Recently I revealed an irrational fear to yet one more person and again, was met with ridicule. So why not share with everyone? Yes that was my thought once the sobbing subsided. Normally I don’t go into actual personal things but today I’ll share a bit.
This “fear” of mine started way back in my late teens, maybe early 20’s. Back in the days of youth and house parties. Oh yes, we all remember them. Of course about 70% of the ones I attended were most likely at a house I didn’t know. As many of us probably were, I was dragged out by friends to meet their new friends and attend a killer party. Sometimes yes, you met the people there and became friends and perhaps you met your new boss at one. Certainly times happened when you didn’t quite belong and maybe even you were asked to leave the fun times. Either way, we have all been and sometimes we stayed and enjoyed ourselves. My problem stemmed from house parties and the bathroom situation. You spend a good amount of time in an awkward line with strangers (oh don’t even get me started on this experience and the half ass conversations that come from it). Finally the time would come and your number would be called. Thank the heavens! Here’s where my problem begins: You walk in, strange bathroom you don’t know and right there is a shower curtain that’s closed.
I’ve been told and understand that there is a level of good manners involved in this move. Well I actually learned that way later in life so this move probably seemed more confusing at an earlier age. My mind would race as I facilitated and I’d imagine 100 different scenarios of what could be behind that curtain. Someone might have passed out back there. A murderer got in the party and is hanging out back there until everyone leaves. My jerk friend is waiting behind it so he can jump out to scare me into peeing my pants. All sorts of crazy ideas. At first I laughed it off. Then I noticed the thoughts kept popping up. Then every once in a while I’d check behind the curtain. It never went so far that I couldn’t use a bathroom. Still, avoiding the total grips of fear, the closed shower curtain in an unfamiliar bathroom always made me uncomfortable. Also, I never thought about bringing any form of protection with me to the bathroom.
I lived for years with this secret fear and told no one of it. Finally a couple of years ago I revealed my fear to a small group of friends at a birthday party. Of course when I first approached their bathroom the shower curtain was closed so when I returned I decided to share this phobia. One person said they had thought about that once or twice but mainly my friends chuckled and had found a new gold nugget. This quickly became a main topic of discussion for a while that night. Some found it entertaining. So far even that later in the night one friend accompanied me to the bathroom. He wanted to make sure I was in no danger in the presence of the closed curtain. He even checked behind the curtain as I went to the bathroom. Often I remind myself the absurdity of this fear and fortunately I’m not in many situations where it comes up anymore. Seriously, try it out. Imagine yourself in a home you don’t really know, in their bathroom, and you pull back the curtain to find this:
So there you have it. My most ridiculous fear. In the spirit of fun and pastrami, if you have a good idea for a name for this phobia go on and share it.