Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fear Anyone?



Lois Greiman

Fear. It’s a funny thing. Sometimes it makes sense. Sometimes it’s silly. Sometimes it’ll save your life and…well, you tell me.

Here’s the deal: I think I told you guys last year that I began riding in a silly little class called tandem bareback with a friend. I’ll call her Colleen--cuz that’s her name.

Anyway, we were so dazzling as tandemers that we qualified for the Championship Show. Ergo, we were sitting in the coliseum watching other classes when what should come up but the rescue race.

Like tandem, the rescue race is a two person, one horse event, but instead of riding serenely around in circles wearing ridiculous costume you have a jumper and a rider. The jumper stands at the end of the arena while the rider gallops down and picks up the jumper so the two can race back together. The problem is, this is done at considerable speed, and generally the jumper, with the momentum of the horse, ends up flying over the top of the animal, or under the animal, or hanging around the thousand pound, half crazed animal’s neck like a hapless sack of feed.

So I’m sitting there thinking ‘entertaining but NUTS.’ I was, in fact, just turning to Colleen to give her my opinion on the insanity of the situation when she says, “Man, that would be so much fun!”

Me, because I’m sane (well, kinda-you know) said, “No. No no, my dearest Colleen. That would not be fun. Notice how everyone in there is under 25. That’s because all the older contestants are dead. They’ve been run down. Plowed under. Buried.” But she was adamant. So…being the great friend I am, and being terribly entertained by the whole thing, I promised to find her a partner.

Hence, I toddled home and informed my son Travis--who you know has a death wish--that I had a friend who wanted to be ‘rescued.’ He asked how big my friend is, to which I answered, “Oh, 88 pounds.” (Colleen is blond, adorable and the approximate size of a toothpick. Feel free to hate her with all the vengeance and zeal this fact engenders.) Anyway, long story short, Travis was game so they began practicing.

Then last Saturday, after a long, cold winter, we went to our first horse show and rode in games for the first time in our lives. We put up with the wind, the dust and the grilled burgers, only to be greeted by a rainstorm before the rescuing began. It wasn’t a full twenty seconds after the first fork of lightning zapped across the sky that Colleen packed up her stuff, saying it was too dangerous. We had to go home. Meanwhile, I’m thinking she must be kidding; she was going to be killed by that big, hairy, crazed palomino (and Travis) long before the lightning fried her. But she was serious and we left the show early. (I’ll keep you apprised about future events.)


Anyway…it got me to wondering if everyone has such different ideas of what’s scary. I mean…as kids, we used to go swimming during electrical storms, I’m not particularly unnerved by heights and I’m not scared of witches, which are featured in UNDER YOUR SPELL--my new book, which has just been released, and can now be purchased at your favorite book store for a mere $6.99. (See how I just slipped that in there. Smooth huh? Almost subliminal? Hardly even noticed?) Ahem. But my point is, I would never jump on the back of that crazy horse with a crazy guy like Travis.

So how about you? What are your fears? Rational, irrational, just plain silly? How about that ‘choosing a swimsuit thing?’ If that doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of you nothing will, huh? Am I right?

Remember we’re celebrating our readers, so chime in and win a fun surprise package from Lois!!

www.loisgreiman.com

67 comments:

Margay said...

Public speaking. Is there anything more frightening than the idea of standing up in front of a bunch of people and trying to make intelligent words - let alone sentences - come out of your mouth while everyone watches you? Not to me.

PJ said...

Holy cow, Lois! Maybe you went swimming in electrical storms but this chickie never did. I grew up on a lake but was out of that water at the first rumble of thunder. I'm also afraid of heights but just open heights. I love to fly but you'd have to drag me onto a balcony over two stories high.

I picked up "Under Your Spell" the other day. Can't wait to dive in!

JoAnna said...

I have an irrational fear of getting lost. Google maps and I are Pals! If I take a wrong turn, I turn around and go back as SOON AS POSSIBLE! AAAAHHHHH!

I just hate not knowing where I am, where I am going. If I kind of know the area I am okay. But if I am trying to get somewhere and I am lost...Crankster city my friends!

Who wants to go on a ROAD TRIP:)

CrystalGB said...

I fear deep water, heights and bees.

Cindy Gerard said...

As a child it was snakes under my bed. No, I don't know why. But I'd never sleep with my foot outside the covers because one might just get me.
Now I fear anything that tastes good because I figure it must be loaded with pounds that go straight to my hips.

mommysweeps said...

Lightning while outdoors and spiders...

lois greiman said...

Thanks so much PJ. Hope you enjoy.

Margay, I've been told that public speaking is the number 1 phobia. So you're with the rest of us. We shall remain silent forever. :)

Playground Monitor said...

I just spoke to a group of 150 people to introduce a speaker. I can handle that. Well, I had notes typed in 14 point and I'd practiced a bajillion times. But when I came upon a snake lying across the path to the bathhouse at the campground, I froze and immediately felt chilled to the bone. I hate snakes. Can't even watch them on TV. ::shudder::

Marilyn

AuthorM said...

Physically: being out of control (skiing, for example. I'm not good enough to be confident.)

Mentally/emotionally: something happening to my kids

Irrationally: sharks and tsunamis

And I'd never let myself get hauled up onto the back of a galloping horse on purpose. No. Never. Not even by Travis!

M

Liza said...

Mine is public speaking too. I get all flustered and can't remember anything not written down.

Helen Brenna said...

Margay hit one I hadn't realized was such a powerful fear for me, but, yep, public speaking. I can handle small stuff - up to 50 or so people, but bigger than that and my heart's racing.

I don't think I could every scuba dive, either. Not crazy about snorkeling.

Lois, I can see why Colleen is such a good friend of yours. Your both nuts!! :))

Naomi said...

Needles. Even cartoon needles on the Simpsons can make me feel all dizzy and short of breath. I can handle spiders, insects of all types, snakes, storms, public speaking, small spaces, large spaces...but I cannot do needles. Which makes doctors visits very interesting at times.

ddurance said...

As a parent, most of my fears involve something awful happening to one of my children.

Deidre
deidre_durance@hotmail.com

Kathleen Eagle said...

Lois, you daredevil, you. Be careful out there!

For me, it's heights. It's a fear beyond reason. It's physical, and I can't talk myself out of it. It's kept me from doing things I really want to do. Oddly, I'm fine looking down from a plane window, but put me near the edge of any drop, and my legs turn to jelly. I have to sit down, move back, get away. Hate it.

Christie Ridgway said...

Spiders. Any kind of big, ugly bug, really. Helen, I'm scared to SCUBA dive and I'm a nervous snorkeler (have to hold hands with Surfer Guy and stay on the surface). I'm afraid of what I might encounter in the water! (Big ugly things that are bigger and uglier than spiders.)

Authorm: I'm scared of being physically out of control as well. I'm a sucky skier, which is probably why. Also, most of my bad dreams involve driving and I can't see well and the car is careening out of control.

AuthorM said...

Christie -- I have those dreams sometimes! And I dream about elevators going sideways and upside down!

M(egan)

Michele Hauf said...

Worms. Eew, even writing the word creeps me out. And maggots. Just one will send me running. Aggh! Gotta get out of here!

Betina Krahn said...

AS a kid I was scared of the dark-- well of the things that might lurk in the dark. Now I have to have it nice and dark to sleep! I love the nighttime. Go figure.

Heights. Driving or walking close to a drop off makes me nuts. My knees and feet actually ache. And, I confess, birds running around on the ground or flying around me. . . I hated the ones in San Marco Square in Venice. . . they're trained to light ON people! ugh.

Emma said...

What’s your fear? Wasp only because of allergies to them.

Lois said...

I have a serious fear of snakes and bugs. . . just can't deal with it no how. . . don't want to deal with it no how. LOL :)

Lois

Playground Monitor said...

I remember reading fear of public speaking ranks right up there with fear of death and may even be feared more. It's not my favorite pasttime, but I had a high school English teacher who included a public speaking unit in her class each year. One thing I've learned is that when I'm talking about something I'm passionate about, the fear is less and the speaking is easier.

Lois said...

PS - that's non-author Lois. LOL :)

Lois

Shara said...

I never went swimming in a lighning strorm. My mom wouldn't let us and they scared me to death anyway.

Not afraid of them anymore, now my big fear is mice and snakes. Ugh. I'll scream and jump up on top of something at the first sight of a mouse.

Jordan

Ellen said...

Okay, I'm with Indy.... snakes and more snakes. and living in Florida, they are always waiting to jump out, run across a path, or slither near my feet. go barefoot in my yard? not in this lifetime :)

Ellen

anne said...

My fear of heights has always been a big drawback in my life. It is genetic and simply unavoidable.

ellie said...

I am frightened to death of snakes. Always have been. I run a mile if I see one.

diane said...

Walking into a new place alone. A party where I know no one. Going out to an event alone.

MsHellion said...

List of fears in no particular order:

SNAKES
Giving speeches
SNAKES
Dying in a painful, yet surprising way. Say by a snake.
SNAKES
Bungi jumping, not that I would ever do this. Probably because the cord looks too much like a snake.
SNAKES

Yeah, I think that about covers it. The tandem riding sounds fun, though being I don't weigh 88 pounds, I could never do it. I also thought tandem skydiving sounds fun. As long as it's not with snakes.

Nancy said...

I fear spiders, and I'm allergic to their bites. Or stings or whatever. And the banana spiders in Florida? I don't run screaming from them like I did the first year here, but I get the heck away!

Super blog, Lois, and I loved hearing about your sport! I love horses!

Light,
Nancy Haddock
La Vida Vampire

Helen Brenna said...

Deidre mentioned something happening to our kids. That's too scary to even think about.

Maggots ... eewww!! Don't mind worms, though, or nightcrawlers.

How 'bout leeches? Bats?

(this is kinda fun)

Debra Dixon said...

I hates me some spiders. Yep. I apologize as I whack them with anything handy but I have to eliminate the threat.

That's if I see them in time so that I'm not surprised and run screaming through the house batting at my hair and flinging my clothes off.

I'm no longer fond of heights. Never had a problem earlier in life but I find I don't go on balconies now. The small ones attached to hotels? 2nd or 3rd floor's okay but not much beyond that.

I hate being home alone in a house that creaks.

catslady said...

Spiders top my list of critters that I can't stand. As far as an even more illogical fear it's certain kinds of driving. I hate anywhere that I have to merge. I also won't go anywhere that I don't know exactly how to get there since I have no sense of direction. I imagine a GPS would help but I don't think I could even manage with that.

Susan Kay Law said...

Hmm. I'm fine with all the creepy crawlies . . . I don't LIKE ticks or leeches, but they don't scare me, and snakes not at all. (Well, if I stumbled across a venomous one, it would, but that's logic, not unnatural fear.) Okay with most heights and public speaking and the dark, etc.

For me it's airplanes. Also, I prefer not to drive in the outside lane on bridges, and there is no way, no how, I would ever sky dive or bungy jump. I'm a little squeamish about bats, but I'm getting better. Most anything else I would try, however.

But I consider them all matters of good sense. Airplanes fall out of the sky; bats can give you rabies.

Okay, fine, they're phobias.

Anna And Sean said...

I have an almost obsession about what happens after we die. Do we watch over those we love or do we just fade away? Can we come back and start over? The list is endless. So my first fear is death. Then I have a fear about surgery. Did anyone see that movie called Awake where the guy was aware of what was going on during surgery and could actually feel it. What a trip! Flying also makes me crazy which sucks because my husband is a flier for his job (military). Fear is such a crazy thing and I have an active imagination I guess.

Gwen said...

Speed on snow skis. Perhaps better than snow skis on speed, but not by much. This fear may have been locked in the time I couldn't figure out why I was having such a hard time getting down a hill that my three-year-old took like a champ. That is, until a guy riding on the lift screamed down at me to buckle my boots. Amazing how it worked. Embarrassing, but amazing.

Tori Lennox said...

Heights (though they didn't used to bother), snakes, spiders, pretty much bugs in general. Submitting my writing. :)

margaret said...

ooohhhh, Eight-Leggers ( can't even say the word !! )

flip said...

Rats and other rodents. I hate them. On the other hand, I could care less about spiders and snakes. I also fear heights.

Helen Brenna said...

No one's mentioned bikinis yet!

Anonymous said...

i dont like confirntation and fights. dont like heights big spiders and bugs.

kim h

ruth said...

All types of rodents and heights make me violently ill.

Betina Krahn said...

Helen, lol on the bikinis. I think I was phobic about them at one time, but not anymore. What I got isn't so different from what everybody else's got, so I've mostly lost my fear of being seen in a bathing suit. Still wouldn't do "bikini", but I like to think that's a matter of compassion for others. :)

Estella said...

I am afraid of drowning and seeing myself in a swimsuit!

lois greiman said...

Wow, looks like we're just a phobic species. I am not alone. :)

flchen1 said...

Ooh, I'm with Margay--public speaking, even in small groups, say leading a small group discussion of people I know. I've finally gotten so I don't panic if it's a group of four-year-olds, but in front of other grown-ups, I just want to pass out! Silly maybe, but I haven't gotten over it... my husband speaks in front of groups of all sizes as part of his job, and if it were part of mine, I'd have been fired long ago!

Jane said...

I dread speaking in public. I always hated reading my book report in front of the class. The blood will drain from my face, palms are sweaty and my tongue is stuck. The whole imagine the audience naked thing doesn't work.

Keri Ford said...

Fears: bugs, unless we're talking about butterflies--those can land on me anytime, slimy (or looks slimy) things--unless it's already cooked fish, and anything with teeth bigger than mine and would like to have a little nibble of me.

Oh, oh!! And the man under the bed.
Should I explain? A little long, but according to the hubby, worth hearing:

I don't hang parts of my body off the bed (feet, hands, elbows, hair. Nothing) This bothers my husband as I fold the covers back to cool off, which then covers him up more. So anyway, I'm terrified, literally terrified to hang something off the bed at night, because as soon as I do, the man under the bed is going to reach up and snatch me off by whatever limb is hanging off. The husband, idiot that he is, tried telling me there is no room for a man under the bed for all the junk I have stored under there. But the man under the bed is like Santa Clause getting in a house with no chimmney, it just works. And once your under the bed, that's it, you're done for. There's a portal or something under that's going to send you into a place where there's probably lots of slimy bugs with big teeth who would like nothing more than to have a little nibble or two.

Yeah, and I'm sure you are all laughing as much as the hubby when I explained this to him. But yes, this is a real life fear of mine. I'll jump on the back of a horse any day, but don't make me hang something off the side of the bed.

Keri Ford said...

Read through the comments after posting, and Cindy....LOL! I'm so glad I'm not alone! I thought I was the only one!

Leanna said...

This is a great topic. I had this really wierd fear as a kid of getting bricked up inside a pyramid. I have no idea where that came from, other than an overactive imagination. I mean, I'd never BEEN to Egypt, and my parents had no PLANS for us to go to Egypt... still... I was terrified by the very IDEA...

Happy 2nd year anniversary! I saw your blog posted over on the Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal RWA loop. Cheers!

Candace said...

I'm claustrophic. I didn't realize how much it bothered me until I had to have an MRI. I'm on the table, being "inserted" into the tube and, suddenly, I find myself in a complete panic, heart pounding, barely able to catch my breath, scrambling like a crab on my back in a terrifed attempt to keep from going into the tube. Talk about embarrassing!

The tech was very understanding. Said it happens pretty often and he could get me something to calm me down and make it easier. Nah-uh. Not unless I'm unconscious. My doctor ended up having to find an open MRI for me.

Maureen said...

I can't stand worms. Where I went to college they would cover the sidewalks when it rained and you couldn't walk to class without stepping on them.

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, Keri, you had to mention the man under the bed! I can't let anything 'hang' either. The hubby sleeps with one arm draped over the side sometimes, and it freaks me!
And I always have to tuck (as in, the sheets) because I don't want a sheet to hang over the bed and touch the floor. That harkens back to when I was a kid and had a bed set into the wall, and there was a heat vent below it. My mom always warned me not to let the sheets hang over that vent or it would start a fire. Talk about being traumatized to this day!

petite said...

A combination of heights and claustrophobia. Unpleasant and difficult to control.

Virginia said...

Snakes and heights is what I fear the most. Hieghts didn't bother me when I was young but they do now.

lois greiman said...

There's a man under the bed? Had I known that I'd be worried too.

Nathalie said...

I know I have great fears of spiders and insects... they just horrify me!

JoAnna said...

Oh my gosh! I forgot about the MRI machine that wants to swallow my head!

No, I am not normally claustrophobic, but when you put me in a situation like an MRI when I have no control over getting out of the (lack of) space I panic and freak OUT!

Fiona said...

Heights and spiders. I think heights wins.

My son and I saw people prepping the water tower for painting. OMG, there is nothing, short of the safety of my kids, that would induce me to be up that high.

Spiders can be stepped on.

Lily said...

I think horseback riding would be something I would fear too!

I am also afraid of heights especially when I am not in a building but outside.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that there are some more of you out there that don't like to mix water and lightning! And Lo is a little delusional if she things I only weigh 88 lbs!! The fact that Travis has really BIG muscles lessens the fear factor. I am freakishly afraid of public speaking and will NEVER skydive or bungy jump. EVER! Has anyone mentioned psycho men? They scare me! Love ya Lo. Life would be SO boring without ya!
Colleen

robynl said...

I'd be better off saying what I'm not afraid of,lol. I'm deathly afraid of snakes and don't even like seeing pictures of them. I hate mice to the nth degree and we have had some in our house before we put on new siding.
I hate heights and those black iron stairways usually at the back or side or an apartment block where you can see through as you are going up, yikes!!
Anyone feel for me yet? LOL.

The Book Girl said...

I am really afraid of june bugs. I hate those things and will not go out at night once they start coming around. Now that I have children I have to pretend not to be afraid (don't want to give the kids my fears), but I still will not go out unless I have to.

I also hate tornadoes and living in Oklahoma (where we have tornadoes a lot) I get no sympathy about that fear.

Marilyn Brant said...

We have these really creeepy cicadas in Illinois that come out once every 17 years... (I survived last year's invasion and plan to spend my summer 16 years from now on a tropical island so as to avoid them. :)

Also, rodents--like mice--in my house. Eeeek.

tetewa said...

I have a bad fear of confining places, I'm very claustrophic. I also can't stand snakes when I see one I will immediately run the other way!

Barbara Samuel said...

Joanna, getting lost caught my attention. I've been trying to learn to orienteer and it's all about being lost.

And facing fear of being alone in the forest. Which does freak me out sometimes.

I'm afraid of so many things! I used to be so afraid of public speaking that I could not do it. NOT. Spiders getting in my hair. Bears (but not mountain lions, go figure). I was afraid to fly for a long time.

Cheri2628 said...

Fears? Oh, yes, I have quite a few! Driving on the freeway, sharks, snakes, public speaking, to name a few!

Dina said...

I am afraid of heights, but I can go on rollarcoasters, but I get that sick feeling in my stomach if I'm on the edge and whatever I'm riding & it goes slow, like that open seat ride that moves slowly on a cable a few stories up. cringe.......