You’ve got to wonder about the kind of life someone lives when they’ve emailed the Dr. Phil Show only twice in their lifetime, and both times a producer called to request they appear on the program.
Well, I can tell you it is a pretty normal life—except for those two things I emailed the Dr. Phil show about.
In my defense, Dr. Phil has some misleading forms on his website. He has an “Ask Dr. Phil” section where, by nature of its name, I thought it to be exactly that. So back in 2005 I emailed Dr. Phil a question about a pressing life situation. I expected an email response from a psychology intern on the “Ask Dr. Phil” staff that would offer up some sage Texas advice like, “When you walk a mile in someone else’s boots, you’re a mile farther down the road than you were before.”
Instead, I came home from work one afternoon to find the message “Call Dr. Phil” written on our family message board. That’ll put dinner on hold for just about anyone, I betcha!
I called the number which put me through to an assistant producer. She explained they had an upcoming show on the topic I’d emailed about. “Do you think your ex-husband would be willing to come on the show as well?”
Officer D.A.R. barely tolerates existing on the same planet with me. I knew there was no way he would agree to sit on a stage with me. Besides, he hates doctors. Especially ones that might tell him what an idiot he can be at times.
So recently, I had another pressing life situation and, because I suffer from the inability to learn from my previous mistakes, I shot another question off on the “Ask Dr. Phil” section of the website. A couple of days later, while I sat waiting for my minivan to be cleaned, my cellphone screen announced a call from area code 323, Los Angeles, CA.
I immediately thought, “This must be the Dr. Phil Show calling about my Ask Dr. Phil question.”
Ok, not really.
I thought it more likely to be a skip tracer—calling the wrong number, of course—and sent the call to voice mail.
Lo and behold, when I checked my voice mail, it was Julie from the Dr. Phil show with a request that I call her back as soon as possible. So I did. This time it seems I’d caught their attention with a situation they’d never heard of before.
“Not even Dr. Phil?” I asked.
“Not even Dr. Phil. And we’re very interested in having you on the show so he can help your family. Do you think your husband would be willing to come on the show as well?”
In that moment I realized I was 2 for 2 in “Ask Dr. Phil” situations. I’d gotten his attention, but no solution in sight because it required the presence of a man, past or present, from my life. There was no way Chief Money Maker would sit on stage to publicly discuss family matters on television. Besides, he hates doctors. Especially one’s he thinks are a kooks and a discredit to people everywhere bearing the name “Phil.”
“Well why did you write us?” asked Julie.
“Because your website says ‘Ask Dr. Phil’” I exclaimed.
“And how’s that working for ya?” she shot back.