I’m A Grown-Ass Woman

When I was a toddler, my parents took me to a Raffi concert (Baby Beluga 4 life) and I cried when bubbles started drifting into the audience — I was afraid. Later, they tried taking me to a traveling circus show and I lost my shit when the clowns came out. The direct quote was, “I DON’T WIKE THE CWOWNS.”

One time when I was eight and my middle sister was four, we were in the backyard and a bee landed on her. As it slowly crawled over her swimsuit, she stayed cool as a cucumber and I sobbed uncontrollably, terrified she was going to get stung.

When I was about nine, I had this Sheryl Crow poster on my wall, and my sister and I were CONVINCED that when the lights went out, Sheryl’s eyes would follow us around the room. She was wearing this leather jacket and honestly you would’ve been afraid, too.

In fifth grade, my elementary school held its annual Halloween festival and there was this janky haunted house. I waited in line with my friends like a champ, but as soon as we got to the doorway, I bolted out of line and into the girls’ bathroom — preemptively afraid of whoever/whatever was bound to scare me in there.

Around this same time, my parents took our family to Disneyland and we were in line for the Pirates of The Caribbean ride. I was convinced it was going to be terrifying and cried the entire time in line. My parents were like, “No seriously this is insane it’s not even scary you have to go on this ride with us.” I remember laughing during one part of the ride because it was so fun, although I was still crying from earlier.

In middle school, I was trying to be chill at this sleepover, but the movie of choice was Poltergeist 2. I hid under a blanket and cried, but pretended I was actually laughing so they wouldn’t think I was a total loser.

In college, I was friends with all these cool boys and I wanted to be cool, so I went to see Saw 2 with them and I wanted to fucking die. I had my eyes closed for 98% of the movie and the 2% I did see was burned into my retinas forever. Fuck Saw 2 and honestly, fuck the entire Saw franchise.

It was also in college that I developed the term “person-sized window.” A person-sized window is a window on a ground level floor, preferably in one’s bedroom, that’s just big enough for a person to climb through and steal you in the night. I’ve encountered many person-sized windows since then and I trust none of them.

I want to be cool. I want to be like “Yeah, I’ll go to Knott’s Scary Farm with you!” or “I’m so down for the Haunted Hayride.” But you know what? I am not down. I am SO not down. I have a photographic memory and a crazy ass imagination. The only haunted house I can actually go into is the one at Disneyland. And that’s because it’s the same thing every goddamn time and nobody can jump out at you because no real people are even in there. It’s all animatronics and holographic ghosts. Although I did get a little freaked out one time when the ride broke down halfway through and the voiceover kept saying things like, “Your spooky ride will continue shortly.” I got slightly uncomfortable, but I didn’t cry because I’m a grown-ass woman.