Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I worked today, even though it's Wednesday. I wanted to make up some of the time I took back when I was sick.

This of course, throws off my whole schedule. As you know (if you are a loyal reader), Wednesdays is the day I do my big weekly shopping. If I go to work, when am I supposed to shop?

I decided to shop on my way home from work. I went to Rami Levi, which is right on the way, rather than going all the way to SuperSol, which would be totally out of the way. A few days ago, my friend and excellent lice lady Pnina (if you need her, e-mail me and I'll pass along her info)* told me that you could park underneath the store, and take the elevator up to the store, thereby avoiding the death-defying parking lot.

I decided to give it a go even though the word "elevator" makes my heart race. But I really didn't want to deal with that parking lot.

I parked the car and went looking for the elevator. It was off to a deserted corner that just shouted CREEPY. When I pressed the button the door lurched open. I decided to walk up the stairs and proceed with my shopping. I tried to forget that I would have to return via the dreaded elevator.

An hour later, with my shopping cart bursting at the seams, I had no choice but to take the elevator. I walked to it slowly, partly because I was hoping someone else would come along to ride with me and partly because Israeli shopping carts just don't go in a straight line. (Ever). When I got to the elevator, I looked around. I was on my own. I pressed the button and there again was that lurching door. "Well", I thought, "if I get stuck, at least I won't starve to death."

But as the door closed behind me, I felt that rising panic within me. I have no control over it. It's not a rational thing and has nothing to do with being stuck or not. It's just fear. I don't experience it when I'm with someone else. I held my breath until the elevator came to a stop and then muttered to the door, "Pleaseopenpleaseopenpleaseopenpleaseopen". When it finally did, I quickly escaped as relief washed over me. This is something I always experience when I am in elevators alone, which is rare. I'd rather climb 20 flights of stairs than be alone in an elevator.

I also have a fear of heights. I hate ski lifts and cliffs. That panic I feel with elevators also rises within me when I am in those situations, even if I am with someone. Especially when that someone laughs at my fear and starts shaking the ski lift chair. Whenever we go hiking Isaac and the kids are always going near the ledge to tease me and I'm practically in tears from the fear. Usually they laugh because the ledge is about a foot off the ground, but still, I think they are cruel and inconsiderate for laughing. Sniff.

I have no idea where these fears came from. Was I born with them? Did something happen in an elevator or on a high mountain when I was a little tike? (The elevator is possible, but there are no mountains in Brooklyn).

For now I'm glad to have my two feet firmly planted on the ground.

What are you afraid of?

*(How's that for a plug, Pnina?)


rutimizrachi said...

Wow! Very interesting, dear friend. My husband also has a -- shall we say -- dislike of heights. I tend to wait until my sons or husband bring me a plate, rather than pushing through a crowd at a kiddush. I would rather not eat than deal with that many humans, even though I love them as individuals. I think it has to do with the Frank Zappa concert of my youth, when the crowd pressed in so tightly that my feet were literally lifted off the ground, and I was carried into the auditorium...

We have an achrayut to be sensitive to each other's fears, as no one is completely free of weakness.

This is Hashem's great kindness: we fill up each other's chasronot.

Lisa said...

I understand. I have two fears, both pretty irrational.
flying- ok this might seem rational to some, but the way it effects me is totally irrational. once I book a flight I start imagining EVERYTHING that could go wrong. plane crashes, highjacking... i even planned to breastfeed my baby until i got back just in case we were highjacked or something and baby needed food- i could take care of her. doesnt help living in israel when my family lives in california.

and two- Dinosaurs. yes. dinosaurs. i know they dont exist anymore... but i cant even be in the same room as dinosaur bones without flipping out. dont ask me why, its been that way since i was a kid....
woo, feels good to get that out in the open

SuperRaizy said...

I totally empathize. I am also afraid of heights, but for me this is manifested in a fear of falling down the stairs.
I've nominated you for a Heartfelt Blogger Award. Does that make you feel a little better?

Anonymous said...

The fear is from a previous life '). And, btw way, where's my plug, hint, hint?

Anonymous said...

I am 45 yrs old, and afraid of thunderstorms. There you go - I said it. Especially those cracking loud thunder BOOMS. I get scared out of my wits! When the kids were younger, I'd crawl into bed with them using the excuse "make THEM feel better so they wouldn't be scared"-HA! Now that they're older, I'm stuck hiding under my blanket. I once got "caught" on the road during a thunderstorm and although I managed to arrive safely, I cried quite a few tears on the way....(not to mention the heart palpitations, sweaty brow and thoughts of who will come to my funeral)
Glad you're feeling better, Baila.


Gila Rose said...

no internet. terrifying.

Unknown said...

Just want to say thanks for the plug!!! I also have fears....BUGS!!! Ain;t that ironic!!! Anything bigger than a sesame seed:)


Batya said...

I know what you mean. My fear is looking down and going down, especially when there's nothing to hold onto. I remember this fear from a young age. We used to visit a water hole in the Catskill Mountains, NY, when I was a kids and I screamed the whole way down.