Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm a scaredy cat

There are two types of news stories that scare me to death to cover: funerals, and young men. I covered a memorial service last week that almost gave me a heart attack, this week it's the young men. I'm here staring at them right now, but am sitting in my newscar writing this blog as a way to procrastinate. I already have sweaty palms, and I feel anxiety welling within me. I'm afraid of stuttering, or dropping my mic, or having all those eyes looking at me at once. Sometimes I'm amazed that I'm a news reporter, since I was such a shy child. That shyness is still deeply ingrained, but only comes out in certain circumstances.

I'm scared of all young men under 30 - frat boys, firefighters, police officers and soldiers. Don't get me wrong, I think they are great, but from a distance. I admire their public service, and am honored that the soldiers are fighting for my freedom. But I'm deathly afraid to approach them and talk to them. I think "testosterone-ee" men are like viewing wild animals - they look good in uniform, but you should use binoculars to enjoy it.

But, this is my job, and part of my job is doing things that make me feel uncomfortable. I think it builds a stronger character through forcing me to do things I wouldn't normally do. I've noticed my shyness slowly leeching away over the years, and I'm much more comfortable talking to strangers, if they are women or older men. I especially don't mind talking to strangers who are expecting it, or are part of a cause, or rally.

I see the soldiers now, walking to Starbucks, getting teriyaki. They travel in large packs, which makes it even more frightening. They drive big trucks, the wheels crunching gravel. They talk in loud voices, and walk with a swagger. Bless their hearts, they are sacrificing so much for us. But please bless me as well, because I'm scared out of my mind.

8 comments:

McRiguez said...

I totally understand what you mean cuz I feel the same way. Except for my extends to most strangers. Good luck an I commend you for going for it! (Well, you kind of have to cuz it's your job, but still!)

dog grrrrl said...

Systematic desensitization...it works for dogs (for fears) and it works for people. Part of my panic disorder was driving, I got all freaked out. So I started exposing myself daily to the thing that scared me the most, freeway driving. A little bit everyday in a manner I could handle.Then when that seemed normal I stpped it up a little. I do the same thing everyday with fearful animals everyday. It does work

Travis said...

when I MOS...I almost always talk exclusively to women (unless I am MOSing for TV and I have a photog with me...then I'll talk to anyone)...its because I too am scared of men under like 40.

Lisa said...

I find young men a delight.....now that I'm into my 40's. When I was younger, they freaked me out too.

Now, I say, ....BRING 'EM ON!!!!

Kristin said...

hahah I love all the comments here. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one afraid of young men! The only soldier I've interviewed so far was over 40! I've approached some of the younger ones, but they aren't intersted in being interviewed.

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

Young men and Old men impress me as "creatures" as well, Kristin. Men, in general, are a strange lot.

Though I'm homosexual, I find most men very UNATTRACTIVE-- even the ones who are supposed to BE attractive. I find men are territorial, show-offish- boring- ME ME ME- horny- insatiable and demanding.

If you find one who is not in the above categories-- you've lucked out-- and I think you have. So have I with Andy. However, my own list of character defects is HUGE. I'm working on some of these things. It's not easy being a man.

Colleen said...

This is interesting Kristin. I had no idea, but I understand the feeling. Although I'm not 'afraid' of young men, they can be intimidating at times. Which only makes me work harder to dominate them. It's how I do;)

Paula said...

It is true, testosterone guys are almost like a different species. Man's basic nature is for many as Dan-Eric said, rather crude....yet some, thankfully, take it in hand to rise above the biology, taking blessed control of it with their.....minds! You know who scares me? Men who are LAWYERS! Or arrogant professionals who feel elevated above the masses. Ahhhhh! Guys who are mentally aggressive scare me more even than physical testosterone guys. And Plastic Women - they scare me. They are like the female equivalent of testosterone men, except tend to be pretty vacant up above - what would I say to them, as a real human being?