Friday, October 26, 2007

House of (Minor) Horrors

Brandon, Caleb, and I were having a debate the other day about which is better: being a kid or being an adult. All three of us tend toward thinking adulthood is a way better deal. You can eat what you want, stay up as late as you want. You have money, and not just an accumulation of the $.75 you get from cleaning the windows. You can vote, drive, have whatever sort of pet you’d like. You do not have homework.

“But being a kid is good, too,” I reassured Caleb.

“How?” he asked.

I made up some marlarkey (because for real, adulthood rulez!), but I was thinking lately that Halloween is way better in childhood, sparkly and promising, the kind of season when terror is delicious and imminent. These days, to me, Halloween is blunted, dull.

My moments of horror this Halloween season have included:

1. The dogs got a squirrel. (Dead bodies!)
2. The pumpkin Halloween decorations on the door looked like, in the darkness before bedtime, the silhouettes of two small heads peering into our house. (Ghosts!)
3. A new CD to which I was listening alone while making salads featured a noise that sounded like a door creaking open—but nobody was there! (Poltergeists!)
4. I got sucked into America’s Most Smartest Model on VH-1 (I’m coming in there, Carol Ann!)

“Why aren’t you afraid of anything?” Caleb asked me that night.

Oh, ho, ho, I thought. War and famine, disease and accidents, the fires in L.A., the erosion of rights, panic, boredom, the knowledge that he will inevitably understand that I’m not at all fearless. These are the fears I best keep under wraps.

I was brushing my teeth, and he was waiting for an answer, so I thought of a recent time when I was afraid. A box was delievered to the house. It didn’t have a return address, and as I started opening it, I felt the cool metal of whatever object was inside. I became convinced that it was a gun and that when I removed the wrapping, it would go off. I picked that motherfucker up and took it to the garage. I called Brandon and my neighbor to inform them of this Code Red situation. It turned out, it was some camera equipment Brandon had ordered.

“I don’t like packages without return labels,” I told Caleb.


“Because,” I said. “It might not be a good surprise.”

“It could be poop,” he suggested.

“Yes,” I said. “It could be poop.”

That really would be scary, though, wouldn’t it?


Jody said...

Fear of packages without return labels. If I was more clever I'd figure out what that phobia would be called.

I like being an adult more than I liked being a kid because kids are too powerless. I remember feeling that was quite an injustice.

However, my son LOVES being a kid. He doesn't want to grow up because he's afraid that he won't remember what all the controls on the car are for.

laundrylessons said...

Just last night my daughter was doing algebra, which I've told her is off my list of items I help with. I am sooooo glad I don't have homework.

Adults do rule, but every once in awhile I want to sit in front of the TV for three hours or throw my socks behind the sofa, or not brush my hair and not care, or have someone hug me when it hurts.

Tam said...

I just have to say that I love Brain Child!

BarbaraCA said...

Sometimes being a grown up is exhausting, but then I see my daughter, trying to understand the circle of hell that is middle school (i.e., Junior High), and that shit be terrifying.

John said...

We know your mailing address and we just got a new dog. Scared yet?

Katie said...

I have always said that I would never want to repeat high school and middle school. But on any given day, I would go back to college and enjoy that world, psuedo-adult. Now that was the best of both worlds.