Saturday, September 29, 2012

Closets & Pools

Secret Saturday

What to share, what to share... since I'm not sure how entertaining sharing these personal things is, I'll make it a double feature.

I still check the closet for monsters before I go to bed, and every once in a while, I'm still a teensy bit afraid a shark will come through the pool drain to eat me.

Let's address these one at a time. I'm not even sure it's ever been monsters I'm checking for, but ever since I was a kid I've done a quick check in the closet to make sure there's no one crouching behind the hanging clothes, waiting for the lights to go out to stealthily emerge and, well, I'm not really sure. When I was little it was the threat of kidnappers that called for one last good closet sweep most nights, unless I'd just been exposed to some new horrific phenomena, like Gremlins. Not Gizmo, but the scary mean ones with no fur and lots of teeth. 

This habit continued all through my school years, including college, but no one really knew because I was usually the only person going to sleep in my room. If a friend spent the night, I pretended to be looking for something in my closet before I hit the light and avoided being questioned. I knew it was a weird compulsion, but I couldn't sleep if I skipped the ritual. Now that I'm married, I've lost all hope of concealing any of my odd idiosyncrasies from the guy who signed up to be with me for life. He knows about it all, but I just like to think it's part of my charm. 

In Europe, at least where we've lived, there are no built-in closets. Any room with a door either has furniture, a toilet, or the heating system inside. I've seen a couple of pantries, but even that's very uncommon around here. People buy wardrobes in which to hang their clothes, and they vary like anything else. You can have a floor to ceiling set-up from IKEA that covers an entire wall, or you can go for the smaller cabinet-looking deal. Either way, here, closets are furniture, not spaces hidden in the walls. Still, if one of the doors of either of our wardrobes is even slightly ajar, we both know I'm getting out of bed to close it before I can sleep. But I have gotten better with age. When visiting friends and family back home, I still do a quick peek in the closet before turning off the light, but recently when I stayed with my best friend and slept in the same room with her, I did not check hers! If that's not a small victory, I don't know what is.

Now onto the pool. I don't get the opportunity to swim a whole lot because winter is eight months long here and we're not big spa people. I do, however, still have family in Florida so I do get to take a dip every couple years or so. That said, I don't really believe anything could travel from the ocean to the pool and pop out of the pool drain to attack me, at least not without the help of magic, which probably doesn't exist. And I don't honestly think that if anything did somehow manage to find its way out of said pool drain, it would be anything big enough to do any harm. Like a great white shark. Yet sometimes when I'm swimming around, there's a moment where I cannot stop myself from checking over my shoulder (or under my feet) to double check. Is it because it's darker down in the deep end? Did Jaws really scar me that badly? I can't be sure, but this has been a worry since childhood and it's not like it's keeping me from living my life. Isn't that part of the criteria doctors use to judge whether or not a behavior is abnormal or disruptive? 

What's so weird about these things is that I do not truly believe there is a person (or monster) hiding in my closet, nor do I believe there to be carnivorous sea life swimming in the shadows of the deep end, but I still have to check. It doesn't mean I won't go swimming, just that I'd prefer not be in the pool alone. And I haven't checked my own closets in years since we have the wardrobes now, and who's going to fit in those, anyway?

And to think I almost forgot to write today. 


  1. Something dead is under the bed. Either the girl from "Sixth Sense" or the one from "The Grudge," I'm never sure which.

  2. I totally have the shark-phobia too and am the same way! awesome