To the APA, or whomever else it may concern,
I was not traumatized by Spongebob Squarepants as a child. In fact, I barely watched it. I was never at a party with a drunk or inappropriate man in a Spongebob suit. Actually, I’m not really afraid of Spongebob at all. And thank God for that, or else I would not be able to enjoy Jeremy Scott’s Fall 2014 Moschino collection in its entirety. And that would be a tragedy.
I tell you this because I am afraid of sponges. I shiver at just the thought of a kitchen sponge. I’m cringing writing this. And it doesn’t take a psychiatrist to assume my fear probably stems from a traumatic experience with he who lives in a pineapple under the sea. But it doesn’t. It’s a complete mystery.
Here’s the thing though, as incredibly weird and insane as this all sounds, it seems logical that enough people would share this phobia for it to have a name, right? Nope. But let’s just take a look at some of the phobias that do have monikers:
Yes, the fear of chopsticks. I mean, my brother embarrasses us on a weekly basis by asking for a fork at Nobu, but that’s not a phobia, that’s just him apparently having situation specific poor dexterity. If anything, he’s afraid of not getting every bite of spicy shrimp tempura in his mouth. I have to imagine anyone who has a fear of chopsticks has a fear of pointy objects or eating utensils in general, no? I mean there can not be more than a handful of people in this world who see a pair of chopsticks and need to pop a klony. If this is real, I can’t even imagine how they got through the early 2000’s. I know I, along with most of the Limited Too generation rocked the chopsticks in hair trend…Even teen queen Hilary Duff got in on the action! (pictured above)
Before I talk about how ridiculous this is on its own, there is another word, sinistrophobia, which means fear of left-handedness or things on the left side. Do we really need two separate names? Okay, so levophobia, I mean, as far as irrational fears go, this has to be the least rational of all. At least chopsticks can be used as weapons! The only way I could picture relating to a levophobic is if there was a sponge on the left side of my body. Although, maybe this finally explains Derek Zoolander’s inability to turn left! He should really take some time off from the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good and pop in to a levophobia chat room and explain his miraculous recovery from such a debilitating psychological disorder.
I wonder if there was a huge party thrown by geniophobes to celebrate when Jay Leno stepped down as host of The Tonight Show. (Is it too untimely to make a joke that Conan O’Brien has probably developed geniophobia?) In all seriousness though, chins? I actually would understand a fear of “butt chins,” but a fear of plain old chins presents a couple questions. 1) How does one develop this? I fell chin-first through a glass and iron coffee table in second grade and still have the scars (both emotional and physical) to prove it, but I sure as hell don’t suffer from geniophobia. 2) How do geniophobes interact with people, and even themselves? Maybe they only hang out with Jack McBrayer? (in that case, thank God Liz got her sandwich!)
Zemmiphobia: the fear of the great mole rat
No. Just no. How can you not watch The Naked Mole Rap and smile? Rufus was the greatest pet ever because he loved burritos and hot sauce. So just no.
I guess my point here is, I would really appreciate it if you guys could just put a label to this particular bit of crazy of mine. But I totally understand if you have to get to the guy who’s afraid of Kim Kardashian first.
Nicole and the rest of the sponge-fearing community.