When my daughter was quite young, she was often scared of her bedroom. She told me that there were monsters that lived under her bed. I think she just wanted an excuse to sleep in my room. I know that she slept a couple of times in her brother’s closet so she wouldn’t be alone. So, when she came in my room, one late night, and said she was scared, I lied to her. I told her a “Once upon a time” story. I explained, that at one time there were monsters in West Virginia, but they were all chased out of the state and were now all living in California. I told her that if they try to come back into the state, that they would disappear forever. It was a pretty good story. I mean, why wouldn’t she believe that it was illegal to be a monster in West Virginia? Is that wrong?
I always wondered why parents scared their children by telling them the boogey man was going to get them if they didn’t behave. I had a lot of questions for my mom when she told me that if I hit my sister again, the boogey man was going to get me. I used to hit my sister when no one was looking and then played the “Eddie Haskell” card. I was just too damn sweet and cute to hit someone just for the hell of it. But, I did. So, when my mom said the words, “Boogey Man” for the first time, I needed more information.
“Vickie…I know we lock our doors at night. He can walk through walls………He hides in closets or under beds…….Vickie, I don’t know whose house he was at last night………..I don’t think he drives a car, Vickie…………….I don’t know what he looks like, Vickie. The Boogey Man never had to come hide under my bed………….Vickie, Susie (our dog) can’t see the Boogey Man, so she won’t bite him…………Well, because Susie is a good dog…………Vickie, you can’t leave cookies out for him. He isn’t Santa Claus……….You can’t switch beds with your sister, Vickie……………..He carries children away in a sack………I don’t know if he puts holes in the sack so you can breathe…………Vickie, the Boogey Man doesn’t have a phone number……Well, he just knows when to come…….No, you are not hiding…..”
Oh, but I did hide. I slept under my sister’s bed that night. Well, I didn’t sleep much. I was thinking. I first wondered why my sister had a plate and a fork under her bed. I could use that as a weapon. I had to have a plan. I thought it was a smart idea to hide under my sister’s bed because the Boogey Man would never go under her bed. He was after me. So, he could crawl under my bed and wait for me. I remember someone mentioning the Boogey Man one other time. Who was it? hmmmmm….Oh, it was Grandma Williams, my mom’s mom.
Grandma Williams had long hair that she parted and braided each side and wrapped around her ears. My Grandma was Welsh and lived in Spokane, Washington. She always grabbed our cheeks and pinched them a little too hard. I mean, what the hell did that mean anywho? I’m going to pinch the shit out of your cheeks cuz I love you sooo much? I mean, please. Anyways, Grandma Williams was the one who told my sister that the Boogey Man was going to come and carry her off in a sack if she didn’t quit having those temper tantrums. hmmmmm…I wondered if Grandma made up the whole Boogey Man scenario to scare MY mom? Well, I didn’t use the word, “scenario” then. But, I was thinking the Boogey Man was not real.
Well, I laid there for awhile. Thinking. I did get scared thinking how awful it would be if I looked over at my bed and saw the Boogey Man lying under my bed looking over at me.
But, then, I had company. My dog, Susie, found me. She crawled under the bed and hung out with me while I figured the Boogey Man out. I decided that I needed more information. I think my mom was lying to me. It was time to find
“Vickie, what are you doing up? It’s 3:00 in the morning. Go back to bed…………Vickie, the Boogey Man is not under your bed……No he isn’t…………That’s quite a description………….He was not putting a pillow over your face…………Vickie, go back to bed……..No, I am not getting up………..Vickie, he is not sitting on your bed holding Susie……He is not…….Why would he be holding a fork?……Vickie, the Boogey Man does not exist, ok? I made that up so you would behave……Go back to bed……..”
Satisfaction. I smiled on my way back to bed. I killed the Boogey Man.
Fast forward back to my daughter. I opened the door one night to check on her before I went to bed and she wasn’t in there. She wasn’t in my bed, so I opened my son’s door. She wasn’t in his closet. I was standing near his bed, trying to figure out where she would go if she were scared, and I happened to see her lying under her brother’s bed, just looking at me. Oh, my God, my daughter is a mini-me from long ago.
I smiled back at her……after, that is, I screamed at the top of my lungs.