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?