The other day…
…on Facebook I saw a meme that said “When you turn the basement lights off and run upstairs before death consumes you”. I laughed at first and then gave it a little more thought. When our laundry room was in the basement (and it was a finished basement with a family room, bathroom and laundry room), I realized that if I forgot to turn on the light at the head of the stairs, I had to turn on the light at the bottom. Big problem. That entailed reaching my hand around a corner IN THE DARK and finding the light switch. Are you crazy?? Who in their right mind does that?? I developed a technique whereby only my fingertips were extended so nothing could grab my whole hand. I then had to sprint double time to the laundry room, throw in a load, and race like the wind upstairs. My strained breathing and wide eyes were a dead giveaway to my husband. “Been in the basement, huh?”
How about the movies where someone or something is under the bed waiting for some poor, unsuspecting soul to dangle a foot or hand off the bed. I didn’t let a pinky or toe come close to the edge of the mattress. I knew what happened if you did that. You were grabbed, sucked under the bed, and never saw the light of day again.
And let’s not forget about standing too close to the edge of the bed where your feet might be under the mattress edge. Same scenario- grabbed, sucked under, and history.
My mom was a champ at debunking any of these scenes. She would watch a TV show or a movie and almost be spitting in disgust. “Those people are idiots! When the bad guys are everywhere taking over the submarine, why does NO ONE have a gun in their hand? Why are they in hallways in the dark?? “ Go Mom.
When the movie “The Blair Witch Project” came out several years ago, my daughter and I went with her best friend and the friend’s mom, who was my good friend. We all live two blocks from the theater. It was summer, we could walk, even with getting home after dark. No problem, there were street lights. There then followed a discussion about if that was a good idea. All reports of the movie were that it was the scariest one ever; just beyond creepy. We decided to drive the two blocks in case we were too scared to walk home. During the show, the girls held hands out of fear and sucked in their breath. The friend and I fell asleep. Our perspective was the college kids portrayed in the movie were too stupid to find their way out of paper bag with a flashlight and twenty people to help them. They deserved whatever happened.
I now realize my unreasonable fears are brought about by whatever scary book I am currently reading. For me, the written word is scarier than the screen. So, why do I and everyone I know keep doing it? It’s the age old question. Why? Because we like to be scared! Nowadays, I am able to keep it in perspective. If I am reading a book by the master of scary, Stephen King, I just visualize him sitting on an HOA board discussing mundane things like allowed paint colors and fence heights. Yep, changes everything.