The Haunted Mansion celebrated its 51st anniversary this week and I figured maybe I should write down my lifelong experience and struggle with this attraction; that I absolutely hated then grew to love.
When I was little, like maybe 7 I went to Disneyland with my cousin’s family. And my cousin made me promise to keep my eyes open the entire ride and if I didn’t I’d go to Hell (legit, that’s what she said). I looked around not knowing WHAT this ride was but saw that there was “creepy” music, a freakin graveyard that my little 7 year old mind thought was real and workers that looked like if I sceamed for help they sure as hell wouldn’t help me.
So I get on the ride, sharing a buggy with my mom and she’s like “look!” and I had my eyes covered SOBBING cause I was so scared. I knew at some point a ghost pops up behind you and the freakin narrator and his “and a ghost will follow you home” shit wasn’t helping. We met up with my brother who I think was with my dad or my other cousin and he was like, crying.
And I never spoke about that ride or EVER got back on it.
If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World then you’d know how hard it is to narrow it down to just five places; however I can say with confidence that in the years I lived and worked there that these were my frequent 5 any chance I got for time to myself!
Located in The Polynesian Resort right by Magic Kingdom!
There’s an option for brunch or dinner and after having both I’d say my favorite is still dinner. This is one of my top 3 favorite places at Disney World to eat, ever! I know that sounds so basic since a ton of people love this place too but I’ll tell you why I keep coming back.
Their Pineapple Coconut Bread.
I’m not kidding. They use to sell it downstairs at Captain Cooks for their sandwiches and stuff but they stopped for some reason!
This starter bread is the stuff that bread dreams are made of. And I don’t even like bread like that! But also their Pot Stickers and Salad are some of my favs.
The way Ohana works is that you get a huge heaping serving of starters. Pot Stickers, Salad, Noodles and I believe Chicken Wings as well. Then Cast Members come around with skewers of different types of meats and Shrimp and you select what you want and it’s like an all you can eat but you don’t leave your table sort of deal.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t a big fan of Star Wars growing up.
I remember seeing Episode One in theaters back in the 90’s because my best friend at the time and her family were all nerds. I didn’t understand what was going on or who was who… I was only like 9 or something at the time. But I remember the pod races and that I really liked Jar Jar Binks.
When I started working at Disney in 2011 I had not seen a single Star Wars movie (I barely remembered Episode One at this point) so when the Star Wars Vinylmation collection came out I was a little confused as to why everyone was chasing after it (I worked at D-Street at the time which was the Vinylmation hub) and who the heck was Obi Wan and why was the chaser a ghost of him?!
I obviously knew the main gist of things like who Darth Vader was and who Yoda was and all of this but I didn’t know very much else.
A friend of mine ended up buying a case of the Vinylmations chasing after Ghost Obi and he was trading the rest so he gave me a Stormtrooper.
I somehow forgot to write this little section in the previous entry. I guess I thought the photo had copied to my desktop when it didn’t and I didn’t realize it until I went to bed last night that I didn’t talk about this!
This birthday was probably the most memorable, and definitely not in a good way.
My ex husband was pretty… selfish. Bubba had asked me months ago if he was ever controlling and in a sense I never thought of M as ‘controlling’, I guess because he never acted out, if you will. Like he never made public scenes or he never flat out showed your typical version of jealousy. But if I think about all the things he expected of me or all the things he pushed then in a really subtle yet un-subtle way he was controlling. He wouldn’t throw a fit or make a scene but he was a pro (A FUCKIN PRO I TELL YOU) at ignoring someone for as long as a week and a half. And I mean IGNORE, like not talking, not responding. But if we’re talking ignore then he went years doing that shit.
But he was selfish in a sense since I can’t really think of another word to call it — let’s put it this way — if he had friends (and 99% of his friends were girls which was fine cause 100% of my friends are usually guys though I DO NOT hug coworkers AT WORK. Hell I don’t hug them AT ALL unless I’m REALLY close to them and that takes a lot of time. I’m not a hugger if I don’t fuckin know you and I’m definitely NOT a hugger if I suspect you have a crush on me. In fact I’d be less than a friend if I suspected you had a crush on me and I definitely would not be hanging out with you, ever) which were mostly girls he would completely ignore me. If they asked him to hang out he would be prompt and he would stay out as late as 2am. He wouldn’t tell me WHERE he was going or WHO these girls were and he wouldn’t update me from time to time. If he went to hang out with friends or coworkers I wouldn’t get a single text or call the entire time he was out. If I texted asking him something while he was out he would get pissed and wouldn’t respond.
This particular year we had to take the same work bus to work (the E bus for those of you who do/did the DCP and worked on the Hollywood Studios route whoot whoot); we barely ever started work at the same time or ended at the same time to ever really have to be on the same bus. But the very few times we did he wouldn’t even acknowledge I was on the bus, especially if his coworkers were there.
Once we were standing at the bus stop, I had my headphones on cause we were waiting and he was standing next to me, a coworker comes and says hi. Looks at me then walks off. He turns to me mad saying, “why do you always have to repel my friends.” uh bitch what? I’m sitting here, listening to music, on my phone, minding my own business. Don’t no one care about you and your janky friends. She need to brush her hair.
This was the birthday year I’m talking about.
The one I had mentioned where his friend’s birthday was the day before mine and they went to lunch and I was waiting for him at my spa appointment. His friend had asked about me and he didn’t like it. So he resolved to not have me meet anyone he worked with. So this year, though I saw some of his coworkers from time to time on the bus with him, I wasn’t allowed to meet them or say hi. So most of the time when I’d run into him say on the bus on the way home, I’d sit away from him and with my coworkers instead and ignore the fact he’s actually on the bus since he did such a great job of ignoring me even as I walked on.
Great marriage, right?
So he was never into social media, he always said it was “stupid” and “gay” but during my birthday week that year he got back on Instagram and Facebook, added all his chick friends and would frequently be in a group chat with them on Facebook or on Instagram and leaving each other comment threads. I noticed he got back on social media but he still hadn’t liked or commented on any of my posts anywhere. But I knew he was texting people on these apps.
He said he had gotten on for my birthday as if THAT was his bday gift to me. Just like how he frequently used, “I was nice to you all day.” as if it’s something that he should be praised for. It didn’t occur to me at the time that Chanel’s birthday was literally the day before mine and that he added all his coworkers and was constantly texting them. Yet he spun it around saying he got back on for me though he left no trace of any activity on any of my posts.
I do a lot of random things.
At EPCOT you can color in a Perry or a Duffy at any of the countries. There’s a table for kids to color at and you take it to every station in every country and they stamp it for you.
I was pretty proud of this guy cause I thought the body color was pretty accurate and at the time I was kind of obsessed with Perry (not so much Secret Agent P) even though I didn’t watch the show. But I always thought it was funny how as Perry he’s kinda cross/bulge eyed but as Secret Agent P he looks all professional lol! And no, sadly you can’t meet Perry in the parks!
So I decided to color a Perry and take him around the world for my birthday. M colored some of him but I colored most of him and it was me who took him around and I’d chit chat with the people in the diff countries. The guy in France noticed I had a Vinylmation pin and we talked Vinylmations for awhile.
There was another photo of just Secret Agent P by himself without me in it and I noticed M had posted it on his Instagram with the caption, “I scraped those little whack ass kids.”
I noticed that there was no mention of me or my birthday at all on that post. When his friends left comments he took ALL the credit and he made it sound as if he was so hardcore that he “scraped” some KIDS in coloring a fuckin character. It’s not a content or a game. It’s something fuckin fun for kids to do. If you need to boost yourself up by down talking KIDS who are on VACATION you’ve got some fuckin problems. Foreal.
I had brought it up as we were going to Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes and it started this big argument where the above was said. I don’t remember the entire fight. I do remember sobbing my fuckin heart out at the Magic Kingdom gates not even wanting to go see Wishes. Not even wanting to celebrate my birthday anymore.
I was just so sad and so hurt.
And I was so tired of being hidden. And sadly this was the start of the next 2 years of being hidden and BANNED from his work location. Oh yes, it got worse.
I was so tired of him saying anything having to do with marriage was gay. When that shit didn’t even make fuckin sense. He never told people he was married. They would have to figure it out themselves. If I did go visit him at work and someone asked who I was he’d say “oh that’s Hazel.” it got so bad that some of his coworkers speculated he wasn’t even married and was lying about it since no one EVER saw me. There was one coworker who he got into an altercation with at work who ran into us doing laundry once and was like “oh, you really are married I guess.” and he got pissed he said that. As if it wasn’t obviously his own fault. Or as if he was mad he was married in general.
As much as I loved that Perry in the end I ended up throwing him away. Every time I saw him I’d just get sad and remember that day.
At the end of the day M blamed everything on me and “acting crazy” so he deleted the photo off his Instagram and deleted the app off his phone along with the FB app. And in the end he ended up joining SnapChat with all of them and refused to add me to his friends list.
I try to cling on to the good memories of this birthday — my facial. Finally meeting Remy at Chefs de France and getting to eat in France. My day 2 outfit with the top hat. How good this outfit came out and how I didn’t feel insecure in it at all (it was the first time wearing a dress in forever). Getting to eat Ohana’s.
And I think that was it.
But this is definitely one birthday memory I wish I could erase.
And though I’m not turning a significant age I thought I’d look back on all my past birthdays. As a reminder, if you will.
I’m a little sad I’m not going on vacation or doing anything epic this year for my birthday. I am going on foodie adventures through out the DFW area though which I am REALLY REALLY excited about especially since there’s a few places I’ve really wanted to try since I moved here!
But I was thinking the other day and this morning; I had mentioned to Bubba I never look forward to my birthday. Like ever. And though I’ve had traditions that I’ve held on pretty tightly to through out the years I wonder, really, how do I FEEL about my birthday?