I love my job as a creative writer! But first I’ll give them some pre-marriage counseling to make sure they’re compatible. Any good matchmaker would do the same.
Therapist: Hello you two famous celebrities!
Neil: Hello my friend, hello.
Barbra: What’s up, Doc?
Therapist: Oh please, I don’t have a PhD — use my first name … Caroline.
Barbra: Hmph. Obviously you’re not a big fan of my films? What’s Up Doc? Ryan O’Neil. Four plaid suitcases get mixed up?
Therapist: Way before my time. Sorry! Did I just rain on your parade? Ignore me.
Neil: No one heard at all, not even the chair. If you know what I mean?
Therapist: Suffice it to say I’m a big fan of your voice, Barbra.
Neil: It’s a beautiful noise. And it’s a sound that I love.
Therapist: Well that’s a great start! So how can I help you both today?
Neil: She hardly talks to me anymore when I come through the door at the end of the day.
Therapist: Well perhaps it’s painful that you don’t bring her flowers anymore.
Barbra: Yes! Roses aren’t even that costly.
Neil: Money talks, but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.
Therapist: Let’s try a different tact. How did you two first meet?
Neil: Where it began? I can’t begin to knowing. But then I know it’s growing strong.
Barbra: Isn’t he annoying? Actually we met in high school choir. True story. Google it!
Neil: Such a Funny Girl back then. But I told her, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon.”
Therapist: So now she’s a Funny Lady? Sorry, couldn’t resist!
Barbra: Honestly, how’s my age relevant? The underlying issue is Neil isn’t ready to commit and drop those other females from his lyrics, ya know?
Therapist: Other females?
Barbra: Well for starters there’s that hussy from the Bluegrass state.
Neil: Ahhh, Kentucky Woman. God knows I love her.
Barbra: See that? And Cherry, Cherry. Oh! We can’t forget Cracklin’ Rosie.
Therapist: Cracklin’? — Sounds like a cereal.
Neil: No, but she is a store bought woman.
Barbra: And then there was that hussy, Shilo.
Therapist: Wow. I always thought Shiloh was his dog. Neil? Your input?
Neil: Shilo was when I was young. I used to call her name. But honestly, I can’t recall.
Therapist: What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.
Barbra: Thank you. And something else bothers me. He starred in The Jazz Singer and could’ve easily suggested me as his leading lady instead of Lucy Arnaz.
Neil: I Love Lucy.
Barbra: Well that’s super depressing.
Neil: Me and you are subject to the blues now and then….
Therapist: Here’s the question. Can you both be your true selves with each other?
Neil: I’ll be what I am. Solitary man.
Barbra: He’s always proclaiming his identity, shouting around the house, “I am, I said!”
Therapist: Barbra, I sense anger. I’d like you to make some physical contact with Neil right now. A small gesture of affection.
Neil: Yeah! Hands touchin’ hands. Reachin’ out, touching me….touching you.
Therapist: You can do this, Babs.
Barbra: (hesitatingly extends forearm) Hold my hand and we’re half-way there. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there. Somehow, someday, somewhere.
Therapist: Very good progress this week, folks. But I’d like to see you again. Neil/Barbra: Do we really even need you any more?
Therapist: People. People who need people….are the luckiest people in the world.
Stephanie D. Lewis writes for the Huffington Post comedy section with a humor blog at OnceUponYourPrime.com.