I knew from age 7 that I had strange feelings about women. I am going to tell you the first time that I remember being aware of it. I want it noted that I am, albeit only mildly, ashamed of this story. Buckle up.
My uncle took me to see Hocus Pocus at the cinema. I was so excited. As the opening credits roll, the camera follows the perspective shadow of a witch flying on a broom, over land and water accompanied by intense but distinctly Disney orchestral music.
I can recall the excitement churning in my stomach and how my wide eyes stung from refusing to blink in case I missed a second. I was enthralled by these witchy women. I had a vague sense of them being interesting and a very strong sense of them being incredibly beautiful. I knew they were villains, but the best I can explain the thoughts in my child-brain was that I was the opposite of scared of them.
Even now, 30 years later, I can distinctly remember the thrill I felt watching that opening scene. It was the first of many times I felt it. I get old, but the thrill never does. I crave it.
The Monday after I saw Hocus Pocus I sat in class writing in my school journal that I went to see Hocus Pocus...and I had a strange feeling. I remember being unsure of how to word it and I remember being unsure if I should even be writing it. I didn't finish the entry, likely distracted by something else but completely incapable of explaining it anyway. Poor little 7-year-old me. She had no idea what was going on...or what was coming.
This was the beginning of my first experience of fangirling. At the time, incredibly confusing, and in hindsight, totally uncomplicated.
I never could get my head around the real definition of irony after Alanis incorrectly imprinted it in my mind as "coincidental misfortune". So I'm not sure if this is ironic, but there's definitely something about me at 36 writing about me at 7, grappling with the reasons for these feelings I find so hard to express. Back then I had no context, I don't know what my excuse is now.
I feel like I should know more, but in so many ways, I know less.
I want to understand why things have been different for me.