Saturday, November 14, 2009


Many people in the world are hampered in their daily lives by fears, either rational or irrational. Though often tempting to insult people about their phobias, we should be respectful and loving and supporting of people with strange fears1. With love and compassion for all in mind, I present here some of the recently-diagnosed psychological phobias.


The fear of needing to use the use the restroom in the twenty or so minutes the plane is in its final approach and you are prohibited from using the facilities. This is the most physically uncomfortable of the fears.


The fear of getting stuck next to a large, smelly, restless male on a long flight.


The fear of being blocked from the aisle by a large sleeping male, whose sheer mass prevents you from exiting the row in order to avoid the inevitable aerolandipeeophobia.


The fear of being ruthlessly rejected when calling to ask a woman out on a date. Also related to awkwardnoophobia, the fear of calling a woman to ask her out and her one, sole, only response being 'no'2.


The fear of getting stuck in a super lame conversation with an individual impervious to social signals, who then proceeds to dominate the discussion about the relentlessly inane topics of his or her choice. These topics might include a discussion on the numbers of digits of pi one has memorized.

This is the converse of callohottieophobia; that is, the rejecting woman is often subjected to converseophobia before being allowed to reject with the solitary 'no'.


The fear of being hit by a bicyclist while trying to cross the street in Copenhagen3.


The fear of Sarah Palin becoming president4.


The fear that your mother will discover and read your blog, and thus be informed of your decade of non-practice of the piano.


The fear of the maid entering your room while you are in between the 'showering' and 'clothed' phases5.


The fear that your parents will join Facebook, then summarily friend you.


The fear of needing to use the toilet in a crowded, yet quiet, house with a thin bathroom door and excellent acoustics.


The fear of going bald before one is able to secure a spouse.


The fear of shaking the hand of one who is not habituated to washing his or her hands after using the restroom.


The fear of one's little brother, seven years one's junior, getting married to a wonderful woman and settling down prior to any semblance of a possibility of the same happening to the elder.

1. i.e., you should stop making fun of me for this stuff.
2. She said nothing after that on the phone call, and we didn't speak again for years.
3. It wasn't my fault I walked straight into oncoming traffic. I blame London for twisting my innate sense of traffic flow direction. Still, I would have apologized, but I'm afraid I didn't know how to say it. If you ever read this, angry female bicyclist, jeg er ked af.
4. My father and I we were talking about McCain's campaign, and he told me McCain would have won if he had changed one thing about his campaign. Before I could blurt out, "not pick Sarah 'I'm super crazy and unintelligible' Palin", he said McCain should have taken off her leash. I realized then we have diametrically opposed outlooks on life.
5. She did, but milliseconds after I had passed into the 'having pants on' phase.


jeremiah said...

Peebroadcastophobia is only second to Poobroadcastophobia. And methinks our father should not become a political strategist.

Jess said...

I never had Converseophobia until I moved to Palo Alto. Now I just nod and smile when guys talk about their PhD programs for hours and hours.

Love the post!