Friday, July 01, 2005

I hate fireworks..and other stuff about fire

I hate fireworks. Before I get started on this blog I must give some distinction between fireworks that I like and fireworks that I hate. I like the big, showy fireworks where I can't see them actually getting lighted. I love spreading out a blanket and watching the different colors preferably with patriotic music in the background. Nothing says "4th of July" like a big fireworks display.

I absolutely cannot stand any other kind of firework. They scare me and I'm afraid someone I love is going to hurt themselves. Not that those whom I love are irresponsible or even mix fireworks with worse things like say alcohol. I am still afraid that someone, somewhere is going to blow their hand off or other body parts. I am afraid I'll be sitting there watching a homemade fireworks show and see a body part go flying through the air with the vast array of fireworks colors. I do not want to see that. EVER. There is some guy down in Georgia with 2nd degree burns on his GROIN because he and a friend decided, while inebriated, to put lit fireworks down their PANTS and see who could keep them in their pants longer. Homemade Fear Factor I suppose. Or redneck Fear Factor. What would posses someone to do this? Probably something I don't understand.

At this point I am sure you are asking yourself why I am such a wimp about fireworks. Was I burned as a child? Have I ever seen anyone I know injured by a firework? The answer to your queries is NO. I haven't ever been hurt or seen anyone get hurt. My parents bought fireworks just like everyone else and we would sit in our driveway while Dad and my brother lit them off. I think my sisters helped too. Sometimes it would get to be too much and I would have to go in the house for a minute until I calmed down. I even did sparklers with the best of them..but they still scared me and still do to this day. I don't know if I'd let my kids play with a lighted piece of metal. Although I did enjoy the sound the sparkler made as it hit the bucket of water when I was finished.

So back to my firework phobia. I am also afraid of all kinds of fire in any form although I can tolerate an occasional campfire. Candles freak me out. But unlike most phobias I have THIS one I can trace back to one particular event in my childhood that went like this....

It was Christmas Eve and I am guessing that I was probably 9 or 10 because my youngest sister, who is involved in this story, would have been 2 or 3. We went to the midnight service at a friends Methodist church which was really cool....until they started handing out candles at the door. I can't remember if I was afraid of fire at this point or not and I don't think I was and if I was this even cemented my fear forever. As we filed into the church everyone got a little candle with a paper circle wrapped around it to keep the hot wax from falling on your hand and giving you a second degree burn as you try to sing "Silent Night". So my 3 year old little sister gets a candle too. Being the big sister I could see right away (in my mind at least) that this was a HUGE mistake on my parents part. A 3 year old with a burning candle? Are they insane I thought to myself as we filed into the pews.

I remember very little about the actual service itself. When time came to light the candles I was nearly pushed over the edge. There was my 3 year old sister, waving her lit candle about, nearly catching the lady's hair on fire who was seated in front of us. Then she proceeded to nearly light herself on fire. I was going ballistic at this point.

From that day to this I have been afraid of fire, including fireworks, candles, fireplaces etc etc. I could go on but I think my point has been made. I do not blame my parents for my weird phobia because as I've gotten older its just gotten worse. My biggest fear about fire is that I will burn to death in my sleep. Silly huh? But aren't we all? Don't we all harbor at least one irrational fear? I do..its fire.

As you would expect fearing fire makes you an automatic magnet to every pyromaniac within a 30 mile radius. My best friend and boyfriend being among those who think fire is "cool" Not this chick. So if you are looking for me on the 4th of July as you stuff fireworks down your pants or play with a red hot piece of lit metal..I'll be inside..with my cat.


Claude said...

Great post, Kainty! Finally some INSIGHT on why you don't like candles, etc! I have always wondered - it seems like everytime you would display your fire phobia - Birthday Party for Jesus? - you would always just glare at me and tell me to shut up when I would ask you why you were such a whimp about fire (Okay - that I just answered my own question - maybe it is because of the WAY that I would ask the questions?) - Anyway, I love you - this is one of your best posts yet!

Michael A. Cleverly said...

I have fond memories of being in Kansas City and going to see the fireworks at Ft. Leavenworth with you and your family.

Paola said...

There are a few embelishments to this 'burning candle' affair. Do you really think your parents weren't watching what was happening?

I am sorry you have a phobia about fire, fireworks, etc., but this incident has grown in your mind over the years!