Germaphobia versus hypochondria.
When I had extreme numbness at night due to undiagnosed chiropractic problems, I assumed I was dying of a circulatory disease. The first time I had pain in my temple due to I-still-don’t-know-what-but-it’s-been-ten-years-so-I-guess-I’m-okay, I assumed I was having an aneurysm. When I had a streak-like line of a bruise on my broken toe, I assumed I had blood poisoning. I suppose many hypochondriacs have the same problem I do – deciding whether to go to the doctor and spend the next week waiting to come down with the symptoms you saw in the doctor’s waiting room, or stay home and die of the symptoms you already have.
In the three hypochondria situations mentioned above, I eventually went to the doctor, but thanks to the germaphobe side of me I have stayed home while the hypochondriac me thought I was dying of a bee sting, a spider bite, the stomach flu, appendicitis, and no fewer than three types of cancer. I’ll go with the numbers here.
Germaphobia versus tech addiction.
This week my modem stopped modeming. While I waited for the new one to come in the mail, I thought of the type of person I usually see at the library computers and the sheer number of people who put their fingers on those computer keyboards and the fact that the people usually smell like they’re hiding a lit cigarette in their mouth, and I thought about all the exciting emails I might be getting and the scrabble moves to be made and the people who might think I was dead if I didn’t change my Facebook status twice a day.
Winner? Tech addiction!
Germaphobia versus Supermom status.
I hate cats. I like videos of cats, but videos of cats don’t walk in their own excrement and then walk on my counters, my bed, and my face. Videos of cats don’t, as my cat did, miss all forty-eight inches of their yarn toy and slash my finger, and then meow at me to play some more while I’m applying pressure to stop the blood loss (see hypochondria above.)
And what is my daughter’s life goal? To work in a cat shelter. I looked all over the county to find a shelter that let kids under 14 volunteer. Finally I found one. The catch was that their parent had to be with them. In the room. With five litterboxes.
My stomach still churns, but guess who won.
Germaphobia versus serving others.
One time I thought it would be funny to use this quote from The Jerk as my Facebook status. “Things are going to start happening to me now.” Never mind that what happens to Steve Martin’s character after he says this is he gets shot at. Anyway I typed that and then I took my dog for a walk. When we were almost back home, I saw a petite woman being pulled off balance by her standard poodle. Her legs and free arm were flailing. I thought, “let go of the leash!” but she didn’t, and down she went in the middle of the street. She looked unconscious, so I ran to her aid. She lay there on her back with a puddle of blood under her head. No one else was in sight. So I ran into my house to call 911, and did I get an icepack and hold it to her maybe-AIDS-contaminated head? Yes I did.
There was also a time when my friend Tara was running a day spa at our annual women’s retreat. Jesus washed his friends’ feet, and so did Tara. She needed lots of other washers. Did I volunteer to help her? No I did not. I did volunteer to fill the tubs with clean hot water, though. So germaphobia versus serving others…