I am a worrier. I am a dyed-in-the-wool, unabashed, shameless, life-long worrier. I know, from relatives and friend alike, that I peg any scale by which you measure worry.
It all started out so innocently. As a young boy – Ebenezer Scrooge and I were pals – both of my parents worked and I was left early in the morning with my aunt and uncle until school started. At Christmas time, my aunt and uncle would purchase a live tree, plunk it in a tree stand and decorate it. As a very young lad, I had heard that Christmas trees without proper water would dry out and serve as fire hazards. So convinced (obsessed) was I that my aunt and uncle’s tree would dry out that, unbeknownst to them, I would sneak downstairs from my early morning bed and fill the tree stand to the brim with water to make sure that no such disaster overcame them. Half a century later, visiting with the now long-retired aunt and uncle, one of them mentioned that the trees back in those days seem to have large amounts of sap that drained because they always found the tree stand filled to overflowing. I fessed up to my obsessive-compulsive behavior and that I was the culprit who dutifully filled the tree stand each and every day to save them from imminent disaster.
The neuroses accelerated from there. I worried not only about fires but also floods, hurricanes, thunderstorms, broken bones, school grades, getting into college, getting a job, keeping a job, making money, keeping money, air travel, automobile repairs, house repairs, terminal illnesses and right on into old age. Every time I boarded a plane, I was convinced that it was THE PLANE. Seriously, I looked on the side on the plane for a big X that marked it as doomed. If I didn’t have a worry on waking up in the morning, I would worry about why I didn’t have anything to worry about. Worry-free episodes didn’t last long. By noon, I had a new laundry list.
Life would be so much easier without worry. While ignorance is bliss, how do I know that, as a demented, nose-picking buffoon, it wouldn’t be my luck to get a Nurse Ratched to torment me just like the one in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?
I’ve decided to make worrying pay off. If you want me to worry on your behalf, please send your list and cash (in unmarked bills) to Curmudgeon-at-Large. Don’t send checks or use credit cards. I worry that they can be traced.
Maybe you don’t like this post: I worry about that too.