A GOOD ANALYSIS
- THE WORM'S EYE VIEW: EASY DUZ IT
> by Beth Maltbie Uyehara BUYE@...
> Hi. My name is Beth M. U., and I'm a geneaholic. My story's not
> a pretty one. I am sharing it here in the hope that it may help
> others avoid my pitiful fate. If you, too, are addicted to
> genealogy, I want you to know that you are not alone. There
> are thousands of us worldwide struggling in the daily battle
> against this cunning, baffling and powerful addiction.
> There was something "different" about me from the get-go.
> Looking back, the signs were there for all to see. Even as a
> child, when relatives threw old Daguerreotypes in the trash, I
> would fish around among the coffee grounds and egg shells and
> pull them out. When old letters or diaries were discovered in
> musty trunks, I stayed up all night reading them. Obits, report
> cards, discharge papers, photos of unknown people: I hoarded
> them all. I didn't care what kind of document it was, or who it
> concerned -- if it was remotely connected to "family," I had to
> have it.
> I'm making no excuses. I had a good upbringing. Genealogy
> certainly doesn't run in my family -- I come from a long line
> of people who could take their ancestors or leave them alone.
> Yes, there were rumors of an aunt on my father's side who "did
> a little research on weekends," but she covered her tracks well,
> and I have never been able to prove for certain that she was a
> geneaholic. Aside from that one suspect, my relatives were all
> what we call "social genealogists." For them, a colorful
> forebear or two were good for party conversations, to be
> chuckled over at family gatherings, and that was it.
> Not me. Right from the beginning, I was out of control. I could
> never stop with just one or two ancestors. Every ancestor I
> found triggered an insatiable craving in me for two more, and
> four more after that, and eight more after that. I could not
> stop once I got started. Eventually, genealogy took over my
> life. Bouts of compulsive research would leave me babbling
> incoherently, slumped exhausted, sometimes barely conscious, at
> a microfilm reader in some darkened room, surrounded by other
> addicts satisfying their own shameful cravings for genealogical
> kicks. Many are the times I've been thrown out of a library at
> closing time, kicking and screaming, begging for just five
> minutes more, just "one more ancestor for the road." It was
> As the years went by, things went from bad to worse. It was an
> endless downward spiral. I found myself sneaking from library
> to library in distant parts of town, even in other cities and
> states, searching for the ultimate high -- that mysterious
> immigrant ancestor, whose identity would make everything fall
> into place.
> I hit bottom one hot August day in a cemetery in a far-off
> state. How I got there doesn't matter. Let's just say that
> after much research, I had located the grave of an ancestor
> who -- according to family legend -- had died in some kind of
> accident. As I stared at the weathered, old tombstone, wondering
> how I could find out how he had died, the thought occurred to
> me: "I could dig him up and see."
> Immediately, I recoiled, aghast.
> "Eeeeeuuuuuuu," I cried, "yuk! That's gross."
> That's when I knew I needed help. Since that moment of clarity,
> I've joined numerous genealogy support groups where we offer
> each other strength and hope, along with research tips and
> potluck dinners. And I have finally admitted, to myself and to
> other human beings, that I am powerless over genealogy and my
> research has become unmanageable.
> It may be too late for me. But, science has found that young
> family historians -- those who are, as yet, only potential
> geneaholics -- can sometimes stop in time. Answer these
> questions to see if you are in the early stages of addiction.
> * Home: Has genealogical paperwork taken over any room in
> your house?
> * Friends: Is genealogy interfering with your social life?
> Do people edge away from you at parties when you burst into
> tears over the 1890 U. S. census?
> * Family: Do your relatives' eyes glaze over when you explain
> your latest research? Do you find dead people more fun than live
> * Work: Is genealogy interfering with your job? How many hours
> of each workday do you spend on the Internet, or checking your
> RootsWeb e-mails?
> * Marriage: Has your spouse ever asked you, "Aren't you done
> yet? How far back are you planning to go?"
> * Health: Are you starting to show the physical and mental
> signs of geneaholic deterioration, such as red-rimmed eyes, a
> loss of interest in current events, a shortened attention span
> for non-ancestral topics, excessive viewing of the History
> If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you are on
> the road to genealogical addiction. You must not research even
> one more ancestor! You must stop NOW, before it's too late! When
> you feel an overwhelming urge to research, repeat the following
> until the urge goes away: "My mother found me in a cabbage
> patch. My mother found me in a cabbage patch. My mother found
> me in a cabbage patch." Good luck and God help you.