Not so fearless after all

Hi all!  Please excuse the following shameless promotion before I return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.  You can now also find my work on the new writing and photography website The Ten Three: it’s a fresh take on the idea that a picture is worth one thousand words and the site just launched yesterday.  There’s a lot of great work and collaboration between writers and photographers.  My first essay premiered today and it’s a bit more serious and personal than my writing here, so feel free to check it out for a change of pace!  Any and all feedback is much appreciated.

I am afraid of everything.  Sometimes it amazes me that I am able to get through an entire day without having a fear-induced heart attack.  A combination of an overactive imagination and being highly -caffeinated puts me in constant distress.

I’m dog-sitting again this week and last night I could not get myself to go to sleep.  I was convinced that while I was walking the dog, a bald man had snuck into the house and was waiting in the shower to kill me.  And I checked the shower 17 times.  But I was still convinced he was there, lurking.

Growing up I had weird nightmares and I think that’s what is continuing to cripple me at the ripe old age of 22.  One involved a boxing match with a giant kangaroo and that’s the number one reason I have not yet traveled to Australia.

The worst nightmare I ever had was about Jafar.  Yes, the Disney villain.  I was about 6 years old and in the dream, my mom and I were driving somewhere in the old blue minivan.  We pulled up to the Sultan’s castle since our errands had somehow taken us to Agrabah.  My mom pulled into a space, and suddenly, the palace guards (in animated form) came to take her away.  I hid in the backseat, too cowardly to save my mom.

I finally worked up the courage to venture into the castle to rescue her.  I made my way up several spiral staircases before coming to a huge wooden door.  I knocked nervously and an eerie voice told me to come in.

Sitting in a throne behind a huge desk was Jafar.  He glared down at me and I felt all the color drain out of my face.  He asked me what I wanted and I stammered that I was looking for my mother.

He laughed maniacally and told me he was using her for an experiment.  I begged to see her and he told me to go to the back garden.

I ran down the stairs and out the back where I found my mom, a boy, a girl, and the guards.  They had a weird sort of dart-shooter set-up and were going to shoot a dart full of an experimental substance into each person’s arm.  They told me I had to shoot the dart at my mom and at first I refused.  But my mom told me it was okay, so I stepped up to the machine.  When the guards weren’t looking, I switched the dart so it was backwards and wouldn’t pierce my mother’s skin.

The guards caught me and grabbed me.  I screamed and started crying hysterically as they shoved me away.  The biggest guard took the machine, switched the dart back, and shot it into my mom’s arm.

I woke up crying and ran into my parent’s bedroom.  I grabbed my mom’s left arm and rolled up her sleeve to see if there was a mark.  Luckily there wasn’t, but since I was still convinced Jafar was after us, I spent the rest of the night sleeping on the floor by her side like a guard dog.

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Cousin lovin’

Don’t worry, I’m not writing this from West Virginia.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve started to watch Arrested Development for the first time.  Yeah, I’ve never seen it.  Not totally my fault, since I wasn’t even allowed to watch TRL in 2003.

I’m a huge Michael Cera fan and I secretly want to stalk him and make him fall in love with me since he is my ideal dorky boy.  So of course I love all of George-Michael’s storylines, particularly with Maeby (whose name I will admit may possibly have been added to my list of baby names… I mean… secret list of baby names).

I can totally relate to being in love with your cousin.  That’s  probably something I should be admitting to a mental health professional rather than the internets.

I have a lot of cousins.  Between my first cousins, their kids, and their kids’ kids, I have almost 50.  But one in particular stood out as I was growing up.

Stephen was a year older than me and a ginger.  Obviously the combination made me swoon.  Who cares if we shared DNA?  I was determined to find a way to make it work.

He was the middle child of three boys and my younger brother was the same age as his brother, so our families visited each other a lot.  Whenever we visited their house, I’d end up sleeping on the trundle bed in Steven’s room.  It’s like our parents were asking for our young love to blossom.

I remember mixing up huge glasses of strawberry milk (that stuff was amazing) and watching episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark together.  He used to make fun of the fact that I hadn’t been kissed by a boy yet (at 5, I was a late bloomer, romantically speaking).

When I was 6, Stephen’s family came up to NJ and we went into the city to see Aladdin on Ice.  Our parents let us each buy a souvenir.  I chose a Princess Jasmine costume and the boys all got swords.  When we got home, we decided to play Aladdin.  Of course I was Jasmine and the boys all fought over who had to be Aladdin.  None of them wanted to have to get all lovey dovey with me since I was their sister/cousin.  Ehren announced he would be Jafar and the rest of the boys continued to argue over who had to be the hero.

Stephen finally stepped up to the plate.  This was my moment.  The boys reenacted the fight scene as I huddled helplessly in the corner with Raja (one of my Kitty Kitty Kittens which were also awesome).  After defeating Jafar and his minions, my Aladdin finally came to my rescue.  He ran over to me, gave me his hand, and pulled me up.  I was of course expecting a romantic kiss, or at the very least, a warm embrace.  But instead, he grabbed Raja, threw her across the room, and called me a stinkhead.

And that’s why you should find love interests outside of your genetic pool.