A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Haunted by the Socially Awkward

Yesterday, my husband and I went to a local "haunted house." By "haunted house" I do not mean a residence said to be haunted by a ghost; I mean, rather, one of those Halloween attractions with mechanical monstors, sudden puffs of air, strobe lights, and people armed with chainsaws. We had fun. I was actually scared (I guess sudden noises do that to me) and my husband, though he was not nearly as startled as I was by people jumping out of corners and shrieking, was entertained by the sight of me being scared.

The scariest part of the experience was undoubtedly the dark maze in which one couldn't see anything and had to grope around for the door, hoping that the person one had just bumped into was one's actual spouse and not either a member of a different party or one of the workers. If you are at all frightened by the dark, it's pretty freaky.

The second scariest part of the experience was what I'll call being "Haunted by the Socially Awkward." This happened twice, when people in costumes approached me, saying nothing, DOING nothing, but simply following me. . . walking right beside me for a little way. It freaked me out as I tried to figure out what etiquette demanded in such a situation. Seeing as they were right there, it seemed I ought to acknowledge their presence, but how? Pretend to be scared? Talk to them? Run like heck? Or ought I just ignore them, pretending that I wasn't being creeped out by the fact that they were following me?

The first time, I said nothing, but kept eyeing the tall person with the mask warily. I'm sure he or she enjoyed the look of uncertainty in my eyes. The second time, I was being haunted by someone in a monk costume.* Somehow the fact that he had no mask (unlike the first Socially Awkward Haunting) made the situation even more awkward, as I could see his face. This time I muttered "Are you supposed to be a demon monk?" under my breath, as the situation seemed to call for some kind of action. If he heard me, he gave no response. I suspect that was his job: to be a silent scary presence. . . the presence of the Socially Awkward Moment.

* If I ever need proof that graduate school has turned me into a dork, I can find in the fact that, on the ride home, I pondered whether the ghostly monk costume was evidence of a residual anti-Catholicism in American culture.


Blogger La Mama Loca said...

So the haunted house was a lot like home, eh?

5:24 PM  

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