Transcript of 18th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, September 17, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hello, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. How are you this week?
Ms. Lippard: Not too bad, really. Frank's been in an amazing mood. I caught him with his desk full of travel brochures, planning a honeymoon of all things! He has children by two women, his divorce's not even final yet, and now he's engaged already. You'd think he'd learn.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: And he surprised me again--turns out Herald the Horrible is quite the romantic. He's talking about sailing the Mediterranean: Greece, Italy, France--all the real romance spots. Then maybe even Russia! And I saw Hong Kong written on his note pad, but that may have been an investment idea. And the rings! He showed me a catalog. Specifically, these ornate creations of filigreed white gold with inlaid diamonds. Of course he's a savvy investor, too; he can afford it. But I had the idea that he's rather tight.
Dr. Balis: Clearly this is important to him.
Ms. Lippard: Clearly. And you know, he really does seem happy? I don't just mean giddy and excited, but genuinely pleased and contented with life. Like everything is great, and he's getting all that he wanted.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like he is.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. And I'm happy for him. I really am. It's just...I guess I'm jealous, too.
Dr. Balis: Why is that?
Ms. Lippard: Well, here he is with all I want--top of his field, rich, ready to retire, free to do whatever he wants, and courageous enough to go ahead and do it with the woman he believes to be the love of his life beside him. I want that.
Dr. Balis: It does sound ideal. It sounds like he's been working towards this a long time. Frank's a good bit older than you are, isn't he?
Ms. Lippard: Of course. He's about the age I want to retire at.
Dr. Balis: Do you think you can achieve all that by that age?
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. Probably. I'm almost at the top of my field. And as soon as I am, I'll be rich enough, too. In fact, if I play my cards right, I can move retirement up by as much as ten years. That is if I retire conservatively and not sail around the world with my third wife. Well, you know what I mean.
Dr. Balis: Yes.
Ms. Lippard: But free? I don't know. That's one thing that really appeals to me about Jake--he goes right off and does anything he wants, no regard for the consequences. Of course any money he has, he blows immediately. He's talking kayak lessons now--going to shoot the white water in a week or two. I'll watch from the sidelines, as usual.
Dr. Balis: How are things going with Jake?
Ms. Lippard: I'm not through with the freedom thing yet. I admire Phil, too. He's rich when he sells a painting, destitute when he doesn't. But he's just as happy either way. He says things will work out however they're supposed to and there's no need to get uptight about it. Sometimes, I wonder if we grew up in the same family.
Dr. Balis: You do seem very different.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. I could learn a lot from Phil. You know, I did something healthy last week.
Dr. Balis: What was that?
Ms. Lippard: Jake wanted me to watch him take his kayak lesson, but that bored me to tears. So I told him I had something else to do and spent the day with Phil. I just sat in his loft listening to folk music and watching him paint. It was very relaxing, very refreshing.
Dr. Balis: Good for you. You took control of your life and did what made you feel good.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. It was liberating. Like I was me--Katherine Lippard, an independent woman in my own right, not just Jake's girlfriend.
Dr. Balis: Have you felt like that lately?
Ms. Lippard: Like Jake's girlfriend? Yeah, I have. I'm so torn, Doctor Balis. On one hand, he's amazingly charming and intelligent and attractive--a real catch. And he's good to me, for the most part. He gets a little macho and possessive sometimes, but that's just because he's so proud to be with me he wants to show me off. And he's great in bed. I mean, I've never felt so vibrant and alive and womanly. He can do things to me I've never even imagined. I've climaxed so much and so often that I've literally become dizzy. And that was just with his hands. When he...I'm sorry, I'm getting too graphic.
Dr. Balis: That's okay, Katherine, we're both adults. But I think I get the picture.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, the picture! That's the latest thing. After I told him I didn't enjoy the S&M stuff, he started talking about taking pictures. And I'm a little intrigued. I've seen some very tasteful, artistic work done with nudes, and I know Jake knows the difference between art and pornography. And I have a nice body. But I don't want naked pictures of me displayed in the gallery or getting around. Some of Jake's friends are Phil's friends, and I'm not unknown in the art community around here.
Dr. Balis: Then that's something to discuss before you pose for these pictures.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. Boy, there sure is a lot of discussion in this relationship stuff, isn't there?
Dr. Balis: Yes, there is.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm.
Dr. Balis: So are you getting what you want out of your relationship?
Ms. Lippard: What do you mean?
Dr. Balis: You've said that Jake treats you well and the sex is good. What other satisfaction do you get from your relationship?
Ms. Lippard: What else should there be? He obviously cares for me, even if he can't say the "L" word. We have good conversations. We're comfortable together. He doesn't crowd me, and I try not to crowd him. It's just...
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Ms. Lippard: The magic is gone. I'm not giddy for him any more. I'm not excited to see him. It's become commonplace. And he used to treat me like a queen, like it was an incredible honor to be out with me. Now it's like we take each other for granted. Hmm...
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Lippard: Jake's switched music. He used to just listen to Counting Crows--over and over again, until I'd get sick of it. Now he's discovered Matchbox 20. This one album. Constantly. For a man who always has to be doing something different, trying something new, he sure fixates on his music. Anyway, I reminded myself of this one song that goes: "I wanna push you around; I wanna push you down; I wanna take you for granted." I didn't like that. I thought it sounded controlling. But using another interpretation, he's saying that he wants the security of knowing that she'll always be around--of being able to take her for granted. And I guess that's okay.
Dr. Balis: Do you feel that sense of comfort and security with Jake?
Ms. Lippard: Um, mostly. I know he feels it with me. I still think there should be something else. I mean...I guess it's okay that the initial excitement has worn off. We're comfortable now. And he's good to me. And he's stimulating--in more ways than one.
Dr. Balis: But?
Ms. Lippard: But nothing, I guess. Never mind.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, I don't think you should ignore this. It's obvious you're feeling some dissatisfaction with Jake. You should find out what that's about before it poisons the relationship. If you can identify the problem, you can work on it.
Ms. Lippard: Well, that's just it. I can't identify it. Maybe it's nothing.
Dr. Balis: I doubt it. Let's take a break from it right now, but keep it in mind, okay? During the week and while you're out with Jake, keep this in mind and see if you can put into words what you feel is missing. We'll talk about it again next week.
Ms. Lippard: Okay. Can't hurt to consider it, I guess.
Dr. Balis: Certainly not. Is anything else on your mind?
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. My brother's birthday is coming up. And my mother's.
Dr. Balis: Which brother?
Ms. Lippard: Joey. Phil was born February 29th, can you believe that? He says that's part of why he's so charmed. He also claims to be a very old soul--almost through the Earthly lessons and possibly on his last incarnation before moving on to another astral plane. And I have to admit, he does seem to have it all together.
Dr. Balis: Yet you sound skeptical.
Ms. Lippard: Well, you know, I've never put much stock in that kind of thing, but lately it seems to be making more sense. I can't deny that everything I've read about Aquarius is right on the mark for me, including the way I interact with Jake...ah...uh, Scorpio. But it still seems far fetched to believe that your personality is dependent on the position of the stars when you were born.
Dr. Balis: I'm not a believer in astrology myself, but my understanding is that even the astrologers think that the personality traits described by the astrological signs don't apply. I've heard it called "newspaper astrology." Astrologers think that you need to have a detailed chart of the position of the stars and planets when you were born--a natal chart--and that has to be interpreted. So I wouldn't put too much stock in the generalizations about your astrological sign. Hmm. I wasn't expecting to give a lecture about astrology today. What about the birthdays?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. Joey and Mama want me and Phil to come back for their birthdays. I'm thinking I might go. Oh, no--I wonder if that conflicts with that corporate retreat in the Bahamas? I'm sending my number two man, but one of us should stay and run the show. Well, I can check on that.
Dr. Balis: So you think you might go back to North Carolina to see your family?
Ms. Lippard: South Carolina. Yeah, I was thinking that might be a good time to talk to my mother about some of those things we discussed. You know? About Daddy, and how she felt about my relationship with him, and why she kept the college money secret, stuff like that.
Dr. Balis: That sounds like a good idea. Can you get enough time alone with her?
Ms. Lippard: Sure. I'll take her out one night, just the two of us. Phil can go out with Joey and Rachel. He loves getting Rachel's goat, going to those upscale places she likes and acting all bohemian, watching her try to keep her composure while he mispronounces food and eats with his fingers and leans back in the chair waving his wine glass around. She's such an affected Southern lady that he swears he'll make her literally swoon one day.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like he has great fun. I guess everyone needs a hobby. When will you be going?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, second week in October, I guess, then we can catch them both--10th and 13th. If I can get away from the office at all, that is. Yeah, it should be fun, despite it being with my family. I really like my little niece and nephew, you know? And they love Phil to death. I hope they grow up just like him.
Dr. Balis: They could do a lot worse. Well, let me know if you're going to miss an appointment. And think about your dissatisfaction, okay? There may be something to that.
Ms. Lippard: I will. Good night, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Katherine.
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