The Husband and his father are at an Orioles game tonight. I was so excited to have an evening to myself to blog that I stuffed the kids in bed by 7:30 (it would have been sooner if PW had not insisted we count all the doughnuts pictured in her Curious George book--I stopped those goings-on at 201). I took out the trash and recycling, did the dishes, ran around the house with Clorox Everywhere sanitizing everything under the sun (finally, after the year of 10,000 diseases), and ran to the computer confident that I could take my time. And now I sit here, staring at the computer with nothing to say.
In lieu of anything interesting in my life to report, I'll resort to embarrassing myself and my family for your reading pleasure. PW recently took swimming lessons. And by "took swimming lessons" I mean "she screamed that she was drowning every second she was in the pool," despite the lifejacket, swimming teacher holding her, and lifeguards staring at her intently. By the end of six lessons, she wouldn't go anywhere near the pool. Nay, she wouldn't even go in the baby pool that had all of four inches of water in it. Sure, she finally got brave enough to sit next to the baby pool and play with a random rubber ducky she found (a pirate ducky no less--I'll have to find one of those), but that was as far as she would venture. How in the world did she turn out like this? The two previous years I had held her while in the pool but admittedly she wasn't a huge fan. Lately she's been screaming "TURN IT OFF, TURN OFF THE WATER!!" in the bathtub if the water even approaches her bellybutton while seated. She's completely insane.
Which leads me to conclude that phobias are indeed inherited (or at least in part) as some suspect. My father's not a huge fan of water. He'll go in if forced, but he doesn't enjoy it. I used to swim (well, got in the pool anyway) as a child, but I've become less fond of the water the older I've become. I'm not scared of the water in the pool (despite several early near-drownings), and I know how to swim just fine, I just derive no enjoyment from it whatsoever. It's as enjoyable for me as sitting in the parking lot of Safeway; at least you don't have to shave your body for the latter activity.
Now, the ocean is another matter entirely. I have no qualms about looking at the ocean from the shore. Lovely. But I don't get in it. I don't like boats. I don't like deep water. And here's a fun fact for all of you taking notes at home: if I see a picture of an iceberg, I get severly nauseated. Why? Because those suckers are FRICKING UNNATURALLY HUGE. And that's just the part that you see sticking up out of the water! That's only an average of 10% of those suckers, and there's a whole 90% hidden, lurking under that mountain of ice, floating silently in the icy, dark depths of a seemingly bottomless ocean. Icebergs make the true depth of the ocean a sudden and unwelcome reality in my mind. I'm gonna find you the worst picture of one (it was photoshopped actually, but it's still the same idea) and then I'm going to stop speaking of it as I'm on the verge of puking on my keyboard. I will not include the actual photo here (as if I want to taint my blog with that business), but here is a link if you care: http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/iceberg.asp
You're welcome for that. I nearly lost my dinner in the process for you ingrates (is it any wonder PW is such a freak? I didn't think so).
Now how about heights? Dad hates heights. You guessed it: so do I. We don't even like climbing on stepladders to change a lightbulb. We've discussed this many times together and we agree with the analysis one set of professionals gave about why some people are scared of heights: we're scared that if we're, say, on top of a building, that we'll suddenly go nuts and just start running and take a flying leap off the roof. Accidental falling is a worry, too, naturally. But the one where you think you're going to do it to yourself is much worse. Oh, and the husband is also none the fan of high places, either (which is why I'm especially proud of him for cleaning our gutters on the roof). Is it any wonder PW freaks out about that, as well? Mind you, none of us are scared of speed. A fast carnival ride that whips your brains around inside your head is great fun and PW agrees. She is fearless when it comes to that. But up high? No.
Shall I go on? Of course I shall. Who's to stop me? You? I didn't think so. Punk.
Spiders/bugs. Not a fan of spiders and neither is Dad. Now, at this point some might speculate that my father passed all of these fears on to me nearly intentionally. However, I never witnessed him showing his fears about these things until well after my own were considerably developed on their own. In fact, when I had hissyfits over spiders, he would scold me for sending the little beasts (Satan's Pets, they are) back to their Maker and insist I should be setting them free outside. Pffft, whatever. SQUISH.
It is at this point that I would like to point out that PW has a very kind side to her. Despite her distaste for spiders in general, she will frequently see to their welfare. She locates the spiders and I squash them, as a rule. But on occasion she will spot a small one and I will give her the choice of killing it or giving it its freedom. She always chooses to spare its life. So we let it crawl into one of her play dishes, carry it outside, and let it crawl out again. She has a good heart. And it is for this very reason why I tortured the nasty bee that stung her twice two weeks ago. She never knowingly disrupted it; in fact, it climbed into her clothing and had the gall to sting her when she tried to figure out what was rummaging around inside her shirt sleeve. That little bastard died a very unpleasant death, I can assure you of that. So now if she sees anything that flies--including gnats and butterflies--she FREAKS OUT. Great.
On to my next phobia. (Why no, I haven't seen a professional about these. Why do you ask?) Fire. I'm convinced I'm going to die in a house fire. I'm absolutely certain that's how I'm going to leave this life. I have every possible escape route planned out of my house and I'm still certain I'm going to die in it. No, we don't have a fireplace in our house. Screw that.
Large dogs. In my defense, a dog attacked me when I was very young (perhaps 2 or 3 years old) and bit me in the face. And then another dog cornered me when I was ten. If your dog is quiet, appears happy and stable, and is on a leash if outside, I'll pat it. No, I will not play with it. But I will pat it. But if your dog barks at me, I will cry. So keep that in mind.
Speaking in public? Sure, why not. I hate it and avoid it at all costs as many others do (and yet I'll perform for an audience without too much trouble--go figure). I knew I was going to quit my last job before getting married, but I hadn't decided when to officially tell my bosses. That decision practically made itself when they told me I was going to have to brief a general and his staff to "further my career." "Oh man, what a bummer I'm gonna have to miss that. Take care!"
Did you know that there are people who are genuinely afraid of the number 13? Now, those people are nuts.
I hope I've given you enough here to make you feel better about yourselves. I'm such a giver.