Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pillow Power

When I was nine, I prided myself on my lovely, longish, clean and well shaped fingernails. Like anything that a person is especially proud of, I was certain that other people were jealous. Oh look at her fingernails! I could imagine the other fourth graders saying. I wish I had fingernails like that! Maybe I didn't have the coolest leg warmers, and maybe I sucked at making friendship bracelets from fishing lures, but my nails were fabulous.

You know who else likes long fingernails? Witches.

It's a well known fact, to nine year old girls at least, that witches sneak into your room while you are sleeping and rip out your fingernails, if they happen to be long and lovely. I could avoid this fate by simply trimming my nails, but I was far too vain. Instead, I would carefully tuck myself into bed, slide my hands under my pillow, and will them to stay there throughout the night. As an added barrier against evil, I would surround my body with my stuffed animals. Papa Smurf at my feet. Fozzie Bear had my back. Strawberry Shortcake and her posse kept watch against a frontal assault. And Miss Piggy, ever vigilant, sat by my pillow. Even witches know not to fuck with the Pig.

I would fall asleep to the mantra don't move your hands, don't move your hands, and wake with great relief to my intact nails.

After my fear of fingernail stealing witches had faded, and I stopped sleeping with stuffed pigs and fruit-scented dolls, I still fell asleep with my hands tucked safely away under my pillow. Even now, I can't drift off until they slide into that cool space, hidden away -protected from witches.

14 comments:

  1. I would not dream of driving my truck without my three amigos, a cheetah named Cheeterie (my son's), a bear I got at Cracker Barrel named Cracker Berry L., and a reindeer named RIACH Herd. I wasn't trying to say his first name reaLLy loud, its an acronym for Reindeer In A Cup Holder. Herd is his last name. So far I have never had a collosion with a witch.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was about the age that I discovered that bed covers are provide a vampire proof barrier...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! The power of quilts, lol.

      Delete
  3. I can assure that I would have been very jealous of your beautiful fingernails - mine are TERRIBLE even now. Even last night I made sure at least PART of me was beneath the covers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My oldest has been a nail biter since she was 18 months old. At least you both are safe.

      Delete
  4. My grandmother once did my nails when I was around that age. Full French manicure. Didn't hold up long climbing trees and digging worms. Never even got a chance to tempt the fingernail-stealing witches. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you can probably tell what kind of kid I was. Ha!

      Delete
  5. You're lucky it was just a witch who wanted your fingernails. I grew up with a much worse problem. Not to out-do you, but I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. Yep, as everyone knows: the home of Big Foot.

    Big Foot (though we never saw him) lived directly behind our house in the fields we backed up to. Scary, but true. He was known to break into people's houses and gobble up 8-year-old girls while they slept.

    The only way to prevent this from happening was
    A. lock your window (duh)
    B. put stuffed animals blocking your door
    C. check under your bed before turning lights out and again after (good to check at least 10 more times)

    Big Foot never bothered us, because I always followed steps A-C (listed above, feel free to copy it down and laminate it).

    best,
    MOV

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will, and add it to my three ring binder of similar checklists.

      Delete
  6. I would definitely have been jealous of your fingernails. And witches. Witches?! Now I'm going to have to sleep with my hands under my pillow. I have full-on heebie jeebies just thinking about waking up to a witch standing over me with a pair of pliers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude. They rip them out with their TEETH. *runs around room screaming*

      Delete
  7. You know what my thing is? Ghosts. There was one chewing on my shoulder right before I fell asleep a few weeks back- no shit. It was like a dementor!

    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is horrifying, Motaki. HORRIFYING.

      Delete