Monday, October 31, 2011

A Post About That Holiday Which Is Technically Today, But Has Been Going On For A Week.

When one is twelve years old, few things are as awesome as Halloween falling on a Saturday. You have visions of waking up at 7 AM and, over the course of twelve hours, amassing a candy stash large enough to fill the Grand Canyon.

And then, of course, there's the added bonus of a potential sleepover party since it's Saturday and that's what twelve-year old girls do.

Through a series of crafty political maneuvers, I managed to get invited to a slumber party on Halloween night at the house of one of the more popular girls at school.

Some added background information: I was a bit of a tremendously sheltered, naive girl. I believed in Santa Claus until I was 9 or 10 (not joking) and the scariest movie I had seen until this night was The Wizard of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West sent me screaming, terrified out of the family room and into the safety of my Strawberry Shortcake bedroom.

Just in case you forgot, I am not built out of sturdy materials. A strong gust of wind can bring on heart palpitations (What was that? Is someone sneaking up on me? Didn't I read about a psycho killer the other day? OH MY GOD THEY FOUND ME RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! was this leaf falling out of the tree.)

Let's sum up the key points we've gathered so far:
  • Twelve-year old me drastically unprepared for a Halloween-themed sleepover
  • Sleepover at most popular girl's house
  • Giant weenie of a child (and adult)
The night of the party is upon us and everyone gathers at Popular Polly's house. Kids are amped up on Halloween candy. Well, except me, because I wasn't much of a candy kid. Oh sure, I wanted a lot of it while trick-or-treating because other kids wanted a lot of it and it's important to be just like everyone else. But I had no interest in eating the candy (in fact, I usually was forced by my parents to give away my Halloween candy each Easter to kids who enjoyed eating candy).

The deeper I get into this post, the more I understand about the adult I am today. Sigh. Let's move on.

Popular Polly's parents were Halloween fanatics. Yes...those people.

They had transformed the house into a haunted house for the evening's festivities. So when I knocked on the door and it creaked open slowly revealing a pitch black house and nothing else, I nearly crapped my pants and ran. Except. It's Popular Polly's house and not embarrassing oneself in front of the popular kids at school is infinitely higher on the twelve-year old's survival list than actually staying alive.

I waved to my mom in the driveway, took a deep breath and took a step to the door.

My brain began a speedy analysis on the situation: Doors do not usually open themselves. So someone or something opened that door. I can hear kids laughing further in the house. So other people made it past the front door alive.

Decision: Run as fast as you can through the front door and into a room with lights to avoid being eaten by a zombie.

It worked! I was alive, panting and in a kitchen full of giggling pre-teen girls.

Popular Polly's mom, dressed as a witch, walked in behind me laughing. "You should've seen her run!" The flaw in my plan was immediately apparently...I had not taken into account the "cool" factor of  running like my underpants had caught fire. My mind raced for a way to save face before I was the butt of the evening's jokes...

"I was just excited to get inside and see what everyone was laughing at."

Not my most stellar retort, but no one was laughing and pointing at me so it did the job.

The next half hour was my favorite of the party: we sat around and ate pizza in the brightly lit kitchen waiting for everyone to show up.

The first half of the party was manageable. I survived being blindfolded and forced to touch weird things in bowls made to feel like brains, eyeballs and intestines. I lived through walking around the "haunted house" in the garage and kept my dignity due to the pitch black covering my faces of abject horror.

But I knew my minutes were limited. My doom had been spelled out and engraved right on the invitation: Horror Movie Slumber Party - Sleep If You Dare...

It was a large family room on the ground level. Glass sliding doors led out to a backyard with a pool. Two couches and an enormous TV were the only furniture in the room. I'm sure it was a lovely room. In the daytime. On a day when my murder wasn't so imminent.

A line of seven girls, including me, were laid out with sleeping bags and pillows. Popcorn was popped and the movie began.

Which movie, you ask? Why...Friday the 13th naturally. How appropriate for a gaggle of pre-teen girls.

Since hiding under the blankets or behind one's hands is undoubtedly "lame," I concocted my greatest diversion yet. Each time things in the movie got too tense (you know, like during the opening credits) for my fragile constitution, I would suddenly have an urge for popcorn. This way, as people were being stalked and slashed, I would safely be rummaging in the bowl for the perfect piece of popcorn.

I spent a lot of time eating popcorn.

At some point, I realized I needed to make sure my ruse was working. So somewhere in the middle of the movie, I started my scan of the room.

Girls hiding behind sleeping bags and screeching whenever someone was gored? Check.

Popular Polly's mom looking maddeningly gleeful at our fright? Check.

Jason standing outside the glass doors with a knife in his hand staring inside at us? Check.


My heart stopped and I looked slowly around. Everyone else was too engrossed in the movie to notice our visitor. He started to open the doors and I prepared to scream bloody murder...except that's not cool.

Instead I inched closer to the hallway. When someone else noticed him and started to scream, I sprung into action. And by action, I mean I sprinted down the hallway into the house. I heard everyone running behind me to escape.

Girls were streaming out the front door, screeching at the top of their lungs. I was halfway back to my house when I heard Popular Polly's mom yelling after us. It was Popular Polly's dad dressed up as Jason.

I walked up the block and watched girls climbing out of bushes and out from under cars as we all headed back to the party. Popular Polly's mom was less enthused when she realized she just tacked on two more hours to the awake portion of the party because preteen girls really know how to milk a moment.

Everyone slept in starts and fits. Convinced we would be under attack again at any minute. Everyone, except me.

I slept like a damn log.

I was nuzzled in my sleeping bag pleased with the knowledge that even popular girls get scared and run like hell when faced with an undead murdering man in a hockey mask...but more importantly, I could outrun all those other bitches if I had to.

And yes, I'm going you may as well accept it or simply stop here and come back tomorrow.

Token child in a Halloween costume photo:

Isn't she adora-bull?!


Masshole Mommy said...

The Wizard of Oz IS the scariest movie ever (god I hate that movie) and I am pretty sure I was the last one to find out there was no santa. Sigh. All the kids on the playground laughed at me after they told me he was fake.

C (Kid Things) said...

I'm pretty sure I would have ran like hell, too. I remember watching Nightmare on Elm Street when I was around 6 or 7 for the first time. Scared me relentlessly for months. Friday the 13th was just the right amount of campy that I wasn't so scared, but if Jason happened to be right outside my door while watching it, it would have been a different story.

Beth Tidwell said...

I couldn't watch Halloween until about 5 years ago, and have never seen Friday the 13th. I think I might be able to handle it now (I made it through Halloween), but I was (am) the biggest chicken ever. I think you are extremely brave to have survived this terror at the tender age of 12.

Funsucker Extraordinaire said...

See? You don't have to be able to outrun the monster. You only have to outrun your friends. BTW, cute baby.