“I have a fear of becoming a bag lady,” I confess to my therapist. Embarrassed by the sound of my words in this walnut paneled library, two French doors to a balcony, I am thinking of throwing the paisley over my head – afraid that she might hit me. Here off Madison, with the I-don’t-give-damn threadbare oriental easing the situation, I’ve already shrunk into the worn leather sofa, nestled into velvet pillows.
“How do you plan to manage that, as you own a house?” in her flat no-nonsense tone, wry smile. I adore her: head of this preeminent institute, speaking engagements world-wide, four books. Also elegant, a mensch, and she likes me. How can I not win? I watch my fingers lace and unlace, chew the thickened spot inside my lip.
I want to say: I know!
Instead, I exhale dramatically, shrug, catch her eye and reply: “I will FIND a way.”
She laughs richly. Game point mine, session over.
“Ha, hoodwinked!” Lisa hoots later over Chardonnay, leaning toward me, eyes aglow. “I hoodwinked ‘em all. Charmed their pants off. Why I quit going to therapy – once you get them that loose, no use.” Her diamond sparkles as she pursues a speck in her glass.
“But you know, I’m afraid of it, too. Bag lady: one of the foremost fears of women in Manhattan. True. They really should take us more seriously.” Down goes that last half glass, as she raises the finger of her other hand.