What Are You Afraid Of?

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself..."

"Fear is not the natural state of civilized people..."

"Fear makes the wolf bigger than it really is..."
Good quotes, but EASY FOR THEM TO SAY!!! We're afraid of all kinds of crazy stuff, and it changes with age. Right now, I'm afraid of things I never even thought of when I was a kid (Losing Tamara, open heights, getting really sick, people attacking me at night or in my home, failure, Democrats in the White House, etc.) But as a kid, my fears were much different. As were the fears of my siblings. In this completely subjective and biased survey, let's examine the expressed fears of my siblings and myself and rate them. I'll use a scale of 1-5 heart attacks to measure the fear, with 1 being the least scary, and 1-5 Spocks to measure the logic or rationality of each fear, with 1 being very irrational.
Juli was afraid of...

1) The Dark: Though darkness itself cannot harm anyone, it can be very intimidating. Even in your own home, as a kid, you're always wondering what, if anything, is waiting for you just beyond the edge of the light. Almost all the time, there is nothing there to fear (and the other times, it's usually a cruel sibling waiting to jump out at you). But the fear is there, nonetheless. I give her fear: 4 heart attacks, and 4 Spocks

2) Other People: People can be scary to kids, and not because of the way they smell. Social situations can be really awkward and many kids don't adjust as quickly or ably as others. For this fear: 2.5 heart attacks and 3.5 Spocks

Emily was afraid of...

1) Tornadoes: A very legitimate fear. They're huge, dark, tear things up and throw them around, and ridicuously destructive. Tornadoes get: 5 heart attacks and 5 Spocks
2) Fires: Do I even really have to go here? It's FIRE! It burns, it scathes, it crisps, it makes thick black dark choking smoke! Fire also gets: 5 heart attacks and 5 Spocks

3) Looking Out of Windows With No Curtains: Um, don't know what spurred this, but it's only legit if it's dark outside. I give it: 3.5 heart attacks and 3 Spocks

4) Showers (unconfirmed): Juli says Em was afraid to take showers alone and had to have someone in the bathroom at the same time or some such. If it's real, it's funny to look back on, and if it's not real, it's still funny. For showers: 1 heart attack and .5 Spocks

I think there were others but I can't remember them.

Elise was afraid of...

1) Ghosts: this stemmed from "Lady in White," which I guess is scary enough. Mostly because we were so used to seeing Mona from "Who's the Boss?" as a funny woman and now we were seeing her as a skeletal and weird crazy cat-lady (without the cats). But ghosts were pretty okay. Haunting score: 4 heart attacks and 4 Spocks

2) Mirrors: Apparently this was brought on by "Poltergeist III," which really wasn't that scary. The mirror scene from "Watcher in the Woods" was a more scary. Mirrors can be scary, I guess, but they get: 2 heart attacks and 2 Spocks

Beckie was afraid of...

1) Fires: this is because of "The Towering Inferno," which I have yet to see. But again, the thought of being trapped in a room as everything, from your (in my case) Superman underwear and He-Man action figures burning and melting, respectively, is horrifying. Flames get: 5 heart attacks and 5 tornadoes

2) Clowns: not based on "It," as one might think, but rather on the creepy clowns from "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." Yeah, they're creepy and they tear up bicycles! Cool bicycles with cool horns and gadgets! Clowns as a whole? Jack Handey summed it up: "To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kinda scary. I've wondered where this started, and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus and a clown killed my dad." Painted monsters get: 3.5 heart attacks and 3.5 Spocks

I was afraid of...
1) No, not the Wicked Witch...Tornadoes: it's all because Mom and Dad like to watch "The Wizard of Oz." I cried when the sirens sounded. And now, I'd give anything to see one for real! I even dream about seeing them and get excited because I think it's real...and then I wake up. My tornado fear merits: 5 heart attacks and 5 Spocks

2) Evil spirits: okay, this is really a one time thing. Long story short: I was at David Lowe's house, we wanted to do that dumb "look in a mirror and say "Bloody Mary" 50 times" kind of game. Larry, David's dad, found out, and gave us a long lecture on evil spirits and how stupid it is to even joke around with that kind of thing. We didn't sleep that night. So, because evil spirits are real and they can do bad things if you provoke (or invoke) them, this gets: 7 heart attacks and 6 Spocks

3) Murderers from "Unsolved Mysteries": I always hoped they weren't from Missouri so they wouldn't come find us. And I was always scared of seeing one through that big (bay?) window inthe Route Z house in the living room, because it was big and right behind the TV. Murderers easily get: 4 heart attacks and 4 Spocks

Sarah was afraid of...

1) Body Snatchers: this is the only thing I can remember...I didn't call and ask if there was anything else, nor was there need to...this one's a doozy (Love you, Sarah! Don't hate me for poking fun at your fear). So for my birthday party, we rented "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," about pod people from space who replace us and look like us and they have no emotions and are all around creepy. Being afraid is somewhat understandable. So Sarah would have had a good case for being legitimately scared......except she would get scared at the WEIRDEST TIMES! We'd be sitting at dinner and she'd get scared and we'd ask why and she'd say "I'm thinking about the Body Snatchers." Sarah, you're the best and we love you. But Body Snatchers get: 2.5 heart attacks and 2.5 Spocks
Kirsten was afraid of...

1) The Basement (not the one on the Alamo): Okay, so it may be dark, dank and dreary (name that movie), but that's why God invented light switches. Of course, I have spent many years living in the basement (some of Route Z, none of Live Oak Lane, and all of Parker), so I might be biased. But then again, so is this entire thing! Basements get: 3 heart attacks and 2.5 Spocks

2) Tornadoes: I think she said this to dissuade me from making fun of her basement fear, but it still earns: 5 heart attacks and 5 Spocks

Conclusion: Clearly, Beckie, Emily and I have the most rational fears (Kirsti does by default for her quick thinking when I laughed at her- love you, sis). Juli is a good middle ground, and Elise, Sarah and Kirsti make up the bottom three. But we love you and all these fears do is give us something to laugh about and distract us from what we really should fear:

THE RISING COST OF EDUCATION!!!! (ka-pow, KAPOW, pow bang pop.........that was, um, the lightning)


Tamara said…
That REAL biased, babe! Hate to say it, but bathtubs would not make the top three list. And I agree w/ Kirsti...basements ARE scary!!! And since you didn't ask Sarah for anything else that scared her, I'm not sure it's fair to judge her based on her ONE answer...it's better than bathtubs (although it does make the top of the funny list).
Peeser said…
First of all, I don't know if it's funny or lame (or, in the spirit of the post, just scary) that you pulled a "My Little Pony" movie reference (and it is funny, lame, and scary that I recognized it, though I guarantee most of the other siblings would, too).
Second, I would like to point out YET AGAIN that I wasn't afraid of the mirrors themselves. I had no problem looking in mirrors in reality. What freaked me out was how certain movies used mirrors to portray this horrific parallel dimension and how they could suck you in through your own reflection. While Poltergeist III gave me nightmares (as I would replay some of those freaky scenes in my subconscious), it did NOT make me afraid to look into mirrors. Actually, to the contrary, I do think it contributed to my rather bizarre fascination with the idea of parallel dimensions/mirror worlds (I remember being quite fascinated by the creepy-cool way Ellie kept writing backwards in The Watcher in the Woods...)

Okay, sorry for the rant. I realize that the post is funnier on the basis that I was afraid of mirrors, which is why I don't really want to quibble over factual details or demand that you edit the post. I just want to set the record straight.

Thank you.
Beckie said…
Okay, first off, I LOVED this entry. I love looking at old fears and new ones, (I'm with you on the open heights, all the way), and I love your picture descriptions. And I am amazed by your memory. You have me pegged to a T. Very impressed.

Also, loved the shoutout to Unsolved Mysteries. Do you remember how that music would freak us out b/c we would anticipate the murders/ghosts to come? And now I'm scared of that window that I'm not even around anymore. It's funny how we would still watch Unsolved Mysteries despite how scary it was.

And I lived the "Bloody Mary" experience as well, but with Sarah Seibert and Wendy Lowe. And I believe Mom gave us the exact same lecture. Is it wrong that later in life, I still wanted to do it?

And remember Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? That babysitter one STILL freaks me out. When I'm home in October, remind me to tell you a story similar to that one. It's great.

Lastly, I agree with Tamara that basements can be scary, but Sarah doesn't deserve any slack. You really had to be there. She would start BAWLING about it! Which is sad, I guess, except I'm laughing too hard at the memory to be empathetic.

Again, I can't say enough about how entertained I was by this blog. Well done, brother. I have much more to say, but I've taken up enough room.
emily said…
i'm laughing out loud, too... PICTURING poor Sarah and her dinnertime "bodysnatchers" freakout... Too cute/sad!

and I REALLY don't remember the shower thing, but maybe it had to do with all my other "scared of the evil things at night" things... 'Cause we all bathed at night... and I maybe didn't want to look in the mirror when I got out, or something. I dunno. But that wasn't a deep fear, truly. The fires/tornadoes on the other hand? DEEP, PAINFUL, CRYING-ON-THE-SCHOOL-BUS-COMING-HOME EVERY-DAY fear... It was BAAAD. So thanks for the "5"s.

Great post!
Dad was afraid of his basement, too. Kirsti, you are vindicated. I posted on Emily's blog that I was afraid of the street light that shined through my bedroom window in El Paso.

Of course, you all know I am afraid of snakes and I really do not like heights and closed in spaces.
Sarah Lambson said…
Just a few comments on all this.

I remember being afraid of the body snatchers. I only vaguely remember randomly crying at the weirdest times. The most vivid memory I have of that fear was this: I was night and I was kneeling down to pray and either in my minds eye or through a very active imagination I believed that I could see a vine with small pods starting to grow out from under the bed. I kid you not. Does anyone remember how long this phobia lasted?

Just so you know, for a long time I was afraid of the cracks under closed doors (I was afraid of hands reaching out from under them and grabbing me. This was usually a problem at night), and I was also afraid of the Jaws music even though I have still not seen that movie to this day. The idea of a shark scared me. I even had a dream once in which the jaws music was playing and a shark fin poked out of the floor of my bedroom. I think that believed that the jaws music could summon sharks.

Thats all that I can think of. And just so you all don't feel TOO GUILTY (laying on the sarcasm) about laughing at me, I am right there laughing along with you. My fear was pretty hilarious.
Peeser said…
just in case you ever read this, I thought of another one- granted, this is still an irrational fear, but this is the only thing I remember being afraid of on a regular basis:
Do you remember that one house on Evergreen Loop out in Woodridge (I think that was the name of the neighborhood on the paper route)? There was that one small house that I hated to walk by because I was convinced that the people who lived there (who I never actually saw, by the way) were murderers. I don't remember why I thought that, only that something in my imagination went into overdrive one day with regards to that house...

just another irrationality to add to your list of fears.
Peeser said…
Yeah, so I thought of a couple more:

One moment of heart-pounding fear was when, on our way to visit a college in VA, the truck hydroplaned and spun around three times through the grassy median (lucky us it wasn't concrete) before stopping to face the oncoming traffic on the highway... Fortunately, Dad had enough presence of mind to pull the truck back into the grassy median before any head-on collisions could occur...
(car crashes, however, did not become a regular fear, despite that terrifying incident)

And a fear I had throughout my mission was that you (STeven) would get killed while serving your mission. I don't even know what triggered this... I don't think it had anything to do with Russian/American relations at the time- I just had a horrible feeling that somehow or other, you would get killed and that I would never see you again in this life... I prayed so hard for your safety throughout my mission and was so relieved when, as I got off the plane, I saw you standing there with Dad and Mom and Kirsti and Emily...

so, there you are.

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