Five questions into the quiz and I figure out that FALSE consistently will be the right answer. But the goal is to remain honest with myself, so I keep circling the troublesome TRUE: My family and friends would call me stubborn. My co-workers would describe me as moody. I own more things than I need. I am possessive in my personal relationships. I do not take suggestions well. I have trouble controlling my sexual desire. I have difficulty controlling my weight. Sometimes I wish I could run away from home. I have odd sleeping patterns. I often feel inferior to others.
At the end, the famous author of the famous self-help book asks me to tally the number of TRUEs I’ve circled. The results are ranked as follows:
1-10: You are in the normal range of the emotional spectrum.
11-19: You are experiencing more than your share of insecurity, anxiety, loneliness, and anger.
20 or greater: You need to head for the nearest psychologist.
I want to pick up the phone and make an appointment. But I keep staring at the statement that reads: I don’t want other people to know where I am. And there– sitting in my car in a deserted parking lot, staring at the pigeon shit streaked down my windshield– there, there, I stay.
Rita Ciresi is author of the novels Bring Back My Body to Me, Pink Slip, Blue Italian, and Remind Me Again Why I Married You and the story collections Sometimes I Dream in Italian and Mother Rocket. She is director of creative writing at the University of South Florida and a mentor for the Bay Path University online MFA in nonfiction writing. Visit her website at www.ritaciresi.com.