Thursday, June 11, 2009

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Now that we've all become such good friends, I think it's time that I bare my soul to you and share with you some of my fears in life.

When I was a kid, my parents let my older sister, Tammy, stay up late and watch Jaws with them. Because Erin and I were too young, we were told that we were not allowed to watch it and that we had to go on to bed. It was quite an injustice. I laid in my bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking about what a crock it was that Tammy got to stay up and we didn't. I couldn't get to sleep so I decided to get out of bed and go enjoy the movie. What could be the harm in that, right? So I snuck down to the end of the hallway and watched the movie from there, where no one could see me. It was the most horrible decision I have made to date. At some point, I fled back to my room, terrified and looking over my shoulder to make sure no sharks were following me. I got back to my bedroom door and a dilemma arose. If I could just get to my bed, I would be safe. But I was pretty sure that Jaws was under the bed and I didn't want him to eat me as I approached it. My solution: a mad dash towards the bed and a gravity-defying jump from about five feet away. I almost bounced off the other side (which would have surely defeated the point) but I was able to stay on the bed and avoid having my feet ripped off by the Great White lurking below. For years, this is how I got in bed. And I never let any part of my body hang off the edge for fear that it would be snapped off. Laugh if you must, but know that I still have all of my appendages.

When I was a teenager, I was JUST getting past the idea of Jaws residing under my bed and would even let my foot hang off the bed every once in a while. That's when I made the mistake of watching Nightmare on Elm Street. It was a mistake not only because it was a dumb movie, but because I could not get the vision of Freddy Krueger out of my mind. I was 16 - I wanted to be brave. I really did. But he scared the crud out of me and I knew - I just KNEW - that he was under my bed. As much as I hate to admit this . . . I had to re-institute my running jump method of getting into bed. At 16. That's just embarrassing.

These days, I don't have any fear that anyone or anything is living under my bed. But it's not because I'm mature or rational - it's because there's too much crap under my bed for anyone to fit. Take THAT, Freddy Krueger.

My current fears are MUCH more reasonable . . .

For instance, I'm scared to death of automatic staplers. Seriously, people, they're simply unnerving. I stand there with my stack of papers that I want stapled and I have to work up the courage to do so by staring sternly at the stapler in an effort to intimidate it. I put the corner of the papers in and start to move it back toward the stapling mechanism. At this point, my body involuntarily stiffens as I try to get my head as far away from the thing as possible and my face gets the look you'd get if someone were about to spit in your face - you know, the fluttering eyes that are wanting to close but also wanting to watch long enough to know when the moment is coming. Then BAM!! The staple goes in. I jump, look around to see if anyone saw me, and then get the heck away from the thing. That's totally normal, though . . . right?

And automatic revolving doors. I'm scared of those, too. I don't like the feeling that the door is moving without me and that it will get my heels if I don't move quickly enough. And I REALLY hate the big ones at airports and hotels that have the really big chambers that fit more than one person. Inevitably, someone gets in the same chamber with me and then drags his suitcase behind him JUST enough that it keeps stopping the door. Then you have to wait until the door starts moving again only to have it stop when the guy lets his suitcase get too far behind him again. It's quite maddening. And the whole experience makes my heart race and gives me sweaty armpits.

More recently I've developed a new fear of a snake being in my toilet. I don't know where this has come from but it's here with a vengeance. I check every toilet now for amphibious life before I sit down but then worry that the snake was just hiding back in there and will swim out and get me when I least expect it and am most vulnerable. Honestly, I don't think it's the snake bite that I'm most afraid of. I think what really scares me is that the snake will bite and will hold on for dear life. And that's a 911 call I just don't want to have to make . . .

So there are my fears, friends. And don't you judge me for being irrational in the things that I fear - I bet you have some crazy ones, too. At the VERY least, you're probably afraid of snakes in your toilet now, too.

You're welcome for that.


Emma said...

I'm rolling, crying laughing!! I was probably married before I finally put my Jaws fears to rest!! AND it was really cracking me up about the snake, because right now (no idea why) I'm worried about those little, flat, sticky looking (tree?) frogs hiding in the potty!! Gross!! Thanks, indeed, Catch!

Alana said...

Did you read my 25 Random Things About Me on facebook. That is where I listed my fear of snakes in the toilet. I hope I wasn't the one who caused you a new fear.
I have been damaged since I was in the 2nd grade. I was at my first sleep over and my friends brother started screaming in the middle of the night because he had gone to the bathroom and a snake was in the toilet. From that night on I have always had to turn the light on and check to see if the toilet is clear---- For gosh sakes, I am the one who needs to see a "toilet therapist"... I can be in a hotel on the 100th floor and would still have to turn on the light fully aware that a snake would never make it up that many flights.
At least it has given Dustin something to laugh about... and all I say to him is - "You wont be laughing when you sit on the crapper and get your beaver nuggets bitten!"

Erin said...

Hilarious! Catherine, are you sure that when you came down the hall to watch, I wasn't already camped out? Sounds like me and I'm afraid to admit how many years I LITERALLY jumped into bed. :) I'm not afraid of toilets, but I am afraid of bugs landing in my ears and dropping their eggs in there. sick.

Joley said...

Bizzaro! Can snakes really come up into the toilet? Where have I been all my life and why have my parents never warned me of this? I'm googling this now!

Rachael Smith said...

I have an automatic stapler at work, that randomly staples all on it's own with no one any where near it....... I'm sure it's an evil spirit.
I have taken it and hidden it far far away and will not tell anyone where it is....... I'm glad to know I'm not the only person afraid of the automatic stapler!!!!

P.S. I also check the toliet, but I am always sure a spider is hiding under the rim - for a while it got so bad, I had to lift the lid and check before I would sit down, but then I was scared I would grab the spider..... so then I was screwed

Christina said...

Too funny!! i am terrified of revolving doors...will do anything to avoid them. Hatem'!! They are everywhere in NY and it is almost impossible to get into any building without using it, but I manage. It made me late for meetings, but I ain't getting in that death trap! That is a completely rational fear. However, the snake in the toilet? You should talk to Freud about that one. But you were successful in giving me pause before I sit now, thanks!