A Tad Irrational

A couple of days ago, my husband and I were heading home, and got stopped by a train. There’s a lot of train tracks in our area of West Virginia. I stopped the car as the barriers were lowering, and jumped when the train sped by. Trains freak me out … well, train tracks freak me out. It led to a discussion of my irrational fear of them, and how every, single, solitary time I drive over train tracks, my entire body tenses.

As a kid, I heard that myth about standing too close to a train will suck you under. (Apparently the guys at Mythbusters busted that myth) I can tell you my fears are over-exaggerated because the conversation went something like this:

Tim: That train is maybe going 35mph.
Me: I don’t care. Nothing good ever came from hanging around train tracks. And you can’t ask anyone either. You know why? They’re DEAD now. Dead.
Tim: Laughs and gives the ‘You are slightly insane’ expression.

Driving over the bridge a few minutes later, which is not a favorite area of mine either, I did laugh and say my fears might be a little irrational.
It got me thinking. Don’t we all have something we fear that we shouldn’t? Real or intangible? Love, emotions, spiders, any manner of flying creatures (bats, mom?), broccoli, puppies?

Puppies?? You never know.

So I ask, what are some of your irrational fears? And, in a rare moment of suggestion, I’ve got a writing prompt. Do you have a character(s) that are scared of something silly? How do they deal with it, and what’s their reasoning?

I asked my husband, and he could not think of any particular thing he feared irrationally. I’ve made it my mission to find out. 🙂


3 responses to “A Tad Irrational

  • Nancy Grigsby

    Were you afraid of train tracks even before you watched Fried Green Tomatoes? That could do it for me. There is usually some subconscious or buried reason for fears, which means they are not necessarily irrational.
    How about being ‘trapped’ in elevators and airplanes? That’s mine, but for good reasons (from bad experiences).

    • Jessica Paul

      It was before that movie, but after I saw it, I thought I’ll get my foot stuck in the tracks and get run over. But I honestly can’t remember the last time I had the occasion to set foot on or over railroad tracks. 🙂
      Planes don’t really bother me, and I used to think about getting stuck in elevators, but that doesn’t me bug so much anymore.

  • Sherri Newman

    Spiders – AKA Monsters. Ugh – I get nervous just thinking about them. And heights and flying … but to a somewhat lesser degree.

    On another note – I used to love to go down by the train tracks with my dad and brother when we visited my grandparents. It was so cool to stand there and let the rumble go through you and the wind whip your hair around as they went by. Not to mention putting pennies on the tracks to be flattened!

    I even used to love spiders – I used to collect them. Until one day I was going after an exceptionally large specimen. As I carefully crept up on it with my jar and lid, the $#*^@% JUMPED onto my hand. That was it – I’ve been terrified of all sizes ever since.

    And I used to love flying as a child. Perhaps it is just the increased sense of mortality one acquires in aging that gives us these increased irrational fears.

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