I am the woman who saves spiders from my daughter’s sound barrier breaking screeches. I am the woman who distracts my husband long enough so that he cannot stomp on the lizard in the shower. I am the woman who grabbed a live rat snake at the back of his head, walked him to our back door, and flung him into the back yard – probably bruising only his ego.
I am the woman who becomes a boneless lump on the floor whenever I spot a cockroach.
I do not know why I am so completely unnerved by only these creatures, but they are definitely my Kryptonite. (Except for hissing cockroaches in the Science Lab next door to my classroom. For some reason, those do not overly concern me. Probably because they are in containers…)
But 6 foot long cockroaches that hide in my moving boxes in my brand new (to me) classroom, and leap into my face when I lift up a book, and are obviously planted by terrorists with the intention of dismantling the United States’ educational system one terrified teacher at a time, have a hard time getting on my good side.
I do not like squishing cockroaches. This is not out of any kind of concern for their well-being; it is because the last time I tried to squish one, it refused to die. My fear of live cockroaches is only rivaled by my fear of live cockroaches that will not die – reminding me that when I die they will crawl in my ear and have babies for the rest of eternity.
So, I did what I considered to be a very well-thought-out maneuver. I grabbed the box with the leaping cockroach, and ran outside my classroom so I could fling it. Away. From. My. Ears.
My classroom is in a portable building. For security reasons, we must keep our doors locked at all times.
As soon as I ran out of the room, the door slammed behind me. Locking me out.
I set down the box. The cockroach flung himself to freedom.
Toward the hole in the bottom corner of my door.
The cockroach was in and I was out.
I weighed the benefits of quitting my job and walking away from the classroom forever or walking to the office to get someone to let me back into my room. Say my room is Texas. The office would be Mars. That’s how far the office is from my classroom.
I knocked on the door to see if the cockroach would let me back in.
Apparently, he does not welcome unsavory characters like me in his living space.
I sighed, and walked down to the office. I did not tell them that a cockroach locked me out. But I made certain the burly custodian entered my classroom first.
She did not seem too worried about terroristic cockroaches.
She showed me how to keep my door unlocked so I could avoid the re-occurence of absentmindedly walking outside and allowing the door to slam irrevocably shut. Even though I can’t keep it unlocked because it’s against the rules. Another moral dilemma that I get to debate in my head.
Then she left.
I think that, if we sell the car, cancel our cable, and stop eating, I could probably afford to stay home.
Or, I can just walk around with cotton in my ears.
It’s a tough call.
Name this Phobia…
I am obsessed about death. Well, not about death, itself. More about what happens afterwards. No, this is not going to be a religious rant.
I am worried about dying and people subsequently discovering what a horrible slob I am.
I have an anxiety that I will die one day, and people will go through my house and declare, and rightly so, that I was a very mess person. Why I would care after I’m dead, I don’t know, but it’s a fear. Apparently not a well-documented fear, as I discovered when I Googled it in a failed attempt to find an actual name for this fear. (Ataxophobia, the fear of clutter doesn’t quite describe it. People who suffer from that condition apparently actually clean on a regular basis.)
For those of you who know me, let me assure you that I don’t plan on this happening any time soon (the dying part).
Anyone who has seen the very untidy state of my house would probably doubt that I have ever given cleanliness a second thought. However, I think about it quite a bit. I just don’t actually act upon it as often as I should.
I think it started with C.S.I. When they showed graphic pictures of people who had been horribly murdered on the street, I didn’t blink an eye. But when they showed dead bodies in houses full of clutter, that kind of made me think about the uninvited people who get to wander around your house after you die – particularly if it is a not-so-normal expiration.
The onslaught of reality shows like Hoarders did not help to alleviate my phobia. Most people that watch that show are thankful that their homes are not that bad. Conversely, I watch that show and begin to hyperventilate. Sure, you can walk through my house now without towers of old computers falling on top of you, but I bet the people on T.V. had a time before the piles overtook them, too. Could that junk drawer in the kitchen where I keep old birthday candles signal the beginning of my descent into Hoardership?
Some weekends I will frantically empty out entire closets and fill up bags of things for Goodwill, energized by the fear of dying with mismatched Tupperware strewn around my pantry. I clean out drawers, organize shelves, and dump out boxes. Only to find that they magically disorganize and clutterize themselves again within a matter of weeks.
The good news is that I will never commit suicide because I’ll never think my house is clean enough.
There has seriously got to be a name for this. I can’t be the only person that suffers from this syndrome/phobia/virus thing. I am trying to sensibly confront my fear, but it would help if it had some kind of clever moniker like Triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13 – God I love that word!). Your job is to identify this disease and, more importantly, let me know if you, too, suffer from it!