I’ll be the first to admit I’m not brave. I’m scared of choking while alone in my apartment, I once had a massive panic attack brought on by thinking about ringworm, and I live in fear of the day my boss realizes my job is not difficult and sends me home forever.
This is a cold, unfriendly planet, fraught with incidents of asphyxiation, fungal infections, and job termination. I often want to escape for a while, maybe by popping in a movie. I do not want that movie to be scary.
For the record, I’m not a baby. I’ve seen things that would curl your hair– fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! Things were pretty grim, but then four guys in coveralls climbed onto the roof of a skyscraper, challenged a god with an ’80s haircut, toasted a giant marshmallow man, and solved the whole problem. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
Snakes freak me out, and I think that’s ok. If I was afraid of something silly like turning into a tree, that would be embarrassing. A fear of snakes, however, makes complete sense. Some primitive, cavewoman part of me understands snakes are bad because they can kill you. They often don’t kill you, and for the most part they actively avoid you, but they can. This is also why I’m afraid of shy ninjas.
Even the word “snake” gives me the heebie-jeebies.
A couple summers ago, I could not get a job if my life depended on it. My mom wanted me out of the house, doing something productive, and believe me when I say I wanted that too. I went to three or four interviews, but I always stick my foot in my mouth during interviews and none of the employers wanted anything to do with me. (True, sad story: when I interviewed for my current job, I accidentally made a really inappropriate joke and went on to talk about my fun sense of humor. So when I say I’m bad in interviews, I mean I’m bad in interviews.)
I had to write an opinion article this week for the first time ever. I was dismayed to discover that all of my opinions are approximately 40 words long and they almost all stem from irrational fears I have.
Actually, I hesitate to call them irrational fears because they all have a basis in past experiences or things I’ve seen (Let’s be clear here. They’re things I’ve seen… on the internet. That probably makes them count less, but doesn’t make them any less disturbing.)