10 Terrifying Things

July 18, 2013

Linking up with MamaKat today, answering the prompt: List 10 things you’re afraid of.

Mama’s Losin’ It


I’ll begin this post by saying how difficult it was to narrow the field of things I find freaky down to a mere list of 10. Anyone who knows me at all is cognizant of the fact that I’m a card-carrying member of the Chickenshit Posse. I have never been a brave girl and the woman version of me is faring no better. Cluck, cluck.

But I had to pick only ten items and I’m an obedient soul, so here goes:

10 Things Dana Will Lose Her Shit Over:


1. Crowds of People.  I hate people. Why do I hate people, you ask? Because people expect you to converse with them. Plus, most people are morons. Clearly, I am one of those morons because only morons attend a conference with 5,000 attendees (when they fear people) of their own free will. Oh, BlogHer 13…why did you seduce me into thinking I could pretend to be normal?

2. Birds. And it’s not for the Hitchcock reason. The reason I hate birds goes far back into my past. When I was a little kid, there was only one thing I despised more than the banana-flavored medicine from Hell, and that was getting my hair washed. I had naturally curly hair that tangled and Mama was a notoriously vigorous hair washer, and those two things don’t mix, let me tell you. I actually would hide from Mama as soon as I saw her get out the shampoo. One summer day in paradise North Dakota, Mama corralled me and gave my strands a thorough scrubbing. Afterwards, pissed off at the indignity that is getting your hair washed, I stormed outside. I hadn’t been outside 5 minutes before I felt something warm and squishy land on my head. That’s right, readers. A bird shit on my sparkly shampooed head. Then followed a critical dilemma: did I tell Mama about it immediately and suffer hair torture again or could I stall a while in the chance she wouldn’t notice?  As if. Mama notices everything. Hair torture #2. Then I went back outside. Because I’m a moron. Damned if that bird didn’t crap on my head again. It was a strong sign from the universe that birds are evil, vindictive assholes. They terrify me to this day.

3. Yeast. The kind you bake with. Yeast is alive! It’s terrifying! Just ask the Bread-Making Fiasco of 1985. Scarred me for life.

4. Grasshoppers. See here.

5. Ferris wheels. I know. It’s stupid. If I fear heights, why don’t I fear roller coasters? Well, that’s because roller coasters go fast. If you’re stuck on a ferris wheel, it squeaks and meanders at a sloth-like pace and you get so bored that you forget not to look down and AGGGG.

6. The dentist. Yes, I am one of those freaks who fears the dentist. You can stick a needle into any orifice in my body and I won’t flinch, but come at me with one of those little mirrors and picky thingies? Uh-uh.

7. That thing in the back of the cheese compartment of my refrigerator. It’s been there since Thanksgiving, I think.

8. The possibility that my kids may go on Oprah.

9. Flies. Hey, I wrote a research paper in high school biology on the book To Know a Fly. You don’t want to know a fly. Disgusting.

10. A ringing telephone. I don’t do phone. I give shitty phone and just the sound of a phone ringing makes my sphincter clench up into my lung cavity. Never call me maybe. Ever.


Love you, readers. I don’t know why you put up with my neuroses, but I’m sure glad you do. And if you’re going to BlogHer 13 and haven’t let me know, let me know already! I’ll be the one in the corner hiding from other people and not answering the telephone.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby July 18, 2013 at 8:42 am

The phone scares the crap out of me, as do any amusement park rides. However, I love the dentist and figure I could take a bird if I had to–depending on the size ;)


Kristin July 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

I love and second “I give shitty phone.” Visiting through the Writing Workshop linky. G


Barbara July 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

My list is shorter….but I’m with you on the dentist (and most doctors), but I face them bravely now. I have to.
Bats do me in…snakes are right up there too.
Flying, of course. I have to take a valium to get on a plane. (I start to get hysterical before the suitcase is closed and my daughter watches from a distance and then comes up to me and with this look in her eye and says quietly: go take your pill.) You can imagine how flying to Europe for the first time, by myself, to visit her when she lived in Paris, was a feat of extreme bravery.
I’ve also learned to speak in front of 40 people, but more might bother me. Some things DO get better with age. :)
Of course, the fears one has for ones children never goes away.


TKW July 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm


Miss M. willingly held a TARANTULA a while ago. I flipped.

And yes. Oh, yes, The fear for your children.


Arnebya July 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

1. I got you. I will check out of the crowds for you in a heartbeat and we’ll find ourselves in a tiny cafe a block away from the hotel and all of its chatty peoples with business cards.
3. Agree. For other reasons.
9. I am thinking Seth Brundle found out too much. Way too much.


TKW July 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

To Know a Fly is seven kinds of wrong!


Katybeth July 18, 2013 at 9:25 am

The three letter rodent that begins with an R; these rodents are a part of city life but the mere site of one will cause me to burst into tears. An event happened when I first moved to Chicago that triggered this fear–I was not bitten, one did not even run over my foot but the moment, time, and place triggered a fear I can not get past. And Lord knows I have tried. I hate being afraid of things. I don’t do roller coasters or ferris wheels not because I’m afraid but because I have good sense. :-D


Debbie July 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

Good thing birds can’t make phone calls.

I have dental surgery today and mostly fear the sedation, because I don’t want to be on YouTube tomorrow saying stupid shit.


TKW July 18, 2013 at 10:26 am


The words “dental surgery” strike fear into my heart.


TKW July 18, 2013 at 10:21 am

ARNEBYA are you shitting me? You had to read that book, too! Gah! It was horrifying!

ps: re #1. Taking you up on that offer.

pps: gimme your digits, girl.


Naptimewriting July 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

[pssst. don’t leave me networking by myself. The word netowking gives me hives. Maybe we need an introvert tribe for the lunch? And it will be in a suburbian cafe far, far away.]


TKW July 21, 2013 at 9:24 am

Yes. Bring the Valium Salt Lick and I’ll bring the Everclear Drinking Fountain.


Shannon July 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

1. Uh-huh. But meeting you will make it all better.
2. Love birds in the distance, but don’t go flying around my head.
5. I have an unreasonable fear of ferris wheels that has no basis in logic.

Maybe you and I should get on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier and charge people to watch. We could make a killing.


TKW July 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm


Only if I get a martini first.


Jamie July 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm

I have bartered with the Flying Spaghetti Monster (my Jesus) on many occasions over the dentist. I’ve given it a lot of thought. I would get a weekly pelvic exam to avoid the biannual dentist visit. I’ve cried in the waiting room as an ADULT. Pathetic! Glad I’m not the only one!

Also, Ferris wheels are on par with ski lifts. Never again. Why are there no seat belts?!?!


TKW July 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm


You need to come clean with your dentist and admit that you are a weirdo freak about oral hygiene and they will call in a Xanax for you before you go. Not that I know anything about that.


Nina July 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

ha! I’m with you on all of these except the phone. I’ve retrained myself to become a phone person once I realized that I didn’t want texting and emailing to replace all of my communication with family and friends!


TKW July 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm


I’d like to be you when I grow up. Still dodging the phone in my 40’s. I give really spectacular email, though…


Sherri July 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Totally agree with you on phone….. would just rather not – ya know!


Erica July 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Snakes. Especially snakes that come in my house when I am naked. Twice.

Crowds. Meeting new people. Public speaking. Cocktail hour “meet and greet” at business confrences. That covers most of my social anxiety.


TKW July 20, 2013 at 7:14 am


I need the naked snake stories. I just do.


TKW July 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm


Where are my naked snake stories? * tapping foot*


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me July 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Anything with more legs than a dog – I get short of breath, heart palpitations, the works. I should probably see someone about that. It’s bad.


TKW July 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm


Tell me that you don’t live in Texas. They have these tree roaches that hang on tree leaves and then drop onto your head. Gah! Not that anything like that’s ever happened to me…


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me July 24, 2013 at 8:21 am

No, up here in the Northeast where the bugs are normal size. I’ve been to South Caroline and Florida, though, and I do NOT like the roaches there. Palmetto bugs my ass – those are roaches. Big, ugly, eat your cat alive roaches. Bleah. (Shivers.) If anything ever dropped out of a tree onto my head that wasn’t bird crap, I would die on the spot.


SuziCate July 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

All perfectly legit things to be terrified of…if I was going to Blog Her I’d be hiding in the corner with you, but I’d probably be texting a friend back home for reassurance!


Caitlin July 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I will be at BlogHer too! Hopefully we will cross paths! I’m also terrified about meeting new people.

5. I’m OK with ferris wheels, but I HATE roller coasters!


TKW July 20, 2013 at 7:15 am


I will meet you in the janitor’s closet in the Sheraton. I will bring the Twizzlers.


Caitlin July 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

lol. i love twizzlers! :)


TKW July 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

ps: email me your cell # and do NOT miss the Newbie Breakfast because so many amazing women will be there (Alexandra Rosas, do you hear me?) I will try to haul ass and be there too. Can’t wait to meet you.


Dyanne @ I Want Backsies July 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm

1, 4, 5, 6, 10 – YES. 9 would be my 14 year old daughter’s big fear. Probably never should have told her they eat poop and dead things.


TKW July 20, 2013 at 7:16 am


They also barf on their food before they eat it.


Forgive me?


Rob July 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

I was with you all the way down that list, with few exceptions –
I hate the dentist and all other needles!
My kids will never go on Oprah (she doesn’t have a talk show anymore) – I’m sure you meant Dr. Phil.
I have caller ID, so I never have to worry about answering the phone, but please DO NOT KNOCK ON MY DOOR UNANNOUNCED! That scares the crap out of me!

You brave, brave soul – going to Blog Her 13 :) Last time I was in a crowd, I had a panic attack. Take Valium or Xanax or something along – just in case :) Keep a bottle of wine in your room…


TKW July 20, 2013 at 7:17 am


Those recommendations make you aces in my book. You can come hide in a crowd with me any time.


Jennifer July 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

You’ll do fine at BlogHer. No one there is normal. They are all crowd hating introverts. Except for me. I’m a crowd hating extrovert.


Naptimewriting July 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

We blog because we fear talking to people? Why did I not think of that? We’re like hyperverbal gamers.

Thanks for the “see them in their underpants” moment for BlogHer!


Tiffany July 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

#5 and 10 is why I love you so….same for me!!


Kat July 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

Ferris Wheels! HATE’EM!

The possibility your kids could go on Oprah made me laugh out loud. I won’t miss that episode!


TKW July 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Pretty sure they’d talk a blue streak. And it would all start with, “Mommy was being an angryweirdo and did…”


Naptimewriting July 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Some asshat talked me into going on a ferris wheel once as an adult. I must have been drinking to agree. I screeched and clutched the side every time the stupid thing stopped to let someone off. And I’ll be damned if we weren’t on there for fifty-seven hours before someone stopped it for us to get off.

Terrifying. Stupid. Horrible. Asshattery of the first degree.


Dawn July 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I think this is a perfectly sane and normal list of scary things. You are not alone. And I bet you have fun in spite of yourself at the bloggy thing.


Alison July 21, 2013 at 3:09 am

Oh hello fellow bird/ people/ dentist fearer/ hater!

(have fun at BlogHer, jealous, wish I could meet you!))


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri July 22, 2013 at 10:41 am

I wish I was going to Blogher to meet you! Alas, I might just have to make it Colorado one of these days. I am totally with you on ferris wheels and ringing telephones.


Velva July 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I am smiling…If only I could articulate/describe they way you do about things that freak me out.



Biz July 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

I didn’t even know BlogHer was in my town Chicago this weekend – gah! Wish I had the $$ to go, if nothing more than to meet your face!

Good luck this weekend, you’ll do fine!

Hugs, Biz


Liz July 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Shit girl. I am freakishly scared of the dentist and groups of people and don’t like the phone (which is probably why I never called you when you offered when my sister was going through all that cancer shit and you gave me your number and I guess it worked out because I would have been all neurotic and not good at it and you wouldn’t have been any better and then what?). And I have something similar to your bird issue but it’s lizards. I live in Florida. Do you know how many lizards there are in Florida?


faemom July 26, 2013 at 12:21 am

Are you kidding me?
I hate crowds. Since I was a baby. The only time I came near to a panic attack was in a crowd.
I hate birds. They’re disgusting. And evil.
Yeast only terrifies me because I have baking issues with it. Stupid yeast. Rise already.
Ferris wheels. I f-ing hate man-made heights. Except roller coasters.
The dentist because I have no dental insurance. Those bills are scary.
Flies are disgusting.
The phone. Oh god, the phone. Since I was a kid. I have to take a running start to call a stranger. Then I never get the person or the right person. Then it takes days and many more calls. I let all strange numbers go to voice mail. Thank God for texting.
Also I hate spiders, scorpions, snakes, and cactus. Too bad I live in the desert.


Samantha Angela July 30, 2013 at 11:30 am

Yeast isn’t all that scary and it can be really fun to work with yeasted dough (or, say, kneading dough to relieve frustration)


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