I don’t trust people who dress up as other people and/or cartoon characters for children’s
amusement terror some twisted reason I can’t even begin to fathom.
My kick-ass friend Cara blogged this week about her (mis)adventures with the fox from Pinocchio. This made me think of one thing:
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Santa? As in, Claus? The jolly old elf? Who brings you gifts?
Sure. You could think of it that way, if you wanted to. You could think of it as a benign old man with twinkling eyes who sneaks in and leaves you your heart’s desire under the tree every year.
Or, how about as a housebreaking kidnapping pervert? Because that’s what I’ve always secretly thought he was. Or, not-so-secretly, really.
Listen, I know some children are well-adjusted, and like the idea of sitting on some stranger’s lap and telling him what they want for Christmas, and waiting impatiently for him to arrive, and whatnot.
I DON’T LIKE THE IDEA OF SOMEONE BREAKING INTO MY HOUSE.
I believed in Santa (oh, yeah, um, I guess, spoiler alert?) until kindergarten, when the boy I had a crush on told me he didn’t exist. Until that point, I’d bought into the Santa hype hook, line and sinker. But as my first crush object (doomed, as they all are, to fail miserably) (oh, spoiler alert again!) gleefully told me, “There’s no Santa! IT’S YOUR PARENTS!”, one thing flashed across my mind.
WHO THE HELL’S LAP HAD I BEEN SITTING ON???
OK, so listen. I don’t like people. I’ve said this. Over and over. This isn’t a new thing. It’s something I’ve come to embrace – and something those close to me have come to grudgingly accept – but as a kid, I didn’t have a lot of control over my life. Because you don’t, as a kid. You can have these super-strong convictions, but you’re little. And you can’t drive, vote, or buy things. So your parents make you do things, and you really can’t stop them. I mean, you could throw a tantrum every five minutes, but where does that get you? In the counselor’s office. And he was creepy. He talked in this very hushed “you’re about to kill someone I’d better not spook you” voice and he had a perm. I did NOT want that stigma. So I went along. But I do not now, and did not then, like people. I really did not like strangers. I mean, how hard did they hammer that goddamned stranger danger shit into our heads? I was PETRIFIED that everyone was going to offer me candy and sweep me up into a van. I STILL think that might happen. IT IS THAT INGRAINED INTO MY PSYCHE. I DO NOT WANT YOUR CANDY.
(Side note – it is a treasured family anecdote/something that should probably be delved into in therapy that when I was young, my father went to hunting camp for a couple of weeks. When he came home, he had grown a beard. A big old scary woodsman’s beard. I heard a voice in the kitchen and it sounded like my dad. And I was a total – and still am – daddy’s girl. And I hadn’t seen my father in what seemed like 76 years. So I ran in the kitchen and this bearded stranger was standing there grinning and holding out his arms to hug me and I took one look and immediately ran out of the room. He and my mom found me later hiding in the tiny space between the clothes hamper and the wall in the back of the bathroom closet. Because, you see, a killer was in my house, who talked like my dad, and he may have fooled my mother, but not me, no sir. I was hiding until my REAL dad came home from hunting. And my father, because he is the best thing since unicorn kitten rainbows, immediately shaved the beard off, so he would not be a scary killer doppelganger anymore and I would come out of my hidey-hole.)
So four-year-old me discussed this with my parents, who told me I had to keep my new knowledge top-secret until my baby brother found out on his own there was no Santa. And they told me the people who were dressed as Santa were just nice men who were helping to keep the Christmas spirit alive for children.
“STRANGERS?” I asked, horrified. “I TOUCHED STRANGERS?”
My parents, at this point, probably opened up a savings account with “Amy’s Future Therapy Bills” printed on the passbook.
So for the next five years or so, I had to pretend to believe in Santa. And my brother BELIEVED, man. I didn’t get off easily. I had to sit on Santa’s lap, otherwise he’d question why. And my parents didn’t want him questioning – he was their last baby who believed. So I had to grit my teeth and sit on Santa’s lap when the opportunity presented itself. However, my face is an open book. Was then, is now. So, here I present photographic evidence that little Amy had Santa-phobia:
OK, FINE, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, here. MY GLASSES ARE HORRENDOUS. And really, really big. I’m what, probably 7 here? So it’s the early 80s. This is what glasses LOOKED like in the early 80s. Leave baby Amy alone. Also, I am totally rocking the gym shorts. And there seems to be an iron-on kitty on my top. And if you’re wondering why I’m wearing summer clothes while we’re seeing Santa, it’s Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, New York. It’s open year-round. Just when you think you’re safe from Santas when the weather gets warm, something like THIS happens. The only good thing about this place was that there were reindeer and it said you couldn’t touch their fuzzy antlers but my father totally let me when no one was looking.
Now that we have my fashion choices out of the way (I notice you did not mention how amazing my pigtails are, possibly because YOU CANNOT HANDLE HOW CUTE I WAS) let’s talk about the body language here. First, I was supposed to be on Santa’s lap. I refused to be. This Santa creeped me out. I think it was because it was summer. There wasn’t supposed to be a Santa in the summer. Summer = Popsicles and bicycles and staying up late, not Santa. Second, the three things that really stand out for me in this photo are:
- My stubborn outthrust jutting lower jaw and “smile.” Good gravy. It looks like I’m being marched to prison camp.
- My obvious in-motion-ness. The left arm angled ready to flee. How goddamn tense do I look?
- Santa’s arm – not quite touching me, but either about to, or to make sure I don’t run off. GET YOUR ARM AWAY FROM BABY AMY SANTA.
Something that makes me feel better right now: this Santa is most likely dead or senile right now. Ha ha! I outlived you, Santa!
Another “fun” Santa story is that one December, I heard loud talking in my living room and when I went to investigate, SANTA WAS IN MY LIVING ROOM. Now, I didn’t like Santa, but in his place, I could deal with him. Summer Santa had me off-guard, but mall Santas weren’t as bad because I knew they’d be there so I could mentally prepare myself for the creepiness. But Santa! Was in my living room! No no! Not supposed to be there! STRANGER DANGER!
Santa was the neighbor from up the street who thought it would be adorable to dress up and show up unannounced at his neighbor’s houses. Ha! So adorable! So unable to prepare for this utter lunacy!
I have mentally blocked out what I did that night. I seriously remember nothing other than him arriving. Oh, and the neighbor? His last name is Manson. No, I’m not even kidding.
I also don’t approve of (not an all-inclusive list):
- people who dress up as cartoon characters at amusement parks (because I feel like I don’t know what they’re doing with their faces inside of there)
- people who dress up in creepy masks out of the Halloween season (exception – people who cosplay, because I love my geeks and that’s not in the least bit creepy to me)
- furries (THIS IS NOT SEXY)
- clowns (no no no no no)
- any situation where I cannot fully see the person’s face and/or they are pretending to be someone they are not in a weird, shady, or off-putting way
Let’s talk about furries for a minute. Listen, I’m pretty live-and-let-live, here. I don’t have much of an issue with a lot of things. I very much follow the Wiccan “and it harm none, do what thou wilt” philosophy.
BUT THERE IS SOMETHING INNATELY WRONG WITH THIS:
Because it reminds me of this scene in The Shining which I watched when I was wayyyy too young to be watching something like this and I was just horrified wondering “What is that man doing to that dog or that dog to that man WHAT IS HAPPENING?”
This photo still gives me the shrieking willies. That is the most horrifying mask in the world. That is going to haunt my dreams tonight, I just know it.
I know. I KNOW. Consensual sex. All is well in furry-land. Don’t knock it until you try it. LISTEN. I am 99% sure that inside of furries are creepy people who are also serial killers because they could totally kill you and then escape BECAUSE YOU LET THEM IN ALREADY WEARING THEIR DISGUISE YOU DUMBASS NO ONE HAS SEEN THEIR FACE.
This blog post is really upsetting me. I am going to eat some Popsicles and watch television or something. Gah. Furries and Santa Claus. What’s next? The clown from It shows up in my shower drain tonight OH GREAT NOW I CAN’T SHOWER EVER AGAIN. Dammit.