Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Basement

I don't have too much experience with basements. The only basement I ever spent any amount of time in was in my grandmother's house in Illinois. Half of it was finished and contained an awesome game room outfitted with my dad's childhood couch, pool table, ping pong table, and atari system. I have many happy memories of hanging out in that space with my cousins and relatives. Even with all the fun things to do down there, I was terrified of the basement because of the other half. The unfinished half. The dark, spooky, cavernous other half that was sure to swallow me up in the dark abyss never to be found by my parents again. Plus, it smelled weird. Like darkness. And fear. And mothballs.

Our new house has a basement. It houses our huge laundry room, our overflow pantry, a full bathroom, a storage room, and the playroom/bonus room/guest quarters. It is big and so useful. I love having the extra space. Unfortunately, I am scared to death of it.

My fears are largely based on hypothetical and very unlikely scenarios, Like boogeymen hiding in dark corners or snakes hunkering down behind the washing machine. And being buried alive in the event of an earthquake. I do live in California, earthquakes are a possibility. My brain tells me that these are unwarranted phobias, however my imagination doesn't give a hoot. I get the heeby jeebies every time I go down there, which is approximately 20 times a day. It doesn't help that basements have their own climate zone, totally different from the rest of the house. And tiny half windows. It really is the dark, cold underbelly of the house. Spooky. A lot could go wrong down there, I'm just saying.

Because I am terrified of the basement, there are a few rules established so the flipping of my lid is kept at a minimum. Firstly, a light must be left on in every room. It is common knowledge that boogeymen like dark places and if my basement is lit up like the 4th of July, none will inhabit it. Secondly, all doors must be left open. I want to assess the potential of snakes and/or boogeymen in every room before I enter it. Thirdly, someone must accompany me down there at all times, size or age of other person does not matter. And fourthly, I only stay in the basement for 5 minutes or less. It lessens my chance of being buried alive.

Of course, JD thinks I am ridiculous and closes all the doors and turns out every light just to mess with me. And it does mess with me. Big time. I find myself doing laundry standing sideways to the machines so I have full view of the open room behind me. I vacuum like this. And if I use the bathroom down there, I force myself to go really fast before the panic sets in. I have issues, I know. It's unfortunate since a huge chunk of our living space is there. And, you know, I'm an adult and all.

I really want to get over my basement phobia. My girls miss their playroom and the laundry is piling up. Any tips for this basementphobe? Be honest, have you ever found a boogeyman in your basement? How about a snake? A salamander? Will the house fall on me if I stay down there for too long? Help me overcome my fears!!

1 comment:

  1. i never grew up with basements either (from NC) but when the hubs and I started dating in college and we wanted some "alone time" the basement at his house (when we were visiting his family in MD) was the only place we could get some. So then it became associated with that in my mind. My parents basement is an unfinished garage and i still don't love it but his parents basement is mostly finished and i love it! lol. Our own basement isn't finished and i do get jumpy letting the dogs out late at night in the backyard alone but it's always fine. Do some "fun stuff" in the basement to create your own comfortable memories!