Round and Round {Phobias}

October 31, 2013

I am not afraid of very many things. Admittedly, there are several things I’m not crazy about, like bugs, but I’m not really afraid of them.

We visit New Orleans fairly often, and we almost always stay in the Downtown area. One thing that just about all of the hotels there have in common is this:

Revolving door-base
By Dan4th Nicholas [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Those round, glass-enclosed revolving doors. I DO NOT use the revolving doors if I can help it. Thankfully, most places that have them also have a normal door to one side or both, although they sometimes have signs stating “Please use revolving door.” So polite with the “please” and all. So I’ll be polite, too.

There are a few reasons for this.

  1.  I don’t do well with being herded. (Hence, those tours that you take on buses are also out for me. If I can’t go see it myself, well, I guess I’ll just have to miss it.)
  2. I know people think they look all swanky walking through them into a fancy hotel or whatever, but seriously, it looks more like they’re in big glass hamster wheel that spins on its side.
  3. Most importantly, I am TERRIFIED that I will get stuck in it. Most of these contraptions are divided into four parts, like so:
Revolving door plan view
By AJakeS (original version) & Life of Riley (this version) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

And generally, there are openings on two sides, one on the exterior of the building and one on the interior (making it a door), with two enclosed sides. Here’s where the problem lies. If you’ll notice, both in this diagram and the next time you encounter one of these, the openings on the inside and outside are about the same width as the space between the four “quadrants” or chambers of the door. What that means is that as you enter one of the chambers, as it is turning, there will inevitably be a point at which you will find yourself totally enclosed in glass. Ideally, this should only be for a split second as the door revolves.


That second feels like eternity to me.

What’s funny is that I don’t consider myself to be claustrophobic. I really don’t have a huge problem with small, confined spaces.

a.) there is no exit, and
b.) it creates a situation in which I am essentially a gerbil on display.

My husband picks at me about this. You should see us when we roll up at one of these places. We approach the entrance together. He goes through the revolving door and I go through the normal door to the side. Then we resume walking together inside. It looks ridiculous but I just don’t care.

I decided, in preparation for this post, though, to do a little research and just see if maybe I’m being unreasonable.

There were 12,231 injuries involving revolving doors alone in 2004.

People have been killed by these things. See here. And here.

And finally, check this out:

Now that looked horrible. So I’m not nuts. Everyone else can have fun spinning around in the human hamster wheel doors. Give me a good old rectangular door.




IMG_3491_croppedJenny Mac claims both Oxford, MS and Auburn, AL as hometowns, but for the past ten years has been enjoying the life she and her husband, Noel, have made for themselves in South Mississippi. She writes about family, life as a working mom, things she loves (like college football), things she doesn’t (like revolving doors), and the things she sees God doing in her life and the life of others. You can find Jenny Mac at Crumbs Under the Table.

Megan October 31, 2013 at 9:46 am

Oh, I totally get you with this one girl. Those things freak me out!

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