I once dated a guy who was afraid of heights.
Because I am a compassionate person and also like others to credit me for their accomplishments, I was extremely supportive.
Rather than laugh at his debilitating fear, or giving him a blank stare and saying “Did I ask?”, I decided to help him overcome his phobia, so he could move on from it and not feel the need to bore me with his personal issues.
“Whenever you start to get panicky,” I told him, “just picture the sky in its underwear. Then it won’t seem so intimidating.”
Had he not gone AWOL (I thought maybe he’d died in a skydiving accident but turns out he’s on Facebook), he could have repaid the favor, when I recently found myself faced with my third biggest fear in the world.
My Biggest Fears In The World
2) Having cankles.
3) Sticking my arm in a sink full of someone else’s dirty dishwater..
4) Watching back-to-back episodes of Two And a Half Men. (Season irrelevant.)
After returning from Mexico, I moved in with my friend, Labia Minora (not her real name). Technically she didn’t offer, but since my stuff was there anyway it seemed like the logical solution.
She was going to be on vacation, so she hid a house key under a rock.
When I arrived, everything seemed to be in order. But then I went to the kitchen and saw the half-filled sink and I remembered that nothing is ever what it seems.
Based on the evidence gathered at the crime scene, I came up with three possible reasons for this senseless tragedy:
1) Halfway through doing dishes, L suddenly remembered that she was supposed to be on vacation.
2) Some pervert with a dirty dishwater fetish was trying to send me a message.
3) Halfway through doing dishes, some pervert with a dirty dishwater fetish came by and reminded L that she was was supposed to be on vacation.
I left it, hoping this pervert would at least have the decency to come back and drain it.
The next morning, it was still there. Only now the water had an orangey hue and there was a slimy film on top. I briefly considered letting it congeal, then adding marshmallows and bringing it to my family reunion. (My Grandma loves that stuff.)
Using a wire hanger, I tried to unhook the plug. Nothing. I tried poking it. Still nothing. I started blindly stabbing it. It made a weird gurgling sound. A cold water fish, perhaps, or maybe her old cat that she assumed had run away (probably because it couldn’t handle living in a house with a dirty sink).
I needed to clear my head. I went upstairs and started rifling through L’s underwear drawer.
Then I scanned her bookshelves.
I also checked her medicine cabinets, just to make sure she hadn’t developed any conditions I should be aware of.
Eye Drops- Possible cocaine addiction
Empty Bottle of Pepto-Bismol- Where she stashes all of her extra cocaine.
Inhaler- A decoy she carries to throw off the cops, since nobody would accuse an asthmatic of being addicted to cocaine.
Listerine- Severe drinking problem, which started when she ran out of cocaine.
Eno- Acid reflux, triggered by drinking problem.
Advil- For hangovers.
Rub A535- What she uses to entertain the creepy pervert with dirty dishwasher fetish.
Hair Gel- Don’t even want to know.
4 Condiment Packets (2 relish/1 mustard/1 Arby’s Sauce)- Perfectly normal.
Muscle Relaxants- Again, don’t want to know.
By the time I finished emailing her friends and family to organize an intervention, I was exhausted.
Day 5: The situation was dire. Florescent algae was growing over the side of the sink. A family of what looked to be sea monkeys were moving in their waterproof furniture.
I called my friend G for support.
Me: I’m afraid L isn’t going to be with us much longer.
Me: Downward spiral leading to her inevitable drug overdose. We can divide her stuff later. Right now I need to figure out how to drain her sink without the water touching my skin and infesting me with so many parasites that I end up dying alone and a virgin because obviously any guy who would get with a chick who amputates her own arm I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
G: Since when can parasites give you back your virginity?
Me: Since when did you become a parasite-ability expert?
G: Why don’t you just use gloves.
Me: Um, maybe because then the water will soak into the wool and weigh down my hand and I’ll end up being sucked down the drain with it?
G: No. I mean rubber gloves. You know, for doing dishes.
Because my fifth biggest fear in the world is manual labor, I didn’t know.
She told me to look under the sink. That’s when I saw two giant yellow rubber gloves, draped over a bottle of cleaning-type juice.
I don’t remember what happened after that, but I do know that two hours and a box of Franzia wine later I was lying face-down on the linoleum, celebrating the fact that I had successfully conquered my third biggest fear in the world.
To answer your question: Would I do it again? Obviously not.
Did it give me the strength to tackle fears 1, 2 and 4 on my list? No.
Will I make sure my next potential roommate owns a dishwasher before inviting myself to move in? Yes, yes.
…A million times yes.