Wednesday, August 13, 2008
What are you afraid of, Lone Reader? Has it changed over time?
When I was younger, (notice I said “young-er” not “young”) (delusional – ed.) I was terrified of spiders. Even small spiders scared me. Did it help that my dad would chase me around with any spider that he had caught inside the house? No, it did not. Years later my daughter developed a love of bugs and I found myself reading books like “Tarantulas: They’re so Dang Cute” and “Brownie Recluse Finds a Friend”. I am not so scared of a common house spider now; I’m actually okay with squishing them myself. (I’m not a carry-the-bug-outside type of gal. I want the other creepy crawlies to see the mangled corpse and recognize it as a prescient totem of what happens inside this house.)
I’m still terrified of haunted houses. I know, you’re thinking, “One is supposed to be scared of such things, Velma.” Well, my mom put me and my freakishly gigantic now-we-know-what-ADHD-is neighbor Annie Sue on a haunted house ride at a county carnival when we were not yet in Kindergarten. It was pitch black inside, with crazy noises. When one of the scary guys reached out and touched our hair, we stopped crying and started screaming. He started telling us to calm down it was okay, but you know, it’s hard to absorb that lesson when it’s being taught by a teenager in zombie makeup. I have no desire to ever, ever go in a haunted house.
Hmm…writing about fears seems to have brought to the fore the really bizarre parenting I endured. Oh well, on the whole I turned out okay and I think those are both fears I can live with. Oh sure, I have the standard parenting fears – Will my kids be healthy? What if they take drugs? What if they won’t share? – but I think in general I’m pretty fearless. I know I’ll go in a shark cage at some point in my life. I’ve committed (at least in my mind) to sky-diving. I can take down a sketchy employee in a heartbeat. What more do you need in life? How many spider-filled haunted houses are there in the world?
Stay brave, little soldier and watch out! The call is coming from inside the house!