LaughLines: The Sum of All Fears Is CRAZY!

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Does everyone have a phobia but me?

Our big dog is suddenly afraid of telephone poles, and as we quickly returned from our morning walk to the relatively safety of our pole-less driveway, I realized that unlike most people (and apparently, some dogs), I do not have irrational fears.

I’ve got plenty of rational fears, of course:

  • I fear getting fat, getting older, getting poorer.
  • I’m worried that my crooked bottom teeth will get more crooked and I’ll look like a hillbilly with a good haircut.
  • I’m afraid my husband will roll over on me one night and I’ll suffocate (he’s a big guy).
  • I worry my mother will move in with us and my husband will move out.
  • I dread the day I’m asked if I want the senior discount – for anything.
  • Will my daughter’s grades get better?
  • Will my son outgrow his fascination with knives?
  • Will I outgrow my fat jeans?

Nothing irrational here, and nothing compared to the phobic folks I know. My twin is afraid of small, confined spaces. My brother is afraid of snakes. My dad, who was an airline pilot, was actually afraid of heights.

I’ve got friends with phobias about bugs, trains, clowns, hairy foods, hair in their food, and cats, rats, and bats. I listen patiently as I help them overcome their fears and move on with their lives. Do I feel superior? A little.

But back to the dog, who is pulling my arm out of its socket in her vain attempts to get away from telephone poles. She’s started to glance upward as we approach one, then she starts pulling on the leash in the opposite direction, eyes bulging, tail between her legs.

I’m in big trouble if pine trees get added to her scaredy-cat list, since that would mean outdoor walks are out and I’ll be on the hunt for a litter box big enough to accommodate a 75 pound dog and her 10-pound poops.

Okay, I admit it – that’s scares me a little.

About Cate Drew

I’m on the high side of 40, with three dogs, two teens and one husband, living in a small New England town in a house that’s never quiet. Ever. It’s not that I have a really colorful life – I just tend to write colorfully about it. And there’s plenty of material: marriage to the Man of a Thousand Bad Ideas,.. my mom, who moved Dad’s coffin closer to the street six months after he died so she could visit his grave as a kind of drive-up window…our dog posse…our kids…lots of siblings and in-laws, former co-workers, old boyfriends -- they’re all here. Toss in 14 years of Catholic school and you’ve got a lot of guilt, too. Which reminds me: forget “high side of 40.” I’m 51, damnit.