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Stupid WorryNovember 14, 2005

While I totally understand the need for it, I hate the verification box: those letters that you have to type to prove to a program that you're not a spammer. Even yahoo mail has recently tossed some of them in.

The problem is that I always type too fast, make a mistake, and get that terrible split-second panicked feeling -- Oh, god, I must be a spammer! Quick! Fix it! I'll be spam forever! Aaaauuugh!

It's akin to the feeling you get when your tags are current, and your tail-lights work, and you're not drunk or high, and you have no weapons in your vehicle, and you're obeying all laws of traffic, and there's a cop on your ass. It's Stupid Worry.

You know how it feels. What's your Stupid Worry?

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I have the Cop Stupid Worry, and I also check the front door is locked, even to the point of driving back and checking. It's alway been locked every time I've checked...

I dunno what my stupid worry is but I still have those dreams where I go to class and I don't have my homework or I can't find the classroom or something like that. Performance anxiety, I suppose.

That Important Emails didn't go through, even if they didn't bounce back.

OMG. I totally still have a dream where I've missed class for like 10 weeks and I go to class and they're like, um, you're totally getting an F. How could you forget about this class?

GEEZ. It's been five years! I don't have class anymore!

Lab results getting mixed up causing me to miss a crucial diagnosis. I am always convinced that the gyno office will somehow mess up and not inform me that I had an abnormal pap.

I just changed a whole bunch of answers, didn't I?

i haven't taken a class in over 10 years and i still get that oh my god i haven't been to class since the first day of class and today's the final feeling. and sometimes i can't even find the class. or worse, i'm naked.

i worry about the cop.

Where are my keys? I have to hold them in my hand as I close the door so I know I'm not locked out of the house.

When I leave my gym to walk to the garage, I cross over a grate and I always worry that I'll drop my parking token and it'll be lost forever and they won't let me leave and I'll have to live at the YWCA. I hope I never have to test this to see if it's a Stupid Worry or not.

The cop Stupid Worry (SW) is a big one. Also the I-hope-he-has-a-safe-trip-home when my husband leaves at the end of a nice weekend (we live apart for job related reasons, argh). There's the is-the-cat-still-breathing-or-just-sleeping-soundly SW, the my-mom-is-calling-it-must-be -an-emergency SW, the I-am-a-bad-academic SW.

I should stop now!

I have stupid cop worry, is the oven on? worry, is the front door locked? worry, are the keys in my hand? worry, is someone trying to break in? worry, and I'm terrified of the pilot light and carbon monoxide poisoning worry!

Mine is similar to the front door one... but it's the garage door. I will be miles from home and turn around and go back just to make sure I did indeed close it. The thing is... I've never forgotten to close it so far.

I worry about a LOT of stupid stuff. Hence, the Lexapro! HA!

Oh, mine is crossing the border. I cross from Sarnia Ontario to Port Huron Michigan quite often, and I am still nervous that somehow the customs officer is going to pull me in and somehow I am going to get strip searched. And I will be wearing ugly underwear. *Shudder*

I have dreams that the cop will catch me driving naked while trying to study for the final I will surely fail, as I don't even remember where my hometown is, much less where I go to school.

My stupid worry is that my husband will figure out he was nuts for marrying me. So don't tell him about the driving naked dream, 'kay? He'd flip out if he knew I was studying at the same time....

The girl with generalized anxiety disorder will sit this one out... ;)

So interesting that I am not the only one having the 'damn I forgot to go to class all semester' dreams. They drive me insane! A doctor once told me they were performance anxiety based. Well thank you for that piece of info, now just tell me how to stop them, I have been out of school for 15 years now! Hate having to face those algebra classes unprepared darn it!

Another worry is being in an accident and having the world know that I favor wearing mens underwear. Really. They leave no pantylines, hold the gut in and are so much more comfortable :) Hubby is a bit resentful but whatever ;)

There is also the shoplifting element... leaving a store and having the security buzzer go off. There you stand, unconvicted shoplifter, everyone staring at you. Ooops, teller forgot to deactivate security device, all well. Hate that.. That and those big box store announcements that ' Security on Station 7 please.." Do they really have store security or are they just trying to freak us innocent shoppers out?! (Yes, shoplifted a few times in my youth and got CAUGHT! Never to do again.) Now I only live life paranoid I will be 'caught' again! For doing nothing!!!

I am always sure that I forgot to lock the doors of my car. I have a remote control, but I still regularly go back to the car just to make sure. People are so strange!

ya know, i have that cop fear so bad i think my breath vortexes alcohol into it just at the thought of them pulling me over!!

did i mention that my local guys have pulled me over 7 times in 11 months? i think i know all of them now. say, is that harassment? talk about cop fears, that's ALL i need.

my all-time fave went like this:
him: erm, you're ah... driv.. uh... driving erratically!
me: i'm trying to avoid the potholes in the road from all of pacbell's line-replacements «?»
him: hmmm... ahh. uh.... hrrumph. well, uh... keep an eye out.

i think they've actually conditioned me out of CSW, and i have no fears of doors or locks, no fears of fumes (they do make sensors for that jenn!), but my other super-biggie fear, and this is a strange one, is of falling when going down stairs/escalators {and subsequently, crossing rocky streams while hiking}. freaks me out. the thought of banging the back of my head on the stairs, knocking myself out and losing a chunk of brain. eeps!

[ps, i've been lurking here awhile, reading while knitting, too pooped to think of some clever comment for you, and fresh out of hot pix of my legs for your frappr! we'll just have to get together again soon!!]

We have trams in Gothenburg, and you get to stamp yourown ticket when you get on one. Then there are ticket control guys in green jackets who sometimes appear out of nowhere and say "Ticket please", and if you don't have one they make sure you don't get to buy any Christmas presents that year... In other words - they are feared. It doesn't matter if I've paid my ticket. I Always flinch when I see a green jacket while sitting on the tram...

Going into a bookstore with a book, or a yarn store with yarn in my bag and having to open my bag to get something, or pretty much any store with something they sell there or with big bags. I don't look like a 'lifter but I get paranoid. Sometimes I try to look conspicuously like I'm NOT touching anything so it doesn't look like I'm gonna sneak some candy in my shopping bag.

And the cop thing. :)

Oh gosh -- I have so many stupid worries it's a wonder I ever sleep at night.

Those damn things, especially the one that Typepad was obviously testing out the other day, make me feel like I need new eyeglasses. Gettin' old.

Me? "...did that person see my pin? Oh no, they're looking at me, I better cover what I'm punching in..." worries AND of course, cop worries. Living at the far end of a large main street in SF(that I drive down every day), I know that many morns theya re parked on one of the side streets looking for anyone going over 40. I dread that agh, nice mama I am that they won't see that!

i worry that my underwear are on inside out. pathetically, this has indeed occasionally been the case. or i put a thong on with the "official" crotch part on the side of my leg by accident. i never discover this until well into the day.

Falling down the stairs. EVERY TIME I take the stairs, which is quite often since I am deathly afraid of elevators, I get this brief but vivid image in my head of me tumbling right down the stairs. I wind up splayed at the bottom, but still alive. I have this image for my loved ones, as well. As in, when my sweetie leaves for work before me, and I hear him in the hallway before descending to the main level and out the front door of our brownstone (yes, lotsa stairs), I have this split second vision before he gets there of him falling down the stairs. Its terrible. And those are just my worries while awake! Yes, I do see a therapist weekly.

Oh yeah, the "I missed the class all semester and it's test time" dream. Still have it, haven't been in a real class in 25 years.
The other one that I have regularly: I get to work (hospital), they give me some ridiculous number of patients to see that I can't possibly see in one day, I don't finish them all, so the next day they give me all NEW ones as punishment.
The third SW is the "I'm a million miles from home on vacation and I'm sure I left the coffee pot on" SW. It drives my husband nuts.

De-lurking here: My stupid worry is that after sitting at a cafe or such place for awhile, I get up and think OH GOD there is something wrong with my butt. Why is EVERYONE staring at it I must have sat in something/peed myself/smashed and brutally murdered the gnome I didn't see on my chair. Oh this only happens when I'm alone. The only thing worse is if I trip on the way out, certifiably clumsy as I am.

I always worry that the second I hit send on an email, I'm going to wish I hadn't. I hover my mouse over the send button for way too long, checking and rechecking the message to make sure I'm *really* ready to send it.

I also have the SW about locking myself out of the house so I check constantly for my keys as I'm leaving, but that one's not such a stupid worry 'cause I've done it several times (usually late at night).

You know, I don't mind having to type the word but what REALLY bothers me is when they distort it so much that I can't actually READ WHAT THE HELL THE LETTERS ARE!!!! That kind of works me up a tiny bit...

I have so many irrational fears I'd have to start a seperate blog for them so I'll leave them out of your comments!

Had a stupid worry moment just this morning. Saw the rare sight of passing three military vehicles in the ten minutes it takes to get from home to school to pick up my daughter. One was a tank, and one of the jeeps stayed camped out on the road next to my home (this is a country road, not a neighborhood). My first stupid worry: "Can the military pull you over for a ticket in France??" Second stupid worry: "Are there rioters in our quiet village that I'm not aware of?" Third stupid worry: "What if they're doing some weird covert ops exercises in the underbrush next to our home, while using live ammo?" This last one isn't all that weird, because then, they just may as well be the civilian hunters we get out her all the time. Eek!

Every time I go to meet with a prof, I'm afraid that they are going to rip my beating heart out of my chest and eat it. Then again, I'm dealing with an anxiety disorder, so maybe this isn't a valid comparison! (When I told one of my professors about this fear, she giggled and replied "I don't even like meat that much!")

Note to Maia: I actually had the "store buzzer" thing go off once but in a really backwards way. I didn't steal anything (of course) but about a block away from the store, I noticed that a sweater that I hadn't bought was snagged on my umbrella and I had walked out of the store with it. Oddly, the alarm hadn't gone off. So I went back to the store to return the sweater--and the alarm went off as I went IN! The security guard was very skeptical about my story, but he didn't give me much trouble. I put the sweater back, put my umbrella in my bag so none of its pointy bits would do any more damage and left.

I share Maria's SW of looking like I'm shoplifting. Even if I don't have a bag on me, I'm very careful not to put my hands in my pockets after touching things in the store. It'd be easy to prove I wasn't stealing, but I'm afraid of the confrontation, I guess.

I also have Kate's "is that cat still breathing?" worry. I'm afraid of what that one will become when I have kids.

I have that same "cop on my tail" stupid worry. It's awful, because then I feel like "OMG, can he tell I'm worried he's back there? Will he pull me over because I look guilty even though I'm not doing anything wrong?!?!" LOL.

I have to have to have to check the kids before I go to bed. If I don't I can't sleep, because I worry about them. I need to make sure they're (a) breathing, (b) covered up and warm (or cool) enough and (c) kiss them good night again.

My most common stupid worry is that I've forgotten the employee badge that I need to let me into my building at work. I've left it at home twice, and it's been a big hassle each time - I have to get a temporary sticker to wear on my chest, confirming that I belong there, and I'm completely unable to open any door in the building, all day long. Every morning as I pull into the parking lot I have an intense flash of panic and begin clutching at my neck to make sure I'm wearing the lanyard that the badge on.

As for anxious dreams...I have a recurring dream that I'm in a public restroom (usually at my old high school, from which I graduated 8 years ago) and none of the toilets work. Either they're backed up, or the stalls have no doors, or they're really complicated and I can't figure out how they work (!?!). I'm not sure I really want to analyze that dream any more than I have to.

That was too much information, wasn’t it? :D

my biggest stupid worry is job worry - every single time a boss or supervisor wants to talk to me, i'm convinced i'm about to get fired and then i spend ridiculous amounts of time combing through all the stuff i've done (or not done, more often) that could get me fired, trying to figure out what it is. i'm also convinced that everyone is trying to see what's on my computer screen at work at all times, and i often have the sneaking paranoia that someone checks my internet history, even though i have absolutely no reason to believe that's true. god i hate my guilt complex.

Jane Doe. Winding up as one, that is. I have a terrible irrational worry about being found unconscious or dead somewhere with no identification on me and my family not knowing where I am. And dropping my keys into a grate and not being able to retrieve them. And did I lock the door to the store before I left.

My husband goes out a lot at night, being a night owl, and I have a nine to five. If he doesn't call, even if I know where he is, I get frantic with worry. This is why he almost always carries the cell phone. And why I always remeber to call if I'm the one out now.

And I _hate_ it when the cops tail you.

Rach, that is too funny i have that kind of a worry when i'm taking a curve on an unfamiliar road and am terrified that i will head straight off the road.. even if i'm going way below the speed that is recommended.. and yes i have that same feeling of everything being in order and there is a cop.. eeek :-) hee..hee.. Karola

Mine is the did-I-turn-the-barbeque-off-because if-not-it-could-blow-up-the-house stupid worry. Even though I know I've turned it off I have to go out and check the knobs before I can go to sleep on nights that I've used it. ADD anyone?

My stupid worry: Every time my husband drops me off for work, he pulls in front of my office and I go to the trunk to get my gear (workout bag, lunch, etc.). I'm always terrified that somehow a car will come careening into the back of OUR car, crash into it and crush my legs/torso. I think this almost every time I go to the trunk of the car.

In my missing class dream I think okay, I can do this, but then I can't read any of the questions on the test. And I've also had the backed up toilets in school one. But I've never had the cop worry. Maybe because I've never actually been pulled over? My boyfriend has it big time - he spots every cop car and then starts announcing their every move until they are gone and usually asks me to turn around and check if they leave his line of sight. I thought he was totally paranoid and/or hiding some dark secret from me until I read this post!

Wow. At least I'm not alone with my paranoia.

Time for confession: I'm afraid that people will find out that I really am crazy. Or a big fraud, at least. I also hate driving those curvy roads up in the hills in the dark because I KNOW I will drive into the abyss. And people will think about how stupid that was of me.

The nice thing is, the word verification thingy gives you a second chance if you mistype it - I know, because I've done it. So, with that in mind, perhaps cops will do the same thing....

I'm afraid I'll be carded (I'm 38). I'm afraid to use the restroom somewhere if I am not a patron, for fear of being called out on it. Hovering salespeople give me anxiety. Making non-personal phone calls, too.
And oh yeah, I too have the "they'll find out I'm a fraud" fear and the "didn't ever attend this class" dream even though I've been out of school 15 years.

OMG! I thought I was the only one tortured by the "I have missed all the classes this semester and I am failing or it is finals day" dream!!! I am so happy to hear I am not alone. I also sometimes get cop worry. Oh and falling down stairs worry (I did this one time when I was READING something while walking down my stairs)... and since I was in a car accident a few weeks ago I now have car accident worry!

I guess I am full of worries - but I already knew that :)

Just general free-floating guilt for me. Well that and that I'll call a Code Blue (cardiac arrest) for someone and clearly call it for 8Charlie because that's what the monitor said and then turn around and check the monitor again and discover that it was really on 10Alpha and that I've killed someone.

You know, little stuff like that.

And no, it'll never happen. And if it did, I would re-call it and nobody would die. I'm just ... lame.

He! I just wanted to say that when I read "Your tags are current" I thought html tags, not car tags. Isn't it funny the way you think in accord to your lifestyle... once I was at a friends house and wanted to saute some mushrooms for sauce and asked "Do you have a little pot" and he looked shocked and said "I thought you didn't smoke". Haha! Oh, topic, SCW locking myself out without keys, because I'm so obsessive about locking windows and there's no way I'd ba able to get back in.

Boy, you guys ARE crazy. Now, judge me. ;-)

Mine - Car related:
While driving with my driver's side window down, I am afraid that a bird will fly through my window and impale itself in my ear/fly into my front seat/etc. SWEAR. TO. DAWG.

Told ya.
And the shoplifting one "But I'm just comparing the COLOUR! Honest!"

Did I close the garage door? Why is that cop following me? Did I send the loan payment? Did I accidentally pay it twice? Did I turn off the heat? Did I leave enough food out for the cats? What if they think I'm shoplifting? Is my fly zipped? What if that person thinks I'm staring at them? Did I lock the car? What if nobody likes me? Does my boss think I'm lazy? Am I dressed too casual? Too dreddy? Will I offend these people if I knit right now?

Did I close the garage door? Why is that cop following me? Did I send the loan payment? Did I accidentally pay it twice? Did I turn off the heat? Did I leave enough food out for the cats? What if they think I'm shoplifting? Is my fly zipped? What if that person thinks I'm staring at them? Did I lock the car? What if nobody likes me? Does my boss think I'm lazy? Am I dressed too casual? Too dressy? Will I offend these people if I knit right now?

My stupid worry is that I will get stuck in a department store (or a museum or some such) after closing hours. It's ridiculous. When they start making the "closing" announcements, I get anxious and hustle right out of the store.

When I meet people for the first time, I worry about whether they find me annoying.

When I meet up with old friends who I haven't seen in a long time, I worry that they are thinking, "She used to be cool, but now she's annoying."

I'm kind of quiet in person.

And I was pretty annoying in high school.

Mostly job-related anxiety; shooting interviews with scientists and being certain that I sound like an absolute moron who can barely pronounce their field, let alone ask intelligent questions about it.

Most of my anxieties were when I was younger. I remember our car being rear-ended when I was in the back seat. I was only about 7 at the time. For years after, I would look out the back window in terror, convinced the person behind us was going to plow into us. I would stress myself out so badly over that.

After I got married almost 10 years ago, I would catch myself checking my husband's breathing in the middle of the night. I don't know what I would have done if he'd STOPPED! Now I do that to the cats :)

that there are bugs in the clothes on the floor. um, in fact, i'm gonna go do some laundry now.

My stupid worry, though not exactly irrational--it has happened before-- is of missing a deadline and/or not showing up to a meeting. I live in fear of forgetting that I had something due, leaving the paper I needed to turn in at home, or not getting something done on time. When I do have a paper due, I usually check my bag about 5 times on the way to school and email it to myself just to be safe. Not showing up to a meeting is almost worse because it inconveniences someone else (who did manage to show up) and makes me look like a flake. Come to think of it, that is probably the root of all my fears. Looking like a flake to those I care to impress.

I also have the "oh crap, I haven't been to class since the beginning of the semester and there is a test today that I didn't study for and I don't know which room the exam is in" dream regularly. Despite the fact that I am currently in classes and have been consistently since I was 5, my missing the class dreams are usually about high school. What is weird is that I'm usually in college, but for some reason I'm back at my high school. I try to reason that because I am a college student, I can handle anything a high school class can throw at me, but then nothing on the exam looks even familiar to me. I hate that dream

Wow.. I had no idea everyone else was dreaming they were missing classes and going to exam day unprepared too. Unreal so many of us have the same dream!

Silly fears? Being accused of shoplifting. I did a few times as a kid and was caught, completely demoralizing and now am SO paranoid I will be accused of it!

Buying something and having the machine reject my debit card even when I know there is money in there.

Worrying I will have an accident at work and everyone will know I wear my husbands underwear! (But damn, mens underwear are more comfy and NO pantylines!)

Worrying I will screw up at work and give the wrong person the wrong medication and having to rush them to ER :(

Ok, I could go on and on but I will spare you :)

Oh, and what about the 'I have my period and has it leaked through?! How can I check discreetly?!"

Damn! I am so past the missing class worry, I feel dated. But I do worry that some day they're going to discover I'm a fraud, I don't really know anything, and I'm just flying by the seat of my pants. Stupid worry. Everyone flies by the seat of their pants. Everyone.

omg.
e v e r y
t w e n t y
e i g h t
d a y s
! ! ! ! !

Funny, I don't have the missing-class worry, and I've only been done with classes for a year and a half. It is, however, very nice to know I'm not entirely alone in my stupid worry of "I'm going to step on the down-escalator wrong and fall all the way down." Also the period-leaking-through worry.

oh god, there's a new one:

the is-that-psycho-road-rager-following-me and is-he-living-in-my-hood? stupid worry.

i got road raged on my way home from the city. i stayed out of my usual exit lane and the dude took my exit. freaked me out! then he pulled over to a stop on the exit ramp and let/made me pass -- i went the opposite direction of normal, tried to keep my eye on him, and turned off my lights as i made my way back....

creeps me the hell right out.

i called the police dispatcher, she c/wouldn't tell me anything. useless. this pd is not my friend. and the road-rager drove a fancy brand new mercedes, so i'm sure they'll take his side in the whole issue -- IFF he lives in my hood. it's freaking me the hell right out right now, i tell ya!

*shiver*

I have two irrational fears. My first one is a variation on the "did I take this class?" fear. For some reason I keep forgetting that I have graduated from high school. At least twice a year I have to dig out my high school transcript to remind myself that I didn't quit.

My other fear is that I will not have any money in my wallet after a cashier has finished ringing up my purchases. I check my wallet before I go into the store and then check it twice before I get u to the register.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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