I read this article on twenty things women worry about, a blog post in response to an article in The Times on the same theme.
It was interesting – it gave me things to worry about I hadn’t even thought of worrying about before I read the article.
Mostly it was reassuring, in that I realised I didn’t actually worry about many of these things at all – which is a relief.
I don’t wear eye cream. I have no desire to wear eye cream, so that’s one worry ticked off already. Every plant I ever own dies, so I have no qualms about letting basil from the supermarket die too. I don’t care about wrinkles at all. I am too late to worry about husbands and children and houses and stains on the carpets. It’s all way back in the mists of time for me. Even when it wasn’t, the things I worried about in terms of husbands and children and stains on the carpet were not the things anyone else worried about anyway.
I have no idea what the article in The Times was worrying about, because I’m too mean to pay to read it.
Reading the post did, however, kind of reinforce my outsider status, which worried me a bit.
Most of the time I’m not bothered about the fact that I’m always the one who has no idea what’s going on; always the one with their nose pressed up against the window while everyone else bonds inside; and always the one who never knows what the rules are.
That’s basically my life in a nutshell. After forty one years on the planet I’ve learned to mostly embrace it. The rest of the time I accept it with a sense of weary inevitability.
So, here’s what I worry about – which, it seems is not what everyone else worries about.
- I worry about the fact that it’s almost inevitable that I will die in the middle of a book. I hate leaving things unfinished. This genuinely niggles at me on a regular basis.
- I worry about the fact that my body seems to be increasingly hostile to dairy based products means that the prospect of stuffing my face from the cheese board and drinking vats of milkshake for pleasure is becoming an increasingly endangered thing.
- I worry that the likelihood of ever owning my own indoor swimming pool and/or library is becoming more and more unlikely as the years pass by, and I was so sure I was going to have those things one day.
- I worry about the fact that I don’t like chocolate as much as I used to and sometimes eschew pudding with a firm hand. I find this very troubling. It is a bit like finding out you are possessed by an alien – it does not compute.
- I do worry about my posture – not enough to do anything about it, but I note that I am increasingly hunched, as I spend my life curled over screens or books, or children. Will I in fact, miss most of my old age entirely, in favour of becoming a wood louse?
- I worry about whether to have my beard and moustache, which I will certainly get at some stage, waxed or whether to have electrolysis. The children want me to cultivate them.
- This also leads me to worry about what will happen when they are finally in charge of my welfare and I am too old and weak to protest. All those years of my draconian parental dictates will come back to bite me in the ass, and I will be the only 90 year old with a zapata moustache, and a herd of pygmy goats for company.
- I worry about the fact that I have ceased to worry about whether I should be feeling left out because I don’t like anything everyone else likes. Everything includes; enforced festive events; pointless gift buying; parties of nearly all descriptions (with the odd exception); surprises; holidays that aren’t with my immediate family; the majority of cutesy sayings and philosophical saying posters that adorn Facebook etc. I have embraced the fact that I hate it all. Does this mean I am a remorseless bastard with no friends?
- I worry about the fact that I am not very sociable, and given the choice in almost all circumstances I would rather stay at home and read a book, on my own.
- I worry about the fact that I am a raging snob, and am becoming more of a raging snob the longer I live. By the time I am a pensioner I will basically be the Dowager Duchess, and will spend my life peering down my lorgnettes at people haughtily – whilst stroking my Zapata moustache.
- I worry that my children will want to look after me when I am old.
- I worry about having a stroke and not being able to eviscerate the people who will inevitably try to look after me in a patronising way. I particularly worry in this scenario that people will try to make me cups of tea. I fucking hate tea.
- I worry quite often about going blind. It’s all about not being able to read. The thought brings me out in a cold sweat. I have seriously thought about learning braille, just in case.
- I worry almost constantly that the children will give me nits and I will go to see Richard of the Flashing Blades and he will not let me in his salon – and I will have to leave in shame.
- I worry that the menopause isn’t coming quickly enough. I do not want to be fertile any more. I long to be a dried up, sexless husk.
- I worry I will never finish Proust’s A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu. I have been stranded on book four for two years now.
- The only thing about the physical ageing process that really bothers me is the fact that I might develop Hobbit style feet and not be able to bend enough to do anything about it.
- I worry that Jason and I will never have more than two days to ourself ever again. Even when the children are grown up, they will still never be financially free enough to move away from home.
- I worry that my chances of becoming a world famous rock drummer are probably over by now.
- I worry about the fact that I might suddenly start liking beige and wanting net curtains, possibly after some kind of stroke.
Unlikely, I know.
What do you worry about?