People are weird, aren’t they? If all that craziness and neurosis that comes out in the midst of relationships wasn’t enough, we’re also saddled with strange foibles. For example, I have a friend who’s morbidly afraid of the Fraggles and another one who smokes and drinks to spectacular levels to get over her fear of developing a terminal illness. Then there’s my mate who gets freaked out if she’s alone in the house at dusk…unless she’s wearing a pair of denim cut-offs. See? Weird.
As for me, as long as I can remember, I’ve had an irrational dislike of grass. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I had a phobia, it’s not that I’m scared of it – I just really don’t like it. I’d call it an… “intense disgust” – rather than a fear. Especially when it comes to long grass, I find that particularly upsetting.
Everyone that knows me becomes aware of this issue sooner or later. Usually because I’m late to meet them having walked all the way round the park. Or they’ve been talking to themselves for the last 5 minutes because I stopped dead as soon as they stepped off the path. They always end up asking me the same thing; “what if there was a million pounds just waiting for you in the middle of a field?” or “what if your Mum was having some sort of medical emergency in the park?”. Well, to be honest, I wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to know about either of those things so I won’t worry about it too much.
As you can see, it’s very debilitating. It’s meant that I’m the only person of my entire generation that’s never been to a festival. That’s probably a good thing now but I would have liked to have gone in my teens. It also means that I can never have my own dog. And that certain beer gardens are no go areas. It means that I’ve ruined every Sunday afternoon stroll or holiday in Dorset for years. And as for romantic picnics, forget it!
In the last few years I’ve become a hay fever sufferer which has got me off the hook a few times – but I wish I could tell you where this intense disgust of grass came from. The only thing I can remember is that grass always used to make me itchy when I was a child. The one other thing I can think of is that my parents used to love to take us on long, boring walks when we were little. And I’m just lazy enough to have developed a neurosis to get out of it.
Yes, it gets in the way but I’m not too bothered about it really. I’m far too busy dreaming up reasons for my friends’ dusk and daisy dukes thing to worry about grass.