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The Honorable
Level 6: 1258 points
Last Logged In: September 9th, 2013
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25 + 66 points

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) by A M

July 3rd, 2010 10:12 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Do one thing every day that scares you, for (at least) one week.

Day One: Haircut

This may not seem like a big deal, but actually this is probably the thing that scared me the most. As you can see from my profile picture, I have very long hair. The last time I went in to a hairstylist for a trim, she told me "I'll have to take off about an inch", and then chopped off between two and three inches. In the two years since then, I haven't cut my hair at all. Finally, the ends got so split and janky that I had to give in. Between the fear of losing my hard-earned hair, and the fear of giving over the power to trim it to someone else (my ever-patient partner in crime took up the scissors for the cause), I was downright freaking out while waiting for the first snip. Fear-sweat and everything.

It wasn't as bad as I though it would be.

Day Two: Deliberate wrong number

A lot of these are stranger-related. I suck at strangers. My original list of ideas for this proof closely resembled the homework I got when I was in therapy for my social anxiety. I also hate phones. So calling a stranger on the phone was a no-brainer for the fear quotient. I dialed my old cell phone number, but in my new area code (because my brother has that number in my old area code, and he's much less scary) I did get all queasy when the phone was ringing...but then it kept ringing...and ringing...and eventually I gave up. I am sort of curious as to who has a phone with no answering machine and then fails to answer it. I have not gotten a call back from this person or persons.

Day Three: Scene of the accident

You may recall from my first task that two of my friends were killed in November while crossing the street. Other than the first week or two, when I went to leave flowers, I've been assiduously avoiding the intersection. Hell, the whole street. There's a big area of my City that I've been too...something to visit.

I drove through the intersection, parked, crossed the street, crossed back, and drove through it the other way. I'm not sure if I felt fear, exactly, leading up to this. I sort of flipped between afraid and sad/upset. When I was crossing the street the second time and I saw a car that might not stop for me, that was 100% fear for sure. Afterward, driving home, I mostly felt sick. I'm proud that I went there, though.

Day Four: Night walk, jaywalking

Closely related I haven't gone on a walk after dark in some months. I also jaywalk less. So, in the spirit of facing my fears, I took a spin around the block, and jaywalked back and forth. (I was wearing a light, and took care about oncoming cars. The intent is scary, not dangerous, and I'm cautious as hell about these things now.)


I saw two people with traffic cones on their head on my jaunt. It seemed sort of like a reward.

Day Five: Applied for job

This one scares me more in an existential kind of way. An "oh my god, what am I doing with my life?" kind of way. Because in order to apply for a job, I have to think about my prospects, and whether I really have fallen so far as to apply for a job at a self-service dog wash, and whether my resume is actually not good enough even for that.
It's less a scary-movie, jump-out-of-your-seat fear, and more a lie-awake-at-night fear. A grownup fear. I would like to lodge a complaint about adulthood.

Day Six: More wrong number

Since I didn't get through the first time, I tried again. This time, I dialed my parent's old phone number, in my new area code. I got an answering machine, which gave me a tiny heart attack when I heard the person's recording of his name ("Jason Xxxx" ~is not available. Please leave a message~ etc etc) and thought he was picking up. But no. I did not leave a message. Calling was scary enough.

Day Seven: Correspond With A Spammer

I have been too afraid to do this task for some time. I mean, what if they email me back?!

So I nutted up, for SF0 and glory, and responded to the Nigerian spam email I got recently. I will probably wait to see if they get back to me before posting this as its own task.

"The fact that I am seriously considering putting a bug in my mouth scares me."

- smaller

Hair clippings

Hair clippings

The bathroom floor, after.

For scale.

For scale.

The crosswalk

The crosswalk

View from the side near the parking lot I left my car in.

Push Button to Cross

Push Button to Cross

The safety measures that have been put in place since the accident. When you push it, shit lights up to alert drivers, and a voice admonishes you to cross with care in both English and Spanish.



It just lives there. I think it's the one that took my best friend to the hospital.

The walk back

The walk back

The view from the other side. You can see the solar panels for the various safety devices well in this shot.

My house

My house

The lit window is the living room. I am sitting by that window right now, listening to firecrackers outside.

Night streets

Night streets

The intent of this photo was to capture two people with traffic cones on their heads. I don't think I succeeded.

The "cover letter" I sent in

The "cover letter" I sent in

Seriously. DIY dog wash.



We'll see if he gets back to me. I'm excited about all that money.

15 vote(s)


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9 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on July 4th, 2010 7:18 AM

Congratulations...and I'm glad you saw people wearing traffic cones. I hope the job applying thing turns out to lead to great things too.

(no subject) +1
posted by teucer on July 4th, 2010 10:55 AM

As somebody who shares your anxiety around phones and calling strangers thereon, well done.

(no subject)
posted by Darkaardvark on July 5th, 2010 10:07 AM

Hell, I hate calling *anyone* on the phone, unless it's someone I call a lot or someone who is expecting my call.

(no subject)
posted by teucer on July 5th, 2010 10:15 AM

Same here. But strangers are the worst.

Oddly I have no anxiety about dealing with strangers face to face. But put a telephone in the way and, well, anything I can do by e-mail instead, I will.

YOU CUT YOUR HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Developer Pixie on July 4th, 2010 1:10 PM

Well, the entire thing was rather intense, especially day three. I wish i could be there to hug you!

(no subject)
posted by A M on July 4th, 2010 1:39 PM

Everyone else claims they can't even tell it's shorter (I lost maybe an inch and a half), but I can.

(no subject)
posted by Reginald Cogsworth on July 4th, 2010 6:02 PM

every crosswalk should have those.. i do a lot of walking & its messed up how anti-pedestrian places can be. major intersections with no crosswalks at all, major roads with no sidewalks.. sorry about your friends.

(no subject)
posted by A M on July 4th, 2010 7:09 PM

The mayor of City used to be in transit authority, so he made a big deal about the accident, came to a rally and everything, and got some safety measures pushed through. It didn't help the poor guy who was nonfatally hit at the exact same intersection less than a week later, but hopefully it will help people in the future. I agree, every crosswalk should have those if not more.

"I would like to lodge a complaint about adulthood" +1
posted by susy derkins on July 4th, 2010 8:21 PM

I like you a lot.
Also, hugs.