Producer: You’re listening to KTXN 1910 talk radio, and this is “The Love Coach” with Dr. Bill O’Brien, your one-stop shop for relationship advice for people who have literally nowhere else to turn. Now, here’s Dr. Bill.
O’Brien: That’s right, this is “The Love Coach,” right here at the tail end of your dial, 1910. It’s five minutes past the big hour of five o’clock. Now let’s take some calls. Who do we have on the line?
Producer: On line two we have Eddie from Pearland, who’s having some trouble with his girlfriend.
O’Brien: Thank you, Brian.
Producer: (sigh) Whatever.
O’Brien: What seems to be the trouble, Brian?
Eddie: Am—am I on?
O’Brien: You certainly are. Brian, what’s on your mind?
Eddie: Right, um...I’ve been dating this girl for a while now—
O’Brien: How long?
Eddie: About eight months.
O’Brien: Go on.
Eddie: Anyway, the other night we were supposed to go to dinner with her parents. But then my buddy called me at the last minute and asked if I wanted to go to the Astros game.
O’Brien: Uh huh.
Eddie: I totally blanked on meeting her parents and now she’s really upset with me. What do I say to her?
O’Brien: Were they good seats?
Eddie: Along the first base line.
O’Brien: Not bad. Look, you’re just going to have to fall on your sword on this one.
Eddie: But this was the last homestand of the season.
O’Brien: No excuses, Brian. Here’s what you do. You meet her in person. Don’t try this on the phone. You tell her that you’re not going to sugarcoat it. You have to say it was your fault, that it falls on you to do a better job at maintaining your relationship. You don’t necessarily have to mean it or even sound like you mean it, although it helps if you do, but as long as you say that many times whenever you screw up, you should be okay.
Eddie: Really? You think this’ll get me off the hook?
O’Brien: Trust me, saying that the fault is on me has gotten me out of a lot of jams, both personally and professionally.
Eddie: Thanks, Coach!
O’Brien: You’re welcome, Brian. Who’s next on the line?
Producer: We have Cynthia from Bellaire on line four. She’s looking for a gentle way out of a relationship.
O’Brien: Hello, Brian, how can I help you with your problem?
Cynthia: Um, my name’s Cynthia.
O’Brien: Right, what can I help with?
Cynthia: I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years now and I just don’t feel like it’s going anywhere. How do I let him down without hurting him too badly?
O’Brien: That’s a really good question, Brian. I think the thing you have to start by saying that there have been a lot of good things in this relationship, but you have to carefully consider all the information available at any given time, and at this time you have decided that this decision is what’s best for the team at this time. Tell him that there’s been a lot of really good progress and that you understand that he did the best he could. But in the end, it’s all on you and you have to do a better job going forward, but for now you’re on to the next phase of your life.
Cynthia: This sounds...kind. You sure he won’t be upset after all this?
O’Brien: You gotta find a way to move on, and so does he. Thank you for your call. Brian, who’s next on the line?
Producer: For the umpteenth time, my name is Louise. I’ve been your producer for the last four years!
O’Brien: I don’t think our callers want to be kept waiting, Brian.
Louise: Ugh, Tom. Tom in Sugar Land is on the line. He thinks his significant other is cheating on him.
O’Brien: Thank you. Go ahead, Brian. I’m listening.
Louise: (under breath) Not very well.
Tom: Thanks, Coach. Long time listener, first time caller.
O’Brien: Welcome to the show.
Tom: Thanks. I’ve been with my better half for almost four years now, and for the longest time it’s been comfortable if not a passionate relationship. We’ve talked off and on about where this is all going and I really thought we were going to take that next step.
Tom: But all of a sudden I’m getting the cold shoulder and I think they’re fooling around with someone else, someone younger. What do I do?
O’Brien: That’s quite a problem, Brian.
Tom: Y-yeah. So what should I do? Do I confront them?
O’Brien: I don’t think that’s what’s best for your team. If they’re not fooling around on you with a younger, much more physically gifted individual, then you’ve just blown up something that could be really special. And, don’t forget, the name of the game is progress, because it’s a progression. What I would do is I’d have them investigated by someone trustworthy, someone who won’t sugarcoat the facts. If they have film, you’ve gotta look at the film. Gotta look at the film. Once you do, and if they’re successful and happy with that other person, you should really look at yourself and find ways to improve and make progress. You need to keep building the package so that you can make yourself more appealing to your significant other, because that is on you, my friend. Don’t push the matter, and take each week as a brand new week full of things that need to be cleaned up.
Tom: But I don’t want to lose them!
Tom: Yes, a group of guys.
O’Brien: How...modern of you. Thank you for your call. And who’s our next contestant?
Louise: (drinks whiskey straight from the bottle) Rob on the...um...(looks at monitor) West Side wants help with...something.
O’Brien: Welcome to The Love Coach with Dr. Bill, I’m here to help you, Brian.
Rob: Oooookay. There’s this girl I know, right? And we’ve known each other for a while and we’ve been friends for years. But I’m starting to realize I want more from her than friendship.
O’Brien: (sagely) Hmmmm...
Rob: But I don’t get the impression she feels the same way. How do I get out of the friend zone with her?
O’Brien: That is difficult, Brian. But you know what life is? It’s all about adversity. It’s about improvement. You play the game to win. You have to be ready to accept that it’s not going to be an easy task. But if you go into it with a good work ethic and bring your lunch pail to work every day—
Rob: Lunch pail? Nobody has a lunch pail anymore.
O’Brien: Doesn’t matter, Brian. You have to have the lunch pail ethic if you wanna get where you want to go. You’re gonna run around, gonna break a sweat, and you’ll most likely have a long way to go, but most of all you’ve got to build the package between you and this girl. Got it?
O’Brien: Good! Now go out there and tackle it head on! One more before we go to commercial! Brian, who do we have?
Louise: (gets up off the floor, clutches mic close to her lips) We’ve got Duan—I mean Brian from River Oaks asking about, oh who cares. (falls back down)
O’Brien: Duane, glad to hear from you, what can I help you with?
Duane: Hey Coach, I wanted to ask you about a problem I’m having. See, I’ve been in a long-term relationship for a really long time. We’ve had a good long run together but lately it just feels like I’ve been taken for granted; like I’ve been a part of the furniture for the last couple of years or so.
O’Brien: I see. Have you told your significant other about how you feel?
Duane: Frequently. I don’t think it’s possible for me to be any clearer about how I feel.
O’Brien: And how did they respond?
Duane: They haven’t. It’s been downright frigid on their end and for the last couple months or so, I’ve tried to make them feel the way I’ve felt for the last two years.
O’Brien: I don’t think giving them a dose of their ow—
Louise: (suddenly laser-focused and no longer lazing on the floor) I’m sorry to interrupt, Dr. Bill, but we’ve got Rick from inside the building on line one who thinks he might be able to help Dua—Brian—with his problem.
O’Brien: Okay, um, welcome to the show, Brian. You say you think you can help Duane out?
Rick: Yeah, I know someone in the same situation. And if that certain someone stopped complaining and fulfilled the agreement they consented to way back when, it would be a lot better for everyone. My friend, or he was my friend until he started whining about his “needs,” kept talking about how unappreciated he was and how badly he’s been treated by his friends and his family. His family, Duane. All I know is he can’t be treated too badly based on what he’s been given so far.
O’Brien: Well, Dua—
Duane: “Whining?!” Let me tell you about whining you baldy-headed sonofa—
O’Brien: Wait, wait, there’s no need for name-calling, Duane. I—
Rick: That’s right, keep talking like that. You won’t get another dime out of us if you keep that up.
Duane: I want what I’m worth! I want what you promised me, Rick! I want to know that you won’t rip my contract up first moment I turn away.
O’Brien: Duane, listen. I don’t think Brian thinks you’re not worth what you feel you’re worth. Right, Brian?
O’Brien: And Brian, you just want Duane to be reasonable and come back to the family, right? That’s not asking too much. Right, Duane?
Duane: Yeah, I guess.
O’Brien: Good! We’re getting somewhere! Now what do you say, Duane, to coming down here and talking it out with Brian? See if you can’t iron out your differences and bring back the good times you had in the old days? After all, you both need to put the team first above all else.
Duane: (sighs) Sure.
O’Brien: Yes! Now get out there and make some progress; remember I don’t want to hear no excuses from either of you. Thank you both for your calls. Brian, do you think the Marconi people heard that? That was solid gold radio right there.
Louise: No, you dingus! We went to commercial 45 seconds ago!
O’Brien: Sigh...someday I’ll get this clock management stuff down.