By Stephanie D Lewis
Therapist: Before we begin, I want to stress that anything we discuss here remains in the strictest of confidence and will not be spoken outside of this room or…
Captain: Or turned into childish lyrics and sung on bicycles, joyriding around Salzburg. Do I make myself clear?? (Tooot, tooooooot–)
Maria: Oh spare me your whistle, Captain.
Therapist: Tssk, tssk . . . definite control issues. So what can I help you folks with today?
Captain: Well first and foremost…how do you solve a problem like Maria? Also, whenever there’s a thunderstorm, my wife invites others into our bed. And I’m sick of tea as a drink with jam and bread—big Starbucks guy here. Additionally, you can never just bid a simple goodbye to Maria when leaving the house. Gotta launch into a whole choreographed megillah, “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, sayonara, shalom,” etc. And finally, her constant yodeling has gotten on my last nerve.
Therapist: Hmmm…quite a laundry list there. Anything you want to add, Maria?
Maria: (Singing) Perhaps I had a wicked childhood. Perhaps I had a miserable youth.
Therapist: But somewhere in your youth or childhood, you must’ve done something good?
Maria: Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.
Captain: And that’s exactly what this session is worth!
Therapist: Now, now Captain. Your wife tells me you aren’t very supportive of her creative household frugality.
Captain: Ya think? Who needs to wear window coverings to military march around our foyer??
Maria: But the children. They just want love. Please just love them, Captain. The children.
Captain: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
Therapist: I’m sorry but that’s not the correct line for you, is it? It’s not in my notes. Let’s save the Rhett Butler nonsense for later. He’s actually my next appointment.
Captain: I said that to make a point. My wife identifies with Gone With the Wind – – they also transition their curtains/draperies into ladies fashionable outfits, you know? It’s like she’s taken Scarlett O’hara and Maria Von Trapp and blended them both together.
Therapist: Could that be true, Maria? Do you think you have Transblender tendencies?
Captain: Haha! That was just my little joke!
Maria: Honestly Georg, you’re so juvenile. Like an eighth child. You are 16 going on 17.
Therapist: Speaking of, have you two ever considered hiring a governess? Parenting isn’t easy.
Captain: Ah yes, some pretty young thing from a nunnery with a penchant for warm woolen mittens and whiskers on kittens.
Captain: Fraulein! You will remember yourself!
Therapist: Seriously? Who says that anymore? Is that even a thing?
Maria: Well, it’s time for my prayers. God bless the Captain, Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Brigitta, Marta, Gretel and . . .
Maria: Gesundheit and bless you . . . err, I’ve forgotten what you’re called. What’s your name again? I know it’s not Kurt. Well God bless What’s-Your-Name.
Captain: OMG. Is there any hope for this relationship? With a woman who has a severe phobia.
Therapist: Nobody mentioned phobias. Maria? What is it that truly scares you, my dear?
Maria: The hills are alive . . .
Therapist: Now we’re finally getting somewhere. But I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for this week.
Captain: Don’t you have any quick advice to conquer this fear? We may need to hike through the Alps one day with Nazis chasing after us.
Therapist: Of course — here’s my favorite therapeutic tip…“Climb every mountain!”