I've always been a fearful person. I remember a time as a small child where I wouldn't go out and play for several months unless my Dad was with me, because I had seen a tv show about people who were attacked by dogs. I was terrified that the two friendly Husky pups next door would jump the fence and bite me, or that some random stray would run into our yard and hurt me. I was also afraid of the dark. I'm still somewhat embarrassed to admit that I slept with my bedroom light on until I was ten years old. My Mom still likes to tell the story about how I would be terrifed when I saw a fire engine, because I thought fire fighters actually went around and started fires. I don't know where I got that idea from, but I do remember crying hysterically after a fire truck went down our street when I was about four years old. I was also afraid of storms, new situations, water, and pretty much everything else.
As an adult, I still have plenty of fears, most of them typical. Like any mother, my greatest fear is something bad happening to my children. I also worry about something happening to my husband or my parents, or that I won't be a good enough mother, but those things aren't "ridiculous fears", and they're certainly not fun to write about, either.
I do have to admit that the Burger King guy sort of freaks me out. You know who I mean-the "King" with the giant plastic head and the skinny legs on the commercials. That frozen, snarling grin on the shiny face with the immobile features just makes me shudder. Maybe if he spoke, or did something funny it wouldn't be so bad, but he just sort of quietly enters the scence, taunting me with his freakishly plastic smile, and stares into the camera knowingly. What does he know? He knows that he feaks people out! I can't just be me. Right? I'll admit that my dislike of the King is pretty riduclous, but actually, I find him to be more creepy than scary.
I do have a really ridiculous fear that began in childhood that I've never actually outgrown. Aliens. Yes, aliens. Specifically the little green ones with the big almond shaped eyes. (Because I like to be specific with my irrational fears, you know?) Honestly, I don't really think these aliens are real (which is where the irrational comes in), but you never know. It all started when I was about 7 or 8. We'd gone to visit my Aunt and Uncle, and they sent me home with a big boxful of children's books that my cousins had outgrown. Now I was a good reader for my age; my vocabulary and comprehension skills far exceeded my maturity level, and we've already established the fact that I was afraid of pretty much everything. So, you can just imagine what happened when I found a book in the box about UFOs and aliens. Had my mother known it was in there, she would have surely thrown it away before I could get my innocent, trusting little hands on it. I can still see the cover of the book-it was royal blue, with a blurry, flying saucer on the front. The book contained stories and interviews with people about alien encounters. Photographs and illustrations accompanied the stories, making them look "official". Having been taught the difference between fiction and nonfiction, I assumed that the "real people" telling the stories and the photographs, rather than cartoonish drawings, made this book factual. My world was turned upside down. No longer would I walk down the dark hallway of our house to my bedroom by myself. Sitting in the back of our Pinto station wagon at night with my parents all the way at the front, was out of the question. My mother threw out the book, and tried to convince me that my fears were irrational. I think I finally believed her on some level, but this silly fear has never totally left me. If I see a movie, a picture or a tv show about these aliens (you know, the green ones again?), or watch an interview with a supposed alien abuduction victim, then I can't stand to be alone in a dark room. Sometimes I get a little freaked out when I'm the only one up late at night, and I refuse to look out the back windows of the house, because what if something peers in at me from the other side? I know, I know-I'm a 35 year old woman who worries about little green men. SOMETIMES! Only sometimes. The rest of the time, I'm a reasonably sane (stop laughing!), secure and rational person, really! So that is my ridiculous fear-not heights, or ghosts, or clowns (such cheery, givers of laughter and joy that they are!), but aliens.
I just had a scary thought! Maybe the reason the King has such a big mask is because underneath.......is a.... bigoldgreenslimyalienhead! With almond shaped eyes! Yikes! I KNEW there was something I didn't trust about that guy!