Monday Dare: the Tim Kermitathoponolisis story

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This Week: I have phobias. I will address one. Or five. Or… just one.

Several years ago, I made the mistake of watching a news clip about a local home infested with bird mites. Fascinated, I made another mistake by googling “bird mites.” I read the sad testimonial of a man who went to sleep one night with his bedroom window open and woke up the next morning with mites in his nose. In his nose!

Then, I went to bed one night with our window open and I woke up the next morning with an itchy nose. Turns out, I caught a cold, but you know how these things twist and turn in your mind until you end up with a phobia.

Bird mite angst. It’s real, people.

My friend, Kathy, has a fear of heights and hates flying. Every time she mentions it, someone standing in our vicinity will chime in and offer that they, too, suffer from the same phobia. Bird mites? Nothing. Just some empty stares.

Now, instead of explaining myself, I just feign disbelief. “You mean you haven’t heard the Tim Kermitathoponolisis story? Wow, where have you been?” I find it’s always helpful to include a long name; it just adds more credibility. I turn and walk away before they ask questions about poor Tim. It’s more effective that way.

Two Saturdays ago, Harv, Cal and I spent the day at the beach. Thirsty, we walked toward the pier to get a soda and saw a well-attended sidewalk show featuring a man and his two birds. Instinctually, I blurted, “Bird mites!” Loudly. I nudged Cal to start moving, but she turned and gave me a look I’ve never seen before.

You know what? Screw this, mommy. I’m standing here and watching the birds.

Disobedience. The teen years, they are a comin’.

I’m pretty cheap about therapy, so I’ll probably just send away for some free “Bird Mites and You” pamphlets. That should do the trick.

Any of your own phobias you’d like to share? Lookee what we got here- a phobia show-and-tell..

A big thanks to Gretchen Rubin, author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Happiness Project. She gave Flourish in Progress a thumbs up on her blog. I think. “Fascinating” is code for thumbs up, no? (Don’t tell her that I’m clueless, y’all.) She’s smart, she’s happy and she rocks a pair of studs better than any classy bitch I know, yo.

photo via

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