You may not have heard of range anxiety. It is the worry that your electric car could run out of juice in the middle of nowhere, with not so much as a habitation on the horizon, let alone a recharging point. It’s also, apparently, the main reason why we’re not all rushing to trade in our polluting cars for nice, clean electric ones. It’s one of those modern anxieties that — reasonable or not — lurks, ruining our ability to live in the moment.
No need to point out that range anxiety is a First World anxiety. They’re not real anxieties but they fill in the gaps, if you’re inclined to worry about anything, which, let’s face it, we are. Here are some of the other common ones — some will surely be familiar.
Flat white anxiety
Like range anxiety, this one might kick in if, say, you were going away for the weekend and you weren’t sure if you were going to be in range of a decent flat while during the next 48 hours. People with this anxiety will recce quality coffee shops in the vicinity, just in case.
Have I got the right water bottle anxiety?
I know! Get over yourself! But what if your water bottle is plastic, not stainless steel, and gets a bit sweaty? If you’re beginning to suspect this bottle for life is the wrong one, should you just get rid of it, and swap it for a "chilly" steel one, or would that be the epitome of planet vandalism?
Is the dog walker properly walking the dog anxiety?
Limited personal experience of this, but Probably Not is the answer. Just saying, this anxiety is not one of the totally unreasonable ones. If you’re worried, set your mind at rest by laying a trap: get someone unemployed to follow the dog walker, or hide in the house and catch them coming back after one swift trip around the block.
Who’s going to walk the dog now anxiety?
Am I getting really boring anxiety?
Why did I end up talking to that man about menopause all night? Why? And why did I pretend to have strong opinions on the latest potboiler or the hot new show on Netflix?
When will we get home anxiety?
Really nice to be asked to supper, midweek, by the Whatsits. Lovely. But will we get fed before 10pm? Is it worth lying, up front, and saying we have to get somewhere else by 9pm? Shall we just turn up at 9.30 on the basis that at least that way we won’t have to wait too long before food is served?
When will they leave anxiety?
Same sort of thing, but with us in the hosting position.
Why wid they leave so early?
Same again, only the opposite, because that is the nature of the First World Anxiety — there’s no outcome that absolutely guarantees peace of mind.
Should I get the sofa covers cleaned anxiety?
Substitute "sofa covers" for curtains or rugs — any of the big stuff that you’re supposed to do every so often if you are a half-decent home-owner - and you want to do it, in theory, but in practice you’d rather buy a new house fully furnished.
Are we eating healthily anxiety?
Should we be substituting half the meat for lentils, and so on? Seriously, all this food revisionism is making us anxious... we’re killing ourselves by eating too late, by eating meat, by eating fat or not eating fat. Am I safe eating my own food? That’s another big anxiety taking root right there.