The Vominator

According the International Emetophobia Society (yes, there is one!) fear of vomiting is ranked around the fifth most popular phobia.

I might be shocked by this if I didn’t, my niece didn’t and my best friend didn’t all obsessively fear all things to do with vomit. 

Seriously, how many words are there for vomit?  Puke, boot, barf, blow chunks, spew, ralph (my own personal fav) and so on…

Anyway, I have had this ralph fear since I was about 3 years old.  My family is Italian and Puerto Rican, and let’s just say that we aren’t a quiet sort.  You would do well to don some ear muffs at a family Sunday dinner. 

Everyone screams over each other, fights break out, women burp louder than men (I am seriously still sad that my niece took the burp queen crown away from me – she has a strong diaphragm because she is an incredible singer…look below)

See! Damn!  I can’t compete!

We aren’t what most people consider normal folk, or what we like to refer to as “straights”. 

So, I remember vividly where and when I acquired my fabulous phobia.  I was about 3 years old and we were on our annual vacation at Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  The WHOLE family was there.  This meant that my Papa had to rent two huge cottages.

We traveled in a gigantic caravan that held every cousin, aunt, uncle, baby, animal and even some old biddies that I didn’t recognize – they were probably related though, maybe.

I digress.  Anyway, my jailbird uncle (doesn’t everyone have one?) got into a bar fight (doesn’t everyone have one?) on our first night of Maine bliss, and he ended up at the hospital having his broken jaw wired shut.

There was, of course, all of the accompanying outpouring of Italian hoopla over crazy Uncle J’s antics.  Screaming, fighting, hugging, crying, chastising, etc.  The usual.

Then Uncle J, being  jailbird Uncle J, decided that he could at least make the best of the situation and take his pain meds – along with about a dozen vodka tonics that he could drink through a straw to wash it down. Yum.

In no time, crazy Uncle J had to do the nasty.

He had to ralph.


My mother, in typical fashion, was ripping at her hair and running around the cottage in full-blown hysterics frantically searching for the wire cutters, so that Uncle J wouldn’t choke on his own spew.


I’m 3, so all I glean from this is “puke = death” .

Flash forward about 10 years, and I am lunatic around a sick person.  I do anything and everything to try to avoid illness and sick people.  God forbid I hear a gag!  You won’t see me again for a week.

Flash again to my wedding day, where I am telling my husband-to-be that I don’t think I want children.  I swear to God it was because I was afraid that they would throw up, which of course, they would.

Obviously, I changed my mind, and I have had kids, or I wouldn’t have this blog, and they have indeed ralphed many times.  Which I have cringe-faced and white-knuckledly helped them get through.

My fear still lingered.   

That is until a week ago.

This is when I met face to face with…



Ah, I must thank The Vominator profusely for his forced behavioral therapy.  The Vominator spewed on the rug.  He puked on the couch.  It barfed on the bed.  The Vom vommed it up in his car-seat, in the tub, on all of all of our clothing, in my hair, my eye (yes, my eye) and down my back.  He blew chunks in the kitchen, he booted on most of his toys – he ralphed more than any other girls or boys.

Yes, I have to thank The Vominator.  Now, I don’t need to join the message board for support on the International Emetophobia Society’s web-site.  I don’t need a slow approach starting with talking about it and moving to pictures and finally videos of ralphers in order to gently desensitize myself to my unnatural phobia.

Thanks to The Vominator, I am cured.

It feels nice, albeit, still a little fetid, but nice.

If you too suffer from emetophobia, let me know if you want some behavioral therapy boot-camp from The Vominator.

I’ll send him over the next time the stomach bug hits our house.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. learningwoman
    Feb 10, 2008 @ 15:37:45

    What a great post! Thanks, I laughed a LOT! 🙂


  2. ronanjames
    Feb 10, 2008 @ 17:21:54

    Oh, you’re welcome! And keep in mind, The Vominator can be loaned out the next stomach bug, if you need him! lol


  3. Auntie lena
    Feb 12, 2008 @ 03:30:05

    Oh my Little! Look how skinny he is!


  4. ronanjames
    Feb 12, 2008 @ 14:41:53

    Soooooooooooo skinny now! But he is making up for it, by eating EVERYTHING in the house!


  5. Auntie
    Feb 14, 2008 @ 15:59:14

    Sop him up with a biscut!!


  6. Auntie JOJO
    Feb 25, 2008 @ 20:33:39

    He is the cutest!!!


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