Sometimes a cigarette is just a cigarette

Thursday, July 5, 2001 at 12:00am

"A life without self-examination isn't worth living," Bonnie ruminates into her cappuccino.

"It's not what we do," Weston says passionately. "It's why we do it."

Some couples bike. Some couples bowl. Bonnie and Weston psychoanalyze. Bonnie, being a psychiatrist, is actually pretty good at it.

Whenever the four of us get together, it's like a mental orgy. We sit around, bare our souls, then feel guilty about it in the morning.

"Sweetie," Bonnie says, "what's your philosophy on dealing with negative emotions?"

"When you puke," Sweetie says, "don't pick through the pieces."

Well, Bonnie, Weston and I bare our souls. Sweetie prefers to moon us and move on. There is nothing Sweetie hates more than sitting around analyzing his feelings, except perhaps analyzing someone else's feelings. He calls it mental masturbation and says it will make you go blind.

"But if we don't explore our motivations," Weston insists, "how will we know if what we're doing is really what we want to do?"

Judging by the look on Sweetie's face, what he'd really like to do is shove Weston's head into his frozen mocha frappuccino and wait for the bubbles to pop.

"For example," Weston says, "one of my female clients has me totally baffled. No matter what I do, I can't seem to satisfy her."

Pumping his straw up and down in his frap, Wes neurotically chews it to tatters. "She says she wants to meet with me every day to review my position until I get it right. I can't work. I can't sleep," he says, voice rising. "It's driving me crazy!"

You don't need to be Sigmund Freud to figure out this woman's motivation. She's got the hots for Weston. It's nothing a 30-minute session on the couch wouldn't cure.

"Fortunately," Wes says, regaining his composure, "I'm reading a book on personality types to help me figure out what I should do with her."

"Hit her with the book," Sweetie says.

"You mean," Wes frowns, "I should use the information I've learned from the book to temper my response to her actions."

"I mean," Sweetie says, "pick up the book and throw it at her."

Weston looks at Bonnie. "Would that be considered a healthy response?"

Fingers laced and a caring look of concern on her face, Bonnie leans toward Sweetie. His eyes immediately drop to her tank top, which he appears to find psychologically comforting.

"Sweetie," Bonnie says with a soothing hypnotic voice, "when dealing with people you find annoying, what coping mechanism do you use?"

Reaching into his pocket, Sweetie pulls out a pack of cigarettes.

"Very interesting," Bonnie says, tapping her lip in thought. "Knowing the health risks and social stigma, Sweetie continues to smoke. Is it rebellion?"

"A death wish?" Wes asks.

"Could it be because he's addicted to cigarettes?" I eagerly suggest.

Bonnie and Wes roll their eyes at each other.

"Clearly a co-dependent relationship," Bonnie says to Weston.

"She has enabler written all over her," Wes says to Bonnie.

This pretty much confirms Sweetie's theory that I'm always willing and able

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