Sunday, April 11, 2010

C is for Claustrophobia

I don't know what it takes to qualify as a card-carrying claustrophic, and frankly, I don't really care to find out. I just know that most of my life I've been very uncomfortable in confined spaces. Very uncomfortable probably doesn't accurately convey my feelings, but it's a place to start, and since I already have enough maladies with which The Engineer has to put up...I don't really single this one out all that often. (And for the record, I TAUGHT English, and I do know that you DON'T end a sentence with a preposition, and I also know that writers have license...and since that's what I'm trying to be...I get to use them where I like, AND I get to use as many strange punctuations as I like as well.)(And while I'm confessing...I'll confess that one thing I don't know how to do is punctuate with parentheses, but perhaps I should learn. You might have noticed that I tend to write with parentheses from time to time.)

So back to claustrophobia. Because that's where we were when I got all English teacher on you. (Yes, math and English. I realize this is a strange combination, sorta right/left brained. But unless you're really new to this blog, it's not the strangest thing about me.)

I'm always the warmest person in the room. My thermostat is whacked. And I get hot flashes, because not only have I had girly part problems since I was 18, and as follows naturally, reproductive problems, God wasn't done with all those issues, he also gave me really early peri-menopause and added hot-flashes to the already ready-to-combust temperatures at which I normally operate. So take a warm person, seat her between people, give her a hot flash, AND she has claustrophobia. What does she want now? TO GET THE HECK OUT OF DODGE. IMMEDIATELY. So this is why you'll find me seated in the aisle seat. But I so don't mind stepping out and letting you go by to seat yourself in the middle where you can enjoy a prime view of whatever play, movie, recital, children's school program where we find ourselves. And I have calculated that the airflow in our church's sanctuary is optimum in the pew five from the front. (We have been going there for almost 18 years now, I've done my research.) You'll find me in the aisle seat there.

Claustrophobia girl does not enjoy air travel. At all. It's on airplanes that you find the rudest people and the least amount of personal space. I make every attempt to travel light. As a child, I was fortunate enough to make many trips to Sweden in the summers after we had immigrated to the US. Farmor, though not a modern woman by any means, (she never learned to drive, never handled finances, was quite the contrast to my Grandma Vivian), was a brilliant planner. She had seen the writing on the wall, I think long before my Dad was willing to tell her that we were not ever moving back to Sweden. So each time I got to visit her, she would pack MASSIVE amount of carry-on luggage with breakable treasure. TREASURES. Items that I now adore having. Items that I now set my table with on special occasions. But it did make flying cumbersome. Now that I have choices, I travel light. Others do not. I do know that as a teenager traveling with my little sister, with our maxed out allowance of carry-on bags of vintage china, we must have annoyed the CRAP out of our traveling companions. So I cope with air travel with vitamin V. Vodka. In whatever. I'm not kidding. It mixes with...anything. Would you like me to scream and barf, or would you like me relaxed? Not that the choice is yours. I made it while I was packing. And drinking in preparation.

I also don't do well with sleeping bags. (I know you're saying: Are you KIDDING me?) It's true. I know you've seen me sleeping in them. But I was faking it. They were unzipped. And I was actually on top of them. With my cool påslakan (Swedish for bag-sheet: it's a very thick sheet, doubled, and sewn on all sides, with an opening at the top for you to slide a blanket inside. The closest American equivalent is the duvet for a down comforter. But I'm not getting inside one of those either, it's just that a double thick sheet is the exact right weight for me when I'm camping.)

Okay, I see it happened again. I titled this claustrophobia. And once again a post got hijacked. Perhaps a better title might be...Tina rambles, and again shares a bit of her Swedish stuff...bear with me people. Ms. Matlock said just write. (Ok, don't tell her I told you, um, but she said JUST WRITE. I'm still new, and I don't know yet what happens if you don't obey, and I'm too scared to find out, so I'm just, you know, for now, obeying.)


Jenny said...

Hi! You did great! And that's all you can just write.

That's funny you're afraid of me. Can you talk to my kids. Let them know I am to be feared? ha!

And I am really claustrophic, too!

I'd give you a big hug but it might freak you out! ha!

Karen said...

Great blog! Glad you found mine and I am following yours... I actually take a Xanax every time I fly, otherwise I'm sure i'de panic. Not cool.

Sarah said...

Cute post! I always enjoy reading what you write. LOL

Martha said...

A great blog!!!! Thanks for visiting Linderhof.

Amanda said...

Tina, I am so glad you're writing-- for selfish reasons. It makes living in a new city much easier, because I feel like I get to have long conversations with an old friend! So, thanks for writing! And the punctuation goes outside the parentheses, but I have decided I don't care, and have been embracing breaking the rules, which you know is not the norm for me. I'm using run-ons and fragments, and starting sentences with "and" and "but", and leaving prepositons dangling. And the English police have not come for me. Yet.

My name is PJ. said...

I, too, am claustrophobic. The worst situations for me are: At the end of a flight when everyone stands to get their baggage from the overhead compartments and waits to deplane. I can get really bad when that happens. AND in an MRI machine. Oy.

You can use parenthetical situations any way you like and punctuate them any way you like. Artistic license. You go, girl!!

Steph said...

I'm a tad bit on the claustrophobic side too. The worst for me is when the plane land and everyone is taking their sweet time getting off, then I feel trapped. I get really antsy then and thinking about it makes me nervous.

MJ said...

I love that you get side tracked - I could actually follow what you were saying :o) My mind is horrible with starting on one thing then abruptly changing focus.
Claustrophobic I am not, but I do hate crowds. Oh and I feel for you and the early peri-menopausal & hot flashes. It sucks being 32 and going through the things my 40+ co-workers are going through! (oh and I use to fight with the floor nurses when I was 28 for my share of the fan :o)

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

I go through phases of being claustrophobic, and then not. One time my friends took my on a hike. We get to a spot called "the birth canal." It was a 1/2 mile long, in a space that was so small you had to do it on your stomach. People were in front and behind me. OH GOODNESS, panic set in. I was traumatized!

Anyway, your post brought back that memory for me!!! ;)

Linda said...

Love this post from the early peri menopause and hot flashes to the not sleeping inside a sleeping bag...mine has to be unzipped so my feet can be out...or i'm on top of it, one way or the other....Love that I'm a follower, you are great!