Mar 20, 2006

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

I'm not starving or living in a war zone, so with any sort of perspective I should feel fine. A good friend loves to quote an Ally McBeal episode where she said, "Your problems seem big because they're yours." This makes sense to me and I do have many a squirrel running through my brain. Case in point:

When a person calls me and leaves a general message, "Hello, just calling to talk to you about something, give me a call back," I immediately feel worried. When a person calls a second time before I get a chance to return the first call, my brain becomes a full-on bundle of nerves. I can't help but think of the consequences answering that phone has had for me in the past. For instance, (1) my friend telling me "Heather died," or (2) my dad telling me, "I don't want to be married anymore," and then "I don't want to talk to you anymore."

Lots of good news comes over the phone, too, but I still get nervous it'll be bad, so when I leave a message I always try to give a synopsis of my reasons for doing so, in case the person on the other end suffers similar afflictions.


Michael said...

Wendy: I read this post and thought immediately of a phone conversation that we had during my recent trip to DC. In making plans to meet up in Arlington, I asked about your handbag. "Will you be bringing a purse? I mean, is it more of a bag or a clutch?" I sincerely hope this didn't worry you, (though thinking back on it now, it kinda worries me -- who says that?) Anyhow, I guess I just wanted to point out that answering the phone can also result in a pockbook discourse with someone who just wants to make sure you have an appropriate vessel in which carry a few cds.

wharman said...

Thanks, Michael. You have an uncanny ability to leave the kitchen sink in your phone messages, so no need to worry or adjust that technique - it's highly enjoyable. So are my new CDs. And my huge pocketbook.

nm said...

i know exactly what you mean. my mom used to call, not leave a message at all, and then call again before i could call her back (usually because i was in a loud bar and didn't want to go outside, or was at the movies with my phone on vibrate or something). finally i told her that my fragile nerves couldn't take it anymore, and that if she didn't have an emergency, to never ever do that anymore.