Personal Snapshot: Confessions of a Phobaholic

Mark makes fun of me and calls me Monk because of my many phobias. The definition of a phobia is “an irrational fear.” Really, I don’t see my fears as “phobias” because my fears are completely rational, and I think it’s perfectly normal to have some fears. My list of “phobias” is below, in order of their scariness.

  1. Mark dying
  2. Amputation
  3. Amputees
  4. Mark becoming an amputee
  5. Becoming paralyzed
  6. Mark becoming paralyzed
  7. Dolls
  8. Clowns
  9. Being behind a semi with sheet metal and a piece flying through my windshield and decapitating me
  10. Black Widow spiders
  11. The ice cream truck
  12. Cutting my fingers off while cutting into a watermelon
  13. Deep water
  14. Sharks
  15. Sea Cows
  16. Apes/Chimpanzees (getting my face chewed off by one of them, specifically)
  17. The series of five Planet of the Apes movies made between 1968 and 1973
  18. Serial killers
  19. Frost bite
  20. People that weigh over 600 pounds
  21. Becoming someone who weighs over 600 pounds
  22. Piranhas
  23. Heights
  24. Moths
  25. Slipping on the pavement next to a swimming pool and hitting my head while falling in
  26. People who sleep with their eyes open
  27. Hot food and cold food touching on my plate

So what’s the big deal? Everyone has phobias, and mine are completely founded. First of all, who’s not afraid of their spouse dying? That’s just a Gimme. I have to admit though, that I almost put “amputation” as my number one fear, but I was afraid of being judged for not being MORE afraid of my husband dying. But amputations are SO SO FREAKY! I don’t even know what I would do if I woke up in the hospital and one of my arms was gone. One day there wasn’t much on TV, and I flipped to a Lifetime movie. It starred Lindsay Lohan (don’t judge me, she’s just misunderstood), and she woke up in the hospital missing one arm and one leg with no recollection of what had happened. She had been kidnapped by a serial killer who liked to cut his victims up while they were STILL ALIVE! (See fear number 18)

Now let’s address some of my other very normal and well-founded fears:

Dolls—Porcelain dolls with big, freaky eyes that are staring at you in the dark. That’s scary! About three years ago, when Mark and I had to go back to Missouri to attend his mother’s funeral, we stayed with a friend of Mark’s family. She was a sweet little old lady who had a huge house and a phobia of germs. When she led us to our guest room, the first thing I zoomed in on was the long dresser piled with creepy, porcelain dolls. They were all staring at me with their wide open marble eyes. I dropped my suitcase and walked out of the room while saying, “No. No no no. Uh uh. Nope!! Not gonna happen. NOPE.” She was confused by my (alleged) strange behavior, so Mark told her I was afraid of dolls.

She said, “I can cover them up with a sheet.”

“NO!” I shouted from the hallway. “That’s worse!” Then they’d be under cover, and thus in prime position to scheme about how they were going to come alive and kill me in the middle of the night.

“No,” Mark said. “We have to move them out.” He explained my fear of the demon dolls, and they went to work moving them and hiding them while I went downstairs and waited in the kitchen. Well, I actually snooped around the downstairs rooms a little. I usually do that when I’m left alone at someone’s house. Just FYI.

Anyway, when they said they were done hiding the dolls, I inspected the room we were going to be staying in. I checked under the bed, in the dressers and in the closet. I wasn’t taking any chances.

Just recently, we were discussing this fiasco, and he said, “You don’t want to know where we hid them.” He looked very sinister, and that made me too afraid to ask.

“I hate you,” I said.

Sharks—They are bigger than me and they like to eat living things. If they see me swimming, and they decide they’re hungry (which, according to the documentary I watched called “Jaws,” they always are), the shark will bite my leg off and CHOMP!! Amputation city!! (See fear number 2)

Sea Cows—They are HUGE, bigger than whales, and they live way down in that deep, deep, dark, black water of the ocean. If they decided to eat me, say if I were stranded in the middle of the ocean after our sail boat capsized, I’d be just a tiny snack.

Frost bite—If I get stuck in the snow for days and my feet turn black from frost bite, they’re going to cut them off. AMPUTAION!! (see fear number 2)

Piranhas—I saw a real Piranha once. OK, so it was dead and dried, but the teeth are FREAKY-looking! They can eat an entire cow in something like 2 minutes. They don’t even chew their food. They just rip the flesh off and it goes right in their bellies! Don’t even try to use the argument that they only live in Brazil and the Amazon. People buy them and put them in aquariums. Things can mutate. Fish can escape. I saw it in Finding Nemo.

Moths—All I know is, when I was a little girl, I used to have nightmares that giant moths were eating me. The other night I opened the back door and was calling JJ, my cat, to come in for the night, and huge moths were fluttering around the light, and then right at my face as they tried to sneak in the house. I was screaming and batting at them with my hands, completely hysterical. Not only do I have memories of the nightmares, but I own a lot of cashmere. After closing and opening the door several times, trying to save my cat from being carried away by these monster moths, and screaming, Mark shouted, “What the heck is WRONG WITH YOU!?”

“The moths are … AAAHHHH!!!” (imagine me batting at the air and jumping around screaming) “AAAHHHHH!!!! Help!! The moths!!! AHHH!!!”

“What is WRONG WITH YOU?!”

“The MOTHS!! AAHHH!!!!”

Needless to say, he had to bring the cat in that night.

Clowns—These very sinister demons called “clowns” are dressed up in makeup and big shoes to conceal their identities. The makeup is for obvious reasons. The big shoes? After a murder, when the CSI team comes to collect evidence, they always take a shoe print. Seeeee…… The shoe print would be inconclusive. Genius! Plus, clowns are just creepy.

The semi and the sheet metal—Have you ever been driving on the freeway behind a semi full of sheet metal or other big, heavy, deadly materials, and thought, “What would happen if one of those things fell off that truck and came through my windshield?” That’s when I usually change lanes. Let’s just say that the worst amputation you can have is your head.

Cutting my fingers off while cutting into a watermelon—When you put a whole watermelon (which is round, and therefore has absolutely no traction) on the kitchen counter, and you put that big ‘ol butcher knife at the top of it in order to cut into it, there’s too many variables. You have:

1) A round, smooth watermelon which can slip or roll on the counter

2) A huge butcher knife on a smooth, round surface that has a good chance of slipping

3) Human error

If any one of these variables goes awry, CHOP! You lose a finger. Just like that. (see fear number 2)

Apes—They look too much like us, and whenever I see one at the zoo, I have a very strong feeling the beast is reading my mind. I think they’re just playing along until they have the opportunity and means to take over the world. (see fear number 17)

The ice cream truck—Any grown man who drives around playing music and bribing kids with ice cream is creepy. The trucks always look run-down, and they don’t have a bathroom in there. Where do they pee!?

People who sleep with their eyes open—Obviously they are watching me. My cat is doing it right now and it’s FREAKING ME OUT. I think he’s plotting to kill me.

Cold food and hot food touching—It’s just gross. In fact, I prefer all my food to be served on separate plates, or at the VERY least, for the food to be served on a very large plate where I can put channels between each different food.

Honestly, I don’t think I’m all that weird. I had a boss who was afraid to lick envelopes because someone may have put poison in the glue. Now THAT’S weird! I am merely afraid of really creepy things and really large things that can eat me. Actually, that’s just being street-smart.

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