Relative Worries

When I was growing up, and someone would come into school maimed or a cousin would show up at a family gathering with a black eye or a facial bruise, I knew exactly what had gone wrong. Should my cousin have a minor concussion, I knew instantly what went wrong. I was an expert at these matters—the matters of rolling out of bed. In my world, rolling out of bed was the biggest fear for children. Adults had their lay-offs, hangovers and firings; we had our uninvited pool boners, our training bras and our rolling out of bed.

My cousins rolled out the bed constantly. And the boys had bunk beds so you can probably imagine the type of injuries they sustained rolling off a 5+ foot tall bunk bed in the middle of the night. Ronnie would hit the ground and wake up on impact, but not before, never before. Bed rolling was something to dread. It was something to fear. And I knew that, contrary to popular belief, the boogieman didn’t live under the bed or in your closet waiting to eat us, the boogieman slept next to us and rolled us out of bed at night all the while he was laughing.

Due to all the injuries my cousins sustained, I was terrified of rolling out of bed. I would have nightmares about it. I suffered from such a tragedy at least once a month. Some folks dream about falling from airplanes and cliffs, I dreamed I had rolled out of bed.

The other night, I was sitting around remembering the fear of rolling out of bed, and it occurred to me that I never once had. Not once, did I wake up with a carpet burn. Not once, did I break a tooth or fall from my nightly slumbering. I may grit my teeth and snore, but I don’t move very much. I’m just not a tosser. Perhaps the boogieman thought me stinky.

I no longer worry about rolling out of bed. The fear of such hasn’t crossed my mind in years up until last night. I no longer worry about getting some rug burn, or, in our case, getting clawed to death by a cat who happened to cushion the fall. Now, I worry about things like being able to pay my taxes, finding a good job, my friends and family, and being able to afford a house someday.

I put a call in to the boogieman and asked him to pay us a visit. It’s Spring, after all, and I’m tired of all this real worry. I told him that his visit is long overdue and he simply must give me something easy to dread, something humorous and youthful, something I can shake off in the morning when I brush my teeth.

15 Comments

  1. When I was a kid and I’d lie awake at night worrying about things such as rolling out of bed, I managed to take my mind off of things by imagining that I was in Puffalump Land, a wonderful place that existed in my head where everything was made out of pillows. You could jump off the edge of the grand canyon and you’d just bounce right back up because it was made out of pillows. Oddly enough, sometimes when those icky grown-up worries are keeping me from falling asleep it sometimes still helps to imagine myself back in Puffalump Land. I highly recommend it.

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  2. my cousins rolled out of the bed a lot—in the sense that their dad beat the shit out of them and they’d have a black eye

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  3. Damn, Jon. I thought we might get through a few more comments before bringing that truth up. :]
    lrob, that’s friggin’ adorable. And I will certainly give that a go. I used to imagine I was Olivia Newton John on Roller Skates.

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  4. “we had our uninvited pool boners”

    this reminds me: pool tomorrow at Corner Billiards!

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  5. I imagine jon’s fat rolls help with the puffalump fantasy…

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  6. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! No Comment.

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  7. When we moved into our house, we also moved our first (and at that time only) kid out of a crib and into a bed for the first time. About 2 hours after going to bed we were awoken by a loud THUMP. Of course Henry had rolled out of bed onto the wood floor And like typical first time parents we felt guilty and put him back to bed. Like typical idiots, we did nothing about setting up a landing pillow and an hour later … THUMP. So we’re pretty accepting of our son’s various limitations because, after all either genetically or accidentally, we’re probably the source of them. BTW, we bought bed rails the next day. And Henry still occasionally falls off his dining room chair. He’ll be 9 next week.

    Funny thing about Henry: we kept him in a crib until he was almost three. When he started sleeping in his bed, it took MONTHS befoe he realized that he could GET OUT whenever he wanted to. He was so used to being retrieved from his crib that we still had to go get him when he was sad, scared or awake. That’s our boy. Sweet, honest and considerate but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Is it wrong for me to say that? Should I instead be bragging about his … his … hmmm. Well, he’s a sweet kid, and good lookin’, too. Long of bone, broad shouldered already, and endowed with a crazy mop of curly blonde hair.

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  8. Charlie, I LOVE that you run against the typical grain of parents running around saying that their kid is indeed the smartest kid out there. “I mean, I know everyone says that, but Johnny, he’s really smart. I mean, really smart.” Plus, I have to say, honesty is something special. Just run around telling people how honest your son is. :]

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  9. I used to have this ritual I did every nignt. I was convinced that there was “something” under my bed, so I would stand back at my bathroom doorway and survey the scene. Then, when I thought it looked clear I would ruuuuuuuuun and JUMP into bed, making a 6 ft. arc from the floor skyward so that the “something” could not grab my feet.

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  10. Amanda B: I had that fear, but I thought it would happen when I was on stairways where the rise is open, like a lot of basement steps. I thought that just when I got to the next-to-top step, something would reach up through the open space and grab my feet. I still very uneasy about standing on that next-to-top step. (See, on the lower steps, I’d be able to look through the open spaces between the treads and see whatever-it-was, so it couldn’t get me then.)

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  11. I gotta tell ya, when I was little I would stay awake at night worrying about death and tryin to figure out where people go,and also the boogie man. Still check the common hiding spots from time to time.

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  12. Yeah, the idea of heading to “heaven” and staying there forever used to keep me up at night. I would think to myself “forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. forever and ever” until the word “ever” became strange and the idea of having to stay someplace infinitely would lose me sleep for sure.

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  13. regarding ever, i’m often freaked out by the concept of infinity, and how you can’t do infinity times infinity, but that there is a second measure of infiniteness that is larger than the standard measure

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  14. Katie- I can not be in a basement, like, ever. I know that in some basement, somewhere, there is an unfortunate massacre waiting to happen.

    Noooo thankyou. :)

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  15. I remember worrying myself sick over things like band auditions and giving speeches in school. My mom always told me that I had it easy and that if that’s all I had to worry about, I should be glad. Parents had to worry about things like house payments and hospital bills.

    I’m still not entirely c onvinced adult worries are any more intesne thatn childhood worries. I never really freak out about paying the rent (although, I’ve cut it a little too close on too many occasions) the way I did about band auditions.

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