My life as a fragariaphobian


Gazebo Photo by Helen Pope

Having a fear of a popular, much-loved food is very difficult.

I suffer being a fragariaphobian.

I am scared of strawberries.

Everyone seems to be in love with strawberries. For many, it is their favorite fruit. This is why I get harsh stares when I say, “I hate strawberries.”

People are even more shocked to find out my hatred is more than disliking. It it is, in fact, one of my greatest fears.

Not only have I never tried a strawberry, I have never touched one.

I am not allergic to them, so nothing would actually happen if I were to try or touch a strawberry. The only reaction I would have would be tears.  

What is it about the fruit that scares me so badly? It is everything down to the very color of the berry. For some unknown reason I always have been offset by the color red. I refuse to wear red. I do not own a single red article of clothing. I never have tried a raspberry or a cherry.

Not only have I never tried a strawberry, I have never touched one.”

— Olivia Coleman

The inside and outside appearance of a strawberry gives me the chills. It is something about the look of the sunken in seeds on the outside, and strange linear pattern on the inside that irks me. Looking at the juice makes me gag. The smell is more than sickening.

In the first grade, we went on a field trip to Lane Farms. My worst fear had become a reality when I learned we would be picking strawberries.

I begged my parents to chaperone the trip, but it was too late. The chaperone list was full.

To my great relief, my parents came along anyway. I did not have to pick a strawberry that day. I walked around with my dad as he picked my strawberries for me. My “enemy’’ and I  kept arms length distance at all times. While all my friends ate their strawberries and strawberry ice cream, I held my breath and ate my delicious vanilla ice cream.

My fear has not come without its challenges.

Once, an evil little friend of mine named Evie Tharpe chased me around the halls of Dance Arts with her weapon of choice — a strawberry. She managed to tap my forearm, leaving a trace of its juice. I quickly ran the bathroom, scrubbing my arm with a paper towel. I did not speak to Evie for the rest of the week.

I am challenged at lunch when someone brings strawberries to eat. I hold my breath for as long as I can. I give hateful stares across the table.

I once read a famous football player shares my deep fear. His name is Tom Brady. He also has never in his life tried a strawberry.

I have been asked if I will ever try a strawberry. The answer is no.

No, I will never try a strawberry.