Celia Rivenbark

From the Belle Tower | Good-bye can lead to silly fights

Loyal readers may recall that I have a “T.V. M.D.” For years, my friends have called me, rather than “a doctor” when their kids are ailing.

Most agree that my advice is often accurate although a few have said that “what you said was completely wrong and could have seriously hurt my kid.” Whiners.

Look, even Gregory House, M.D. didn’t always get it right the first time and he had a team of helpers to dispatch to the patient’s home to scrape mold samples from under the sink and whatnot.

Admittedly, when you get all of your knowledge from binge-watching hundreds of episodes of medical dramas (what can I say? I’m a giver) you’re bound to get a few diagnoses wrong.

These days, now that all of our children are college-age and beyond, I prefer to counsel friends in the area of mental health because, well, it’s way easier than the physical stuff. My “training” has come from excellent, though non-traditional sources, including but not limited to “American Horror Story: Asylum,” “Chicago Hope,” “ER”, “Chicago ER”, Hopeful Chicago ER and “most of the Real Housewives shows.”

Where am I going with all this? I’m glad I asked you that. We’ve all heard the expression “Nervous as a whore in church”, wait, no, wrong one. “Physician, heal thyself.” So when I realized that I was becoming a bit unhinged, I dived into my Netflix to figure it out and, well, I had a major psychological breakthrough. Thank you, “Gilmore Girls.”

Healing myself, I realized that I was “presenting” with a huge case of snarky behavior toward the Princess, who returns to college today after her winter break. Isn’t that a lovely phrase? One that calls to mind softly falling snow, fragrant woods fires and the clinking together of mugs of homemade cocoa?

In actuality, the last week or so of winter break was more of a screamfest of me carping about clothes on the floor, dirty dishes on the kitchen counter and that weird toothpaste gel in the sink that NO ONE SEEMS TO SEE EXCEPT ME.

The Princess has been churlish as well, rolling her eyes, sighing dramatically and having an “I can’t wait to get back to school” look about her.

While I sputtered and teared up, I realized that this is the way Lorelei acted when Rory returned to Yale that time. And that’s when it hit me: It is hard to say goodbye all over again and so we fight over silly things so it will be, in our minds, easier to let go. Further study led me to “Army Wives,” which confirmed that families often fight before one member leaves. I’m not equating going off to Afghanistan with leaving for gender studies and intro to tae bo class, but both involve a beloved family member not being around for a long while.

I hope this helps some of you. If so, that will be $450. Cash.

Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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