Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fear of Going Down

Anyone who know me figures out before long that I cannot get on an escalator going down without some drama.

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.