Doctor O: Beth – Session Three

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “give a man enough rope and he’ll eventually hang himself with it.” It’s true. Men especially seem to grow brasher as they stray and get away with it. To trap one, all that’s required is scattered bait and watchful eyes. Beth’s husband is one hungry rat about to be trapped.

“Hey, Beth, nice to see you.”

“Nice to see you, too. Guess what?”


“I did my homework and spoke with the attorney.”


“Yeah, not so much. He says I’m basically fucked. I either sell my half to John or convince him to sell it and split the profits. Either way, I lose what I’ve built. He said I should cut bait and open another restaurant. Man, he has no idea what it takes. I can’t start over again.”

“I figured that was what the attorney would advise.”

“You know I can’t do that.”

“Yes, I know. Is there any other way you can think of to get John to sell his half to you? Don’t you have any leverage at all with him?”

“Nope. He’s a loser, but a slimy one at that. I save my share and he spends his, then he has the nerve to ask me for more. I say, ‘At least pick up a bar rag or something. Make yourself useful.’ No chance. The most he ever does is answer the phone. Probably his damn bookie callin’ anyway.”

“Does he borrow money from anyone else that you know of?”

“Nope. Just to be clear, he ain’t borrowin’ anything, because borrowin’ assumes there’s repayment. He has no intention of payin’ me back.”

“OK. We need to create a situation where he needs money desperately. Then, he’ll have to come to you for it. That’s when you make it contingent upon the money being payment for his half of the restaurant.”

“What kind of situation we talkin’ about?”

“He has a knack for getting in trouble, then getting out of it. We need him to get into that kind of trouble that only money can get him out of.”

“I probably don’t want to know, do I?”

“You don’t. Just remember, when he comes asking you for money, that’s when you make your move.”

“If you say so.”

“Now, let’s talk more about you.”

“My favorite part–sexy time!”

“Beth, do you think you’ll ever fall in love again?”

“Of course I will.”

“Yet, you never speak of romance when we talk about relationships.”

“That shit’s overrated.”


“If I got a healthy sex life with my man, I don’t need him to be bringin’ me flowers.”

“What about when you’re not having sex? Don’t you want someone funny and fun to hang out with?”

“Sure, I do.”

“You can take long walks, travel, go to the movies, …”

“Yep, all that stuff is fine as long as I’m gettin’ in on.”

“Beth, it has been so long since you dated. I don’t want you ripping the clothes of the next man before the sorbet hits the table. You know?”

“Thought you men like aggressive women.”

“Most of us say that and, yes, sometimes it’s nice to be with a hungry woman. Fact is, most of the time, a woman like that disqualifies herself from any relationship beyond a physical one.”

“What do you mean?”

“The first thing a guy thinks when a woman is super-aggressive is that she does it with lots of men. That’s fine, but we don’t want to know. If you’re awesome in the sack, we appreciate it as long as we never meet your trainers.”

“Got ya.”

“So, when you find the man you want to keep around for more than one night, you need to dial it down.”

“I can do that. But, once we’re start fuckin’ …”

“Yep, have at it. Just try not to scare him away.”

“Oh, I have other ways to keep my man happy.”

“Yeah, I know. You’ve certainly kept me happy. That pulled pork sandwich I had last week nearly had me in tears.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Tell me a little about your friends.”

“Which ones? You lookin’ to have me set you up?”

“No, thank you. I’m married.”


“Your close friends–what are they like?”

“Tammi manages for me. We hang out after closing sometimes. She’s a doll. Skinny white bitch. And, you should see what she eats. Lord. Must be the yoga. She’s always tryin’ to get me to take classes with her. That ain’t happenin’.”

“Is she single?”

“Nah, married. Just had a baby. Cute as can be.”

“Anyone else?”

“Janice is a chef down at Woody’s. We hang out sometimes. Usually, we run into each other at Starbucks. It’s nice having someone to commiserate with.”

“About the business?”

“Yeah, and our deadweight husbands. She’s been tryin’ to leave her man for three years now. Caught him cheating. Similar shit, you know. Only good thing is he works, so he ain’t hangin’ around her store much. Heck, maybe I’ll give her your number. You could probably help her.”

“I appreciate referrals, Beth. As long as you two don’t commiserate about me.”

“Nah, you good.”

“We’re running out of time today. Have your attorney draw up the papers for John to sign over his interest. Present them to John. I’m sure he’ll refuse. Later, when John comes begging for money, pull out those papers again; you’ll hear a different tune.”

“One can only hope.”

“Hang in there.”

“Thank you, Doctor O.”

Diagnosis: Love this woman. She’ll be free soon. I’ll keep my eye on her by visiting her restaurant often.

Treatment: Ronnie has the set-up in place. Need to contact Rick and call in a favor from my man in blue.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.