Short Story Sunday: Slut

Yesterday I was driving home. We’ve just had the first rain of the year. A full rainbow, the complete arc, from end to end was in the sky before me. And I don’t know what it was, maybe something on the radio, a flash memory, or a song, but I thought about all of the times I’ve been sexually harassed, assaulted, and otherwise bothered, hurt, or whatever by predatory assholes. I was suddenly so depressed. I flipped through the radio looking for a song to distract my brain. No such luck. Nothing to distract my brain or my heart. I hope with the stories coming out in the news that everyone, women and men, will stop this kind of behavior, and stop turning a head to this kind of behavior. Then I arrived home and saw the man who loves me standing on the front porch with a smile. 

This story was first posted here in 2015, but I’m posting it again today. Maybe that rainbow was a sign that things will get better. I can only hope that the younger generatin of men and wiomen  won’t put up with expectations that they’ll be weak, and voiceless. ~ Juliette

 

Slut

One of the big things everyone is talking about is sexual assault on campus or in college towns. I’ve talked about it with my two kids who are in college. Everyone has, at least everyone who is a decent parent.

So I get this call from Hodge Williams. Yes, that Hodge Williams. Everyone remembers him.

“Bart, how are you?” As soon as he spoke I wondered what he wanted.

“Hodge. Fine. Great. Life is good. What’s up?”

“I’m writing a story on the history of sexual harassment and violence at universities in the US. I tried to contact your sister but she wouldn’t return my calls.”

“Beth?”

“Yes, Beth. She kind of got around so I was thinking she might have experienced first hand, you know, she was at risk.”

“What do you mean by at risk?”

“Oh come on, your sister was a slut. Everyone knew it.”

I sat there with the phone a bit stunned. He just called my sister a slut.

“Hodge, you’re an asshole. In fact you’ve always been an asshole.” I hung up the phone. What an asshole.

After sitting for a few minutes and collecting my thoughts I called my sister and told her about the conversation.

“What an asshole,” she said. “Sure I was sleeping with his best friend without the benefit of being his best friend’s official girlfriend. OK I also slept with another one of his friends but we were in college. We were young.”

“Did you ever sleep with Hodge?”

“No. Hell no. He was always making passes at me and grabbing me. Hodges had that Madonna/Whore things going on in his head. A girl was either a virgin until marriage or a whore. Plus we’re not like him, you know the religion thing, so he just assumed I was a whore.”

“But you didn’t have sex with him.”

“I know. That makes me a whore. He called any girl who wouldn’t have sex with him a whore.”

“What an asshole.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. I mean, if the guy had asked me to go see a movie or go for a walk or just spent time talking that would have been different but he was just all over me like…yuck. He really called you? I can’t believe he’d have the gall to do that. Asshole.”

After we got off the phone with the promise of a lunch date later in the week I got to thinking about my own kids.

I’d spoken with both my daughter and son about sexual predators. I’ve done the best to teach them not to be bully bait. I’ve taught them to stand up for themselves and for others.

From experience I knew that bullies never grow up and most don’t change. 

Hodge never got the answer he wanted. Over the years Beth had a few close calls with sexual predators but she always ended up safe either by being with friends or using physical force to get out of it (exactly twice as she told me.) That didn’t include unwanted advances by guys like Hodge. And even though Hodge didn’t use force it still hurt emotionally that he’d think so little of her or of any girl.

I wanted to pound the crap out of him. Then I thought about how many other women out there who thought the guy was an asshole. That made me smile. Spread the word ladies, spread the word.

That evening after work I talked to my wife about it. She shook her head and said she’d had similar experiences. More anger surged through my brain, then sadness deep in my soul.

We all judge others. We all make assumptions. We all call names even if it isn’t out loud. We all talk behind the backs of others. Maybe we need to stop. It isn’t easy. It isn’t even practical.

Anyway, if you see Hodge Williams call him and an asshole and tell him that Beth and Bart say hello.

~ end

Real Monsters – Adults Behaving Badly

Yes, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, I’m the one with the logo that states My Mom Blogs about Vampires. 

But the key word today is MOM. 

I blog about parenting. I blog about talking to kids and communications. I blog about uncomfortable situations with kids, and difficult subjects. Today is one of those days.

I’d like to say I’m not an expert in sexual harassment, or other horrible rude things that adults do but I am. Personal experience. Decades of personal experience. I look back in disgust at too many stories from my own life.

As a mother I have told my stories to the children in my life so that they might know how to react if it happened to them.

No child should have to put up with relatives or friends who say rude things to them.

So what do you do if you have to go to a family even and you know Aunt Teetee will be telling your kids stories about your past (true or not, usually not,) or Uncle Puss telling your kids that their chosen college path will only lead to a life of low paying jobs? TALK TO YOUR KIDS before you go. In fact let your kids know that if ANYONE says anything rude or weird to them, no matter what, that they can come to you about it. Not so much to go beat the crap out of the offending adult, but in the weirdest scenarios teach your kid to laugh about it (because we all know Teetee and Puss are fucking crazy anyway) or, in the worst case you, as the parent, can do something about it.

It seems that so much has come out lately in the news, from our own elected officials saying rude things to kids about their parents (for example the children of journalists), to sexual harassment and assault accusations/charges against oh so many in the entertainment industry. To ALL working people. To all students. To people who have been SILENT about horrible things they’ve known about and never spoken up because of fear, or worse because it was not their problem.

Now is the time to have that conversation with your kids. You should have had that conversation years ago.

Need a place to start? I’ve made a handy bulleted list of things you can tell your children (and yourself.)

  • Nobody has the right to touch you unless you want them to touch you.
  • Nobody has the right to say unwanted comments about your body.
  • Nobody has the right to fat shame you.
  • Nobody has the right to sexualize you in a work situation (or any other time it is unwanted.)
  • Nobody has the right to rape you and use the excuse that it was the way you dressed.
  • You have the right to call anyone out who says things that make you uncomfortable, or makes you feel as if you are in danger.
  • Nobody has the right to bully you into sex.
  • Nobody has the right to bully you.
  • Nobody has the right to say bad things to you about your parents.
  • You have the right to say NO.
  • You have the right to tell another adult if someone makes you uncomfortable.
  • You have the right to tell someone if anyone makes unwanted sexual advances or talks dirty to you.
  • You have the right to let your voice be heard.
  • You have the right to speak up for others.

And the list goes on and on and on.

Don’t be afraid or uncomfortable. As a parent it is YOUR JOB and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to talk to your kids about these thing – open and honestly.

My hope is that the generation of young people today will say STOP the bull shit.

I look at all of the women and even men I’ve known who have been mollested, raped, sexually harassed at work. I think of all of the people who think they can be rude to children. I think about all of the bull shit we’ve had to put up with at the hands of these monsters – for indeed these people are monsters.

It is early, pre-coffee dawn. I am just venting here. But it is a vent that needs to remain open. It is something we should ALL vent about. It is something that we MUST talk to our children, male and female, about. Yes, this isn’t just an issue for women. It is an issue for everyone.

You need to teach your children from an early age what is and what is not acceptable behavior. Using sex as a weapon, or power to get sex, is not an option. It is NEVER an option.

This is the 21st Century. We should have evolved beyond this.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS. I can’t tell you this enough. 

LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS.

LOVE YOUR KIDS.

PROTECT YOUR KIDS.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

pepper2017#NanoPoblano

It Isn’t All About You (Installment 347, Stupid Writers)

I’m not the kind to post things that will welcome haters and trolls to my blog. I hope this will not start a shit storm but I’m doing it anyway. I blocked out the names here to try to prevent it, but who knows what will happen. I have friends in Las Vegas. They are still so sad about the recent tragedy there. They are doing wonderful loving things to help the victims and the community. They don’t need this. It is way too soon. It is tacky. It is wrong.

If you are trying to sell your writing don’t do THIS. If you have kids tell them not to do shit like this. Show some respect.

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What we talked about today

I used to write a regular post “What we talked about on the way to school today,” but now that my kids are in college we get in our talks whenever we can.

We are wondering why the public is obsessed with an obscenely rich twenty year old woman, with parents who have done nothing but exploit her for their TV shows. Now this young woman is pregnant and we’re expected to care? The child will grow up without anything normal about it’s life. It will be part of the freak show, that is no different than the exploitation of the Dionne Quintuplets. Have a kid and exploit it. When it turns thirteen start giving it lip injections, butt injections and a 25 year old lover. That is no way to raise a child. And she is no role model for any girl or young woman. And unfortunately she has no good role models.

Some rapper is trying to prove the Earth is flat. Again, why is this guy getting air time?

If NFL players or anyone else wants to kneel then let them. So let’s get pissed off because they are exercising their right to free expression. The first priority of our POTUS is to rant and rave about it like a rabid dog. Oh just fuck it all idiot man and go on to issues that matter. Or better yet, try educate yourself on WHY people are protesting by kneeling. You might not agree with them but you MUST agree with their right to protest.

Forget all of the bullshit above. Why isn’t our government doing anything about Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and other places hit so hard by recent storms. But that is easy. That is about normal, regular people. That isn’t any fun.

This morning I received phone calls from my daughter’s college. The sheriffs were on campus, there was a lock-down, then there was nothing. Then I received a second message. The sheriffs were on campus to apprehend someone. There was a lock down. I texted my child. No answer. I texted again. No answer. My head was spinning.

Then finally I heard from her. It was a different facility, in a different part of town from the main campus. It was in a place where she goes to class one morning a week.

A guy with two guns came on campus. He was going to shoot someone. When he saw the sheriff officers he dropped the guns and ran. He was caught. Nobody was hurt.

Why did this guy have guns? Why are there still shootings at colleges, schools, and workplaces? WTF?

I told my husband that I’m going to be a ghost for Halloween. We’re going to a big party. A ghost costume is easy and fun. He just looked at me with no response. A Vampire would be tacky. I’m not dressing up like a “Vampire.”

We are living in a time when everything we see or hear pisses us off.

I’m also having…I don’t even want to say this…I’m writing a book and my mind has gone blank. The current chapter sucks. I will continue on. I can rewrite it. I can get my mojo back. I can and will move forward.

So Clara and I decided to make a list of things that don’t piss us off.

  • Dogs (most dogs)
  • Cats (except my cat who peed on my dining room table.)
  • Trees
  • Fall bulbs
  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Cool antique silver patterns
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Cute comfortable shoes
  • Cute dresses
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirt
  • Cool Fall Weather
  • Chickens
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Deer
  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • Warm clean necks
  • Clean ears
  • Art pottery
  • Blue vases
  • Art
  • Music
  • Singing along to the radio in the car
  • Puns
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves with a sense of humor
  • Sunsets
  • Sunrise
  • Otters
  • Good friends
  • Books
  • My daughter’s friend decided to stay in the arts because that is where her passion is – rather than go into science (somebody else’s passion.)

That is a start. Deep breath. Relax before you’re head explodes. Or if you’re a Vampire just sit still and retract your fangs thinking of being on a quiet foggy beach with nothing but the sound of the waves, and nothing on the schedule.

I give up. Maybe. Not quite but my head is hurting. I’m done with the outside world (until I see a mushroom cloud, but then it won’t matter anymore.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Write ALL THINGS VAMPIRE

 

 

 

 

Musings of a Vampire Mom: All Worked Up & Getting Along

Jasmine and Oscar

I was feeling all worked up yesterday about everything in the news. You know, like the frustrating presidential election process (why didn’t anyone qualified run?), and why the chancellor of UCD hasn’t been fired yet (yes she is the reason why a public college education is so expensive – greed), and why there are so many stupid movie titles like “Batman V Superman” (did someone buy the last pair of XXL tights?), and a myriad of other stupid things.

But that has passed and reality kicks in. Reality around here is a relative term.

One could say that Vampires are like politicians in that we are constantly spouting off half-truths and lies, but it isn’t that way at all. We’re in survival mode. We have to hide what we are. Nobody wants to have their head cut off, be burned to a crisp, have a stake through their heart, or be sealed up in a musty crypt forever. We have a good thing going. Nobody is going to take that away from us. Politicians, on the other hand, have no excuses. None.

My children are engulfed in school. Every day I’m told in person or by phone or text what they learned and discovered. This isn’t something I demand. It is just what they do. I’d like to think I instilled that excitement in them. Then again, I see that natural joy of learning and discovery. It is always sad to me when I see that desire to learn and excitement killed in a young person. We must always keep questioning and learning. Yes, I know there are quiet children who need information coaxed out of them… but never accept a grunt for an answer. Never demand an answer – engage the young people you know.

The more young folks are engaged the less chance of a scary future. Young people need to be encouraged to question, research, discover, and make educated conclusions on their own. And we, the older generations, need to listen to them.

As I write this I have one cat sitting on the table next to my laptop, a puppy curled at my feet, and another cat on the chair next to me.

The facts:

  • Both cats were close to our old dog Jasmine.
  • Jasmine loved both of the cats.
  • Gloria the calico hates Oscar the gray cat.
  • Oscar would like to be friends with Gloria.
  • Oscar is slightly afraid of Gloria.
  • Gloria doesn’t give a shit.
  • Oscar and Gloria hang out together when they are outside.
  • Alice the puppy is hurt because the cats don’t like her.
  • But the cats don’t run away from her.
  • Alice tries.

Yet, they all sit here with me and act civil towards each other. The cats will eat out of the same bowl today. The pup will get closer and closer to the cats but they won’t attack her, only occasionally hiss. They accept the fact that they have to live together. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could be like that.

And why yes, I am rambling on and thinking out loud today.

A cold storm is blowing through and I find myself alone with my thoughts, and three animals who let me know that they need my companionship. I have to admit that I enjoy theirs.

Today is one of those days when I’ve tried to dredge up stories from my past and I can’t bring up anything. It is like a movie with somebody else starring in it.

Today is also a day for new beginnings to look to the future – for my kids, my animals, and for me. Only my notebook for this chapter is still blank.

So we shall see.

 

vm_rick

 

And don’t forget that Thursday is ASK JULIETTE (Ask a Vampire – Advice for Everyone.) It is a regular Thursday feature on Vampire Maman. If you have a question about parenting, relationships, Vampires, other paranormal stuff, gardening, travel, science, fashion, or anything, and I mean anything, just ask, and I’ll answer. Put your questions in the comments on this post, or email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail .com

May you find no bad blood in your goblet of life, and no ghosts in your soul.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

vampire teens

 

What we talked about on the way to school today: stupid people, early people, lost people & the wisdom of teens

What we talked about on the way to school today

Road repairs:

Why does the county/state decide to do all of the construction around a busy high school after school starts? How about doing it during the summer?

So for the past week vast amounts of large machines and vast amounts of workers in yellow vests have been hanging out around a huge hole in one of the main streets that lead to our neighborhood. The workers (about two dozen of them) stand around the hole. One guy directs traffic by the red blinking lights. OK sometimes he directs traffic if someone is walking across the road, but he isn’t doing it very well.

This morning Clara said, “I want to roll the window down and ask them if they’re going to work.”

I told her that I want a job just standing by a hole all day. I’m sure it pays at least $50,000 a year if not more.

We speculated on what was in the hole. Suggestions were electrical lines, pipes, or fiber optics.

We Bury Our Dead

And speaking of holes, it reminded me of a news story I’d heard early in the morning whist making coffee for the blurry eyed teen and me. AI told Clara that I’d heard about a new variety of Hominid that had recently been discovered. They bury their dead. They walked like us on feet like ours. Their faces looked human like. Their hands had fingers that were slightly more curved than ours.

Researchers have named it Homo naledi, because “naledi” means “star” in a local South African language.

Researchers have named it Homo naledi, because "naledi" means "star" in a local South African language.

Researchers have named it Homo naledi, because “naledi” means “star” in a local South African language.

Then the subject went on to how many human like folk there used to be roaming the earth, but we are the only ones who survived (but not for long.) What happened to the others? They made tools and had language. They buried their dead. They loved and lived and danced. Where did they go?

Here is the link to the story: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/10/437249183/south-african-cave-yields-strange-bones-of-early-human-like-species

We know the Neanderthals did the Hokey Pokey with Humans. Some of us even have their DNA. But what about the others?

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Of course I’m not Homo Sapien but I’m still beautiful.

From there Clara talked about how people originally ended up in North America. When I put in my two cents worth she said, “Mom, stop, I know about this.” And she does. She knows a lot. It was like a college history lecture for the next two miles.

Damn, I love being a parent.

Then she mentioned that Bernie Sanders had always been a Socialist. That was the extent of the political talk.

Then we talked about or favorite Kim Davis memes. From there it went to the discussion of bullies and bigots and attention whores. You know who and what I’m talking about. It always makes us sick that the media is obsessed with Kim Davis’s so-called religion or Kim Kardasian’s butt. Like I said, humans will be extinct in about 100 years due to stupidity and the embracing of ignorance.

We talked about the refugees and how they are more like us than they are different. They had jobs and homes and school – the same kind of jobs and homes and schools we have.

Clara suggested that everyone get together and just get rid of ISIS. Stop being politically correct or worrying about boundaries. Just hunt them down and get rid of them. Just say NO. But egos get in the way. There are no resources (yes there are.) We’d be called bigots for fighting evil. Hey, ISIS isn’t about religion. They are like Kim Davis  – their goal is to control others. Their goal is to be in charge. Their goal is evil. Yes, they’re dancing with the Devil.

OK I HAVE to share some Kim Davis memes.

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mike and kim show

 

If the world leaders would listen to teenagers the dance would stop. I’m not talking about glassy eyed followers. I’m talking about most of the teens I know who are so rational and level headed that it can be scary. Listen to them before the adult world comes in and ruins their good ideas. Listen to them before they know what the word NO means.

By then we were at school. I wished my daughter a good day and to try to stay cool. I also told her to have fun and learn something. That is a no brainer.

I told a different way home to avoid the men and their giant machines who spend the day standing around a hole. Maybe a dinosaur is in there. You never know.

I hope YOU learn something today and have fun too.

And remember, parenting doesn’t just happen. If you don’t talk with your kids they won’t talk to you. Talk with your kids. Listen to their ideas. Ask their opinions. Encourage them to share their ideas without adult judgment. LISTEN, TALK, LISTEN.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman