Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall. Or off the wall.

I have a thing about mirrors. I don't get them, and therefore they scare me. I mean, I get them, as in I understand that they reflect things, and therefore the images they show are reversed. But I don't get them in that, say, if I'm in a department store and I catch sight of something in a mirror, it takes me FOREVER to figure out where it actually is when I turn around. I'm not good at figuring things out backward, apparently.

Also, mirrors scare me a little bit. I don't like surprises, and when you aren't good at figuring out where things you see in the mirror actually are in reality, unexpected reflections are a big surprise, you know what I mean?

When Torsten and I had only been dating for a couple months (and I probably would have blogged about this at the time, except I didn't have a blog then... hard to imagine that there was ever a time when I didn't have a blog, right?), we had a little moment.

I was in the bathroom of my apartment brushing my teeth before bed. Torsten was hanging out in the living room. I had my back toward the door and was facing the mirror. Then Torsten got the brilliant idea of sneaking up behind me and scaring me. (This is a clear sign that we'd only been dating a couple months... we obviously didn't know each other that well yet.)

Anyway, his plan worked. Really, really well. I have a very vivid memory of standing there, peacefully brushing my teeth, and then this THING suddenly appearing in the mirror next to me. And yes, I understand now that the THING was my boyfriend, but at the time it was just a THING, a scary moving THING right behind me and OMG I flipped my shit.

Seriously, I shrieked at the top of my lungs and then hid in the towel rack. I know. Towels don't really protect you from THINGS appearing in your mirror. But I collapsed against the towel rack, shaking. And then I cracked up laughing. I laughed and laughed, not because I thought it was funny but because it had scared the shit out of me and apparently I laugh when I'm incredibly stressed? I don't even know.

Except that then I stopped laughing and started crying. Really, I did. I couldn't help it. I was freaked out and I was laughing and I couldn't breathe and then I was crying. I don't think I can adequately explain the shock of seeing him suddenly appear in the mirror like that. It was beyond traumatizing. And yes, I know, in REALITY it wasn't a big deal. But Jesus Christ did it scare me at the time. I can still remember the heart-stopping clench when I saw the movement behind me in the mirror.

Anyway, Torsten was very concerned and kept apologizing and sat me down on the couch and brought me some water and tried to get me to stop crying, and eventually I did calm down and started breathing normally again and we all moved on (though I still have horrible memories of the whole experience).

So the other night I was in the bathroom getting changed for bed and Torsten wrapped his arms around me and put his hands on my bare back, and they were FREEZING cold and very unexpected and I had another moment of heart-stopping shock. Seriously, I swear my kidneys briefly stopped functioning. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as the mirror episode, but it did vaguely remind both of us of it. (Possibly because again, I retreated to the towel rack, which is apparently my bathroom safe place?)

So we were talking about the whole mirror thing, and Torsten casually mentioned that when it happened, I was so freaked out that he was afraid I was going to break up with him.

Luckily, I can definitively say that the thought never crossed my mind. In fact, just hearing that he was worried about it made me laugh, a lot. It seems like such a ridiculous reason to break up with someone. I mean, really, what would I have done? Screamed at him, "How dare you sneak up on me? Get out!" and sent him packing right then and there?

But, you know. The rest of my reaction was wildly irrational, so I guess his worries weren't totally off-base.

Still, I think it's safe to say that I am quite glad that my insane reaction to the whole thing didn't extend so far as to break up with the man who I instead ended up marrying. But I am quite glad that he no longer sneaks up on me, ever. We've come a long way since then, apparently.

What about you? What are your irrational fears and tics?

22 comments:

  1. Your question got me thinking and the only one I can come up with is I cannot watch a scary movie once it is dark outside and if I am alone in the house. I know the house is the same and the movie is not real, but every creak and crack seems magnified after I do this. I am 35 years old! But Torsten scaring you made me laugh just a tiny bit as it's an ongoing game between my boyfriend and I to see who can scare who the best and as many times as we can do it. We even do it in public and it's caused some interesting situations in public, to say the least.

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  2. Lol, we all have something, don't we? I just can't think of mine. Maybe fear that if I don't audibly say "drive safely" every morning to B he won't get to work safely? Not sure.

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  3. Mine is the dark. It's so lame and typical, but my heart just RACES when I get home and it's dark. Unfortunately, I live in Michigan, so that's EVERY DAY OF WINTER.

    I always feel that there is someone waiting to bludgeon me as I walk from the garage to the house, and now it's WORSE because I have TEH BABEH to protect.

    This is why at some point in the future we must build on an attached garage. Because certainly that's more rational than just overcoming the fear, right?

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  4. Oh Jess - never EVER and I repeat EVER see the movie Candyman. Don't even google it to see what it is about. It has to do with mirrors and all kinds of horrible things.

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  5. I don't quite have the same issues with mirrors as you do, but I know EXACTLY the emotions and feelings of deep-seeded fear you're talking about by being surprised like that. I want to say it's happened to me a couple times in the past where nervous laughter turned to tears and demands of DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN! Makes my heart flutter and stomach tingle just thinking about it.

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  6. I HATE being startled or scared. I also hate being tickled, and the combination of, for example, someone sneaking up and tickling me, is so horrible, I had to draw a firm line, as in "I can't live this way."

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  7. That is just too funny about the towel rack. haha!
    I am irrationally afraid of the dark. I also occasionally get convinced there is a bug in my shoe and have to stop RIGHT THEN and take it off to make sure.

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  8. I remember a few months back, the boy had terrible hiccups. I jumped out and scared him (which I never ever do) and he shrieked so loud I swear glasses were breaking! It really freaked him out but hey, at least it got rid of his hiccups. But now we have a firm "no scaring" policy.

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  9. My husband LOVES to surprise/scare me, he probably does it a few times a week. I'm pretty used to it by now so it doesn't faze me. I know he's just doing it because he loves to make me laugh. I don't really mind it, I think it's funny too.

    One thing I haaaaaate is poking! I had to make a "no poking or prodding" rule.

    Oh men. They love attention and will get it in any way they can!

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  10. Once my dear sweet boyfriend got home early from a work trip and instead of telling me hid in our apartment and so when i got home from work he jumped out and scared me. One of the scariest moments of my life. All I could do was scream and scream and scream. And then hit him once i figured out it was him. So much for my thought that maybe I could whip out some ninja moves if anyone ever tried to surprise attack me!

    Also... now this is embarrassing... but sometimes when I am getting in bed and I have turned on the overhead light but not the bedside lamp it makes me nervous to calmly walk to the bed and get in because OMG SOMETHING COULD BE UNDER THE BED! Therefore, I am forced to run and jump into from a length where no creature could reach out and grab my ankles. Yes, I am 24, why do you ask?

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  11. I hate being snuck up on too. HATE IT. Sometimes David does it accidentally and it startles me so bad that it makes me ANGRY. Like, HAVEN'T I TOLD YOU ELEVENTY JILLION TIMES NOT TO SNEAK UP ON ME???? and he's all "but I didn't mean to. I was just walking through the house."

    I'm sure I have other irrational fears (Oh! like driving my car into deep water and not being able to free all three kids from their carseat buckles).... but your story is blocking my ability to remember them.

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  12. For the sake of full disclosure, however, I LOVE to sneak up on people. Which is why I suck as a human being. (Though I wouldn't do it to someone who I knew hated it.)

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  13. I don't like ANYone popping up out of nowhere, so I would've FREAKED had my BF just shown up in the mirror reflection

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  14. i hate popping noises of ANY Sort. i have hated balloons since i was a kid, when i see a baby with one, i have to leave the room. my husband has caught my wrath many, many times because his work equipment comes in packaging that has many large packaging airsac things that he, unfortunately for him, pops. i HATE IT. also, i have an irrational fear of someone walking around our house with night vision goggles when i get up to get a glass of water at night...so what?

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  15. I've mentioned both on the blog, but deer and stairs scare the hell out of me. I work through the stairs fear and dead deer heads are fine. But live deer? I always think they're going to charge me. Probably because one did.

    Huge barking rottweiler? No problem. Bambi? RUN!

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  16. I do not like scary movies. I will hide my eyes and plug my ears if even a preview comes on. I can barely watch The Ghost Whisperer at night, I must have all the lights on.

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  17. Oh I don't know if this is rational or not, but I am terrified of being choked to death. I hate it when anyone puts their hands or anything even remotely near my neck. And I definitely won't wear turtlenecks. Weird I know, but hey, it is what it is I guess.

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  18. I am afraid of driving across bridges. I have no problem being the passenger in the car, but if I'm driving, I have this crazy fear that I will suddenly and uncontrollably jerk the wheel to one side and go careening off the bridge. I had NO IDEA about this fear until we moved to Portland, seeing as how Salt Lake city has no bridges to speak of. And I didn't ever drive when we visted Portland before we moved here. This fear makes absolutely no sense to me, but, there ya go.

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  19. I hate being startled. HATE. My husband knows that he is never, EVER to race ahead of me up the stairs and hide behind a doorway only to jump out at me. Never, EVER. If he walks away and I don't see where he went, I get all panicky thinking that he's hiding and start yelling his name only to hear him call back to me from behind the closed bathroom door asking for a little peace.

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  20. Similarly enough, when Gerald and I were newly dating, we were snuggling on the couch one evening. He was sitting on the couch and I was sitting in his lap, my knees on the couch beside his legs. I hugged him with my face buried in his neck and he turned to me suddenly and shouted some sort of scary "BOO!" noise and it scared the bejesus outta me. Terror like I'd never experienced flooded thru my body. I, to, screamed and started shaking and crying. Poor Gerald felt so bad... I mean, who expected that I'd actually be scared by that? For some unknown reason, it just triggered something for me.

    I cannot stand to be scared by jumpy-outtie things. I can still remember being 6 or 7 and someone jumping out of a closet to scare me and I literally peed my pants in fear.

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  21. Gremlins. I swear to god. I can't even look at the DVD cases for the movie in the store without getting the heebie jeebies. Which, of course, has made Will DETERMINED to force me to watch the movie.

    I also cannot stand to have the curtains or blinds open after it has gotten dark out. There is something about people being able to see in but my not being able to see out that freaks me right out.

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