Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Mind over Mina
Mina has postponed her return another few days. She has been gone so long now that my longing, having given way to pique, has now returned full-throttle. I miss the old girl. She would shoot me in the shins if she heard me call her thus (and if we had a weapon in the house, as demonstrated above by the soberly reflective - so we hope - John Garand, inventor of the semi-automatic M1 rifle) but there it is: I miss her.
Is it because I am an unrepentant narcissist and need an audience, as she once fondly suggested? (To which I replied, "But Mina, I am repentant.")
Or is it, perhaps, that I actually miss her, Wilhelmina Blenk-Thrett herself?
Well, what's a fellow to do. Talk about her, I suppose, and in fact there continues to be more interest expressed about her than about myself. Which is as it should be, quite frankly.
So, the inestimable, though detained, Dr. Thrett. Just what does she do?
Do use your powers of recall here. Or review previous posts.
Mina is a Doctor of Psychiatry. For a number of years she engaged in a conventional practice. Then, as she so astutely pointed out, she realized she didn't 1) believe in analysis nor 2) like prescribing medications that either masked useful symptoms or created a whole constellation of other problematic conditions which in turn required more drugs. The vicious medications cycle. As she was wont to say to the pharmaceutical representatives who besieged her practice, "Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just filling the coffers of multi-national drug companies at the expense of your customers' cardiac health?"
Very well, then. That isn't what she ever said. Mae West said it, famously, or a variation thereof. Now there was a dame. (Sorry, Mina, but do make haste to return lest blow-up dolls become my next fantasy.)
We need a few Mae West quotes here, just to keep the youngsters interested.
~ I used to be Snow White, but then I drifted.
~ I didn't discover curves, I only uncovered them.
~ A woman in love can't be reasonable - or she probably wouldn't be in love.
~ Don't marry a man to reform him; that's what reform schools are for.
~ I never loved another person the way I love myself.
~ I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.
It was Mina who first quoted Mae West to me, that last quote above, in response to my telling her Actien, my middle name, was a legacy of my familial relation to Dortmunder Actien Brauerei, the German brewery founded in 1868 and based out of Dortmund. Technically that isn't true, but once she disclosed the two kinds of men she liked I figured I was good to go.
It was the drug industry that did her in. She came home one day, threw down her appointment book and the DSM-II (that tells you how long ago), and said she was done. Would not return to a profession that 'diagnosed them down and doped them up.' It was time to use her expertise for better causes.
Thinks out of the box, my Mina does. Always has. Or, as she queried archly when I urged greater variety in our garden, "Oh, you mean I should think outside of the phlox?" And who could not love such a gardener?
The challenge, of course, was which cause. The last person able to rank the scourges of humanity drank himself to death and took his ranking with him. We're a Quaker family, by philosophy, but by religious affiliation we're Jewish-Jainist Buddhists. JJB's, as our daughter says, Jujubes to the young ones.
Plenty of causes. Peace being among the first.
So the question is, how did my Mina end up consulting with the criminally insane? I'll leave that for another blog. Let me only say, she has used her veterinary training for good cause with the prison population, about whom you may have heard there have been successful reductions in recidivism owing to partnerships between dogs, horses and inmates. It was Mina who thought, what about the rest of the animal kingdom?
Of course, very few prison systems are willing to undertake this cause, imagination being one of the many casualties of the criminal justice system, and most jurisdictions much preferring to waste billions of dollars of tax money in the service of detaining minority populations of petty criminals while letting large-scale swindlers and exploiters continue living their luxury lives. My Mina has had a very uphill battle, but she is exactly the one to fight it since she is indefatigable both physically and spiritually.
Enough. It's 4:30 in the afternoon and I am headed for a shot of my other JJB: Jolly Jim Beam. Perks an old fellow up on a lazy afternoon.