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Fear Meme - Mo's Journal
November 18th, 2008
07:24 am

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Fear Meme
I was going to write about marriage and Proposition 8 and protests and so on, but I think I'll do this instead.

I'm afraid of 10 of the most common fears:

[ ] the dark
[ ] staying single forever
[ ] being a parent
[ ] giving birth
[ ] being myself in front of others
[ ] open spaces
[ ] closed spaces
[ ] heights
[ ] dogs
[ ] birds
[ ] fish
[ ] spiders
[ ] flowers or other plants
[ ] being touched
[ ] fire
[ ] deep water
[ ] snakes
[ ] silk
[ ] the ocean
[X] failure
[ ] success
[ ] thunder/lightning
[ ] frogs/toads
[ ] my boyfriend's/girlfriend's/spouse's dad
[ ] my boyfriend's/girlfriend's/spouse's mom
[X] rats
[X] jumping from high places
[ ] snow


[ ] rain
[ ] wind
[ ] crossing hanging bridges
[X] death
[ ] heaven
[ ] being robbed
[X] falling
[ ] clowns
[ ] dolls
[ ] large crowds of people
[ ] men
[ ] women
[X] having great responsibilities
[X] doctors, including dentists
[ ] tornadoes


[ ] hurricanes
[X] incurable diseases
[ ] sharks
[ ] Friday the 13th
[ ] ghosts
[X] poverty
[ ] Halloween
[ ] school
[ ] trains
[ ] odd numbers
[ ] even numbers
[ ] being alone
[ ] becoming blind
[ ] becoming deaf
[ ] growing up


[ ] creepy noises in the night
[ ] bee stings
[X] not accomplishing my dreams/goals
[ ] needles
[ ] blood
[ ] dinosaurs
[ ] the welcome mat
[ ] high speed
[ ] throwing up
[ ] falling in love
[ ] super secrets


If you wish to post this in your journal, it's been suggested that you entitle it "I'm afraid of __ out of 72 common fears"


mofic notes: This seems wrong to me. I'm not afraid of the fear; I'm afraid of the thing or concept, e.g. I'm not afraid of a fear of death; I'm afraid of death.

If you get more than 30, I strongly recommend some counseling
If you get more than 20, you’re paranoid.
If you get 10-20, you are normal.
If you get 10 or fewer, you’re fearless.
People who don’t have any are liars.

mofic further notes: It's missing my neurotic fears, which I guess are uncommon. Like fear of injury to the eyes (I'm not afraid of going blind but sharp things near eyes give me the willies) and fear of walking downstairs without watching my feet.

It's also missing what I thought was one of the most common fears: public speaking. It's one I don't share. And, in fact, I need to get dressed and go give a speech :-).

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[User Picture]
From:marag
Date:November 18th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
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Oh god, eyes. ::wibbles:: I put off getting glasses for years because I was too afraid of the eye exam. Seriously, I can't even allow someone to put in eyedrops, let alone put things near my eyes. And I have to close my eyes during dental work, because having all those pointy things near my eyes freaks me out.

And public speaking used to be my number one fear. I'm not even sure if I'd have counted it now. Maybe, maybe not.
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From:mofic
Date:November 19th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
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I can't handle the glaucoma test more than once every five years or so. And I couldn't possibly put contact lenses in my eyes, although I'm one of the few people who would see better with them (very myopic but not astigmatic). So I remain dependent on my glasses, like Cyclops.
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From:davidfcooper
Date:November 18th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
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Which dreams/goals have you yet to accomplish?

Not accomplishing certain things would make me sad, but I wouldn't call that a fear or even an anxiety.
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From:mofic
Date:November 19th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
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At the risk of sounding very stupid, I'll admit I didn't really think of anything particular I'm afraid of not accomplishing. It just seemed - like jumping from high places - something that is sort of worth being scared of.
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From:lilacsigil
Date:November 19th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
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I have some very specific fears - I'm more worried about being in incurable pain than dying, I'm not afraid of fire but I'm terrified of bushfires/wildfires (and considering where I live, this is quite reasonable), I'm not afraid of sharks as such, just of being eaten by a big toothy animal.

I think a lot of people share your eye fear, judging by the number of people who can't cope with putting the nozzle of an eye drop bottle near their eye.
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From:mofic
Date:November 19th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
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It's kind of funny that I'm so terribly afraid of injury to my eyes when I'm really so very not afraid of going blind. I have spent a lot of time with blind people; I lived for ten summers in a row at Vacation Camp for the Blind and I've always felt I'd adapt pretty well to blindness, much more so than some other disabilities. But I can't even put mascara on!
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From:were_lemur
Date:November 19th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)
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I'm afraid of parrots, of all things. NOT one of the big 72.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:November 19th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
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How interesting! Do you have any idea where it comes from?

I need a fear icon!
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From:were_lemur
Date:November 22nd, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
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My sister was bitten by my uncle's parrot, Patrick, when I was a kid, and I remember her reaction. Screaming and crying.

The funny thing is that it's such a specific fear. I volunteered to be onstage during a birds of prey demonstration where a turkey vulture flew right in front of me, and when I found a sick crow I picked it up. And I once met a woman who had a dark gray parrot that I was okay with. I guess that my brain has made the connection that brightly colored birds = danger. (Even parakeets make me a bit nervous.)
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From:notmonica
Date:November 19th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
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What I find interesting about this is that I think we all feel the need to QUANTIFY the generalized fear listed. Like the gal who isn't afraid of birds but is afraid of parrots. I find myself thinking, "I'm not afraid of heights or jumping off something tall but I have no desire to sky dive either-so does that mean I AM afraid?" (I don't think so really)
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From:mofic
Date:November 19th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
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Isn't that qualifying, rather than quantifying?

I tended towards checking it if I was afraid of some part of it. So, for example, I'm not afraid of doctors but I am of dental work, so I checked that one.

And I'd love to try sky diving and hang gliding (haven't for lack of money/opportunity), but I still checked off fear of "jumping from high places" because if you don't have a parachute or hang glider, that's frickin' dangerous!
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From:notmonica
Date:November 19th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it is qualifying not quantifying. *is still waking up* Silly Monica.

See? I'll jump off things, tall things, if there's a reasonable landing spot. Like, cliffs while skiing as long as the runout looks reasonable or off a 30 ft bridge into deep water. Yup. But skydiving? I'm sure I could muster the courage but why? It doesn't look fun to me. Or spiders? The kind in the house? No problem. A tarantula gives me a bit of the wibbles though, again, could I let one walk up my arm? Sure. Do I want to do it? Not so much. So I guess what I'm asking here is are they talking about manageable or unmanageable fears, or any fear at all? Because anyone who says they aren't afraid of death AT ALL is a big, fat liar. IMHO.
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From:were_lemur
Date:November 22nd, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
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*nods*

I'm terrified of heights, but I've gone (indoor) rock climbing and zip-lining -- mostly to prove that I was stronger than my fears.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 19th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
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I can't believe that fear of a welcome mat is one of the top 72 fears. Doesn't that sound made up to you? And where are ghosts, UFO, supernatural?
From:rpics
Date:November 19th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
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Oops - the anonymous one was me - a LJ newbie.
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From:mofic
Date:November 19th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, welcome mats and silk are both weird. And "heaven" but not "hell"? It does seem like an odd collection. But with memes it's hard to figure out where the list came from.
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From:aurienne
Date:December 10th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
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not 100% related, but I thought you'd appreciate..

"CAMPAIGN TO REMOVE FRESHMEN FROM SIDEWALKS IN SECOND SUCCESSFUL WEEK
11/24/08--Princeton, NJ

A group of students at Princeton University would like to eliminate the right of freshmen to walk on campus sidewalks. Stating that they would like to "preserve traditional sidewalk values" that define a sidewalk as a "pathway for sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university community," the group, which is acting in support of a measure termed "Princeton Proposition 8," is now entering its second successful week of demonstration.

The students emphasize that they are not "froshophobic" and that some of their best friends are freshmen, but they maintain that freshmen on the sidewalk degrade the sacred institution of sidewalks, and jeopardize the validity of upperclassmen's own perambulation. It also makes some of them uncomfortable. They are very excited that California's Proposition 8 has set a clear precedent for a majority to eliminate a minority group's civil rights, and they see it as a perfect opportunity to utilize this development for their own gain...."


"As a former freshman, I know the seduction of being a freshman, the carefree lifestyle, the attraction of youth. But through the strong moral guidance of my professors, I saw that my lifestyle was a choice, one I would come to regret. It took me almost a year to get away from the freshman lifestyle. It wasn't easy -- all my friends were freshmen, I found myself in classes surrounded by freshmen. But I finally moved on. Others can too. It's not been many years since I was a freshman, and I can confidently say I will never be a freshman again. I hope others can learn from my example"

from http://www.americablog.com/2008/11/princeton-proposition-8-to-protect.html (it later becomes a flame war, but the first comments stay "in character" to help illustrate the drama)
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:December 10th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
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I fear I'm losing my sense of humor on this issue. I can sort of tell it's funny, but my main reaction is:

The problem with the analogy is that freshman will be sophomores next year and get these rights, while the majority is doing it's damned best to deny us marriage rights forever.
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From:aurienne
Date:December 10th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
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True... of course, since I work at a college, I'm so aware of how low the retention rates can be -- and with the way I transferred around so much, I had 3 separate freshmen years.

But of course it's oversimplified and sophomoric, it IS just students -- they don't understand major legal issues and rights, but they do see sidewalks and landscaping everywhere.
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From:mofic
Date:December 10th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Oh I'm not blaming them. I'm blaming my own lack of humor.
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