Always the Romantic…

A few days ago my 22 year old son Garrett called me. I know, I don’t write much about him now that he is off on his on in graduate school and working and doing grown-up stuff.

As a teen he wrote love letters which I’d find folded up in the dryer. Tiny little squares would fold out to a full sheet of legal paper written with a find point Sharpie. I’d fold them up and stick them back in his pocket, then call him to come fold his clothes.

I was never the kind of parent who would search their children’s rooms or go through their stuff, but a verses of love found among the dryer sheets is fair game.

This is the kid who broke his harm when he turned at the top of some stairs at the high school to blow a kiss at a girl and then tumbled head over heels down to the bottom.

My son isn’t a player, but he is always a charmer and a flirt. That’s fine. I have no problem with that. And now that he is older he doesn’t seem to allow his heart to be broken every three months or so.

So a few days ago Garrett called me. We talk almost every day but this conversation sort of stuck with me.

He’d met a girl. He liked her a lot. It wasn’t serious but she was fun to hang out with. Then she started asking him all kinds of questions about Vampires and paranormal things. Most of it was just silly popular culture type of stuff.

Then one evening she asked him why his diet was so limited. Then she asked him why his skin was cool. She nagged him about his sensitivity to the sun. Then finally she asked him if he was a Vampire.

“Mom,” he said, “the only reason she wanted to be with me is because she heard from someone that I was a Vampire.”

“What did you tell her?” I asked.

“I told her she was fucking crazy, excuse the language, and told her there were no such thing as Vampires.”

“How’d she react?”

“She called me an asshole and a freak and left.”

“So she wasn’t taken in by your good looks and charm?”

“No. But she should have been.” Then he laughed a little.

I have to admit my son is charming and good looking. Then again, most guys his age are, or at least they need to be told that every once in a while, even if the person telling them that is their mom.

“Garrett, do you ever tell anyone that you’re a Vampire?”

“No Mom. Absolutely not. If they already know, then they know. But not regular people. No way.”

“Good.”

My kids are still young at 19 and 22. They haven’t achieved enough in life to have people wanting to be around them for their fame, fortune, or some other unknown status. Actually that isn’t true. People do like to be around them, but it is because they’re just nice kids. That and the fact they have cool parents (just kidding but kind of not.)

I’m glad my kids can and do talk to me about anything and everything. I will always answer my phone, my texts, and keep my heart ready for them.

February is almost here. It is that time of the year when the traffic on this blog gets clogged with people looking for love letters, advice, and answers to those mysterious matters of the heart.

In the meantime, no matter how old your kids are, they still need their mom and dad. So keep listening. Keep talking. Keep loving. And yes, keep laughing – preferably with them and not at them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

White Noise

I missed Short Story Sunday yesterday. I used to write a story each Sunday while I was at my daughter’s skating practice. Maybe it was the white noise of the organ music that allowed me to block out everything except my child and my writing.

Needless to say, I was not at skate practice yesterday since my daughter is in Southern California with her boyfriend this week. I rarely go to Sunday skate practices because she has her own car now. Next year she’ll be in Southern California full time as a college student.

This is part of the whole Empty Nest discussion. Our routine is so keyed into our children that when they grow up we have to find new white noise. Seriously folks, putting our children in sports is just an excuse to have quiet time to read or work on writing during their practice time, or travel to interesting places during their competitions. None of the parenting books will tell you that.

Sunday is now filled with other activities including that man I seldom speak of – my husband. He’s great. We do things together. We even dressed up for a party this weekend. Good times.

Today I’m taking about twenty minutes to finally get out that missed story. I’m not sure where this will lead us but here we go…

White Noise

The radio was on but Elise wasn’t really listening. It was just white noise. When it got to quiet she’d have to listen to her own thoughts and question her actions. If the radio was on she’d feel more connected and it made work more productive.

Today she wished she could have taken the day off to paint but she wasn’t too unhappy. The unsolved crime blog was waiting.

Sixteen years ago her husband had been murdered. Even though he was a police detective his killer was never found. She’d cashed in the insurance policy, sold the house, packed up her three small children, and moved to a coastal city where she fixed up her Aunt Blinkey’s ramshackle beach house. There she taught economics and political science at the high school. Eventually the true crime community contacted her, and she shared her own research and theories into her husband’s death. Soon her grief became the passion of others. She was glad to hand it off. She was glad to help others. Research had always come easy to her.

Today she wrote about murder, with coffee and the radio.

Sometimes she just wanted to be. Not alone, but not really with anyone. She’d smile as her sons talked with their uncles about sports, and yelled at the TV when the score or a call wasn’t to their liking. She wasn’t listening to anything they said. It was just background noise as she painted, or wrote letters of recommendation to former students.

So she wrote about murder while listening to the radio and the rain pouring down on her roof and yard. The storm was so loud couldn’t even hear the waves coming into the nearby beach.

Today’s murder happened three years ago when a couple of twelve year old boys rode out on their bicycles one summer day. They told their parents they were going to the park. Instead they went another two miles down to the river. There they found the body of a young woman face up on the rocks, her arms and legs spread like someone making a snow angel. Her clothing was torn and mostly missing. Her throat was tied with a rope.

As a mother her heart broke for the boys and their parents. A few days later they found out the young woman was a kindergarten teacher who’d walked a few blocks the night before to visit a friend. Nobody even knew she was missing when the boys found her. Her killer was never found.

Elise had gathered clues from the readers of her blog. Someone had seen a woman wearing the teacher’s hand knit red sweater. Someone else had seen her with a tall blonde man. Someone else said it was her high school boyfriend who had kept a bulletin board covered in her photos. Elise was searching her email when she heard a knock on the door.

Standing at her door was her friend Bryan.

“You should have just come in,” she said.

“It was locked,” he answered.

“Where’s your key?”

“Home,” he said, then kissed her lightly and came inside.

She’d known Bryan for ten years. They’d met when their children were going to school together. Their daughter’s had become best friends forever and even gone to college together. He been a good male role model and a friend to her sons. And eight years ago Elise started being more than friends to Bryan.

He was never a boyfriend. They just spent time in bed together, or on the couch, or in the shower. They never told anyone, but eventually everyone figured it out, including their children.

Over the years they’d both dated other people, then ended up back together, or just cheated on the people they were dating. They never considered it cheating, especially when the other relationships weren’t serious. Nothing every got serious for Elise. It did once for Bryan, and Elise accepted it. But she was glad when it wasn’t serious anymore.

Elise turned off the radio and led Bryan to her bedroom. They spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other’s company as only two middle aged old friends can. He still dazzled her with his smile, and the way he moved, and the way he laughed, and of course the way he touched her.

As they lay in bed listening to the rain, he fell asleep with his head on her shoulder, his arms around her. Elise closed her eyes and thought about how she loved her time with him. He never told her that he loved her, but she knew he was tied to her with a bond he couldn’t find words for. She always loved him but she’d never tell him. He never wanted that, or at least he’d told her that years ago. Eventually she just didn’t think about it.

Listening to his quiet breathing she stroked his hair and though about her feelings for Bryan.  White noise. White noise.

~ end

 

Have a good week everyone. I’ll have more thoughts later this week. And don’t forget to stop by on Saturday for the 45th Burning Question.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Burning Question #27: One, two, three, Sasquatch and Thee.

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There she was just a-walkin’ down the street, singin’ “Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do” Snappin’ her fingers and shufflin’ her feet, singin’ “Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do” She looked good (looked good), she looked fine (looked fine) She looked good, she looked fine and I nearly lost my mind

Warning: This week’s burning question might be considered by some to be in poor taste. If you have a delicate whatever just wait for Short Story Sunday and I’ll have a nice sweet romance for you instead of this obnoxious post. Otherwise read on.

Call it Bigfoot. Call them Sasquatches. Call them Yeti. Whatever you call them you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about big hairy folks who live in the woods of Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, Florida, and other places far and wide. They aren’t exactly human, but could be some left over human ancestors. They aren’t apes. They aren’t bears. We don’t know what exactly they are.

To change the subject… I talk a lot about relationships on my blog. I am one of the most popular love letter experts on the Internet (yes I am – that is a fact.) I’m a romantic. But when it comes to relationships I’m also a realist. Relationships aren’t all romance and silly pet names. And there are rules to romance, sort of, maybe. Well not really these days. There were a lot more rules when I was younger, but then again I’m a Vampire so all bets are off…anyway…lets’ get back on track with this thing so you can answer the poll (and be totally grossed out and disturbed.)

When adults date (we’re not talking teens here so don’t get all flipped out) there is what is known as the Third Date Rule. That is where if you make it to the third date THAT is the date where you sleep with each other. Yes, sex, not napping. Napping is good too, but you need to stay awake for this. It is, yes it is, generally accepted that if you make it to the third date you’d better be wearing your matching bra and panty set. You’d better not be wearing your underwear (boxers or briefs guys) that looks like Swiss cheese because of all the holes. It definitely better NOT smell like Swiss cheese either. The third date is the make it or break it night. And seriously, you generally know by a third date if you’re attracted to someone.

Some people also believe that the third date is the big day with those who are abducted by space aliens too. Hey, I’m not making this shit up. I did my research. But that kind of probing is kind of icky so I’m not going to ask you about it. I will NEVER ask you about THAT.

But how about other bipedal types. What about a SASQUATCH. You go out into the woods and see a Squatch. Six months later it comes up to the window in your cabin. You smile at it. It smiles at you. You scream. It runs away. But what if it comes back a few nights later? What if you decide to throw in the towel and get to know each other. What if love is in the air? Does that third date rule apply?

Burning Question #27: Does the third date rule apply to Bigfoot / Sasquatch sightings?

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Jason Momoa out in the wild doing his thing.

If you honestly don’t know about the third date rule CLICK HERE. Please.

From Urban Dictionary:
Screenshot 2018-09-07 22.01.51

Are there any cryptozoologists out there? Any Bigfoot/Squatch hunters? Any Sasquatch bloggers? Any Sasquatch Romance writers? (seriously Sasquatch romance is a thing. Don’t judge. OK if you want to judge or laugh that is ok. Look it up.)

Share your thoughts. 

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Harry from “Harry and the Hendersons.” The best Bigfoot movie ever. It is sooooo cute.

Here is a related story I wrote a while back: CLICK HERE.

But seriously folks I was going to ask about Lex Luther and Lois Lane but I already know the truth about them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Burning Question #20: Observe the Flirt

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It is now time for me to tease you with another Burning Question!

I like my men to be confident, smart, and flirty.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

But some people have a less than lovely view of flirts. They have a somewhat vile view of flirts.

Some believe flirts hurt.

From the Royal Path of Life (1883)

Flirting is a horrid outrage upon the most holy and exalted feelings of the human soul, and the most sacred and important relation of life. It is a vulgarism and wickedness to be compared only to blasphemy. It had, and still has, its origin in the basest lust. The refined soul is always disgusted with it.

You can read the entire text at the end of this post – AFTER you click your answer on the poll. It is from my own copy of the highly entertaining and educational publication.

If the passage above is true then my husband Teddy, who also happens to be a Vampire, and an outrageous flirt would be considered a crass unrefined soul. That makes me so sad. Even now he flirts. If he walks into a room he can make any woman feel beautiful. He can make any man laugh. He is charming and such a flirt. Is that wrong?

But what about when flirting is mean spirited. Maybe it isn’t really flirting, or is it? That is the burning question.

Some think it should be an Olympic sport. In that case I’d have a case full of medals. My husband would have a warehouse full.

So I’ll put it to you…

Burning Question #20: Is Flirting a Good Thing?

 

If you have an opinion or statement, or want to flirt with me or anyone else around here please leave a comment. It would be fabulous and delightful.

xoxo

I’ll see you next Saturday for the next BURNING QUESTION.

In the meantime, I wouldn’t recommend you flirt with disaster but if you must, you must.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Vampire House Warming

Note: My brain is full so I’m re-running this today from 2013. A lot has changed since then – especially with Max and Andy. I’ll catch you up later or you can look for it yourself.  So have fun. I’ll have new thoughts on parenting young adults, Vampires, Ghosts, and all kinds of stuff soon.

Vampire House Warming

We all have those turning points in our life. Some we choose and some we don’t. Some we’re nudged in the right or more often wrong direction.

And there are those times when we try to read between the lines too much about the lives of others. It is usually far more complicated or else far less complicated than we think it is.

My brother Andrew (second of 5 siblings) recently moved back to California after several years in London and other parts of the globe and purchased a home in San Francisco. I hear he paid a million and a half for the place in St. Francis Woods, but he could afford it. I hold my breath to think what my brother Max’s home or my parent’s homes with views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge would go for. Anyway…this isn’t about real estate.

It is about a lovely housewarming party my brother Andrew hosted. The place was packed with both Vampires and Regular Humans. There were of course musicians (Andy is a singer) and dancers. There were artists and college professors and writers and high tech geeks and all sorts of interesting people with every profession and opinion imaginable. What made this remarkable, as parties and gatherings go, was that Andy’s Regular Human friends know about Vampire. They’re friends with us and don’t have a problem with it.

OK there was one exception. Andy invited his “girlfriend.” Shawna had come up from Southern California where she is a university professor. She is not a Vampire. She is still in that state of wonder and a little bit of disbelief about Vampires and our world (which isn’t all that different than hers, usually.)

Andy is head over heels in love with this divorced mother of two college kids. The story is that she came home from a research trip to find her husband had put her things in storage and moved a new trophy wife into their home. Their youngest child had just gone off to college so it was his opportunity to also make a change. Shocked, she found a small house on a quiet tree lined street and made a new life with her cats and dogs (she wouldn’t leave them behind.)

Shawna was strong and smart and I had no idea what she was doing with my scatter-brained brother. But it was ok. They were cute together and, well, you know all that sort of early romance cute stuff.

I looked out the window to the backyard to see my brother Max kissing his “friend.” This was more than just a friend. I’d heard rumors but this was proof that there was something more than he’d admit to. Funny that she backed out of his arms and went inside alone leaving him to pace a bit then follow her back inside.

In the kitchen I found Shawna. She was cutting up limes.

“I told Andy to have this catered.” I said this trying to be friendly. I could sense a tiny bit of discomfort behind her warm friendly fang-less smile.

“It’s ok, this will just take a second.” She cut into a lime then her hand slipped, of course, in a house full of Vampires, and cut a deep gash in her thumb.

I grabbed her hand and put it in my mouth to stop the bleeding and sealed the wound. I could have left it but it would have required stitches, not to mention drawn a lot of unwanted attention.

I let go and she pulled away with a little bit of horror and disbelief.

“It’s OK Shawna. I sealed the cut. It will heal now without stitches. You’re A positive.” I smiled. “Don’t worry.  I’m not going to drink your blood or bite you or anything. Just basic first aid. We don’t want anyone else smelling blood.”

I suddenly realized that Andy had never bitten her or exposed her to his natural Vampire ways. He was such a gentleman.  He was also a dick when it came to women. He was always falling for anything that wasn’t a Vampire and when it was a Vampire it was usually always someone who was totally wrong for him. He always had to have everything in life more complicated than it had to be.

“Isn’t this sweet,” I heard a smooth male voice say behind me. I turned to see James, one of Andy’s best friends. James who had always watched out for Andrew but who was also one of the most absolutely annoying Vampires in the known universe.

“You know, Juliette and her brother Valentine are two of the best when it comes to Human to Vampire conversions. Almost a 100% success rate, mot to mention a great follow up and support system.”

“Shut up James,” I snapped. Poor Shawna looked horrified. Why was it that everything James said sounded vulgar? Oh right, I know, because he is a flipping pig.

Shawna looked horrified. I was about say something else nasty to James when a very angry Vampire (showing her fangs no less) suddenly slammed him into the wall. “You’re making me sick James. Get out of here before I rip your throat out.”

He held up his hands and backed off. With a smile he said, “Later ladies, I’ll leave you to your tea party.”

Max’s friend Mehitabel  (the one he kissed in the backyard) stood there in a sleek black dress and some great sky high patent leather Mary Janes. She washed her hands saying something under her breath about getting the stink left by James off of them.

Mehitabel was the pretty woman who could either stand out in a crowd, or more likely not be noticed by anyone. That worked well in her professional life. She could stand unnoticed and watch and wait. As for her personal life, I have no idea. I don’t know her that well. I really don’t

I found her entertaining and funny. Sure she was a little distant as well, an odd combination.

Earlier I’d asked her what she was doing for Memorial Day. She was going to spend it with close friends. They always spent holidays together.  Why did I assume she wouldn’t have anyplace to go? Gossip and rumors can build into false biographies that paint a harsh sad picture of someone who is anything but harsh or sad.

She didn’t ask questions about my brother Max, the object of her affections – not like most women do.  She wasn’t talking to anyone about Max. She’d come to the party because they had mutual friends – nothing more. She was staying at Max’s house but no details of fluttery “wink wink” was forthcoming.

She had known Max for a long long time.  Over the years they’d been in and out of dangerous situations together, even saved each other’s lives. They were considered Vampire elite, thought she didn’t act like it.

So, anyway, I’m standing in the kitchen with two women who for better or worse were involved with two of my brothers. At this point I doubted if anyone was going to come in and rescue me.

“Don’t bother with James,” I said to Shawna.  “I think he was snorting too much dragon dust or something.”

“More likely out feeding on meth heads and heroine junkies,” said Mehitabel in disgust. The she softened her look and approached Shawna.

“I’m sorry you had to see that.  We’re not like that. Andy isn’t like that. He is one of the most gentle souls I’ve ever met, Regular Human or Vampire, and he adores you. He’d never ever let anyone harm you. The same goes for Juliette and me, and everyone here. Even James, even thought he is an asshole.”

I knew there were those would harm Shawna, but then again, I suppose nobody could have hurt her more than her ex-husband, the one who traded her in for a younger model.

After a few minutes and a few cocktails, we forgot about the party and my brothers. We talked of other things, things we all could relate to. We talked about movies and books and shoes and our work.

I suppose there is no point or moral to this story. No usual twist. It is always just odd and I’m glad my kids were in another part of the house, I’m sure being exposed to all sorts of other weirdness.

Just random thoughts about last weekend…

But all in all, I like both of these women my brothers have brought around. Now if my brothers could just behave… And if they don’t behave, I might still just keep these two around.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

(this post first published here 11/13)

_____________________________

and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity

 

but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself”

Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel

____________________________________

More on Shawna and Andy (click here.)

More on Max and Mehitabel (click here.)

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Dating A Dead Guy (or friends don’t fix up friends even when they’re sober)

I was visiting with a single friend of mine today and she said something interesting.

“Desdemona wanted to fix me up with her friend Jacko. The guy has no job, no ambition, lives with Desdemona and her husband, and has nothing in common with me.”

I had to smile in amusement. Desdemona equates a man with a pulse, and single status, and maybe a penis, as the someone who would be a great match for any of her friends. Those are the only three requirements. When I was single, way back when, she did the same with me. It drove me nuts. No I never met any of the guys.

She’d also leave out whether the guy was a Vampire, a Werewolf, a Zombie, a regular guy, or a serial killer. Things like job status, education, interests, personality, health. looks, and having a sense of humor, or even being remotely interesting would be pushed aside. All she would see was two people who she thought needed to be married. It didn’t matter who they married. That wasn’t important.

Friends don’t let friends hook each other up. Sure you can have a party and invite single people who might like each other but PLEASE don’t be a matchmaker for your friends.

This is nothing more than a short public relations message from me.

If you absolutely NEED to fix up friends ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does that person have a pulse?
  • Do they have a descrenable personality?
  • Do they live with their parents?
  • Do they have income?
  • Is it legal?
  • Do they like dogs and cats?
  • Do they read? Can they read?
  • Do they have any common interests?
  • Are they matched physically? Yes, you don’t want to match a couple who is on the opposite ends of the looks chart. It might sound shallow but I’m just being real.
  • Are they a Vampire (assuming your friend is)
  • Would they make a good Vampire or want to ever be one?
  • What about religion. That can get ugly.
  • Are they prone to joining cults?
  • What are their political views?
  • Do they go out in the sunlight?
  • Does one of your friends have a weird habit or trait that your other friend might find too weird or offensive.
  • If they get together and break up will you lose two friend? Will you lose even one friend?

This isn’t rocket science. Think before you match up your adult friends. It is offensive when to try to match up friends or family members with a dud.

THINK. 

Again… this has been a pubic service announcement from Vampiremaman.com

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman