Peer (Counselor) Pressure

Submitted by Anthony:

I met Paula online and was all ready for a first date with her when she called me.

"Anthony, I'm sorry but I have to cancel."

"What's wrong?"

"I have to talk my friend out of suicide.  I've got to go!"  She hung up.

Well, that's the toilet I jumped in when I decided to date a peer counselor.

We made another date for later the following week.  Halfway through dinner at a Chinese place, you guessed it, she got a phone call.

"Amy?" her voice shook into the phone, "Amy?  Oh my God, Amy.  Are you okay?"

I mouthed, "Do you want privacy?" to Paula.  I expected Paula to excuse herself instead, but I was wrong.  Paula nodded and pointed off in the direction she presumably wanted to see me go.  So I went.

I took a walk around the block and returned after fifteen minutes.  Paula was still on the phone.  I felt bad for the situation on the phone, and I didn't know what to do.  I went back in and sat across from Paula, who wasn't talking, but had her eyes closed and seemed to be listening intently.

Finally, after a few more minutes, she said, "Okay," into the phone, and hung up.

I asked, "Everything okay?"

She said, "Not really.  I just had to talk one friend out of committing suicide and another one out of killing his older brother."

I said, "You sure have some self-destructive friends."

She stared at me and said, "Oh my God.  Who the fuck are you?"


"I'm going through hell over here, and that's what you say?"

"Paula, I'm sorry.  There's no reason to overreact.  I was just trying to make you smile."

"I don't feel like smiling!  I feel like strangling something!  All the time!"

I couldn't help it.  I asked, "Do you need a peer counselor?"

Yes, yes, yes.  I know I shouldn't have said it.  But I did.  Paula took a $20 bill out of her wallet, slammed it on the table, and took off.

She actually called me later to apologize, and I told her that it was all good.  First and last date.


  1. I used to hang out with people exactly like that. The whole talking people out of suicide thing, and putting emotional distress ahead of everything else in their lives, the way she stormed out and later apologized. Seriously, AVOID people like that, like the plague. They think of themselves as empathetic/humanitarian/caring/wonderful, but it's just a cover for their own self-destructive behavior and out of control emotions. It's basically Borderline Personality Disorder.

  2. She sounds like she's in the wrong job. Or at least in the wrong place emotionally to be dating. I guess it was good that she was decent enough to apologise, but still...

  3. Sooo, you're the bad date, right?

  4. No, he was fine, she was the crazy one.

  5. ^ Of course he was a bad date! She should have had a date with a shrink.

  6. Pure gold buddy! A line like that is worth a wasted date, I would have said it. hands down.

  7. My mother was a psychiatrist when I was growing up (she later changed careers). A small but memorable number of meals were interrupted by phone calls from patients who needed her help right then for some reason or other.


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