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A Strange Phobia

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Heights? It’s just a better view. Snakes? They are smooth and friendly creatures. Spiders? Eight legs must be better than two. Well, truthfully, I am not a big fan of any of these things but the thing that I am really phobic about is when strangers use my bathroom. I am not talking about the new neighbors who have come over for dinner or the play date with a mom and her child who have never been to my house before. These are all social functions where I have invited someone into my home and want them to feel comfortable. But I despise it when a company sends a repair or delivery person with a weak bladder or worse.

Most times fear stems from an incident. This is how my phobia began.
Years ago, I was upgrading my cable television service to a satellite company with a DVR. I thought nothing of the 20-something, not especially professional looking young man who the company sent to install my much anticipated receiver and dish. My option of him began to turn negative as he made small talk by telling me how hung over he was and that his stomach was bothering him. Unsympathetically, I began to wonder how much longer he would be at my house. Then he asked to use my bathroom. When he emerged from the bathroom about 20 minutes later and the horrible odor followed him and seeped throughout my hallway, I was ready to cancel my new service and tell him why. He quickly finished the installation and was on his way. As my babies napped, I proceeded to get bleach, disinfectant, and a home-made face mask and tackle the awful job of cleaning up my bathroom. As I scrubbed, I frowned at the happy blue turtles on the shower curtain in the bathroom that my two year old just started using. I couldn’t believe that guy. Seriously, who does that? I vowed to never let it happen again.

Ever since that day, I dread calling anyone to my home for repairs, installations or deliveries. I actually avoid it at almost all costs. Each time I am forced to call someone for an in-home service, I have this fear that they will ask to use my bathroom. I play the conversation over in my mind.

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