“Canoe on the Lake,” by Netta
Everything in Mandy’s house was green. The day she came across the raspberry sherbet-colored silkscreen print of the canoe, she was thrown into a tailspin. Should she go against her obsessive compulsion to have green everything and buy the print?
Over the next two days, Mandy checked ebay six times an hour to make sure the item was still available. The price, which was a great deal, with 75% off, could not be beat. Feeling worse and worse, Mandy called her therapist, Ms. Mo, and poured her heart and anxiety out to Ms. Mo over the phone. Ms. Mo recommended Mandy go to the Emergency Room and wait for her there.
Ms. Mo met Mandy at the hospital and helped get her checked in to the psychiatric ward. Ms. Mo said she wanted Mandy to spend just the night there so they could monitor her. Mandy was given a sedative to get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, Mandy’s dreams were full of raspberry sherbet-colored canoes, so she tossed and turned all night.
The next day Ms. Moe came to see Mandy at the unit. She had a paper grocery bag with her.
“Good morning, Mandy. It is apparent you are very upset at the idea of introducing a different color into your home. I brought a few items today that I hope will help you.”
Ms. Mo pulled out two identical small toy boats except one was green and one was raspberry-sherbet colored. “Take a look at these two boats. Are they so different?”
Then Ms. Mo pulled out a third boat, identical to the other two, except it was rainbow-colored. “And this one has all of the colors on it. Isn’t it beautiful?”
Mandy, who had been curled on her bed, eyes barely peeking over the sheet she was wrapped in, took a deep breath and considered what Ms. Mo was saying.
The nurse came into the room and said, “Ms. Chambers, it’s time for your bath.” As Mandy sat up and stood to go with the nurse, Ms. Mo handed her all 3 toy boats and said, “Give them a try and see what you think.”
Mandy smiled weakly and took the boats. She would see.