Have you ever been worried about something? If no, we cannot be friends. Go away.
If yes, then pray proceed.
When you were worried about this something, did anyone ever say to you, 'don't sweat it'?
How did you respond? If you smiled and agreed, we cannot be friends. Go away.
If you (at least in your mind's eye) ran a power sander over their knee flesh and then rolled them into a salt pit, then pray proceed.
I detest when people tell me to 'not sweat'. It makes my blood boil, which I would assume makes me sweat, and thus their cute little phrasology is really counterproductive.
What does it mean, anyways?
Let's say that I'm concerned about what I'm going to make for dinner. I call my spouse and say that I don't have time to go to the store, and what in the name of Minerva will I tell the children when they demand nourishment?
Spouse, armed with his wisdom and witty quips, tells me not to sweat it.
How could I sweat dinner? This bring the most grotesque visions to mind of my pores leaking fish sticks and Ore*Ida 'just like in a restaurant' crinkle fries. I already have a crippling inability to look at a pancake while it is cooking because for some reason I am always reminded of a face bubbling on a griddle. (I don't know why, but I really do see a face that screams in agony as it bubbles with the intense heat. Think of The Scream by Edvard Munch and that's what I equate with pancakes.)
I know, I know. Spouse is telling me to 'not worry about it'. But the reason I called him is that I am worried about it, or concerned, or at least mildly mentally engaged with the issue at hand. If it were just a regular part of my day, I wouldn't bother to call about it. I only call when something is stressful or happy. I do not call to tell him that the mail arrived, unless said mail includes a large check or a large bill.
In my oh-so-fake scenario, I'm worried about dinner. Let's stretch a bit and go with that.
I've recently been made aware that I hate cooking. I don't mind baking every once in awhile, usually in the fall when pumpkin bread calls my name. (Pumpkin bread doesn't have a scary bubbly face though.) But I hate...nay, DESPISE cooking.
Some of my closest friends are amazing in the kitchen. Chickens want to end up on their tables, stuffed with feta and apples and served with a good Chianti. Cows dream of becoming meatballs made by Mama Palma. Daniel Noga makes Chocolate Pots that could end the fighting in the Middle East. Geri Miller's trifle soaked in Chambord...well, our language has not feeling enough to express the rapture of eating such a decadent treasure. I love eating what other people cook. But I hate cooking.
No big deal, I guess. Except for the small issue of being surrounded by people that need to eat. If it was just me, I think I could get by most nights with great bread, imported cheese, hummus, some fruit and an unspecified beverage of choice (read:cereal).
But I can't have cereal, or even imported cheeses every night. Dinner must be purchased, prepared, served, and cleaned, and then repeated...night after night after night after blasted freaking night.
I sweat it.
I'm not sure where this odd phrase originated, and I certainly don't care enough to research those origins. Instead, like a good American, I'll just assume that I know what it means and then say why I don't like it.
When we physically sweat, we can shower. We can use antiperspirant or deodorant, as long as they aren't those bogus rock deodorants that are a big fat crock of placebo. Or, we can ignore our sweat. But nobody tells us to stop sweating. Why? Because we can't!
Our bodies are made to sweat in order to keep our temperature at a safe level. If we raise our activity level, our temperature goes up. When it gets to a level that would no longer be safe, our body cleverly releases sweat in order to keep our skin as cool as possible. Sweat may be annoying or embarrassing, but it keeps us alive and healthy.
So I'm wondering if perhaps there is an emotional 'sweating'. Perhaps I can freak out about the things in my life that I feel that I should be able to control (dinner) because doing so allows me to keep 'cool' about the things in my life that I cannot control (crappy economy that ate the worth of my house).
So what do you think?
Is being (not exaggerating here) neurotic about dinner and laundry the way that I express my inability to change the fact that my children really, really like to go to the hospital as much as possible and develop illnesses that most doctors have never heard of?
Or, as Spouse says, do I need to stop 'sweating it'?
And if you choose the second option, do you have a better way of expressing this idea?
What if I said, 'don't pee it' or 'don't sneeze it', or....well...
When faced with something that bothered or alarmed you, would my charge of 'not sneezing' the issue make you feel as though you had been handed a helpful tool?
If someone is worried about what they will put on the (dirty) table for dinner, is it fair to assume that a simple 'don't sweat it' will release the pressure and allow them to feel at ease?
I'm intrigued with my 'emotional sweat' idea. This may be why I cry so much. Or perhaps it's just the fumes from my rock deodorant.
Time to go make pancakes.