Thursday, September 28, 2006


I woke up anxious this morning. Which is odd, as i have nothing to be anxious about. No job to worry about, enough money, healthy, blah, blah..... I knew that i was anxious because i started making lists and doing laundry and organizing stuff. This comforts me when i am anxious, getting my little speck of the world in shape. (The upside of my anxiety is a clean house.) I do wonder what triggered the anxiety. Maybe it's just hormonal or my electrolytes are out of balance, or the moon is in Neptune, or my chi is whacked out.

I think that if i worry about something then it won't happen. For example, if i worry about it a little each time before i play squash, i won't blow out my knee. If i worry when the Mister is late, then he won't have been involved in a horrible accident. And on and on. I am aware of how stupid this sounds, and normally i am very logical. It's just a little superstition, or maybe i am trying to control the uncontrollable. If only i really had that kind of power.

Although i can't spend my life sitting at home with the windows painted black waiting for bad things to happen either.

It's better now. Just musing on its surprise appearance. As an ostensibly logical person, i like to have an explanation for everything. Which is really illogical.

And now for something completely different;

I met a woman yesterday who greeted me by holding out a limp hand for me to grasp. Yuck. I wanted to wipe my hand on my pants as soon as i let go. If she didn't want to shake hands, then why offer it?


Lynnea said...

You have an interesting superstition. I bet if we all sat down and took account of ourselves, we'd each come up with some.
I have a weird one. For some reason in the middle of the night, if I go in the bathroom I cannot look in the mirror. I think I once saw a horror movie where the monster only showed up in the mirror. So I'm scared of mirrors at night.
I loathe the limp handshake. Don't know why. It just feels smarmy.

Anonymous said...

An ex-roomie and I once interviewed folks to be the third roomie. If they couldn't SHAKE our hands, we wouldn't even consider them.

Like you, meno, I want to wipe my hand clean when someone slips their corpse's hand into mine.

Karen Jacobs said...

You're the first I've heard relate this superstition, which I was beginning to think was mine alone. Lots of weird look and heavy silences when I would mention it. I figure whatever works... and so far, it's not proved me wrong. And I also consider myself to be a positive, optimistic type.

Andrea Frazer said...

AS the queen of anxiety, who is going through a great phase now... yeah!... let me remind you to drink lots of water, eat well, exercise, do some nice things for yourself and laugh. Or drink. That's good, too.

meno said...

maggie, that made me laugh, although i totally understand. I can't hang any part of my body over the side of the bed because of a scary story that i used to hear at slumber parties.

holly, yeah, that would be a show-stopper for me too. Ick.

kj, i knew i couldn't be the only one. Glad you understand.

mamap, i always exercise, it's essential for me. And i have a bottle of reasonable red wine that i am making love to right now. :)

Mignon said...

My anxiety is that if I dream about something I want to happen in the future it won't happen. So I force myself not to think about my children when I go to sleep. Unless I think about them with mullets watching Nascar.

And speaking of mullets, I was thinking about limp handshakes the other day. They're one of those things that everyone knows is completely wrong and/or disgusting (like mullets) and yet still people persist in doing it. Mullets, fishy handshakes and tailgating. That's what I was thinking about.

Antonia Cornwell said...

I'm the same with grumbling. If I go to a party, the amount of fun I have when I get there is directly proportional to the amount that I bitch and whine beforehand about how I hate everybody and would rather stay at home birching myself on hot coals.

I've struggled to come up with anything intelligent or insightful to say in reponse to your last few posts. They all leave me thinking what a brilliant, thought-provoking and funny blog you've managed to establish so quickly: I'm glad you decided to start blogging. Wonderful writing.

Antonia Cornwell said...

Oh and Maggie! I have that thing with mirrors at night sometimes too. I really thought that was just me.

Bob said...

I too have a difficult time with soft handshakes. I wonder if it is a non-aggression thing: seeing a firm handshake as aggressive, a counter to that would be a limp one. Or maybe that person doesn't like contact with strangers and seeks to minimize that contact. I wonder why we are conditioned to prefer a firm handshake? I tend to associate a firm handshake with a strength of personality or confidence. The origin of the handshake (if I have it right) was that the mutual gripping of empty weapon hands demonstrated your peaceful intent for the meeting. Maybe the firmness of the handshake is an emphasis of the goodwill of the meeting? A show of strength absent weapons? (I am thinking I have too much time on my hands to be wondering about handshakes).

I hope your anxieties haven't returned and that you have a good day today.

Lucia said...

Oh, yeah, the limp hand shake is big in other parts of the world. I've had to learn to do it, just so as not to offend anyone. Ugh! Still in Africa, making my way from Cameroon to Nairobi soon.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Meno, we think alike. I wrote a whole post awhile ago about my various ways of worrying about things so that they don't actually happen. Got some good comments and still get a lot of hits from google searches by people looking for info about whether a hat on the bed really is bad luck. You can read it here.

I don't like to shake hands much either but I usually offer my hand just in case I am meeting a person who wants to hug me. I really don't like it when people I barely know hug me.

Andrea said...

ANd here I thought I Was the worlds biggest worrywart or rather the only one...nice toh ave some company

tho I tend to overanalyze even more than I worry so there you go said...

I have that exact same worrying thing. I do it obsessively!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Meno,

You seem a very, very, very kind woman.

Your fan,

Holly Capote

Imez said...

I've been trying to accept that the randomness of the world is okay, and that should anything terrible happen, I'd still find away to be okay. I hate anxiety.

Organizing the house helps, though. Cuz at least you aren't just sitting and thinking.

Mother of Invention said...

I think I even worry about worrying! Yikes! I worry about other people's worries and their deadlines etc.

I hate the handshake thing...and when people kiss you on the lips when I only want to hug!
Hope you're less anxious after that great wine!

Anonymous said...

Oh, mother of invention, I love kissing. Not lip kissing, but cheek kissing. I love a party where 45 strangers kiss me. That's compares to a mosquitoless campfire or a field of fireflies.

LazyLazyMe said...

But that's just the OCD thing. Unless you do certain things other unnamable horrors will occur.

We fuck ourselves up pretty well.

Kissing and hugging is awful. Hand shaking is good.

meno said...

mignon, why don't you NOT dream that Bush gets caught in bed with Michael Jackson. Please? Sorry, got distracted there. Mullets, just say no!

D-man, is that a song from your first album? I just went and looked this up : the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung
And now i understand, but i guess that what i am trying to achieve with my worrying is anti-synchronicity.

antonia, one of the concerts i enjoyed the most was the one i bitched and moaned about going to in the first place. Joe Jackson at Red Rocks. Thank you for your kind words. ::blushes:: I'm still amazed that people want to read it at all. And i feel the same way about yours, i believe that we started them close to the same time.

hi bob, sometimes i wonder what happens when two people with no grip try to shake hands. Do they just sort of rub their hands together since no one will take ahold?

lucia, that's interesting, because the woman is from India. Hmm, hope she isn't writing an entry in her blog about this ugly American who tried to rip her hand off. Looking forward to hearing more about your travels.

tracy, i went and read your post. Pretty similar. Mayhap we should start a support group? I don't like hugging strangers either, but i prefer it to kisses.

andrea, you can join the support group too. I actually don't spend much time obsessing like this, it's just a thing in the back of my head, like a brain slug from Futurama.

billyjean, Another support group candidate! "Hi, i'm Billyjean. I am a worrywart. It's been 5 days since i worried." "Hi Billyjean!"

holly, i'm not sure what makes you say that. I CAN be kind, but sometimes it ain't as true as i'd like it to be.

esereth, it's that randomness that scares the crap out of me. I want CONTROL! No asteroids are allowed to fall on MY house.

mother, meetings are Tuesdays at 7:30, it's your turn to bring the drinks. :)

urban-urchin said...

I think everyone to some extend does the "if I worry about it then it won't happen" thing. I know I certainly do.

Hope you're now at ease.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sure you can be ornery, meno, but your online persona, which is all I know, exemplifies kindness. You're kind to your readers.

Teri M. said...

Man, I wish I had the same reaction to anxiety. Instead I become completely useless. I hope that soon you become disorganized and your house is a mess. (Ok, that sounded funnier in my head.)
Oh, OH I hate the limp handshake. Or the fingertip shake. Gah.