Parenting in the Land of Monsters

As parents we all have those moments that we can’t get out of our minds. Now that my children are in college I’m cautiously walking down the memory lane of their childhood.

I was driving down the freeway this morning and saw some interesting things. The first was that Stormy Daniels is going to be performing at a local strip club. This is one of those large “Gentlemen’s Clubs” that is in an industrial area far away from homes or schools. I hear the place is popular with a certain groups in the local high tech companies but that is another blog post. That has nothing to do with this post except I thought it was interesting. Read on.

I also passed the sign to the Curragh Downs subdivision in Fair Oaks, California. This is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in my neck of the woods. The houses are large and often with a view. The community is exclusive and gated. But I pass no judgement. A lot of nice people live there.

Yes, this has to do with parenting and children.

In November 2016 ago my daughter and I volunteered to be Election Clerks for Sacramento County. The polling place was at the Curragh Downs club house. Everything went well with the polling, as it always does. Other than the crazy old guy with dementia who always yells at the poll workers, it was a positive day.

But at the end of the night, later at night after the polls had closed, when we were counting ballots, and putting away equipment, the woman who was responsible for the club house came by to lock up. As we, the six poll workers finished our work this woman started to spew her opinions.

She gladly spewed out racial slurs and political opinions. Most of the comments were racial. All of us poll workers were clearly uncomfortable but as poll workers we could not express our opinions. For about twenty minutes this woman reveled in her personal stand-up act of self congratulatory bigotry. She was white. Then she said what she was saying was ok because her husband was Asian. WTF?

I don’t have to words to describe how upset I was. This was one time I was with my child and I could not be my best Vampire Mom. At the car I was livid. My lovely child told me that the woman was wrong and a bad person but that I should have been so upset. But I was upset. I was extremely upset.

That woman was a monster in the body of a smug middle aged woman. I don’t care that our political opinions did not match. It was the fact that she gleefully was able to share her open hate and blind ignorance.

No parent wants a positive experience about how our society works to be tarnished by some flaming asshole jerk-off entitled nasty ignorant hateful bitch. That is why I’m calling her out here and now. I don’t know her name, but I can still tell my story.

There are other childhood stories in my folder today. There was time when another mom called me to say she thought my 8th grader was cutting herself (cat scratches.) There were a few girls I thought were Satan’s spawn. Yes, there are children who act that badly (and so do their parents.) There were other things so bizarre that I wasn’t sure what to think. I’ve posted a lot of those here. Do a search – you’ll find them.

My children have returned to college. One is far away. One is still at home. They are excited about life. They are excited about being part of the big wide world.

Their father and I have taught them that there is no room for hate, racism, or other bigotry in our world. They have learned to accept those who are different. They’ve also learned, in a lot of cases, to celebrate and appreciate those differences.

Like I’ve always told them, “The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.”

You can’t protect your children from everything, but you can talk to them about it. You can support them. You can teach them to stand up for their opinions and rights. You can teach them to defend those who cannot defend themselves.

I just wanted to call out that bitch.

That’s all.

Hug your kids. Talk with them. Love them. And if they’re 18 or older make sure they vote.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Like whatever you like because haters are going to hate no matter what.

Halloween is coming so I was writing on the darker side of Vampires and those evil Vampires who have no souls etc etc etc, but I’ve had something else on my mind today.

We all have things we like or don’t like. Heaven knows I’ve voiced my biased preferences on this blog. But I’m trying to be kinder and gentler and nicer.

But I’ve been wondering why haters gotta hate. You know the type, they invade online groups, break room conversations, politics, cocktail party conversations. They spew their opinions on what they HATE and why anyone is WRONG for liking it or even putting up with it.

I am starting to tend to stay away from online “writing” forums but I drop in occasionally just for kicks and grins. Most are pretty friendly but one group has a guy who hates all things to do with Vampires and now he hates Zombies too. Of course all of the other writers (it is a Horror group) tell him in nice and intelligent ways to shut the F__K up.  But I wonder why he goes on his tirades. What sort of unhappy bitter person has to hate Vampires so much to expend his time and energy on the subject over and over and over. If you don’t like Vampires don’t go out at night. Or don’t read Vampire books or Vampire blogs or watch Vampire movies and TV shows – duh dude. It isn’t that difficult.

Unfortunately the really scary thing about haters is they tend to be bullies. That is sick and sad and unfortunate. Nobody likes a hater or a bully.

TV is a big item for people to hate because of the abundance of paranormal and fantasy programs.  Most TV is pretty stupid but it is also fun. It is a way to relax.

At my house we just pile on the couch under blankets and watch and talk and rewind and talk and watch and talk about how bad the writing is or how good it is. But it is just for fun.

For example…

I’m from Sacramento, California. I was born here and I still live in the Sacramento area. Stay with me while I tell a silly story and then maybe get to the point of it all. There is a TV show called The Mentalist. It takes place in Sacramento. The main character is a guy who used to be a physic con man named Patrick Jane. He is played by Simon Baker. Simon Baker is just about as handsome as a human can get. And he is Australian which always adds to the attractive part (I don’t know why, it just does,) I really like him in movies and he is in two of my favorite movies (another blog post).

Anyway, on the show they solve crime that the local police can’t solve. I suppose the writers thought that Sacramento would be a mild bland mid-sized city to have a TV show in. What they don’t realize is that Sacramento is like every single paranormal, X-files and Dexter show out there. We have a colorful and violent history to start with (gold rush, Donner party etc.) And we have had more than our share of serial killers in the general area, politicians, not to mention a large population of Vampires. On a good note Sacramento is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. The weather is almost always perfect and people are really really nice here despite any weird stuff. And there are a lot of writers and artists here.

So back to the show…I had to watch it because it takes place in Sacramento.

Plot: A murder happens in Sacramento. They show the Tower Bridge (which is on the edge of Sacramento going over the Sacramento river between Yolo and Sacramento Counties. It was designed by the same guy who designed the Golden Gate Bridge.). Anyway there is a murder. So Patrick Jane and the detectives jump in a car and drive to see a guy who lives by the beach. It takes them about 15 minutes to get there. Wait, we’re about 90 miles from the ocean. But they get to a sunny warm beach that I KNOW is at least a 7 hour drive from here AND in Southern California. Then they hop in the car and drive back to an outdoor coffee shop across from the Capitol in Sacramento, THEN they drive to the desert (the nearest desert is in Nevada and about a 4 hour drive – just east of Reno.) And that is all in one day. Wow, almost like Dr. Who and his traveling phone booth. Or better yet, like the SMOSH Teleporting Fat Guy (look it up.)

And the writing is horrible on this show  and super silly – so much that we laugh. I fell asleep. But Simon Baker is still so good looking that you have to look. Anyway, the point is that I’m not going to be a hater go out and say anyone who watches this show is an idiot and should not be allowed to touch foot in Sacramento County or visit Australia or eat Cheetos (there are Cheetos haters too.) It is just for FUN. FUN FUN FUN. How can you hate FUN if it isn’t hurting anyone. So it is ok. Just like Duck Dynasty (I don’t watch it but feel free if you like.) It is just for FUN. Lighten up haters. You can’t win!!!! Thank goodness.

And how can you hate Sacramento? Oh come on, it is a great place.

So not that I’ve rambled on for way too long…but I can do this because it is Saturday and I’m stuck at home for undisclosed reasons and anyway… I was thinking about the dicks who post stuff online that are so NEGATIVE.

These people are going to hate. I looked it up and came up with some links on science web sites that said “Haters are predisposed as negative people.” That is so sad.

One hater in a fantasy writers group said he hated romance in fantasy stories/movies/tv. He hated romance? Who could hate romance? People love romance? Vampires love romance. Haters hate Vampires – so haters must hate Romance. See, it all makes sense now.

I feel sorry for those negative people who hate things. They hate cats and Vampires and Romance and TV and paranormal stuff and beer and wing back chairs and just about everything. All that time and energy hating could be spent doing something positive, like writing a romance novel, about Vampires and Zombies. Or it could be spent thinking about how to make the world a better place just by being nice.

Yes, this is a Vampire blog. I did mention Vampires a few times. It is also a parenting blog. Really, it is – go look at old posts. I’ve been lucky to only have a few comments from haters, usually people who think they know more about Vampires than I do (really) or they think I’m going to Hell or they don’t like my romantic take on things. But that’s is ok because I just delete their comments! Woo Hoo.

But back to the article…

And we’re really excited that Grimm is starting again really soon. And yes, I like TV. I admit I do. I limit myself to a number of shows because I’m busy doing other things. But TV is great, how many of you saw Otter 501 on Nature. OMG that was toxic cute and if I had been a TV hater I would have never seen that or known of the amazing things that the otter rescue team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium do. They’re wonderful. And if you hate otters there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with you.

The point of this story is:

  • Don’t worry about the haters or let them get under your skin.
  • Tell your kids that.
  • Don’t let your kids be haters.
  • Don’t hang out with haters.
  • Read every banned book you can.

If you don’t like Vampires don’t read my blog. Or read my blog and learn to love Vampires and Zombies and Werewolves and Teenagers and Writers and totally random stuff.

To haters: Take a deep breath and let it all go. Accept that people like things that you don’t. It won’t hurt you is somebody else likes Western or Vampire or Romance novels. It isn’t personal. Just let go. Take a deep breath and change the radio station and learn to laugh and smile and chill.

Have a good weekend everyone!

xoxoxoxo

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

We’re all entitled to our opinions (tell that to your children RIGHT NOW)

Warning: I’m going to say things about your favorite books, movies and musicians that you might not agree with.

There are things that I don’t like in popular culture that people (most) rave about and I simmer with disgust.

I don’t mention a lot of these things to avoid reactions. It is as if I said “I don’t like puppies or kittens.” I mean everyone loves puppies and kittens.  I really love kittens but I just used that as an example.

But I’m not one of those rabid haters who goes into Facebook Groups or other online forums and spreads negativity and acting like, well, an asshole.

That said, there are things I don’t like. I don’t like the books “Eat, Pray, Love”, “The Bridges of Madison County” or “Little Women”. But that is just me. Go ahead and love them. Just don’t hate on me because I don’t share your love. I don’t like Sylvia Plath either (please don’t send me hate mail). There for the first time THAT is out in the open.

The very idea of watching Steel Magnolias makes my teeth hurt. I can’t stand Forest Gump. But you can watch those movies all you want – just don’t expect me to watch them with you or listen to you talk about them with joy and wonder.

Music is something that really gets to people. I hear Fleetwood Mac is coming out with a new album. I’ll hide under my house in a coffin for a month to avoid hearing any of it. I didn’t like them on their first album and I don’t like them now. Those voices put me on edge and make me want to scream. Just like I can’t stand listening to Neil Young, most female singers from the 1990’s, most music from the 1970’s, Bob Dylan and Babs Streisand. But if you love them then listen to them. If it makes you happy listen to them. If you want to read Twilight for the 12th time go ahead.

And that is something that I try to teach my kids. They talk about the rabid haters for some of the bands they listen to. Some of the bands might seem weird. And some of the fans or weird. But worse are the haters who do everything from online hater talk to peeing on graves of band members who have passed away. One band that has a lot of almost violent haters is a band that promotes “being yourself” and also has a strong anti bullying message. Go figure.

If we all listened to the same music then every radio station would be the same and everyone would be bored. Music would die. And with any hope it would be reborn from the lone kid in her bedroom with a guitar doing something different and new.

So back to parenting…I don’t want my kids to ever describe themselves as “jaded”. But I don’t ever want them to not have opinions – even strong opinions. But there is a time or place for those opinions. Teach them to have filters and know when and when not to speak up. And it is ok to speak up, but speak up in an informed and educated manner. Speak up in a friendly manner. Don’t be a hater about it.

A good rule is to wait a second, like the delay on TV (for bad language etc), then if the words in your head seem right speak your opinion. Same with posting something online.

Don’t hate me because I don’t like your books, music or movies. Like me because even if I don’t like your taste in anything I think it is ok for you to like it. I’m cool with it. I don’t care.

All of that said, if you don’t like puppies or kittens there might be something seriously wrong with you and have it checked out by a professional.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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