Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Overcoming Irrational Fear

My husband thinks I'm crazy.

Not for the usual reasons, but for my irrational fears of getting food delivered and car washes. I know, not the usual suspects. I've checked the list and I can't find an actual name for my phobias, but I have them anyway.

I don't like to order food for takeout or delivery. It's not that I don't like to eat take out, I don't want to be the one to actually call it in to the restaurant. I don't know why, I just don't. I can if I have to, but I prefer not to and usually find a way to make my husband do it.

The strongest of my food related "phobias" is actually paying the delivery person for the order. I panic on how much money to give them and over think the whole process and find it easier and less stressful to be the one to hold the dog from escaping than to pay the kid at the door. My husband likes to tease me about it every single time we order food. Over the years I have been doing my best to overcome my fears. What works best is paying online or if we have the exact amount of money to cover the food and tip. I panic when I need to do backwards math and figure out how much money to ask in return so that the food is paid for and the delivery person gets a decent tip.

My other bizarre issue is with the car wash. I don't do it often enough to know what the system is. Do I stay in the car or get out? Do they hand dry the car or not? What package do I get? What is included in the package? How much do I tip and is there a jar or do I hand it to someone? So much to think about. Pat tells me to go to an automated car wash...I'm not sure that's any better. I worry about getting the wheels lined up on the track right; what if I mess up and have to re-position the car. I don't want to be embarrassed in the line not knowing how to take my car through the car wash. So, what do I do...wait until he does it for me. My car ends up looking like crap because I can't handle the simple task of a car wash.

Recently, I discovered the gas station I hit on my way home from work (the cheapest in my route) also has a car wash. They discount your gas $.10/ gallon if you purchase a wash. The car was disgusting and I needed gas so I decided to give it a go. Pat explained the process to me the other day and I felt like I could handle the simple wash at the Exxon...all I had to do was drive into the bay and everything happened around me- no track or conveyor belt to worry about.

I prepared myself for my adversary. I got my slip from the cashier with my pin number for the automated car wash and got in line behind a pick-up truck. I used my wait time to familiarize myself with the process. I figured out that I had to pull up to the machine, enter my code and then when the green light went on, I drove in until the stop light turned on. Easy peasy...so I thought. I pulled in slowly, watching the light to see it turn red. I went over a bump and at the same time the light turned red. I put the van in park and waited. Nothing happened. I waited. A little man showed up next to me and motioned for me to back up. Evidently, I wasn't supposed to go over the bump! i managed to get the van back over the bump and the wash began. i wasn't exactly sure when to begin driving out of the car wash, but I managed to figure it out. I think I will be able to do it again, but I may just need a drink afterwards!!

I hope that some day I will be able to move past my irrational fears, or at least train my children to deal with them for me!

1 comment:

Mom on the Run said...

I love this post. I, too, have self-diagnosed with various phobias. I get tongue-tied when doing a checkout using my debit or credit card. Much of the time I enter something incorrectly. Why do I get so flustered when I check out this way at least 3 times a week! I wonder if the cashier thinks I am (a) mentally challenged or (b) a nonEnglish speaker.

I'm not overly fond of paying the delivery people, either. Years ago when my husband worked at a local high school, he would not go to the door to pay the delivery person as he did not want to see students. When he worked at a previous school he would not eat at any of the restaurants at Lake Forest Mall in G-burg for fear that any student workers at the restaurant would do something to our food. The students at his school had emotional and behavioral problems, so I can understand why he did this.

I did not know you were at Millersville. I'm afraid F&Mers were a little snobby about other colleges in the area. My neighbor was at Millersville, too. I went to Millersville for a concert...cannot remember who I saw...an 80s band for sure.