I Am Only Here for the Candy (#344)

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.

Baby dressed as a big orange pumpkin.


Toddler dressed as a skunkWhen 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.

After that?

Kid dressed at the Grim Reaper, with skull mask and scythe

Kid is going to give me nightmares.

Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

23 thoughts on “I Am Only Here for the Candy (#344)”

  1. People are so different. I was always something pretty. Sequins and ribbons were a must. Others liked to be an ugly witch. My most out of character costume was a clown. Once I was a nun (that was kind of scary in another way). To this day I do not watch chainsaw massacres.

  2. I think in my childhood, costumes were less varied than they are now. Witches and ghosts were just part of the seasonal fun. But like Kate, I preferred something pretty.

    I’m not a big fan of scary movies, but they don’t scare me much either or cause nightmares.

    I looked at that article about internal monologues because I can’t imagine not having them. But I suppose it isn’t happening all the time. Sometimes we just sense what’s happening around us rather than putting it into sentences.

    1. Oh, the array of costumes is wild these days. But I still got at least 10 Disney princesses last night. (One was a baby Princess Leia in a Baby Bjorn with a headband holding the yarn buns on either side of her head.)

      I’m always creating sentences. Unless I am reading someone else’s sentences.

  3. We don’t really celebrate Halloween in the same way in the UK as you do over there, but I’ve also never been a fan of horror stuff. My ayah (Indian nanny) brought us up to believe in the boogey man in order to keep us in line. I was absolutely terrified, my younger sister less so – not sure what that says other than I was the one with the highly active imagination. There’s been books which terrified me and which I refused to watch as films, until I did – only to discover that what I saw in my head was waaaaayyyy worse.

    Totally with you on the internal monologue. Fortunately Himself has one too, as we both go off with the fairies (or into our own minds as he prefers to term it).

    1. Yeah, my head is generally even darker than the scary stuff Andy watches, which is why I don’t want to hear dialogue or suspenseful music! And my worst nightmares when I was younger involved being chased by some kind of horrible monster. Telling an imaginative kid there is an actual boogeyman seems very, very cruel.

  4. Wait, what?!! Some people don’t have an internal monologue going on? This makes no sense to me. How would you know you were alive? On the surface of it that’s insane to me.

    As for your kid’s costumes, I like the cute ones but the last one is pretty darned cool. Gotta say, very nice

  5. I love scary movies but Tara can’t be in the same room with me while I’m watching them. This is the same woman who jumps at her own shadow though, so I can’t say I’m surprised.

    My internal monologue is saturated analog.

  6. I’m okay with scary movies (Poltergeist is one of my all-time faves) but I don’t like slashers/gore. My husband is also one of those people who claims to be thinking about nothing. How is that even possible? Mark Gungor’s “The Nothing Box” was an eye-opener for me. I was also surprised to learn that not everyone has an internal monologue. I can’t even wrap my brain around how that works.

          1. I am the exact same as you autumn! I hate scary stuff and I am not a fan of Halloween (I can hear my Halloween worshipping friends with pitch forks coming to hunt me down). I don’t like horror movies or anything scary. Similar to you, I was paranoid about everything. When I first slept over at my best friends house I was convinced she was a vampire so I didn’t sleep the whole night! Haha.

            And I laughed out loud about the squid game thing because I did the EXACT SAME THING!! I made Richard summarize all the gruesome parts I couldn’t watch!

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