1. Going outside in the snow.
Have you ever seen the film Fargo? Aside from showcasing the Coen brothers’ genius (as well as Frances McDormand’s unintentional comedic prowess), it features a lot of snow. Not the fun kind. The sloshy, blood-splattered kind. The film takes place mostly in North Dakota and Minnesota — which is half land of abundant cheese, beer, and beautifully happy people (or is that Wisconsin?) and half land of frozen tundra. After watching Fargo, I’ve become terrified whenever it starts to snow because the synapses in my brain have forever associated snow with that one scene in Fargo where someone shoves Steve Buscemi’s cadaver into a wood chipper. It snowed last week in Atlanta, where I go to school. The storm, which caused schools and businesses to temporarily shut down, ranked in the top ten worst experiences of my life. I spent three whole days cooped up in my room because I was too scared to go outside. The truth is this: I am afraid that if I go outside in the snow, someone is going to pop out from behind a cluster of trees, hack my young, nubile body to pieces, and slip my remains into a wood chipper. My parents would be so pissed.
2. Using the bathroom in public.
According to the unspoken rules of Girl Code, when you hit the town with a friend and she asks you to accompany her to the bathroom, it’s your duty to go. I’ve served as a Bathroom Buddy more times than I count — the go-to girl who holds purses and coats while her friends perfect the hover-squat that keeps them from touching surfaces that hundreds of other behinds frequent on a daily basis. However, I’ve never used any of my friends as a Bathroom Buddy because, well, I’m scared of using public restrooms. The problem is that I just can’t go in front of other people, and I don’t understand how my friends can do so with such libertine brazenness — especially if I’m in the stall with them. I can’t fathom how guys do it — they stand, side-by-side, in their neat, little rows of urinals and let their freak flags fly in front of anyone else who might be around. That sounds awful — I would sooner, say, swallow a live goldfish or two than go to the bathroom around other people. Maybe this is all because, at heart, I’m a bit of a prude. I did watch a lot of Nancy Grace when I was younger.
3. Asking people out.
In my head, I am smooth. In reality, I have a tendency to embarrass myself in front of people I am interested in. I trip and fall down often. I accidentally spill coffee all over the front of my shirt when I bring my cup to my mouth in what would have otherwise been a somewhat seductive move. I am a mess, and all I can do is hope that they find this…charming! Endearing! This being said, there are few things that instill more fear in my little, lump-of-coal heart than having to ask someone out. My sorority is throwing a date function in a couple of weeks, for example. This is the first time that I have been single (really, truly, zero-cares-given single) for a while, and the prospect of asking someone to go with me was so anxiety inducing that my roommate threatened to take my phone and craft the message for me. “What’s wrong with you, Steph?” she asked. “Why is your face all red?” Embarrassed, I hid in the bedroom with the door shut, typed out a text message (yes, I asked over text — I am a baby), pressed “send,” and stashed my phone in my underwear drawer so I wouldn’t think about it until he responded. Terrible. Like, how do people do this on a regular basis?