So I fear and respect the escalator? What of it? Just finding that picture, I came across half a dozen news articles about kids getting stuck in escalators. What some might call irrational fear, I call prudence. I like to pause to make sure that my foot is planted firmly on a step before I get on. I like to make sure to have one hand resting on the railing. These precautions make me hesitate and do a little dance with my foot raised. You should see me trying to get on escalator, with a suitcase in one hand and a cup of coffee and my coat in the other. It’s really a sight to see. Throw in a cell phone and I am practically paralyzed.
Everyone has weird, little fears and phobias, right? It’s nothing to be ashamed of and to prove it, I am going to list some of mine:
- So there is the above mentioned escalator fear, that my friend recently called me on, having witnessed the little dance while shopping one night.
- Then there is the fear of my house being robbed and getting killed in the process. At some point in my childhood (don’t ask me when, I have been like this for as long as I can remember), I decided that if someone was robbing the house downstairs, it was best for them to believe that they came and went undetected. If they felt they were spotted, they might come upstairs and kill the witnesses. As a result, whenever I went to the bathroom at night, I tried to be as quiet as possible, which included not flushing the toilet. To this day, it’s the only toilet in the house that has one of those blue tablet things in it. As a kid, I was also worried that someone might come upstairs and kill me anyway, even if I was innocently sleeping in my bed. I thought I should make it as difficult as possible for the robber/murderer to find and identify body parts, so I would hide as much of myself as possible under the blankets. I don’t do that anymore.
- Fear of driving in the snow or really any kind of precipitation. Oddly, I was always afraid of driving in the rain, but only became afraid of driving in the snow, when I got into a 3-car-collission during a snowstorm in Vermont. I wasn’t even driving at the time, but I was traumatized by the experience. The silver lining, or so I thought, was that I made friends with a girl in one of the other cars. She seemed funny, cynical and just a little bit mean – my kind of girl. We exchanged addresses and I sent her a letter when I returned home. She never wrote back. I’m still bitter.
- Fear of cutting myself while chopping things. This fear is fairly inconvenient since I love to cook and use dull knives, as a result. I know, I know – dull knives mean you have less control of the blade and you are more likely to cut yourself than with a sharp knife. My counter-argument – I am clumsy as hell, no matter what I am doing. I regularly walk into walls and I do it so often I don’t even notice, much to my husband’s amusement on one of our earlier dates. I am going to lose control of the knife no matter what. So isn’t it safer to use a knife that can barely cut butter?
- Fear of water. I don’t know how to swim, so perhaps this is a rational fear. But because of this fear, I can’t take my kids to the beach alone. Even if I am barely waist high, I worry we will all get caught in a riptide that will drag us out to sea and there won’t be a damn thing I can do about it.
- The fear that everyone might be as judgmental as I am. Because of this, you will not catch me dancing in public, unless I have had several glasses of wine or my kids are around. I am trying very hard not to pass this fear onto them.
So while I am admittedly judgmental, the good thing about having a list of irrational fears and other assorted quirks is that I will happily judge you for not being self-aware, but not for being who you are. Example, I will judge you for not realizing you are crazy, but not for being crazy.
You can tell me just about anything about yourself, and I will never be the person who says “Wow, you are so crazy, it’s scary. I no longer want to associate with you.” Instead, I am the person who will say “Me too,” or counter with “You think that’s crazy? Let me tell you about crazy….”
Go ahead, try me.