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Everyone has phobias. Big and small.

Mine is enough to make some think WACK-A-DOO, yet I believe I’m *fairly* normal. With a few quirks, of course. One of them being the fact that I detest restaurant booths. And everything about them. It’s been a phobia of mine for years.

They truly make me queasy.

Especially older ones with rips in the cushion. And crumbs in the crevices. Oh good God, I just shivered writing that. The thought of trying to enjoy a meal while sitting in a booth is enough to make me skip eating for days.

It’s who I am. Hello, my name is Deborah and I don’t sit in restaurant booths.

I have no idea why I never got over this weird pet peeve that began as a young girl. I recall carrying around my child ‘blankie’ in a tiny purse not because I needed it, but so I could SIT ON IT in public. Co-workers now know to ask for a table when dining with me. My boys roll their eyes when I practically leap over the fountain at Don Pablos to inform the hostess seating us that I would rather eat my chips in a bathroom stall than sit on that booth with protruding stuffing that holds crumbs from previous guests’s mouths.

*Shivered again*

A close second to booths is movie theatre seating. Seriously, most people are all like I’m-about-to-eat-my- popcorn-and-vat-of-Mountain Dew, and I’m all like who-has-a-sweatshirt-I-can-borrow-to-lay-over-my-stained-chair? You know, the one with visible stale nacho crumbs mocking me from the sides? Ewwwww.

The THOUGHT in my head just traveled to my gag reflex.

Is it too much to ask to clean the stupid seats? I mean REALLLLLY clean them. With a vacuum device that sucks up every popcorn kernel known to man? I’m no Howie Mandel by any means, but come on! How am I supposed to concentrate on Chatum Tanning’s chiseled abs when there is a half-eaten Mike and Ike stuck to the side of my chair?

Can’t. Even. Go. There.

I will forever be haunted by this abnormal fascination/fear with ripped cushions that hold crumbs. (By the way, booths with WOODEN seats pass the approval test.) Duct-taped booth cushions are enough to send me over a cliff, as I would rather eat ON TOP of the table. Instead of finding a way to move on, I have discovered that just avoiding these type of seats altogether and simply freaking out when being led to one works best. If you need me, I’m the one sitting at a TABLE. Or on top of it.

Carry on.

photo credit: Jeremy Brooks via photopin