It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Love Conquers Phobia. Almost.

Two weeks ago, we bought a vanity for the bathroom that is being constructed in the basement. (We will soon have TWO bathrooms in this place!!! Whee! I am so excited.)

The vanity came in a large cardboard box. A large, very sturdy box.

We LOOOOOOOVE large boxes around here. Some judicious slices with a large knife, a few holes, a little decorative duct tape, and you have….

a play house!!!

It’s been in my living room for two weeks. This is Big News. I am somewhat claustrophobic, see. I have a fairly unexceptional set of symptoms: anxiety in elevators and tiny washrooms on planes and trains (mild and manageable these days, due to persistent effort), and a complete and utter inability to enter a cave, no matter how spacious. Just can’t do caves: pounding heart, cold sweats, shakiness, surging panic. And you know what? I DO have to deal with elevators and teeny bathrooms. I put the work into getting over elevators and teeny bathroom trauma. But caves? I can live my whole life without ever once needing to go into a cave. I do not need to put myself through the trauma of getting over this one. It did mean that that one time when we were in West Virginia, I stayed firmly above ground while my family went below. Apparently it was spectacular and beautiful down there. But did I NEED to go down there? And how much spectacular and beautiful would I see through the dark film that goes across your vision right before you faint, anyway?

Not so much, I’m thinking.

A bit of a downer for the rest of the tour, too, I have to think. So, you want to go in a cave? You just go RIGHT AHEAD. That’s ooooookay. I will stay up here in the light, without all those millions of tonnes of rock oppressing my space, crushing me, making it hard to breathe…

Yes, well. So now you know.

One of the quirkier manifestations of the claustrophobia is an aversion to being crowded. I can manage parties, and crowded buses, though like most people I can find myself getting irritable. I know my irritation stems from the anxiety of claustrophobia, and I can just breeeeathe through it. “Being crowded” includes not just crowded by people, but crowded by things. I do not like cluttered space. Which is not to say my house is clutter-free. (I wish.) It’s a small house, it has many bodies in it. It gets cluttered. But, knowing how I need this for my mental health, I am a diligent fighter of the clutter.

And that box?

That giant box that they love so well?

Is taking up a LOT of space in my small living room. It is a giant mass of space-sucking cardboard. Light does not bounce around the room; light lands on The Box, and vanishes. All movement in the room has to take The Box into account.

And I have let it live in my living room, I have let it OWN my living room, for two weeks.

I am a good, good woman.

And I am done now. It can stay through Friday, one more day, and then it’s history.

A brand-new bathroom!!! No more sneaking past the person in the shower to pee!!! A box-free living room!!!!

The excitement around here! It’s just too much! I KNOW!

February 17, 2011 - Posted by | crafts, daycare, quirks and quirkiness | , ,


  1. Oooh! How exciting! As a fellow one-bathroom-in-the-house person (well, if you don’t count the very COLD toilet in the basement), I totally get your excitement!!! Hooray!!!!

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | February 17, 2011 | Reply

  2. We got a new large flat screen tv last year. The box sat in our toy room for a good 2 months. Every time I thought about recycling it, they came up with a new way to play. Then they went to Grandma’s for spring break. The box was out the door as soon as they were.

    Comment by ktjrdn | February 17, 2011 | Reply

  3. Lol! It is quite the playhouse! I hope you enjoy your new bathroom!

    Comment by Jess | February 17, 2011 | Reply

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