Hell’s Bells!

What makes you nervous?

My post title comes from something my Great-Aunt Catherine used to say. She was likely in her 60s, and we would occasionally visit her. She was the “rich aunt,” in the big house outside of town. Her husband made his money in trucking, and so they had the large manse, the pool, the giant organ in the living room (which I got to play on once or twice), and the basement ceramic studio complete with kiln. They also had a large selection of aquaria with exotic fish in the dining room.

My Aunt Vic, when expressing her doubt or disapproval, would do a tongue clicking thing, one that comics would render as “tsk tsk tsk.” When she would do it around GA Catherine, the latter felt the need to point out that, “Hell’s bells, Vic, you sound nervous!” But she said this while doing her usual mannerism of pulling up the neck of her blouse and then fixing her glasses. These two gestures always went together, and she seemed quite nervous while complaining about Aunt Vic’s.

So to the prompt du jour: What makes me nervous? Minor nerves vibrate when I’m going to be late, or when travel plans are disrupted. And so I would say generally any circumstances that are out of my control.

What makes me very nervous? Health issues. These are things I really have no control over. I inherited a close copy of my mother’s genetic code, which is why I have frequent colonoscopies (she had colon cancer—bad), do my eye drops (she had glaucoma and macular degeneration), and visit the dermatologist regularly (hers said she had “busy skin,” with all those skin tags, moles, and instances of skin cancer). What else is lurking? She never had a knee replacement, but knee problems did take her out for a couple of weeks once. I blame my twinges on “Catholic knees” (too much kneeling as a kid) but keep close watch on any developments there.

She also had back surgery and a broken hip, so I have those on the radar too. And since these and many other things may be deemed inevitable by my genetic wheel of fortune, I get a little apprehensive thinking about them. Plus: new floater? Red alert! Rapidly growing mole? Keep watch! Beginning of a tooth ache? Captain to the bridge!

Key lesson here for you is: don’t get old.

What makes you nervous? Comment, and please like and follow!

Published by stephenschrum

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts; interested in virtual worlds, playwrighting, and filmmaking. Now creating a podcast called "Audio Chimera."

2 thoughts on “Hell’s Bells!

  1. What makes me nervous? Saw this Tony Robbins DVD or something similar… It was about people with anxiety or OCD. They worry so much about all the things that can go wrong. The advice the speaker gave was to accept that “Yes, even if you left the stove on. Those bills are late. Anything that scares you. Just accept that if they happen you’ll still be okay.”

    SO, What makes me nervous? Less than often, I’ll get butterflies before DJing weddings because I want to* do my best*. I’m a natural when it comes to speaking in front of large crowds, yet I prefer to be left alone once I put down the mic. Social interactions don’t make me nervous. I just prefer one on one conversations and stay quiet once three becomes company. The* real thing* that makes me nervous, maybe even makes me fearful… I just want to be the best father I’m capable of being with my future children.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Follow up – I always tell my sister’s kids… ” If you’re afraid or nervous of something then you have to lean into that fear and do that thing. You’ll see that you’re stronger than you think.”

    Liked by 1 person

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