Sometimes I play a game in which I name an object and then try to associate a worry with it, just to see if I can stump myself. “Venetian blinds,” I say. “Peeping Tom!” I answer without having inhaled. “Tomatoes,” I try. “Salmonella poisoning!” Another way to play is to …
My older sister’s job was rinsing them and mine was loading them schmutz-fee into the dishwasher. My brother’s job was being the only son.
For me, hand-washing a glass sparks certainty that the next morning my cold brew will taste like Lemon Joy; I depend on the dishwasher for dishes to be fully rinsed. My middle daughter believes the reverse. She thinks dishwashers leave soap residue and will make her coffee taste like Cascade.
Did I really become a complacent worrywart because of a Times reader’s tip? If so, how much effort must I devote to the New York Times’s comments sections to solve all my problems?
To find out what I’m thinking about, I decided to track my thoughts. But it doesn’t work when your paying attention, like just now I was washing my hands, so for this exercise, I noticed myself saying to myself, “I’m washing my hands.”
“Come here; I just want to talk to you,” she sings in a tone that belies daggers. Two flight attendants are poised by the cabin door, ready, I am certain, to slam it behind me.
Was I really so taken in by the razzmatazz of Hollywood? Or was it simply the same response, say, a hamster would have had after slumbering in such close proximity to another hamster?
biting into a peach at Trader Joe’s and then throwing it away is a freedom I have as a white person, no less one with gray hair and a Medicare card in her fanny pack.
Anderson lived with his father for the first time and realized, “My daddy got a little care about me.”
How could such gut-wrenching stories have resulted in such a magical performance?
Sometimes the writers go home and work on their stories. Well, they don’t exactly go home, because many in the group are homeless.
It’s a Beijing conundrum because I don’t want to support the stolen bike industry by buying a new, used, probably stolen bike.
Not everyone has as much attraction to strangers as I do, but if you do, with skis and the city and a camera, you have a great excuse.
We prowl Yashow’s aisles, giggling like a pair of teens, assessing shoes and scarves, chattering at the leisurely pace of the senior citizen duo we now are.
Nearly everyone had an avoidance tactic. They turned their heads away or looked straight ahead, as though I were invisible.
Surveys showed that one in twelve listeners believed the story was real and that Martians were invading New Jersey.
I planned to videotape the Miss America and watch it with my daughters—after they returned to me from their dad—the way we always had. (I know, I’m a lowbrow.)
Are two overnights a month better than four visits for a few hours each plus having her nearby for spontaneous additional visits?
Regret is one of my least favorite feelings. In a few minutes I would be switching trains, and the opportunity to help this stranger on a train would soon expire . . .
That Greta’s son had set parental controls on his mother’s computer gave me more than just a chuckle; it gave me a jolt, reminding me of the parent-child reversals I had been noticing more and more in my own life.
A truck driver once told me that his instructions were: if you think you are going to hit a car with, say, a family in it, then try to kill all the occupants, because the financial settlement would be lower than if they lived.
y very presence seemed to bring out the worrywart in my adventuresome Eliza, as though every day of our time together in Laos were Freaky Friday, as in the film of the same name in which mother and daughter find their personalities exchanged.
I knew a 52-year-old man with a 26-year-old girlfriend, who still slept with her teddy bear, so by the principle of transitivity he too slept with the teddy bear.
ADD and the Worrywart: This explains why every time I go to New York, I get more work done than when I’m home, writing on my quiet porch in Washington, D.C.
What do you eat on an ordinary day? Maybe I’ll find that mine are not quirks at all and that everyone drinks a pint of tea in a Pyrex measuring cup before bed.
This of course led me to one of my common ruminations: What would be the cutoff for retrieving a precious item from a public toilet?
Antidote to Worry: Frozen Banana and Melted Chocolate
How do I measure my dog’s quality of life? A dog whisperer on TV whispered a guideline for when to euthanize your dog: when bad days outnumber good days.
With bathing suit season approaching, everyone seems to be more calorie conscious. Lettuce wraps are one of my favorite snacks.
Why do religious people worry? All they have to do is pray. Whenever I’m worried, I have to pay. My therapist is my Lord. The missing laptop was not . . .
I can’t accept Tom Cruise and Scientology any more than I can accept the Ku Klux Klan. Okay, a dot or more more.