Popcorn, Panic, and Peace

I’m a socially anxious introvert, while not my identity in and of itself, that is part of who I am. Not only a I drained by social interactions, but social interactions also almost paralyze me with anxiety sometimes. I’m also someone who feels incredibly anxious if I perceive something may be unsafe or uncomfortable. In my head, I usually know most of these anxious moments are overly dramatic and that I need to calm down and just do the thing. Sometimes, I just can’t. Sometimes no matter how illogical I know I’m being, I find myself locked up in fear unable to do anything until something changes. Most people seem to be annoyed by this. Most people react with short replies and irritable answers. Then, there are people who get it and if they don’t get it, they at least realize I can’t seem to help it, so they help me. They’re patient with me. They encourage me. Sometimes they do the thing so I don’t have to.

I’ve been planning to write this post for quite a while now because about six months ago, I walked around Boerne with two of my favorite people and had a moment like this. It was absolutely ridiculous. We were in a popcorn or treat store and I was looking at all the popcorn flavors. Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks and I adore green apple flavoring. They happened to have a green apple flavored popcorn. I was both disgusted and intrigued. Could green apple popcorn be good? I wanted to know how much it cost, but felt paralyzed by the thought of asking, so I asked my friend to ask for me. She laughed a little and graciously asked for me. The popcorn was more expensive than I would have liked for something I just wanted to try, so I was bummed. Then, my other friend noticed a tray of little cups of popcorn and took it upon herself to ask if they were samples. She didn’t even ask for herself. She asked for me before I could even think about it. When the cashier said they were samples, my friend gestured for me to take one so I did. (And, FYI, I personally thought the green apple popcorn was amazing! Haha. Still didn’t buy it because I didn’t have extra money to spend, but it was really yummy! Ooh! Maybe I’ll go buy some soon! Now, I really want some! 🙈)

I don’t only have social anxiety. As I said, I also have safety anxiety. If something doesn’t feel safe, even if it logically is, I start to panic. Last Wednesday before Thanksgiving break, I busted a window in the bus I was driving because I turned too closely to a tree branch. Our mechanics fixed it very quickly, so I was able to drive it again that afternoon. Before I went out to drive it, I worried about the broken shards of glass that fell into the floor. Our head mechanic, Jason, personally went out to inspect the bus for me. He didn’t have to. I could have and would have done it, but he’s gotten to know me well enough that he knows I’ve got a bit of an anxiety problem. Instead of sighing or saying something along the lines of, “calm down,” he personally helped me know I was safe. And that’s not the only time he or the rest of the mechanics have gone out of their well to assure me I was safe and secure and ready to go. They, especially Jason, regularly go the extra mile to help me and I know it’s because they know I feel better with their expert opinion versus my own.

The reason this is important to me is because some of the other people I work with, especially two of my managers, seem to act like my questions and concerns are a problem. Sure, maybe they are. Maybe my worries are ridiculous sometimes. Actually, there’s no maybe, sometimes my anxiety is ridiculous. Like I said though, I can’t seem to always control it. Sometimes I have to be shown that my worry is silly and not just told. More importantly, I need to know I’m not seen as foolish for my worries. In fact, that’s the best way for me to quickly overcome the anxiety and face it less often. All I need a lot of the time is to know or at least feel like my worries are understood.

That’s why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to give advice to anyone reading this who has anxiety or who knows someone with anxiety. In 2019, I’ve been learning countless ways to handle my anxiety. One way is to accept it. If I accept my anxiety, then it becomes less of a problem and more of a question. If it’s a question, then there’s an answer to find and I can find that answer. If others accept my anxiety, then they can help me either my doing something or by showing me that I’m not alone. Even if they don’t understand, then at least they sympathize. They acknowledge that I’m not intentionally being difficult. And when I know that, my anxiety feels easier to overcome. I think thats probably true for others too. When they accept their mental blocks and when their people accept their mental blocks, then those blocks become easier to move. And then there is peace on earth or at least in our own little worlds.

DCOM #4 – Halloweentown – (100 DCOMs Binge and Blog Challenge)

I grew up in a Christian home. As is common for Christian homes, or at least for the ones my friends and I grew up in, my parents started off with super conservation guidelines on what I was and was not allowed to watch and listen to as kid. One of the longest lasting rules in my home was that we were not allowed to watch or read anything that had to do with magic or Halloween. Therefore, “Halloweentown” was obvious not allowed to be watched in my house. By the time my parents decided it would be a case by case rule, I wasn’t interested in watching most Halloween themed things, so this moment right now is the last moment in which I will have never seen “Halloweentown.” In a matter of seconds, I will press play on my Roku remote so that I can watch the fourth DCOM for the first time. I’m kind of excited! I hope it’s worth the wait!

Ooh! Creepy music with a touch of magical charm! They just blew out the lights! It’s dark! I feel you Marney! It’s a struggle sometimes not to be able to participate with the other kids for Halloween! To be honest, I never really cared about Halloween, but I did care that I didn’t get to participate with other kids for Halloween events! Okay. I see where this is going. This old magic lady must be related to Marney and her family someway. Yup! Definitely! The little girl just used magic to bring herself a cookie! She didn’t know it, but she did! Mom is worried about them finding out about their powers, am I right? Of course! The old lady is her mother. Now there’s something special about Marney’s thirteenth birthday?

“Normal is vastly over rated,” says the grandmother. Yes! I totally agree! Time to learn about Halloweentown! She’s telling the kids about it! All creatures live in peace in Halloweentown. She made a book about Halloweentown appear out of nowhere so she could keep her word to her daughter, but at the same time, she showed Marney on a broomstick. Grandma starts to tell Marney about who she really is after all. The mother tells the grandmother to wait for her in the kitchen while she puts the kids to bed. Marney is a witch. She overhears her mother and grandmother discussing their powers. Then she sees Grandma turn fried chicken into a live chicken. She continues to hear Grandma discuss that something seems to be wrong in Halloweentown and that she needs her daughter’s help to stop whatever is wrong. Apparently, there’s something very special about the Cromwell bloodline especially for girls.

Marney and her brother, Dylan, sneak out of the house and climb onto the bus they see their grandma board. Inside the bus, they see many creatures of different sorts. Dylan tries to logic it all away, but Marney won’t have it. Marney and Dylan’s little sister, Sophie, follows them onto the bus as well. They meet the town mayor once they step off the bus in Halloweentown. Grandma is at least 200 years old. The mayor gets a skeleton cab driver to drive the kids to their grandma’s house. Grandma tells the kids time passes much differently in Halloweentown than it does in the mortal world. Two hours in the mortal world could be two days or even two weeks in Halloweentown. The mayor’s name is Kalabar. He seems to think Aggie Cromwell, the grandmother, is crazy. I wish I didn’t know his name, because obviously I know the second movie is called, “Kalabar’s Revenge.” I would assume that means Mayor Kalabar is evil, and I would think so anyway since he seems to think Aggie is crazy, but who knows? Not I.

The kids’ mom shows up in Halloweentown. Aggie, Marney, and her mom get in a fight over whether or not Marney will learn how to be a witch or whether she will be human forever. When her mom tells her she’s grounded, Marney gets very upset. First she looks sad and then she walks away without hugging her mother who has her arms outstretched for her. A two-headed dude tells Marney’s mother, Gwen, that the bus won’t show up for several hours. It seems that Kalabar and Gwen knew each other as children. He is clearly in love with her. Maybe they dated before Gwen met the kids’ dad in the mortal world. Before the mayor can help Gwen and the kids, someone comes in with an important message for him, so he can’t help them right away.

A punk kid named, Luke, apparently causes a bunch of trouble in Halloweentown. He informs Aggie that whoever this evil creature trying to destroy Halloweentown is wants to reveal himself to her. Marney makes a valid point to her mother in stating that it’s not right for her to try to make her give up her powers, just because she decided to when marrying their father. The evil dude does reveal himself to Aggie. He freezes all the disappearing townsfolk in time so that he can use them when he’s ready to use them. Aggie has Merlin’s talisman and the evil dude needs it. Luke seems to be genuinely concerned that something bad will happen to the Cromwells. The evil dude freezes Gwen and Aggie, so now it’s up to Marney, Dylan, and Sophie to save the day for them all.

Earlier in the movie, Aggie showed the kids what her plan was to overthrow the villain. She even showed them the list of ingredients. Marney copied the list for herself, so they’re going to use it to create the potion for themselves. They need hair of a werewolf, sweat of a ghost, a fang of a vampire, and maybe something else. That’s hilarious! They go to a dentist to get the fang! I love it!

At the house, once they make the potion, they try to remember the spell, but Marney can’t remember. Sophie thought it sounded pretty, so she made a song for it. She starts singing it when Marney says she can’t remember it.

When Marney realizes she needs to go to City Hall to make the talisman work, Luke intercepts her and explains that it’s a trap. He didn’t know “he” was going to do something to her mom and grandma. He swore to Luke that he wouldn’t harm them. All he wanted was the talisman. Now we know Kalabar is in fact the villain. He reveals himself while Marney and Luke try to come up with a way to beat him. Apparently, the half-human, half-witch, aka Marney, is Kalabar’s biggest enemy. Luke and Marney make a plan for Luke to run away with Marney’s cloak so that she can beat Kalabar. He captures Luke just before Marney is able to get the talisman where it belongs and freezes her just before she places it where it in the jack-o-lantern. She’s able to drop it in its position though and saves the day for them all.

Kalabar apparently did it all because of his anger for losing Gwen to a human. Suddenly, Dylan is angered enough by Kalabar’s evil that he finds out that he has powers too. From the discussions the Cromwell girls have had throughout the movie, it seems that Dylan may be the first Cromwell warlock in a very long time, if not ever. Together, the five of them are able to get the talisman back from Kalabar after he initially takes it from the jack-o-lantern where Marney left it.

After they win, Marney remembers Luke and finds him under her cloak. He hides himself because he’s ugly without being under Kalabar’s spell. He helped her because he likes her. He’d love a chance to go on a date with her. She kisses him on the check and he mourns that he isn’t turned into a handsome prince. She tells him that he did that already by helping her save the day.

By the end of the movie, all is right between Marney and Gwen and Gwen and Aggie. Gwen even askes Aggie to live with them in the mortal world and announces that she will be the one to continue Marney’s training now that she’s officially a witch. All in all, it was a very cute movie. I honestly think way too much happened in too short of a time frame, but it was still a good movie. I hope the next three movies don’t feel as rushed as this one did.