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I’ve noticed a trend of men in my life disappearing.  They, including my son, float around aimlessly until you ask them to do something. Then they disappear for extended periods until I send Search and Rescue!  Fortunately with the size apartment I occupy right now, it’s a short mission and more often than not, he’s commanding troops in his bedroom or locked in the “library.” I realized that this trend was not new – he learned from his elders. This used to drive me mad until, presented with the perfect storm, I was educated on the value of the “rest” room, or as I call it – the Panic Room.

Upon entering the panic room and shutting the door, it immediately drowns out sound waves in the upper decibels, referred to as whining!   It also filters out really low waves known as the, “I’m BSing you because I’m older” pitch!  With the warring siblings fending for themselves, the tension in my shoulders, from using them to shield my ears from those frequencies, relaxed for a moment.

In any other room in the house, the boundaries are clearly drawn, but often disregarded.  We enforce  open-door rules but respect people’s privacy.

However, propaganda still spills over the border and even if I am very obviously engaged in another operation, I’m sought out for fair and impartial peace-restoring missions.  The lock means that the panic room becomes an impenetrable tattle-free zone.  They haven’t figured out the way to jimmy the lock to penetrate the perimeter.

Sometimes in the middle of the daily onslaught – especially when you are outnumbered two to one as I am, one needs to step back and regroup.  Besides the fact that the reading selection in those rooms are diverse and creative, the fact that for a few moments you may lighten your load and shift your thoughts from running interference to idling allows you to conjure up a fresh train of thought!

True, I wouldn’t want to occupy the Panic Room for days or weeks, although I suppose apricot scrub could sustain me in a pinch, it provides enough of a needed break for me to effectively manage code red alerts.


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