When did I become such a scaredy cat? I used to live for blood and gore, ghost stories, and serial killers on the loose (at least in the realm of horror flicks). But now that I’m a mom I find that I don’t have the same tolerance for this type of thing anymore. I’m the one peeking through my fingers as they shield my eyes, when I used to be the one making fun of wusses like that.
The Walking Dead, a TV show about zombies and the apocalypse, just started its second season last night. The hubby and I watched every gruesome minute of the first season and couldn’t wait for the premiere. It’s quite graphic and I’m always surprised by what they can get away with since it’s on standard cable. Zombies getting shot point-blank in the head, in slow motion. All the blood, guts, and dismembering a horror fan could ever ask for. However, there was a scene with a horse I couldn’t bear to watch in season one, but that was just because I’m an animal-lover, not because it was too gross. I usually pride myself that I can handle my gore.
So the hubby and I hunkered down for the premiere, our daughter safe and sound in her crib way out of earshot. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to see if the show would still be as riveting as the first season. But as soon as the eerie background music started up — you know the kind, it’s in every horror movie ever made — I wanted to turn off the TV and run screaming from the room. I didn’t want the heart palpitations and unnecessary anxiety — the very thing you watch these kind of shows for.
After repeating “Are you kidding me?” and “Oh no!” every fifteen seconds through the opening scene of the show, I noticed the change in myself. I was no longer the thrill-seeker I used to be. I didn’t want to be scared anymore. I wanted to be assured that nothing like this would ever happen in my lifetime nor my daughter’s lifetime. I never want her to have to stab a flesh-eating zombie in the eyeball repeatedly with a screwdriver to save her own hide.
Is it because the horror films I grew up watching were so fantastical and outrageous that they seemed impossible of ever coming true and that the films and shows of today are so true to life that you can see it happening to the world around you?
Maybe I’m just getting older — I am 30 after all. No longer a little kid watching Nightmare on Elm Street or Poltergeist and loving the sheer excitement of being scared to sleep with my back to the door or dangle an arm off the bed. Now I have too much to lose and so much to protect that being afraid is just plain scary. Besides, all this self-induced anxiety is probably giving me more gray hairs, and that’s one thing this Mummy doesn’t need any help with!