Myra Faye Turner, Writer
Even as I write this, I realize my uncommon phobia is probably one of the weirder ones you'll ever read about. You see my phobia is blue pens. Yes, blue pens. Please don't giggle. This is probably even more astounding since I write for a living. You would think I welcomed all color of rainbow, when it came to writing instrument. No so.
I can't exactly pinpoint exactly when it all started. At one time, I had, let's call it an unnatural affinity, for pens in general. I would buy dozens and dozens of pens weekly. If you wanted to buy me a gift for my birthday or Christmas, you couldn't go wrong with a few packs of pens. I would carry at least fifty pens with me on any given day. If someone needed to borrow one, my purse would cough one out but I made sure they returned it afterwards.
Eventually, I sort of grew out of my obsession, although some remnants remain to this day. Specifically, I like certain types of pens, which changes as I discover new ones or revisit old friends. Currently I'm in love with the Pentel R.S.V.P. pens. Also another quirk I have is when editing a writing project, I can't function unless I have my "special" pen.
Over the years, however, I developed an aversion to blue pens. I had always preferred black or red pens but if a blue pen was handy, I wouldn't shirk away from it. But now I'm at the point where I can't write with a blue pen. I can barely look at one without shivering. I know it's irrational even comical at times, but , as they say, "It is what it is."
My son thinks it's hysterical. He will sometimes sprinkle blue pen in my path just to see if I will freak out (yes, I always do!). It was especially comical when he chased me around Walmart with a blue pin coaxing me to "just look at it!", while I screamed "get it away from me!" Several onlookers gawked but no one intervened. He will also "accidentally" leave a blue pens on my desk, around the house or in my car. Don't worry, he removes them when I freak out.
Thankfully my phobia is more comical than crippling and has not caused me too much anxiety. I always take my own pens with me when I leave home, especially if I think or know for certain that I have to sign a document. I have gotten some weird looks from people who have tried to pass me a blue pen but overall, I can usually eliminate the potential threat (and weird stares) by whipping out my pen in advance. For example, if I'm at, say a PTA meeting, and a sign-in sheet is being passed around, I'm always happy when they send just the sheet and not an accompanying pen. This way I don't get anxious that the pen might be blue. Conversely, if the sign- in sheet is on a table , again, I will whip my pen out in advance and if the pen is blue, I gingerly thwack it off the sheet like it's a bug, using my own pen. At no time will my skin actually come in contact with said blue pen.
I wish I knew the source of my anxiety. Others who suffer from phobias can trace their fears to a specific event. For example, I had a co-worker once who hadn't drove a car in over twenty years because of an accident she had when she first learned to drive. Although no one was hurt, she was deathly afraid to drive afterwards. I've also heard of people being afraid of dogs because of a bite or attack they suffered previously. But a blue pen?
As far as I can tell there's no official name for someone with an irrational fear of blue pens (trust me, I've checked). The closest I've found is "Cyanophobia" which is the fear of the color blue. But that's not my issue. I otherwise like blue (my car is even blue). "Dimnaliphobia" is the fear of pens. No, that doesn't work either. Perhaps I can coin a new word, maybe smosh the two phobias together to create, I don't know, "CyanoDimnaliphobia" ?
I suppose most people would argue that it's not that serious of a phobia and I could probably try something like aversion therapy to get over it. I suppose if I absolutely , positively had to use a blue pen, if my life depended on it, I could. Until that time comes, I'll just keep on making sure I'm always well-stocked with black pens.