I don’t like scary things. Not costumes. Not movies. Not books. Not TV.
There’s enough scary shit in real life. Why would you seek out terror?
I don’t understand people who enjoy being scared. Did they not have enough to frighten them in their childhood? I’d wake up with a full bladder and hold it until morning rather than risk running into a monster on the way to the bathroom.
I remember my father being exasperated with me as I child because I was so certain someone could get a ladder, climb up three stories, come in my bedroom window, and “get me.”
Dad explained how loud and difficult that would be. I was unconvinced. He sent me back to bed, but at least refrained from saying, “Jesus Christ, child, I probably couldn’t GIVE away you or your equally feral, troublesome siblings! Why would anyone go through the trouble of climbing a ladder to try and STEAL you?”
I loved Halloween, of course, but only because there was free candy and sparkly costumes. I was every Disney Princess imaginable (Leia included), and a fairy. Never once did I want to be anything scary.
My Chinese-American husband, on the other hand, enjoys scary, suspenseful entertainment. “The Walking Dead?” One of his favorite shows. He’s never met a Resident Evil anything he doesn’t watch. Meanwhile, I’m in the bedroom, yelling at him to turn the volume down because ANY suspenseful minor chord music will make me wonder who is being murdered. I tried to watch “Squid Game,” but had to run out of the room repeatedly. (Andy would patiently summarize the games and deaths for me later.)
Why are we so different?
I have theories.
Andy’s childhood was more secure than mine (though both our fathers were scary and strict). Andy doesn’t speculate or imagine scenarios as much as I do. Sometimes Andy will see me wiping away a tear and foolishly ask, “What’s wrong?”
“Well,” I’ll sniffle, “I was just thinking about what if one of those right wing crazies crashes into the Torrance Farmer’s Market while you’re there because he’s targeting Asians, and you get killed and then I have to tell Baby D and I was trying to figure out what to do for your funeral…”
Andy will hand me a tissue and remind me, “Remember, don’t spend money on a casket. It’s a cardboard box or nothing.”
I once asked Andy if he ever worried that something might happen to me.
He said, “No.”
“You don’t think about it at all?”
“What do you think about?”
Andy shrugged. “Nothing, really.”
“You can’t think about NOTHING. No one thinks about NOTHING.”
Andy just shrugged again. I kinda thought he was lying, until I read an article about how some people don’t always have an internal monologue going. That was unfathomable to me (and everyone else who monologues). But while I couldn’t understand not constantly
judging thinking, it immediately made sense that Andy was a non-monologuer.
I’m a little jealous. It sounds very restful and zen. My internal monologues go from 0 to DISASTER in seconds. Which means that when I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m immediately convinced that any unusual noise or smell means there’s a fire/ murder/ kidnapping happening.
This is one of the reasons I like having dogs. I’m pretty sure that my dogs will smell or hear any danger long before my comparatively weak human senses detect it. This comforting fact enables me to get back to sleep. Sometimes. (Of course, sometimes you have dogs that snooze right through impending danger.)
Throughout our son’s childhood, I’ve tried to keep him from scary stuff. I didn’t want him to have nightmares or wake up scared like I did. He would pester us to watch Star Wars or Indiana Jones and I’d think of how Darth Vader and melting faces kept me awake as a child. Baby D was on a strict diet of “Thomas the Tank Engine” until the older kids on the block introduced him to The Hunger Games.
And he was fine. Not a single nightmare, ever, not even when Baby D sneakily read the books at age eight (by the light of a ring that flashed red, white, and blue). He sailed through Harry Potter without fears of Dementors.
When he was little, I could pick the most adorable Halloween costumes for Baby D. Nothing scary, just pumpkins, bunnies, and fluffy skunks.
Once he hit preschool, Baby D insisted on being a ninja. For three years.
Kid is going to give me nightmares.