Panic room: phobias I’d rather live without

We all have our little neuroses, times when we panic, times when our fight or flight response kicks in.  I have numerous phobias that I will admit to.  So I thought I would compile a list of panic-inducing moments for me.  Some have happened, some haven’t, all might.

  • Coming into close proximity to a skunk, having to remain still so it doesn’t spray me (it gets worse) then having swarms of bloodthirsty mosquitoes attack me.  A real fear, around here!
  • Still on the insect front: driving along with my window down when a bee or wasp comes in and stings me repeatedly.  The part I’m afraid of: careening off the road because I’m busy batting at a bee.
  • Papercuts.  Not that they hurt per se.  I just use a lot of hand sanitizer.
  • Germs.  See above.
  • Going to bed with little on/something embarrassing on and having to escape due to fire or unforseen circumstances.  I’m pretty sure firefighters won’t make fun of a gal for wearing Strawberry Shortcake/Spongebob Squarepants jammies, but then again, maybe they will.  Note to self: don’t buy cartoon jammies.
  • Eating a huge buffet meal, then getting hiccups.
  • Filling my car with gas before realizing I have no money/my debit won’t work/I left my wallet home.  Do they siphon it out?  Call the police?  Or make you wash dishes?  Wait, that’s a restaurant.
  • Eating at a restaurant before realizing all of the above.  Plus, I break dishes like a cat plays with yarn, so I may owe more than I work off through menial labour.
  • Walking out of a store with merchandise under my arm that I honestly and truly forgot to purchase.  I can’t tell the police I forgot to pay for it; that’s the line everyone and their dog uses, you know it is!
  • Leaving my wallet in the wrong spot.  Already, I’ve left it in a mall washroom (had to collect it from the information desk) and on the trunk of my car at the gas station.  Thankfully the wallet chose to fall off right by the pumps.  It’s very embarrassing to give your name in order to collect your forgotten purse.  I prefer to slink away, unnamed and unknown.

Top prize goes to the following scenario:

You’re at the store, trying something on, sardined into a wee little dressing room where mirrors are watching you from every angle.

Suddenly, it hits you.  Your stomach churns.

The shirt you put on is too small.  Way too small.

But you can’t take it off because you’ve turned into the Incredible Hulk and now have beefcake shoulders.

You try to move.

Then you hear it: seams ripping.

Hopefully the salesperson outside doesn’t hear it.  Maybe there’s no hole.  Let me see.  No hole.  At least I don’t think so.

Oh crap.  Are they watching me?  What if there’s a video camera in here filming me?  Aw, some rent-a-pig in the mall is laughing it up right about now.

The struggle ensues.

You begin wondering: How did Houdini dislocate his shoulders on command?  I’m not suspended in water; I can do this.

Shoot.  I’m stuck.  I’ll have to ask for a pair of scissors and pay for the shirt.  I’ll never be able to shop here again.  I’ll always be known as the woman who had to be cut out of a shirt.

End scene.

I’m a chronic second-hand shopper (Frenchy’s and so on) so I tend to get myself in over my head, so to speak.  Sometimes I’ll try on stuff that I, quite frankly, should leave in the bin or on the hanger.  Optimism gets me into the mess and abandons me when I need it most: in the dressing room.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find some Valium or chocolate; I’ve retrieved too many repressed memories.

Sure hope I can pay for them once they're filled.

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