He’s a Worry Wart — And Won’t Ever Likely Change

By Joe Darby

I’m a worry wart.  I’ve been a worry wart for a long time but I’m a worry wart now than I’ve ever been before.  I suppose I inherited the trait from my dear old Mother.  If there was anything at all to worry about, Mother would fret over it and anticipate the worst.

When I was a teenager and felt totally immortal I would dismiss her worries, particularly the ones about me, and tell her everything was cool.  “Don’t worry, Mama!”

Then when I had kids of my own, I saw Mother’s point.  What if my girls got sick, got in an accident, were kidnapped by nefarious people!  Potentially disastrous thoughts bothered me.

My daughters have managed to make middle age with no great catastrophes, although Becky did beat cancer a few years ago.  Praise the Lord on that one, huh?

But I’m still a worry wart because I’ve seen so many horrible things happen to other people and sometimes wonder how I’ve escaped.  I went through Hurricanes Betsy and Katrina without serious problems.  Neither I nor my loved ones have ever had a catastrophic auto accident.  But you never know, right?  What with all those young texters-while-driving out there.

When Mary makes a run to the store, forgets her phone at home and is gone longer than she should have been, I begin to wonder.  Did she have a wreck?  Did she fall in the parking lot?  Was she robbed?  So far, she’s always come home safely.

I even worry when I take my beloved 1939 Chrysler out for a drive.  In the past, the car had engine problems twice and left us stranded, although she’s been running fine lately.  But when I park her downtown to go to lunch, for example, I worry, will she start when we’re ready to go home?

So you can see how my mind works.  If there’s something to worry and fret over, I’ll find it.  Hey, just like my Mother, huh?

And now, geezer that I am, I worry a lot about the weather.  When the weather forecasters advise that a severe weather front is rolling in soon, the anxieties begin to form.  I make sure I have batteries for the flashlights and electric lanterns and take whatever other precautions I can.

Then, when the fronts approach, you will find me glued to the television screens, watching as the forecasters break into regularly scheduled programming to advise us of where the next tornado is expected to touch down.

As you might imagine, I spent a lot of time in front of the TV last weekend.  I even missed a lot of the Opening Day baseball games.

Thankfully, Natchitoches was spared the worst once again, although other Louisianans were not so fortunate.

So the next time a nasty front is approaching, I’ll be watching.

I can see that this column has possibly taken a more serious tone than I had intended.  When I began writing a few minutes ago, my intention was to write a light hearted piece about being a worry wart.  If that intention was lost along the way, and the column occasionally grew grim,  I regret it.

Now I’m going to worry about that, darn it.