Five Ways Something Ruined My Life

Five Ways ‘Home Alone' Ruined My Life

Since Thanksgiving is over, it’s now time to jump right into Christmas movies here in my corner of the interwebz (that’s what the cool kids call it, right?). Last week I discussed Pete & Pete so obviously, the logical movie to follow that up with (and to start the Christmas season) is Home Alone – also featuring Michael C. Maronna aka Older Pete.

If you saw ABC Family this weekend at all, they played Home Alone approximately 40,000 times and I think we can all agree that’s how many times we’ve seen it in our lives so…we’re all on the same page. Obviously, the major point of this movie was loving Macaulay Culkin. And I never had a crush on him or anything but I LOVED him. Like, thought we could be best friends and fight burglars together kind of friends, you know?

I had a VHS copy of Home Alone taped off HBO at my grandparents’ house because they got that channel and we didn’t. (If that’s not the most 90’s sentence you’ve ever heard, you’re lying.) So this is a movie I watched excessively as a small child and then for the first time in years, in 2010. And you get a whole different experience watching it as an adult, let me tell you. It’s been on my mind lately as we’re coming into the holidays again and also because last month in Santa Monica I saw someone who either was the old man who was supposed the shovel murderer or was dressed up as him or was that actor, just frozen in time.

Here are five ways Home Alone ruined my life:

1. Convinced Me I’d Be Totes Prepared for a Home Invasion Scenario

Basically this movie taught all of us as kids that your home has a lot of opportunities for booby traps AND you can definitely trick adult burglars into anything.

Clearly the Wet Bandits aren’t the smartest dudes breaking into houses but even the worst burglars should be able to outsmart an 8-year-old kid. Though this movie makes you look around your house and think, “ohhh this could definitely be a weapon!” I mean, I guess it was basically MacGuyver for little kids, so maybe it taught someone useful life skills. It just taught me to ask, “why don’t we have fire crackers in OUR kitchen drawer?!”

2. Made Me Obsessed With Setting Booby Traps or Elaborate Hoaxes Just For Fun

When I was a child, I was already living in a world where I would hang signs around the house for my performances. Literally, it’d be me standing in my grandparents’ living room, singing a song or whatever and I would post SIGNS around the house.

So the idea of setting booby traps seemed amazing to me. Like most kids I had magic trick books I loved to test out on everyone, I loved ATTEMPTING April Fool’s Day pranks and I desperately wanted a dumbwaiter to play in and carry stuff in and just have a good time with.

I just was fascinated with everything Kevin set up. The gangster movie playing, the people attached to strings that he controlled, the music, everything. He was so smart. He even sees Joe Pesci in the reflection of the ornament and pretends to call out to his dad. Genius!

So I essentially spent my whole childhood just trying to live up to the genius of Kevin McAllister and failing miserably.

 3. Forced Me To Look At a Tarantula One Billion Times

I mean, come ON, Home Alone!

I am terrified of spiders. I hate spiders. I stared at what I thought was a giant fake spider on Halloween, got ushered away by my husband who realized what was happening, saw my friend touch it and make it move and I shrieked and ran down the street.

I’m not messing around about this phobia.

So then you have this movie that I loved but I couldn’t look at that darn tarantula. Every time it comes on screen I shriek and cover my eyes. Now, of course, I know when it’s coming and can avert eye contact with the TV but mistakes still happen. And especially don’t make me see it crawling ON people.

Remember that episode of Top Model where the girl is terrified of spiders and they put a tarantula on her face and Tyra is like, “you have to! You’re a model!”

I seriously would have taken one look at that spider and been like, “peace out, Tyra, nice knowing you!”


4. Made Me Nervous About Any Large Group Setting With My Family

I have a large extended family much like the McAllisters. I only have one sibling but my dad has 5 and I’m the oldest of 12 grandkids on my dad’s side. So, we’ve never all gone on vacation together or anything but I HAVE been to a water park with most of them and I have been on little trips with a group of them and I HAVE been to dinner with them many times and it’s a lot of people.

So after Home Alone where the parents’ whole plan to stay organized is have one of the teens do a BLIND head count, I would get stressed in family situations that we were going to lose people. I got lost in a clothing store as a kid for about 45 seconds and completely started panicking. So I didn’t need to see anyone flitting off the Paris, sitting in first class while their own kids are in coach, and not realizing until way after takeoff that they forgot their son at home.

But this is also a problem with watching it as an adult. You have so many questions. “Why didn’t each set of parents make sure their own kids were taken care of?” “Why am I supposed to side with Buzz when he’s clearly a psychopath?” “Who gets on a plane in a large group and doesn’t make sure their 8-year-old son is with them?!”

5. Gave Me (And Us All) The Greatest Line in History to Say to People

I think we all have one thing to take away from Home Alone. And it’s not just the image of him putting on aftershave and screaming.

It’s the “get yer ugly, yella, no-good keister off my property, before I pump your guts full of lead!” line.

Anytime any word even from that phrase comes up, it feels like everyone around you just jumps in and finishes it. Or if someone is being annoying, you can throw that in to let them know to back off. It’s a perfect quote and it’s so good to laugh and say to each other. Thank you, John Hughes.


I also always look at furnaces in basements as if they have terrifying faces and I’m always weary of “third floors” in houses.

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