Thursday, October 11, 2007

Things That Scare Me

Sting RayIn honor of this month's Write-Away Contest I'm tackling things that scare me--and there are a few items on the list that get me mocked from time to time around here but whoever said neuroses are logical?

1. Potty training. Parenthood itself doesn't worry me or scare but tell me that I've got to get my a two year-old to sleep dry through the night and I'm quivering in the corner.

2. Driving on narrow two-lane highways. This sounds silly and it's not as if we're talking full-blown phobia here but so many car accidents happen on two-lane highways that I get nervous whenever I drive down to Girdwood or Seward. There's always some hotshot in a truck scaring everyone and every year there are deaths--enough that I'm careful and cautious while enjoying the scenery. I still remember the story years back when a Toyota Forerunner went off the road and into the inlet and the father driving couldn't rescue his child out of the car seat before the icy waters got them. Never found the car. Am I morbid? Or am I just a mom? You be the judge. I also get nervous about driving long distances when it's very cold, I worry about the car breaking down and being stuck somewhere with children in 10 below temperatures. Again, a mom thing I guess.

3. Yucky movies. By this I don't mean movies that are suspenseful or frightening--which I love--but movies that focus on evil stuff. Slasher movies or movies like The Exorcist or The Omen or even The Ring. It's not so much that they scare me so much as they make me feel dark. That's about the only way to describe it--dark. Don't like 'em. Don't watch 'em.

4. Swimming in the ocean. More specifically, swimming in the deep parts of the ocean where you can't see your feet and the seaweed brushes against your legs like tentacles . . . yuck. I've been snorkeling in deep water but it was so clear that 80 feet looked like five and the water was more like a bath tub than murky blackness waiting to suck you down, dragging you to its depths . . . and my kids wonder why I don't like swimming that much. I wouldn't want to go scuba diving because I'd feel claustrophobic with all that water around me. You ever seen the movie Open Water? You can bet I won't, Finding Nemo is more my speed.

5. Eels. Maybe this goes with the ocean thing but I don't like eels. I'm okay with snakes but eels not so much. When Andrew and I were honeymooning he decided to go snorkeling under the dock where there was a lot of coral. An eel popped out at him and you've never seen someone scramble out of the water so fast so maybe I'm not alone in this.

6. Rays. Speaking of eels, I'm even less fond of rays. Last time we were at Sea World there was a sting ray exhibit (right next to the eel exhibit) where you could pet the rays in the shallow water. My kids kept trying to get me to put my hand in but no way, no how was that going to happen. They're all creepy with their flappy, batty wings and their sucker mouths underneath and their tails that may or may not have stingers because I can remember which rays are which. If you don't believe that rays are not to be trusted just ask the Crocodile Hunter--he'll tell you.

7. Impromptu Public Speaking. Not to be confused with plain old public speaking which I'm generally okay with, no I mean being called on to say a few words without any notice. That isn't going to work. Isn't that why I like to write? Because I can mull over each word, carefully selecting and weeding through the English language like a bargain hunter at a flea market stall? I don't do well when I'm supposed to say something off the cuff so I avoid that like that plague.

8. Andrew leaving. This is totally insane and I recognize that completely but when we were first married I would have these nightmares that Andrew was leaving me. I'd wake up sweaty and upset and very, very angry. It would especially bother Andrew because he'd wonder what unconscious signals he was sending to make me worry so subliminally about his loyalty. Eventually after years of marriage and becoming more confident those dreams stopped but they always worried me. Not any more, but given my history it's worthy of a spot on the list.

9. Going under our deck. We've had trouble with our kitchen getting very cold in winter and with the remodel this spring Andrew went down in the crawlspace to investigate why it was so frigid in our cupboards. He determined that there was this area underneath the deck where there is plenty of cold air being allowed to circulate and insulation needed to be installed. I couldn't believe he was brave enough to crawl down under there in that little tiny dusty, cobwebby, daddy-long-leg-infested, dirty space to fix things but he didn't seem to have too much of a hang-up about it. Though he did say when he emerged that he fully had expected to find a body down there or something, it was that spooky. He's my hero.

10. Having to sing in public. Public speaking is fine but tell me I have to sing and I'll go pale and need a defibrillator. I took piano lessons all those years so that I could hide behind a piano and not need to sing a note. Of course that doesn't mean I'm not belting out my favorites when I'm in the car or doing my cleaning. "Here I am . . . Rock you like a hurricane . . . "

11. Needles. It's not as if I've been able to avoid them but needles aren't my favorite thing. When I was going into labor with Grace the nurses asked if I had any requests and the only thing I could come up with was "no I.V. please." They thought I was loopy to care about that and laughed at me.

Last week I had a wart taken off of my finger and was doing alright until the doctor started his commentary of the procedure. "Wow! This thing is really deep! Look at the size of that!" etc. etc. I started getting hot around the ears and very sweaty and suddenly I was on my back staring up at the ceiling. The only thing good to come of it (besides being wart-free) was the wound that was deeply impressive to my sons who wanted to look at it. I'm suddenly cool if I've got an open wound the size of New Hampshire on the side of my finger.

12. Pain. When I was expecting Grace I was scared of the impending birth and worried that I'd be able to handle the pain. Things went fine and I was able to deal with everything but I think pain is scary because it can control you--your heart rate, your emotions, your physical nature--and it's an unknown. It sure makes me glad to live in a day where there's modern medicine: aspirin, penicillin, Novocain, all those things that make our lives so comfortable. I've thought that people who lived before all these things must have just lived with constant pain. You know that scene in Castaway when Tom Hanks takes out his own tooth? I can't watch it.

13. Dragonflies. Here we are at the last item and what is it? Dragonflies. Not war, catastrophe or the collapse of civilization as we know it, just a rather large insect that my kids like to capture. They think it's hysterical that these things scare me but in my defense 1) They're HUGE, 2) they're like helicopters with hovering capabilities, 3) they're unpredictable and can come at you from any angle, 4)they're not afraid of you and will land on you if you let them and 5) they don't call them DRAGON flies for nothing.

This summer I was with Spencer and David at cub scout camp and while waiting for them on a grassy lawn I looked up at the nearby cabin and it was covered with dragonflies. Let me make that COVERED with dragonflies. There must have been 500 of them resting all over the sunbaked siding of the house, just enjoying the light and waiting until I wasn't looking to dive in for the kill.

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44 comments:

Jenna said...

I'm with you on so many of these things! I've driven that narrow road to Seward and I know what you mean! And eels? Rays? Dragonflies? Dark waters? Yucky movies? Yep, yep, yep, yep, and yep! I'm working hard on my contest entry!

Kristin said...

Swimming in the ocean? No problem... Swimming in a lake? NO WAY!!

Stacey@Look, Mom, Look! said...

Numbers 1, 2, and 3 would make my list as well. I hate driving in construction zones where they really narrow the lanes. Put that by a cement wall or cliff and you will see sweat dripping down my forehead in 0-30 seconds.

Life on the Edge said...

Dragonflies? Was there an old horror movie you saw at some point? I will try not to "mock" you...too much!

grace said...

I don't like movies that make me feel dark too. What's the point in spending money in the movie house or renting DVD if in the end you feel aweful?

Happy TT!

Robin said...

I am right with you with the "swimming where you can't see" thing. I love snorkeling, and have tried scuba (resort course), but swimming where I can't see really gets to me. I'm too busy imagining all sorts of slimy scary creepy crawlies (creepy swimmies?) to relax and just enjoy myself.

susiej said...

That's too bad about swimming in the ocean -- I think that is fun. But you've inspired me to look underneath that anxiety and fear I have when I wake up at 2 in the morning, and I feel as if the world is ending -- like when I think my kids will grow up and leave!

Janet said...

You certainly spoke to a lot of mine. I would add basements, because there are always spiders in basements. I don't mind daddy long legs, as long as they don't land on me, but anything else could be poisonous. I did get a spider bite about 15 years ago that got infected and turned my leg black and required 2 rounds of antibiotics, so maybe I'm not just paranoid. I don't mind the dark movies so much as the gross ones. Any of the nightmares or Fridays or whatever. Let me find my silver cross and my garlic.

Stephanie said...

So with you for #1,

#3 I can't stnad them that dark yuckiness stays with me for days.

#11 though with all the pregnancies ending in C-sections, blood work, & IV's don't bother me as much as they used to. When I had Kellen I couldn't even look at the hand where the IV was. It creeped me out.

Dragonflies Michelle? They are beautiful!

Melissa Garrett said...

Just the mention of the ocean has me sweatin' bullets. I can't swim anywhere but a pool. Just the thought of swimming in an ocean where live creatures big enough to eat me - no way!! And those ocean floor dwellers - creepy. Fish are a BIG phobia of mine (as well as worms). I made fish for dinner, and then I couldn't eat it. I completely psyched myself out. I can barely tolerate fish sticks!

I'm also afraid of driving in snowy or icy conditions. There was a morning a few years back I got caught in a snowstorm with just my kids in the car (who were very young at the time). I was going down a hill and slid sideways down the whole way (not to mention there was a swift moving creek on the other side of the guardrail). I was quaking the whole time and cried when I finally got home. OY!

SabineM said...

Wow, 2-7, and I Think 10 are MY FEARS as well.
I am a fabulous swimmer, but soo scared of sharks, rays, eels, actually anything that moves in the water! I saw Jaws when I was young, I attribute it to that!
I am super busy with horse shows the next two weeks, so not sure I have time to enter this contest. BUT GREAT ONE!

Wolfie said...

Hi..I'm totally with u regarding the needle thingy..I "freeze" whenever Dr or Nurse needs to draw blood from me..

TeaMouse said...

Ha, I'm not the only one afraid of Dragonflies!

Amy W said...

To go along with going under your deck, I will not ever, every go in our crawl space under our house....that scares me.

Kelly said...

I didn't think eels bothered me -- until I went to Sea World on a monthly basis. (Living in San Diego, it's pretty much a requirement.)

The eel exhibit there is the stuff nightmares are made of. Seriously. Freaky.

~JJ! said...

Phew~ick~gah...potty training is so scary.

{Karla} said...

yeah, I'm an totally with you on swimming in the ocean. No way; no how!

Blessings,
Karla

Luke "the crusher" Nichols said...

If you don't like Dragonflies stay away from southern Japan. I once had to fight a 14" dragonfly that was attacking a cashier and a store clerk in a supermarket.
I beat it unconscious with a binder when it landed on the rice cake display, and then I threw it into a garbage can and closed the lid. Before I left the store the lid was rattling as the dragonfly tried to get out. NOW those are scary dragonflies.

wayabetty said...

#2-7, agreed agreed 100%. When I was pregnant with my first son, I watched "The Sixth Sense" with one eye open, and I had such nightmares at night that I couldn't even wake myself up. So, no more scary movie for me.

Height, that's my phobia big time. Once, we went to the Trump Tower and I couldn't go up the escalator b/c it was so high.

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts said...

I'd agree with many of these. Potty training wasn't so bad (I had 3 boys). Driving on narrow two-lanes roads is nerve-wracking. I hate evil movies. I can't swim so I don't go too far out in any water. I'd rather avoid eels, rays, public speaking or singing, going under the house, needles, or pain. Don't mind dragonflies, though, as long as they don't touch me.

pussreboots said...

A timer you can set for an hour is your best friend for potty training. That and rubber sheets. But once you get the day time potty training tackled the night time should go pretty smoothly.

Happy TT.

TopChamp said...

I associate particularly with speaking and singing in public! Although parenthood scares me too much to even contemplate it.

Heffalump said...

I am afraid of heights. That video of you and Andrew going over that gorge for your anniversary kind of freaked me out.
Related to that, I hate driving over bridges...especially tall ones, I always envision plunging over the edge and into the water, and having to try to get all of my kids out, and knowing I couldn't save all five of them, and they don't swim well.
A childhood fear was stairs that have gaps at the back of each step. My grandparents had stairs like that in the basement, and I was always afraid something would reach through the gap and grab me.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Scorpion!?! I thought you had a better taste in music than that!

Thea said...

I'm a big fan of swimming in chlorine, myself. If there's more than species in there with me, I'm gone.

I'll have to disagree with you on Rays, though. I think they are by far one of the most graceful creatures in the water!

J. Lynne said...

I'm totally with you on 2 and 9. I almost did this topic today. Weird.

Happy TT! Stay away from the Dragonflies. ;)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Potty training deserves to be number 1 on anyone's list. And 500 dragon flies??? Anything in large numbers gives me the whillies.

Denise Patrick said...

A few of those would make my list as well. And, I don't like dragonflies either. They don't scare me, but they are a huge nuisance.

Happy TT!

Nicholas said...

I don’t like slasher movies either, or ones where things lurk in the dark to jump out at you. I have to disagree with you about swimming in the ocean. -- I love it.

ellen b said...

That all makes sense to me except #13 Wasps, rats, hornets yes but not dragonflies. happy tt to you...

Sandy said...

That list pretty much covered every phobia I have. No kidding!

Babystepper said...

I'm with you on a lot of those, although not quite all. (I've never had a problem with dragonflies, for instance.) #8 especially. I've had a couple dreams where my husband just left me because I was "too boring". That's got to say something about me, but I'm not sure what. He reacts about the way Andrew did.

Jill said...

I giggled a bit (perhaps inappropriately) at #8. I used to have those dreams all the time and would wake up so mad at the hubby. He would be so confused. They lasted about the first 4 years of our marriage and then really tapered off. Thankfully I rarely dream that anymore. I am somewhat comforted by the fact other wives are dreaming and waking up mad too.

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

I totally agree with yucky movies. I stopped watching them when I was 10ish I think...they just feel...evil. Plus they've always given me nightmares.

my4kids said...

I'm with you on a lot of those things also. I used to have nightmares of Kelly leaving me as well. He couldn't figure that out and it irritated him also. I am more likely to swim in the ocean then in a swimming pool.

allrileyedup said...

I'm with you on the needles front. Not that I expect you will, but don't ever watch the movie Dr. Giggles.

Jenn in Holland said...

Such an honest list here. I so agree about the eels. I consider myself a tough little cookie, but there is just something about those slimy things that makes me shudder.

K T Cat said...

All the cool dragonflies died out millions of years ago. Those guys were several feet in length.

I'm with you on deep water swimming. It's ridiculous, but there it is. I also hate heights.

Theresa Bakker said...

The winner!
I laughed. (Dragonflies?) I cried. (Your husband leaving? I have that same fear.) I shivered. (Two lane highways? Covered with snow and ice. Yikes!) Thanks for the pre-Halloween spooks and hoots.

luckyzmom said...

There is nothing unreasonable about any of these fears. Years ago, when I took my son to swimming lessons, the sun drenched concrete block south wall was covered with lime green praying mantis. One or two wouldn't bother me, but so many freaked me out.

Marie said...

I agree on the movies. I can handle a thriller, but if it's about the end of the world I can't do it. The nightmares would never stop. BTW the potty training isn't so bad. It's a struggle for a long time, and then one day, *poof!* it just happens.

Sarah @ Real Life said...

I'm with you on most of these, especially the ocean! I did see Open Water and now it's even worse.

Singing in public? Piece of cake! Of course I was a voice major in college, so I hope I'm not scared of it!

I'm working on mine...it's gonna be very scary!!!

Damselfly said...

What?! Are you afraid of damselflies too? I sure hope not. They're just my bigger cousin.

I am with you on the potty training, though.

Geo said...

Boy, am I well-acquainted with #8. Just insert "Rob" for "Andrew" and "weepy" for "angry." I can relate to several of your others as well.

Haven't met a Scorpions fan in a long time. I heard them frequently on the radio while we were travelling through Oregon, particularly your favorite song.