The Mom can be a funny old fish when it comes to certain things. She’ll get a bit hand-flappy about doing some things that she imagines might require something in the way of athletic prowess. She also frequently overestimates the amount of physical fitness or strength necessary to accomplish some of the things we wish she would do with us.
I am pleased that she managed to steel herself and go up the gondola, and only wish she’d managed to get over her fears of such things back when I wanted some company on the roller coasters.
It always strikes me as sort of odd when The Mom’s semi-irrational fears pop up – mostly because I don’t remember them, so they always seem fresh, which also makes me think she’s making it up to get out of doing something she has no interest in.
I knew she was afraid of big ships going down in the sea, and after I did some research I decided that this is in no way an irrational fear. I went through a phase of showing her videos on YouTube about rogue waves, and took to reading aloud relevant passages in books I’d hoard from the library about waves and the high seas. I mean, truly terrifying stuff that. I am glad I didn’t know about it before she went on a cruise. Now, anytime anybody I know thinks about going on a cruise, I get out my Rogue Wave information and send it through immediately. Trouble is, nobody seems to think this is a reasonable fear – even after I’ve given them plenty of proof.
But there you are, I suppose. People don’t want their irrational fears stoked or indulged. Except possibly me. I enjoy, in a perverse way I guess, imagining the things that scare me in increasingly large detail. My theory is that if I get used to my hyper real version of the terror-inspiring thing, then when it actually comes to be, I won’t be so terrified of it, because let’s face it, my imagination is a thousand times more awful than the actual real world. I mean, I’m a novelist, at the moment I’m trying to think up a bunch of diseases to give two elderly characters before I kill them in a house fire.
And I think The Mom finds it odd that we don’t have the same sort of irrational fears that she does. We don’t enjoy rollercoasters anymore so we don’t go on them; they’re not scary just unpleasant. L’il Sis and I though will get very worked up in a hand-flapping way over too many very small things. Like a swarm of ants. Too many very small things. It’s not right. Though, I don’t imagine either of us looking away if we were to happen upon a swarm of ants. (I don’t know anything about swarming ants, so apologies if one couldn’t just stand by and watch them – I imagine they’d have their swarming business to get on with and wouldn’t be terribly interested in us.)
The only other thing I’m terrified of is moths. But even then, it’s quite specific. It’s their feet and legs I can’t cope with. Because I know what it feels like to have a butterfly stand on your bare skin – creepy and not good if you’re wondering, but tolerable because it’ s a butterfly – but a moth, I can’t cope. And it might touch my head and then get stuck on me and I wouldn’t want to kill it so that it would disintegrate in my hair so we’d have to do something else – shave my head with the clipperrs nobody thinks to keep on them at all times for just such an emergency.
Upon reflection it seems that actually The Mom’s done quite well for herself here, in facing and overcoming her random fears. It also seems like something I’m never going to do because even just thinking about the idea that a moth might one day befriend me and ride around on my shoulder, whispering about whatever it is moths like to talk about, sets my teeth on edge.