Transcript of 7th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Kelly Wiseling, Wednesday, September 30, 1998 at 2:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Kelly. How are you feeling?
Ms. Wiseling: Better, thanks. Last week, half of SII was out sick.
Dr. Balis: Did you get a flu shot?
Ms. Wiseling: No, I think there are too many strains of flu around for them to do any good. And my arm hurts like hell afterward; and I always get sick anyway.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How was your week?
Ms. Wiseling: I think Tom is a doofus. It's either that or he doesn't like me.
Dr. Balis: What makes you say that?
Ms. Wiseling: A few days ago, I went to lunch with Rachel, and she brought Tom along. It was meant as a surprise--she was trying to fix us up. She must have known I was interested in him.
Dr. Balis: Did you tell her?
Ms. Wiseling: Not in so many words, but I've been spending more time at the Help Desk. I thought I'd feel him out, see if there was any interest there. I wasn't flirting really, I was just being a little extra friendly. I didn't get the sense that he was attracted to me. At lunch, he barely said anything. I could tell he was uncomfortable, and he kept giving me these funny looks. I hope he doesn't think I put Rachel up to this.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Wiseling: Once, when I was talking to him, I touched him lightly on the arm, and he stared at my hand as if I was a leper. What's with him? Is he blind? Can't he see I'm reaching out to him?
Dr. Balis: He might have been distracted or thinking about something else. Or maybe he's a little shy.
Ms. Wiseling: I don't know what else to do to get his attention. Maybe I should smear my body with Crisco and dance naked on his desk.
Dr. Balis: He'd be sure to notice that.
Ms. Wiseling: I don't know, he's pretty thick sometimes. I wonder if he doesn't like me or if my attentions make him uncomfortable. I'm about ready to give up. I've embarrassed myself enough already.
Dr. Balis: You might want to back off a little and give him a chance to approach you.
Ms. Wiseling: He won't. I think he knows. A couple of the other programmers teased me about him, so I think the whole office knows now.
Dr. Balis: Give it time, Kelly. It's difficult for men to approach women.
Ms. Wiseling: Even big stud-muffins like you?
Dr. Balis: I...
Ms. Wiseling: That's a compliment, Doctor. You know you're very good-looking. Your female patients must hit on you all the time.
Dr. Balis: Thank you, Kelly, but we really should spend our time on issues relating to you.
Ms. Wiseling: Do you find me attractive?
Dr. Balis: Kelly, as your therapist, how I feel about you as a man doesn't matter.
Ms. Wiseling: That means no.
Dr. Balis: That's not what I said.
Ms. Wiseling: Do you think most men would find me attractive?
Dr. Balis: Kelly...
Ms. Wiseling: I'm not really pretty, am I? Not like Rachel, the girl Tom likes. My brother Mark got all the looks in our family.
Dr. Balis: Are you unhappy with the way you look?
Ms. Wiseling: Most of the time, I'm not. People always tell me I'm cute. I'm not sure if that's because I'm short or because of my voice. What they really mean is I'm not beautiful in the classic feminine way, like an actress or model...or like Rachel. I'm kind of average-looking.
Dr. Balis: Standards of beauty are often subjective. There will be men who find you attractive...
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, nearsighted men with brain damage who are really hard up.
Dr. Balis: Are you feeling insecure about your looks because Tom is not returning your attentions?
Ms. Wiseling: Isn't that stupid? Why should I care so much about what he thinks? If all he wants is a pretty girlfriend, he's not for me.
Dr. Balis: You have a point, Kelly. But you might want to give Tom a little more time. You mentioned earlier that Tom was awkward in social situations. From what you've told me, you don't really know him well enough to determine what he wants from a woman.
Ms. Wiseling: He probably wants an eighteen-year old with big breasts who owns a beer bottling plant. I bet he's a putz, just like all the rest. Who needs him? I have a Hitachi Magic Wand with special G-Spot stimulator attachment. I'm invincible.
Dr. Balis: I understand your frustration, Kelly, but don't be so quick to dismiss Tom or anyone else you have an interest in who doesn't respond to you right away. In dating situations, men are often expected to initiate contact. This societal expectation brings with it a great deal of pressure and stress. It takes time to build up the courage to ask a woman out, or even just to talk to her.
Ms. Wiseling: Hmm. Maybe what he wants is a woman with normal hearing. I hadn't even thought of that until now. Looks like I'm the one that's a putz, not Tom.
Dr. Balis: You don't know and you're just speculating, Kelly. And if that was the case, as you said earlier, he wouldn't be right for you.
Ms. Wiseling: I could keep talking to Tom, keeping it light and friendly. I could develop a good working relationship with him, which might lead to friendship or romance. Maybe...
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Wiseling: Yes, you're right. I know what will happen. He'll become my friend, and then I'll have to listen to him go on and on about how he loves Rachel. It's already making me sick.
Dr. Balis: You can explore other options.
Ms. Wiseling: I'm not interested in anyone else right now. I can't stand the thought of another blind date.
Dr. Balis: You sound like a weary veteran.
Ms. Wiseling: Hmm, a veteran, uh? Yeah, dating is a lot like combat. You have to wear a regulation uniform: black mini-skirt and high heels. And you have to arm yourself with lipstick and condoms in case you have to do battle in the back seat of a car.
Dr. Balis: Interesting analogy.
Ms. Wiseling: I wonder if the POWs are the ones who get married, hmm?
Dr. Balis: I sense that you have some ambivalence about dating.
Ms. Wiseling: I want to be a conscientious objector, but I just can't commit to my vibrator.
Dr. Balis: One way to look for a partner is to get involved in more social activities.
Ms. Wiseling: Do you mean dances, cooking classes, and ice-cream socials?
Dr. Balis: Yes, to name a few.
Ms. Wiseling: How about instead I sneak up behind Tom, give him a good whack on the head, and drag him back to my place. I'm sure that after a week of being chained to my bed, I'll start to grow on him.
Dr. Balis: As I was saying, social activities will allow you to meet new people, some of whom might be prospects for romance. Putting yourself out there will also help you get your mind off Tom.
Ms. Wiseling: I like being social, but I don't want to join a singles group or anything like that. I think there is a deaf singles group in the city. I would never join them.
Dr. Balis: Why not?
Ms. Wiseling: Joining a club with the hopes of finding a date seems artificial and forced. All the people there look desperate and sad. The personals are even worse. Angie says she's answered a few ads, and most of the people are liars.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. You don't necessarily have to join a group with the goal of finding a date. You can take a class or join a club centered around an activity that interests you. You'll meet people who share your interests--that's always a good foundation upon which to build a relationship. You might meet a prospective partner, and then again you might not, but you'll put yourself in a situation where you'll have an opportunity to meet new people.
Ms. Wiseling: Hmm, yeah. I'm not going to meet anyone staying home all the time.
Dr. Balis: Are there classes you would like to take, or a group activity that interests you?
Ms. Wiseling: Do I have to write another list?
Dr. Balis: You haven't turned in the first one yet.
Ms. Wiseling: Oh yeah. I'm sorry, I'll bring it in next week.
Dr. Balis: If you're interested in meeting people, there are a number of colleges and community organizations in San Francisco which offer courses and organize activities.
Ms. Wiseling: I still harbor the romantic notion that I have a soul mate out there who will magically float into my cubicle someday.
Dr. Balis: You might find more immediate results if you take direct action and have a concrete idea of what qualities you seek in a partner.
Ms. Wiseling: How unromantic.
Dr. Balis: That may be, Kelly, but fairy-tale notions of romance have little practical value in the real world.
Ms. Wiseling: Hmm. Okay.
Dr. Balis: So you'll bring me your assignment next week?
Ms. Wiseling: What? You won't keep me after class?
Dr. Balis: No...
Ms. Wiseling: I was hoping for a spanking.
Dr. Balis: Very funny.
Ms. Wiseling: There are rumors that people at SII are into that. How bizarre.
Dr. Balis: Is that something you're interested in?
Ms. Wiseling: That sounds like a proposition.
Dr. Balis: Kelly!
Ms. Wiseling: If I don't bring in my homework next week, you'll have to spank me, or you'll lose authority.
Dr. Balis: Kelly, please.
Ms. Wiseling: Are you an over-the-knee or over-the chair kind of guy?
Dr. Balis: Just bring the list in next week. We're almost out of time...
Ms. Wiseling: You're such a tease, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Kelly.
Ms. Wiseling: Goodbye.
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