What you are about to read is entirely irrational. I am not even going to try to justify it.


I don’t know if it is getting older or if it is the mid-Atlantic foliage, but my allergies seem to get worse every year. When I was young I wasn’t allergic to anything. Now I seem to be hypersensitive to outside.

When I went to BlogHer some nice people (I will not mention the company name here because I doubt they would want to be associated with this and it isn’t their fault) gave me a shit ton of free samples of an allergy medicine when they were shutting down their expo booth.

On August 23rd I ran out of my normal allergy medicine and decided to try it.

That wasn’t the crazy part.

This is the crazy part.

I took this new medicine on August 23rd. On August 23rd there was also a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. 

Rationally I know these two things are unrelated.

In the first three seconds that it was happening I realized that what I was feeling was an earthquake, but the mind works very quickly and one of my fleeting thoughts that was dismissed before coming to the earthquake realization was that I was having some sort of crazy brain embolism due to this new allergy pill.

Stop rolling your eyes at me. I said I dismissed that option.

Anyway, now I am afraid to take the rest of the free medicine because I am afraid we will have another earthquake.

(You can start rolling your eyes again now.)


Please tell me your irrational fears so that I feel better about myself.

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  1. Tricia Honea says:

    I am irrationally afraid of the water. I was once tubing down the river and fell off my innertube. I proceeded to freak out and try to get back on said innertube when I saw the shadow. It was huge. I scrambled back on the tube trying not to hyperventilate when I realized the huge shadow was a rock.

  2. I get it. You’re not in an area that is used to earthquakes. If we had a hurricane or a tornado in Seattle, we’d freak the fuck out too. Earthquakes are scary too, don’t get me wrong. I can understand your fear. The connection, that’s the irrational part, as you know. yeah, that’s enough. I have to say I’m actually laughing at you a little bit. Not a lot, just a little, but I have to say it. So anyway, I’m scared shitless of spiders. as in I FREAK THE FUCK OUT and catatonic. You know those cartoons where a mouse enters the kitchen and the woman jumps up on a chair holding her dress and screaming? yeah that’s me. Even the dress part. Only it’s spiders not mice. In theory, I like spiders. They’re great for the ecosystem. Just keep them away from me.

  3. I have an irrational fear of sleeping with the opening of the pillowcase facing out. I worry that spiders will crawl in. I’m not even medicated (but perhaps should be).

  4. I can not sleep with my feet sticking out of the covers. Even if it is 100 degrees and our AC is broken, I need to be covered. It stems from an episode of Charlie’s Angels I saw when I was 4-5. A woman was sleeping with her foot sticking out. A guy broke in and jabbed a needle in her foot.

  5. Oh, so it was your fault? Flush the rest; I can’t stand another earthquake in Maryland. (Maybe buy some Zyrtec instead?)

  6. I can’t touch pictures of gross things. It is too close to touching the actual gross things. Gross things that are included: internal organs, goldfish, lightning. Lighting is not gross, per se. I’m just worried that a picture of it will electrocute me.

    I am a gold medalist in the Irrational Fear Olympics.

  7. I’m the kind of person who would like to be able to change her own oil, but I can’t. I can’t get under the car because I’m afraid it will start up and roll over me. Yeah, straight out of Christine.

    A few years ago someone called up the Car Talk guys with a story of their car randomly starting up by itself. I waited for some rational explanation, but they couldn’t come up with one. This didn’t make me feel any better.

  8. I have a pair of earrings. The first time I wore them was 9/11. The next time I wore them I was nearly fired over a misunderstanding at work.

    Rationally, I understand the concept of “coincidence,” but I’m afraid to touch the damn things again.

  9. Elevators. When I was little we were living in Minneapolis for a short time while my dad was at school/work. The hotel we were at had an elevator and we were waiting for it so we could go to the zoo or something. The elevator arrives, but its going up, my little brother leaps inside, and we all wait for one that’s going DOWN not up. He screams all the way to the top floor and back down – we can hear him the whole way. I was panicking inside and since then, I feel like we should all superglue ourselves together when using elevators. It’s irrational. I’m also afraid of pool drains – but I won’t admit that’s irrational, that’s just good sense.

  10. I have the completely irrational fear that I will drop the iron on my bare foot while I’m ironing. Nevermind that I’m plenty nimble enough to be able to jump out of the way if I were to drop the iron. That’s the irrational part.

  11. I have a reoccurring dream that I get stuck in a tornado. My town recently got hit pretty bad from the hurricane and I spent half the time looking out the window for tornados and the other half looking at the ceilings on my first floor to make sure the new roof was not leaking.

    Oh and have I mentioned that I have so many allergies/sensitivities, that I swear sometimes I’m allergic to the air.

    Trust me, you’re not crazy.

  12. Sp*ders. Can’t even type the whole word without getting the willies. I had huge sp*der related night (and day) terrors when I was a pup. And now when I kill them I usually overreact. I’ve broken many things smashing sp*ders. They make me irrationally angry because they creep me out.

  13. I am afraid of pool drains. Because of an episode of Rescue 911 when I was say ten years old. Lady nearly died because she tried to get her ring out of it. I’m not scared of the ocean, or pools or water in general, but that drain terrifies me.

    I am scared of the garbage disposal. I never, ever put my hand down it. Even when I’m home alone and I’d have to flip the switch myself for it to go on. I use a spoon to dig things out or push them down.

  14. Ya really wanna know?


    deep water/pool drains
    lakes/rivers/edges of deep water
    edges in general/heights?
    possibly elevators

    To understand it you’d have to read it

  15. Birds. I am afraid of birds. Even outside, because birds are stupid, and sometimes they fly straight at you because they don’t know better. And they are completely disgusting.

    And so, if one of them flies at me, it’s disgusting little foot might get caught in my hair, at which time, I would have to shave my head.

    Ugh. Birds are horrible.

  16. Every time I think about being a flight attendant again or talk about it a plane crashes. This last time it was a plane belonging to the company I used to work for. It’s all my fault………

  17. For the last 28 years, I have had this fear that someone put a bomb in our basement. Even when I didn’t have a basement, the thought would enter my head all the time. If I get killed by a bomb in a basement, tell everyone!

    Also? Deathly afraid my mom will get eaten by Shamu if she were selected to kiss him. Don’t ask. I don’t know. But it scares me still and I’m freakin’ 38 and my mother wouldn’t go near Shamu.

  18. This is too good not to comment on.

    I’m irrationally afraid of display hooks. The kind you would see at a department store like Wal-Mart/Target with items hanging off of them? Yeah, for some reason (and there is nothing to indicate that this would happen), I’m afraid of my eye getting caught in one and poking out my eye.

  19. I seem to have developed a lot of allergies/sensitivities to outside over the last year too. I blame turning 40. Not sure if that’s rational either.

    My most irrational fear? Being disconnected from my tether while on a space walk. Now, it should be noted that I am not now, nor will I likely ever be, an astronaut. The chances of me ever being on a space walk, or in space, or losing my tether are remote at best. However, this doesn’t stop me from freaking out (and having really vivid scary dreams) if/when I ever think about it.

  20. smart aleck says:

    I am going to limit this to actual, irrational fears as you requested, and not the rest of my fears, so as to not hijack YOUR blog (I don’t want to turn it into smart aleck and the goon squad).

    I fear ladders.
    Mind you, I am not afraid of heights–I love to fly, have gone skydiving and para-sailing (loved both). I guess I fear heights that would leave me bruised/injured/without my dignity instead of dead.
    I can climb a little bit up with a white knuckled grip, but when I worked in retail I would bribe my coworkers to climb ladders in my place (free lunch anyone?).

    I also fear kidney stones–the idea of getting them during the bar exam scares me.

  21. I’m with Suz on the deep water/pool drains. The weird part is that I used to swim a mile a day in deep water. I had to do the first 2 laps with my head out, then just put my face in a bit…then it was ok for the next 36 laps or so…

    Snow, of course. Snow is scary.

    But here’s a biggie: Mom has told me 100x how Grandma waited to die until all her kids had gotten married and had at least one kid. My sister being the last. Do you see why I can’t get married and certainly could not have kids? I didn’t want to kill my mom!

  22. Mostly being trapped in conversations I can’t get out of, for hours, but I guess that’s not too strange because it happens all the time.

    As for recurring fears, well…

    Children choking on hot dogs and grapes. I can’t watch them eat either of these foods without a great deal of anxiety, and when I’ve been responsible for providing them I’ve chopped them up into teeny cubes. I don’t understand why the diets of small children seem to consist of so many potential choking hazards. If I had a child she would probably eat a liquid diet until the age of 10.

    A fear that I’ll suddenly jump out of or off of high structures with no suicidal tendency whatsoever, but just because, i.e., the Empire State Building or high-up stadium seating. It’s a fun compulsive thing.

    Geese and rats. I hate them both. Geese are mean and angry and territorial and went after my dogs on a few occasions. Hate. I can’t look at rats. They are repulsive. I don’t like to think of sharing the same planet with them.

    (We’re not going to have another earthquake if you take the medicine. I promise.)

  23. the more i thought about this, the more i realized that i, too, have had “new medication panic.” really!

  24. to elaborate, i was so worried that the pain meds my doctor gave me when i hurt my knee would turn me into a drug addict, and/or make me high, that i just could not take them. i still have the bottle and i’m scared of it.

    other irrational fears?

    i lived at the beach for a year and i never once went in the gulf deeper than my knees. i am terrified of being attacked by a shark. thanks to jaws.

    when hiking, i will not go out in bear territory unless there are other people within earshot. i am also terrified of bear attacks.

  25. Snakes. Even dead ones. There was a dead one on the sidewalk once and I was terrified to step over it. I was convinced it was going to come back to life and bite me. I had to walk around it several times for a few days until the maintenance crew finally cleaned it up.

    Also, I can’t sleep without covers on either. I’m not sure why, but I’m convinced someone will break in my house if I’m not covered up. What the covers have to do with it – I have NO idea.

    I felt the earthquake pretty good too – but didn’t do anything different that day :)

  26. Irrational? You obviously caused an earthquake. This is just like when I watch my favorite soccer team, and they lose, just because I was watching. Even if it’s on TV. Makes sense to me.

  27. indigo tara says:

    I am sometimes overcome with TERROR when flushing the toilet at night. I’m afraid that someone is breaking in or sneaking up on me and I won’t hear them over the sound of flushing water.

    I usually don’t flush until morning. Crazy, I know.

  28. Eight-legged arachnids of Satan. Before putting any article of clothing on, I turn it inside out and check for spiders.

  29. OMG. Where to begin…

    #1 = Sharks. Even in a swimming pool. Sharks. Because of JAWS. Seriously. I check behind me every few minutes. Even if I’m in 6″ of water.

    #2 = When I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I have to turn on the bathroom light (even though that BLINDS ME) so I can see if there’s a snake in the toilet before I sit down. I’m convinced they could come up through the pipes somehow.

    (I’ll wait for you to stop re-reading that in disbelief before I go on….)

    #3 = Snakes. (You might’ve already guessed that one based on #2.) I always tell my husband if we EVER found a snake of ANY SIZE in our home, we’d have to move. I’m serious. They scare me to the “pee in my pants while screaming” stage. Even seeing them on television makes me tear up a little bit. I have to hide behind a blanket to “protect” myself from them on television. And I won’t even hold a magazine if there’s a picture of a snake inside it. (And yes, I know you’re wondering, how the heck would you KNOW there’s a snake in side unless you open it up ?….. well, if I don’t know there is one, and I turn the page and find one – the magazine goes FLYING. Seriously. It’s involuntary.)

    Maybe you should send me your meds. All of them. Apparently I am in desperate need of medication.

  30. IlinaP just gave me a new twist on my phobia. THANKS!!

    I’m not gonna sleep well tonight…

  31. I’m a surrogate mother and every time I try to get pregnant I have to go on a series of hormone shots. I’ve done four embryo transfers so I have had to do four cycles of meds, each cycle lasting a month or so long. EACH AND EVERY TIME I get a shot I think “Oh no! I did it wrong and now there’s a air bubble in my blood vessel and I’m going to die! AUUUUGGGHH!” Every time. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

  32. Venita Michelle says:

    When I was younger, I liked to make up nonsense songs to sing while I cleaned house and did homework. The songs never had any point and often contained made-up words that sounded cheery. Well, cheery to me, at least. However, after watching The Dark Crystal, I became terrified that my nonsensical word order was actually a secret combination of utterances, which if sung in the correct order, would unlock an ancient demon of havoc. This is, of course, opposed to an anciet demon of love or unicorns or some other nonthreatening entity. Go ahead and imagine what a fun kid I was!

  33. When I worked at Barnes & Noble, one of the children’s department booksellers had to dress up like the book characters for storytime. Hence, a rather short colleague had to dress up like Arthur the mouse. I’m sure her face barely came up to the mouth vent that prevents death in those big furry suits.

    One of the children, overcome with emotion, jumped on the back of the suit, and screamed ARTHUR, ARTHUR I LOVE YOU ARTHUR. She was in the suit, choking, because he essentially had her by the back of the neck inside.

    It was horrible to watch. I have a recurring fear since then of being choked to death in a mascot suit, is all I’m saying, and I don’t intend to ever put on one of those get-ups.

    (especially not on my spacewalk.)

  34. smart aleck says:

    I also won’t walk over sidewalk grates–partly because I saw a lady get her shoe stuck in one when I was a kid, and partly because god knows how much weight they were meant to handle, how long they have been there, how many times they have been stepped on, whether there are hairline cracks in the metal, etc just *waiting* for me to step on wrong…

    All I know is OMG–I don’t want to go falling into godknowswhere and touch godknowswhat—cockroaches, water rats, tourist puke, frat boy and/or teamster phlegm that was spit down there–you name it!

    My husband laughs at me when we walk around the city and makes me walk over them *with* him (umm, we have broken beds (yes, plural)–do you think that a flimsy metal grate is going to hold us?!?)

    Okay, deep breath…

    Thanks Sarah–you remind me just how neurotic I really am!!!!

  35. I am dreadful of a son’s crying at night. It is [ when it starts and ] fear after a son goes to sleep.

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