I had a discussion on a message board today about things in our childhood that scared the poo out of us. There were lots of scary things that seem silly to me now but when you are a little girl, laying in your bed at night, these are the very same things that keep you from falling asleep peacefully.
Thinking back, my great grandma Amalia's tiny bedroom was a huge source of creepiness for me. She had a big scary picture of bloody, crucified Jesus. A variety of creepy looking saints with vacuous eyes. Herbs floating around in green alcohol. Candles. Instead of being a source of comfort to me, they were very dark and scary. When we spent the night at my grandparents, I refused to sleep in my grandma's room, much preferring to sleep upstairs with my aunties or on the sofa in the livingroom. Anything was better than sleeping in that dark room with the shadows, the bloody Jesus and the little old lady who made weird noises at night.
Ooooooohhweeeeeee, the Exorcist did me in. I absolutely hated that movie. Since it came out just a year after I was born, I was introduced to it not by the film itself, but by the soundtrack. My Dad had this record called "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield. I have no memory of this, but one of my parent's favorite stories to tell was when I was a toddler and we lived in an two-story apartment. My dad started playing his record and soon thereafter they heard my fat little footsteps stomping down the stairs. I walked right over to the record player and scratched the needle right over the record so it would stop playing.
"I don't like this song." I said.
And I don't, to this day. I can't say I've ever watched the movie in its entirety...but the bits and pieces in my memory are enough. The levitating...the vomiting...that scary voice. it's 10:38 at night right now and my kids are in bed and I keep looking over my shoulder, yo.
Then there is La Llorona. No night around the campfire, or walk out in the desert (where some family used to live--blackest of black nights out there, too), or a night of hide and seek could happen without a mention of La Llorona. It used to horrify me that a woman would drown her own children. And then it would horrify me even more to think she roamed the earth, searching for them, heartbroken. And looking for more children...like me. Ooooooooh, it scared me.
This Got Milk? commercial did this old beaner's heart good. And I love that she's eating a big fat piece of pan dulce! Like George Lopez says, save me some!