4 min read
The music is gone. It’s just Tevye and Golda. And it’s not good.
Therapist: Before we begin, I’d like to remind you that anything discussed here stays in strict confidence.
Golda: Do you hear that, Tevye? No more sharing with the big guy upstairs.
Tevye: As the good book says, “He who allows God into every aspect of his marriage…”
Golda: Ugh, you can die from such a man.
Tevye, tell your wife how that makes you feel.
Tevye: Golda, you’re hurting my feelings.
Golda: Why should today be different?
Tevye: Hey that’s my line. You stole my line. Straight out of the dinner scene before we sing The Sabbath Prayer.
Therapist: Hold up, folks. Why don’t we back up just a bit. Tevye, tell your wife how that makes you feel.
Tevye: Like you don’t care about me. Golda, do you love me?
Golda: Do I what?? Do I love him?
Therapist: Yes Golda. But turn and face Tevye. Speak directly to your husband.
Golda: Do I love you? With our daughters getting married and this trouble in the town. Maybe it’s indigestion. Go lie down.
Tevya: See that? That’s typical. Never answers my questions. If I had a dollar for every time she was evasive, I’d be a . . .
Therapist: Again with the Rich Man? Money is the world’s curse.
Golda: You tell him Anna. Or do you prefer Ms. Tevka?
Therapist: Anatevka is just fine.
Golda: Anatevka, underfed, overworked --
Therapist: Never mind that right now. I think we’re getting closer to identifying the real problem.
Golda: That’s right. For 25 years, I’ve lived with him, fought with him, starved with him. Even milked his cow! But I never dreamed that we’d have to work out our problems with a professional right now.
Tevye: Precisely. You never dream. That’s the problem.
Golda: Oh my prophetic Joseph, you big Dreamer, you.
Therapist: We don’t name call in this room.
Golda: You think I haven’t figured out that’s how you get your own way? Embellishing Fruma Sara to be some larger than life scary bully. In reality, the butcher’s dead wife was 4ft. 8, and wouldn’t even blow out a shabbos candle. And you can just leave my grandmother Tzeitel out of things from now on as well.
Tevye: Golda, never forget that I’m the master of the house, the head of the family. I get to have the final word. And I want to see Motel’s sewing machine whenever I want. And don’t give me your, “after supper, you’ll faint” shtick.
Therapist: Tsk, control issues. Perhaps it’s time to talk about a more equal division of power and labor. What do you do all day, Golda?
Golda: Ha! Who does mama teach? To mend and tend and fix?? So Papa’s free to read the holy books!
Therapist: Wow, that didn’t even rhyme.
Tevye: Look, let’s cut through all this nonsense from the entire first act. The real problem comes toward the end when our third daughter marries a gentile.
Golda: And now you won’t even speak to our little bird, our Chavala. She’s dead to you.
Tevye: If I try and bend that far, I’ll break.
Therapist: On the other hand . . .
Tevye: No! No! There is no other hand!
Therapist: Okay, okay. Clearly we’re at an impasse here. And looking at the time, I think we’re gonna have to stop our session now.
Tevye: C’mon Golda, let’s get outa here and go have a drink. I told you this psychobabble is for the birds. A bird could love a fish but where would they build a home?
Therapist: In a pet shop?
Tevye: Oy, it was rhetorical.
Therapist: Goodnight folks. And think of me when you burst into song with, “To Life, To Life…L’chaim!” at Mordechai’s bar & grill. Because my daughter just had a baby. I’m a grandma! Don’t I get a Mazel Tov?
Receptionist: Anatevka, your next clients are here . . . a Fanny Brice and a Nicky Arnstein?
Therapist: Show them in. At least she’s a Funny Girl.