Thursday, January 31, 2008

You Eat Donuts Like A Psychiatrist

So I'm sitting in Dunkin Donuts having an apple fritter when this nice cleancut young guy walks up to me and says, "You should be eating a muffin."

I looked at him. He was nicely but casually dressed, in an Old Navy/Gap kind of way. I was sure I didn't know him. "Pardon?" I said.

"Dr. Ellen says you should be eating a muffin. She compared a bagel with cream cheese to an egg McMuffin, and said the muffin was better."

At this point I was rather intrigued. He engaged me in a long discussion of nutrition, exercise, the importance of balance in life. He was animated, gestured a bit, talked a lot but not too loud or fast.

"You're doctor, aren't you? You seem nice." he said.

OK, that spooked me a bit because I hadn't told him anything at all about myself. I admitted I was a doctor. Then he went on to tell me about his family (aging mother caring for father with Alzheimer's, multiple brothers and sisters overly involved in his life) and I began to catch the drift that he was having a bit of trouble breaking away from the conversation. I wasn't surprised when he mentioned he had bipolar disorder. By this time I was expecting it.

"You're a psychiatrist, aren't you?" he said.

OK, spooked again. I definitely didn't mention I was a psychiatrist. I know I've never seen this guy before.

"Uh, yeah," I said.

"I thought so. You seem nice."

He told me about his psychiatrist (someone I know, a non-Shrink Rap colleague of mine), his clinic (not too far away from my prison). He handed me a religious brochure, told me to "keep doing what you're doing, God bless you," and then left. He promised to say hi to his psychiatrist for me.

I still don't know how he pegged me as a psychiatrist. I guess I eat donuts like a psychiatrist.