Saturday, July 8

Don't Touch!

One of my (many) irrationalities is my fear of public surfaces. For example consider The Tube. There are two types of travelers: those who hold on to bars and handles to steady themselves on bumpy ride, and those who don't. I fall firmly into the latter group - and then some.

There's no real reason for this behaviour. I mean, I won't start sucking my fingers or touching food to be eaten when I'm out, no matter how clean my hands are. I'll always wash my hands first thing when I get home or on arrival to the office (which has given me a weird habit of washing my hands before I go to the bog), so it wouldn't matter if they did get dirty on the way anyway. There's just something about touching things that thousands of others may have that makes me go "ew" (although thinking about it now I wouldn't want to contaminate my iPod, DS or whichever book I'm reading at the time either).

Dealing with this fear can help one develop many skills, both mental and physical. For instance, I can ride a bus or train keeping impeccable balance while standing. I've also developed a sixth sense for detecting germs - I'll never use my fingers to press the button to call a lift or enter PINs. If I do have to touch something (you know, in order to save the life of a baby or something), then I'll subconsciously avoid touching anything of my own till I clean my hands.

Someone (who I've happened to know for around five years now) was just having a go at me today for being a bit paranoid. Now this might be irrational (and it's certainly impractical), but I'm inconveniencing no one but myself. And if it takes someone five years to realise this habit of mine, then it's not like I'm visibly acting strangely.

I blame my mother (of course), but I don't see this as a bad thing. When you see the toilet habits of those in a regular office, you begin to realise how unhygienic people are. Now, I'm all for the freedom of one to be, erm, dirty, but that doesn't mean I'm going to join in with the fun. No thank you. And at least when you shake my hand you know you won't contract a disease (or eight).