Tonight our kids are spending the night at their cousins' house, so Marlboro Man and I have spent the evening watching movies. After taking in the delightfully girl-friendly "In Her Shoes," with Cameron Diaz and my favorite actress on the planet, Toni Collette, we regretfuly moved on to the exceedingly unfortunate horror flick, "The Hills Have Eyes." If you ever have the opportunity to watch it, particularly if you live twenty miles out in the country, don't. Don't. Don't. Oh, and don't. Just don't.
It was so awful that halfway through the movie, I simply had to have a break. There was a baby who'd been abducted by nuclear waste zombies, and I could no longer bear the thought of such a thing, having successfully raised four babies without any of them ever being held by anyone who didn't absolutely love every ounce of them, let alone by bloody, deformed, brain-sucking zombies who wished them harm. I sat down at the computer for a little dose of the real world, while Marlboro Man went outside to get a cold Dr. Pepper from his pickup.
Minutes later, he returned, sporting one of the most disturbing Halloween masks I reckon I've ever seen:
Seems he'd picked it up earlier today and was waiting for the right moment to try it out on me. I caught sight of the face in the mirror above the computer desk where I was sitting, and horror set in; I truly, truly thought---for at least 2.7 seconds---that my love had been eaten by our own brand of hill zombies, one of which was now inside my house, moving rapidly toward me.
I let out a gutteral, primal, embarrassing scream and jumped from my seat so quickly, I knocked over the chair. I almost started running. Then, once I recognized the familiar gray shorts and white t-shirt...
...I started to cry in both relief and despair. My husband cried, too. But it was a gleeful cry, more like the way Rocky Balboa cried when he beat Apollo Creed in Rocky II. This was a huge victory for him; the fulfillment of a continual dream of his to make me scream and cry and squirm.
He's done this before. While my sister and I were deep in the middle of "The Sixth Sense" a few years ago, he barged in the back door, howling like a deranged madman. She and I collapsed onto the floor in terror and instinctively assumed a crab-crawl pose, as if to prepare to flee. Once Marlboro Man calmed down from laughing and we wiped the tears of horror from our faces, my sister and I reflected curiously on just how terrified we had felt at the moment he pushed through the door. My sister made the remark, "I almost dropped my contents."
She was, of course, referring to the flight response that fires up in an animal when a predator is pursuing it. To lighten the load and facilitate better running speeds for the fleeing animal, the intestine and bladder empty at the sign of a threat. That's how we felt that night. Our bottoms quivered nervously for at least an hour afterward. I call it a hiney cringe.
And that's how I feel right now. An hour after my loving husband's surprise attack, my nervous system is in high gear; my body in a state of persistent tingle; my pulse still high; my respiration still heightened. And, most noticeably, my hiney is still cringing like crazy. It's a strange, indescribable, rather uncomfortable quivering sensation taking place; I wish I could make it stop. But my body's flight response was triggered...and so far, it hasn't clicked back off.
What if it never does? I haven't quite figured out the long term application for such a feeling. I'll keep you posted.