In my experience, first dates are awkward. When I barely know the other person, it becomes a struggle to keep the conversation going. Inevitably, I run out of things to say and there’s a long pause where no one talks. I hate that silence. It sends mixed signals, makes everyone uncomfortable, and, most importantly, provides no background noise to mask my farts.
For those reasons, I prepare questions in advance. A first date with me becomes a full-fledged interrogation. My favorite question to ask is “what are you afraid of?” It’s a fantastic icebreaker. You can learn a lot about a person from their fears.
Fears reveal vulnerabilities and pain. They make us relatable. In the past, my soon-to-be boyfriends mentioned spiders, heights, and even death. One dude said he was afraid of the mystery meat in school cafeterias. That date would have gone much better if I hadn’t already ordered meatloaf.
All these fears make sense to me. They’re practical and life-saving. Being fearful of “tall buildings” and “rotten foods” can keep you safe. Sadly, my fear doesn’t follow the same logic. It’s bizarre, and it’s unlikely to ever protect me. It spooks me. It keeps me up at night. It makes me suck my thumb and hide under my blanky.
So now you’re probably wondering “what on Earth scares him so much?” Well, quit thinking so narrow-minded. My fear isn’t on Earth. My fear is literally out of this world. I’m afraid of aliens.
To clarify, I’m talking about the aliens that come from outer-space. I’m not talking about the aliens that come from, say, Cuba.
Aliens totally freak me out. Especially the cliché, cartoony ones. I don’t care if they come in peace. They need to back off with their big black eyes, giant green heads, and awkwardly elongated arms.
When I look at pictures of them, I feel a strange discomfort. Maybe I was abducted in the past or somethi… oh dear god, WHERE IS MY BLANKY?!
When an alien pops up in a movie, I don’t just pee a little. I pee so much I have nothing left inside of me and deflate like an inflatable mattress. When I was younger, the film E.T. the Extraterrestrial scared the living air out of me.
Seriously. That movie destroyed me. I was always on edge, because one of the lamps in our living room made a shadow that resembled his glowing hand and turdish body. One night, I had a terrible nightmare and woke up screaming, “E.T. tried to finger me!”
Stupid dreams have always been a part of my childhood. I had recurring nightmares about those talking M&M mascots. Instead of me trying to eat them, they were always trying to eat me. In retrospect, for all the trauma they put me through, those talking M&Ms can bite me.
Being afraid of “the M&M people” kind of makes sense. I mean, M&Ms are a registered trademark of the Mars snack-food company. Yes, Mars like Martians. What if the connection isn’t a coincidence? What if our planet has already been invaded?
We must fight back with another bite-sized candy. I’d suggest Reese’s Pieces, but we all know E.T. loves them.