Move Past Your Phobia Confront Your Fear
What phobias do you have? I have the regular, “I don’t like spiders and snakes,” most insects, dirty bathrooms and…wait for it… hair.
Yeah, I have a phobia of hair.
I know this might sound strange coming from someone that has very long hair and is married to a rather hirsute Frenchman. Robert’s facial hair grows back faster than Homer Simpson. It’s the last second in this clip that is the most important.
My husband is the kind of guy that looks like he needs to shave right after he has just shaved.
A continuous five o’clock shadow.
It was partially this bad boy look that attracted me to him in the first place.
The reality is I don’t like hair anywhere except for on the head of the person it belongs to, including my own.
I think this is partially a hereditary fear passed down from my Mom but I also believe a distaste for loose hair, especially wet hair in the bathroom is something everyone can agree is gross.
Like that disgusting stray hair stuck really high up in the hotel shower. Every effort is made to remove it without touching it. Splashing water on it to get it to go down the drain. Jumping to avoid it on its journey to the drain.
“That thing isn’t touching me!”
I mean just how “clean” am I getting when the shower is obviously filthy? (This may relate back to my phobia of dirty bathrooms.)
How about when you’re at the local pool and the damp, cold floor is covered with loose, wet strands of hair all sticking to your feet like hungry seaweed? Ugh. Probably one of the top reasons I despise swimming in pools. I can’t take the locker rooms.
Let’s not even get into the fact that 90% of the time I’m covered in pug hair.
This is the scary story of the hair sweater.
I’m giving you fair warning that it is not a story for those with weak stomachs or germaphobes.
This is the culprit…the rainbow striped sweater.
It looks innocent enough right?
I’d been looking for a striped rainbow sweater for ages and this ticked all the boxes apart from one small detail…it had quite a bit of hair on it.
Normally when I thrift I simply walk right past something that makes me want to hurl. Thrifting isn’t for wimps. The things you can find in pockets alone can fill your nightmares for years.
I quickly moved past the sweater only to return about five minutes later convincing myself it’d be fine if I washed it.
Well, I washed it.
The plan was great but failed miserably. I didn’t realize that the hair seemed to have become one with the sweater.
And not just one type of hair…oh no! There was long blond straight hairs, thick back curly hair, medium length brown hairs. It was hairmageddon!
I wasn’t ready to throw in the t
owel sweater yet though.
This wasn’t going to be a waste of money. I would beat this damn sweater!
Touching hair that isn’t attached to someone’s head is akin to touching a live snake for me. I had to force myself past my phobia and painstakingly pull out the damp, clingy hairs one by one, all the while trying not to gag.
I’m not gonna lie…it was gross!
All I could think about was how the sweater managed to have this much hair knit into it. It was freaking me out.
In my effort to understand where all the hair came from I convinced myself that everyone who had ever tried on the sweater had left remnants of their DNA which had merged with the sweater and created the perfect environment to grow hair. The first ever hair growing sweater! My imagination can run wild when given the opportunity.
Maybe someone wiped up the floor of a hair salon with it? How else could one account for all that revolting hair???
After about thirty minutes of hair pulling (literally) I was delighted to see the outside of the sweater was now a hair free zone.
Whew! I was ready to throw it into the dryer, the second step I take to ensure that no bed bugs come into my house. For that, I needed to turn the sweater inside out. I cannot express the utter dismay and disbelief in my heart when I turned the piece inside out and it was COVERED in more hair!!!
How did the hair get inside the sweater?
Stephen King couldn’t even imagine this abomination.
At this point I had to take a break.
A woman can only stand so much of facing her fears. I took the pug for a walk and cleared my mind. This allowed me to mentally prepare myself for the remaining shaggy carpet of hair that awaited me.
I returned to the task at hand and once again began freeing the sweater of its hair passengers individually.
This took much longer than I anticipated and was a gruelling test of my patience. I powered through though. I refused to be undone by this freak hair sweater.
You may be thinking I’m a tad stubborn.
I think my husband would agree.
It took far too much time and effort but look Ma! I’ve got my sweater!
Convincing myself to wear it even after I’d extensively cleaned it was another thing. Just the idea of putting it over my head freaked me out a bit but I pushed past my revulsion of hair and wore it. Yes, I made sure to wear a shirt underneath but it is all about baby steps people.
Now that there is a story to go along with the sweater I cherish it even more.
Ha! Who’s the freak now?
Have you ever confronted any of your phobias?
Linking up with Patti for Visible Monday, Turning Heads Tuesday and Fancy Friday
Veronica Cooke says
Ha ha! I loved the Homer Simpson clip….
You must have loved that sweater to undergo the ordeal you described – well done! It was worth it; it’s a lovely sweater and you look great in it.
As an ex nurse who has handled most body fluids and an array of bodily discharges for years, I have no qualms about hair on clothing, in bathrooms or showers. The only thing that fills me with fear is heights. I’m ok in a tall building if I stay inside…
What a handsome husband and pug you have!
Have a great week.
Sherry - Petite Over 40 says
Oh my gosh! I didn’t think I had a hair phobia but reading your post I realize I totally do! Whenever I’m in a hotel bathroom and I see a hair in the shower, I just assume the rest of the bathroom is covered in disgusting things.
But that sweater! How on earth could there be so much hair embedded in it? That is crazy. Your perseverance and courage paid off, though. It is a *great* sweater!
Phew! Now I need to go find a pug and take a walk! My heart is still pounding from that Halloween sweater story of yours!
What an ordeal, hairmageddon indeed! Whilst I haven’t got a hair phobia, I’m sure all that hair inside and out would have freaked me out too! I’m not sure I would have had your patience and stamina. As a thrifter, I have learned to put up with indeterminate stains and unmentionable things inside pockets, but I don’t think I ever had a hair problem … As far as I know, my only phobia is a fear of heights, but I’m sure my husband would tell you otherwise! xxx
I’m a bit squeamish about hair – not phobic but I’d rather not share a bathroom with it. Your jumper story was horrific but worth the horror to end up with that fabulous jumper, it looks so good with that skirt and jaunty beret.
I’m fine with animal hair, just as well, cat hairs find themselves everywhere. I do like hairy men, despite Jon being a blond he’s got a really hairy chest, it’s like snuggling a big bear on a cold winter’s night.
I love Zoe! xxx
jodie filogomo says
Now you really made me laugh with this one. Not because I have this hair phobia (only the stuff in the shower drains…that totally grosses me out. Which is weird because I can work with pus and blood in the mouth for ages, and it doesn’t bother me) but as I was saying…..
That’s how it happens when I knit…my hairs (along with the cat’s) gets into the pieces. And I’ve learned that washing it doesn’t help. Especially with the cat hair. I have the best luck with wetting my hands and running them over the piece to get the cat hair off. Easy and cheap. That might be hard for you…but maybe with gloves???
Just so you know….the sweater was SO worth it…
OMG you are so funny! I’m laughing out loud. Your humor is so natural and appealing.
Anna Parkes says
Good for you battling this hair phobia. I know I would have given up once I’d found those hairs inside – that really grossed me out! I’m trying hard to think what my phobias are… Will have to get back to you on that. In the meantime, well done that you’ve gained this colourful sweater!
Have a lovely week Suzannne!
hahaa! suzanne – you are a superhero!!
the sweater is indeed very pretty – and you created a fab ensemble with it!
i have cured myself from hefty vertigo (even stairs were a problem) as a kid of 9/10 – i hated it to be the one who has to collect the cherries from the meadow while all the other kid climbed up the trees. still have arachnophobia – but living in an 120y.o. house out in the woods is something that we call “rosskur”…..
Señora Allnut says
Mwahaha, you’re a courageous vintage lover, you’ve fighted against the Hairy Sweater and it was defeated! As a notorious germophobic (and having also fear of bugs and insects) I have to confront my fears everytime I go into a charity shop. Putting my purchases into the freezer makes me feel safer, but you know that phobias are not rational thoughts, so sometimes they make me feel paranoid and stupid.
But your sweater is so cute and its colors are so pretty! and it looks so fabulous with your skirt and boots, a really lovely color combo!!. Brava!!
Thanks for the gratuitous picture of handsome hubby looking dapper! mwahaha. Mr.A. is also a ‘five o’clock shadow’ man, but he has given up on shaving everyday, so he’s actually looking quite badass (which I like!)
Nancy Baten says
No! Not that gorgeous man on the blog….again! Ha ha, I don’t say this often, actually to no one, but your husband is…..Wow. I know I know, I’ve said it before. But you put him on the blog! Not me!
I would have thrown away that sweater. No way I’m going to pluck hair from someone else off it. I gag only writing this. Brrr.
But I have to say, it looks damn good!
No Fear of Fashion says
Great writing Suzanne. I love such stories of yours. I particularly remember your post about photographing the yellow skirt (had me in stitches) and the post about the old lady coming to your room in Scotland (dut, dut, dut with the cain), which had me glued to my screen in suspence.
I felt your horror over the hair. When I was 15, I had a holiday job at a hotel as a chamber maid. I quit the first day after I had to pull hair from the shower drain. Ugh. Hair on the bathroom floor? Hate it. So I feel what you feel only I do not have a phobia about it.
The sweater is a gem though. I am so glad you conquered the hair mess. It is lovely and you have styled it very well.
As distasteful and terrifying as this entire drama seems, it appears that you won the battle. This stripe sweater it’s totally gorgeous, and I am so pleased that you were able to remove all of that yucky hair . I am not particularly skeeved about hair…
And that’s a good thing as my hair falls out so readily because of the chemotherapy medication I use. But at least it is my own hair.
I also adore this tweed skirt. Pink suede boots and belt are stunners too.
Just incredible! And hubby is handsome with a 5:00 shadow!
Marilee J. Gramith says
This well crafted look is proof that you were able to conquer your fears and get the job done. You got a tangible reward for your efforts. Hair I happens… 🙂
Bravo on a job well done! I wouldn’t say that I have a hair phobia, but I don’t know if I would have the patience to remove all the hair from the sweater (even though it is a very nice sweater). I have a thing about worms, so if I ever found one of those little moth larvae in a piece of clothing, OUT in the trash it went.