“Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.”

That’s one of my favorite lines from “As Good as it Gets.” I’ve often wondered how much space is actually between sane and crazy. My guess is not much. In fact, I think that people dip their toe in the crazy pond a little more often than they like to admit. I’ve splashed around in it a bit when driving on I-75 and I finally start going at a good clip and then I drive upon someone who thinks 50 is an appropriate speed and I’m pinned in by two four wheelers with another barreling down on my a…

But what is it that finally pushes an bright, intelligent, well-educated, successful woman right into that crazy pond and all the way down to the murky bottom?

A man?

Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac, 49, from Bakersfield, California was, by all accounts, a brilliant internist. She graduated at the top of her class from UCLA and established a successful medical practice. She and her on-again, off-again boyfriend William Moodie had plans to fly to Amsterdam on August 27th of this year, but something happened that didn’t sit well with Kotarac. Two days prior to the flight, she showed up at Moodie’s home, apparently in an agitated state and he refuses to let her in. He eventually leaves undetected out a side entrance. I suppose successful, well-educated women don’t get there accepting defeat too easily so Kotarac first attempts to force open the front door with a shovel. When that doesn’t work, she gets a ladder [successful, well-educated women have a lot of ingenuity], climbs up on the roof and heaves herself feet first down the chimney. Perhaps she didn’t realize that chimneys have flues and she gets stuck there in an awkward position that makes it difficult to breathe. She dies sometime later due to mechanical asphyxiation. At that moment, getting to Moodie was her only goal and goals are important for successful, well-educated women.

When Kotarac doesn’t show up for work the next day, Moodie and an office assistant go to his home to look for her, find her keys and purse, and presumably her car, but no Kotarac. Moodie spends the night in the home that night and leaves for Europe the next day. [Obviously heartbroken].

When a friend shows up to feed his fish, fluid and stench from the fireplace are now pretty noticeable. Sadly, her epitaph is not her work with patients or the many hours she gave to those who were unable to afford medical care, instead, if you Google Kotarac’s name, you are hit with hundreds of pages citing her bizarre manner of death.

Of course, the most famous overeducated femme fatale is Astronaut Lisa Nowak who traveled at breakneck speed, halfway across the country, dressed in a trenchcoat and wig (and by some accounts a diaper although this has been disputed) in an attempt to do away with her romantic rival. Security cameras show that she waited at least an hour for the woman to show up in an airport parking lot. During that time, she had one goal in mind, getting her lover back. Images of her husband and their three small children did not seem to quash her kidnapping plan, nor did her hard work building a career that some can only dream about.

When the woman finally arrives, Nowak tries to incapacitate her using pepper spray. But now she is competing with her goal-oriented equal who escapes and alerts authorities who picked up Nowak almost immediately and find a BB gun, an 8-inch knife, green rubber tubing and a steel mallet. I think that’s what Sir Lancelot took to slay the dragon.

These stories are true and the names have not been changed because no one is innocent. At some point, these women felt ONE MAN was responsible for their happiness. Was it perhaps that they had few goals and dreams left in their career that their drive and purpose, something that continually needed to be fed, required an unattainable object to pursue? Did these women harbor, not the green-eyed monster, but a bigger even more insatiable demon that, if managed can create success, but if ignored can penetrate the conscience, soul and mind of the host?

Perhaps if these “hosts” also housed the more powerful low self-esteem, procrastination and lack of self worth, their goal driven demons would never have seen the light of day, but neither would their careers.

*photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons