Innate Fears

Fear is an interesting monster. Some fears are learned from traumatic events from one’s past. Other fears are ones that grow into existence from somewhere deep within the mind.

As any parent knows, kids tend to grow out of their fears as they grow up.  I am no longer afraid of the dark. I’ve concurred that phobia, so long as I don’t think about aliens, ghosts, or the fact that the universe is inconceivably large..a universe in which anything is possible and one in which I have no control over my tiny miniscule existence. (Great, I won’t be able to get that one out of my head tonight)

Some fears are logic-ed to death.  Through logic, I realized that I’m not afriad of strangers anymore! I just really don’t care for people. See? Voila!

And then there are some fears that don’t come into fruition until we are faced with a new experience.

How about a ‘for example’?

For example: I’m afraid of sting rays.  I didn’t know that. Who really knows about their personal feelings about a sting ray? Have you ever truly interacted with one of these creepy-brothers-of-the-deep?

The Boy took me to Kemah Boardwalk on Saturday. This adventure involved feeding sting rays. Allow me to show you in picture form.

This is the Kemah Boardwalk sign. The Boy and I took a minor roadtrip so that I could visit Kemah!


Once at Kemah, we dodged seagull poo and made our way to the sting rays.

Now The Boy failed to mention that we were going to feed the sting rays, causing a mild swarm of scary swimmers.  I also need to make a confession. I didn’t know that I didn’t know what a sting ray was. I’m not sure what I thought they were, but certainly not what I interacted with.

The tank was shallow, the sting rays were plentiful, and my adrenaline was pumping

So at this point, The Boy spent ten minutes trying to convince me to stick my hand in the tank to feed the creatures.  I wasn’t having it. These things were sliding up the sides, opening their gill things and eeeekkk.  There was no way I was going to lose a hand.

Not buying it. At this point, The Boy was pointing out that four year olds were gleefully feeding the sting ray. I reminded him that I had more meat on my body for the sting rays to consume.

Now academically, I knew I was safe.  No one would intentionally set up an attraction that encouraged patrons to feed a creature if the creature was apt to maim.  That’s simple logic.  Funny thing about academic knowledge and reality….. the very real feeling of unadulterated fear definitely trumps that which I know to be true.

Long story short…

"Nom nom nom," says Sting Ray. This is my hand being gummed by a sting ray. This is also the point where I shrieked like a girl.

Now in most tales, our protagonist overcomes her fear and becomes a better person because of the experience.  And like most things here on Dinosaurs and Cheese, that just isn’t the case.

Okay, maybe I made my peace with the sting ray. Or perhaps I was just happy to be out of fish and leaving the tank.


Sharks suck too.

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2 Responses to Innate Fears

  1. Mark says:

    I shrieked like a girl at that same point. I wish I was kidding…. It felt soooo gross!

  2. mom says:

    I sooo know what you mean about fear. See, I know I am afraid of rodents, as I’m sure you remember. Yesterday when Betsy and I took our pet therapy animals back to the humane society she told me very quietly “don’t freak out but the girl behind the desk has a rat on her shoulder.” Guess what? I freaked!!! This girl was casually doing paperwork while a hairless rat sat on her shoulder and nibbled her hair. Later I was driving and my cell phone fell on the floor and touched my pantleg. I screamed.

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