I like to make up reasons I keep my circle of close loved ones very tiny–I’m a misanthrope! I’m married to my work! I get anxiety attacks when forced to eat a meal with more than two other people! But I think the real reason is that when I love people, really love them like family, I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether they are in ditches somewhere, even though the probability of someone being in a ditch somewhere is generally slim and none and slim just walked out the do’. Anyway. I am a worrier. A big, big, big, big, big, big worrier. I don’t know whether this dates back to when I was a child and my mom would "lose track of time" and…er, forget to pick me up at school/gymnastics/after-school care/ballet/wherever the hell else I got shuttled around as part of my multifaceted privileged activity-full upbringing (the very one that makes me such a fascinating person now who does not sit around all day watching "Law & Order"…I swear, I have to throw this fucking television out the window). I would watch the minutes tick by–five, ten, twenty, forty–and grow more and more hysterical, the admonishments of adults for being a "worrywort" doing nothing but bolstering my worrying, because if nobody ELSE is worried, then I HAVE TO DO IT ALL. I worry about people I love all day long. I worry about my parents, who, let’s face it, aren’t getting any younger (despite the fact that they are both in better physical shape/health than I am), I worry about my brother, who is accident-prone and likes to have running up and down the stairs contests with his coworkers, I worry about my other relatives getting into an accident or dropping dead, I relive the phone call about my grandfather drowning more than I would like to admit, I worry about my friends in New York and other far-flung locales, and I worry about my boyfriend, 2000 miles away in a new city, despite the fact that all of the people I just mentioned are grown-ups who can take care of themselves for chrissake, what is wrong with me? I don’t know how normal people go through life without worrying about their loved ones. And most of all I feel sorry for my future imaginary nonexistent children–if they ever manage to unchain themselves from the radiator, I am going to worry the bejeezus out of myself about them. I suppose the bright side about this is that I rarely, if ever, worry about myself. I don’t worry about my health (vegan diet plus no drinking or smoking plus copious exercise equals no problems), I NEVER worry about my safety (if it were up to me our door would be unlocked 24 hours a day), I don’t even worry about my sanity (so I worry too much, it could be a shitload worse). I don’t worry about my future (I do my best to be a good scholar and if I don’t get a job it will be due to the fickleness of the market or the weirdness of my projects and I’ll find another line of work)–yeah, all right, I worried a lot about my qualifying exams, but look how that turned out? For the most part I don’t worry about myself, and I can only hope that that means I am a kind person who cares about other people and is not a self-important maroon. Despite all of the excessive worrying about other people, at least I am not a self-important maroon. Yet.