Of mice and boogeymen

I have never been a very brave person. Or even remotely brave actually. Let's just go ahead and call it what it is; I'm a weenie. If it's any little bit creepy, I'm afraid of it. I freak out about spiders, unexplained noises, ghosts, and hanging my foot off the bed where it's left vulnerable to monsters and little black eyed children playing with ovaries. Let's discuss.


I don't believe there will ever be zombies but if there were I'd be a chickenshit. If I were in the zombie apocalypse, I would have been dead in the first two minutes. The first minute and a half would be spent trying to climb a tree. The last thirty seconds would be spent being pulled down from the tree by my leg screaming "oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit" and eaten by zombies because I'm afraid of heights. Besides, there could potentially be spiders in the tree and screw that. The apocalypse is where you find out exactly what you're made of. I already know the answer to that. I definitely wouldn't be one of those people making any history or saving humanity. Just another grunting torso ooching along the ground grabbing at legs.


I can't watch scary movies. I can't watch scary commercials even, or ghost stories on the History Channel. If I watch a crime show or The Walking Dead, my husband has to be around so there'll be somebody to slay the bad guys that will certainly show up in the middle of the show to chop me to bits. If my husband isn't home and I accidentally see a scary commercial, I fully believe pulling a sheet over my head will protect me. Once, I made the mistake of watching The Grudge. I have never, ever gotten the image of that woman out of my head. I always think when I roll over to the empty side of the bed that she'll be there waiting for me. I'm forty years old, for God's sake. And people wonder why I drink.


One Friday night before I was married I was chilling out at home when I heard a man's voice. Oh my god...someone is coming to get me. I knew it! I just knew it! I called my friend who lived on the next street over. I told him to hurry, that someone was outside trying to get me. He rushed right over ready to whip somebody's ass. I saw the lights of his truck pull in the driveway. I was safe.

I figured he was outside hogtying the pervert, because several minutes passed before he knocked on the door. When I opened it, he looked at me blankly and said, "You dumbass. It's the football game." He turned around without another word, got in his truck and left.

 Yep. You're an idiot.

Yep. You're an idiot.

OK, so I lived a short distance from the high school. It was Friday night. It was Texas. You can hear the commentator pretty clearly if you step outside. From the inside, though, he sounded like a crazed lunatic wanting to display my entrails in his china cabinet. He sounded JUST LIKE THAT. Turns out he was just a crazed lunatic excited over a touchdown. Honest mistake.


In those days there were a lot of spiders in my house because I lived next door to the World Hunger Relief Farm. The problem with that place was that evidently they were so busy relieving hunger that they couldn't be bothered to mow. I couldn't control the spiders (that were the size of house cats, by the way) and I lived in constant fear that they would leap on me from across the room. I used tactics such as throwing shoes and spraying them with Lysol, but usually just called the neighbor behind me to come kill them. He had a pretty high tolerance for my crap and said it was just like having another wife, except without any benefits. He would always roll his eyes, but dammit he could fucking kick a spider's ass and that was my main concern. In the end, I literally sold my house because I couldn't do anything to rid the house of spiders, and I even sold it to a friend and didn't even tell her what she was getting into. How shitty is that!


My sister and her friends invited ghosts into our house when we were kids via a Ouija board. For one thing, they aren't so easy to unfriend as those people on Facebook from high school. They don't just fucking leave because you're peeing your panties and crying in the corner. They like that crap. It gives them purpose. Did you know those spirits stick to you even if you move houses? That shit is true. Most all my problems are directly her fault, and all because she wanted to know if she'd marry some stupid boy who turned out to have a gherkin. Yeah. That was worth it.


My son is afraid of the monsters in his closet. He wants me to reassure him that nothing's there, which I try to do, but let's face it, I don't come across as credible. There are monsters in there. Everybody knows that. That Darth Vader mask paired with the zombie outfit makes for a very intimidating night's sleep.

I feel like, rather than trying to convince him there's nothing in there, empowering him is a better strategy.

"Oh, there are monsters in there? OK, well here's your light saber. You'll totally win, because the force is with you."

For extra safety, I hand him his nun-chucks and say "Make me proud." Then in the morning I ask him what all monsters he beat up, and he supposes that they're just too afraid to mess with him. I agree and we have waffles. That, my friends, is how you disarm the monsters. Except I can't take my own advice.


Do you know what my mom did to comfort us when we were little? She hand-made life sized clowns to keep us company.

LIFE SIZED CLOWNS. Just let that soak in for a minute.

During the day they were all cute and polka-dotty, but at night they transformed into beasts of ten feet tall or more, looming over the bed, cackling wildly and whispering my name. I remember it just like that.

"Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite", my parents would say at bedtime. Yeah, if only bedbugs had been my problem.

I slept a total of three hours as a child and I'm pretty sure I have PTSD. My parents have no idea how I ended up to be such a sissy considering neither of them are afraid of anything, but I assure them it's their fault somehow.

It's really important to me that I don't raise my son to be a sissy. Getting through life is hard when you're afraid of everything, and so everyday I do my best to show bravery in the face of spiders, funny shadows, and other extremely dangerous situations. Hopefully my son sees this bravery and soaks it in. But if not, he'd better figure it out. My husband says it best: "He can be a fag - I don't care - but he'd damn sure better not be a sissy."