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sometimes, you just need a good scare

Despite some questionable choices for entertainment, we had a lovely weekend.

Originally, Sister was supposed to come for a Girls' Weekend, during which we had planned to spend being all arty in the studio, then spend the evening watching scary movies and eating junk. Slumber party ftw!

Okay, about the scary movie part: I don't consider myself a scary movie person, but in reflecting on how many movies (and shows...Dexter, The Walking DeadAmerican Horror Story)  I enjoy that do have some scary element, it seems I'm into a good scare more than I thought.

I'm definitely not a horror movie fan (although I've seen my share), and want no part of the really gruesome torture-type horror movies that have been all the rage the last few years. But! I do love a good suspense flick, and grew up on Hitchcock films thanks to my mom, who is a fan.

the cat creature from that episode of Scooby Doo...even looking at it now give me a shiverHowever. I am also seriously afraid of the dark, and basements, and I live in an old house, which is the holy trifecta of terror, and I have an intensely active imagination. No, I mean a really active imagination. Like, so active that an old episode of Scooby-Doo gave me a recurring nightmare well into my adolescent years. Scooby-Doo, you guys! So if there's a movie that has a reputation for scaring people, people who are generally pretty jaded about scary movies and not easy to freak out, that is a movie I will add to my "Do not watch this movie on purpose or by accident for that way lies badness" list.

Two such movies that I have therefore assiduously avoided: The Ring and Paranormal Activity. When the TV previews are enough to make you freak out, that's a good sign that the movie in question is not for you.

But I, in a sudden burst of inspiration for something fun to do, proposed to Sister that we should watch these two movies together. We are both very much alike in the scary movie department, which means we spend most of the movie with our eyes covered and ears plugged. Yet somehow, I thought to myself, "You know what would be really fun? To watch a scary movie with someone who gets just as freaked out as I do, and be cowards together and then not be able to turn off any of the lights. HEY I KNOW WE SHOULD TOTALLY WATCH THOSE TWO MOVIES THAT ARE GENERALLY AGREED TO BE PRETTY DAMN TERRIFYING."

Brain damage. It's seriously the only explanation I have.

In the few days leading up, I was having serious second thoughts. I even offered Sister an out -- under the guise of concern for her, not admitting my own trepidation, oh no -- but when she replied that she was really excited about it, I started to realize I may have made a big mistake.

A last minute change of plans may have saved me from myself, however. When a friend offered to take the Fabulous Miss M for the weekend, Guy joined us for a fearsome foursome of fun times. It meant that Sal would have someone to do fun stuff with while Sister and I were holed up in the studio (the fun stuff, as it turned out, being a pub crawl for most of Saturday afternoon) but more importantly, it meant that Sister and I would not be watching the aforementioned scary movies by ourselves, AND even more importantly, that neither of us would be relegated to sleeping alone in wide-eyed terror, paralyzed in fear at every stray noise and imagined monster.

So the movies weren't quite as terrifying as I'd long feared. The Ring was scary and disturbing, but won't scar me for life, thankfully. Paranormal Activity was scary, too, but there were long stretches of boredom and annoyance (and if you've seen it, you know why) that diluted it -- basically, all the same problems that The Blair Witch Project had minus the shaky handicam.

Which is to say, we survived! No nightmares, no sweat-soaked sheets, no shaking awake of our long-suffering husbands in the early morning dark with terrified whispers of "Did you hear that?" Maybe they'd been built up far more than they could live up to, or maybe we're not as easily affected. Are we getting braver? Less easily-scared? More mature?

Probably a combination of all of those things. I mean, my fear of the dark is far less acute than it used to be, and living in an old house means getting used to unidentified noises if you want to keep your sanity. Plus, all those movies and shows have probably built up my tolerance levels.

But I won't be going into the basement any time soon.

tomorrow: Part 2 of our lovely weekend, which will include a recipe from Chef Salvatore.

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