Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I'm a leader, not a follower. Unless it's a dark place, then screw it, you're going first.

When I was 13 my dad told me I needed to watch "The Shining".

I hear by name him as the responsible party for ALL of the therapy I will have to endure to try and quell the overactive imagination I now own that revisits these haunting little tidbits of my life.

Here's a link for further proof

It was a rainy Saturday, my loyal confidant and partner in crime, Jennifer, was staying the night/week/some combination of an epic sleepover that never ends at my house, when we decided to finally watch The Shining. Mom decided to watch it with us too... not because I begged her... but just...yeah. We had just moved in, so we didn't have the blinds installed, and we were able to see the acres of trees and forest that was our backyard. Every clap of thunder and lightning illuminated a part of the backyard that was caped in pitch black. Outlines of trees looked like people and the actual presence of coyotes was beyond helpful to solidify this in my mind. This was the kind of spacious house that required you to run with your arms out and hit every light switch along your path just to get a glass of water from the kitchen. Because monsters. As the rain continued to pelt the windows, we sat in the dark glow of the living room tv and watched The Shining.

This was the same year that my Dad moved and re-posed the "Christmas Santa's from Around the World" so that I was certain they were alive and plotting against me.

All was going "well" until the scene where Johnny is in the bathroom and asks the butler innocently, "How long have you been here?" to which the butler replies with, "I've always been here." And that just happened to be the exact moment:
  1. The power went out
  2. Lightning struck a tree outside the window next to us
  3. Flaming tree of death was swaying in the wind
  4. I dug my nails into Jennifer's leg and drew blood
  5. Our bloody murder screams mimicked the fire alarm pitch for pitch
You know that heart warming saying:

A best friend rides in the car with you no matter how many times you nearly killed them.

No? Well, Jennifer passed that test of friendship, hands down, but we've never watched another scary movie together ever since. Partly because I now avoid scary movies at all costs, and the other part being she now has a scar to prove I'll go DEFCON 1 when pushed to the brink of fear.

This goes for Haunted Houses too. You would have to drag me, kicking and screaming to go in one of those. Again. I warned all of the guys that wanted to spend Halloween weekend at a place called "Phobia" that I have given friends black eyes out of sheer fright and have caused severe pain to a friend after he visited a blood drive when he agreed to let me hold his hand for the duration of the haunted house. My initial reaction is to fight anyone resembling a decapitated zombie clown killer that's chasing me down a strobe light filled hallway.

I don't want to sign up to have a panic attack, I can do that to myself just fine when I see a spider in the house. "Oh, hey rather large spider in the middle of my bathroom. You aren't preventing me from doing anything. Go ahead, brush your teeth, I'll wait..."

Scary movies need to be watched in the daylight followed by something of the Disney variety to cancel out the myriad of horror movie plots I've imagined. Maybe I need to watch scary movies with "stunna shades" on, that way I can stop interlocking my fingers, trying to watch the movie through a 1x1 hole in my hands.

If you're saying to yourself, "Geeeez, Amanda, calm down, it's not real.", I agree with you, but you don't fully grasp the fact that I've grown up with a Dad that liked to position dolls outside of my bedroom door, haunt me with anything said by a Speak and Spell or Furby, and inspired my "Run for Your Life: Treadmill Playlist". This list includes all carnival songs, and the ice cream truck theme song. I'll be damned if the ice cream truck doesn't drive down my street every time I'm in the shower, and for that I hate you even more.

Also,  I would like to add Furby to the list of creatures to be closely watched under suspicion of being an Animorph. I'm fairly certain they can only be destroyed by the flames of Mordor.

Just heed my warning and don't try to scare me. Don't jump out from behind a car in a parking garage or turn off the lights in the hall way and start singing nursery rhymes because I will cry. Then I'll tell my mom and she'll tell your mom and we'll all be in trouble.

I enjoy Halloween when I get to take the good candy from my nine-year old step brother's basket and silently judge the costumes that cracked out parent's choose for their toddlers. Or when I get to dress up as the Statue of Liberty and instigate several choruses of "God Bless America" to ring out in the streets over the chaos of a 4 story beer bong race commencing between a Teletubbie and a (slutty) panda bear in downtown Austin.