Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Therapy

October is the busiest month for the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries. Everyone knows they are the perfect place to pick up items for your Halloween costume.

And how do I know this? I know this because my friend was the chief creative director for the Goodwill account and I've seen his ads which spoke to this October boom.

I have taken to visiting the Salvation Army thrift shop, or SalVay as my daughter calls it. My purpose is to find clothes in the colors and textures I'm looking for to creative multi-media collages with. The other day I had a need for green and so off I went. As I headed to the men's green t-shirt section, I heard a loud conversation. There was an attractive middle-aged woman speaking into a small microphone attached to her cell phone. Not only was she speaking loudly, while methodically browsing through every t-shirt in the men's black t-shirt section, but it sounded as though she was delivering a psychotherapy session at the same time. “I need you to” and “when you are feeling _____, you need to...” and so on. It may have been a therapy session or was she a psychic giving a reading? It was definitely some new age chatter or some psycho babble. I am fully onboard with both of those genres, but while shopping at the Salvay? If it were a therapy session, how is she able to concentrate on what she is saying, and have it be meaningful or credible while looking at thrift shop t-shirts? I mean even if she was shopping at Nordstroms, would I want my therapist to be multi-tasking (a.k.a. Shopping) while helping to heal me?

I know I should be minding my own business. I know very well I should not comment on strangers' behavior unless it's in my face. I walked away once. And then she was back in my earshot and I said: “Are you giving therapy in the Salvation Army?” She lovingly looked up at me and said: “I'm talking to my 15 year old daughter.”

OK, so she was counseling her daughter while shopping. So what? Everyone is very busy right? How nice that she cares enough about her daughter to counsel her. And how nice that she can multi-task.

I think this is more a statement on our culture than anything else. Does this story qualify as a Nut Magnet story? Yes and no. Yes in that our society is so nutty in how cell phones have become a third arm or sixth sense. People have integrated them into their lives in such an intrinsic way. And no in that trying to communicate with your teenage daughter, is perfectly normal.