Getting high

Just in case anybody was wondering, my MacBook finally came out of the shop today, as good as new. I actually hugged it as I brought it into the house, placing it carefully on my kitchen desk, murmuring sweet nothings into its non-existant ears.

Well, it HAS been almost two weeks that we’ve been separated!

But that’s not what I wanted to write about.

I got home fairly early from work today, and since it was still light out and almost warm (about 7º C), I decided to put up some exterior Christmas lights at the back of my house. The back of my place actually faces the street, while the front faces a shared driveway that curves around to join the street. I’ve always had Christmas lights up at the front, but this year, I thought it would be nice to have them where they could be seen from the street as well.

So out I went with two strings of lights, a hammer, and several packages of clips. images2 An hour later it was dark, but my new lights were up, looking exceptionally festive, in my humble opinion. I was so pleased with myself!

Later, Porsche Guy arrived with his ladder to put up the lights in the front. I can do it, but there are a couple of high spots, like over the garage door and along the balcony roof that I would rather he did. You see, I’m really frightened of heights. Oh, I have managed to walk across bridges and look out 20th storey hotel windows. I have gone up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building in New York, and have stood on the glass floor at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. But I have been terrified as I have done so. I have trembled and sweated and been nearly paralyzed with fear. So I guess my fear isn’t debilitating, because I can still function, but even the simple thought of heights just makes my stomach drop.

Porsche Guy, on the other hand, is not at all bothered by heights. He used to be a construction worker and had no difficulty walking along roof beams or hanging off the top of a ladder three storeys in the air. He is therefore a very good person to hang Christmas lights above a garage door and along the roof of a balcony.

images-1So up went his ladder, up went PG, and up went the lights above the garage door. It was quick and painless. The next part was the balcony located above the garage.

When I do this part myself, I stand on a kitchen chair, clutching whatever I can to keep my balance and still attach the string of lights to the clips that PG nailed in several years ago. I’m so scared doing this part, more so than above the garage I think, because there really isn’t anything to hang onto there other than the roof above the balcony. There’s this whole VOID between the balcony railing and the roofline, and I’m usually shaking as I do this part.

So how did PG approach this? He merely hopped up on the balcony railing, string of lights in hand, and proceeded to attach the lights to the clips without holding onto anything. To my surprise, I actually felt sick to my stomach watching this! I felt completely panicky and it was all I could do to not grab him. I was on the edge of tears and my heart was pounding. I just couldn’t look at him up there!

images-2So I closed my eyes and said quietly, “I’d like you to get down from there now.”

“Just a sec,” PG answered, “I’m not quite done. How do you want the lights to go around the post here?”

“I need you to get down right now!”

“Yeah, I will, but first you have to tell me which side of the post you want the lights on.”

“I can’t talk to you when you’re up there!!!” I shrieked. “You have to get down NOW!!!”

PG jumped back down beside me on the balcony, looking puzzled. He didn’t say a word. I COULDN’T say a word. My reaction was so extreme, I found it troubling. I mean, it’s one thing to be afraid of heights yourself, but it’s quite another to have such a visceral reaction to watching another person in a high place. And really, a second floor balcony railing isn’t truly that high.

I took a minute to collect myself and to allow my heartrate to get back to normal.

“Um … on the outside of the post,” I managed to squeak. images-3“But I’ll go get you a kitchen chair to stand on.”


2 responses to “Getting high

  1. I’ve decided that next year I will leave the house entirely while PG puts the lights up. I may have a heart attack if I ever watch him walk on that balcony railing again (I’m not as young as I used to be – though he obviously thinks he still is!).

  2. I understand completely.