I’ve admitted before to being a worrier here and here. What amazes me, though, is my ability to worry about everything. And nothing. Take today, for instance. I lost a brand new umbrella and the minute I realized it, I went into worry overdrive. First, the back story:

There are some things I simply do not put a lot of effort, let alone, money, into. Umbrellas are such a thing. And socks. Oh, and rain boots. Sure, I’ve always wanted a nice, large, protective umbrella. But the umbrellas I found that matched that description were way more than I was willing to pay for an umbrella. Same with rain boots. Who pays $80 for galoshes? I don’t even want to pay $25 for them. I want them, but I don’t need them is what it comes down to. Same with the umbrella. As for the socks, well. They’re just socks. As long as they don’t come with holes I’m good.

What’s weird is I remember the umbrella I had as a child. The story told by family is that I would sit outside for hours each day with the umbrella, a clear plastic bubble one with ducks along the bottom, waiting for it to rain. My parents eventually began telling me the forecast the day before. It didn’t matter. I sat and waited, umbrella at the ready. While I don’t remember that part, I do remember the umbrella.

This year I’ve complained more than usual. The complaints have included many shouts of dammit! about the rain. Either a wool coat got wet and started to stink, the papers in my bag got wet and frayed, or my press and curl got wet and frizzed up. It eventually irritated one of my bestest friends, Kookaburra, into action to shut me up. I arrived home from work one day to a Totes package. Inside, was this:


This is Dotty and I love her.

Each day that I carry Dotty I am careful. I don’t let her touch the ground. Or the floor of the bus or train. Ew. When I have her open I look at the peons with their wind blown umbrellas barely covering their heads and smile smugly because Dotty is far superior. And way cuter. But today. Today I got careless and I left her. On the shuttle that brings me to work.

It was strange, the realization. It progressed slowly. I was thinking about lunch. Then about it being 80 degrees today. Then about sitting outside for a bit after lunch. Then that it might be raining. Then that I’d just take — Where’s Dotty? DAMMIT!

No. No. No. This can’t be happening. As if on cue, here enters that bitch worry: Kookaburra is going to hate me. I can’t ever tell her. Ever. I’ll have to buy the same umbrella. What if it’s out of stock? What if she visits and asks if Dotty’s home? I cared so much about that umbrella. What will the girls think about me losing such a special gift?

I traced my steps. I know I had her on the bus this morning. I know I had her on the train because the outrageously large woman who sat beside me squeezed my leg against the wall so hard that Dotty’s handle made an imprint in my thigh. The question was: did I leave her on the train? I didn’t think so. I ran down to the shuttle drop off. I had her on the shuttle!

There was a bus rounding the corner when I went outside. It was the same driver from this morning.

“Excuse me, I think I left my umbrella this morning?”

“No, sorry.”

Mumbling, “Fuck.”

“I’m just kidding. I turned it in to the security guard.”

I literally spun and ran. When I opened the door, the door I’d just exited, there she was, leaning against the desk.

Gasping, I whispered, “Dotty.” And. I. Stroked. Her. And I may have swayed in a don’t ever scare me like that again kinda way.

That security guard has officially placed me on her “beware the freaks” list.

Afterward, I invented this:

We is inseparable!
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