Phobias and Fears
I told you I'd need to update this.
Mad Cow Disease -- How could I have forgotten this? I'm convinced we're all going to be dead of Spongiform Encephalopathy in about twenty-years. But does that stop me from eating burgers at In 'n Out? I wish.
My friend Peggy gave me this fabulous Pop-Up
Book of Phobias for my birthday this year. It was very gratifying to realize that we shared all the same ones, more evidence for my conviction that Peggy and I will be perfect roommates when we are ancient crones spending our days sitting in our wheelchairs next to the elevator in the Jewish Home For The Aged.
My shark fear, and the realization that I'm not alone, has inspired me to try to produce a comprehensive list of my crazy, neurotic fears.
1. Sharks. We talked about that already.
2. Cancer. Again, I'm a Jewish girl, from a long line of women who whisper, "The C-Word" with nearly titillated horror. I'm afraid I'll get breast cancer and leave my children motherless. I'm afraid I'll get pancreatic cancer (that's a really bad one) and die when my husband is still young and sexy enough to remarry some hot little thirty-year-old who still has the energy to be acrobatic in bed and give constant head. I've made him promise that all pictures of me will remain hanging on the walls of the house, so that my usurper will have to live with my beloved image staring down on her, cursing her every move. I've also reminded him that it's very rare for a stepmother to truly love her stepchildren, and that if he does remarry he is likely to jeopardize his relationship with his children and make them miserable neurotics who soothe their grief-stricken selves with black tar heroin and labia pierces.
3. That my oldest daughter will hate me. I'm afraid that all my unmedicated years taking out my bipolar disorder on Sophie will cause her to write me off and make disparaging comments about me on her blog.
4. Hotel Bedspreads. Fecal matter. Semen. Need I say more?
5. Getting permanently ugly. This has subcategories.
a. Fat. I'm afraid that I will forget to get on the scale for six months, only to find out that I've gained sixty pounds. I'm afraid that I will have to shop for shirts that are cut loosely in the upper arm area and that I will need to do even more than the usual origami with my crêpey and loose-skinned belly in order to cram it into my pants.
b. Aging. I'm afraid that one day I will take off my bra and my breasts will tumble down and brush the tops of my shoes. I'm afraid that my nose and ears will continue to grow and that I will one day look like Abe Vigoda.
6. That my husband will leave me. I'm afraid that one day, when Michael is sixty, and I'm fifty-nine, some sexy young wanna-be writer will throw herself and her perky breasts at him and he will have a Philip Roth moment and tumble into her bed, where he will discover that the joys of sharing your life with a soul mate are significantly less than the pleasures of supple skin and the above-mentioned acrobatic sex.
7. That there will never be a progressive movement of any real strength in this country, and that the Christian majority will slowly and inexorable rise to even more prominence, until they manage to amend the Constitution to ban homosexuality altogether, to rescind the First and Fourth Amendments and to deport all Jews to Israel, the better to implement their plans to assert world domination and bring about the coming of the Messiah.
8. Poverty. I’m afraid that my next book and my husband’s next book will not sell, and we will be faced with an uncertain future and be forced to sell our house at a substantial loss (We’ve done too much weird stuff to it. Nobody would want such a rabbit warren of bedrooms and offices.) and move to Nebraska, the only place where we will be able to afford to live on the tiny royalty checks we receive from the sales of Kavalier & Clay.
9. That one of my children will get sick. I’m terrified that one of children will come down with some mysterious and horrific disease – a virus that destroys their hearts, a broken leg that results in a blood clot that kills them. I’m afraid that all the jokes I’ve made about bad mothering will come back to haunt me and I will lose one of them forever.
There must be more...I fear I will need to update this entry.