Sunday, March 7, 2010

What are you afraid of?

This little blog post stemmed from something that happened Saturday morning at breakfast.

Everyone has a fear of something. Maybe it's a fear of spiders or public speaking, of drowning, or technology. Not everyone let's a fear become a phobia. What exactly is a phobia?

A phobia is defined as:

A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

I fear and hate spiders, but I don't run and hide or have panic attacks when I see one. Instead, I find the biggest shoe I can and while screaming, "Die! Die! Die!" I squish it like a bug. Then I wait a few hours before I clean it up cuz I really do not want to see it. And even when I clean up the now dead bug, I am making faces, holding it as far away from my body as possible, and gagging.

What seems innocuous to some may be debilitating to others. Some fears can cause a series of adverse reactions from increased heart rate and sweating, inability to speak, to full-blown, crippling panic attacks.

What are you afraid of? Is it a phobia?

Me, I'm afraid of beards. No laughing. This is real fear/phobia called Pogonophobia and I have it. As evidenced by an event that took place Saturday morning.

I was at my favorite bagel shop, Big Easy Bagel in Manchester for my usual Saturday breakfast and in walks a friend who almost always joins in the early morning gathering. It had been two weeks since I saw him and in he walks with a full beard. Not only could I not speak, but my heart took off in a speed race, and I broke out in hives.

I quickly gathered myself together, but by that time everyone had seen my ridiculous and irrational behavior, and I had made my friend uncomfortable.

What's worse is that I had just seen this friend a few weeks back and he had barely a whisper of a beard and I had no reaction to it at all. A mustache and goti beard do not affect me. In fact, I have a couple of friends who have beards. How odd sounding is that? If the beard gets too long though, I freak out.

I do not go out of my way to avoid people with beards as I used to when I was a child. When I was little I had an uncle who had a beard and whenever he visited, I would run upstairs and hide. Kind of like my cats do when a stranger comes into the house. Never to be seen again until that person has left the building.

One day my uncle decided he couldn't take me being afraid of him so he shaved off his beard and has never grown it back. For which I am most grateful. I love him very much.

I have never even sat on Santa Claus's lap. I have no proof, but I would bet this irrational fear stems from the whole sitting on Santa Claus's lap thing.

Now that you know my fear/phobia, what are you afraid of?


Keith March 7, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

I think that you have very acutely and accurately determine your problem. Unfortunately, you have not arrived at any solution.

Until you can determine a solution, I would recommend that you carry a can of shaving cream and a razor in your purse. You might also consider going to barber school to gain a little respect for the use of a razor before offering your services. :)

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