Thank YOU FOR MEETING with me for an interview. Kindly tell me about yourself, Fear.
Well, you’ve certainly met my little sister, Anxiety, and my oldest brother, Failure. I’m a middle child and a fraternal twin, I might add.
Can you tell me about your parents?
Of course, I’d be pleased to brag about my sources of inspiration. Everyone has become an acquaintance of or a downright pal with my dear ol’ mom, Depression. My bigger than life father, Paranoia, has always been the black sheep of the family but we still love him. How can I forget grand pappy, Horror, and our favorite grandma on my mother’s side, Panic? We rarely see my paternal grandparents, Dread and Alarm. They’re always whining about something.
Since you’re the focus of this interview, can you tell us a bit more about yourself, Fear?
No problema; I’m my biggest fan and, boy, do I have a following. Like every emotion, I’ve evolved over time. I mean I really got into that primeval fight-or-flight response situation. It depends on the individual species, whether you’re going to run like hell or wait around and get your head torn off. I’ll tell you one thing. Those humans certainly have a hard time deciding which one of my family members they like best.
Are you afraid of anything, Fear?
Just fear itself. Pun intended. Thank you, FDR and Thoreau.
Is there anything you’d like to add about yourself, Fear, so we can really get to know you?
Well, no sibling rivalry here. I’m an enthusiastic admirer of my twin, Terror. There’s just something about getting the spinal cord and hormones involved that blows my mind.
Would you like to add a special message to your ever growing fan base, Fear?
I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m not all bad. A healthy dose of me can force you to finally apply for that promotion, ask out that hot neighbor, or write the sequel to the screenplay that no one’s picked up. A little bit of me can go a long way.
Well, I have to say, Fear, this has been an eye-opening conversation. I was a little, how can I say, fearful, to sit down and have a chat with you.
Hey, that’s my career, to scare the crap out of anyone or anything at any time. I’m only doing my job. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around sometime soon.
THERE MUST BE A MILLION types of love. “I just love pizza; don’t you?” “He’s so hot! I simply love his abs.” I surely love my dog. I know people who love their cats beyond comprehension. How about all those horse lovers? Hugs and kisses for Seabiscuit, Secretariat, and Man O’ War. Animal lovers are everywhere and you’re thrilled about that if you’re a PetSmart stockholder.
Thank heavens for the love of our fellow men and women even though you’d doubt its existence if you ever picked up a newspaper or watched the idiot box. Let’s not forget religious love, the marrying kind of love and its antithesis, adulterous love. I’ve heard individuals proclaim their love for their hairdressers, “I’d never leave him in a million years!” Not many would say that about their spouses.
Desire is often the precursor of love or confused with it at the very least. “We’ve been in lust for over a week now.” How about puppy love? “I’m only fifteen years old and Jimmy is the love of my life. I’d die without him.” Three weeks later, Ricardo appears on the scene and Jimmy is as good as expired yogurt.
“I’m a nature lover in spite of the bee stings, mud, and grass stains. It’s fantastic to be in the fresh air. Could you pass me my inhaler, please?”
Hey, we’re at a country club. “I love bridge, tennis, diamonds, and my vodka most of all. What’s the new tennis pro’s name?”
Well, hello, Wall Street. What did you say? “We love money, superficiality, and our egos!” That’s what I thought you said.
There seems to be an abundance of patriotic love which is especially tested before, during, and after presidential elections. Listening to the endless debates filled with rhetoric and empty promises could cause the staunchest soldier to become a conscientious objector. I simply must include the famous slogan from the turbulent 1960’s, “Make love, not war.” I wish that motto was practiced more often.
How can we ignore the love of sports? The Super Bowl encompasses the love of advertising and big bucks as much as Americans’ love of baseball and the rest of the world’s love of soccer. Talk about mucho moolah for the players, owners, and corporations. How ya doin’ NBA, Indy 500, and NASCAR lovers, bookies, and gamblers?
There’s nothing quite like forbidden love, secret love, a first love, a lost love, and sorry to have to mention it, but unrequited love. Everyone’s had a creepy crawly experience of obsessive love and I hope more than a dose of erotic love whatever your tastes may be. That brings us to baby love. A new mother’s love of her infant borders on paranoid and psychotic behavior. Parents love their kids so much that they would lay down their lives for them. Toddlers love their thumbs even more. They suck them until there’s a welt on those overly used joints. Don’t get me started on a little one’s love of a blankie. Many a tear has been shed when a beloved, stained, bacterial-laden, and shredded piece of cloth hits the washing machine for a long overdue cycle or two.
Ah, the love of music from Beethoven to The Beatles. Don’t forget Nat King Cole, Madonna, and Reggae. You know that it’s virtually impossible to wax on about love without at least one schmaltzy song title such as, “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round.”
Good God, what about the love of books which couldn’t exist without the love of writing. “I love poetry, history, mysteries, biographies, satirical essays, plays, and crossword puzzles.” Of course you do; you’re a librarian.
Lastly, there are those little words that sound irresistible in every language and which human beings long to hear whether they admit it or not. Iway ovelay ouyay. Je t’aime. Te quiero. I love you. There, I said it.
The success of Claudine K. Seibert’s first book, Scars to Stars: Reflections of a Dubious Daughter, called for a follow-up publication. Stardust to Stardust: Laughing at Life’s Lapses is a cross between Jerry Seinfeld and Jean Paul Sartre’s insightful observations of humanity’s idiosyncrasies. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement at the author’s witty interpretation of everyday experiences.
About the Author
Claudine Kennedy Seibert earned a master’s degree in education from Columbia University. She was a Montessori teacher in Manhattan and Connecticut and now thrives as a special education teacher in Florida. The author savors time composing satirical vignettes with just the perfect sprinkling of practical guidance.
For more information, please go to www.claudineseibert.com.