Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Public Television (or what not to watch when you may have phobias)

I should preface this little confession by admitting I have a few fears. I'm not sure when they developed.

I remember being in a swimming pool at a lesson when I was a kid. We were doing our normal routine, heading toward the deep end, doing breast stroke, when all of the sudden I remember inhaling water and feeling like I was being sucked toward the drain. I was close to the edge, grabbed the side of the pool, pulled myself over, coughed out half a lung of water, thought to myself that I was completely *nuts* and continued the lesson.

Sometime after Ironman and I got married, we went camping in Kentucky. We were roughing it. We packed our stuff in, packed our stuff out. Went hiking all over the valley. It was gorgeous. But we went over part of a 'natural bridge' and I could feel myself being pulled toward both sides of the bridge. A realllllly incredibly high natural bridge. I couldn't stop the sensation of being pulled toward the edge and I was terrified of falling off. I sat down. Ironman thought I was being ridiculous, but it was this unearthly sensation of my body toppling toward the edge, the side of this really high bridge, and I was absolutely going to fall off no matter how hard I tried to stand up straight.

Fast forward to being at the mall in the past three years. The mall downtown has 3 (or more?) levels, with walkways along the sides, the 'inside' of the walkways being open to the floors below. I'm really not sure how many levels there are or what there is to see, because the walkways have railings with clear glass. If I get too close to the railing I have the sensation of being 'pulled' over the edge of the rail. If my kids get too close to the rail, I feel almost desperate to get them away from the rail, but I can't get to them to keep them away because I'll be pulled over myself! It's one of the worst feelings in the world. I want to 'save' my kids, but I can't get close enough to them to keep them safe. I feel - just - completely paralyzed. It's awful.

The same thing happened when we were out on a boat dock while we were camping. The girls would get close to the edge, trying to look for frogs, and I couldn't grab them to keep them away from the sides. I really wanted to keep them from the edge, and apparently we were only over water about 4 or 5 feet deep, but I couldn't get close enough to the chix to keep them from being pulled into the water! Nothing happened to them, and they were never in danger, but geez, I. couldn't. help. them.

Anyway, ahem, back to watching the wrong tv show(s).

Trapped in an Elevator aired on November 2nd. It was very interesting. It contained information about the invention of the elevator and how it's affected the economy, commerce, etc. It makes me proud to know that someone from Indiana invented it! Did you realize that the least expensive offices/apartments were on the upper floors because people had to use the stairs? I guess I had assumed the most expensive were always on the top floors. Something to ponder.

Anyway, this guy got stuck in an elevator for 41 hours. Forty-one. Yeeks. Failure on the part of security not to notice the guy urinating down the shaft to get their attention. Failure of building maintenance. Failure of elevator inspection. Failures galore.

And since I saw that show? I've had not one, not two, but THREE notable elevator incidents. And today is the ninth. THREE elevator incidents in a week's time.

#1 - got in the elevator with my cart-o-crap to go up to the floor of the parking garage where I'd left my car. Elevator stops at floor #2. I need floor #3. I wait, the door closes, we start to go up again, and then WHAM! the elevator drops (not glides) down to floor #1. The doors open, my knees are shaking, I pull my cart-o-crap out the doors and shakily walk up to the third floor, get in the car, and try to stop trembling. Jeez-o-Pete, freaking SCARY! I was so freaked out I couldn't tell if the parking garage itself was shaking, if it was my car, if it was my legs, or what. Yeeks!

#2 - pressed the elevator button to go down to the basement. I work on the 6th floor. The door next to me opens without a sound, no light indicating up or down, but I assumed it was going down to the basement so I got in. Huh. It seems I was wrong. The door closed, the elevator went up, up, up to 11...and started dropping again...never stopping...until it got to the basement. Very smooth ride. But not how I was expecting to get to my destination!

#3 - this one, at least, is laughable. It's directly related to something that happened yesterday at home, but I'll leave that story for later. Maybe. It's pretty gross. Anyway, today I got to work, and booked it through the parking garage gerbil tubes to the basement elevators. I stopped to wait with the hordes to go up to 6. And this woman waiting/chatting with an assumed co-worker walked toward the elevator when the door opened. Something was hanging from her shoe. Oh. my. gosh. Something was hanging from her shoe. No kidding. I checked, rechecked, did a triple-take. A feminine hygiene product, stuck, apparently to the bottom of her foot, hanging out of her clog.


So...I'm now taking suggestions on alternative routes to and from the 6th floor.

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