I just saw Shana's comment about how her mom thought the earthquake was a monster under her bed. That reminded me of what my dad said. It went something like this.
Dad: "I was in my bathroom, and I heard this sound like thunder or a train. I'm serious, Laura; I didn't know an earthquake would make a sound like that. I expected the ceiling to rip off the roof if it was a tornado. Under my feet...."
Me: "You could feel the earth move?" (I was trying to make a joke about the Carole King song.)
Dad: (Completely missing it.) "Yeah, the floor moved up and down under my feet, dropping 2 inches out from under me. I went over to the window, because I thought it was either a tornado or a spaceship had landed. I'm serious, Laura. The sky was perfectly clear, and there was no spaceship, so I knew it must have been an earthquake."
That's my dad - a true believer in the paranormal. I remember watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind with him when I was really little. We were sitting on this yellow flowery couch in the living room, and I got really scared when the aliens finally came out at the end of the movie. I mean come on - shadowy, spidery figures coming out from a bright light? Scared the crap out of me.
But I still remember him, almost weepy, saying it was such a beautiful moment. That it would be so amazing to see other lifeforms from outer space in our time. He wouldn't believe that aliens would pose a threat to us, because as he put it, "why would someone travel all this way through space and time to start a war?"
How sweet is that?
Before then, I was afraid of aliens. Afraid they were hiding in the basement, that they left lights on down there to lure me to them. When my parents' alarm clock would go off in the middle of the day (I think it just went off every 12 hours, I never understood it), I was afraid they were setting it off and hiding behind the bed waiting for me to come in and shut it off. Pretty much every time something odd happened, I would think it was an alien conspiracy.
But once I knew that Dad was cool with them, I got over it. I shifted my fear of alarm clocks and basements on Freddie Kruger and ventriloquist dolls.
So there's that,