A Comprehensive List of my Unreasonable Fears

by shewastheyoungamerican

I take what I call the Milhouse Van Houten approach to life. It’s a nervous one. I have a handful of what you might call “unreasonable fears” which make up just a fraction of my neuroses. Here’s an explanation/attempt to rationalize ridiculous things which I fear. ENJOY! (Oh and feel free to share your own so I feel slightly less crazy).


This all began in elementary school, circa second or thirs grade. I was on a field trip to the Philadelphia Zoo (my mom chaperoned, of course) and we were cavorting about the primate exhibit. Mind you this was before the great Primate Fire of 1995(god was THAT an awful day – you have to understand, growing up in a Philly suburb, the zoo was a standard once-a-year school trip. The monkeys were the big times. We were devastated)…so this meant the monkey environments were still, well, 1970s in their approach. Meaning those furry, too-often bipedal animals could roam closely, really really closely. So, I approached the orangutans. The railing separating these orange beasts from me was, I’m not over-exaggerating here, less than four feet high. THEY COULD HAVE LEAPT OUT AT ANY MOMENT. So, when I saw the fearsome creature with its perplexing flat face – it looked at me. Then, without warning began barreling towards me. It stopped right in front of me at the gate. I screamed as if the orangutan were King Kong. Though back then, I suppose it kind of was. Needless to say, I still get the heeby-jeebies when I come across a bright orange primate on the Discovery channel …or worse, swinging around on some very loud and very neon commercial advertising that powdery, goes-great-with-nilla-wafers after school concoction known as TANG.


I really don’t understand you and how you work. I find your mucus and alien-like antennae unsettling. I hate seeing you anywhere, especially indoors. The last time I saw one in my kitchen, I screamed and threw about 10 paper towels on top of it. I then covered it in a bag and picked it up with an oven mitt so I wouldn’t have to touch anything that felt like a slug’s body. Don’t even get me started on the salt thing. GOD I HATE YOU, SLUG.

Falling forward and knocking out my teeth or something impaling an eye.

This could happen in so many instances. Tripping over a curb, slipping in the bathroom, going up the steps on a double decker bus. This fear haunts me.

Birds that are pets

They know I don’t like them. THEY JUST KNOW. And oh, do they ever take advantage of it. The same goes for frogs actually. My friend Ellen once had this god awful pet bird named Lucy. I love animals, really I do. But this bird. THIS BIRD. It just knew I hated it. So what happened any time the cage was open? Lucy would b-line straight for my face and or hair. One time she flew out of her cage, I screamed and covered myself under Ellen’s blanket on her bed. I could feel lucy clawing at my head. I hated that bird. One time in college this girl who lived with a friend of mine had a pet frog. First of all, gross. Second of all, how did you even get a frog in Philly? ANYWAY, amphibians and things of the slimey nature generally freak me out a little. So what happened? Said girl thought it would be so fun to let dear Mr. Frog out of his container. She set him on a dining room chair. I told her, “I really don’t like this, can you please put it away.” I looked at the frog, it looked right back at me and LEAPT. What did I do? Once again, I screamed bloody murder and successfully batted the frog in mid air. (don’t worry, no frogs were harmed in the making of this story). It took a few minutes to find it on the kitchen counter. Said girl promptly put the frog away. I fear frogs and birds, and they know it.


HOW DO YOU STRETCH LIKE THAT AND WHY CAN I SEE YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS AT ALL TIMES? One time, at a swimming pool, I stepped on one while heading back to my parents’ beach blanket. I looked down and saw earth worm splattered beneath my toes. I haven’t been the same since.

Having my head knocked off by the side mirror of a bus.

This one happens on abooooooout a daily basis. As I stand on the sidewalk, awaiting the 13 or 82 to whisk me off to school, I am alarmed by a few things. 1. It’s moving way too quickly to stop at a safe rate in order to pick me up at this exact location. 2. It’s way too close to the sidewalk and will most certainly knock my head off as I stand and wait. I think about this every day. City life, AMIRIGHT?

Things that could be found hidden behind other things.

Ever cleaned behind your stove or fridge? NOPE, ME EITHER. I don’t want to know what’s lurking under there. Ever.

Piles of dark clothing.

This one goes waaaaaaaaaay back to my childhood. If you haven’t thought, “Gee, this Rachel sure does have some issues,” this might be that point. One time when I was about 9 years old I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a tall cloaked figure standing over my desk. It was just looking through things. I sat up and watched it, unable to move for what felt like hours. In reality, it was probably 3 or 4 minutes. In any case, the thing turned towards me and IT HAD NO FACE. Naturally I ran frantically itno my parent’s room and hid between them under the blankets. The next morning I tip toed back into my room to check the aftermath. What I found was a pile of dark laundry left on my desk. Needless to say, for the past…oh…fifteen years, before I go to sleep, I always put my laundry away, especially if it’s a dark load. You just never know.

Please stop judging me.