Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fight, Flight, or Freeze

Last week my sister and I were talking about Halloween. I don't remember what brought up the topic. What I do remember is her saying, "We have to go to a haunted house!!" Without pause I started laughing. Not just a chuckle, but a real laugh followed by a, "No!" Amanda, my sister, instantly asked me, "What is so funny? And why not??"

Then I began to reminiscence...

Thinking back, I think I was about 12 or 13 when this took place. My cousin, Brett, and good friend at the time, Jonathan, and I decided to go to a haunted house. (We were sometimes like the 3 Musketeers for a few years. We did a lot together.) This would be the first time for me to ever step foot into one of these fear inducing places.

Being the nervous girl I was, I made a guy stand on both sides of me. I refused to be the first foolish person of our group to enter first, and I definitely refused to be the last one to go through! In the middle I felt protected and less likely to be followed or to be bothered by the humans that were dressed up and paid to scare us. (As I just wrote the word "scare", I almost left off the "e" by accident. Then I realized, "Scar" or "Scare" - they both work with equal affect!)

I'm not a very jumpy person. At least, I don't think I am. It's been a while since I've been in this haunted house...but let me tell you...I remember being very jumpy that night. Not only was I jumpy but I bet I even let out a few squeals too...Which is not like me. Even on a roller coaster making the big drop, I am good just smiling as I enjoy the fall.

Turns out my theory was wrong as well. It doesn't matter where you stand in the middle of your friends. If you're in the fear inducing building, you're fresh bait. They go after everyone.

As I am telling this story to my sister I came to the point of why I refuse to go into a haunted house ever again. Why won't I go to one ever again? My answer to her was simply, "For the safety of others."

They say that in certain situations people either do one of three things: fight, flight, or freeze. That night I found out that I seem to be a bit of a fighter when the proper situation arises.

When those hired to scare us got close enough, without thinking, my reflexes reacted. Before I could stop myself, I stuck my hand out and slapped them as hard as I could as I continued on my "merry" little scared way. Let me tell you...This didn't happen just once. This happened TWICE. To top it off, I think I even slapped one person twice because they wouldn't back off soon enough. (Maybe that should count as three times?)

Oh, and a minor little detail? This was a homemade haunted house. (Although for the record: This home did this every year for many years in a row. It was very legit! least for a 12 year old.)

Now my sister is stating, "Oh, we're SO going now!!" Is it just me, or am I crazy to think that she is just wanting a good laugh at my expense (and the poor people I would end up slapping)??

A note to my sister: I'm still not going! No way!

The Travelin' Chick,

(Too bad most fears in real life aren't that simple to slap away.)

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