As a kid I didn't understand it. The cousins and I would be playing fort and then someone would jump on top of the blanket I was under and automatically I would claw and kick to get out from underneath it. One time when we were growing up, my sister rolled me up in a carpet and I immediately asked her to get me out RIGHT NOW. I felt weird and anxious but I didn't understand why.
As I got older, I began comprehending what it was. Have you ever heard those stories about people who recreationally and intentionally go crawling through a cave? In some places they have to lie flat on their stomach and wiggle through a space so small that not only can they not stand up, but they can't even get up on their knees! WHO DOES THIS? FOR FUN?? I'm typing this and I can feel a mild panic racing through my chest!!
How about that movie "Vanished" with Kiefer Sutherland and Jeff Bridges or that episode of "Monk" where the victims are buried alive in a pine box and wake up to find themselves in there? Ahhhhhhhhhh!
What does this have to do with a RAOK? Hang in there with me, I'm getting there.
This morning I had a meeting to attend and I didn't have time to pack my daughter's lunch. The meeting was at her school and she caught me in the hallway and made the "fork to mouth" question mark gesture. I told her I'd bring her lunch after my meeting was over. The teardown (and talking) took a little longer than I thought so I raced over to Wendy's to grab lunch for her. Lightbulb on.... wouldn't her teenage friends love a little chocolate Frosty surprise? What a nice spontaneous RAOK that would be for me to do. I ordered her lunch and several large Frosty's*** and asked for extra spoons.
I realized that I was already late and I needed to hurry so I decided to take the elevator up to the lunch room instead of the stairs because I had high heels on and was carrying an armful of Frosty's and lunch. Oh yeah.... you know where this is going don't you???
The elevator at school is small. It can comfortably fit maybe 3 large or 4 small people in it. The ceiling is low - I can touch it with my hand and I am 5' 2". The only time I use it is when I have too much to carry up the stairs and everytime I get in it I always think "man I'd hate to get stuck in here".
Push button. Elevator goes up. Sliding door opens to reveal the solid door with tiny glass window. This is a regular door that opens except... the door won't open. Door won't open. Door still won't open. Along comes dear sweet Pastor Gary looking through the tiny pane of glass (thank God for Pastor Gary on ANY day of the week but his calm and concerned countenance is probably all that kept me from a straight jacket). "Push the button and go back down". None of the buttons are lighting up. The sliding door won't shut, the 2nd floor door won't open, and the elevator will not move. Pastor leaves to go get help.
In the meantime, my body's "fight or flight" response has kicked in and figured out that we are STUCK IN THIS TINY ELEVATOR. The rest of my irrational thought process went like this:
- There is no way I can fit through that 2"x10" pane of glass. (Breathe)
- Oh my dear God, please help me get out of here! (Breathe)
- At least I have food and something to drink. (Breathe)
- How many days can I survive on a spicy chicken salad, 4 large frosty's and a diet coke?(Breathe)
- Pastor Gary will save me, I know he will! (Breathe)
- OK, if I have to go to the bathroom I guess I could go in the empty diet coke cup. (Yuck!) (Breathe)
- I might just go stark raving mad in here. GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF, this place is not THAT small. You can actually stand up, it's not like you're in a cave or something. WHAT IF I NEVER GET OUT OF HERE?!?
By divine intervention, my prayers were answered and all of the sudden the "1" button lit up all on its own. The elevator went down. The door did open on that floor and I wobbled out.
I took the stairs up and found my daughter and her friends on their way to their next period. Between running late and the elevator fiasco I had missed the whole lunch. The kids were looking at the Frosty's longingly and I managed to squeak out feebly, "These were for you guys but I didn't make it in time". My daughter said "Mom, was that you stuck in the elevator?" Yes... yes it was.
I wobbled back downstairs, dispersed the Frosty's to the office staff who really appreciated them and then headed out to the car.
I've been home for hours and my heart is still racing and I feel like there is an elephant on my chest. But I'm sure the principal and the gals in the office really enjoyed those Frosty's!! I think I'm going to go lie down now . . .
*** Frosty's? Frostys? Frostys'? Frosties? Nanci, high school English teacher, are you reading this? What is the correct plural form of a Frosty since it is a proper noun? Oh, and by the way, I know my blog has hanging prepositions, incomplete sentences, split infinitives, and sentences that start with conjunctions but I want it to read conversationally. Therefore, I am deliberately committing grammatical errors. Yes, it does drive me nuts but I want people to "hear" me talking. It is in no way a reflection of your teaching. You did a good job. I can still properly diagram a sentence. Sorry if I am making you look bad. Are you going to make us take that Macbeth test again for the third time?)