My Mama was a strong woman. Over the years, she endured serious hardships, triumphing over them all. She was a wonderful example of "improvise, adapt and overcome".
But Mama had one major weakness. And it was a whopper. She was absolutely, grippingly, painfully, paralyzingly terrified of heights.
Bridges, balconies, tall buildings, mountain roads - all seized her with terror.
She would drive miles out of the way to avoid a particularly treacherous bridge. She would never look out of of an upstairs window or get anywhere close to the edge of a balcony.
For years, Mama worked for the Texas House of Representatives on the third floor of the Texas Capitol building. Occasionally, she would need to deliver something from the House side of the building to the Senate side of the building. And in order to do this, she would be forced to pass through (cue the ominous dum, dum, dum, DUM music) the ROTUNDA (add reverb echo effect)...
...the granite-lined, terrazzo-floored domed room in the center of the building.
I often spent afternoons after school in the Capitol with Mama, and I remember attempting to walk with her around the Rotunda. She would step tentatively out onto the balcony and stand clinging with her back to the wall. She would then slowly inch her way around from one side to the other. It was ridiculous. But she never seemed embarrassed that people would walk back and forth around her, staring at the crazy lady hyperventilating against the wall.
I learned early on that it was rather fun to torture her. Hehehe. I would run up to the railing of the Rotunda balcony and lean way over the edge. "NOOOOO!!!!" she would shriek. But she was too scared to leave the safety of the wall to actually come and grab me.
I came by this cruel taunting of her fear honestly. Daddy tortured her all the time. He was basically fearless, and I think he thought this acrophobia thing was silly.
The worst fight I can remember my parents ever having was once when we were on vacation in Colorado. Mama and Daddy both loved driving trips around the country, and Daddy would plan out elaborate routes so we could take in every landmark and historical location. One year, we made our way to Royal Gorge in Canon City, CO.
Yes, that would be a bridge. A suspension bridge. In fact, the highest suspension bridge in the world, hanging 955 feet above the Arkansas River. A must-see tourist attraction for most people. But for Mama? Her biggest nightmare.
A major showdown ensued. Mama dug in her heels and refused to go anywhere near that bridge, and insisted that he was not going to TAKE HER BABY ONTO THAT THING. Daddy dug in his heels and said he hadn't driven all this way to MISS THE GORGE. In the end, Mama got out of the car and actually sat on the side of the road while Daddy and I drove on and toured the bridge. He stubbornly insisted on taking a picture of me at the midway point.
I don't think she ever forgave him.
But now, after all of my taunting and teasing of my mother because of her acrophobia, I now suffer from the same thing. It's not quite as bad as Mama's was, but believe me, I finally sympathize with the poor woman.
Oh Mama, I'm so sorry! I apologize for all the times I teased you for having to put your head between your knees while Daddy drove us through mountain passes. My penance is taking Jude to Cub Scout Camp up in Lake Arrowhead. I apologize for all the times I teased you for refusing to go into skyscrapers. My penance is taking Jude to the top of the Empire State Building TWICE. And I'm sorry for torturing you in the rotunda. My penance is my weekly trek up the winding staircase into the choir loft at church. Where Jude almost always runs up to the railing and leans his head way over.
Ain't karma a bitch?
Don't be afraid! Run on over to each of this week's spinners and give them a little therapy!
Thank you to everybody who has taken my Spin Cycle Survey thus far, I can't tell you how much it helps! If you haven't had a chance, please do - it really truly only takes a minute -
As a result of what I've heard so far from the survey, I am adding one thing to the Spin Cycle starting next week. In addition to announcing the next week's Spin Subject here every Friday, I will also be sending it out in an email. This should help serve as a reminder to everybody to get their butts in gear and get their spin in.
If you would like to sign up for my Weekly Spin Subject e-mail, please let me know in a comment here, and I'll add you to the list.
Next week on The Spin Cycle...
Yes, hair. I had actually brainstormed this idea on a list when I first began my job as your Spin Mistress, and then somebody suggested it in the survey and I thought "Let's do it!" Unfortunately, it's an anonymous survey, so I can't give credit to the person who suggested it! But you better join in!
Hair. Our crowning glory. And the source of much anxiety and humiliation. As anybody who survived the 1980s knows.
Oh dear God, how much time and effort went into my attempts to achieve Farrah-hair? And baby, I had some big hair! I was a Texas girl, after all. It was BIG.
I want PICTURES, y'all, so dig out those yearbooks. And just to make you feel better, I will share just one with you today. A teaser if you will. My friend DeeDee (the amazing Fiddledeedee!) and me circa 1990ish, back when we were slutty LA actresses before we both became respectable mommybloggers...
Now THAT is some hair! Try to outhair THAT! I dare you!
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