It is the opinion of those around me that I truly need some sort of tragedy in my life to make me realize how often I obsess over stupid things. I say I worry over what everyone else worries over, only I’m more vocal.
For instance, when Dirtman and I were booked to fly to San Antonio, for the entire month of February I’d wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweats of fear over the flight.
No, I’m not afraid of flying and, while seasoned travelers may tire of the ritual of homeland security, I solve the problem by carrying nothing on the plane but a book, my ID around my neck and money and a credit card in my pocket. I check my suitcase, which yields little more than some sad-looking underwear, a change of jeans and shirt probably identical to the one I’m already wearing.
Oh, and The Official Travel Dress is in there, just in case by some strange twist in the trajectory of my life, Dirtman decides to take me somewhere requiring a dress. It goes without saying that I’m never flying anywhere there isn’t a Rite Aid and a Macy’s.
The reason I dread an airplane flight is that fat people are the pariahs of air travel. Just look how commercials depict passengers: there is always some tiny emaciated soul sitting next to a huge Sasquatch of a guy, who is usually loud and annoying.
Now, really, I easily fit in airline seats. But I am very aware that, when sitting next to someone who looks like they actually swallow what they eat, people are extra diligent about protecting their perimeter. So I consolidate myself as much as possible and do not even approach the border, even if it means sustaining black and blue marks on my hips.
And so far, no one has ever complained or even looked annoyed when Dirtman and I board a plane. But one of these days we’re going to run into someone like my Aunt Angelina, who would not hesitate to complain loudly to all and sundry her outrage that she should be forced to endure what will most assuredly be an uncomfortable flight.
It ended up being a moot point in the end when a toothache and subsequent surgery forced us to cancel our trip.
Not to worry. I’ve since found something else stupid to worry about.
Next week my friend Karen and I are traveling to New Jersey for a dog show and we are sharing a room.
I’m worried because apparently I snore.
I’ve only learned of this recently, but it comes as no surprise. I come from a long line of lusty, symphonic snorers. I remember vacations where my brothers, cousins and I would lie on our cots in hysterics at the crescendos of nasal orchestrations coming from our aunts and uncles. Our fate was sealed. We were destined for snoredom.
I don’t know if I reach the volume and tone that has made my family legendary along the Jersey shore. Dirtman usually tells me I snore to counter when I take him to task for his own nocturnal antics that run the gamut from snoring – which really doesn’t bother me – to poking me in the eye with his elbow – which does – to emitting huge water buffalo yawns – which truly makes me cranky because you really don’t have to bellow while you yawn, particularly at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Since the acquisition of this unfortunate breathing method, I’ve only once slept in the same room as someone other than Dirtman. The woman never said anything, but was rather cranky and snippy for the rest of the next day. Okay, maybe she’s a cranky, snipping person. But I worry.
Karen assures me that I won’t bother her. She is a veteran at dealing with my obsessions, having had to sit through lunches where I do little more than whine about my kids, not to mention my never-ending anxiety about how silly I looked running my Aussie around the confirmation ring (she reminds me that the judges aren’t even giving me a glance since their entire focus is on the dog – so now I worry I’m becoming self-centered).
I worry that the price won’t be keyed in for the tampons I’m buying. I worry when I have to get change for the tip at a restaurant that the waitress will think I stiffed her. I worry that my hair will turn gray. I worry that people will think I dye my hair because it hasn’t turned gray.
But right now, most of all, I’m worried that as you are reading this, instead of nodding in recognition of a normal, human foible, you will be e-mailing me names and numbers of reputable therapists.