I'm all balled up because of the catchphrase, “no worries.” Every day now someone instructs me not to worry.
I'm worried. I'm all balled up because of the catchphrase, “no worries.” Every day now someone instructs me not to worry. I say I'll be late. No worries. I say I ran over the neighbor's mailbox. No worries. I say I ran over the actual neighbor at the mailbox. No worries. I don't get it. It simply doesn't jive with where we live – the tightly wound North. Tell me not to worry in some laid-back Hawaiian-shirt community like Key West, and I'd take it to heart. I'd raise my Rum Runner to your command and return to my wasting-away-in-Margaritaville nap. I'd pick some lint out of my navel and turn it into saleable art. But here? Home to bitter winters, pot holes and the likes of Anthony Weiner? Land of ticks, zebra mussels and ash-borers? Nah, we've got a surplus of grist for the worry-mill. Winters and Weiners notwithstanding, let's talk about our supreme preoccupation with snowplow contracts. Should we or shouldn't we? It's all my husband and I fret about this time of year because we never seem to get it right. Oh, the sleepless nights, wondering if – just once! – we will get our money's worth. Or how about our newest Northern anxiety: Whether or not we've got enough vitamin D coursing through our veins? No thanks to scant sun, it's all we grind about these days: levels, supplements, rickets, cancer. Yikes! I highly doubt anyone in the sunny South is stewing about vitamin D. Speaking of no sun…hello? Seasonal Adjustment Disorder? Cabin fever? Peck, peck, pecking away at loved ones until they snap? Assault with a deadly baguette? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, and it's agonizing to ponder as the days grow shorter. I guess what's troubling me most is why we've latched on to “no worries” in the first place. It originated in Australia, not the US, and it reflects their happy-go-lucky culture, not ours. Not that we're not happy-go-lucky, but you get the drift: we don't hang ten and host barbies with the same gusto, especially in this neck of the woods. Furthermore, why “no worries” versus “no problem”? I've always liked “no problem”: it's clear-cut and productive. “No worries,” on the other, sounds too loosey-goosey. But, hey, who knows? Maybe we've adopted it because we feel overwhelmed with worry and enjoy a spot of relief when given the command. Me? I'm no fan of “no worries.” Just hearing the expression triggers suspicion. Besides, I enjoy a good worry and don't appreciate the directive, especially from a stranger. What do they know about me and my coiled inner workings? For all they know I could be high on vitamin D with a sharp baguette in my right-hand pocket. No worries? Ha!