Sunday, 8 April 2012

My Fine, Feathered Fear

To most people, the signs of Spring are welcoming, cheerful, and joyous. I, however, am not most people.

Blooming flowers… love them.
Sunny days… sign me up.
Singing birds – Houston, we have a problem!

Yes, I’ll admit it – my phobia isn’t one of the cooler snake/spider/heights variety. I’m deathly afraid of all things feathered and flapping!

Now truthfully, other than a few nasty run-ins with some killer geese at local parks, or the odd petting zoo catastrophe, this phobia is relatively tolerable. I can definitely live with it. However, what I have learned is that it’s OTHER PEOPLE who can’t seem to live with it!

Apparently, living in perpetual horror of all ‘freaky flyers’ is NOT the coolest or most accepted phobia on the block! Tell people you’re afraid of spiders, snakes or heights and you’re welcomed into the club with open arms. Tell people that Big Bird sends shivers down your spine and your met with a disbelieving stare, smirk or one of five ever-so-helpful responses:

 “You’re not ACTUALLY afraid of birds, are you??”
ACTUALLY no, I just thought it would be a great conversation starter. Please excuse any wayward hyperventilation or sweat droplets that may appear as I eye that swarm of seagulls circling above. It’s obviously just for effect…

“Birds aren’t scary – they make such beautiful music!”
Let’s face it – birds may chirp but they’re no Adele. Besides, spiders spin delicate and intricate webs of spun silk that could be admired. And some of the most beautiful views in the world are gained from the highest mountaintops or tallest buildings. You don’t see those glorious attributes winning over too many phobia-inflicted individuals!

“Why don’t you just get a bird feeder so you can watch & appreciate them?”
That’s a FANTASTIC idea! What could be better than inviting the source of my fears and frustrations onto my own turf? I’m pretty sure all of my snake-fearing counterparts take up snake charming in their spare time so they can get up close and personal too…

“What about chickadees or canaries? They’re just tiny…”
Does it fly/flap/peck? From canaries to parrots to ostriches (don’t even get me started on the concept of a bird that is bigger than I am and can outrun me too!), the only thing I want to see flying is the 747 whisking me off to a bird-free paradise!

“Have you ever seen the movie ‘The Birds’?”
Of course! Because my idea of a good time is spending an evening sitting in front of the TV with my loved ones, terrorizing myself by choice! In fact, sometimes I jab toothpicks under my fingernails during the commercials just to kick it up a notch!

So yes, I realize that there is a distinct hierarchy in the world of phobias, and my fine-feathered fear and I fall neatly to the bottom of the pile. All the cool kids are huddled together in great company staring down terrifying tarantulas, scary snakes and horrific heights – reassured that they are not now, nor will the ever be, alone in their periods of popular paranoia.

So it’s time to take a stand – I’m taking back the terror, dealing with the dread and allowing the anxiety! Have a fear that others might see as ‘flighty’? Share it here and be proud of the panic!
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