I'm just going to come right out and say that while I put on a good front, I'm actually a bit of a chicken. This won't come as any surprise to the folks that know me really well, ie anyone who has ever slept in the same room as me (hello nightlight!). Despite this, I have a penchant for scary movies. Not often and not of the torture horror variety, but occasionally one will come along that grabs my fancy. The Blair Witch Project was one of these. Most recently, it was Paranormal Activity. A low budget, independent film that concentrated on psychological suspense rather than blood and gore, I saw it last year during a girls' weekend in Tennessee and it absolutely scared the cuss out of me. A year later and I still have night terrors about it.
When they announced they were making another one, I was not initially enthused. Rarely, in fact almost never, do sequels of these kinds of movies turn out to be any good. But reports came in that the filmmakers were doing everything they could to avoid the pitfalls that have plagued so many other doomed sequels. And then early reviews were positive and it looked like there was cause for optimism.
A couple of months ago, Lula, Brandy and I half joked about getting together to see Paranormal Activity 2. It was the three of us (in addition to our friend Heather) that saw the first Paranormal Activity last year and it seemed natural that we would come together again for the second one. Distance and responsibilities being what they are, though, it seemed about as likely to happen as Lindsay Lohan successfully completing rehab.
But then a couple of weeks ago, we took a serious look at our calendars and decided that we were going to make it work. We landed on a date and began plotting. It took a little coordination on our parts, both Lula and I had to arrange child care so we could leave early enough from our respective homes to make it to Brandy's house (4.5 hour drive for me, 3 for Lula) in time for dinner and the movie, but we made it work.
Finally, the day arrived and I hit the open road. It was a long drive, but my excitement (and a trough of Dr. Pepper) made the time pass quickly. The laughs didn't stop from the moment I arrived until I left the next afternoon. There were times I was laughing so hard, I could barely breath. We had a fabulously fattening dinner where we introduced Brandy to red wine, unsuccessfully; we saw the movie, which wasn't quite as good as the first but definitely had some chills; we stayed up until all hours talking; and after sleeping in, we hit Cracker Barrel for a breakfast lunch.
A couple days before I left, Neil commented to me that it was an awfully long way to go for a movie. And he's not wrong. But the truth is that while I did want to see the movie, I didn't really drive all that way just for that. I drove 280 miles to see friends that I haven't seen in person in a year. To sit across from them. To give them great big hugs because I miss their faces. The internet is an amazing thing. If it weren't for this ability to connect over the miles, I never would have met these great ladies, and it is a wonderful tool for maintaining these relationships. But it is no substitute for sitting down at the kitchen table with a great glass of wine (or four) and making lewd drawings at 3am with friends.
Miss you girls. Can't wait for Paranormal Activity 3.
By the way, have you voted for me today in the Baltimore Sun Mobbies? I'm nominated under the Family category and don't forget to select Land of Bean for Best Overall! You can vote once a day until November 12. Thank you!!