Why do we use the term “worrywart”? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to refer to chronic worriers as “mom”? Mommies tend to worry excessively about anything and everything, at least they did until my latest epiphany. (This week’s post features another guest illustration from Monica LaLanda!)
My wife does her fair share of worrying. Always has. As a child, she saved her fingernail cuttings because she was worried that she’d hurt their feelings if she threw them away. (Howard Hughes has got nothing on my girl.)
That kind of worrying has only intensified now that her concerns have transitioned from discarded skin cells to living breathing children, aka our kids.
For example, she worries quite a bit about my son driving. Now I understand he’s in a demographic known for poor driving skills and an overall lack of common sense. But once he’s out of the garage, what can you do other than drink a beer and watch some NBA?
My wife thought my approach was a little too laid back. She worried about him, constantly, and eventually hired a traffic helicopter to get her airborne so she could track his progress. Look, I get the momma bear thing. But this freakin’ traffic copter really cut into my Belgian beer slush fund (or as she would call it, lush fund.)
Something had to be done. I couldn’t get her to stop worrying about my son driving, but I could get her to worry about something else. Namely, meteors.
The Sky is Falling
“Honey, did you know that every day 3,000 tons of meteoroid dust fall into the earth’s atmosphere?” I said to her one morning.
“Really, that’s interesting. Why are you telling me that?”
“Well, the odds of getting killed by a meteor are 1 in 250,000. In other words, our boy could be among 250,000 other boys driving to school, and there’s a chance he could be struck by the meteor.”
Her eyes grew to asteroid-width. “Oh my God, our baby!”
She took the morning off from work to purchase a meteor-proof tank for him to drive to school (found it on Amazon). She also organized a group of fellow mom worriers, who set up a sky watch, complete with high powered telescopes. They texted each other every ten minutes with updates. (“All clear.” Ten minutes later, “All clear.” And so on, and so on.)
As is usually the case, this epiphany went awry. My wife had become so preoccupied with the meteor showers that she’d lost track of my son. He drove into downtown Madison, and I believe has become totally lost around the State Capitol. Because he hates parallel parking, I imagine he can’t stop and ask for directions. He’s probably in perpetual orbit around the Capitol, helpless to escape its web of one-way streets.
My son may be trapped in downtown Madison forever, but at least worrisome mom has ensured he’ll be safe from death by asteroid. Too fearful of getting herself lost in those one-way streets, she has doubled-down on worrying about meteors. She has widened her meteor watch to encompass the entire metropolitan area, and occasionally sends out county-wide warnings when she sees anything come within a few light years of the earth.
As for my lush fund, it’s more depleted than ever. We’re not paying for a traffic helicopter anymore, but now I’m paying for surveillance from the Hubble telescope. If only there was some way to get her to worry about my diminished supply of Belgian beers…
Special thanks to Mónica Lalanda for the guest illustration. Click here to learn more about Mónica!