By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015
Moncton Times & Transcript
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve found darkened rooms depressing and grim. I could be shown the most beautiful home in the world, but if the kitchen had dark cabinets, the first thing I’d want to do is paint them white. If I’m visiting friends and they turn down the lights for ambience, I find it changes the whole mood of the gathering – and not for the better.
Now, I’ve never been afraid of the dark – except for that one time when I was about three or four years old and some boogiemen came out of my closet, scared the living daylights out of me and I ran terrified to my parents’ room for safety. It’s still the most legendary childhood freak-out ever experienced in my family.
My father would still remind me of it years later – about “that time you came into our bedroom screaming.”
Well, you’d scream, too, if shadowy boogiemen came out of your closet to kidnap you and take you back to their lair.
To this day, I don’t know what those figures were – likely shadows, a bad dream or my vivid imagination. I do remember breaking all speed records getting to my parents’ room and sounding like someone was trying to kill me. I guess my screams scared away the creatures because they never came back. ‘Fred, don’t go back to that Cormier kid’s room, OK? He’s a yeller,’ I could just imagine them saying at their weekly monsters’ meeting.
I don’t know if that was the trigger, but I’ve always much preferred brightly lit rooms since then. Some of the reasons are just pure practicality, i.e. I like to see where I’m going. Have you ever been somewhere where the only light they have on is a 40W bulb in the basement? I mean, really! Turn those lights on and stop stubbing your toes on the furniture! Live life dangerously and screw in a 100W bulb!
Another reason is because I seem to be one of the few people who can’t seem to handle watching television in the dark. A movie is not so bad because the light really fills up the cinema, but to sit in a darkened room and watch television?
Well, you might as well pull my eyeballs out of my head right now and dip them in hot sauce. Talk about eye strain!
Maybe it’s because I have the eyesight of Mr. Magoo? My glasses are thick ones. Heck, even with the lenses as thin as technology can get them, they could still rival the Hubble Space Telescope for viewing the universe.
The type of work I do means I have to have my eyes glued to a computer screen all day. To avoid eyestrain – even during the day – I’ll have a number of lights on in my office: the ceiling light, a three-way lamp and a desk lamp aimed at the ceiling.
The room is filled with light, which pretty much eliminates eyestrain. If I looked at my screen all day in an office without bright lighting, I wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Even at home, I like to have the lights on in a few rooms. A darkened house is a depressing house. My walls are also painted white to make it extra bright.
Don’t get me wrong. I think those scenes on television look cool where all these detectives are in a darkened room staring at bright screens while trying to solve a murder.
But cool isn’t practical in my books. I’d be turning on so many lights in that room that the International Space Station would be radioing in to NASA to alert them about a volcanic eruption they could see from space. Nope, that’s just me turning on the lights!
To each his own, of course. There’s nothing wrong with dark and gloomy if that’s what you like. Everyone has their own taste. I’m just saying that I’d much rather relax in a room so brightly lit that I can hear my retinas sizzling.
It also drives me crazy when retailers get on a bandwagon to portray themselves as ‘green’ and turn down the lighting in their stores. Staples did this a few years ago – for about a week. The place looked closed every time I drove by – and I couldn’t read any of the packaging because it was so dark! I went to Walmart instead, where they at least had the lights on!
If I’m ever over visiting and you want me to leave, just turn down the lights. I’ll show myself out. But first, can I borrow a flashlight?