WORRY SHOULD BE A FOUR-LETTER WORD

Severed hand

I’m a worrywart. I am. I worry about everything. I’ll worry about the grasshopper brought in by my cat that’s missing a leg and wonder how he’ll manage in the world once I set him free. I’ll worry that the sudden tightness in my chest is a heart attack, and then I’ll start worrying even more about my family sifting through my stuff once I’m dead and being shocked by what they find.

Maybe I have my Polish Nana to thank. She worried about me living alone in New York in my 20s. Nana watched the news every night and heard horrible, horrible stories, which she’d recount to me in detail. “Ring me 3 times as soon as you get home,” she’d tell me as I boarded the Greyhound from New Jersey back to my Brooklyn apartment. “And don’t forget to always lock your door. Single women can’t be too safe nowadays.” (Yes, I was single even back then.)

Nana worried herself into a tizzy all the years I had a boa constrictor. She was convinced it would kill me in my sleep. She’d send me article after article clipped from newspapers: “9-foot snake wrapped around pregnant woman’s belly” and “12-foot snake bites woman and knocks her down.” She even offered to pay me $500 to get rid of it, which I finally did, but only because the huge rats I was going to have to start feeding her required a bonk on the head first with a hammer to stun them into submission, and that’s where I drew the line. (I refuse to bonk any animal on the head with a hammer.)

After I gave birth, Nana sent me clippings regarding the dangers of having a cat around a baby: “6-week-old boy dies after family cat falls asleep on his face” and “Cat sucks breath from baby.” For the record, I did not get rid of my cat, and I’m convinced these tragedies happened because cats are attracted to the sweetness of milk on a baby’s lips. Even though I do believe cats are plotting to kill all adult humans so they can take over the world, they are not however, trying to purposely smother infants. It’s against their belief system. Besides, their modus operandi is way more stealthy than that. They much prefer to trip an adult into oncoming traffic.

I know Nana meant well by all these horror stories, but is it any surprise I’m neurotic? My neurosis isn’t logical or cut-and-dried though. It’s not based on any rational, cause and effect notion, like, “Uh-oh. If my son climbs that fence, he’s going to fall, crack his head open and need stitches.” A more complicated, irrational formula is involved:

My Mood + Innocent Inciting Event = Complete Spiraling Out of Control = Panic Attack

For example, I write a weekly blog post for an insurance company and I’m focusing on ObamaCare and the changes in healthcare it will bring. (WAKE UP! I’m not done telling my story.) While I hate to use PMS as an excuse for being a little bit crazy and overly sensitive, I will, because I’m a slave to my hormones. So I’m in the midst of PMSing while writing a post on insurance (MOOD + Innocent Inciting Event).

The more I read about ObamaCare, the more freaked out I get. I notice that a single person who earns $33,500 annually will have to pay $258 a month in premiums and I begin to panic. $258 a month? How in the hell will I be able to afford that? (Mind you, it makes no difference that I’m not making $33,500 presently, nor plan on seeing that kind of money anytime soon.) $258 a month is the reason I didn’t purchase my Honda dream car! $258 a month means my son and I will have to eat Mac n’ cheese even more than we do now! (Note the spiraling out of control. Here comes the panic attack…)

This is all because I’m not married. If I were married, I’d be able to be on my spouse’s health plan. But wait—it says right here in this article that in 6 years insurance companies want to do away with spousal coverage altogether. What the hell is the point of getting married if you can’t be on your spouse’s health plan? It doesn’t matter anyway. I’m never getting married. Who’ll ever want to marry a neurotic bitch like me? And on and on it goes.

Sometimes it’s exhausting being me.

Is anyone else a worry wackjob?

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Crazy. Kinda.
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 18:44:58

    I worry the same as you. It’s part of why I take anti-anxiety meds. And I worry about the dumbest of things. Gotta say, glad I’m not alone. Love this post since I relate to it so well. Hell, right down to the snake. . . .except mine was a python. My biggest worry right now is I’m out of work for 6 weeks and I’m worried things are going to fall apart and I’ll have a huge mess to fix when i go back. Ugh.

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Jun 14, 2013 @ 18:45:15

      Ooooh, does that mean you’re on maternity leave? That you had the baby? If you did, Congrats! Yeah, my meds are supposed to take care of the depression/anxiety issues, but there’s only so much a man-made pharmaceutical can do. If I’m really tired or extremely stressed, I get worse. I’m the queen of “What if?” It’s great in a writing capacity; not so much as a human being. My mom is always telling me, “Why are you worrying about something that may or may not happen,” but I feel like I have to cover all my bases, know what I mean?

      Reply

  2. Damien
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 23:57:20

    Seriously, every post of yours that I read further convinces me that we are two paranoid, misanthropic soulmates who can write well. If I fly to your house and ask you to marry me, you have to say no. We can not do that to the human race.

    My dad and your nana are so similar, but throw in a nice case of obsessive compulsion just for shits and giggles. I got trapped at the Trenton train station in a snow storm a few years ago and my dad still tells me not to come through Trenton, like ad nauseam, even if it’s in August. I say, “Dad, I don’t think I’m going to hit a snow storm in August in Trenton.” But you can see on his face that he’s playing out some disastrous scenario.

    My mom just says words. She is a word factory. And yet, at age 63, you’d think that she would understand that her words convey thoughts, reactions, and impressions to her listeners. But alas. She’ll call and say, “Drinking beer has been found to cause penile cancer.” And then she’s astounded that I am staring at my willy in the mirror predialing 911 (or the Cz version of thus). She’ll say, “Your sister’s been getting harassing phone calls,” and then wonder why I am upset.

    As a result, I am a paranoid, obsessive hypochondriac who reads a penile cancer newsletter and avoids Trenton. I think we should put together a support group that meets at a bar.

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Jun 14, 2013 @ 19:35:00

      If you and I were to get together, we’d be nit-picking each other like baboons–except we’d be checking each other’s imagined moles, spots and lumps.

      “Look at this spot right here,” I’d tell you.

      You’d squint at the spot I was pointing at. “Where? I can’t see anything.”

      “OMG, you can’t see that?! You should get your eyes checked. You may have a tumor on your retina. Anyway, back to my spot. It’s melanoma, I know it.”

      “Well, yeah, it may very well be, but it’s not as big as this spot right here!” you’d say, lifting your shirt and pointing to something (nothing).

      OR

      “I just saw stars.”

      “That’s the highest compliment you’ve ever given me,” you’d say, preening.

      “Not the orgasm, I think I might have a brain tumor.”

      Considering this, you’d say, “Can I get rid of your cats if you die?”

      “You’re saying you want me to die? You’re having an affair, aren’t you?”

      “Wait, what? No, of course not. But why did you bring it up? Are YOU having one? You wouldn’t have mentioned it if you weren’t having one! We need to discuss this, but first I need a beer.”

      “Fine, get yourself a beer, but don’t come crying to me when you’re diagnosed with penile cancer. Go to your mistress if you want sympathy!” (A beat later.) “Honey, can you bring me a beer, too?”

      Reply

  3. Damien
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 01:21:57

    Great, I give you a mindblowing orgasm and you’re already cheating on me and drinking beer! And as I’m dying of penile cancer, what kind of a hypothetical wife are you?! Also, I have a cat, I’d never get rid of yours, I need all the cats I can find to bulk up my Evil Cat Navy.

    Reply

  4. Becky Jane
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 09:55:33

    I agree that WORRY should be a 4 letter word. I was okay until I had kids and now I worry when they cry, I worry when they don’t cry (experience has taught me that quiet children are always into something they shouldn’t be)!
    Your comment about not wanting family to go through your stuff when your dead brought a snicker – when we went through my parents stuff, there were some very surprising things found – ha!
    First time visiting your blog.

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 20:20:49

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment! I can only imagine what you found. Yikes. I think worry and children go hand in hand. You never stop worrying about them, either–no matter how old they are. When I think of the things I put my poor mom through, and still do! Yeesh…

      Reply

  5. Menopausal Mother
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 12:20:18

    Yes, I am a worrier, and it feeds my insomnia every damn night. And btw, even though I’m married, we STILL have no health coverage. Can’t afford it. The health care industry in America is enough to keep a LOT of people up at night, worrying….

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 20:26:57

      I’m sure your insomnia has NOTHING to do with the fact that you drink coffee at 8pm.(Yes, I saw that post on FB and I just shook my head sadly.) Ha! Speaking of insurance, I just found out today that my insurance will no longer cover my meds. My future posts should be veeerrry interesting…

      Reply

  6. Sam
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 21:26:20

    You are indeed correct about cats. Have attached a video that will explain things further. In addition you can share it on Facebook without being overly embarrassed.

    Reply

    • Tiffany N. York
      Jun 21, 2013 @ 09:34:12

      I thank you for that laugh first thing this morning! I like the cat reading “Military Strategies.” hahahaha.
      That video confirms the fact that we have the most boring commercials in America. Everyone else has a sense of humor, why can’t we? Maybe people would actually watch them then.

      Reply

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