This weekend, I completed fun activity three of my fifty fun things. On Saturday, I took my little bean and our friends from Taekwondo to Scary Harry’s Haunted Trails. It is a local haunted house that has entertained scare enthusiasts for several years. Up to this point, all my bean has talked about is how she wants to attend Scary Harry’s. As is par for the course with my bean, she is enthusiastic until it is time to execute the plan she has set in motion. The week before our outing, all she did was fuss about how she did not want to go to Scary Harry’s. Sigh, it was like Disney World all over again.
In 2015, we went to Disney for two weeks. The entire year building up to our highly anticipated trip, The Bean could not wait to ride everything. She was determined she would grow to be tall enough to ride everything. The week before our trip, I even bought her new sneakers with a bit of a lift to ensure she did indeed meet the height requirement to ride all rides. Fast forward to day one in the park.
The first ride we rode was Space Mountain. Space Mountain is my absolute favorite ride, with The Haunted Mansion being a solid runner-up. To say The Bean was not impressed with my favorite ride is the understatement of the century. She hated the roller coaster, the dark, the strobe lights, and having to ride in an individual seat. She was so angry with me for “making her ride such a horrible, scary ride” that she would not speak to me for almost an hour. The only thing that broke that indignant anger streak was her dad passing gas while riding The Haunted Mansion ride. Sigh.
After the Space Mountain debacle, she had no trust or faith in my ride choices. If she could hear people screaming from the cue, she refused to ride the ride. We spent a lot of time sitting through shows and musical numbers. She completely discarded her goal of riding all the rides at Disney. Our Saturday adventure to Scary Harry’s went much the same way.
Not only did she stress about attending the haunted house, she feigned illness, nearly melted down, and then at the last minute decided she was “a big girl and could handle it.”
We met our friends for dinner, then went to the haunted house. Once in line, all bravery and false bravado disappeared. Once again, she and the girls we were with decided they did not want to go through the haunted house. After purchasing tickets in advance for $20 a person, I declared they would go, and they would like it. They completely ignored my dictatorship and continued to fuss.
Finally, it was our turn to go through the house of horrors. It began on a good note. There was a lot of hand-holding, closed eyes, and laughter. However, halfway through the venue, my friend and the mom of the kids we were with had had enough. She asked one of the characters, whose job was to scare us, if we could stop. The girl seemed surprised but offered us an out if that was what we really wanted. Of the six of us in attendance, four opted out, including my bean, which was why we were there in the first place. Sigh.
One lone girl from the group did not want to stop. Her mom told her if I would take her through, she could go. I was not about to bail on the one child who was brave enough to continue. We were placed with another group and entered an “elevator to hell.” I have to admit; I did wonder if we made the correct choice to carry on through the house of horror. After several jump scares and being chased by insane characters with chainsaws, we were sent into a dark building in pairs.
We went through various rooms with themes of everything that could enter your nightmares. Entrails on walls, murderous children in a nursery of frightening toys, snakes (not real), and various frightening characters chased us in the dark. At one point, we got stuck in a dead-end box and could not find our way out. One of the zombies kindly helped us out and even guided us to the correct path using a flashlight. We thanked him profusely, and he told us, “no problem. I’ll chase you down later.” To his credit, he did not hunt us down.
We finally made it out of the house of horrors. I was so relieved to be out of that maze of horror. Still holding on tightly to each other, I expressed my relief at finally being done. S. agreed with me, then laughed and said, “we should go again!” Umm, no. I came, I saw, I completed, and now I can check it off my list and never return. S. and I got the bravery award for the night. We sat in her mom’s car, eating popcorn and recounting our adventures and moments of terror, and admitted we both dribbled in our drawers a time or two. We had bragging rights and did a lot of high-fiving and a little smack talk to the scaredy cats. Once my heart rate slowed, my breathing returned to normal, and my undies dried out a bit, I was happy we stuck it out and followed through.
My bean immediately regretted not sticking it out. She tried to make up excuses for bailing on me, but it was to no avail. I told her, under no uncertain terms, she was never permitted to make plans to do anything ever again. She has developed a pattern of puss cake behavior. Of course, she did not find me funny. We ended our evening with our friends, happy that we tried it, some of us were happy we finished, and others acted like insulted wet hens…The Bean, that’s who acted like a wet hen. I achieved bragging rights and rubbed it in just a little bit. A gracious victor I am not.
Overall, my fiftieth year has gotten off to a pretty good start. I am leaving my comfort zone, trying new things, revisiting things I used to enjoy, and enjoying the good people in my life. Finding a balance of work and fun is a challenge to a self-proclaimed introvert who would be a hermit if left to her own devices. However, I am enjoying my time with people who support me, make me laugh, and teach me new things. In the end, that’s what it’s all about, right?
On this Halloween day, stay safe, be smart, don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone, don’t brag too much about your bravery, puss cake children don’t like it, and keep washing your hands.