A hypothetical conversation between me and a hypothetical therapist.
Me: I think I had fun over the weekend.
Therapist: Really? You want to tell me about it?
Me: Sure. I went to a birthday party and drank beer out of a keg.
Me: I conversed confidently with the other guests on a variety of topics.
T: Mm hmm.
Me: I unhesitatingly partook of chips and dip without worrying about the proper protocol. I even mixed it up a little bit. Like once, I put some chips and in my hand and stood by the table and dipped them one at a time, and the next time I put some on my plate and used a spoon to put dip on my plate and ate them that way.
T: I see.
Me: Oh. Also I played ladderball and washers. And when I wasn’t doing well I just drank more, which seemed to make me play better. Then, sometime after the table had been moved into the garage for flip cup, the host of the party put his fist through a pane of glass and got two bloody knuckles. That’s a great name for a band, by the way, “Two Bloody Knuckles.” Oh, and another guy wandered off and we found him face down in the neighbor’s yard with no pants on.
T: And what were you doing while this was happening?
Me: I helped. I picked up shards of glass and helped to search for the missing pantsless drunk guy. But rather lazily, I might add. It seems that drinking makes me a lot less task-oriented than usual.
T: Well, that’s what “fun” is. A letting go, a surrendering to the present. Allowing oneself to be amused. Isn’t that how you experience fun?
Me: It depends. Are you talking about fun without alcohol?
Me [frowning]: No. Fun is like…doing crossword puzzles. Or scraping paint off a wall. Or scrubbing things. Or untangling all of someone’s necklaces when they get knotted together because their jewelry box is disorderly. Ooh! Or plucking all the hairs from the follicles on my lower legs with a pair of tweezers while ruminating about my past failures.
Me: I thought. I mean, I have a better understanding of “fun” now.
T: [raises eyebrows] That’s progress.
Me: How about what we’re doing now? This is fun, isn’t it?
Me: [disappointed] Oh.
T: We’ll continue to work on this.
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