Thursday, November 18, 2010

The only thing we have to fear is spontaneously falling off a really high bridge to our bloody, violent deaths

There are many things in this world I am afraid of - Losing my family, a fire in my home, hairy French Canadian men in Speedos vacationing on Maine beaches - but only one stops me dead in my tracks and paralyzes me like no other.

Heights.

I hate them. Never liked them. Have always been afraid of them. I have no idea from which my fear stems, I just remember always feeling this way. Me + ground = good. Me + not on the ground = I’m going to die, You’re going to die, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIEEEEEEE.


I was that kid in gym class who wouldn’t climb the rope or get up on the balance beam. I was the teen who would rather have chanced sneaking out the front door instead of going out the window (on a related note, I was grounded a lot), and I’m the person who always offers to hold the ladder so I don’t need to be the one who goes up it but then does so with one hand because the other is firmly over my eyes. And I will never, ever, get on a roller coaster. Not for all the tea in China. Not for a million dollars. Not for a chance to run my hands over Ryan Reynolds’ ab... Um, well, maybe that? No. No I can’t do it. Uh uh, no way. Ain’t gonna happen. Even if you promise me I can lick those magnificent muscles. Yeah.

Except.

Julia* has been bringing up places like Six Flags and Disney World. And when I say “Bringing Up”, I mean, “Maaaaawwwwmmmm, when are weeeee going to goooooo to Disney Wooorrrlllldddd?????” I blame school for this.

*shakes fist at public school but never for a second considers home schooling*

A number of her friends, mostly the ones with older siblings, have been going to these magical places and then bringing back tales of friendly over-sized rodents and OMG, like, super cool rides that go really really fast, Mom, and REALLY HIGH.

And of course, she wants to go too.

Mr. C and I have already decided that places like Disney World are strictly verboten until we can get some culture into our kids... and satisfy our own world travel needs, but mostly because we believe a trip to, say, Scotland or England or one of the other 25 countries of our dead ancestors would better serve our family than a trip to the happiest place on earth. That and we don’t feel like dropping thousands on a trip where the most fun our children will have will be at the hotel pool. Although, that will probably happen anyway, the ungrateful brats. What was I saying?

Right. Heights comma My Fear of Them.

This debilitating phobia has stopped me from climbing to the tops of *coughverysmallcough* mountains. From going all the way to the top of the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy and taking in that magnificent view. From walking across rope bridges at Rock City in Tennessee and taking in that magnificent view. Of Alabama. This fear gave me heart palpitations and had me nearly in tears during the entire 60 minutes wait at Space Mountain.

I was 14 freaking years old! That’s just sad, y’all.

I know my days are numbered. I know there will come a day when I’ll have to swallow my fear, and my heart, and get on a ferris wheel or some other instrument of torture with one of my kids and try to put on a brave face and pretend like I’m not about to throw up. I don’t know how I’m going to do it but it has to happen. Because no one wants to be that mom. You know, the one who screams like a girl on the flying teacups.

Who am I kidding? We both know that will be me.


* That would be Chicky I'm referring to. Just making sure you're keeping up.


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*** Writing prompt courtesy of the lovely and talented Jozet who asked what my favorite amusement park rides were. This is my roundabout way of saying the snack bar.

32 comments:

Shannon said...

I was once on a late flight home leaving at 11pm or something like that. There was a family with 3 young children seated across the aisle from me. The stewardess helping them asked where they were coming from and if they were going home? The mother said "We were at Disneyland. The most EXHAUSTING place on earth." It has made me smile many times since then. It looked like they had a good time but you are right that if it's culture you want, that's definitely not the destination for you!

Shannon said...

I was once on a late flight home leaving at 11pm or something like that. There was a family with 3 young children seated across the aisle from me. The stewardess helping them asked where they were coming from and if they were going home? The mother said "We were at Disneyland. The most EXHAUSTING place on earth." It has made me smile many times since then. It looked like they had a good time but you are right that if it's culture you want, that's definitely not the destination for you!

ClumberKim said...

I'll take your kids to Disney World. You and Mr C go wherever. And I mean your Mr C, not my Mr C, just so we're clear.

When you get to London, suck it up and go on London Eye.

Issas Crazy World said...

I am so with you. On almost all of it. My one thing? I like roller coasters. I can't explain it. But I do love them. I get super anxious in line, but I adore them anyway.

I am the girl who asked if they'd leave me at the bottom of a mountain and come back for me later. I am the woman who went to the grand canyon and wouldn't let my kids out of the car. I won't even consider skiing. Have you seen a lift? *shudder*

One word of advice? Take the girls now to Disney. Because they are too short for coasters. If you wait until they are 7 and 10, they will be tall enough to ride everything. Baby rides FTW!!!!

Ericka said...

so driving 101 in southern california isn't going to happen for you?

i LOVE roller coasters, and spinny-upside-down rides! LOVE them. hate the ferris wheel. freak out EVERY TIME. the ferris wheel with little cages that spins you madly? love it. normal boring one? forget it. weird, i know.

but, should your children wish to ride REAL rides, let me know and i'll play guide at cedar point in sandusky, ohio. on clear days, you can see canada from the top of the millinieum force. LOVE it. you can hold our bags at the bottom. :-)

Mrs. Tuna said...

My current biggest fear? That I will lose my typing fingers and won't be able to work on my blog.

Draft Queen said...

I have panic attacks when PEOPLE ON TV are too close to the edge of something of moderate height, never mind real live people or -gulp- myself.

I don't do straight down roller coasters, but most of the ones at Disney don't do that, so it's all good.

letmestartbysaying said...

I know this fear well (please go see my post "Fear" if you get a moment). Very well.

I'm finding that having kids forces lots of us to pull ourselves together, harness the irrational.

letmestartbysaying said...

I know this fear well (please go see my post "Fear" if you get a moment). Very well.

I'm finding that having kids forces lots of us to pull ourselves together, harness the irrational.

Major Bedhead said...

I'm with you on everything except roller coasters. I don't know why I love them, but I do. However, the top of the Hancock building left me shaking and near tears. The only reason I was able to go to the top of the Empire State building is because there's a huge, thick wall and a fence between you and oblivion. I don't even want to talk about Ferris Wheels. *vomit* I could barely watch Man On Wire without getting vertigo. Even the upper level of the mall makes me a nervous wreck.

Josette at Halushki said...

I used to never, ever, ever be afraid of heights or airplanes or whacked out amusement park rides until I had kids.

Last year was rough. It was that in-between year when my middle child loved roller coasters, but still needed an adult to go on with her. My jaw is still clenched. I purposely fed her a high protein diet all during the winter so she'd grow three inches. It worked.

Now...onto the four year old. Yeesh.

Magpie said...

Doesn't that picture of the sheep give you the heebie jeebies?

Suburb Sierra said...

I'm so happy to read this. My little lady can't climb in and out of the Firetrucks when they are on display at local events. She's terrified. I didn't think it could manifest so soon, but given your story of Space Mountain, you just gave this Mom a little piece of mind.

My fear is also heights but not as severe - I just break out in a cold sweat on the second floor of the mall when the kids get too close to the edge. I blame that being able to see tragedy.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

flutter said...

pretty sure you just made me pee my pants.

Tulsa Courthouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I won't go anywhere near roller coasters, and neither will my husband. When our kids get to that age they're going to have to depend on friends' families, because we're so not going to Disneyland.

That sheep picture is stunning. And definitely frightening.

-Holly

Matt said...

Thanks for this post. I had a good laugh, I really like your writing style.

I know what you mean about having a fear of heights, though I think you have it worse than I ever did.

I've felt exactly the same fear, but for various reasons (necessity, terms of employment, fear of being mocked) I swallowed my fear and have managed alright.

And I also agree about saving Disney for when the kids are a bit older. They get more out of it, and it doesn't take as much out of you!

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Tess said...

Wow. I love this blog post so much. I could have written it myself. I'm also afraid of heights, roller coasters, rides of any sort...bleh. I dread the day my kids start asking about them. It makes my heart speed up just to think about it! Thanks for the post!!

babyschuhe said...

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Messi to play for the first time against Milan said...

what a funny picture.......really funny..........

My First Skool said...

Great piece of writing. It provides a very good read and a funny way of replying to someone too. Hah, hope she gets it.

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prozac linked to birth defects said...

I think the best cure for it it's bungee jumping. That will probably heal any fear of heights, provided you don't faint mid air.

Anonymous said...

Just this past Wed. night I get out of my car and I hear a crying little one and wounder where it was coming from and then I look and they were 2 little children in the back seat under 5 years old and the windows were roll down then they was 2 dogs in another car with a window roll down a little bit.

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