My year of living dangerously — that’s what 2012 was meant to be.
Like every year I set myself a slew of new year’s resolutions and like every year these high-minded aims start to disappear into a fog of poor willpower by February.
The main aim of 2012 was to become fearless or at least a little more fearless than I am now.
While resolving to wear a wrist watch or only eat one chocolate-covered snack a day might seem like a more worthy and achievable aim, fearlessness has a nice ring to it, and it’s more than needed.
Because in truth I am a bit of a wimp.
As a kid I was pretty much the girl version of Chuckie from the Rugrats, I even looked a bit like him thanks to my ginger hair and an aversion to combs.
Dogs, ball pits, the possibility of dying instantly if you touched a wild mushroom all filled me with dread.
A childhood trip to Disneyland which was spent anxiously reading the safety warnings outside every ride and asking my parents if I had a pre-existing heart condition.
Since then I’ve been trying to make up for lost time.
I’m pleased to say I now love dogs, would happily dive into a ball pit, if I was allowed to, and can stomp on a mushroom without a second thought.
But some phobias have proved much harder to shift and one is becoming a constant source of social awkwardness. I am a film-phobe.
Not all films, of course, that would be silly. But an awful lot of them rated age appropriate for someone in her 20s.
It’s the suspense that gets me most, just the sound of the ominous music get my palms so sweaty I can hardly hold on to the popcorn tub.
And my inability to convince myself that movie-blood really is just like ketchup means I’m constantly veto-ing that latest cinema listing.
So last week I decided enough was enough, I’m a grown woman and I’m going to see a 15-rated film and sit through it.
The film in question, the Grey, was my boyfriend’s choice, motivated in large part because he’d heard Liam Neeson might just punch a wolf.
At first I tried to pass off my objection as one of principle not cowardice.
Me: “I’m just not sure an animal-lover like myself should support a film which encourages anti-wolf sentiment.”
Boyfriend: “I want to see Liam Neeson punch wolf!”
So there it was, time to put my 2012 resolve to the test.
I lasted about 45 minutes, before I resorted to the tried and tested strategy of going to the loo and returning just in time for the credits.
I suppose now all I can do is turn my attention to overcoming some other phobia. Not the dentist, that one’s for life. Roller coasters, perhaps?
I even identified the ideal starter-coaster over the holidays but oddly no one I knew was willing to be seen next to the girl, screaming her lungs out on the caterpillar coaster in winter wonderland.
Oh well, there’s always 2013.
Mairi Gordon writes for the East Fife Mail.