I've been under a huge amount of stress lately. I'll spare you the details about my stress, but the basic categories I'm dealing with are: death, money, art, love, and success.
One afternoon I was so upset by various life events, I piled a bunch of self-help books into a bag and fled to a nearby coffeehouse. After I bought myself a cup of coffee and pink cupcake with rosebud-adorned frosting, I settled myself down at a table with the self-help books and commenced with reading.
A few minutes later the man sitting at a table nearby burst into loud laughter. I glanced up to see what was going on and he was looking at me.
"I just read the title of the book you're reading," he said. "Very funny."
The book I was reading was Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get A Life by Larry Winget.
"I love this self-help book," I said. "I use it to bust self-pity." I put down the book and pointed to each of the rest of the books as I described each one. "This one is for when I need warm fuzzy love beams. This one is for when I need nitty-gritty career coaching. This one is to help me unleash my inner leadership skills. This one helps me relax and enjoy the moment. This one helps me manipulate my body language to affect my mood. This one helps me deal with neurotics in my life."
"You certainly have a lot of self-help books!" he said. "Isn't it kind of heavy, carrying around all those books?"
"Yes," I said, " but it's worth it."
"Well never fear, little lady. I've got one easy-to-carry self-help book which equals all of your self-help books rolled into one."
"Please don't try to sell me something," I said. "I only brought enough money for coffee and a cupcake."
"No worries. This self-help book is free." He held up a large, leather-bound book. "It's called The Holy Bible."
"Aren't you worried about it being confused with the other Holy Bible?"
"No," he said. "Because it IS the Holy Bible."
"I see," I said.
"Tell you what, I'll make you a deal," he said. "I'll trade you this copy of the Holy Bible in exchange for all your self-help books."
"I already have a copy of the Holy Bible," I said.
"Then why don't you have it with you today?"
"I'm not sure where it is, " I said. "You see, I live in my art studio and things are kind of a mess."
"Well you better find that bible," he said. "In fact, if I see you here again without your bible, you're going to have to answer to me, missy."
"Okay," I said, gathering up my self-help books and stuffing them into my bag. "I'll go home and look for it right now."
I don't mind never going back to that coffeehouse. I never really liked the place anyway.