Let’s not beat around the bush any longer. I’m a little weird…as we all are. I have a few phobias. Everyone has phobias – germs, bugs, flying, public speaking – but these are not mine…these are just a drop in the sea of possibilities. We have many things for which we can fear – qualms that induce sweaty palms; worries that turn our bowels to water, dread which engulfs us – causing great huge shrieks that start at the base of our spins and build towards a crescendo erupting from our mouths – exploding in our brains. These are the things which have power.
(Pretty good opening paragraph, eh?)
These are some of the things which make me uneasy; a little squeamish even.
- Coulrophobia – a fear of clowns
- Ligyrophobia – a fear of balloons popping
- Ophidiophobia – a fear of snakes
Not so odd. Clown hatred is pretty common and completely SANE. They are creepy. Once, my parents made me meet Ronald McDonald when I was about 5 or 6; he gave me a vinyl, rigid, puffy, rectangular sticker and a balloon and if you read the list above, you have to know where that went. What happened might you be wondering? Well, let’s just say it didn’t end well. Not well at all. That was the last time any talk of clown-introductions was mentioned.
At Applebee’s, my friend Lisa, would chase away the ‘entertainer’ that believed it was amusing to twist blown up balloons in my face in exchange for a money. KEEP YOUR FREAKIN’ POODLES TO YOURSELF, BUDDY! She was a godsend.
I almost passed out from the horrors in a car once with a balloon bouquet in the passenger seat with me going across town. Do you know what it’s like to be a passenger in a small car with a balloon-popping baby and 12 balloons on string?
Of course I hate parades – they encourage clowns. And balloons.
Snakes – well, there’s not so much to say. Indiana Jones was afraid; I’m afraid. I’m in good company. And I don’t have any snake stories. Which is good – because if a snake does strike me – I will have to have electroshock therapy to erase it from my mind. Frankly, I don’t want snake stories to share.
But those are small potatoes.
This is the thing that holds power.
This is what I’ve read about it:
Button phobia is a result of an improper brain function, which controls fear and anxiety triggers, and causes the brain to determine that buttons are a fear causing stimuli.
I was secretly thrilled to find out this was a result of a malfunction in my brain.
I’ve had this since…well, since all my life. My mother swears she had to turn my PJs around when I was an infant so that the buttons were in the back, else I’d cry endlessly. I can believe it. It sounds really funny – and it is funny. I’m not traumatized by this or paralyzed – I think it’s interesting. But it has affected my life. The worst scenario was once having to put a button on a string INTO MY MOUTH and my brother did the same. It was some sort of physical therapy exercise he had to do because he couldn’t keep his tongue on the roof of his mouth. I think I vomited on the table. Why my parents thought I could manage this is beyond me.
You also have to figure out a way to break it to a boyfriend. That’s awfully fun. It can be a deal breaker too, unfortunately. I can live with flannels or other button down shirts (at times). But golf shirts – nope. Buttons, collars and V-necks – all together make me EXTRA queasy. Cannot do that. It would have to be a platonic relationship. Scott loves tee-shirts and jeans. And I love him.
I wore a shirt with buttons ONE TIME ONLY; a golf shirt even…I was at Miller’s Outpost, my mother convinced me to try it on – it was pink…I was in 7th grade and had a bad perm. I shudder to think of it.
Thank GOD uniforms were not happening during my school years. I would have had to have a doctor’s note to excuse me from it. I can only imagine what the note would say:
Please excuse Denise from wearing buttons; she has a malfunction of the brain.
And no, buttons on jeans (as long as they’re not extraneous) are OK – they’re metal. For some reason – that makes it better. I don’t wear them. But others in my general vicinity can.
I’m kidding (kind of), I can talk to you if you are wearing buttons. I’m just very aware of them and leery of them touching me at any moment. I’m not a complete freak.
Clowns wear buttons too….