February 6, 2004

Self-Help For Dummies

I really and truly wish I was making this up. But sadly, friends, I'm not. I present to you the conversation I heard not an hour ago inside the walls of a local bookstore. Is truth stranger than fiction? Today it seems to be.

Him: What do you have?
Her: This book about dealing with troubled teens.
Him: Oh good.
Her: There's a quiz in here that's supposed to help us find a way to help her. Just answer these questions.
Him: Okay.
Her: Does the teen cause disturbances?
Him: Yes.
Her: Does the teen ever commit or participate in violent acts?
Him: Yes.
Her: Has the teen ever mentioned or attempted suicide?
Him: Yes.
Her: Really?
Him: Yeah. That time a year or so back. Remember?
Her: Kinda. Ok. Has the teen ever stolen money or property?
Him: Yep.
Her: Does the teen have a history of drug or alcohol abuse?
Him: Uh-huh.
Her: That reminds me about something I wanted to tell you about your mother-
Him: Don't start in with that again. She's a poor woman who's not even here to defend herself. Just leave her out of it...

Needless to say, there were a couple of questions I really wanted to ask. I restrained myself.

Question One: Why the hell are you sitting in a bookstore when you obviously have a suicidal lunatic living at home who's probably chasing the dog around with a steak knife? Can you say therapy?

Question Two: Um...I don't mean to be critical but do you really believe you're going to find all the answers in a self-help book? Exactly where will Dr. Phil be when, after said teen has killed said dog with said steak knife, she hotwires the van and sells it for crack?

Question Three: Do you have no shame? You realize you're sitting inside a fairly busy bookstore and discussing the many downfalls of your daughter not to mention your own poor parenting skills? And on top of that, you're talking pretty loud!

Some words of advice if you're listening, dumb couple. Stop at the grocery store, buy a nice bottle of Chianti and a can of fava beans because if you're counting on that book to change your lives, you're really and truly screwed.

Posted by Chris at February 6, 2004 4:26 PM

hey, i'm watching dr phil right now! lol

Posted by: tiffanie at February 6, 2004 5:24 PM

I loooooooooove Chianti

Posted by: Sarah at February 6, 2004 6:14 PM

OMG. Can't stop laughing. I work in a bookstore and have seen people sobbing in the self-help section more than you would ever want to know. We have to kick people out of that section when we close all of the time.

Posted by: feisty girl at February 6, 2004 7:27 PM

I think there should be birth control in the water to prevent this sort of thing. Love your thoughts on the matter...lol.

Posted by: Burnt Fuse at February 6, 2004 7:39 PM

[Note to self: move to new town, or start shopping Amazon.]

"Kinda???" WTF??? They "kinda" remember? Holy shit I feel like going over and helping that girl get it right, because there is NO way those lunkheads are going to improve her life any.

Posted by: Mindy at February 6, 2004 10:33 PM

With that kind of parents, I understand that girl is troubled!

Posted by: Sweety at February 7, 2004 3:43 AM

Sick sad world.

Posted by: Ginny at February 7, 2004 8:10 AM

Why is it we have to pass a test to drive, but just anyone can become a parent? I never did get that. These two really sound like they need to get out of the gene pool.

Posted by: Krush at February 7, 2004 3:48 PM

My first reaction is what Mindy said. She *Kinda* remembers her child talking suicide??? I think these people are looking for self help for the wrong person/people.

Posted by: Charlene at February 7, 2004 6:50 PM

Chris, maybe it's just me, but when I read about your overheard conversation just now it very much disturbed me. That is the saddest thing that I've heard in a while. It's like that couple was randomly discussing someone ELSE'S child, and not their own.

"Suicide?" Check. "Stolen property?" Check. Like it was no big deal. "Oh, so now we're finally reading this book after realizing way too late that we have a troubled teen residing in our very household...."

Posted by: Zandria at February 8, 2004 12:05 AM

That is very very disturbing and sad, and yet so acurate of the way things are going in the world these days.

Posted by: Jaded Angel at February 8, 2004 1:15 AM

oi! hah that was so funny!

Posted by: Maureen at February 8, 2004 5:47 PM

Ohh man! What is wrong with people?! LOL! =

Posted by: Jennie at February 8, 2004 10:48 PM

Now, how do we know it's the kids parents?

Posted by: wlfldyz at February 9, 2004 1:04 PM