Finding Pandora’s Box

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As a child I loved the story of Pandora’s Box. You all know the story but in case you forgot… Pandora was a girl who lived in ancient times. She lived in a place where a beautiful box was kept. Pandora was told time and time again NEVER to look in the box. You know where this is going.

Some say Pandora was a bride and the box was a wedding gift given Zeus. Some say she was the first woman (always blame it on the woman.) Well, never say that to a girl. Of course she looked. And out of the box came all sorts of horrible things. The box contained evil. Evil escaped and spread all over the world. What a nasty trick of Zeus but of course he blamed it on the girl… but that isn’t the point of the story. Pandora opened the box and something awful escaped. The point is that I could relate to the girl in a big way.

Ahhh but at the bottom of the box, and this was my favorite part, the spirit of HOPE came out. Hope was always pictured as a beautiful fairy. Like a lot of little girls I loved fairies (still do.) But back to the story on hand…

I was like Pandora, always looking into boxes and closets and attics I wasn’t supposed to be looking into. I suddenly realized yesterday why all these years I identified with Pandora. I could have been Pandora. She could have been me.

Yesterday I cleaned out my office room. It is an office, a guest room and a place where junk gathers. It is a room I’ve banned my husband from because he moves things around to fit his own sense of what should be. It will also once again be the room I write in.

I hauled a garbage can and a large recycle can full of papers, boxes and old stuff. I re-acquainted myself with beautiful dresses I haven’t worn in years. My teenage daughter marveled at the beautiful cuts and fabrics. Those clothes are not the same as the mother she knows wears now. They are from a different time and place.

As I went through boxes which haven’t been opened for years my mind and heart went to places I didn’t want to be. Yes, you’ve read my stories of the past and things I’ve done years ago, but that was on my terms. The memories dredged up yesterday were not my choice. These were things that haunt and bit and suck the blood out of my own dark soul. I even wrote a lengthy post about how items symbolize lost dreams that could have been.

The room became my own Pandora’s box full of swirling demons and weirdness.

That led to me writing a couple of agonizing essays on memories and how single items can change a life through their meaning. I wrote of those dashed dreams that are so clear and painful. For hours I kept the it all festering in my brain. Then I realized that if I went ahead and shared those essays on pain and broken dreams that I’d receive comments from worried readers and feel guilty for playing with the feelings of my readers, or making my dear readers feel bad. I want to make my readers feel thoughtful or happy, or even on-edge and angry but not sad about me. I don’t want to tear your hearts out with words about me. Then it all scattered like a puff of smoke from a candle I’d just blown out. It was gone along with the garbage.

I’m not the kind to go back to the past and let it define me. Sure my past influences me. It is who I am. Of course it is that way for everyone. But it isn’t who I am. I’m not that girl I used to be. Like I said, I don’t let it define me. I don’t go back. I don’t ever try to relive experiences, even if it is with old friends who were there with me the first time around.

What the parts of my past I don’t feel comfortable with give me is a roadmap for teaching my own children about choices they make.

At the bottom of the closet, as with Pandora’s Box, were a lot of good things and hope. There were so many times there was no hope, but that was a long time ago. Best of all I have a new office. After a few more hours of work it will be a place where I can relax and create and be the best. Always the best from now on.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Mom

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Also see: Musings on the Curious Child and Keeping Secrets

Foxy Mendoza the Earl of Suave

He went by the name Foxy Mendoza but was neither Foxy or had any ethnic background that warranted then sir name Mendoza. The last time I saw him we was going by Mitchell Smyth-Robinson. Just imagine a Vampire in a cheap suit, no, please, don’t do that. Vampires don’t usually wear cheap suits. This time Mitch, excuse me Foxy, was wearing lime green skinny jeans, a tight black tee, a small black pork pie hat and had something that looked like a Yorkshire Terrier growing off of his chin. Gold hoops adorned his ears and he carried a bright red organically grown cotton man-purse. He called it a satchel. It was a man-purse. He still smelled of violet water. You can’t get the Victorian out of this Vampire who is always reinventing himself.

Foxy Mendoza is the epitome of ridiculous but he is also so successful at everything he does. Well, almost everything.

To make matters worse is the fact that I’m stuck with Foxy Mendoza aka Mitchell Smyth-Robinson aka Sonny Valentino aka John Earl… that fact is that I am stuck with this creature of many names is because I am the one who turned him into a Vampire. I cringe each and every time I think of it.

“So where did you get the name Foxy?” I had to ask.

“My flaming red hair of course.”

He is a strawberry blonde at best. I didn’t even ask about the last name Mendoza.

My kids were glad to see their Uncle Mitch. Aside from the strange ungodly hair on his chin they thought his new look was exceptionally cool. They laughed at his new name. Foxy laughed with them. But they still called him Uncle Mitch.

I have to admit that we all have those weird, eccentric, unusual and unique people in our lives. Those qualities are quiet annoying at times but can be quite charming as well. And face it, if you want to be a successful Vampire you have to have at least 3 out of those four qualities.

Yes, I know you’re curious about the circumstances in which I turned Mitch, I mean Foxy, into a Vampire.

It was 1879. We were really young. I was a few months from turning 20. Mitch, known then as John, was 22.  I met him on a boat, at night, in San Francisco Bay. There was no moon, only stars out. Anyway, I’ll write up the entire tale later, but he knew I was a Vampire. We started to talk. At first I wanted to rip out his neck he was so annoying but then he grew on me. He made me laugh. I made him smile. We talked until dawn and then kept talking. No, we were never involved romantically. Oh he could be so annoying that it frustrated me to no end, but there was something about him that was so… I don’t know, because he is SO annoying. But friendship is weird that way. So there you go. On my 20th birthday he was a Vampire and we were still friends.

Friendship is like that. I do need to tell you more about Foxy but then again you might want to tell me “NOOOOOO I can’t take it anymore.” Foxy brings that out in people.

Crap, now I have to figure out how to get him to shave that ridiculous thing off of his chin. What is it with guys and beards? My husband never had a beard and only one of my brothers sports one right now. Val has a neatly trimmed short beard that actually looks good on him. I have to take a break and smile here because Val thinks Mitch/Foxy is the most annoying person in the world and it takes a lot to annoy Val. Just makes me laugh.

And did I mention my friend’s laugh? Maybe it would be better if I didn’t. Think fire trucks and snorts.

Have fun everyone and never make an excuse for your weird and annoying friends. Just think of how boring life would be without them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Big Hat

One more bit of news… My first stand-alone collection of short stories is now available (with good reviews) on Amazon.com

Morning at the Vineyard

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Things I would say to the kitten we found under the hood of our car

I love love love this post. If you’ve ever loved a cat (or a well written blog post) you will love it too.

 

The Curious People

Boo the day we found her, August 10, 1997. Boo the day we found her, August 10, 1997.

At first we thought it was only a bird chirping. I started the car and pulled away from the curb. The sound followed us down the street, insistently. Cheep! Cheep! Cheep! My wife and I looked this way and that, but saw no bird. It followed us four blocks through our neighborhood.

“Stop the car!” my wife said suddenly. She still saw nothing, but it had dawned on her that the voice wasn’t following the car—it was trapped inside it.

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No matter where you are, you’re somewhere.

I find myself frequently returning to the theme “You might not be where you wanted to be, but maybe you’re where you should be.”

Yes, I’m the first to admit that I do not believe in the whole predestination school of thought. The first time I heard about it was in a Presbyterian church while my brother Val and I were hidden in the rafters ease dropping, something we frequently did when we were children. My brother took it seriously for about 5 minutes. I didn’t make any sense to me at all. I couldn’t see our existence as one huge “Damned if we do, damned if we don’t” ordeal. It just didn’t make any sense. I was a child who lived by the rule of free will. I was also, and still am, a rule follower which shouldn’t make any sense but that is another blog post.

Anyway, early on I also started to get my romantic streak. That was a good thing and a bad thing. I saw the world as a big romantic adventure. Not so much romance with a man, but the notion that there was beauty in everything and the world was bound to just keep getting better. I knew I’d grow up to live a life surrounded by roses and parties and lovely times because THAT was my destiny.

I’d spend hours looking at books with beautiful pictures and reading lovely fairy stories. But at the same time I was drawn to anything to do with disasters, ghosts, murders and ghoulish things of all sorts (go figure.)

When I grew up things changed. The lovely order of the rose gardens and adventures hiding out in places my brothers and I shouldn’t have been, turned over to real life. There were a lot of adventures both good and bad. There were dangerous and foolish adventures. Nobody had ever told me of the disappointments and heart-break and frustration of the adult world. I flew through life until… all the frustrating weirdness led to my husband and that led to my kids. Now it seems like everything is all falling into place. I feel as if this was meant to be. Of course in all of the alternate and parallel universe places I also frequent it could have been different. I think of that a lot too. OK not that much, but when I write i have to get ideas from somewhere. Why not get them from my own dusty brain drawers?

So no matter where you are, you’re somewhere. When I was a child I knew I could be anywhere. I’m finally realizing that I was right.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vm darling girl

 

Additional information: Along these lines I found myself answering to a writing prompt on The Matticus Kingdom (a blog you should follow). As usual I wrote about a man who found himself not with the woman he imagined being with but with the woman he should have been with (and it was a good thing.) I keep doing that when I write. Life it like that. So is fiction. Go figure. http://thematticuskingdom.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/prompt-finish-the-story/

Also, you might like this story about time travel and Vampires and my family. It kind of sort of goes with this theme. Go to the link for Cockroaches of the Space Time Continuum. https://vampiremaman.com/2014/04/03/cockroaches-of-the-space-time-continuum/

This post was inspired by a prompt. Then again, everything is kind of a prompt – the prompt of life… HA HA HA

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/adult-visions/

 

 

About Blogging About Parenting and Vampires – Q&A

People frequently ask me questions about this blog and my views on assorted subjects. Below are a few questions and a few answers.

 

Why did you feel compelled to write a blog?

Because I despise most mommy blogs and wanted to get the word out that parenting wasn’t all about trends, strollers, strangling your child with over protection or about YOU. It is all about raising your child to one day be an adult – not your self serving little pet. From there I branched out to other family issues such as taking care of elders and crazy siblings (4 older brothers – all Vampires)  and cats and Ghosts and Werewolves. After a while poetry and everything else sort of evolved. I’ve written over 800 posts so explore. You’ll be surprised what you find.

For the best idea about who and what I am check out the pages:

 

You’re a romantic aren’t you?

Yes, I am. Very much so. I can’t help it.

 

Despite your sarcastic and snarky comments you are actually pretty sweet.

That is my true nature. I am very sweet,  but I also realize that the world isn’t all unicorns and rainbows (unless you are Rainbow Donkey – we all love our Rainbow Donkey.) I love small cute furry creatures.

 

What do you have against red pants?

Men who wear red pants will be mocked when their children show their children photos of Grandpa in his foolish fashions of 2014. Nobody over the age of 5 should wear red pants.

 

Do you plan what you are going to write?

Only for October and December and back-to-school season. Those are big months for both parenting and Vampires. The rest of the time I think up everything as I go. 

 

What about Short Story Sunday?

I write tho stories on Sunday before the sun comes up. Sometimes after the sun comes up, but they’re written that day with little or no planning, usually in less than 45 minutes or the time it takes me to brew a cup of French Pressed coffee and drink it.

 

What movies should I watch this week?

  • Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Local Hero
  • 3:10 to Yuma

 

What blogs do you follow?

I will get back to you on that. I have a select few that I look forward to and look for. I miss them when they aren’t writing. I’ll let you know when I have more time to put it all in the right words and get the links correct. Most are smart and witty and really interesting. I always learn something from these writers (or they make me laugh.) You know who you are.

 

Why Vampires?

Excuse me? 

 

I want to meet your brother Max.

You and all the other girls (and boys.)

 

Will you turn me into a Vampire?

No.

 

Are your blog posts fact or fiction?

Yes.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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