Friday, March 9, 2012

things I am afraid of

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.

chicago 2009
john hancock center, chicago, 2009
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.

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., 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?)


Sarah said...

My fears are rodents of any kind, elevators, and flying. I'm all good with taking off & landing, but it's those moments in the middle where I think "Okay, I'd like to get off the plane now" and realize I'm stuck.

Great post, Rachel. :)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Oh, I totally agree with that stuck feeling in an airplane - I was definitely feeling that way when our plane was circling the Minneapolis airport for hours due to bad weather. I had thoughts of "I'm in a metal tube 5 miles above the earth and there's nothing I can do about it." I can see how that could result in panic/hysteria in some people. I just try not to think about it too much! ;)

The Incredible Woody said...

I'm not afraid of heights but I am afraid of edges and the sudden stop at the bottom of the fall. I think it is a quite rational fear since I'm a tripper. That said - I did go skydiving:)

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Woody - yeah, maybe it is edges I am more afraid of. I think fear of heights is instinctual though, so I'm always amazed when I find people who aren't afraid of heights and who do crazy things like skydive! ;)

Sarah said...

This is why I love you, Rachel. We totally get each other. Even thought I don't have the exact same phobias, I completely understand your train of thought.

I am on board with the scary movies thing. I got suckered into watching them as a kid when my friends wanted to watch them. But then I'd end up sleeping on my parent's bedroom floor :)

I had to take a small plane from Dulles to Nashville for Blissdom, and when the guy told me to walk to the plane - outside and literally onto the plane - I almost died! I completely froze until the guy asked me if I actually wanted to go to Nashville, it totally caught me off guard. We need to catch up in person because I have more funny stories from that flight...

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Oh, Sarah - we definitely need to catch up and I want to hear all about Blissdom and the flight - eek! Those planes that you have to walk onto the tarmac to board totally freak me out, too! (And then you have to sit UNDER the wing and where you can SEE the landing gear - ugh!)

tessica said... my worst fear is not being able to move- this fear came about from my dogs habit of sleeping on the bed with me. One would lie on one side of my legs and another on the other side- thus upon waking my legs were trapped. In the half sleep of waking I've often assumed I've somehow become paralyzed-panic attack usually ensues.
I also don't really care for tunnels or bridges...lots to do with being stuck in or above something...

Karin said...

I second your fear of scary movies (although I find watching them in daylight somehow makes them less scary and somewhat silly/stupid) and flying. I mostly dislike the take-off when flying, I like landing since that means I will be on solid ground soon.

I'll add a fear of sharks. For years I would spend hours swimming in the ocean with no fear. I don't know what happened, maybe it's from hearing news reports of shark attacks or maybe the fact that every year I see a shark near the shore in Isle of Palms, SC where my family vacations. This fear actually makes me very sad, because it has paralyzed me from spending time in the ocean...which I used to love. :(

I do have to say that for me, fears have definitely increased as I've gotten older. I think this is because we become more aware of our own mortality as we age.

Mike D. / Coffee in Bed said...

A weird one, but it used to be metal spoons. I hated the sound of them scraping on teeth, which my twin brother did when he ate cereal. Of course, he then intentionally tortured me with that sound growing up, even sneaking up while I was sleeping at night and doing it. I'm over it now, but thought I'd share that weirdness.

Now, it's more fears of big ladders (i'm okay with heights, just not wobbly-ass ladders), and gross, wirey-tailed nasty rodents...especially opossums.

Lauren McKenna said...

Once again, I think we're the same person.

I hate wind. Mike makes fun of me all the time for this! I think it comes from living in FL, and if you heard wind *like that* it meant you needed to get into the smallest room in your house with a pillow over your head stat. Hearing wind whistle through a window will have me awake and running in the middle of the night.

I hate scary movies. I've seen three in my life. People think it's fun to try to trick me into watching them. It's not fun. I stay awake for days.

And open bodies of water at night? I can hardly drive near them, much less be out in the open. A popular date spot during high school was the dock out in Mason Neck, but I was too scared to go near it. Even driving along the GW Parkway the other night had me freaked because I knew the water was *right there* - lol

So, once again, you're awesome.