By Cheryl Ryan
Where do you fall on the fraidy-cat meter? This Halloween has me wondering what frightens us. I can honestly say that I’ve never been fearless per se, but I haven’t considered myself a fraidy-cat. Things that used to scare me, like writing a blog, don’t anymore but I am increasingly frightened (or at least think twice) about doing physical activities that I wouldn’t have thought twice about when I was younger.
During a recent conversation with Gwen Dawkins, who was leaving for a road trip through the south during hurricane season, I learned that she is afraid of hurricanes but not earthquakes. It turns out that she wasn’t here during the1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake but has been through several hurricanes. I on the other hand am terrified of earthquakes but not hurricanes. So each of us is frightened by things that we’ve actually lived through and know that we should be frightened.
But then there are our less rational fears. Gwen is afraid of shots and sharks. I’m afraid of surgeries and snakes. These aren’t completely irrational but odds are we will survive these things. Fear is defined as an “unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”
Halloween threats are those that go bump in the night or jump from dark corners variety. Personally I’m terrified of scary movies exactly because of the things that could jump from dark corners. But my son and son-in-law can’t wait to see the next scary movie get released. And that seems to be the crux of fear. It’s what you believe to be frightening or dangerous.
I don’t think most of us consider emotional fears when we think of scary stuff but these thoughts can stop us in our tracks as easily as someone sneaking up on us.
So what frightens you this Halloween? Where do you fall on the fraidy-cat meter?