AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 8/26/2004 04:13:00 PM ----- BODY:

Toys from my Attic

I'm not crazy. Really. Posted by Hello
Right now my MP3 player is on "All Music--Shuffle", and it just reached into the depths of its ass and pulled out "Nobody Wants to be Lonely," a duet between...gulp...Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera. I would swear in court that I do not remember ever actually deliberately downloading this, or why I would choose to keep it. But as I listened to it this afternoon, I found myself...enjoying it. Does this make me a bad person? Anyway, I thought I should also share with you my most recent Paranoia. These fits of imaginative fear are probably the most interesting and puzzling aspect of my personality. Is it a subconscious desire for something awful to happen to me? Is it an overactive and underused imagination becoming malignant? Is it a reflection of my natural philosophical perfectionism? A function of boredom? E) All of the above? No matter. Lately, though, another thought has reared its hideous head in my brain that it has taken a number of alarmed reactions from my friends to get me to realize that it may, in fact, be not normal. Here it is: Of late I have been gripped by the fear--at times certainty--that my hair is thinning, i.e., that I'm going bald. It could happen! You've heard the Rogaine commercials about the nasty little secret of female hair loss! And hey, not only the men on my mother's side of the family (which is where I've been told the balding gene comes from in men) but seemingly every male member of my ancestry had at least a receding hairline. It could happen! What prompted this was one morning in the shower when, as I was conditioning, a terrifying amount of hair (at least, to me) came loose. Okay, maybe it wasn't that much, but it's certainly more than I ever recall seeing. Since then, whenever I perform the motion I use with conditioner (similar to the first gestures of putting my hair in a ponytail), at least a strand or two has come out. I have absolutely tortured poor Stephen with towel-clad exhortations to "Look at my head! Look at my head! Do I have a bald spot!?!?" Of course his shouted, "No!!" does nothing to convince me. I've taken to grabbing fistfulls of my hair and tugging on it, seeing if it comes out. Or simply measuring the circumference of the fistful, to see if it is smaller than I remember it being before. Then, last night at dinner, Kellie pointed out that my hair is getting very long. I cringed. My first reaction was to yell, "Don't talk about my fucking hair!!" But since I have at least retained the ability to appear normal in public, I simply cringed. "What?" she said, her brows knotting. "Okay, I have this paranoia..." I said, and Tim cut me off. "Just one?" he smiled. "Shut up. Okay. I have this thing lately where..." I told them the story while Steve looked on and nodded at them as if to say, "Dear God, help me." By the time I was done, Kellie and Tim looked at one another, then me, then back again, then back to me. "What...the hell..." Kellie said slowly, half admiring and half terrified, " do...with you?"