Irrational Fears & Other Fun Hobbies
Updated: Feb 1, 2018
My gas fireplace shut off the other night. It did so all by itself while I was watching t.v. At first I thought that the power had gone out, causing my fireplace to shut off but the fact that the lights and the t.v. were still on alerted me to the fact that I was an idiot.
Naturally, I did what anyone would do in this instance. I sat and stared at it for several minutes.
Oddly, this did not help much and my fireplace remained unlit.
I wasn’t just staring at it all that time. I was diagnosing the problem and how I might fix it. I do love a good D.I.Y. I should add that I don’t have much knowledge of gas fireplaces other than they are usually easy to operate, they keep me warm, and if I get too warm, I will likely have a hot flash. Despite having all this technical expertise at my disposal, I decided to seek expert help. So I Googled, “my gas fireplace just went out”.
This did not help. The people on these sites were far too technical and the only thing I could figure out is that I may, or may not, blow up. So I messaged my friend, who’s son is an HVAC specialist.
While waiting for a response and trying my best not to die, I realized that I have a lot of irrational fears and they have all come to the forefront the past few months. I mean, I knew I had a couple of fears, but it turns out I have a lot of them.
My worst irrational fear is of heights. I am beyond terrified of heights and usually end up in a quivering mess, trying not to pee my pants. This one got tested recently when I played Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof at my community theatre. She has to fly out on stage and scare Tevya and Golde and our director decided to have me “fly” out on a ladder disguised as a tomb stone. Luckily Fruma Sarah does a lot of screaming so I was totally in character and my long gown hid the fact that pee was running down my legs.
I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for conquering that fear and then the next one resurfaced. My fear of balloons.
I was in Toronto on New Year’s Eve with two friends of mine and we decided to go for dinner at a restaurant near our hotel. After we sat down, we noticed two big, clear bags filled with balloons suspended on the ceiling mere feet from our table.
If there’s anything I hate more than balloons, heights, and bees (don’t even ask), it’s letting other people see me freak out about balloons, heights, and bees (don’t even ask). To make matters worse, I had experienced a wee freak out on an escalator that afternoon. It was minor and I got my shit back together pretty quickly, but I HAD mentioned it to my friends and HAD lamented the fact that I had a fear of heights. And just hours later they got to see me stressed out about balloons hanging from the ceiling. That’s when I realized that I might just have a small problem with irrational fears.
I don’t remember if I said anything aloud, other than something like, “Oh my God, there are balloons hanging from the ceiling,” but as soon as I said it, I decided that A) it was far from midnight when they would be releasing said balloons so I was safe, and B) no matter what, I was going to keep it together and play this whole balloon apocalypse cool. Like a bunch of potentially exploding balloons was no big thang. I got this.
Turns out I didn’t “got this”. The restaurant released the balloons just shortly after that. Before our food. As in, there was no way to gracefully run from the restaurant and still look totally cool. So down came the balloons and up went my blood pressure as I struggled to stay calm and nonchalant. But I did it. I ate my dinner, whined inside my head every time a kid came anywhere near me with a balloon and only jumped a little bit when one popped nearby. I’m sure my friends didn’t even notice and most likely thought I was super chill. Most likely.
And in case you were wondering whether or not I died in a natural gas explosion last night, I got this response back from my friend:
I’m just really glad that it’s winter and I don’t have to worry about being attacked by a bunch of bees (don’t even ask).