Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cinderblocks, and Many Other Things, Scare the Hell Out Of Me

My son Charlie writes a morning news letter that is dependably in people's email in-boxes between 8 and 9 a.m.

This morning, it's late.

Instead of thinking rational thoughts first like a) perhaps his computer fizzled out or b) the internet is down because he, in his carefree and wanton college lifestyle, neglected to pay the bill, I immediately jump to the conclusion that something has happened to him.


There is no slow elevation from a small ember of fear. It's a four alarm blaze right away.

I have always been like this.

Since I was a tiny girl, any aberration in routine or unexpected deviation meant that disaster had occured. Needless to say, this has exhausted those to whom I am close enough to reveal these fears.

If Seth doesn't call from the car on his way home, he is most certainly on the side of the road, hurled from his vehicle, unable to see because his glasses have been thrown from his face, one grasping claw outstretched to call me from the phone that is just inches beyond his reach. Oh, God.

When I was a little girl, if my mother was not where I thought she should be the minute I thought she should be there, I was absolutely positive that she'd fallen into some unseen crack in the earth or had been abducted by aliens....or, at the very worst, stepped through some portal leading into another dimension and would now exist only in a parallel universe.

I am not kidding. 

I read endless fairy tales and science fiction as a kid. I watched the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits and occasionally got my hands on one of the then  popular--and not intended for impressionable minds--paperbacks with titles like "Stranger Than Fiction." I was a mess.

As I got older, while the fear of alien abduction remains (most specifically, I'm worried that I am an alien), my other fears have become more realistic--terrorism, random violence, nuclear melt-downs,car jackings and accidents, illness and, of course, wait for it.....Justin Bieber*.

Seth has told me thousands of times that I should be more afraid of small unexpected stuff, thereby hoping to quell my more grandiose terrors.

His favorite example: I shouldn't fear flying because I could be puttering in the garden or prancing down a city street and a cinder block could fall on my head and kill me.

I have learned two things from this: Seth has an obsession with cinderblocks. He seems to believe that they are everywhere, waiting to fall on people's heads. The other thing this has taught me is to be terribly afraid of them. So, I've simply added cinderblocks to my list of things to fear.

What I experienced when the boys were late for dinner or missed their curfew, was so immense that it cannot be put into words. As was my gratitude and relief when they showed up with an excuse or reason for their tardiness.

It's a fact that women's brains have a larger portion devoted to anxiety and worry. I think I must have gotten in line twice when this was being distributed yet, somehow, entirely missed the "long legs and small nose" line.

So, Charlie just overslept this morning. I called him a minute ago and, upon picking up the phone, he didn't say hello, but simply said, "You thought I was dead, didn't you?"

Well, yes. But I'm very glad you're not, you sleepy smart ass.

*Are you not impressed that I managed to negatively insert Justin Bieber into a post again?
I have no fear of Hannibal.


  1. I'm afraid of the carwash. You know that moment when all the soap covers every window and the machines are scrubbing your car so vigorously that it shakes you car? Yep, that's the very moment I freak out and comtemplate fleeing the vehicle. I can picture it all soapy trying to pinball through the brushes. In that moment it all makes sense. I hate the carwash.

  2. Thanks, Katie!!

    Maria,the carwash is not pleasant. I once went through with a cat in the car (inside a carrier) on the way home from the vet. Not a goodf idea!

  3. I think my irrational fear of all things can be blamed on one man. Mr. Steven The King. I started in 3rd grade when I read "IT." I can't get too close to storm drains when I walk by for fear that sharp toothed clowns will rip off my extremities.

    Next was Pet Cemetery in 5th grade. Do I even need to tell you about my fear of dead pets!?!

    And to think, my parents thought it was good for me because I was reading "so far above my level." Yeah. Thanks Mom and Dad.

    Don't get me wrong, I still love me some Steven The King. I'm reading The Stand now actually. *Cough, Cough, Sneeze*

  4. Cat, I am too afraid to even walk by "Pet Cemetary" on the book shelf at the library. I
    know that if I read that my life will be ruined.

    But I, too, am very proud of you for having read above your grade level!!

  5. I too missed the small nose, long legs line... and Justin Bieber is an alien - we are right to be afraid :-)

  6. And people like Elle MacPherson got on that line twice and stole our share. I've accepted it by now!

    Thanks for your comment and your correct assessment of the Biebster.

  7. I went through that first line THREE times. In fact, my post-partum depression centered entirely around irrational fears of things happening to the baby. It's why I hover STILL. My fears went over-the-top after The Cheshire home invasion. I was both afraid to leave the house and stay in the house.

    I laugh at myself, but really, it's sometimes a bit paralyzing, right?

    Heidi Klum got my share of legs. Or maybe I did get my share but neglected to stretch them out sufficiently.

  8. Yes, it is a bit paralyzing. I'm sorry you experience this, Alicia. Worry and fear make our worlds smaller.

    The Cheshie home invasion was terrifying but I still think the doctor played a part in it. Is that awful of me? I just don't trust him.

    Heidi Klum may have gotten our legs but she missed out on brains, I fear...

  9. justin beiber scares the bejezus outta me too.
    great post fellow worry wart :)