You’re at the bar with your bestie, that fox you’ve been working on is finally getting handsy, and you’ve had enough whisky sours to feel really good about this idea. Who cares that you’d been saving your virginity for that cutie from work you’d been crushing on for months? And so what if this guy might have prison tattoos on his knuckles? And you kind of ran out of birth control. But you are so going to go for this. You’re a big girl. You answer to no one.
FALSE. You answer to Joanne, your best friend’s therapist.
Face it: we can’t all afford professional counseling! All you really need is one good friend who can cough up enough for weekly sessions. You know you need to work on yourself, and there is no shame in asking for help – from Joanne, the therapist that you did not pay for and know nothing about other than her name.
Imagine this woman, Joanne, hearing about all of the self-destructive things you do. She’s probably formed an opinion of you based on things she hears from your friend. She must be so smart. You have to be smart to be a therapist. She probably thinks you’re dumb and un-self-aware. She’s probably thinking about how un-self-aware you are right now!
Maybe you should call that cute guy from the office. Just tell it to him straight. They say honesty is the best policy. You’ll just be casual about it: “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m still a virgin and I would really like it if you…wait, no. Stop. Pause. Breathe. What would Joanne say about this? She would probably say, “Which one is that again? Your friend from work?” And then she would say, “Well, I would say to your friend, ‘You deserve better than that. You need to respect yourself. I love you. I love you. I love you.’”
See? Crisis averted! Thanks, Joanne!
Sure, you’ve never met this lady and chances are you never will. If she were sitting next to you on the bus, you’d never even know it was her. But that’s the point, isn’t it? She could be anyone. Anywhere. She’s a nameless, faceless specter that lurks in the back of your mind during those pivotal moments where you’re standing on the precipice, poised to leap. Whenever you’re faced with insecurity, incapacity, or just plain indecision, just think, “What would Joanne say?”
Your conscience has a new name. And it’s Joanne.