A doctor's opinion

A doctor's opinion


“Come on in,” the doctor said, a bit surprised to see me that early.

“Dr Rao, yesterday you were sympathetic towards my wife when she complained about that severe neck pain of hers. You had asked her if she carries heavy loads. While she may have emphatically said no, I want to tell you that she does carry heavy loads and bags regularly, almost on a daily basis.”

“Oh, why so?” He seemed perplexed, wondering if I had denied my dear wife a maid at home.
I hastened to explain, “Dr Rao, she shops all day…. I thank God for our body’s much-needed sleep,  else she would have shopped all night too! She carries heavy bags cheerfully, even though her muscles and tendons may be tearing inside. She is so maniacal about shopping that she won’t go a day without it. She shops everyday! Our closets are so full that when I try to open them, I end up lying underneath a mountain of clothes, some of whose price tags haven’t even been removed yet.”

I vented to the doctor, who also turned out to be a good listener, and shared with him my pent up agony, “People who carry bags in shopping centres look hunched up. I worry that my wife will also end up as a hunchback.”

The doctor said nonchalantly, “Traditionally, women adopted better postures to carry loads such as baskets on their heads. Placing objects on one’s shoulder is one of the least efficient ways of carrying, as it causes imbalance. The best way is to carry things on our heads, but can you imagine your wife walking around with a shopping bag on her head?”

Seeing my helpless, exasperated look, Dr Rao took a deep breath and said, “Umm, she appears to be a true shopaholic as she does not seem to be able to control her impulse to buy …this disorder has been found to be existing since 1915.”

“Has any effective treatment been found, doctor?” I asked, biting my nails anxiously. His expression of deep thought sent a shiver down my spine. What if he replies with a big fat no?
Dr Rao questioned, “Do you, by any chance, irritate or annoy her? People who are upset or depressed tend to go shopping.”

“Irritate her? Annoy her? Do you mean to say that I would still be living to tell you this tale if I had done so? I always smile indulgingly till my mouth and heart ache. The problem is that I love her deeply. That is why I am in this situation in the first place. Men write love-lyrics, but I wrote this to subtly tell her how I felt about her shopping — ‘When my wife goes shopping, my mind goes hopping. The shopping malls become maalaamal. My bank balance becomes dismal.’ In her great hurry to step out, she never read it I guess. Phew.”

“Okay, don’t worry. We shall tackle her vice very wisely. Why don’t I suggest complete bed rest for two months, in which time she may get over her obsession.”

The doctor sounded very optimistic, but seeing my smile, he stopped and waited for an explanation. “She knows about online shopping. She is good at that also,” I clarified.

The doctor then went into a meditative trance in order to find me a suitable solution, and replied, “I have a practical idea. I think you should accompany her on her shopping expeditions and carry her bags!”