Growing up, I learned many valuable things from my mother. Things like, the television gets really clear just before it blows up and if you swallow a fingernail it will puncture your intestines and never eat a banana before going to bed. The most beneficial piece of advice though, has carried me through most of my life; always expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed.
Of course, there are things that have to be taught by example, words just aren’t enough. There is an art to worrying that has been developed primarily for aesthetics rather than utility. Hands must be wrung dramatically. My mother had brick-red knuckles. I have tried, but have never been able to achieve the same shade although I’m happy with my current skin tone which borders on unripe watermelon. Crossing oneself is helpful if of the Catholic religion. I have crossed myself just to see what it is like but I’m not Catholic so it doesn’t count. When the back of the hand is pressed to the forehead coupled with a facial grimace, the effect can be inconceivable. This stance is usually to induce guilt in others but can also foster compassion. If someone tries to reassure the worrier, they may receive a look that suggests something bad is going to happen to them. Pacing can be effective but only if done while muttering.
“You’re always the one who gets hurt,” has stuck with me since childhood. Funny, it sure seemed that way when I was little. I realize now that probably all children get hair brushes tangled in their hair and have to have them cut out, and have been knocked down by a stray dog leaping through a screen door and I’m sure there are plenty of kids who have been run over by the family car.
If you don’t tell someone to drive safely, or be careful, they will be in a horrible accident. I don’t know what the statistics are on this, in fact, I don’t know what the statics are on a lot of things but “they say,” by not cautioning someone before they set out may cause them to become unstable and make poor choices. I don’t take any chances, I tell loved ones to be careful. It always makes my mailman smile.
If you don’t tell someone you worry about them, you will be in a horrible accident. I think my mother confused love with worry. If she didn’t worry about you, she didn’t love you. If she didn’t love you, she didn’t worry about you. It made sense to her.
I’m still not sure if anything bad will happen if I eat a banana before going to bed but I don’t intend to find out.