Sunday, November 11, 2012
Fear of Going Down
I wasn't always this way. Years ago, one of my husbands had very little patience with hinky women. My ex-husband, (let's call him Bob - heck, his name was Bob come to think of it), was very annoyed when I turned out to be afraid of horses, afraid of heights and terrified of cauliflower.
We went to dinner one night at the Carnelian Room, a gorgeous high rise restaurant with an amazing view in San Francisco. We were joined by a number of Bob's executive type colleagues and cohorts. I was having a marvelous time after a number of cocktails and some wine. Because my husband and the other people at the gathering were all quite a bit older than I, booze was needed to help with my social anxiety. I remember I was seated next to the president of the Burlington Northern Railroad and I told him I liked their pantyhose.
It got late and we got ready to leave. We walked over to the escalator and I came to screeching halt.
"I cannot get on that thing!" I said in a total panic. My sensitive husband told me not to be ridiculous and grabbed my arm to pull me on the metal moving stairs. I screamed bloody murder.
People came rushing out to see what was wrong. By this time, I was getting hysterical. I begged the waiter to let me use the stairs or the elevator, on to just let me sleep there. (Actually, I may have asked him to let me live there.)
My husband Bob was burning with anger and humiliation. Here I was a cute young trophy wife and I was behaving like a bat shit crazy woman. When he couldn't get me on the escalator even with brute force, the Carnelian Room manager said he could have the escalator turned off so I could walk down the stairs. At last! Something I could do.
There is still something about a descending escalator that scares me, but I sometimes can do it. I have been known to ask total strangers if I could hold their hand or their arm until I get on. If there is an elevator or stairs I can use, I'll use them.
I still am afraid of horses and heights and I don't eat cauliflower or even look at it. And most importantly, I have learned to never ever again marry anyone named Bob.