With Halloween arriving tomorrow, people are focusing their efforts on creating fear. It’s a strange way to begin a season that ends with the wonder and peacefulness of Christmas. And I’ve often wondered why we put ourselves through this effort to create bedlam and gore. I’ve come up with this personal theory: we love the feeling we get when we realize: it’s not real. That blood spouting from TV’s Roseanne when she put her hand “down the disposal” is fake; the ghost traveling from tree to tree is a bed sheet on a string; the hatchet buried in the 10-year’s old’s head is rubber. Thank goodness!
What we need to do―to celebrate this holiday in a manner true to its purpose―is to spend some time dwelling on what really does scare us. So turn off the lights, strike a match on a few black candles and gather around. Here’s my list:
- I’m morphing into my mother. For those of you who have met my mom, you’re wondering why I wouldn’t want to be this lovely woman. But, she’s my I’m frightened that I will contract every ailment that has ever affected her all at once, and I’m sure I will inherit every personality quirk that irritates me as her daughter.
- I have to get on that square, flat box on my kitchen floor that absolutely terrifies me. That thing has the ability to make or break a good mood and holds an evil, vile power over me. It’s called: the scale.
- My daughter is going to wake up one day and become the zombie teenager she never was. Somehow she missed the “I hate you” stage and is nearly out of her teens. I’m certain she’s scheming to make up for it in her twenties.
- My husband will fall in love with golf. Somehow RJ escaped the Stepford Husband syndrome of loving every sport ever created to enable men to try to kill each other. That must mean that I’ll come home one day and find a rousing game of golf on the tube.
- Ebola will find its way to Washington, D.C. after killing off half the population on its way. I’m not really scared of Ebola, folks. But I wouldn’t want to disappoint the media or not include the word “Ebola” in my blog tags this week.
OK, so none of these horrific things has anything to do with writing. But how is this for terror?
- I’m going to go broke as well as crazy. Writing a book is a wonderful, awesome experience but such a small part of what you do as an author. When you walk into a book event, you face the possibility that not a single person will approach your table or care who you are.
- I’m going to make it really big as a writer. I also wonder what would happen if I became that successful author. Mom and I have forced ourselves to learn how to speak to audiences—a scary experience. We’ve even been interviewed on television. But what happens when Oprah takes notice and I have to face the real camera lights?
I guess I’ll face that terrifying event when it occurs!
Genilee Swope Parente