1 : enlargement and thickening of tissues;specifically : the enormous enlargement of a limb or the scrotum caused by obstruction of lymphatics by filarial worms
2 : an undesirable usually enormous growth, enlargement, or overdevelopment
I could use this space to discuss the unruly growth of my breasts from ages 11-14, stopped only by a much anticipated breast reduction in 1995, but that's too easy. Nor am I particularly interested in talking about the specific aspects of elephantitis (proper definition: an infectious tropical disease that is a form of filaiasis caused by parasitic worms which are transmitted by mosquitoes and which causes swelling in the genitals or thighs). Although I would recommend screening The Elephant Man if you haven't yet had the pleasure.
Today I am interested in the ELEPHANTIASIS of thoughts.
When one is an anxious person like myself, thoughts can be menacing, daunting. Occasionally a thought will occur that seems harmless but ends up compounding like a rubber band ball and can potentially destroy an entire day. I suppose this can be categorized as somewhat obsessive-compulsive, a condition with which all members of my immediate family are plagued to varying extents. My strand doesn't reveal itself in repetitive hand-washing or door-locking as much as it does in getting stuck on a particular thought or idea—one that grows so large it casts a shadow over all of my actions.
Yes. I tend to overanalyze. These ELEPHANTIASIS-inflicted thoughts are often minute speculations of a single moment or a line of dialogue or a look, often in regard to someone of the opposite sex. For example, I recently had an interaction with someone (a boyfriend that is no more) via text messaging (a stellar venue for miscommunication, and a separate topic in its entirety). I will offer here the interaction in full (or as much as I can recall; the digital reminders have been erased). I normally would not implicate someone other than myself, but I'm using my good judgment to assume that a) the person in question is not at all even close to reading this blog, and b) he didn't really say anything particularly compromising; it was all fairly neutral.
This is about me anyway, not about him.
Me: I just heard a Pavement song in the Laughing Planet and it made me think of you. A lame excuse but I'm tired of waiting for a better one. How are you?
Him: Doing well. Was thinking of asking you to lend your voice to a new project if you can keep it light. Old country type stuff.
[keep it light?]
Me: I might want to lend. What do you mean keep it light...
Him: Light as in you and I.
Ahh. Keep it light.
See the growth? It goes on...
Me: I would love to say that I'm up to this challenge, to this "lightness." But I am no miracle worker. Glad to hear you are doing well.
This phrase—keep it light—has been in my head for days, nearly weeks now. What a thing to say! I have repeated this story many times, bouncing it off at least a dozen friends. It's become a joke—I find myself saying "keep it light" to those who may get half a laugh at my no-longer boyfriend's expense.
What this really comes down to is that I reached out and my ego was a little bruised. The main difference between myself and this man is that I constantly want to talk about things, figure them out, turn them around and around in my brain until they come even moderately close to making sense, while he just wants to "keep it light."
It is really sad knowing the phrase keep it light is now undeniably pigeonholed into this memory and will be forever associated with this fairly pathetic moment in my history. Such are the effects of my "undesirable overdevelopments." Thankfully this phrase doesn't really have much meaning outside of the urban dictionary where it is defined as follows: