Graviphobia

“Thanksgiving gives me anxiety,” he said suddenly. “Here we are shopping in our boutique grocery store at 7 a.m. on a holiday. We argue over baguettes and grouse because they are out of trumpet mushrooms. We live in a city where the city council won’t say the word ‘homeless.’ We have eight or nine people living on the street just in our little eight-or-nine-block village center. I know there are dozens more within a 25 mile radius. I know that the ladies bickering in Spanish in the bakery are here baking rolls for people who don’t want to do it themselves. It all overwhelms me. I think too much.”

“Are you sure that’s not just Catholic guilt from your childhood speaking?”

“I was Episcopalian; Catholic Lite,  I Can’t Believe It’s Not Catholicism – now with 30% less guilt.”

“So, Miss Thirty Percent, let me ask you this? What do you do the other 364 days of the year about your anxiety?”

“I don’t know what to do, honestly. I mean, does buying a few cans of vegetables really help? I hate how helping our fellow man only comes up for a few weeks a year, and even then, you’re encouraged to donate processed food so it won’t go bad. Then you read in the Times about artificial food dyes yellow #5 and yellow #6 which are proven to be linked to hyperactivity in children. So now I’m making homeless kids hyperactive because I donated mac and cheese with hyperactive food dyes. Don’t look at me that way; it’s true.”

“I’ll make you a deal; we’ll research a local food bank or homeless shelter and see about volunteering there once a month all year long? How about that?”

“As long as I don’t have to cook; you know how much I fear gravy.”

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”