What are you afraid of?
I mean, aside from the usual suspects, like terrorism and cellulite?
Fortunately, I’m not held hostage by a fear of chopsticks (onsecotaleophobia) or clowns (oulrophobia). My fears are a little more obscure than that:
1.) Postslumberpartyphobia. Sending your kid to a birthday sleepover is a double-edged sword. The good side: a little less chaos at home, a little more “You Time” (pint of Chunky Monkey, purely optional). The bad side: your angel returns the next morning, jacked up on sugar, Cheetohs and sleep deprivation. But hey, look on the bright side. They didn’t play “High School Musical” 15 times in a row at your house!
2.) Retailshakedownphobia. There aren’t enough wine spritzers in the world to make me attend a Pampered Chef or Longaberger party. Yes, I could buy a $100 basket with a $37 liner, but frankly, I’d rather fund my retirement. And to those hostesses who claim, “You don’t have to buy anything. Just come!” I beg to differ. The estrogen-fueled peer pressure at these events takes a page from the Mob playbook. Soon, I’m slapping down $59 for the “Ultimate Mandoline” so I’m not shunned by the women in my ‘hood.
3.) Latrinachatphobia. This is a two-parter. Part one: having a co-worker continue a lengthy conversation as I go into the loo (seriously, closing the door means I’ll pick this up in a minute). The sequel: having someone in the adjacent stall continue their cell phone conversation while doing their business. Both involve the same conundrum: When’s a girl supposed to flush?
4.) Nudiegymphobia. Modesty is severely underrated and overdue for a comeback. Like when I’m in the locker room at the gym? Don’t want to talk with naked strangers about whether I’ve taken the Pilates class. I understand there’s a period of necessary nudity before and after you shower, but I’m not particularly comfortable chatting when I can see your tampon string dangling. Really. Do everyone a favor. Grab a towel. Then we’ll talk.
5.) Apostrophobia. Others can sail through life, blissfully unaware of spelling errors and bad punctuation, but I am a writer. It’s traumatic to see phrases like, “The biggest sale in it’s history” or “Your cordially invited…” All I can do is wince, avert my gaze and move on. My only solace is that millions of grammar junkies (OK, at least 12!) share my pain.
6.) Ventischmentiphobia. Sometimes, a person just wants a simple cup of coffee. Don’t really want to learn a new language to do it. So, Starbucks. Time to retire the cult lingo. Since I can’t remember which is bigger, the “venti” or “grande,” I’ll be chillin’ at Dunkin’ Donuts ‘til you get over yourself.
Now, it's your turn to 'fess up to YOUR phobias!