Phone Phobia

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate answering the phone?  I have that exact cat expression except with a slightly more raised left eyebrow whenever the phone rings.  (Oh crap.  Who is that and what the hell do they want. I’ll just let it go to voicemail.)

I will make an exception of course if I’m expecting a call, or recognize the number and actually feel like talking, but those circumstances are rare.

List of possible reasons for my phone call paranoia:

  1. It might be bad news.  Here’s a weird thing I remember from my childhood. Our phone rang and I said “phone calls used to always mean bad news, like somebody died”.  After that profound announcement my mother took the call and learned that one of our uncles had suffered a heart attack and died.  It was a strange coincidence, I’m not psychic or anything, but I’ve never forgotten it. Maybe this helps to explain the little jolt of anxiety a ringing phone still gives me.
  2. If it’s a telemarketing or solicitation call it’s hard for me to be anything but dismissive and rude.  It’s impossible to but in because they never shut up, so I just talk over them and then hang up.  After that I put their number on our  blocked list.
  3. It is really frustrating to have difficulty understanding what is being said, especially if someone talks very quickly or has an accent.  I’m so much better face to face.

Whoa. That last one is the biggest reason.  I stopped after I wrote it and went off to do some research and this resulted in (YAY!) yet another list.  Check out this site for the full version.

When you have a high frequency hearing loss, you may have trouble:

– following conversations (hear but can’t understand).
– talking on the phone.
– understanding TV shows or movies even when you turn the volume up.
– understanding young children’s voices because they tend to be higher in pitch
– enjoying music because it sounds distorted, especially at higher volumes.


– people think you aren’t listening to them or accuse you of having selective hearing

– you accuse people of mumbling

– you answer questions inappropriately or miss punch lines

– you smile and nod even though you have no clue what the hell is going on

Well that explains a lot. Why I turn the radio off with a sigh of relief.   Why I always have subtitles running across my screen no matter what I’m watching.  Why I can hear some things from rooms away but never the stove timer.  Why my mumbling grandchildren are so hard to understand,  and why they get so exasperated having to repeat themselves for me.

Sorry guys.  It’s not JUST senility.  Maybe I do need to seriously consider that hearing aid I was told I was borderline for needing.  Or I could wait until I can no longer even hear the phone ringing at all.  Decisions, decisions. Meanwhile, practicing that cat face but adding nodding and smiling to it.

Just Jazzy 212

nomophobia (n) fear of being without mobile phone contact.  Symptoms include low battery anxiety and no-signal or no-network-connection distress.

Being a nomophobe is a whole new kind of disconnection.

Being a nomophobe is a whole new kind of disconnection.

Jazzy Words

My List of All Things ICK

Irrational fears are nothing new.  Everybody has something that pushes an anxiety button causing mild dismay or distress.  Never mind the major phobias, like fear of heights, being closed in, flying, water, spiders, snakes, or being afraid of the dark.  The people who fear these things don’t really believe deep down they’re being all that irrational.  It’s healthy to have a fear of wild animals, for instance.  And therefore camping and hiking and wilderness areas in general.  Really, it’s freaking dangerous out there, what are you DOING?

But I’m not talking about the big things.  It’s the mini phobias that give you the willies or the heebie-jeebies  but don’t seem to have the same effect on everyone else.  And you can’t quite put your finger on any rational reason for that shiver of dread.  It’s those little things that make you cry ICK as you slowly back away, or (worst case scenario) run from the room screaming like a girl.

So here’s my personal list of all things ICK.  In random order of ickyness.

1.  Moths attracted to my reading light and threatening to land anywhere near my head.  Get away from me, or prepare to die.

2.  Rodents (except for squirrels because they should never have been classified as such.  Who did that?)  (Despite the fact that they’re cute, even squirrels better not touch me with those icky little black feet.)

3. Those gross globby white mucous-y  blobby things on cracked raw eggs  Get them OFF.  Gah.

4.  Gummies.  Especially worms.  And I don’t care if they’re shaped like cute little teddy bears or covered in sugar.  That does not disguise their squishy ick factor in the slightest.

5.  June bugs.  Other beetles.  Crawly things that crunch if you step on them.

6.  Dirty fingernails.  Ewww.  What the hell is under there and is it growing? Like mould?

7.  Too ripe bananas.  Black ones push me over the edge.

8.  Globs of toothpaste and spit left in the sink.  Gag.

9.  Slime.  Or anything that resembles slime.  Or feels like slime.  Or might one day turn into some form of slime.

10.  Anything (ANYTHING) that smells weird or dreadful or peculiar or off.  Especially if it turns up in my fridge.

Okay.  On the neurotic ick scale from one to ten, I’d rate myself a three.  Four tops.  Come on.  There are things on that list that are too cringe-worthy for a revulsion to them to ever be considered abnormal.