Move Along

Dr. Frasier Crane: I’ll tell you Woody, the psychiatric profession can really get rough sometimes. I think if I hear one more person telling me about one more problem, I’ll explode.
Woody Boyd: I know just how you feel, Dr. Crane. 
Frasier: Actually, I suppose you do. Our professions are really very much alike. We both have to listen patiently while people unload their grief and suffering. Sometimes it’s just more than I can bear.
Woody: I know just how you feel, Dr. Crane. 
Frasier: If only I had your ability to listen to a person’s problem, sympathize with them, and yet still go on about my business calmly and happily. How to do you it, Wood?
Woody: I know just how you feel, Dr. Crane. 
Frasier: You’re not listening to me, are you?
Woody: I know just how you feel, Dr. Crane.


Cheers, “The Book of Samuel” (12/11/86)


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A genuine conversation I had with GF shortly before she left for Kansas (this is the part where your screen goes all wavy and you hear harp music running up and down the scale):


GF: Don’t forget to water the plants on the porch every other day.


Me: You got it, Honey.


GF: I know it’s been raining a lot lately, but the ones on the porch don’t get rained on.


Me: I understand. I’ve got it covered.


GF: And if they don’t get watered at least every other day, they’re going to die.


Me: (finally losing patience) So you want them watered? Is that daily or will every other day do?  


GF: (not necessarily getting it) They need it every other day. Why are you getting an attitude with me?


Me: Because I’ve already agreed to take care of it. I understand the situation. I can handle it. So stop trying to convince me that it’s important. I’m not getting an attitude, but I can’t figure out if you’re ignoring me or if you think I’m not able to do this job.  


To be fair about this, this conversation is not unique to GF. I think I’ve gone through this sort of conversation with every woman with whom I’ve had a long-term relationship. What is it with these people who feel compelled to keep convincing you to do something you’ve already agreed to do? It really pisses me off when they Just. Keep. Explaining. after I’ve already said Yes. A couple of times I’ve told them Yes, then had to stop them by saying “I’ve already said ‘yes’. Stop now before I change my mind.” 


I have a coworker who can’t let stuff go. She’ll call the office and I’ll make the mistake of asking politely, “How are you?” This sets her off on a twenty-minute diatribe of her health, how much time she spends doing her job, and any of a multitude of complaints. FINALLY she’ll get to her question. I’ll give her this: she doesn’t usually call with knucklehead questions. I answer as best as I can but onward she plows, telling me how she needs this answer and giving me another ten minutes about the discussion she got into with this person and that person and the other guy and I have no recourse but to break in and say, “HEY. Did you get the answer? Yes? Good, then stop burning up my cellphone’s daytime minutes.” I hang up before she realizes she’s called the land line.


Because this clearly isn’t a unique situation to GF, I’m sure that other guys are with me in this boat. What do you do to stop the madness besides threaten to blow your brains out?

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