Let's talk fears and phobias. Everyone has a few weird things they're afraid of - some of them completely irrational (the very definition of a phobia, right?). Here are mine:
Some people hate snakes or spiders, but for me the creepy-crawly that freaks me out is grasshoppers. I'm not particularly a fan of any crunchy-bodied bug (cicadas, locusts), but the grasshopper is by far the worst. They look nasty, they swarm, they have hairy legs, they can fly, AAAND they jump ONTO YOU.
Scary shit happens when there's wind. As a child, I was afraid of swinging when it was windy because I thought it would blow my swingset down. As an adult, this happened, and our house missed being smashed by mere inches.
I was the kid who wasn't allowed to see The Wizard of Oz until I was TWELVE because my parents thought it was too scary. When I finally saw it, I didn't think it was scary at all. However, I have no desire to see actual horror movies. I've never even seen The Silence of the Lambs. It just sounds grotesque. (Related: A few weeks ago I saw a car with a license plate frame that said "It rubs the lotion on its skin." Do NOT go on a date with that guy!)
Anyway, Larry laughs at me about the scary movie thing - especially when I admitted that scary movies give me nightmares. The other day he was naming scary movies and asking if I'd seen them. Child's Play? No. Nightmare on Elm Street? No. Halloween? No.
I then admitted that I had seen Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Se7en. (Which I saw in the theater when I was IN HIGH SCHOOL. A friend's older sister chaperoned us unto the theater since it was rated R and we were under 17.) His reaction: "Seven?! THE HEAD IN A BOX MOVIE? I haven't even seen that!"
As I kid, I never could understand why people were afraid of the dentist - it was no problem for me (plus they had a toy box!). This is a fear I've unfortunately developed as an adult. I know I'm not alone - according to Wikipedia, 75% of U.S. adults experience some degree of dental fear.
Cocktails and the view from the 95th Floor of the John Hancock Center, Chicago, June 2009.
I'm not a fan, but it depends on the situation as to how fear-inducing it is for me. Larry is much more afraid of heights than I am, so I have to be the rational one in these situations. I managed to coax him up to the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago (I will admit that the wobbly elevator ride is a little harrowing), where he promptly ordered two cocktails (the view was totally worth it). I would love to go on a hot air balloon ride (this is a no-go for Larry), but the very thought of bungee jumping or skydiving makes me pee my pants. I wish I had the cojones to hike Angel's Landing. (Maybe someday. Or maybe not.) Also, to any structure with a glass floor, I say, WTF. I'm looking at you Sears Willis Tower Skydeck Ledge, and at you, Grand Canyon Skywalk. These situations invoke, as Larry would say, The No. 9 A-Hole Pucker. Sweaty palms, indeed.
You will never, let me repeat that, never, see me going up in a biplane. I'm also no fan of turbulence, take-offs, landings, or the plane running out of fuel. (This happened to me over Minneapolis and resulted in an emergency landing in Fargo. Fun times.)
I've mostly gotten over this one - I've had quite a bit of blood drawn in the past five years, so that's no problem for me now. (Though you won't see me getting a tattoo any time soon!) What I really hate are I.V.s - those totally suck and hurt like a bitch. And you still won't catch me signing up for any tests involving needles that give electric shocks!
No, thank you. Also, no it does not help to imagine your audience in their underwear. That's just sick.
OPEN BODIES OF WATER AT NIGHT
There's something creepy about black water. Deep, mysterious, scary.
When I was a kid, I was afraid of the second freezer we had in our garage. It was full of frozen meat and it gave me the heebie-jeebies. I also wasn't a fan of thunder or sirens at night, elevator doors (one closed on me once - to this day, I still dash out of elevators quite quickly), cemeteries (gave me nightmares for weeks), or blood. Well, I'm still not a fan of blood, but I've had to clean up some dog injuries, so I'm getting better about it. Still...no, I do not want to see your bloody finger, gnarly wound, skinned knee, etc. Yuck.
Oh, and for quite a while I had a fear of ax-murderers hiding behind shower curtains. Please don't think this is good reason to hide behind a shower curtain and scare me because then I will have to kill you.
We could delve deeper and discuss fears of the future, things that keep me up at night, etc, but let's just leave it at the so-called silly and irrational fears.
So, am I crazy? A 'fraidy cat? Anyone else want to confess what they're afraid of? Snakes? Spiders? Enclosed spaces? Clowns? Germs? The number 13, aka Triskaidekaphobia? - I still remember this as a vocabulary word we learned in 4th grade. (Also, did you know that fear of the number 666 is called hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia?)