I haven’t been doing a lot of writing lately, which blows, but I don’t feel as bad about it as I should. We’ve been REALLY busy lately and it will get busier still. But the zombie experiment that we originally had started, the one where we watch zombie movies before bed and then I write down my nightmares in an attempt to purge, hasn’t been going as expected.
I haven’t been having the nightmares. The movies are really scary (at least to me—Clayton just laughs anytime a zombie looks at the camera all dramatic-like and screams, while I quietly pee myself in terror on my side of the couch), but I’m just not having the dreams for some reason. And I made the mistake of telling Clayton this. So he decided the reason was, I’m just not scared enough.
Cue last night, after we finished watching 28 Weeks Later, a movie that has a lot of downtime horror-wise, but which does have 3 very intense scenes that make me fear this movie much more than its zombie-action-laden prequel, 28 Days Later. And because this movie absolutely roundhouse kicks me in the face with fear, I was scared to the point that once a door was closed in the house, nobody was going back through it until morning.
For example, the door to the garage:
- Me: “Did we bring in everything we bought at the store today?”
Clayton: “No, I think the toilet paper’s still out in the truck. I’ll go get it.”
Me: “No, you won’t. We already closed the door.”
Me: “Nobody’s going out after we closed the door.”
Clayton: “Do you not want me to go out because you’re worried the zombies will get me, or because you’re afraid the door will be unlocked and so the zombies would come in and get you?”
Me: “I don’t see why that’s an ‘or’ question because they’re really the same answer.”
So, Clayton decided this button was just too fun not to push. I’ve been dreading the day he finally figured that out.
When we go to bed, around 11p, he waits until it’s dark and we’re starting to drift off to sleep. Then, “so you don’t want us opening doors at night once they’re closed, huh?” I affirm. And he goes, “even Zack’s room?” (This is because Zack is in California for the summer, and he left his door closed so the cat wouldn’t go in and pee on something.) I ask why Zack’s room is so important. “Oh,” he responds casually in the dark, “because that’s where I keep the zombies.”
Be so proud, Most Highly Respected Anonymous Readers. I didn’t kill him then.
Then he snickers evilly when he feels my mounting nervous twitches as my imagination takes this cruel nugget and runs with it. None of the other bedroom doors are closed, just Zack’s. It’s not real. And it has the bigger closet—the PERFECT place to hide more zombies! That’s not possible; it’s not real. And if they got out, they’d only have to go about ten feet and they’d be at OUR door. NOTREALNOTREALNOTREAL! Which isn’t locked. Should I lock it? Would that make him pick on me more? Probably. But what’s more important: surviving the zombie apocalypse or not getting laughed at? In the end, I decided on not getting laughed at and tried to pretend I didn’t care so I he’d go to sleep. And for a while that worked—he was quiet, I was quiet. Sleep started being a possibility.
Then, a sneaky whispering voice really close to my ear: “Ever notice how the sound of the cat scratching at the door sounds like shuffling feet? Maybe she’s communicating with them.” And, because I must’ve mass-murdered puppies in a past life, the cat chose that very moment to LOUDLY claw at the door and yowl like she was being mass-murdered. I bolted upright in bed, Clayton started cackling so hard I thought he’d herniate himself, and it took another hour and half before I could get to sleep.
But during that hour and a half, while trying to go to sleep, I did what most terrified wives would do. I smoldered and planned my revenge. It’s hard to top a zombie phobia for irrational fears to exploit, so I knew I couldn’t just poke at one of his own phobias–that wouldn’t work out in my favor. So I figured I’d hit him where it hurt him most—by being disturbed. My husband, like others of his ilk, is a strong creature of habit and a lover of schedules. Once he’s decided he’s going to do something, he loathes being disturbed from it. Whether it’s deciding to go somewhere, or deciding to eat some salsa, or deciding to go to sleep now.
So every time I got up to pee in the middle of the night—four times b/c I drank a sip of water every time I got anxious during the zombie movie and so went through 3 liters of water in 2 hours, not that you would ever want to know—I pushed him out of bed and made him accompany me to the bathroom. The first two times, he laughed. Not so much after that. And when he tried to resist my attempts to push him out of bed, I used my feet and butt-shoved him out.
No, I didn’t really think there were zombies there. Not this time anyway. But it did serve my purpose, which was to teach him a lesson: feed the phobia, pay the price of zombie protection. You push my buttons, and you’re walking me to the bathroom to keep the zombies away.
Forget love, respect, and compromise. Proper revenge tactics are the key to a good marriage, folks. And yes, you can quote me on that.