We all have our irrational fears, but then there are the rational/irrational fears. They are sort of a combo, where part of the fear is rational, but our reactions are irrational.

For example, I have a perfectly rational fear of scorpions. Obviously, a fear of scorpions isn’t irrational since scorpions are quantifiably terrifying and in the deserts of the Middle East they are highly venomous and the size of Pomeranians.

And don’t try to tell me that our Texas scorpions are no big deal. Do you really think we are safe from those other scorpions? Do you think they aren’t cross breeding in an imported rug somewhere? I mean think of the zebra mussels! How long did that take? Huh? Huh?


Granted my reaction to those tiny translucent agents of evil that occasionally stroll across the floor looking for their next barefoot victims is a little over the top and maybe a teensy bit irrational. Only if you call running out of a room screaming and very pointedly avoiding driving by billboards of a certain pest control company irrational.

Lately Mireya, our 16-year-old, has her own rational/irrational fear. She is afraid of the housekeeper.

Recently, we decided to have someone come to the house twice a month and attempt to restore order. Debbie came recommended and after the first time she came I was hooked.

But for Mireya, every other Thursday has become a day to dread. Every Monday she asks if this week is a “housekeeper” week, as if she was about to face her nemesis in battle.

It’s all because Mireya failed to introduce herself that first time she was home and Debbie came over to clean. Through some sort of odd set of circumstances that initial cleaning day, Mireya ended up going into her room without even saying hello — I think Debbie was upstairs — and hid out as the hours dragged on, basically the entire time Debbie was here.

By the way, Debbie is perfectly nice, and ironically, she’s quiet just like Mireya.

Over the last two months Mireya has not been able to cross the chasm of social niceties to introduce herself to Debbie. Since we’re not here on Debbie days, we can’t assist. At this point, it’s grown into a Grand Canyon of chasms and I’m convinced that Mireya will probably hit her 40s before she brings herself to say hello.

I’ve tried to point out numerous times that all she has to do is say hi. “But it’s so awkward now,” she insists.

And I get it. I could just squish those scorpions myself and not insist my husband come in and stomp on them. I could look at the scorpion on the billboard and smile as I drive by like it wasn’t the absolute creepiest thing you could ever print out at 600 times life size.

Right. Not a chance.

With any luck one day we’ll have a chance to introduce Debbie, and then Mireya can come and go as she pleases without it being all weird. But I’m betting I’m not going to be scorpion squishing any time soon.

Winter Prosapio is a writer, working mom and Corporate Director of Communications and Government Relations for Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts.

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