1313 Mockingbird Lane
Some years ago when the Harry Potter books first started coming out, a young mother friend of mine and I had an ongoing argument.
She steadfastly believed that children shouldn’t see horror movies or be spooked in any way. She didn’t believe that her kids should read the Potter books and she even thought that Halloween should be very limited. All of this was fine as long as she was talking about her kids and not trying to put her ideals off on me, I maintained my lane.
At some point, one of her kids became VERY infatuated with Harry Potter. He’d sneak away to friend’s houses to read the books or see the movies. She became so fanatical about this that she wanted to ban the books from the library. We butted heads a few times over that (I’m not a big fan of censorship). Despite the slight ranting we did with each other, we have managed to remain friends through the years. Many things about her are quite wonderful.
Her children are grown now with children of their own. One of her sons told me that his mother is still harping about the Potter books and feels sure that they should be removed before his children start school. I know that even though his mother wanted him to avoid the books, he read them anyway, so I asked him if he felt the books did him any harm? He chuckled, then said, “No. They were wonderful. They were so full of magic. Sure they were scary, especially the latter ones, but oh so worth the ride.” I agree.
My argument with my friend was always that I felt that children needed to hone their skills. How would they know how to deal with fear if they never experienced it? I didn’t want my step-daughters to be taken in by some ill-meaning stranger. I wanted them to understand that some people were not nice. But there was also a part of me that did not want to deprive them of something that had been wonderful for me in my childhood.
Back when my cousin James and I were little, we used to spend weekends at my grandmother’s. On Saturday nights, that meant Shock Theater. Looking back on it now, Shock Theater was mostly very campy B horror movies. As an adult, I can see the wizard behind the curtain with all the smoke and mirrors, but as a kid, those things were lost on me.
The show would open up with Count Justin Sane coming out of a casket to introduce the show. When he finished, he’d go back into the coffin with a spooky laugh (Even now that sends a chill down my backbone).
I had a love/hate relationship with Vincent Price. To my mind, he is the absolute master of the horror film. In those days, there were no huge special effects, so movies left a lot of things up to the imagination of the watcher. I have a very good imagination, so those films scared me under the blankets many nights. Often, nights later I still couldn’t sleep. I’d ask James, “what if someone comes in my room and cuts off my head and buries it in a different box from my body and then years later it gets reattached? Geez!” He’d laugh and tell me that it was only a movie.
In those moments when James would hug me and call me silly, I’d feel full, loved and protected. I felt like my family had my back and with that I could conquer the world. And that was the nugget I wanted my friend to understand. Sadly, I don’t think I ever made my point.
All my life, I’ve always enjoyed the spookier side of things. I like to get dressed up for Halloween and we usually have a big Halloween party. We have traditions that we’ve now passed down to our grandkids: singing songs, carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, and snacking on pumpkin seeds.
Our Halloween party typically starts our holiday season. We skipped it this year and I can see how that small change has affected the rest of the season. Usually, it’s like we start with the dark and go to the light. This year, we had the dark, but we didn’t celebrate it. So getting to the light has been a little harder.
One of the spooky things that I liked most as a kid was the Munster’s. I’ve always thought that Fred Gwynne was just the most lovable monster of all. From time to time, I’d see a pair of “Munster” shoes and tell The Dane that I was going to get a pair. He’d laugh, not because he didn’t believe me, but because he did.
Finally, I broke down and ordered them. I got this pair at Torrid. When I first ordered them, I didn’t realize that I was getting a wide width, so they were a bit loose (had I read the fine print I would have known to size down). Back they went so I could get a different size. The interesting thing about them is how comfortable they are. Plus, since I’m so short, I love the extra height!
You can definitely find your inner “Munster” in these shoes.
Have any of you seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? I want to go see it, but The Dane is probably going to talk me into going to see Rogue 1.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.