I have a lot of stupid fears. Just last night I shrieked when I found what was, at second glance, a long-dead spider. I mean, I’ve seen episodes of “Neighbours” with more life in them.
So, arachnophobia, check. Fear of heights, check. Strong dislike, bordering on fear, of large shopping centres. Not sure if there’s a word for it, but that one, too.
One thing that doesn’t trouble me, though, is using subways. This includes around 10 to 11 at night, sometimes even later. For any Americans reading this, who may have an image of someone wandering around under the street lights, chowing down on a large sandwich, I should probably clarify that in Britain “subway” usually means an underpass below the road(s). The other kind of subway is the Underground, or Tube, which is only found in London. At least, I believe so.
I don’t get out much.
So why, given all that, did I hesitate recently before walking through our local park at mid-day? It was glorious outside, even by Michigan standards, which means it was practically boiling by British ones. Bright sunshine. Green trees, and greener grass. A few flowers. Not much litter. Birds, singing. Children, playing.
Playing football. Lots of children.
Is there a term which means “fear of children”? Although I’m grand mother age now – or, as I think of it, “young grand mother age” – I don’t have kids, or grand kids. So I waver between a tendency to smile at small children, and the urge to avoid them like a plague of Kermit the Frogs.
As a childless woman, if I saw a child in distress, I believe I would rush to their assistance. Then I’d wait in dread of the potential fall out of accusations, misunderstandings and, well, who knows what. If I were a bloke in the same situation, however, I’d be tempted to get the hell out of there: the quicker, the better.
Stupid fear? Or sad but realistic reflection of sadder times?
You tell me.