No Fear


Welcome to my blog. For my inaugural post, I'm covering a topic I'm something of an expert on. Fear. I can't claim any expertise coping with, or overcoming fear, just ... you know ... feeling a whole lot of it all the time. I know what you're thinking. Sam, this is nothing .5 mg of Xanax three times a day can't cure. But here's the thing ... I'm a big fan of high anxiety. As a defense mechanism, fear can't be beat. An immediate, internal danger warning system? Sign me up.

Still, I can't ignore how something so freaking genius from a survival of the species standpoint plays out in strange ways on a day-to-day basis. My son, who is 3, is terrified of automatic flush toilets, because they will "suck him down." Like any good mom, I've demonstrated repeatedly -- to the point I have a permanent toilet seat imprint around my butt -- that this can not happen. Doesn't matter. The kid will hold it from It's A Small World all the way to Downtown Disney to get to a self-flusher. This very same child wants nothing more than to open the car door while the car is in motion. So, yes, I'm eternally grateful for the invention of the central lock feature, but where the hell is a little fear when I need it?

On the other hand, some fears are so instinctive, no amount of logic or education alleviates them. Years ago, my husband and I took a vacation to an island on the Great Barrier Reef. This was our first experience with an all inclusive resort, so we drank insane amounts of "free" booze and told our tired, wimpy livers to man up. During rare windows of semi-sobriety, we snorkeled. One such occasion, we blundered right into a school of sharks. Despite many assurances from the dive staff that the only sharks around were harmless reef-sharks, despite these creatures looking exactly like the pictures of reef sharks we'd seen during our "safe snorkeling" class, we hit the shore with the urgency of troops storming the beach at Normandy. I still have the bruise on my ass from where hubby shoved me out of the water, (or out of his way -- the secret to a 16 year marriage probably hinges on not seeking too fine a clarification on certain points).

I think the foregoing demonstrates fear's power. When we feel it, we don't calmly sit back and question the legitimacy of the emotion. But even a big fan of fear ought to do so every once in awhile, because sometimes the fear is just plain stupid. Fear of technology. Fear of looking like a dork. Fear of commitment ... to something as simple and pain-free as a weekly blog.

I may always have issues with automatic flush toilets and reef sharks, but here's my blog. Enjoy.

See you next week.