A while back a few friends and I sat about and discussed random things like fistulas and camping and how there is more e-coli on your lemon slices in your innocent glass of water at the bar that you’d care to know. It’s fascinating to reflect on how we grow up and go from eating mud pies to freaking out if we don’t get to wash our hands before dinner or if the waiter put the slice of lemon in our water. And that little things like what you think about the lemons in your free water can affect your day.
Take for example Husband; Husband is a wickedly smart, logical guy and yet Husband has issues eating in other people’s houses. He can’t. He has issues swallowing apples. He will chew them for days and can never swallow. He freaks out if you flush the toilet with the lid up. And yet, as my dear friend pointed out to me, he takes his iPad into the bathroom with him for his “board meetings” as Husband calls his time in there.
A quick search of all things gross that could be on your phone and I came up with this quiz - How many germs live on your cell phone? Try it. A few simple clicks and it says I have 1,258,320 germs on my phone right now. Exciting.
And I don’t even take it into the bathroom and have a two-hour “board meeting” like Husband is wont to do. So this perfectly logical and insanely smart guy can’t eat in other peoples home and yet germs on his iPad don’t seem to be a problem for him – well, until now. If he reads it, all bets are off. He’s likely to have to get a bathroom iPad to solve the cooties problem. Damn, what have I done?
Anyway, I find Husband really is a study in what your brain chooses to handle and what your brain chooses to freak out about.
For example, Husband can’t fly. He can fly. He didn’t make it to America by boat. But he hates to fly, is terrified to the point where he can’t sleep for days before a flight and turns into a rat bastard of the mightiest proportions. He can tell you what brought down every plane in every major plane accident. And he will. Over and over again.
He can tell you the statistics on plane crashes due to faulty maintenance service or manufacturing gone wrong. And he will. Over and over again. He can tell you the odds of dying in a plane crash are lower than dying in a car crash and yet still he won’t get on a plane unless he has to. Husband hates to fly.
For my birthday one year, he wanted to take me to Hawaii but the thought of flying there had him looking for alternate routes. He decided a cruise was the way to go – an eight-day-at-sea cruise.
We’d been on a cruise before, for our honeymoon, a lovely surprise gift from Brother. We were on that ship for eight days and spoke to one person who was not on the ship’s staff. One single person! We’d been married for four months at that point so it had nothing to do with locking ourselves in our cabin to make the love. We just don’t do small talk with strangers very well at all. Eight days is a long time to not speak to anyone but your Husband. And that was on a cruise that had stops at various islands. The thought of eight days at sea with just him and me and five thousand other folks we were not speaking to? Not appealing in the least.
I insisted on a trial run cruise to see if we’d improved our social skills and could manage to smile and talk to others. We did a two-day trial run from Vancouver to San Francisco. We weren’t much better. We spoke to one person who, it turns out, was randomly was connected to a parent who had caused me major grief during a school function earlier that year. Said icky parent was on board the ship with us! We spent the rest of the trip making quick forays to the buffet for endless eating and then hustling back to our room and hiding on our balcony to avoid running into her.
We drove to Vegas for my birthday.
This year were going to go to St. Thomas with friends. They have a timeshare so all we had to do was get our butts there. But you can’t drive to St. Thomas. You have to fly in. And, even though I repeatedly told Husband it wasn’t the airport where the planes fly over the beach, he was unable to get past his fear. He couldn’t get his brain to push aside all that could go wrong and focus on the beach and the bright blue sky.
We’re not going to St. Thomas. Because Husband can’t fly.
While I make fun of him and gleefully point out his issues to all we meet, I know I’m not immune. I have my own set of foibles that will send me screaming for the hills. Trying to shop in Costco on a Saturday is likely to make me ram people with my cart while screaming obscenities and generally offending everyone. Poor Father-in-law was witness to that little brain-exploding episode last weekend. The thought of Christmas shopping in a mall is likely to send me into a dark hole of depression. I cannot get out of my car at the mall. I just sit there, watching folks walk in and out and cannot move. I have to drive home weep-screaming and shop online.
So, while I can tease Husband till the cows come home, I am fully aware we all have issue we cannot logically overcome. Be yours spiders or snakes or cows, may you be able to make it through today laughing about it, not curled up in a corner shrieking. We are all going to die at some point. The goal is not to die while running away from your stupid fear.
Because, while that would be very funny, it would also be sad.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me