It can take perfectly normal, sensible people and turn them into shrieking toddlers.
There are degrees of fear.
A general feeling of disquiet over a thought or possible event.
Anxiety and worry about our loved ones.
A raised heart rate, dry mouth, wide eyes....
Then there is the 'fight or flight' adrenaline pumping full blown : Holy sh*t I'm about to lose it, jumping around like a ninja kind of fear.
I feel it when I think about snakes. When I get surprised by a picture of one, the idea of one.
I wrote about my INTENSE fear of snakes in Snakes Alive.
I understand the feeling, the fear, the irrationality of the reaction. I understand the superpowers a person can instantly develop in their need to escape. I want to vomit at the notion that one might be in the backyard, near my kids or my animals (or me!). I will argue loudly that snakes should all be rounded up and sent to the Galapagos Islands. Far away from me.
And yet, weirdly when someone else is experiencing that same level of fear, over something that doesn't really bother me, it's hard not to find their reaction hilarious.
On Thursday night my friend came to visit for a while, we chatted, made some plans...
Then she got ready to go home. I walked her out to her car in the cold winter darkness. She climbed into the drivers seat, flicked her hair and promptly LOST HER MIND !
I have never seen anyone climb out of a car so quickly, she leapt over the centre console, levitated across the passenger seat and threw herself out the door on the other side of the car all while shrieking like a fire alarm. A spider which, according to her ,was "as big as a walrus" had dropped past her hand.
This is the point when you would think that as a caring friend I would have be gentle and caring, soothing and full of compassion. And I would have been, had I not been laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants. There she is begging "Lisa, Lisa, you have to find it. Now, You have to !" And I'm snorting, doubled over in the middle of the road.
Eventually I found some composure. The spider had of course taken itself into a small dark corner and I couldn't find it. We sprayed an entire can of fly spray in the car, closed the doors and she took my car home. The next morning I checked again and returned her car to her, twitching from the nerve gas lingering in the car. I had checked under the seats, flipped down all the sun visors, searched in the glove box and found no spidery evilness. No doubt the poor little thing jumped out of the car as quickly as she did and went to find more welcoming accommodations.
That's why we are friends. I will take over when walrus spiders attack her, and she will protect me when nasty evil snakes cross my path.
Because that's what friends are for.
What is your irrational fear? Have you ever had to face it?
Linking up this week with Raychael from Ms Mystery Case for I Must Confess
Please visit Raychael for more bloggy confessions, and the prompt for next weeks exposé.