A few days ago I got my hair colored. Not a news flash by any means. My black streaks are touched up, if you were wondering. I was talking to my genius hair gal and she whispered a question about whether I’d read the Hannibal Lector series. I whispered back that I’d read Silence of the Lambs. Devoured it actually. I *loved* it, even though the gruesome could have been less so. But the writing and story reeled me in and I didn’t even have time to close my eyes, or you know, skim the gross parts, let alone feel like I was reading.
So the next question she asked basically amounted to what do I read in general. I thought about this. ‘Cause it was a long time ago when I read that book. Back then I was reading tons of romance novels, bank heists, mysteries, thrillers, crime dramas and, wait for it… true crime serial killer novels. I giggled before I shared the last part. Embarrassed that I have a bit of a macabre taste in reading material. My dad was a criminologist after all. Boy do I have a story or two about that.
Had I answered that question with what I read now, my current cue of books would have put her to sleep. Non-Fiction about relationships, wives tales, witches and spells (research.) Witch detective novels (also research but highly enjoyable). Chick lit for book club. Not. A single. One for enjoyment only. Not quite as spicy, no?
I went home, and as I so often do, I replayed our conversation in my head as I went about making a mushroom noodle soup for the kiddos. And then it occurred to me. She was whispering! She wasn’t out of the closet!
This in itself is not surprising. I didn’t let people know my taste until recently. I was worried about how my kids friends parents would react if they knew what I read, what I write. The real surprise was twofold. One, I’d made another connection in respect to mutual taste preference. And two, the hidden number of people out there who enjoy soft horror is truly stunning. It’s a booming industry, I guess. Something to ponder when pen hits paper, you all.
I’ve felt alone for a very long time, despite having a lovely group of friends, and a sweetie that would make some jealous. Being different isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So when I finally came out of the closet myself, as a non arterial blood spraying horror fan, it felt really good. I’m still cringing, waiting for the day when a mom of a friend of Little Bear’s decides that her youth can’t be friends with her because of me, the horrible mother. I still wake up with my shoulders bunched up around my ears, sore from stress dreams directly related to this fear.
And yet, I’m glad I did it. Change is good, even if it’s scary.
The added bonus is that I learned my hairdresser is a sister in horror. And of course, my hair looks lovely.