So. In an attempt to allow my readers to learn a little more about me – note the empty About the Author page – I’ve decided to compile a few lists in the next couple of days. Because who doesn’t like a good list every now and again? In my eyes, neurotic list-making is about as American as obesity and reality TV. Let’s go!
My Top 5 Strangest/Funniest Fears (in no particular order):
1. Electricity: Yep, you heard me. Anyone who knows me at all has probably been asked by yours truly to plug any major appliance into a wall socket, international converter, or surge protector (the word “protector” means nothing to me) at least once in their life. Ironically, the smaller/”dinkier” the plug, the less afraid I am of getting electrocuted. It’s those dang 3-prong suckers that freak me out. Will it kill me? Unless I’m blow-drying my hair in the bathtub, probably not. And yet I dry my hands 10 times before even walking near a plug, I don’t wear slippers on carpet, and sometimes I stand for 20 minutes, holding the plug, staring at the socket, and pep-talking/praying before actually proceeding.
I tried searching Yahoo! Answers for common cures to this incredibly inconvenient and slightly embarrassing phobia, or at least validation that others share this fear and I’m not insane. To my surprise, someone else actually had this same fear! However, upon further reading, I saw all the answers had been something along the lines of, “Go stick a fork in your toaster.” If I needed any proof of how foolish I am for being afraid of electricity, that certainly took care of it. (But seriously, if anyone has any advice more helpful than that, it would be greatly appreciated.)
2. Eyes: Not in the paranoid, Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” kind of way, but more in the “Is than an Xray of my eye? I thought it was an alien fetus” kind of way. Anything having to do with eyes – touching, poking, scratching, slicing, bulging – makes me squeamish (so does the word “squeamish,” but that’s a whole different barrel of monkeys). I refused to wear contacts until I was 15 because I was perturbed by the thought of me having to touch my own eyeball. When my mother told me she had to have cataract surgery, and when she told me she was going to be awake for the procedure, and then when she started recounting the procedure to me, I thought I would die. I can’t stand looking at bloodshot eyes, because my own eyes force me to zoom in on those little clusters of stringy red veins. And if you have a popped blood vessel in your eye, back away now. Because if you think looking like a child accidentally colored in the wrong place with a red crayon is bad enough, try having me vomit in your face. Seriously.
Needless to say, this video will forever haunt my dreams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxHQ1zMWSEk&feature=related
3. The Dark: If you’re ever in my room and you happen to see a little pink lamp on my stereo, yeah, that’s my nightlight. Maybe it’s a step up from a traditional My Little Pony or Barney nightlight, but the concept is still the same: can’t sleep in the dark. It’s not a fear only assigned to nighttime, and it’s not so much the fear that the Boogie Man will jump out at me, unannounced, and tear my face open or whatever it is that he does; it’s more the general fear of not knowing what’s in front of- or around me, at any time of the day (but mostly at night, let’s face it).
4. Fire: Or should I say, starting fires. Years ago, when I was home alone, I tried lighting a match for one of my candles. When I lit it, I got freaked out by the thought of burning my finger off, and without any thought, I threw the match to the floor. Still lit. On the carpet. With that little stroke of genius, I could’ve burnt the whole apartment down, giving me more of a reason to be afraid of fire. But thankfully, it went out before hitting the floor. Either way, I’m sure my mother loved reading that little nugget.
Between lighting matches or using lighters, I guess I’m just afraid of the idea of fire being so close to my hand. As if the match is going to burn out in .4 second, giving me no time to do anything but stand there and watch my finger crumble into a pile of ash like someone standing too close to dynamite in a cartoon. Or maybe it’s a fear that subconsciously arose from years of being told that my brother almost burned his nose off from blowing out the candles on his 3rd birthday.
5. Mezzanine seating in a theater/stadium: Okay, so this stems from a larger, more mainstream fear of heights. But something about the height and the depth combination of nosebleed seats sends me running for the hills (the non-steep hills). If a nosebleed is the worst thing to happen to me here, then I can’t complain. Logically, I know it’s no less safe than floor seating. However, in my twisted, worst-case-scenario mentality, I envision myself, oh I don’t know, somehow defying gravity and somersaulting over ten rows of seats and then, unable to stop myself, being hurled over the railing and going kersplat all the way down in orchestra seating. Do I really think that will happen? No, but tell that to my trembling knees when I arrive in Section 507 Row Q.