Lunchtime conversations about books, being selfish and being human

The Law Offices of… a butterfly bush hid the names. I knew them well, along with the previous owners of the downtown Victorian. So many beautiful old homes are now law offices, but they’re the only ones who have money for the restoration work.

Since Friday is July 4th today was my usual Friday lunch date with Jack.

I walked up the back stairs in the heat and unfortunately ran into Laurence, Jack’s partner. Laurence is charming and good looking in a comfortable sort of way. I shouldn’t think twice about the guy but there is something about him that is all slime covered and rotten. He hides it well. I wanted to say “HI LARRY,” but I know he hates being called that. Laurence gives me a dirty look as my glance chills him to the bone. He never knows why he feels uneasy around me, but I do. I’m a Vampire, only that well dressed slime ball doesn’t know it.

Jack greets me with a kiss and a smile as always. I’ve known him for over 15 years. We’re friends outside of lunch. In fact I think he and my husband Teddy are going to go to a Giant’s game in San Francisco later this week.

I notice a book on his shelf that is somewhat out of place. Green cover with an illustration of a boy on a tree swing on the cover. A book I thought I’d read over and over to my own children until I changed my mind.

“The first time I read The Giving Tree I thought it was the most beautiful story. A tree gave all to a boy and it was happy. Now I think it is a horrible story about a horrible selfish boy who took everything from the tree and gave nothing back. He never loved the tree, he just used her until there was nobody and nothing else to use anymore,” I told Jack.

“I guess if you put it that way,” said Jack looking a little sad from my analysis.

“I’m not that negative. Really Jack, you know Little Women isn’t one of my favorite books, but the character of Jo, despite her crazy funny ways always puts her family first. She is impulsive but she is also smart and loving and would do anything for her family. But she isn’t like the tree. She seeks love but not in a stupid blind way. Now the character of Amy, she is one selfish little bitch.”

“So why don’t you like Little Women?”

“It’s putridly happy and fussy. The March sisters are way too annoying for me. Plus their adoring father is so irresponsible. I’d have to bitch slap the man if I ever met him. The mother Marmee is way too good and called Marmee. The romantic hero Laurie is a total whoosie lala pansy boy.”

Jack smiled and leaned back against the desk. I stepped closer to him and started to loosen his tie.

“How old were you when Little Women came out?” Jack asked me.

“I was eight or nine.”

“How old were you when Dracula was published?”

“Forty eight.”

“Lord of the Rings.”

“Ninety five.”

“Really? Ninety five. That just blows me away.”

“Lord of the Flies?”

“Very funny. It came out the same year as Lord of the Rings.”

“How old were you when Fifty Shades of Gray came out?”

“Stop it.”

“Twilight.”

“Stop.” I have to admit that we couldn’t stop laughing. It was a stupid game but that is what friends do. “

You aren’t waiting today. No foreplay? Not even a glass of wine? You’re just going to jump in and tear my neck open.” He gave me one of his million dollar smiles and brushed a lock of hair behind my ear with his hand.

I folded his silk tie and placed it on the table then started to unbutton his shirt. “I get what when I want it.”

“You’re such a predator Juliette.”

I tugged at his shirt. “You get what you want and need from me. Don’t tell me there hasn’t been a time when my visits didn’t make you feel good for weeks. You love the thrill. You love the rush I give you and the glow makes you higher than any man-made drugs. And don’t forget that I will never tear your neck open silly man. Just two nice neat punctures that you’ll never know were there.”

He took my jaw in his hand. “Let me see your fangs.”

I turned my head. I wasn’t going to play this game.

“Juliette, what if I said no?”

“It wouldn’t matter. I’d have you anyway, if I wanted. You know that Jack. We’ve gone over this before. Why even discuss it?”

After spending so much time with my teens these adult conversations with Jack seem sort of odd and strange… whatever. Besides, Jack and I have been friends for years. He thought we were having an affair before he found out, accidently about a year ago, that I’m a Vampire. No affair, not really, mostly just a few lovely planted memories. But despite being a little flipped out when he first found out I was a Vampire and that we even really existed, he said he didn’t want to stop.

But as I was talking I was thinking I sort of sounded like Hal in 2001 Space Odyssey. “Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”

Then I just wanted to smile and tell Jack “You can run but you can’t hide.”

I didn’t tell him that. I got close and brushed my teeth over his lovely lips then unbuttoned his shirt so I could get to his neck. He didn’t say no. I ran my hands through his sandy brownish blonde hair and then showed him what my fangs could really do.

As always I brought him something. Today it was white chocolate dipped raspberry truffles with a center of dark bittersweet chocolate so rich that just one was almost overkill. I brought him a dozen. That is what I do for my friends, unlike the boy with the tree.

We rested for a while on the leather couch in his office. He rested his head on my lap and slept while I savored the feeling of his blood flowing through my veins. I picked up my Nook and read poetry a while then gently kissed his forehead and left him alone.

No court dates or appointments were on his schedule for the rest of the day. I looked at the post-it notes on his desk and noticed that he was doing some pro bono work for some foster kids later in the week. Good man my Jack is.

Sometimes people use the expression “I’m only human.” That isn’t such a bad thing. It isn’t a weak thing unless one wants it to be.

And we all know that by reading my least favorite book “Little Women” that one can be both gentle and strong. I mean, they’re no Vampires, but I wouldn’t want them to be. I like them the way they are – at least most of them.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

vm 3 sisters

Teen Tattlers – Just another name for BULLY

Did you know that tattling is just another form of bullying? Yes it is. Write that down. Tattoo it on your arm. Yell if from the roof of the school (but be prepared to get into big trouble when the tattle tells on you).

Most parenting sites are kinder and gentler than I am on this issue. They say the tattletale is to be protected because they are fragile and need the extra attention (they never mention the word brat). I say the young tattles often learn bad behavior from their parents who encourage tattling and gossip. The two go hand in hand.

My kids and their friends come home with tales of tattlers. Wait…I thought kids stopped tattling around age 8. Some don’t. Ugh. One more thing kids have to deal with.

Tattling as a teen shows a sign of immaturity.

Tattling is also is a sign of intolerance.

Tattling is wrong.

I’m not talking of safety issues, such as drug use, guns and or a telling an adult about a teen who might be into self-harm or talking about harming another. I’m talking about the petty back stabbing tattling that a few teens do. These kids have to narc on other kids about everything from chewing gum, to cell phone use, to passing notes in class (because you can’t use your phone), to wearing too much black and other non-issues.

Groups of mean girls (and boys too) will tattle on the same kid over and over and over for any minor thing. They’ll do it until the kid they’ve chosen as their prey ends up frozen like a deer in the headlights afraid to move…just standing still so the bullies can go in for the kill. It happens.

Tattlers are habitual about what they do. They mean to cause harm to others. Tattlers get off by finding fault in others. If they can prove to an adult that another kid is doing something wrong the tattler thinks she has proven herself a better teen. And most are self righteous to a fault about their tattling.

I make it a rule not to talk of religion… but at the high school several well known tattlers use the veil of religion to justify their spiteful behavior. They need the constant affirmation that they, through their piety, are better than the other kids.

This is not reflective of most religious kids. Please make note of that. It just reflects on a few kids my kids go to school with. It might reflect on some kids your kids go to school with.

Since I’m a horrible person I’ve commented that there is a special place in Hell for people like that. The reason I say that is that I see teen tattling as a form of bullying (yes, I’m saying it again) and so is religious intolerance (of kids who are not exactly like them).

I have often explained to my children that faith is not about how one dresses, the music one listens to, what one reads for fun or what one eats. It isn’t how much time one spends in church. To me the message of Jesus was the message of tolerance and acceptance. He accepted people of all faiths, nationalities and I believe, if his original words had been kept, had accepted the equality of men and women. It was about love and taking care of others – and by taking care of others I don’t mean shitting on them by being a tattle.

Anyway, these few kids tattle about everything. What they don’t realize is that once in high school they must put aside their childish ways and learn to:

  • Accept others even if they are different.
  • Learn that the business of others is none of theirs.
  • Keep his or her mouths shut unless someone is in risk of harm.
  • Get attention through positive actions such as playing their guitar at lunch or telling G rated jokes.
  • Be nice for a change.
  • Teachers don’t need the constant annoyance of your tattling. Let teachers TEACH.

A tattle is happy to ruin the life of someone else. They’re happy with half-truths and lies. They’re happy to spout out words and never think of the consequences for others. They don’t think of lasting damage their words might do to others.

Tattling Teens are SO UNCOOL. And nobody wants to be around a tattle.  Teens need to be encouraged by their families, friends and teachers to seek attention in POSITIVE ways – and tattling is not positive in any way shape or form.

I also advise my kids to stay clear of tattlers. Just stay away from them. They’re like skunks – and we all know what skunks do. But if you have a friend who tattles PLEASE tell them that they need to stop and why they need to stop.

As a whole, Vampire teens are raised to be well behaved, accepting and make an effort to support others. They have a good sense of humor, know how to flirt without teasing or hurting, and they know how to make friends and keep them.  It is a matter of survival, because face it, it is easier to get close, and I mean really close, to someone if they like you than if they’re afraid of you. That said, we should all make it our goal to be nice.

I’m glad to say my children are much better people that I ever was (or ever will be but I’m working on it).

So I guess the moral of this story is to be more like a Vampire! Make people want to be near you! Really near.

You can’t always be nice. Believe me, you can’t, or at least I can’t. But it would be great, wouldn’t it?

fly