The question of the day for one of the forums on my online mom’s group was “Do you have any phobias?”. Yes, yes I do.

I am SO not a fan of a fair chunk of Mother Earth’s creatures. She can take all of the rodents in the world and send them to outer space. We don’t need ’em, there are plenty of other scavengers. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the damn things aren’t around you either–vole, squirrel, mouse, rat–they are all rodents. Ground tunneling, attic-nesting, lawn-eating rodents.

And all of them might be looking at you without your knowledge.

That’s my phobia. Someone/something watching me and I don’t know it. I even know when/how it happened. My Dad was not paying attention (this will seem quite ironic later) to the fact that an 8-year old me was crouched under the dining room table watching old episodes of Twilight Zone. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, which is the one with Shatner on a plane–that was what did it. There’s some youtube stuff, but I couldn’t force myself to watch any of them.

Whatever neuron chose to fire on that memory did a fantastic job. I wish it would have chosen something useful, like algebra. Or grammar.

Same Dad was also a Vietnam Veteran/Career Army. There were…procedures…to complete before one could safely retire for the evening. I didn’t know other people didn’t do a perimeter check. I guess it just never came up. I always have a special place in my heart for people that get that behavior was the norm. It’s like finding out you have a cousin you didn’t know about. Sorry, that was a little tangent. Apparently the “have a linear thought” neuron never fired either.

It would seem that suburbia mellowed Dad out enough to not notice someone crouched under a table, however.

There it is. Jump out at me, yell “boo”, and watch me scream just like the stiletto-wearing white girl in any B-rated horror movie.

Though the other things skeeve me out; rodents, large spiders, venomous snakes, any kind of roach (palmetto bugs…EW!), flocks of grakles, but nothing so much as feeling that shoulder-blade itch of being watched.

Thanks to my continuing quest to win my battle against the wildlife I now know that I’m being watched by something every time I’m outside. Thankfully, critters tend to be more scared of humans, which means if you stomp your feet real loud they’ll likely run away.

I stomp a lot.

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