The recent Air Asia plane crash has done nothing for my fear of flying. It has, in fact, only cemented in my mind the possibility that any plane, at any time, could crash into a fiery mass. Most likely over a large body of water. Say, on the way to Hawaii? I know the statistics say that you have a better chance of being hit by a car but frankly, I don’t buy that. I remember my mom taking something (most likely Valium) when I was young to “take the edge off” when she needed to fly to England. I’m not there yet, but getting close. I mean really, how is it okay to be 37,000 feet in the air going God knows how fast, sitting in a tube of steel? It’s irrational you say? Maybe. But fears are fears and as irrational as they may be, they exists, if only in our minds.
My husband is afraid of snakes. Even the harmless ones. Where he grew up, snakes were not only creepy but deadly. Cotton mouths, diamond backs and rattlesnakes lurked in the backyards of many Texas homes. Somewhere in the back of his mind he associates snakes with death I guess. If I asked him to pick up a garter snake I don’t know if he could. Even watching them on TV causes him to tense up and shrink away. My husband is not a timid man either. This is his fear and despite assurances that they are harmless he is still not able to make himself hold one at the local farm. I can’t say that I enjoy snakes either but I could pick up a garter snake if needed to say…..taunt my husband with one.
A number of people I’ve spoken to were afraid of being buried alive. Not something I ever think of, but again, fears are different for everyone. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, I’m kind of freaked out by it. I guess it would be similar to drowning. I’m not really comfortable with submarines either. Really? A steel tube hundreds of feet under the water? One friend took the fear of being buried alive a step further and has a fear of cement trucks. I have to say ever since she pointed this out I have driven past dump trucks just a little bit faster. Just in case. What if they dumped all of their cement on me in some freak accident? Would my last thought be of Tony Soprano ordering up some cement boots?
Tons of people are afraid of heights. For some, vertigo is a real thing and can cause dizziness and fainting. I worked in an office once downtown. The controller’s office was on the corner of the 21st floor with floor to ceiling windows. I would dread every other Friday when I would need to take the stack of cheques in to be signed by him. Took me a five or taken minutes to talk myself into it each time. A big attraction these day is towers, like the CN tower, putting in glass platforms for people, to walk out onto. Are you kidding me? How is this fun? When I was about ten my mom and dad took my sister and brother and I up The Chief. It’s a hike close to Squamish, BC that ends at the top of a popular rock climbing wall that is 600 meters high. Being the youngest I arrived last only to find the rest of my family on their stomachs looking over the edge of the cliff. Clearly I am adopted.
So, am I going to end up like my mom? Paralyzed with fear over the thought of getting on a plane? I hope not because I love to travel and look forward to adventures with my husband after the kids have moved out. (Snake free adventures of course). When are the powers that be going to invest some serious money into teleportation? How hard could it be. Get me from point A to point B in seconds is all I am asking. Until that time comes The Best Thing in Life is knowing that airlines serve wine at pretty much any time of day.