Thursday, January 24, 2013

Being the youngest is fair game, apparently.

I’m the youngest of 3 girls. I have an absolutely fabulous relationship with my sisters, we’re incredibly close and they mean the world to me. There’s a bit of an age gap between them and I, Sophie is 7 years older than me and Sarah 9 years older. It probably goes without saying that we all take the mick out of each other, but there seem to be more instances of the two older ones laughing at me. I’m not sure the reason for this, it maybe because I’m the youngest and it’s part of the package, or it maybe because  the oddities I have are more worthy of teasing. Whatever the reason, I love the banter that these stories cause.

In a previous post I wrote about going camping as a child. As much as I loved these trips and have wonderful memories of them, I do believe they are responsible for 2 out of 3 of my odd fears. Fears which will never, ever, fail to amuse the sisters. The fears are trees, rabbits and stags….but only at night. Yes, yes I know. I’ll do my best to explain these without coming across as a total crazy. I don’t like the dark, never have as far as I can remember, but I especially hate the dark when I’m outside.  My imagination runs wild (as it does with most people I’d imagine…no? Balls). I’m thinking of zombies and vampires and many other horrible things that could get me.
I think the rabbits fear stems from Watership Down. You’ve all seen Watership Down, you know that huge scary rabbit with the bloodshot eyes and the big big teeth? Yes, him. He scares the bejeezus out of me. I don’t actually remember the full extent of the story, I’ve not watched it in years, but I have a lasting memory of this horrible rabbit. In fact, I’ve just had to Google it to find out his name, “General Woundwort”.
The trees and stags fear definitely stems from Scotland. Although we frequently camped, on occasion we’d stay in one of the holiday cottages by the road. Lovely quaint cottages, but they backed onto a dense wood. I hated being out in the garden with the dog at night. Although the garden was fenced, the wood was right there and it was pitch black. So my imagination would go off, thinking of big stags that could come out of the woods to get me. God knows why they’d come and get me, I didn’t say my thoughts were rational!
I must have made it known about my stag fear quite early on because for as long as I can remember, whenever there was the road sign for wild animals…yes, the one with a stag on it, someone, normally Soph or Dad from what I remember, would exclaim “Stags!” in the car. This still happens now. To the point that Soph has texted me the single word “Stags” when driving past such a sign, or sending me picture messages of crockery with stags on them from a works dinner. A good few years back, Dad bought me two mugs. One with rabbits on and one with stags on...much to his own amusement.
When we went camping last year, the sisters were remarkably restrained with their teasing of me at night, but I’m sure there were a few comments about going to the loo at night. But, I was quite proud of myself for not totally freaking out. Yey me!

My ability to freak out at just about anything scary is also fair game for them (see the post “Halloween? Erm, no thanks.

I also have a fear of fresh tomatoes (tinned are fine though!). This is bloody hard to rationalise. I just can’t stand them. I’m shuddering just writing this. They’re horrible things. They smell, they ooze juice and they’re just disgusting. There was a time when I wouldn’t go near one, wouldn’t eat anything that had touched one, but I’m not so bad now. I had to conquer my fear a bit when I got a Saturday job in a coffee shop as I had to deal with them on a daily basis. But I wasn’t happy about it.
Whenever eating anywhere now, I will scour the menu for mentions of tomato in dishes and I generally avoid salad because it’s just not worth the risk. Burgers are another trap, I will always ask for them without any salad garnish. Most normal people order the lot, then just take the tomato off. Not happening with me, there’s a risk there could be a pip or bit of it left on my burger which really would freak me out. If ordering a sandwich in a deli, I’ll be very aware of who serves me and what they’ve handled before. If they’ve put tomato on a sandwich and use the same gloves I’ll be very concerned that I could end up with a bit of tomato on my sandwich.
I know this is very odd, totally irrational and frankly, laughable. But it’s just the way I am! We all have oddities and that’s my main one. What’s even odder is that I have absolutely no problem with tinned tomatoes, tomato sauce etc. I love spag bol, pizzas and use a lot of tomato based sauces in my cooking. It’s fresh salad tomatoes that I have a serious issue with. This too is a constant source of amusement for my sisters, and I do indulge them by telling them occasional close calls I may have! Sophie says I used to physically recoil from them as a child too.

“Don’t Panic, 50p!” is the final one I’m going to mention. This has become a stock response when someone mentions panicking in my family, especially in the context of me. I said it to a friend yesterday and understandably, she didn’t have a clue what I was on about. I explained it was a family joke but was unable to expand further. Which prompted me to email my sisters to ask if either of them could remember what the story was. The response I received was this “We were going to buy some daffs for Nan and they were 50p...for some reason you got a right panic on, maybe you didn't have 50p or you didn't think it was good value; but either way you got in a right flap. Lol”
I had a feeling it was something to do with daffodils, so I was right in my thinking there. Bear in mind this event occurred when I was about 6 so about 25 years ago… I’ve never lived it down. I vaguely remember the panicked feeling I had at the time, but I can’t pinpoint why I was SO panicked!

There are times though when the older two get a ribbing too. Sarah’s admittance that she thought the Katy Perry song lyric was “The taste of her cherry chopstick” is one that springs to mind. I must admit, I’m struggling to come up with something for Sophie, there are some brilliant stories from being kids but I’ll save her blushes and not mention those….

Life wouldn’t be the same without the teasing from my sisters though, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Take it easy.


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