Today Cheryl took me to the store in Port Angeles that sells Hello Kitty items. In a true adaptation to US culture I found there a Hello Kitty Slot machine for small children where they learn how to play slots and when they win they get candy; sort of an essential skill for that pre-school set. I found a sweet (as in rockin') night shirt which had Pirate Hello Kitty on her own ship but the tops were in small (told Linda, “We’ll just wait a month.” I am a medium/large juniors now).
I was looking over other Hello Kitty swag when I saw a 6 foot tall blonde girl wearing some goth NYC gear with some male in tow (I couldn’t see his face). She said to world at large that she was “Too old for Hello Kitty!” and how “I shouldn’t love Hello Kitty so much, I’m supposed to be adult and all.” I looked at her and she had that age bending thing which put her probably in college somewhere (19? 22?).
I told her, “Nonsense, Hello Kitty is VERY subversive.” She gave me her full attention. I reassured her, “In Japan Hello Kitty can be very adult, in fact there are Hello Kitty rooms in Love Hotels. You know about those?” She nodded. The male behind her was slouching in that, “Oh God, how incredibly boring, here I am stuck in the pink Hello Kitty shopping land" way, which made me think “boyfriend.” So I continued, “For example,” I lowered my voice, “In Osaka, Japan there is a Love Hotel Hello Kitty Room full of sweetness, but it is also an S&M room. It is VERY popular with females who take their boyfriends there and with the Hello Kitty bedspread, sheets and decorations and tie them down in the room of overwhelming sweetness.”
“That is SO awesome!” leggy blonde says and nudges the guy, “I’ve got to do that to you! Tie you down in a Hello Kitty room.”
The guy says dryly, “I think that might be excessive cruelty to fathers.”
FATHER? I roll around and see this guy who is clearly thin and wirey from hiking but yeah, late forties plus. Oh God, I am going to HELL. Of not lynched.
I keep talking with her and we compare shirts, she likes my goth Trick Fairy shirt and I like her goth Tripp NYC top. I start telling her about Westlake Center in Seattle and the stores Tall Girl and Hot Topic and how they are right next to each other. She goes to DADDY, “Oh we totally have to go!” And when I mentioned some of the corsets she was like, “I have to add that on my back to school list!” (Her father goes, “That keeps getting longer and longer.”)
BACK TO SCHOOL? She could mean college right, or like 12th grade? Well at least until I told her about the Hello Kitty Toaster which actually burns the face of Hello Kitty into your toast (at the front of the store). She squealed and said, “I just don’t know, now that I am 16 is it wrong for me to LOVE Hello Kitty so much?”
“No, not at all!” and excused myself to roll over to Cheryl and said, “Next TIME, can you please STOP me from opening a conversation with a 16 year old about S&M Hello Kitty Love Hotel Rooms with suggestions to tie down her FATHER.”
Cheryl just laughed and said, “Is this like when you taught that kid the word ‘masturbation’ by accident…should we be expecting some divine retribution anytime soon?”
She didn’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation, “That....or the police?” But somehow that just gave me cred with the blonde. Cheryl assured me that there were very few 16 year olds who did not know about S&M.
“I didn’t!” I said back in the car, “When I came into ‘the world’ at college there were all SORTS of letters I knew nothing about and understood even less.”
“That doesn’t surprise me,” Cheryl said (Cheryl maintains that despite all my efforts I am not even a junior pervert, just a ‘lesbian innocent’ and that I have a LONG way to go to reach the level of ‘Pervert’ which oddly Cheryl seems to be expert in judging). I guess she knows since she had a male ‘associate’ who used to spend his time at work, not just using the internet but spending time at hard core porn sites. And worse yet, used to keep all the links to said porn sites on his work computer desktop.
I was like, “Come on, I’ve known a few male eternal virgins (those who tend to do a LOT of porn surfing), I’ve been shown some porn sites.”
I was told that this guy had PORN with a capital “P” as in the ‘mildest’ image was one involving females and....um…animal cruelty? Mildest? Thank God he didn’t use THOSE as his screen saver. I do however stay up late at night sometimes asking myself the question “Mildest?” I had though myself a hard core perv as I could get the references jokes about women and ping pong balls, women and various vegetables but I just don't know for the life of me where could one go DOWN from…um….animal cruelty. And the way it was indicated was that there was a vast universe of DOWN, DOWN, DOWN into Pervert Land on this guy’s WORK computer. So, okay, I grant Cheryl the power to name the pervert and while she might think it is funny that I start giving out info on Hello Kitty S&M Love Rooms to 16 year olds and their FATHER, I am still sure that is lynching talk in many places. (Ahhhhhh, going to hell, going to hell!)
So now I have acquired a new phobia. One which will not stop me from talking the dirty about Hello Kitty (yet!), just VERY glad I did not mention the vibrators and now next time and EVERY time I need to make sure that male figure IS a boyfriend (Is my fault that I tend to focus on the female and the guy is just a blurry blob?)
Last night Cheryl, Linda and I were sitting around talking about fears. Cheryl used to do cave tours as part of her job as a Ranger and talked about learning to spot the people who were claustrophobic right off. And she said how some young kids you can talk out of their fears (like a fear that bears will attack them in the caves – point out that bears don’t have thumbs to get through the security doors) but some fears you can’t.
I said, well, I don’t think you ever could have talked me into how wonderful it was as a kid to have to go down to the cellar/basement where the sump pump was and get something for my parents. First off, why DO cellars have those steps with no backs, besides so that the monsters can reach in and trip you as you are going down? Also, it didn’t take the film Arachnophobia to tell me that there are spiders in the basement/cellar, of COURSE there are spiders there. And that is one thing I am afraid of, spiders. Indeed after going to bed last night, I saw a little creepy crawly on the wall and hooted out the alert, “Spider! Spider! Spider!” while Linda got some toilet paper and found it where it had crawled behind some clothes and killed it. There is no mercy for spiders I see because Linda would rather kill a spider than have to stay up for four hours listening to me go, “Is that IT? I know it is going to sneak around on my pillow!”
And despite how Linda tries to convince me that spiders do NOT actually seek human blood, I DO know that they tend to make humans their highway and if you move they bite. I know for certain because I had a friend (obviously a male friend) who would wake up in the fall with several spider bites on him. Why? Because he lived in a basement which had drywall but lots of cracks, so as the weather changed and the Spiders came inside, they used him as a highway from the closed off (and dark and dank portion) of the basement and his tiny one bedroom (why a male friend? Because do you know many females who wake up with many spider bites on them every night and then laugh it off?). I think he invited me over to watch me squirm and scream as the spiders came though pretty much all the time. As for me, I couldn’t sleep knowing that spiders were on the other side of the wall IN THE DARK doing evil spidery things (like breeding).
Then there is the whole, monsters in the dark. See, even as a child, I KNEW that having a blanket over my head would not stop the axe killer/monsters. It is just I did not PREFER to see my own death coming. I knew the blanket would stop the claws and such BUT since the LAST time I heard the monster creaking in the dark, and I put the blanket over my head and managed to sleep, I felt I should go with a winning formula. Also I had a night light, well to be truthful I had THREE nightlights (right now I have just one! So see, I’m getting better.)
For Linda she has a fear of snakes, and she says while she ‘knows’ it is not a dangerous snake she can’t help but jump and shriek. She also has one for mice, though she claims she just, “Don’t like them.” Errr, yeah, doesn’t like them so much she has to go to the other room while I trap or lay a trap for them and then peel off dead mouse (oh the things we do for love).
Cheryl says she has a phobia for scorpions, which to me doesn’t seem so much a phobia as common sense. Particularly as she woke up in Death Valley with THREE of them crawling on her. I remember in Malaysia visiting a scorpion pit (it was on the tour!) and I can’t say I was about to go within 10 feet of the pit (hey, maybe they can jump).
Cheryl and I are both scared of hieghts, but only the heights where you can LOOK DOWN. See, being up on a ridge, not a problem, having a hotel room overlooking the city, not a problem. But take me on a railroad trestle where I used to have to walk while looking DOWN at the ground a hundred feet or more below. And I was clammy, my limbs rigid. That didn’t stop me from walking DOWN from the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower where I have to walk down looking down through the iron gridwork stairs and keep staying, “Try not to think about how these stairs are over a hundred year old!” Other people I know freak at the top of Ferris Wheel, which bothers me not at all (because I have something to HOLD and not looking straight down, feet firmly on…um tin metal).
You all know about my needle phobia. But let me delve into my odd fears. But first Linda.
Linda says I can say that she used to have a very strong/overwhelming fear of FAILING. In fact, she would avoid trying or doing anything that could possibly result in her failing. But she has worked hard, taken a couple public speakign classes and now is sort of known as the go-to girl for learning new things. But it seems a lot of people are afraid of this. After I with her for a while, and we were a couple, I asked her to do what I tended to do every few years, which was to put down a sheet of “five year goals.” Just doing a fantasy thing of what you might WANT to do, but have never pushed yourself to do, like “Learn to sail” or “Take a Cruise.” Linda wouldn’t put down anything. When I asked her what was going on, she burst into tears. I didn’t understand at the time how hard it was for her to put down a list of things that she might have to try, because then she might FAIL. With some hugging and talking she finally wrote the list. After getting back from the UK, she found the list again and almost everything on the list she had done. Go Linda. Maybe time for a new list?
As for me, when I was doing my therapy for rape, I wasn’t just having nightmares every night, I was also extremely afraid of men who approached me on the sidewalk, their eyes moving to me, watching me turned me to a jelly of fear inside. A few guys picked up on this and used to call out things, acting if I was their specially owned pet, “I haven’t seen that on you baby, you got to come show me later.” This created in me a fear, not of men but of being in a place where men could do or say what they wanted; which seem to be both public and private places from streets to restaurants. It got so bad that with the exception of a few blocks I was housebound, due to this fear. I wanted to carry a knife, but EVERYONE including Linda stopped that because it was so obvious that I was so terrified (and full of rape/abuse triggers) that I would probably use it. It took some therapy, and some sports to give me back enough confidence to be able to walk by myself again, to have a man ask directions or want to stop and talk and not have a visible quiver of fear. These days, when I am far more vulnerable, I have no fear at all, that, thankfully but sadly, is one fear that is so common, we as society have learned the skills needed to help people overcome it.
As for spiders, “I spy, you die!” Guess I haven’t come to co-exist with them yet.
Anyway, that's me, and Linda, we shared, you share - so dish, believe me, I won't laugh (public speaking for example is a common fear - being attacked by armadillos..um...less common).
2 hours ago