr – hateful about this.

BWPP: AaaHA. I think I hear you saying that YOU are the hateful one. Is that so?
WH: Kiss my ass.
BWPP: I think we’re making progress here.
WH: Progress THIS you bastard (flips bird at computer screen).
BWPP: This is SO unlike the usual Hag I hear from so often. You’re swearing more today than ever before. Interesting. It’s another whole side of you that rarely emerges. Why do you think that is?
WH: pauses to take it all in and consider the possibility
WH: twitches in seat
WH: plays with hair … curls it around finger
WH: thinks – crosses one leg over the other

WH: Maybe I just don’t want people to hate me. Maybe that’s why I don’t unleash the beast very often.
BWPP: Oh but you claim people hate you anyway? Even when you’re nicey nice and sweet and proper?
WH: So what’s your point?
BWPP: I don’t know. What’s yours?
WH: I don’t know. Isn’t that what I’m paying you for?
BWPP: But this was a free session.
WH: Point taken. Well, at least I feel better.
BWPP: How so?
WH: Maybe “better” isn’t the right word … I feel more comfy in my yucky, disgusting, disagreeable, unattractive, out-of-the-ordinary, under-educated, non-political, overly sensitive skin. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
BWPP: Good then, so today was a success.
WH: So what are you trying to say? You wanna make something of it? You wanna take this outside? You want a piece of me too?

My time is up. How does a week from today sound to you?


Blogger kenju said...

Next week sound way too damn long for me. How about tomorrow?

WH: I see this as a one-woman show on Broadway. Who's going to play you???

Needs to be fleshed out a bit (not you, the play)......LOL (at myself)

6:04 PM  
Blogger Rob Seifert said...

Marvelous! Kenju is right, it should be a show. You feel better? hehehe! See ya next week!


6:34 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

I hate you.

No, just kidding!

I want a SUV, I'm a swing voter, I need to lose 50 lbs.

I can empathize completely (other than being married and having a child).

I have to agree with Kenju. I can see a screen play out of this.

9:39 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

I just love your writing.
It is interesting how we are judged by the things we do or don't do.
Stupid busy body society. Always butting in on our lives..

10:12 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

peace with thy self turns a blind eye to gawkers.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

We should all indulge in a little bit of self-therapy now and again--especially at these prices. I will no longer 'joke' with the young man at work about his smoking habit. Your therapist has reformed me. (You should see our muscle car---it is ONLY for hauling the boat and we rarely drive it because we can't afford the gas!)

4:23 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I say "more power to you sistah"!
Your one amazing woman with one amazing life. Just love your posts!

Now, about the SUV.............

7:08 AM  
Blogger Grant said...

There's nothing wrong with driving a station wagon - I meant SUV - as long as you can park it between the lines. If not, you should be killed with a sledgehammer. :p

If anyone publicly castigates you for smoking, tell them it's a nasty habit but not as bad as offering unsolicited opinions to strangers. Then flick your cigarette in their face. Then kill them with a sledgehammer

9:36 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh, Grant, you amuse me so.

Loved reading this - very fun. I hear you about a lot of these things, such as the smoking (although I only smoke at the Chalet so it doesn't really count) and the weight.

I am not a big fan of SUV's because of the amount of gas that they use but then a friend of mine gave me a ride in hers and I was seduced by the power and the moving flippy things and the moon and sun roof. Still going to buy an El Camino if I ever get a) money and b) a driver's liscense but it was pretty cool.

I adore you. Don't be a hater, world. It is wrong.

11:12 AM  
Blogger psuche said...

Many people need to feel that they are superior to others. It's an insecurity thing. Since they aren't better most of the time then the only way is to degrade you in some way.

SUVs for example. They use up a little more gas than other cars but you also have to take into consideration how much someone drives it. Also if we were to actually lower our consumption of gas then demand would decrease, supply would be reduced, refining smaller amounts would cost more and we'd likely have higher gas prices. Not to mention loss of productivity due to less mobility.

Smokers get a bad rap. If you look at the research the numbers and probabilities are so marginal that a claim like that would normally be thrown out as an anomoly. Second Hand smoking is mostly based on one research paper that has been proven to be less than accurate. Yet it is used as a supporting base for every Second Hand smoke claim since.

My personal opinion is that smoking is less risky than driving a car. But thats just me. I take my own risks based on the information that I have and I deal with the consequences. However, some people get upset or just don't like the smell so I will smoke away from others. Because I choose to.

I've never had to deal with the overweight issue. I can't even keep weight on with weightgain drinks and working out. But I know many that are overweight. A lot of time it is because people aren't happy with themselves (maybe they are allowing others to lower their self-esteem) so they go to the thing that gives them pleasure. I like eating too in that respect. Once you get overweight the first time though, it appears that the fat cells expand and stay that way, so even if you lose weight you have a higher chance of being overweight again.

Even with all of that being overweight is not something that people have the right to use to feel better about themselves. It is the easiest though for those ignorant people so widely used.

The point is that we all have things that aren't perfect about ourselves. We usually wish to improve on them for own own self-esteem. However, no one has the right to reuce your self-esteem to improve theirs. If they do then it shows us clearly how ignorant and bankrupt in real value they really are.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

I hate you for your incredible sense of self-awareness.

But not for ANY of those other things. In fact, actually...

I love you Carol. Dammit, is that what you wanted? (tears beginning to stream, voice raising) I FUCKING LOVE you! Your brilliance, your wit, your amazing writing! (sobbing now) SHIT, I want to be JUST LIKE YOU! (convulsing)
(long pause)
I HATE MYSELF!!!! (slumps into a quivering mass of self-hate)

Have a nice day.

2:54 PM  
Blogger katie said...

This was fantastic. I am so with you on the smoking, I practically lock myself in the house to do it, fearing people with pitch forks are going to come get me late at night.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Simply Coll said...

Oh my god.. you would not believe how many things we have in commom. Could we be twins separated at birth. :-)

Except for the smoking thing. I quit three years ago. Hardest and best thing I ever did.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous John said...

This is a great post WH! Love it. I sometimes say "you smokers got no rights anymore do ya?" when passing someone outside (especially in winter) freezing their butt off out there for a puff.

4:46 PM  
Blogger sands of time said...

Im disorganised and forgetful.Usually because i take too much on then start boiling because i cant possibly do all these things.
One woman show on Broadway sounds a way too go.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Carol..true to form, I am at the keybourd again.... love the post. Now, regarding smoking... I was standing at a pedestrian crossing the other day, very little foot traffic, heaps of cars passing, just waiting for the green light to cross the road when some 20+ year old jerk father, with a baby in a tote carrier walked up to me, and said "You should put that thing out! Its bad for my baby's health!"
Now just a moment, I was standing on an unoccupied street corner, and HE was the one to approach ME. the idiot didnt even want to cross the road. "Hmmmm ..." I replied... "... wouldn't the exhaust fumes of the city traffic be doing more harm to the infants lungs? Wouldn't it be a lot safer to leave your baby in a sterile home, than to venture onto the street, where you are taking your life into your own hands, and chancing some stranger (namely me)to beat your fucking brains in for your stupid opinion, which I did NOT solicit?" He returned to his seat, outside a sidewalk cafe, about 30 paces from where I stood, and resumed his seat next to a table where three members of the coffee shop staff were enjoying a smoke-break ....... I crossed the road, smirking ....
from Kev, the cool blue one

7:00 PM  
Blogger Spinning Girl said...

I feel soooooo much better.

Same time next week?

I've seen you around but haven't stopped by here much. I'm glad I did. Mind if I stay?

::drops suitcase::

Thanks for a great post.

8:39 PM  
Blogger dulciana said...

Hope you'll unleash the beast more often! :)

10:49 PM  
Blogger madcapmum said...

It's the season of your discontent too? What a relief!

Personally, I'm driving my luxurious butt around in a gas-guzzling minivan while I satisfy my sugar-cravings, and feeling guilty, guilty, guilty!

11:28 PM  
Blogger Johnny Virgil said...

Hey Chunk-butt! Put out that cigarette and buy a hybrid, will ya?

Your post reminds me of a comedian I heard once. He said something like, "I drive an SUV. I get 26 miles per gallon. You get 35, but you're saving the planet and I'm trading blood for oil."

11:39 PM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

Jion the chunk-butt, SUV drivin, self-loathing, non political, third time loser club sweet pea!! I was a smoker for a good 20 something years, until my damn lungs crapped out. No advise on smoking here, I've made my peace with that particular cause. I feel no need to "save you from yourself" You are a brilliant, complicated, tender-hearted woman and as yet I haven't met another like you that holds as much interest for me than you! Keep up the blog therapy, you seem to have made a lot of progress today. I'm looking forward to the next installment. Ever think of writing a book?

11:49 PM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

Erm... JOIN the club that is...;~)

11:50 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Carol, thank for all the nice comments last night/today. In ref. to the good links: I hear you, I already spend so much time at the computer my hub is starting to grouse. But there are so many I just don't want to miss, so I check them everyday. You are one of them, you know!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Oh yes. We are very similar women, save your bout with the vegetarianism. Glad to hear you recovered. ;)

9:28 AM  
Blogger PBS said...

Wow, what a creative, honest and mind-blowing post! Next week would be too long. I like how you wrote up the session, I've been to counseling and they (counselors) are just like that! You should do a one-woman show on this, as others have said. It would be fantastic! When I come to visit your blog, I always know I'm in for some really good, thought-provoking and usually hilarious reading, thanks!

9:56 AM  
Blogger Swifty said...

Your writing, at its best, is shrewdly observant of the personal and the social. You're keenly aware of the dynamics between families, friends, and lovers; dynamics which are no different from the machinations at higher levels of city, state, nation, and Inter-nation. At all levels, the analysis is the same. The talk is of power, authority, coercion, manipulation, cooperation and conciliation, and the like. And your level is the level of micro-politics. It's your forte, and very important. And to my mind, the best observers of politics are writers, and you are definitely that. So you may ignore the hip, psuedo-aware sound-bytes of the so-called political bloggers that populate the blogosphere. Rarely do any of them make interesting and new statements to inform and surprise us. You do.

As for the perceived resentment and hate from the anti-petroleum, anti-smoking, and anti-meat-eating brigade, you may treat these as I advise you to treat the "political bloggers". Ignore them. They are ungracious, self-righteous, and pretentious sheep, unable or unwilling to think deeply enough about how human beings work. Personal liberty is at stake here, and is the most valuable of our rights. So if they can't find more persuasive means than trying to make others feel guilty, or worse, about their behaviours (don't you just hate this, the worst kind of manipulation?) then fuck them! But isn't this what you say, effectively, and often? So what are you trying to say about being wishy-washy when it comes to politics? Get outta here Carol!

As for being overweight. The notion that a woman has to acheive and maintain a particular weight and body shape is the most insidious and destructive piece of marketing ever to be devised. It's sole purpose is to sell, to make someone rich. Well it's about time we payed more attention to what I would call the Golden Age of woman. And you've certainly reached that Carol. I've known you now for about a year, and throughout that time I've seen photos of you past and present. So without going into details of what I consider to be the virtues of this age, I'll simply say, I bet Ed is quietly smug that he's got you. And If he isn't, then he damn well ought to be.

3:15 PM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

I am _humbled_ as I read what you write. You are a master with words and humour.

Bah humbug to those who "hate" you.

I will return...before your next "session."


6:34 PM  
Anonymous SilverMoon said...

I'd paint you the color of wit and wisdom. Superficial "people-pleasers" aren't my cup of tea. (Besides, my pinkie has better uses than tea parties...)

You sound down-to-earth and real. That's quite appealing in this often too plastic and too hectic society.

10:13 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

As usual, I adore you. I agree with all the commenters, next week is too long and you could put on a show on Broadway.

5:02 AM  
Blogger frustratedwriter said...

Wow, what a post! I think I'm going to take my chunky butt out to the SUV, light up a cigar and think about it. Hey, when the world starts seeing the worth of the individual and shucks the superficial stuff, we will all be happier.

I always enjoy reading your stuff, quite thought provoking and fun.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm glad I left the counseling profession! We get a bad rap. ;)

I will say that, as a former smoker who started smoking a pack or more of Marlboro reds and Parliaments at age 13, for over fifteen years, that I hate smoking. I do not hate the act of smoking-I hate what it does. I do NOT hate smokers. My father smokes and he struggles to quit. I hate what smoking does to people. I hate the way it killed some people I've known. I know what it's like to not be able to quit- or not even want to.

Your sharp perceptions and sense of humor are far more evolved and informed than many "educated" people I know. I do hate you though because you always get a zillion comments in yoru blog. :)

9:57 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hot damn! Great post once again Carol.

Interesting finish. That self-hating awareness thing's a bastard eh?? lol Why do we do that to ourselves. We have so much in common!

Especially when there are so many others out there in the universe that love us!

I loved the "kiss my arse" response. Awesome *grin*

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Ben AKA Kathy said...

~ WH: Maybe I just don’t want people to hate me. Maybe that’s why I don’t unleash the beast very often. ~

Hi Carol, all,
Great post and right up my alley as you might have guessed.
Ahhhh, the beast! I deal with my pesky beast daily at A Particularly Persistent Point of View, trying to discover this thing called SELF. Btw, a big thank you for listing me in your "click worthy" section.
It looks as though you're aware that confronting our inner beasts is what is also called "self observation," which, according to some great minds, is the best way to bring our dark side into the light, i.e.; in the light nothing can hide.
Mark Twain said, "Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one's head."
"The kingdom of Heaven is within you," said another great mind.
To continue along this vein, may I suggest to your readers a little book, ""The Four Agreements" - the Toltec wisdom of don Miguel Ruiz.
Other books dealing with our inner predator are those by Carlos Castenada, G.I. Gurdjieff, and P.D. Ouspensky to name but a few.

"Ben" over at A PPP of View says about politics: one step at a time.
"Ben" over at A PPP of View says about weight: one step at a time.
"Ben" over at A PPP of View says about driving an SUV: one step at a time.
"Ben" over at A PPP of View says about having a child out of wedlock: one step at a time - with love.

And about smoking: ( Another Smokescreen: )

"Mr. Tiger" over at A PPP of View says to Ben, 'Don't suggest THAT entry! It's not one of your best and it'll scare new readers away! They won't like you.'
Ben answers, "Take a hike you beast!"

7:39 AM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Kathy ... YES! You were a true inspiration for this post format! I hope anyone who spots this will take a spin over to your place. "Click-worthy" is an understatement where your posts are concerned.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

ROFL! I gotta say, I love your writings, Carol. I swear you and I would be friends if we were neighbors. ;)

2:17 PM  
Blogger midwest_hick said...

I've been slacking on the blog hopping lately....popped in and now of course I'll have to pop back in for the follow-up counseling

2:59 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Your writing is MY free therapy! Thank you for a glimpse of your self-doubt. It somehow makes me feel NORMAL! :)

3:59 PM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

... still sobbing. Listening to Tom Jones "It's Not Unusual" and waiting for your next blog.

And, quite obviously, drinking multiple martinis. With bleu-cheese stuffed olives. MULTIPLE martinis.

2:53 AM  
Blogger phoenix said...

wow I think I am the triplet that was separated at birth... :P

This could have been me writing this... great job! I am all of the above and then some. Drive the SUV, smoke... quietly political and over weight.

Don you are my hero! I wish more thought like you!

iafoade: I am a fortunate facade.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Lizabeth said...

I think everyone in this world has AT LEAST one of those traits, if not many more, you are a great writer! Keep writing, can't wait till the next session!

6:22 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

That was great.
You sound normal to me.
Maybe its the fact that I smoke, am fat.Fucken doctor used to call me obese until I had a talk with him and now writes down over weight. I am bigger than he is you know.
I would rather drive a SUV than one of those little tin cans where you have to leave half you body home to go shopping.

2:20 PM  
Blogger L said...

you sound normal to me :)

I think we all feel that way at one time or another....

Just don't watch any meg Ryan movies-- they'll make you feel worse

7:07 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

ur sessions r amazing ,atleast saves the fee :))

now if only I knew the know-hows of it

1:37 AM  
Blogger MYSTIC said...


6:12 AM  
Blogger MYSTIC said...

I worked on one of your pics last night but haven't posted it...I need to match the skin tones..Can you spell VICTORIA SECRET? I know her secret...she's a slut.
You are such a class act and remarkable lady. Keep up the fine work...Your a doll.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Justine said...

the old-vegies hate me too! I loved that Carol. Thanks for venting it!!

10:16 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Carol, I just love it when I come home and see your comment email stacked up! It is so nice to hear from you ('bout time for a new post, isn't it?!)

Thanks for the info about stat counter and the time spent. I didn't know that - so I appreciate you telling me.

2:41 PM  
Blogger bschneider5 said...

Thanks for being so supportive of my writings in my blog. I have officially moved! I am now "living" at If you could update your link that would be great! I will also add you to my new blogroll. My old blog will remain there but I am no longer updating it. Thanks!

9:00 PM  
Blogger madcapmum said...

This is your therapist's office, calling to remind you that you missed your appointment yesterday, and when should we expect you to make it up to us?

9:19 PM  
Blogger Jezzy said...

Ha! You're hilarious! And who could hate *you*?! That makes you sound adorable!

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I want to see you in this session on a good day!

Seriously though, you really have the knack for revealing so much indirectly...through a story or theme, which makes it so much more interesting than if you just told us this stuff. I keep seeing the book all this will be in.

It's not letting me leave my address...this is Colleen at

3:34 PM  
Blogger TSBAllStars3 said...

Weary I don't hate you. I am right there with you on a few of those things you are worried about. How about a post about the things you think people should like about you?

5:28 PM  
Blogger Puggyspice said...

Love your blog! I care about the environment but would drive an SUV if I could afford one. And I refuse to vote for anyone who says "nucular." That cleared up any swing-voting tendency I may have had before this century.

If people hate you, you're probably doing something right.

11:17 AM  
Blogger mamalujo1 said...

Kathy, I don't have enough time to really read through all the blogs and posts that I wish I could. Job and family take priority. Thank God I read this one. One, it just spoke to me so much. Two, because I went over to after reading her comment and your response to it. I'm frustrated to realize that there are so many more of your posts I haven't gotten to yet, and so many other great blogs too, but at the same time I'm thrilled at how much more there is out there for me to keep finding. I'm being inspired in so many ways. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words you've given me at my blog, they mean so much.

6:34 PM  

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