I seem to attract them. (NO COMMENTS FROM YOU MONKEY CHILDREN OF MINE). I find them in all kinds of places, and sometimes I’m asked to visit them as a church assignment. And once you have a crazy person in your life, they stay. It’s one of nature’s laws, I think. But I’m not complaining; I rather enjoy them. Mentally ill people are often smarter than average and they lack the annoying pretenses you have to wade through with regular people. They tell you bluntly how they feel, they’re often quite insightful, and they’re almost always entertaining. They don’t always understand social conventions which, I believe, is why Caller ID was invented. And, okay, yes, they are scary from time to time, but so is eating at Taco Bell, and yet we do it.
I have a senior citizen friend I’ll call Ruby, simply because I know no other Ruby’s. (Rubies?) Whatever. She is married to an equally disturbed man I’ll call Rocky, again because I know no Rocky’s. (Rockies?) Thankfully these people come in singular, rather than plural form.
Rocky’s story is much worse than the paranoid, multiple-personality disordered Ruby. He’s a registered sex offender, an alcoholic, a drunk driver, and a parolee who keeps going back to prison. He speaks LOUDLY about these things when you take the two of them to the DMV for an I.D., since Rocky is not allowed to drive. He then causes crowds to back away, and hives to appear on your neck.
At any rate, Rocky recently came into a large inheritance and did what any crazy man would do, thus confirming a diagnosis none of us were questioning in the first place. Did he pay off his bills? Nope. Did he invest it wisely? Nope. He gambled away a huge hunk of it and then spent the rest on a lavish trip to Hawaii. And, of course, he wanted Ruby to come along.
Ruby said no. You can usually count on crazy people to do the opposite of what you expect. Now, Ruby has had a hard life and deserves some R & R in my opinion, so I asked her why on earth she wasn’t taking advantage of the only chance she has ever had, to go to Hawaii.
“Well,” she explained, “every time I’ve ever gone anywhere with Rocky, he leaves me and goes off on his own.” Excuse me? A crazy man takes you to Hawaii and then vanishes? Is this not the very definition of a win-win situation? You couldn’t get the world’s best travel agent to book you a deal like that. In fact, it’s reason enough to do the hula whether you’re in Hawaii or not.
I tried to get her to see the bonanza right within her grasp, but she shook her head. “You think this is a blessing in disguise,” she said.
“No,” I told her. “There is no disguise here whatsoever. The entire thing is a blessing inside and out. You go to Hawaii and then whammo—you can snorkel, enjoy a luau, you-name-it, all without Rocky tagging along. How could it possibly get better than that?” I didn’t say it, but I was imagining him gloriously lost for days.
But Ruby would not budge. She told Rocky to go by himself and so he did. When I took Ruby to her next psychiatrist appointment, the receptionist asked her how she was feeling and Ruby explained that she felt fine, now that she had decided not to go to Hawaii.
And that, my friends, is precisely how you know that someone needs their head examined.
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