Smiley Faces and Washing Machines

When I was a kid I used to be afraid of smiley faces.

Especially smiley faces on birthday cakes.

My older sister is one year and five days older than me. When we were really little mom would bake one cake for us to share.  One year she made an angel food cake extra special by using chocolate chips loving nestled in the icing to make a smiling face.

Instead of being charmed by the decoration I grew hysterical until she quickly cut the cake in half and turned the face away from my view. THAT would be my sister’s half.

I have no idea what is was about that smiling face. Looking at pictures the candied face seemed benign enough, almost cheerful and in no way menacing.

Now I have another irrational fear. This time towards household appliances, especially my washer and dryer. Years ago my washer and dryer unit began to leak and I had a big puddle of water in my laundry room. For some reason repairmen and plumbers make me nervous. I think it’s because I don’t understand their craft and they have to invade my home in order to do their job.

And I don’t know what to do with myself once they are here. Do I offer to help? Do I hover to see if they’re fixing things properly (as if I’d know)?

For some reason the whole business stresses me out like nobodies business, I have no explanation for it. I can speak to a crowd of thousands, I can travel alone in a foreign country, but having to deal with domestic domicile repairs and I’m a wreck.

Finally last week I bought a new washer and dryer and with the help of my father and brother – in –law (bless them both) I now can do my laundry in my home instead of packing it up and taking it over to my parents…like some poor university student visiting for the weekend.

The brain is a funny thing. Random fears preying upon our person. Illogical and irrational. Some disappear over time, others stay with us for the entirety of our lives and we just learn to manage them.

Quirks and eccentricities making us who we are.

Now if I can only look a chocolate smiley face straight in the eye.


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