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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Do You Have A Bucket List?

What feels worse than sitting at home all alone, feeling like everyone else has someplace to be and something wonderful to do, but you? When plans fall apart, friends seem to forget about you, and your best friend is the TV, you can feel pretty low. I mention this to set the mood. This is a universal feeling that we have all experienced. Remember it.

Friday evening was the night before Halloween. In Michigan, we call this Devil's Night. A night for pranks and some scares. It used to be harmless good fun. Detroit distorted it into a national news craze by burning down houses in the city. Thankfully, that trend has ended. I planned to spend Devil's night with 2 friends at the beach with a glass of wine and good gab. My friends have young kids and our TGIF ended while the night was young.

As I drove home I passed several Haunted Houses. Never a favorite activity of mine, however, passing by brought to mind Heike at home. She had begged me and everyone she knew to go through a scary Haunted House with her. Instead she was at home organizing Knitting patterns into large binders for me. Sweet, but not fun!

Close to home there was a perfect compromise in the Historic Germania Hotel in our little community of Olivenhain. A kinder, gentler kind of Haunted House. I called her and said get dressed, I'll be there in 5. I was going to sacrifice my fear for her and thought I was really stepping out of my comfort zone. HA! Little did I know.

We screamed, we laughed, we ducked, we ran! It was a thrill and I was content. The kids were raising $ to renovate the site and as we ate a cookie and sipped some cocoa, Heike started her arm twisting campaign for more! The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

What? No way.
I CAN NOT! Really, I can not do it. No desire and beyond that, actual fear. What to do. I had a decision to make. Could I step out and jump off this cliff? Equivalent to bungee jumping for me.

Okay. I am in a place in time where I am stepping outside my comfort zone everyday. Go big, or go home. I decided to go big. We dashed over to Del Mar. Bought the tickets and got in line. The moon was almost full. The air got colder and colder. First, we wet our whistle with the smaller
less frightening Chamber. I made it. A little hoarse, but intact. I was proud and ready to go home.

Next, The House of Horrors. I comforted myself that there were survivors exiting nearby, doubled over with laughter. Some tears, but mostly laughter. The line was long. Midway through the wait I began to shiver with the cold and dread. Fortunately, at that point in line there was an open bar and we bought some liquid encouragement. Reinforced by booze, we decided to help the time go by. We introduced ourselves to the people in line and started to play some word games. It was fun and helped to distract me.

Two full hours later, we make it to the front of the line. I mean the front, as in the group before us is sent in and she puts her gloved hand in front of my chest and says wait! I panic and turn to run. I can not be the first to head our group of ten victims. I can not be the curtain-parter. HELP!!!

Pushed forward- we entered. It was midnight. OMG! I have never screamed so much as we ran for our lives. It was true "fight or flight." No wonder there are signs posted all over the fairgrounds- "Do Not Hit The Actors." I get it now. I wanted to hit those scary bad guys that were trying to get me! At one point we ran straight into a wall. We bounced off, but did not fall. Flee, get out, the bloody butcher is chasing us. Now, it is pitch dark and we are in a maze. I got this. I run my hand along the right wall and drag Heike with me as I navigate into the next scene. Special effects be damned. I am going to make it. However, not intact.

Out we popped into the cool night air. Doubled over and exhausted, but, ALIVE. Heike wanted to go out for Pizza. I said no and this time I meant it. I had to get home. I needed a shower and a change of undies. That's right, I actually peed a little?! All that screaming and running? Whatever. The price for facing the physicality of this challenge was a conquest for me. I am going back next year with a Depends. You are invited to come along. I am putting this on my Bucket List and crossing it off. I did it and it was awesome...

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