But I won’t.
And if you make fun of me for being afraid of my shadow, I will act like I couldn’t possibly care less about it. (But inside, I am marking you off my “friends forever” list)
When I was maybe 12 years old, peer pressure pushed me through the doors of my first and last experience with a haunted house.
While eerie music played and scary voices screamed and laughed in the darkness, I immediately turned right around and tried to get back out the door I just barely entered.
“Where are you going?” my friends grabbed hold of me. “Come on! This is fun!”
Fun? What in the world could be fun about my life flashing before my eyes at age 12?
While a bunch of nasty looking fake rats and big fuzzy spiders tried to dive bomb me in the face, I thought about how sad I would be if I dropped deader than a doornail in the scary haunted house before I grew boobs or experienced a real kiss from my future husband, Bobby Sherman.
That evening was so traumatizing that I had a nervous stomach until July.
After everybody screamed until they were hoarse, we crowded around a sticky table at our favorite pizza place. My friends happily shared which moments they found the scariest.
I heard sentences like, “I loved that guy who was carrying his head around.” And “When that big pot of blood started to smoke, I was scared to death!”
Of course, my eyes were squished shut all the way through that “fun.” I could not participate in the conversation. I didn’t see any of the scary things my friends saw. In fact, I only got a close-up of the parking lot and the black entrance.
“Well? What did you think about the haunted house?” my friends asked.
“I hated all of it,” I said flatly since I was suddenly set free from my big fat peer pressure problem.
On that nightmarish night I learned a couple of important lessons.
First, I learned that I was being terrorized only because I had not chosen to grow myself a sensible backbone so I could refuse to follow fright-loving friends.
And second, I learned that yes, you can pee your pants and run at the same time.
My phobia for fearful moments also knocked me out of attending cool-girl slumber parties.
While my friends called boys and watched Sammy Terry, I sobbed until they finally turned the channel. When you’re 12, news travels fast. I was blackballed from slumber parties before the weekend was over.
It was my fault, really. I didn’t only refuse to be in the same room where Sammy Terry was on the TV, I didn’t even want to be in the same house.
How did I know that monster wouldn’t step right out of the TV and grab me?
My hate for horror flicks remains alive and well.
A few nights ago a scary movie commercial came on the screen, and I freaked out when I couldn’t find the remote to change the channel.
And then I jumped off the couch to escape to the kitchen, slid in my socks and kissed the door frame with my face.
Get outta here, Halloween!