So, I have a phobia. (Have I mentioned this before?) Knives. Just knives. In other people's hands. I can handle a knife without a qualm, and have actually taught my kids good knife habits in the kitchen. I can watch people swing swords or handle guns without a twinge. Forks and spoons, don't make me laugh. But if someone else picks up a knife I have this strong reaction to back away very fast. It can be any knife, even a simple butter knife.
Obviously, I've learned to control this reaction in public or I'd never be able to eat in a public restaurant.
Last night, at an auction fundraiser for Kouryou-chan's school, we won second place in the dessert contest, Omaha ran and got a delicious fruit tart thing, and the staff brought us a long, broad serrated cake knife.
I was already exhausted. Whatever is the brain chemical that lets extroverts enjoy this sort of event, I had long run out of it. It was a chaotic, alcohol-fueled mess, the speakers were too loud, my right ear canal had long ago collapsed in self-defense, the audience was still screaming. School auctions are like that.
I was doing okay as long as Omaha held it. I've been with her long enough, experience with her experience with knives helped. But then the guy to my left, who I'm sure is a nice guy, picked it up.
My chair and I jerked backwards about three feet and ninety degrees toward escape. I'm lucky I didn't knock over a waiter. And then I caught myself. "Are you okay?" Omaha asked.
"Knife," I muttered.
"Oh," she said. I got my reaction back under control, came back to the table and settled back in, apologizing. I don't think that's the greatest first impression I'd like to leave these people with, though. Sigh