Oh, Dr. Phil. Oh, He Who Would Fix Britney. I spent two weeks under his advisement, and I believe the technical term for most of what he has to say is “wack.”
So, in case you haven’t been keeping up, Britney’s having some hard times and they’ve culminated lately in her ex getting sole custody of her kids and her being hospitalized. Britney’s mother asked Dr. Phil to help. Phil came to the hospital room and spoke with Britney. He planned an hour-long special about her woes (and, theoretically, her recovery.) A spokesperson said it was inappropriate that Phil spoke publicly. A day later, the Spears family say, no, it’s all good. Britney was quoted as describing Phil as “really cool.” (Which is proof, in my book, that she truly does not have her head right.)
Phil’s quote to the Associated Press: "Somebody needs to step up and get this young woman into some quality care—and I do not apologize one whit, not one second, for trying to make that happen."
I don’t know what kind of quality care Phil could offer. He advises readers of his bestselling book Relationship Rescue to spend some time figuring out what sort of animal their partners are most like.
But even if he could work those made-up aphorisms into something helpful, it makes me feel all pukey that he’d even consider televising the break-down of someone whose problems clearly include fame itself. It’s sick, that self-interest. I don’t know what animal Phil most resembles. But I can think of a couple body parts.
Pretend a segue is here.
Yesterday, Caleb had a bunch of his friends in the neighborhood over. They were all at the kitchen table having a snack and talking about how late they get to stay up on weekends. Past ten o’clock, Caleb said. Once until midnight, another said.
“Well,” one kid said, “my mom puts me in bed at nine—but I stay up later!”
Oh, I love this gaggle of kids, with their Nerf weaponry and barely contained energy and need for cheese crackers. They’re loud but sweet, rough with each other but polite to me. I’m trying not to be nostalgic for this phase that’s still going on, but that mix of innocence and braggadocio? It just kills me.