Monday, December 5, 2016

Lies and deceptions- and this time it's personal (aka, not a political post)- UPDATED

My parents were able to spend Thanksgiving week with us this year. It’s the first time they’ve seen the farm, so it was really nice having them here. 

But, on the last morning of their visit, the lie was finally revealed.

Back story: I crashed into arachnophobia pretty hard when I was 8 years old. It was August, and the movie Arachnophobia had been released on VHS. My family rented it from Blockbuster Video- yeah, I know, I’m dating myself here. Anyway, I wasn’t allowed to watch the whole thing, for one it was “too scary,” and it was also past my bedtime*. I was under the bed sheet, and it started doing that thing where it kind of shifts and tickles. Now when it does that, I’m up faster than jackrabbit on speed! Because on that fateful night, in August when I was the sweet, tender, innocent age of 8; I thought nothing of the shift in the bed sheet- right up until a HUGE MANEATING SPIDER JUMPED ON MY FACE! This thing was huge- covered my nose and mouth, down to my chin. I flung it off and tried to scream. I opened my mouth, but no sound could come out.

I ran into the living room, where my parents were still watching the movie, and in my panic, managed to choke out the words “spider” and “help” while frantically pointing towards my room.

My dad started searching. All the lights were on, and he started systematically peeling off all the bedsheets. No spider. The explanations started coming, “It was just a dream… because of the movie…” Vaguely, I became aware of an additional weight on the sleeve of the t-shirt I wore to bed. I looked down, and staring up at me was the evil demon beast. It was SITTING ON MY SHOULDER watching my dad search for it like, “Hey, when you find it let me know!” I was paralyzed. My mom was not. She finally saw it, too, and flung it off my shoulder, screaming, and I was screaming, and the spider was scuttling, and my dad was confused as hell!

Finally, though, my dad found the spider- a harmless garden spider, big, scary, but ultimately harmless. Instead of killing it, though, he scooped it up and put it outside delivering the “It’s more afraid of you than you are of it” line. “Good for the garden…blah blah blah.”

Except he didn’t find it.

On the last day of my parent’s visit, we were sitting out front having our morning coffee on the porch. One of the evil demon beasts crawled across the back of my hand, and I flicked it off. The evil overlords- scorpions, in case you’re new here- have obviously put spiders down a notch on the list of evil for me. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Anyway, my mom remarked at how calm I was, and that there was a time I would have freaked out. Then, she asked Steve if I’d ever told him the story of the spider (above).

Yes, I did. “And to add insult to injury,” I said, “Dad took the damned thing out and released it.”

“No, I didn’t. I never found it.”

“Wait. WHAT?!?!”

My father LAUGHED HIS ASS OFF! He didn’t find the stupid spider, he LIED about it so I’d go back to bed! For all I know, that spider never left! It probably still follows me around! That cold breeze over my shoulder isn’t a draft, it’s the fucking spider waiting for me to let my guard down so it can make its final strike! It’s probably the one who unleashed the evil overlord scorpions on me! Does that mean the spider is actually the Emperor of Evil who control the evil overlords? I’m just a puppet in the game of evil world conquering arachnids!

Lies! Lies and deceptions!

Is anything real anymore? 

*Ok, a brief aside here, because I honestly cannot figure out if the correct way to write this is "past my bedtime," or "passed my bedtime." Oxford is no help either. I decided to use "past" because it's a specific time- bedtime- but I'm still not convinced that it's not supposed to be "passed" in that the time for bed has gone by. I suppose I should just be glad that it will be this thought that keeps me up tonight, and not the shifting of the blankets as the Evil Emperor settles in to watch me sleep.

UPDATE: I felt like adding a post script here because I've been reading a lot of disturbing stories online from people whose Thanksgiving family get together did not go well. The current instability in our country has created a lot of problems, and my heart goes out to everyone who is struggling to understand, cope, survive, etc. I am so grateful that the biggest family drama we had was a humorous reveal of something that happened nearly 3 decades ago! I'm one of the lucky ones, and that means a lot to me. To those of you out there who have had to cut ties with family for your own mental health, I understand. I've been there, and it's hard. Unbelievably hard. Just remember, you're always welcome in the Whanau. 

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