1. Parking garages.  Maybe it has something to do with the thousands of pounds of car, truck and SUV existing on the six floors of the parking garage I used at school, or the fact that a local garage collapsed last year, leaving an empty lot where once stood architectural automobile storage greatness.  Parking garages just don’t seem natural.  What does seem natural, you ask?  Driveways, and bicycles.

2. Speaking of bikes, I am terribly afraid of driving a car with a bicycle rack on it.  Ask anyone who has ever traveled to a summer vacation spot with me.  I am constantly checking the rearview mirror, checking to make sure everything is in place.  Life is much more convenient now that I drive a Subaru Forester (yes, go ahead and make fun), and can fit a bike in the back without having to even consider a bike rack.  Of course, I rarely have to worry about this, since I’ve gotten on a bike exactly one time in the past year.  And promptly fell off.

3. Things tied to the tops of cars.  I know where this fear originated.  Once when I was younger, we had to drive a piece of plywood, strapped to the top of my father’s car, from a neighboring town to my synagogue.  We only traveled about five or six miles, but made numerous stops, as the plywood kept slipping out of the ties we had used.  At one point, my dad had my stick my tiny 11-year-old arm out the window and hold down the plywood as he drove 30 miles per hour down the road.  So scarred, I tell you.  I should also note that my top three fears are all car-related.  Weird!

4. Flying.  Flying absolutely terrifies me.  While in my first two years of college (also known as my pre-Subaru Forester days), I used to enjoy the brief one-hour flight from Washington to Albany or Newburgh.  I even liked the slight turbulence.  But now, the flights are longer and usually involve some sort of broken technology.  If my personal television screen is broken, what’s to say something more instrumental to flying a plane isn’t!?  I have had several bad plane experiences, such as the flight from Frankfurt to JFK, the second leg of my return flight from Prague.  I had begun to drown my sorrows in inexpensive Lufthansa wine served in flimsy plastic cups and was enjoying having my seat, as well as the seats on either side of me, to myself.  However, a few glasses of the cheap white stuff in, I noticed an Orthodox man wandering the aisles.  In my less-than-sober state, and with the memory of several past El Al flights, I thought he was looking for a place to pray.  So I offered him my prime spot, and he asked if I was sure.  With a big, goofy smile on my face, I nodded and said, “Happy Hanukah!”  After I relocated to a middle section, he got settled in my nook of amazingness and WENT TO SLEEP.  I felt like such an idiot.  He wasn’t looking to pray, he just wanted to sleep!

Another terrible flight story?  On my second return trip from Israel, I was unfortunate enough to be stuck in the very last row of a double-decker, 500-person El Al jet.  Although sitting next to my friend Aimee, everyone else from our program was happily sitting with the group in the middle of the plane.  Somewhere over Greenland, we had massive turbulence.  Not some shaking that gets brushed off with an uneasy laugh, but full-blown jostling which had Aimee and I clutching each other and praying.  After the turbulence subsided, a friend (who is now a profession aviation blogger) came to the back of the plane to visit with us and said that even he, who absolutely loves flying, was scared.

That all being said, I hate flying.  I’m dreading the long flight that awaits next month.

And that, friends, is the grand list.  Its not too many things, though I’m sure I’m forgetting at least one or two things.  If I happen to remember them, I’ll note it another time.

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