The View from Puncheon Creek: PEEVES AND PHOBIAS

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I have more pet peeves than Elly May had pets. Too many to write about them all so I’ll just mention a few. My peeves include pop cans left sitting in the furniture, jackets on the back of a chair or bar stool, well just plain old clutter, drivers that pass me only to turn off at the next driveway or road, usually less than a half mile after zooming by like a bat out of, well a cave.

Acronyms on the news bug me because I simply do not know what most of them stand for. It took me a while to figure out that HRC was just Hillary’s initials and not Her Royal Countess. What or who is POTUS? Oh, yes! President of the United States.

Phobias are a bit different. There is a phobia for just about everything. Some seem to be impossible to me, such as a fear of a certain color. While I don’t have near as many phobias as I have peeves, I do have a few. Snakes! I abhor snakes; real snakes, plastic toy snakes, snakes on TV, pictures of snakes, you name it. Recently I went to the post office for stamps. The nice lady handed me a card of stamps which I handed right back to her. “I won’t have those” I said. “Some of them are snake stamps”. Wouldn’t you love to receive a beautiful greeting card in the mail with a snake stamp? Not me.

While I do not have phobias of spiders, mice, the dark, thunderstorms and such things many people do. Last I will mention claustrophobia. The fear of close, small, crowded or tight places. Yes, one of mine. 

My peeves and phobias usually aren’t a serious issue. I simply deal with them; toss the pop can, hang up the jacket, clean up the clutter. At a theater and everyone jumps up to leave at once, when the show is over, I wait. I can’t stand to be crowded in the exits. I avoid places where a snake might be. I can’t do anything about rude drivers.

However, a recent occurrence made me realize that a phobia can cause a serious problem. I was scheduled for an MRI on my brain by my hearing doctor. I arrived on the scheduled day and time, then taken back where after a dozen or so questions, such as; any tattoos, partials, metal hooks, a belt, and so on, I was told I would have to lie still for up to 25 minutes. I winced. Then take off your eyeglasses and wristwatch. Lie on your back on the table. Ok! Then a strip of Velcro was strapped across my forehead. Don’t like this. What is this, an execution by lethal injection?

Next a thick, heavy plastic guard was placed on my face. Woah! Don’t know if I can stand this. He then placed a device in my hand and said to squeeze it if I needed them. Bathroom break maybe? Next a dome was slid over my face and past my shoulders. It was only about an inch above my nose. This is when I began to scream “I can’t do it!” My legs were thrashing and I squeezed the life out of the thing. He immediately slid the dome away, took off the face guard and strap. To me it felt like I was in a coffin with the lid closed. He asked if a blindfold would help. No! Blindfold me then put me in a coffin? No way!

While I don’t understand most phobias, I now know how very serious they can be. I can smack that spider and never give it a thought, but there are people who have arachnophobia. The darker the room the better I can sleep. Many people have a fear of the dark, nyctophobia. Fear of bats, Chirotophobia.

Summer storms are fun for me. Others have to batten down during storms.

What causes each person’s phobia? I’m sure there are different causes, but I do remember a college instructor that I had a class under who said we learn most of our fears from our mothers!