Tag Archives: fear

#47: Don’t Be A Chicken

Old people certainly don’t have a monopoly on fear. Some common fears — spiders, public speaking, even flying — may even be ones we’ve faced and conquered. But change and novelty, not so much. The fear of newness even has a name: Caicophobia.

Maybe you’re afraid to try a different haircut, since your current style has worked so well for you since 1993. Vacation in Virginia instead of Vermont? Undergo hynosis, or try bungee-jumping? Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken. Not to mention the big fear inherent in doing something like moving across the country or changing careers, which forces you back into the position of being a rank beginner and so relatively ignorant and powerless, not a comfortable position for those of us who’ve achieved some measure of security and stature in our lives.

But being afraid to embrace the unknown can shorten your lifespan, at least if you’re a rat. One study shows that scaredy-cat rats die sooner than adventuresome ones. You’re safer bungee-jumping, in other words, than you are stressing over what will happen if you take the leap.

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#14: Don’t Fear The Waxer

Listen, you can have all the best work in the world done. You can get botoxed and Restalyned till you’re smooth as a balloon; you can have your boobs lifted to your chin and your tummy tucked into your backbone.

But if you don’t wax down there, anybody who gets close enough is going to know you’re old.

Waxing is one of the great divides between young and older women. We came of age feeling it was sacrilegious to so much as pluck one hair. They decided to shear most of it off. And even when we thought maybe we’d surprise our husbands for our 20th anniversary, we were nervous. We saw The 40-Year-Old Virgin, after all. We knew it was going to hurt, plus be embarrassing, plus who knew what kind of diseases you might pick up.

If you’re a Waxing Virgin, don’t be afraid. It’s not that bad. And the alternative is even worse: Old below the belt.


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