Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Paid for This?

I am totally an admitted wimp. I am a bleeding heart. I convulsively cried at Where the Heart Is and didn't sleep for 3 days after I saw The Ring.

Things affect me.

A lot.

Little things, big things, said things, unsaid things; my brain records them all, my heart picks up on all of it and they stay with me. It’s taken years of practice, deep breathing, theater training, and mobilizing the vast pool of logic that Heavenly Father has seen fit to give me to balance out my spongy brain and figure out how to keep myself from going in every direction at once. I don’t want to be that girl and exhaust and annoy everyone around me and I’d like to think I’ve been marginally successful.

However, because of this I don't like being scared because I get SCARED. It typically doesn't go away for days and days. I avoid scary things like the plague, especially scary movies.

I enjoy suspenseful movies (read: The Village) and being startled is a bit fun. Like when you can immediately laugh at yourself and shake off the adrenaline. That’s fine. I grew up with brothers, that’s just a fact of life.

But I don't like being scared..... and its Halloween.

All the good candy is coming out and Disney's Halloween Treat will be on every half hour somewhere till the end of the month (Huey dressed as a witch was always my favorite).

For a long time I was a very big Halloween grinch. My pumpkin got smashed and my cat died on the same Halloween once and it took me years to forgive the day but I finally did. My friend Jamie reintroduced me to the joy that is the 7 year old's Halloween when I was 20 or so - dressing up and candy.

I even got talked into going to Knott's Scary Farm once for a friend's bachelorette party (yeah – I know. I don’t get it either. She loved it though and it was about her that night…) and I actually had fun. But only after the first 20 minutes when I got over the "OHMY Creepy Batman" and realized that they all were all goofy teenagers in campy monster costumes running around with noise makers. It was funny.

So I don’t know what got into me when I got talked into going to going to the “haunted house” at Fairplex.

Well… I do know what I was thinking but that’s a blog for another day…
The meat of the matter is that I ended up there with a group of people from church.

We bought our tickets and got in line and proceeded to wait for over an hour to get into this ply wooded and spray painted attempt at a front of a spooky haunted house. The theme was it was an asylum that had been demented and all the patients had gotten loose.

Cue eye roll.

There were the standard strobe lights and looped 16 bars from The Exorcist theme ting-tanging through cheap speakers that were situated behind a dangling skeleton over the entrance.

It might have been ominous at a quick glass or pass, but an hour in line gives you ample time to realize how this was probably designed by a 15 year old while on a 15 min break with the Stage Crew. Now the group I was with was a bit odd. There were 8 of us. 3 guys, 5 girls. The ratios were a bit off for a truly hilarious experience. I mean, that’s why guys take girls to haunted houses right, so they’ll freak out and be all over them and they get to be heroes and feel invincible right? Anyway…

2 of the girls in this group are some of the best people on the planet. However, to say they were skittish would also be a gross understatement. These are the girls who won’t touch raw meat because if flips them out. Now imagine that kind of hyper girly flip out potential standing in line to a haunted house with “monsters” pacing up and down the line scaring people as they go. Yeah -

All of us were expecting a hilarious show, at our friend’s psychological expense. But that’s what Halloween is about right? Right –

I am unspeakably grateful that those two were there because it took attention off of the fact that I was quietly and internally flipping out myself. I like to think that externally I appear put together, but, at the time, there were nothing but pans rattling and air horns of panic and anxiety going off just behind my eyes. I don’t like being scared and here I was totally opening myself up for it. I stood in line next to my friend whose idea this whole excursion was while he just smiled and watched me talk too fast and stand with my arms crossed and keep quiet pretending to listening to people around me. But alas and once again, just a few centimeters underneath my skin I was practically shaking.

However, by the time we got to the front of the line the monsters were funny, the “BOOO!!! Ohhhh, snarl snarly” was funny. I had planked up my brain for that and I was good to go by the time we went in.

I was somehow nominated to lead our group through this maze. It was a maze and it sucked. I’m not good at mazes, never have been. There were machines that sent bursts of air at your feet that startled me and badly made up girls walking around in night gowns pretending to be crazy but I was well. There were dead ends that I led people straight into that had gauntly looking bloody type people in showers popping out at me and I was well.

It went totally dark and I wasn’t so well. That’s when I started groping for reassuring somebodys and I peaked around every corner like the flaming chicken that I am but somehow towards the end of the maze when I thought I had made it through like a pro we were in this room that was really narrow and through some turn I ended up at the back of group instead of the front. It was dark and I was anxious for it all to be over so I grabbed onto the person in front of me who happened to be my friend Brad that I have known since my pre mission days. The guy has seen me in almost every possible respect, except this one apparently.

I had a pretty good grip on his jacket and I was looking around for anyone who might be behind me and instead of a group member there was one of the monster people. Now, at Knott’s the rule is that the monsters stay in whatever room you see them in. Once you make it through a room you’re safe from that particular monster. That’s the haunted house norm so I thought “ok just a few more feet and he’ll back off…”

Oh no –

He followed me into the next room and I said “Brad, there’s a monster behind me” and Brad turned around and said over his shoulder “I KNOW!” and I tightened my grip on his jacket a little bit more. So the monster guy starts his creepy voice saying something to scare me.

Now, if he had stayed in character and the following would have happened I would have been perfectly fine. However he did not -

He cleared his throat, broke character, and in a perfectly normal voice said “Ooooh – you smell good.” Brad and I both started laughing but I can’t tell you how this totally unnerved me. If he wasn’t wearing such a sturdy jacket I could have possibly ripped it with how much tighter my grip got. If someone was that close and normally clad and made up that still would have unnerved me.

Then he got super close to me and started smelling and breathing on my neck. I had my hair pulled back so it was exposed and he was really enjoying himself as a dude, not the supposed monster he was supposed to be. They’re not allowed to touch people but that was enough for me.

I bolted and he took off after me. I pushed past the people in our group trying to put some distance between us but, the oh so loving people that I was with saw a show and just got out of his and my way. My other friend (the ones who’s this idea was in the first place) saw me and him bolt by and noted that he also had a chainsaw and told him to “fire it up!” So when there was a bit of an opening and he had me on the run the monster guy roared the chainsaw to life and that’s when my last shred of logic and dignity just fell out of my ears.

I grabbed for the first person I saw and who was it? Only one of our loveably skittish sisters. She barely turned around and saw a totally unglued Lizzie with a chainsaw wielding fiend behind her, and bless her, she caught me and just as terror filled, did what she could which was sink down and sit in the chair that was there and I ended up crouched on the floor right next to her with my head covered.

I stayed there for a second or two and peeked up when the chainsaw finally died and the monster was silently crouched right in front of me about 6 inches from my face just waiting for me to come to and properly made fun of me when I recovered 30 seconds later.

We got out of the maze and made our way back to the car all reliving my meltdown and reporting what we were thinking and what was funny and everyone was marveling that “of all of us here – Liz would be the one to cave…”

Glad I could take one for the team people. That’s what I’m here for.

It was absolutely ridiculous and a total blast. I can’t deny how fun it was. I never once thought I was in any kind of proper danger. It was just an adrenaline rush and a chance to release a little I think. I almost kept it together but I think I just can’t handle mud faced, chainsaw wielding, clown suited, actors enjoying my DKNY perfume at close range.

Call me crazy.


Quixotic Healer said...

You're NOT crazy! I would have been the same. I'm totally the same with scary things. I am WAY to good at the whole "suspension of disbelief" thing for my own good.

I don't watch movies, I ENTER them. If I don't, then I'm in a really weird mood, or watching a REALLY terrible movie.

Tracy said...

Liz, I would have backed you up from the beginning and we wouldn't have ever made it past the parking lot... That being said, I am however, madly thankful for your sharing the story. I really did, actually, laugh out loud in my office.

(And I would have completely freaked out too... creepy guys are so much scarier than monsters!)


Silvestre Family said...

Liz i have been trying to get in touch with you! shoot me an e-mail.