But my step-dad really pissed me off earlier today. I’m pretty easygoing and tolerant as anyone in my family would tell you but I said something innocently funny and he picked that moment to belabor the point. Ironically, me, my sister and my step-dad were talking about the ink blot test (the Rourdoush test for mentally ill people? Something like that).
That conversation ended but after a pause I told them that most of the time when I was evaluated to get in a hospital a psychiatrist would ask me start counting backwards by 7’s from a hundred. Or they would ask me what is the meaning of the old saying “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?”
Another popular question is to name the last 7 presidents going backwards from the current president (in my first psyche ward it started at Ronald Reagan!!) to the older ones.
They also asked me if I knew what year it was and what day of the week it was.
I always aced these tests, never got one wrong except my last hospitalization three years ago when I wasn’t sure what day it was.
But during all my hospitalizations in the 1980’s I never got one wrong and impressed the doctors.
But I told my sister and step-dad this just to be funny and let them know one of the trivial quirks of being hospitalized which they wouldn’t know otherwise. My sister was amused but my step-dad picked the moment to start belaboring the point about the ink blot test.
I had a sneaking suspicion he had an ulterior motive. He often starts conversations with provocative statements where you suspect he is pulling some kind of power but you can’t really tell. He does it constantly and he is an ex-professor and highly intelligent and he lives in a beautiful home and he actually does have power.
But I told him I wasn’t talking about the ink blot test. He started pressing me and I just threw up my hands and told him politely I was tired and sleepy and he misunderstood me. I looked at my sister and she understood I was joking but my step-dad wouldn’t drop the conversation and I got really, really pissed. To get him to leave me alone I told him I understood his point and leave me alone.
I sat there getting more and more angry and tried to politely end the conversation. And he finally stopped and I was put in the position of feeling I had done something wrong. But I hadn’t and he gave me a ride home which was a little tense and awkward. I hate to say it but I was thinking to myself that people can be such idiots. I’ve known him for 30 years and he’s not an idiot but he just picked the wrong time.