By Holly A. Phillips — @OrangeJulius7
Over 4th of July weekend, my friends suggested an interesting activity: going into the 13th Gate Escape.
From what I gathered over our beer-induced conversation, an escape room involves participants placed in a room and the only way out is to complete a series of puzzles within 60 minutes.
At first, I was completely against this idea. I am terrified of everything. I can’t even watch the previews for scary movies for fear of nightmares.
Needless to say, I’ve never been through 13th Gate’s signature haunted house, because I’m pretty sure I would literally shit myself.
But my friends said it wasn’t supposed to be scary, or at least not in the way that The 13th Gate is scary.
It would be just our friends in the room, no outsiders, no one to chase us, and if we didn’t solve the puzzle within the allotted 60 minutes, the doors would simply open.
So, I agreed.
About a week later, I got a text saying the room was booked. We would be entering the escape room known as “The Collector.”
According to the video on 13th Gate’s Escape website, the scenario is that we’d been dropped off at a killer’s house and were given one hour before he comes to “collect” us.
I was terrified.
But, it was too late. I’d already agreed to go, and I didn’t want to let my friends down. When I told my coworkers what I was about to embark on, most of them thought I was crazy.
“Why would you sign up to be locked in a room?” they wondered.
I suppose on some level, it seems really weird. But to me, challenging yourself is what life is all about. There are risks we take every single day, albeit some are more obvious than others.
It’s interesting to me that most people wouldn’t categorize a relationship or falling in love to be a risk.
But locking yourself in a room, controlled by a company, to play a game—that’s too crazy.
A trainer at my gym recently went through a rough breakup. I could tell he was rattled.
“Every single relationship I have… ends,” he said.
Well, yes, me too. Because when it comes to relationships, there are only two outcomes: endless love or heartbreak.
That’s the giant risk, yet people do it every day.
Nearly every relationship I’ve been in has ended in a way that, if I could’ve predicted it, I wouldn’t have opened the door in the first place. But I did, and odds are likely that I’ll do it a few more times before I get it right.
Escape rooms are trending across the globe, so my friends and I aren’t the only ones looking to spice things up a little. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will tell you that we escaped within the 60-minutes (with about .5 seconds to spare), and only 10 percent of people can say that.
All of us worked together to solve several puzzles and win the game. And in the end, we celebrated together.
At the end of a relationship, your friends are usually the ones to catch you fall—or if you’re lucky, they stand in your wedding.
But the one advantage an escape room has that no relationship has? A clearly marked emergency exit.
Read more about risky relationships on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.