We toured the sights and took the ferry over to Ellis Island. We walked around and then, went in to the Statue of Liberty. Our plan was to climb the stairs all the way to the torch and seeing as it was a rather foggy day and the crowds were light, we thought this would be an easy enough task.
And it was.
Until we started going up the staircase and the wide steps became narrower and narrower. Until they were so narrow that the thin steps going UP in to the torch were intertwined with the thin steps that were coming DOWN from the torch and if you looked over the iron banister that came up to the middle of your thigh, you'd see that the only thing between you and a several hundred foot drop was a thin metal pipe.
Charlie had been in front of me and we were keeping a very good pace up the stairs. Until, my husband made the mistake of looking over the edge. And that's when he came to a sudden and complete stop and I actually ran in to his backside. Very seriously he said, "JEN. Turn around. Go down." I thought he was joking. "Yeah right!" I laughed. "Keep going! We're almost there!!"
He didn't budge. He was totally frozen. "JEN." He said again. "TURN AROUND AND GO DOWN." Then he added, "I AM NOT KIDDING TURN AROUND AND GO DOWN RIGHT NOW BEFORE I THROW UP."
And that's when I realized that the man who would become my husband has a fear of heights. So, I turned around and went back down the stairs and we never discussed it again. Except when we're at dinner parties and the conversation starts to lag. That's when I'll pull out, "Did we ever tell you about the time we climbed the Statue of Liberty?" and Charlie will always shoot me a glance that says, "OH WOULD YOU BE QUIET, WOMAN!"
So. We bought a new house. Right?
And in that house there is this entry way that is at least 15 feet tall and inaccessible with any of our current ladders. The challenge with this entry way isn't just that's it's 15 feet tall, it's that there are a flight of stairs beneath it. So the simple act of getting up there to take down wallpaper, change a light bulb or paint, is a formidable challenge in and of itself.
This last weekend, we went out and bought a 20-foot extension ladder. We justified the $200.00 cost because we believe that we'll be needing this ladder not only to access the entry way for painting and light bulb replacement, but also, to clean out gutters and hang Christmas lights and in doing so, hopefully NOT re-enact the ladder scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
When we got our new ladder home, we set it up in the stairwell and my husband, stood for a moment, surveying the activity before him. That activity being, he needed to climb to the very top of the ceiling and sand off the glue that had been holding the wallpaper in place for the past 50 years. It took him several minutes of self-encouragement and motivation before he even set foot on the ladder.
And once he made it up a few steps...
He turned around and came down again.
"There is absolutely no way in HELL I can do that." He said. "HO NO. HELLS NO WAY, HELLS NO HOW."
So, being the supportive wife that I am, I grabbed the sandpaper, and my camera, and scurried to the top of the ladder. OK, I'll admit, standing on a ladder ABOVE a flight of stairs was a little sketchy. But once I took this picture of my husband standing at the base of the ladder, he said, "You're going to post that on your blog, aren't you?"
And I might have said, "Of course!"
And he might have said, "GET DOWN, WOMAN."
So I gladly did because if I fell off that ladder I most surely would have broken numerous bones and/or died. And then, my husband, who moments later was telling me that he was ready to return the ladder and hire a professional, actually sprinted up the ladder.
He sanded the walls.
He painted the ceiling.
And the very next day, he climbed the ladder again and painted the entire entryway, not once but TWICE.
"Do not talk to me. I am focused on not DYING."
So the moral of this story is, posting about fears in a public forum is one sure-fire way to dispel them. Oh and also? The next time we go to the Statue of Liberty, I'm bringing my camera.