Monday, June 12, 2006

Children of the Basement


You may not realize it, but there are many among us that I like to call Children of the Basement. They are unique in several ways. I never noticed them until I became a child of the basement myself. I'm here to inform those of you ground-level or attic people how to pick a child of the basement out of a crowd. The examples and stories shared are true.

1. Children of the basement aren't afraid of spiders, generally. That's because we live with them. I used to hate seeing spiders crawl across my floor or on my wall, but now it's so common that I don't even flinch. For example, the other day I was cleaning out my closet, and after I had removed all the stuff lying on the floor, I found four spiders. Two were dead, one was hiding in his web mansion located in a dark corner, and the other raced out of my shoe when I picked it up and proceeded to zoom across my hand. No big deal.*Squash...*Vacuum...problem solved.

2. Children of the basement don't adjust to warm weather clothing as quickly as others. We tend to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants a few weeks after most have pulled out their tank tops and shorts. The reason is that we wake up in a freezing basement! We can't help but satisfy the need for heat, forgetting that outside it's ninety degrees. The added layers cause us to perspire more then usual during the day, so some children of the basement end up being pretty smelly. We're very familiar with "sweat pits."

3. Continuing with the clothes, children of the basement usually look like they dress in the dark. That's because we do. Sure, most of our basements are lit with lightbulbs. But man-made light doesn't reveal all that sunlight can. The only sunlight that children in their basements will see is what few rays can shine through the tops of window wells. It's very common to see us wearing pants with grass stains, navy blue nylons with black shoes or pants, shirts with food on them, or clothes that we wore the day before...and the day before that. Sorry, but we can't tell until we get outside. And by then, it's generally too late to do anything about it. Last week, I had a friend who came to school, then realized that the blouse she was wearing was see-through! It was a dark brown shirt, so she hadn't noticed when she put it on at home. When I asked her if her bedroom was in the basement, she was surprised and told me it was. I wasn't surprised.

4. Mornings are hard for basement children. If you want to see something funny, turn on the light in our rooms while we're sleeping and wake us up. I've been told our faces contort and we get all squinty-eyed. We do that when we walk outside too. I'd imagine most people react to light that way, but apparently with us it's more amusing. Come to think of it, we are more comfortable in darker rooms. Also, we don't jump out of bed as fast as we should. The reason for this goes back to the temperature issue. It's much warmer under covers then outside them.

Having read this, can you think of someone you know who might be a child of the basement? Why don't you ask them...you might discover that they are. Or, better yet, are you child of the basement that relates to this?

10 comments:

Joslynn said...

I deeply love each and every child that became one with their basement. I, too, was a child of the basement once, until I was upgraded to a top floor bedroom. However, I will always look back on those dark days as the most exciting, the most exhilarating, and the most mysterious of all the years I've lived in my house. There is no place like the basement.

Joslynn said...

Oh, and by the way, I love your picture. Very appropriate-- it catches the aura of the basement world beautifully.

Michelle said...

Although I never lived in the basement, that didn't stop me from coming to school with grass stains on my pants or from having various other wardrobe malfunctions.

Abby Norman said...

I am a child of the basement, and I know exactly what you're talking about. I have had every wardrobe malfunction imaginable, I have a light that doesn't illuminate anything, so I have two more lamps. I've encountered every creepy crawly...including wolf spiders. Another problem with living in the basement is that no one goes down there, so you don't feel the pressure to keep your room clean, so your clothes are on the floor, with spiders camping out in them. (Boy, do I have a lot of stories of putting on a piece of clothing only to realize a spider is wearing it too!) Another way to tell someone is a basement child is when you play outdoor games that involve hiding. They don't flinch to hide in the window well where all the creepy crawlies hang out.

Brittany said...

Jos, when did you live in the basement? Which room did you occupy?

Michelle, did you italicize grass stains because it happened often, or because there was a time that it happened that I should remember? Because I do remember.

Natalie, do you get centipedes a lot down there? They seem to be new guests this summer. You're sure right about window wells!

Abby Norman said...

I've also realized that it is usually us basement children who terrorize the other children with bugs and whatnot. When I was terrorizing all my swimmer friends (they saw a cockroach about the size of a computer mouse run into a hole [it was really that big, by the way. The boys dragged it out and killed it and scared them even more...but that's another story from Albuquerque.]) Only one was unscathed by my terrorizing. It turned out she was the only other who lived in the basement.

Joslynn said...

I lived in the basement for most of my life, dear doyle. As a child, I was as pasty as the moon and I hardly ever emerged from my lair. You've seen pictures. The rat's nest on my head, the food on my shirt... that was all from living below ground. I have occupied every bedroom in the basement, excepting the one in which Shirsti now resides.

Michelle said...

Of course I am refering to a special incident of me wearing the grass stained pants. and I knew you would remember that's why it was italicized

Plus it's fun to italicize

Melissa said...

I was once a child of the basement. I was once a lot of things.

My fashion sense hasn't improved.

L.Vincetti said...

i am a child of the basement. a life which i love, and have faught to keep. though, in my new house, there are two rooms in the undergroud, so both logan and i are satisfied.