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I see old people driving all slow and nervous with their hands at ten and two. I used to be all like…What the HELL is wrong with them? What the FRIG happens to us when we get older? Well, I’m starting to understand. In addition to the motor skills and reflexes getting dulled with time, it’s fear. Fear that comes with the knowledge that DEATH IS COMING FOR US. I get it, Sunday drivers. You’re driving to bingo, hanging on for dear life because the jackpot is a big one tonight, and you’d really rather not take a detour to the Pearly Gates. I’m with you.

I used to love roller coasters. Now I’m bloody terrified. My husband thinks I pulled the ol’ bait and switch, pretending to be a wild child to win his heart, then turning into a crusty old wimp face as soon as I got the ring. NOT TRUE. Something happened inside me when I entered my thirties. I got skurred. Roller coasters went from exhilarating thrill rides to a string of coffins on a track. Instead of being a great reason to go to an amusement park, they’re a reason to fake an illness, knowing my husband, Evil Knievel’s Newfie nephew, is going to guilt me into riding something called The Apocalypse or The BuzzSaw or The Corkscrew, all of which pretty much guarantee you’re going to be joining The War Amps when you get off. There should be one called The Orphan Maker (bye-bye, sweet Max, Mommy loves you and Daddy is a bad, bad man).

Those of you who follow my blog probably remember the infamous photo from last summer. Me and Max on the Ghoster Coaster at Canada’s Wonderland. A total accident, mind you. I thought it was a ride for toddlers. Um, no. It was a fucking nightmare. Fuck you, Snoopy.

coasterIt was almost as bad as that puff of air in your eye at the optometrist that tests for glaucoma, which I’m sure is much worse than actually having glaucoma.

I know, I know, I’m a gigantic candy-ass. I’ve given birth, for christ sake…With MY VAGINA…Without so much as a motherfuckin’ ASPIRIN…Why be afraid of anything ever again? I don’t know okay just leave me alone. I don’t choose to be afraid. Maybe the fact I’m a mother now makes me more cautious, more self-preserving, less all “Oh let’s ride The Spleen Buster WOOOOO” and more all “Let’s keep Max out of the orphanage, SWEEEEEET. Oh look, an ice cream stand!” Maybe it’s biological or psychological or something. Like, the way my boobs made milk when I had a baby to keep him alive, likewise my body and mind actually reject roller coasters to keep me alive so I can continue to keep him alive. Or maybe age has enlightened me with the knowledge that there are so many other awesome emotions I’d rather feel than SHEER TERROR. You know, like joy, serenity, awe, inspiration, and that wonderful feeling of knowing you are NOT about to toss your cookies or shit your pants while dangling a couple thousand feet in the air.

It’s okay, honey, I hate me too. I don’t want to be afraid of roller coasters. I don’t want to be afraid of anything! I want to live with balls! BIG, ROUND, HAIRY BALLS. Because we’re only coming this way once. We don’t get a second chance. Unless you believe in reincarnation, I guess. But even then you may not get much of a second go if you come back as a cactus, or garden snail, or an Amish girl with a lisp.

I gots to FIGHT THE FEAR, MAN. Starting with this book. (Yes, everything now leads to the book. If you don’t like it, here watch this video instead. Or buy the damn book and get it over with.) Was I afraid to write it? Hells yeah. It’s not a fear of heights or speed or coaster loop de loops, but it is indeed fear. In fact, there is a different kind of shitbakery for every page in that sucker.

Fear of criticism. (And oh, it’s coming, sister. Hold me.)

Fear of feeling stupid when someone finds its flaws. (Again, COMING.)

Fear of exposure. Putting myself and my family on display, and the subsequent finger-wagging for being such a reckless tart of a mother.

Fear of being called a redheaded freak, which is totally correct but it’s still hard to hear from people who don’t know me.

Fear of being called a narcissistic strumpet. GONNA HAPPEN. This photo was a contender for the book cover but some of my advisors thought it was a litttttttttle too naughty and would give people extra reason to hate me. (Good thing I didn’t go with the twerking idea.)

©David Howells 2013And also, apparently ravers suck on pacifiers while doing drugs so they don’t swallow their tongues or something. Who knew?

And THEN, to top off the big scary shit pile, there’s the fear of being afraid. Fear of fear itself. Great. Fear that, if I back down or give up or run away and hide, I’ll regret it FOREVER. That is the scariest thing of all. So in a way, this fear of fear is what makes me brave. Thanks for the reminder, FDR, who famously said “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” And maybe polio.

At the end of the day, YOLO. Also known as: Who gives a fuck, yo? Fuck the fear! I have some funny shit to say, some important points to make about what it’s really like to be a mom and a woman and a nutbar. I is good writer. I might sell all of 17 copies, but at least I’ll never be able to say I was too afraid to try. I’m sounding like an after school special now. Fuck after school specials. Fuck Degrassi High. Now I’m sounding like Joel Thomas Hynes. Fuck Joel Thomas Hynes, but here’s a link to a crappy video of him reading his fuck-everything manifesto which is pretty funny I guess.

Conclusion. Fuck everything that would keep me in the fetal position sucking my thumb. FUCK FEAR. Fuck it right in the face. Someone pass me a roller coaster, I’m sitting in the front.

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