October 26, 2010

Twelve-hour Twitchfest

Well, the other night I made the questionable choice to watch a scary movie with my husband. He likes the zombies and the bad guys, and I waver between moderate disgust and feeling bad that he doesn’t have any campy-gore-loving friends to watch these movies with. So, with a plea of “but it’s Halloween!” and a compromise on the selection, we picked a movie neither of us had seen: Paranormal Activity.

Now, I am all for suspense. I, like many peaceful-first-world-living people, don’t have to deal with actual terror and/or danger on a daily basis, so the whole experience of adrenaline and pretend danger without any real risk is totally enjoyable.

As the dumb guy is tiptoeing down the stairs into the basement with a candle, I am simultaneously yelling at him to WAIT UNTIL THE POWER COMES BACK ON, and squirming, and also loving that horrible endless span of time between the descent and the “BOO!”

Can’t take the gore, though. If a sharp implement makes contact with anyone’s neck area, that’s a good indication of a Movie Anna Won’t Watch. You just file that one away for the future.

In any case, I would rate my reaction to the movie as Pretty Okay. Hardly any gore, enough anxious anticipation. And I felt mostly calm afterwards, although I did sort of swing between Fine and Paranoid: turning all the lights on in the apartment, but not closing any curtains on our ground-level windows; afraid to close the bathroom door while I was peeing in case something jumped me when I opened it, but not checking behind the shower curtain (OBVIOUS DANGER).

I even fell asleep pretty quickly, without any nervous stream of chatter to my husband to distract me from the basement-nighttime-darkness.

I did, however, check to make sure he was breathing several times throughout the night.

Actually, I do this on a regular basis anyway. I am not kidding. It ranks in my Top 5 fears. Not every night, but several times a week I listen for the breathing (often not a problem; I could be deaf and still feel the vibrations from the log-sawing next to me) or feel for the heartbeat. I even do this with the dog. I feel his bellows of a chest for warmth, or hold my hand in front of his nose to test for air movement. Is that creepy?

Lesson? I don’t need violent movies to give me nightmares. Apparently my subconscious is sufficiently morbid all by itself.

Tense Icing on the Anxious Cake: either I am not a very talented sleeper, or I channeled all my stress into my left shoulder, because right now it feels like someone jammed in a wine corkscrew and wound it about 12 rotations. When I press the right spot I feel dizzy and nauseated all at once, even without the five glasses of wine I used to dull the memory of Paranormal Activity.

But, it could also be because I was trying to pinch my playing card of a phone between my shoulder and ear while baking. Come on, I don’t like speakerphone! It’s like trying to talk to someone who doesn’t understand English; I just end up repeating myself in English anyway, louder and LOUDER, which is no help to anyone.

Sorry. This post sort of spiraled into a dumb, semi-prejudiced joke. This is what happens when I don't plan ahead, I guess.


  1. I laughed more times while reading this than I could count. You are lovely, my dear.