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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

The Full Suburban: What, me worry? You bet your bippy.

Julia Ditto For The Spokesman-Review

Every night as I’m falling asleep, I snuggle up to Logan, lay my head on his shoulder and drape my right arm over his chest. I lie like this, comfortable and warm, until my back starts hurting and my left ear is sore from being pressed into his shoulder, and then I roll over onto my right side and settle in to what I call my “worry pillow.” My worry pillow is just my regular pillow, but late at night, with the house quiet and the bedroom fan blowing a gentle breeze across my face, it becomes my No. 1 spot to worry.

What is there to worry about, you ask? Literally everything.

Did I let that coupon expire? What exactly is happening on the school bus? Will my children ever stop fighting long enough to realize what a gift they have in each other? Did my brother get that weird mole checked out that I saw on his back at our family reunion last summer? Are we out of milk? Did anyone feed the cats today? Should I be concerned about my cholesterol?

There truly is no limit to what I’m able to worry about. It’s a genetic defect. My dad died when I was young, so I never got to witness this firsthand, but my mom tells me that he was such a worrier that he would pace back and forth across the room as he worked out whatever problem was occupying his thoughts.

In the weeks before I got married, when I was consumed with excitement but also fretting about every single last detail, my mom gave me my dad’s “worry stone” – a dark green oval-shaped polished rock that was rounded on one side and had an indent large enough for a thumb on the other side. The idea is that as you sit there worrying, you rub your thumb back and forth on the indentation and the repetitive motion helps you calm down. I worry that it might not actually be doing anything.

In the world of worrying that I inhabit, Logan is a complete no-show. He worries about little. We have had entire conversations where I have pleaded with him to please worry at least a little bit, because the situation very much warranted it.

There have been a few nights over the course of our marriage when we’ve been asleep and have heard a sudden bang or crash come from somewhere in the house. My mind instantly goes to broken glass, murderers, death and carnage for everyone I love. Or maybe a big raccoon on the roof. But still – something that might be worth a look-see at the very least.

Not if you’re Logan Ditto. While I shoot up in bed, Logan lies there, cool as a cucumber, and continues drifting off to dreamland.

“Are you going to check that out?” I ask, sure a murderer is going to appear – silhouetted, horror-movie style – in our bedroom door frame any second.

“I’m sure it’s nothing,” he responds groggily.

“How could it be nothing?” I ask incredulously. “Something must have made the sound.”

Logan remains unconcerned. I roll my eyes, throw back the covers and head out into the dark house to investigate. Mind you, if I was actually convinced that a murderer was in our house, I would never go searching around on my own. But when you have a worry-mind like mine, you can’t just let a loud bang go unchecked.

There was a time last year when we woke up at 2 in the morning to find several police cars swarming the bottom of our long driveway, with a K-9 unit heading into our back field to search for what I could only assume was a murderous escaped convict.

I was locking doors and checking basement windows, wondering if the criminal had somehow eluded the police and circled back to hide himself near our dark and quiet home.

Logan was definitely invested in watching the drama unfold outside, but was he worried? Not at all.

Eventually, the police cars drove away and we wandered back to our beds, where I snuggled in to my worry pillow and mulled over the fact that we were all about to die. Next to me, Logan fell right asleep, not a worry on his mind.

“He’s so nonchalant about everything,” I thought. “Should I be worried about that?”

Julia Ditto shares her life with her husband, six children and a random menagerie of farm animals in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at