Delivered To Your Door

Delivered to your door…

I looked at the muscular, almost beautiful, naked body on the bed and the folded up sheriffs’ uniform on the chair. The badge seemed to sparkle saying “look at me, look at me.” A white and pink orchid flower was behind his ear.

Holy crap, this wasn’t how I’d planned on starting out my week.

I was busy on my deck and getting nothing done, as usual, when I heard my son’s voice.

“Mom, Uncle Val is on the phone.” My son Garrett stood at the sliding glass door holding my phone out at arms length.

My brother Valentine, thirteen months my senior said I have to come right now. It was an emergency. Nobody else could come. None of our three older brothers could make it. Everyone else had suddenly vanished off the face of the earth.

I arrived at the farm house, my two teens in tow, slamming the door as hard as I could when I got out of the car.

I’m usually pretty calm but I lit into my brother when I saw him walking towards us. “Nobody ever consults with me. I’m the one with the kids and the husband and my own business. I’m on fucking call 24/7 for everyone in this family and nobody ever asks me what I want or need. Nobody.”

“Are you done?” Val asked this in an uncharacteristically sarcastic tone.

“No. What is going on?”

My brother scowled at me and shook his head. “Why are you yelling?”

I went into the house leaving him in the yard. I could hear my son saying “Bad day to mess with my mom.”

Dealing with the sick and elderly is something we do. We do it for love or obligation or family bonds or whatever the reason it is usually on autopilot fueled by guilt and frustration. I’m so saint but sometimes I want to play that saint card so much it hurts.

Eleora stood at the door in a yellow bikini top and a tie-dye skirt, her brown curls done up in red bows. She fluttered around then kissed me on each cheek. Tellias gave me a big hug. He was wearing a green shirt with yellow parrots embroidered on the back. A patch on the front said Dave in large script letters. His white blonde hair was pulled back with a green ribbon.

They look like they’re 19 or 20 years old but they’re ancient – two of the most ancient Vampires known. They were pioneers and founders of the Modern Vampire movement. It is hard to see them like this. It literally breaks my heart.

Steel guitars were hissing away on a scratched up old record playing on a wind up phonograph in the corner.

“We can’t find the car keys,” said Tellias.

“We’re being tropical tonight,” said Eleora as she danced around and put an orchid flower behind my ear.

I was ready to scream. “Again? Where did you last have them?” I asked slowly and calmly.

“If we knew that we’d be driving,” said Tellias, as he took the ribbon out of his hair and shook it out on his shoulders.

“We’d take a road trip to Montana and Maine and Michigan and Maui!” Eleora sang as she danced around again.

“How long have the keys been gone?” I asked.

“Two or three weeks. Val won’t let us use his car,” Tellias said.

“He says we drive too creatively,” Eleora giggled.

“Yes, he said we drive too creatively,” added Tellias.

“Creatively,” said Eleora, this time more seriously.

“Creatively. That was a nice way to put it,” I said more to myself than to the Elders. “What about food? Is Val bringing you food?”

Tellias patted my hand. “Val has been a darling but we like delivery. We call and they come to the house. Amazing. We should have done that a long time ago.”

Delivery? What in the world were they doing? I looked at the hanging chandelier in the entryway. “Nice fixture. Is it new?”

“A couple of nice men came and installed it,” Tellias told me. “It should last for years. The old one was fitted for gas and ugly. Remember?”

“We had them for lunch,” Eleora proudly told me.

“You shouldn’t do that. They’re help,” I told them.

Eleora just smiled. “We liked them Juliette. We wanted them to stay.”

“Are they still here?” I asked not knowing if I wanted to know the answer.

Tellias answered this time. “No, they left. Then we called the County Sheriffs and asked them to come out. We said someone tried to break in. Eleora sounded scared. They sent two good-looking strong young men right to our door.”

“Right to our door. Good looking healthy young men,” Eleora echoed.

I glanced out the window and saw the black and white car on the side of the house. Oh no.

“Where are they?” I asked trying not to panic.

They both looked to the ceiling. I ran up the stairs.

In a bedroom done in high Victorian style, I found a golden haired well-built man face down and naked on the bed. His uniform was neatly folded in a chair. He was alive but in a deep sleep. The name badge was Murphy, as in Officer Murphy.

Another handsome muscular young man was in the next bedroom over, shirtless on his back, asleep. I noticed a wedding ring on his finger. The name badge on his shirt had the name Garcia. His sleeping eyes moved a little under long dark eyelashes.

I called down the stairs. “How long have you had these guys here?”

“Since yesterday. We jammed the GPS on their car.”

I sat down on the top step, almost in tears. They couldn’t find their car keys but they could jam a GPS signal. I thought about the guy with the wedding ring. His wife must be sick wondering where he is.

In most popular novels ancient Vampires are powerful creatures of the night. In my life they are silly creatures that forget all rules about consequences or right and wrong. They act like senile teenagers, with occasional flashes to the wise, powerful leaders they once were.

Tellias sat down next to me. “We thought about keeping them for a while. Then you and Val wouldn’t have to worry about us.”

Eleora slid down on the other side and stroked my face with a cool hand. “Why are you so upset? Everything will be fine. It always is.”

We dressed the nice handsome patrol officers and positioned them in less provocative poses. An hour later another patrol car and an ambulance arrived. Two officers had become ill with an unexplained illness. Not knowing what to do a young couple took them in to their home. All was well. The officers recovered with no memory of what happened. Both mentioned an overwhelming calm and sense of well-being. Imagine that.

Tellias took my hand, like he did when I was a child. “Juliette, my dear child, we weren’t going to turn those young men into Vampires. You know we wouldn’t do that.”

“I just worry about you two,” I told him.

“You care too much for those Regular Humans,” said Eleora. “You have to distance yourself.”

“I’m married to a man who used to be a Regular Human,” I said quietly, but ready to scream.

Tellias squeezed my hand again. “And if it wasn’t for Eleora and me he would be dead.”

I went back to the bedroom where the married officer had been. Years ago my husband lay in that bed, a phantom between two worlds, that of the humans of the light and those of us who favor the dark. An unwanted conversion that had turned those warm hands cold forever, but given me…

“Mom?”

I looked over to kids standing next to me. A 14-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son. They shouldn’t have to see all this, but I don’t believe in sheltering them. I never have.

I guess I should do my famous parenting blogger bullet points but there is no point in this story. It is just one of those things, on one of those nights.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

“Delivered To Your Door” was first posted here in March 2014. The kids are in college and the elderly Vampires are still sending out for delivery, much to my chagrin.

 

 

SHAME ON YOU. College Admissions Cheating.

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard or read about the dozens of wealthy parents who have been caught in a nationwide cheating/fraud. In order to get their brats into a hard to get into college such as Stanford, Yale, USC, and UCLA, these parents bribed coaches to say their children were star athletes, and they paid a college prep organization to take SAT and other tests on behalf of the students, or correct their answers.

This included famous parents such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

In 2012 when I started this blog most of the posts were about Middle School and High School happenings.

Over the past few years it has been about college. That includes college admissions.

I’ve watched about a dozen kids, including my own, work hard to get into Colleges and Universities. They’ve busted their butts to get good grades. They’ve worked hard and smart in their extracurricular activities. They’ve put their hearts and souls, and everything else they have into getting into their chosen school.

I’ve also heard heartbreaking stories of amazing kids, with great grades and impressive achievements get rejection letters from all of their top choices. There is absolutely no logic or reason these kids should not have been accepted. My heart just broke every time I heard about another unreasonable rejection letter.

Maybe now we know at least part of the story. Douchebag parents with a shit load more money than your average middle class family are bribing and cheating to get their little lazy ass darlings into good schools.

Is this jealously of the rich and famous? No, because I could have afforded to cheat to get my child into a fine university, but the price would have been too high. The price of losing my child’s respect and knowing I’d done a bad thing would have been too high.

There is no room for cheating when it comes to parenting. There is no room for cheating when it comes to life.

History is full of people who have cheated to get into the right college and get where they are right now, including some who hold extremely high offices. They threaten to sue those who uncover their dishonesty. They brush it off. Some die with their secrets.

The same kids who cheat to get into a school are the same ones who get money from mommy and daddy to hire someone to write their papers. They’re the same parents who will pad their children’s resumes with fake jobs. The list goes on and on.

Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy are acting as bad, or even worse than the characters on his show Shameless.

Families who are involved from admissions cheating should be banned from any respectable College or University, public or private.

For those of you who say the students should not be punished, only the parent: I say bullshit.

Most kids I know don’t even let their parents help with applications, writing admissions essays, helping with their SAT, or anything else that has to do with the actual admissions process.

As parents we are allowed to go with them on school tours, listen to their concerns, pay for anything we can, and give them moral support. The young people in my life would be absolutely horrified if they knew we’d cheated on their behalf. None of these kids would want to ever talk to their parents again. They’d say NO.

But you know what? I am sure the pampered children of the rich and famous cheaters were fine with this. They never say “NO MOM.” Cheating and paying to get everything they want is normal for them. They don’t know what it means to work hard.

The children I feel sorry for are the ones who did not know what their parents did. They will suffer in the fall out of their parent’s bad actions.

Money can buy a lot. I have no problems with money. I have problems with cheaters and bad parents. I have no problems with parents who help their kids get jobs and educational opportunities HONESTLY and above board. I have problems with cheaters and liars.

I have problems with people who STEAL university spots from hard working deserving kids.

  • Don’t cheat.
  • Don’t be a douche.
  • Support your kids in their dreams without doing it all for them.
  • Talk with your kids.
  • Encourage your kids to be independent.
  • Be a person that your child will look up to, or at least love and respect.

 ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Unknown-2

This looks like how I feel about the subject of you cheating to get your child into the university of your choice.

 

For more information go to slate.com, npr.com, cnn.com or your favorite news source. Read all about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Crap

If you’re a parent of a child of any age, especially a child who believes they are socially aware and socially responsible, you need to tell them that it is important to pick their battles well.

By that I mean that they are not to fly off the handle and get hysterical at everything they see, because it might not be what they think it is.

A few weeks ago I took my 86 pound German Shepard to the self dog wash. A self dog wash is a place with lots of waist level tubs with lovely ramps so that the dogs can comfortable walk into the tub. Then you can wash your dog without destroying your drains and bathroom at home. The dog wash supplies shampoo, conditioner, brushes, warm water, and towels. There are always a lot of dogs there of every size and shape. It is a regular dog party.

The last time I took my dog in we had a unsavory moment in the parking lot. We couldn’t park in front of the dog wash so we had to park a few feet over in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. As I walked my dog Alice across the parking lot she stopped. I assumed she’d stopped to sniff something, but much to my dismay she was in that uncomfortable squatting position trying to poop.

I pulled her over to a planter where she did her business, then turned to go back to my car to get a bag to clean it up. In the meantime a women (in her 20’s) who saw it all started to go hysterical.

She screamed, and I mean she screamed, “OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. THAT IS DISGUSTING. PICK IT UP. PICK IT UP. OH MY GOD. PICK IT UP.”

I yelled back that I was on my way back to my car to get a bag. The woman rolled up her window and continues to shriek at me.

By the time I got the bag, picked up the poop, and took it to the garbage can the woman was out of her car and I assume in Trader Joe’s or one of the other stores near there.

So I left a note on her back window explaining that I was on my way to get a bag to pick up the poop. I also used some not so nice descriptive words so she’d know I was talking to her and not somebody else.

I wish I’d also added, “you’re not so fucking woke as you think you are.” But I didn’t. Maybe next time. Besides, I’d already used the F word on the note.

As a parent I know I should not have left the note. I do not recommend my children or their friends leave such notes, but my kids and their friends are better people than I will ever be.

Later I told my extremely socially aware 19-year-old daughter about the incident. She was shocked. Not because my dog pooped in public, or that I left a nasty note on the car of a shrieking banshee.

With the all of her wisdom, for my daughter is one of the wisest people I know, my child said, “If you’re going to get hysterical save it for something that is really important, not dog poop in a planter.”

Yes, I know there are those of you who ask what if ALL of the dogs crapped in the planter? 

All of the dogs don’t crap in the planters. The woman acted as if I’d crapped in the planter. She acted if I’d killed my dog in the planter. She acted as if I’d slashed her tires and smeared dog poop all over her car. She acted as if I’d caused Global Warming. She acted as if her entire world had ended.

What she should have done is offered me a bag. Or she could have just minded her own business about my dog’s business. Or she could have told me there were bags inside of Trader Joe’s. Instead she acted like a hysterical fool.

It is ok to react to things you do not like, but before you start going nuts and making assumptions you need to STOP and THINK first.

I swear to God I feel sorry for anyone who dates that woman.

It is also not a good idea to yell at someone with a large dog, especially dogs of certain breeds, because you never know if it is trained to protect it’s owner. My dog is a mild mannered love muffin, but if the woman had been out of her car there would have been growls. If it had been a different dog there could have been more than growls.

Kids have to learn to stop and think. That goes for adults too. That doesn’t just apply to crap in a parking lot. It applies to everything. 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can ask me, or read many of the dozens of popular advice columns out there (Dear Prudence on slate.com is my favorite.)

My poor dog doesn’t do bad things intentionally. Most dogs don’t. Also, remember that busy people sometimes forget to put poop bags in their purse or pocket. Remember that parent’s leave the house and forget snacks and kids get whiney. Remember that old people are sometimes really slow and that they were once young and slow. Remember that it isn’t worth driving around all day with a nasty note attached to the back of your car because you pissed off a Vampire mom with a large dog.

That’s all. I’m done. Now I’ll get off of my soap box and take my dog for another car ride. With any luck she’ll go before we go.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Come Along Miss Havisham

Come Along Miss Havisham

Sometimes you have those days when you answer the door and it is someone you used to know and he seems shocked to see you.

He’ll say, “What are you doing here?”

And I’ll say, “What are YOU doing here?”

Then he’ll say, “Time travel.”

Then I’ll say, “I live here. This is my home.”

Then he’ll look confused because the last time I saw him was 1893. And no, I’m not going to tell him I’m a Vampire. I’ll just screw with him and let him wonder. A little mystery never hurt anyone. OK maybe it has, but that isn’t this post.

When my daughter was about five or six years old she said that one day she was going to build a time machine. She said it would be red. She said it would fold up flat, about the size of a book, so she could take it with her so nobody could steal it while she was in another time.

My old friend (the one I just mentioned) jumps into the future, then jumps into the past. I asked him if he ever lives in the present. He looked confused, then sort of sad. Like a drug, one can find time travel an easy way out to not deal with anything. Of course, like most Time Travelers, he was sort of a jerk to begin with.

When you’re a Vampire you need to remember your past, look forward, but engage in the present for survival. I suppose we’re all like that. Too much past and we all end up like Miss Havisham. Too much future… I don’t know too many people who live too much in the future, except those who keep saying, “I’ll do that tomorrow.” But that is just procrastination (something I know nothing about.) We need to plan. We need to look forward. I have to admit there is nothing I like more than planning a trip, or a party.

More coffee and more sleep is also on my list.

I told my old friend, “You need to get off of that machine and stay for a while. Aren’t you lonely?”

“No,” he tells me.

“Why not?” I ask.

“Why are you still here?” He asks.

“I’m a Vampire,” I tell him.

He laughs. HA HA big joke. I don’t show him my fangs. I just stand there in my pajama pants and bath robe, and ask him if he wants coffee.

We talk for a while then he decides to go back to 1893, then realizes he can’t go back. He’d be out of place, aside from a lot of other things. So he stays for another cup of coffee. And I tell him I have a single friend I think I’ll introduce him to.

He asks, “What’s her name?”

“Miss Havisham,” I say.

He laughed. “David Copperfield.”

I didn’t. “Great Expectations.”

He shrugged. “So seriously Juliette, what are you doing here? I know it isn’t suspended animation because that won’t be safe for another thirty years. Do you time travel too? What’s up?”

I remembered his blood type was O+. All I could think of was lunch. A long lunch at that considering nobody would miss him – at least not this year.

Don’t forget to warn your children about Time Travelers, people who don’t read, and other pot holes in the road of life. And as always, talk with your kids every chance you get.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Short Story Sunday: I’ll Return to You

They’d numbered many – the qualities needed to do the job. Passions and desires for secrets and more. So was the life of a spy. You give and in return you receive and take and steal away like a ghost in the night, leaving an empty safe and a broken heart behind. It was a good gig if you could get it. It was her life and passion.

In the dark of night she left him drugged in a deep sleep of happy dreams. She’d made sure of that. Still feeling his touch on her skin she dressed in absolute silence. In her bag were the documents she needed, along with photographs and other mementos, including a packet of love letters that she would keep for herself.

She might never find a love like his again. It was one of those loves that was once in a lifetime. It was the kind of love that would last forever.

He was the most well ordered and controlled man she’d ever met. His soul as full of adventure. He valued perfection. Best of all, he could exquisitely heat up the night unlike any other man she’d ever met. He was someone who’d never settle or compromise.

When he awoke hours later he reached for her, but that side of the bed was empty and cold.

Later that morning he was told she was dead. It had been an accident. That day he thought his life would end. He wanted to die. It was almost unbearable, but he made it through.

Ten years later he married a lovely, kind woman with a wicked sense of humor. They had two children. It was a lot of work and crazy living with a family and kids. Life was good, as it should be. In fact it was more than good. It was amazing.

Still, every time his wife was late or one of the kids didn’t call on time he had that feeling of dread and panic come up in his soul. He never told them, but it was always there. He couldn’t lose them. He couldn’t go through that again.

One afternoon he reached into the pocket of an old coat and found a note. It was in the script of his long lost love.

I’ll return to you.

He was beyond that. He was beyond dreams of seeing her again. He was beyond hope she was alive. He was beyond stupid thoughts. He was beyond the anger he had towards her. He was beyond the grief and the love and the memories so sweet of their time together. But something triggered his heart and he could feel a tear falling down his cheek. It was alright to mourn. It was normal. It was natural to feel and love and remember. There was no crime in that. It took nothing away from his life now.

Yet how many times had he caught himself asking “What if?”

He took the dog for a walk by the river, like he did each day.

On the bank, near where the geese always rested, stood a stunning woman with flowing gold curls and sky blue eyes. It was her. It was a his past and his dreams and his sorrow.

She turned towards him. “Hello Rob.”

The dog ran up to her wagging it’s tail. He froze.

“I was told you were dead,” he said barely able to get the words out.

“You were told wrong. I had to go. I know, I know, I know you must be angry but let me explain…”

He stood listening as she told him about adventures in a world he couldn’t imagine anymore. It sounded like more of a movie script or a spy novel than anything in his current life. It sounded like his old life.

Then she said, “I know everything about you. I’ve been keeping track the past twenty years.”

“That’s sort of creepy. I’m sure it was plenty boring compared to the life we used to have.” He watched his dog run down the beach then looked back to her. “Why did you come back?”

“For you of course. We can continue our adventure. You can get your life back. I still love you.”

He stood there thinking of all the times he would have given anything for one last chance to talk to her. Just one last chance to hold her. One last chance to start over with her and change the past.

Then he stuck his hand in his pocket and found a sticky mess of peanut butter and jelly. His daughter would always chew and lick the darned things a few times and end up with a mess over everything.

“I’m not that guy anymore. I’m different.” he said.

“How?” She stood with her hands on her hips. He thought she was still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. “How are you different?”

“I have a wet gooey half eaten peanut butter sandwich in my pocket, and it doesn’t bother me.” Then he smiled and gave her a kiss on the cheek and started up the trail back home.

 

~ end

 

 

Surprise! They’re Adults! More Parenting Fun.

Vampire Maman

Why is there so much paperwork?

Oh the joys of being an adult.

And the joys of being a parent. You still need to answer their questions.

Adult child: Why is there so much paperwork?

Parent of adult child: Fuck, I don’t know.

For the parent of the rare Vampire child there are even more questions. My children continue to have questions. Clara who is 19, is pretty good about accepting whatever comes her way, taking charge of it, and rolling with it. Garrett, who is 22, tends to over think, but that’s ok.

A few days ago Garrett called me and asked, “When am I going to age out?”

Me: Age out?

Garrett: Mom, you know what I’m talking about. When am I going to stop aging? How old am I going to look for the rest of my life?”

Me: I don’t know. I suppose between 25 and 40. The average seems to be early to mid 30’s.

Garrett: I don’t want to age out before I’m 25. What if I always look like a college student.

Me: That depends on how you dress. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.

Then he asked: What’s up with all these creepy older Vampires hitting on me?

Me: What do you mean by older?

Garrett: Like your age or older.

Me: Tell them no. It’s the same as with people who aren’t Vampires. Don’t let them bother you. They’re older and maybe have a lot of power, but they don’t have power over your body or your emotions. Tell them to stop. If someone won’t leave you alone call me. I’m still your mom. I’ll deal with them.

I told him that some old Vampires have been reading too much fiction. Also, creepers come in all forms. Why are we still even dealing with that issue? You’d think that everyone would have evolved by now.

Speaking of evolving…

High School and a person’s early 20’s are a fun time. It is a time to explore who you are and what you want to become. It is a time when the popular culture such as music and fashion sticks with you and becomes part of who you identify as. You’ll always identify with that time. That isn’t a bad thing.

The bad thing is when someone sticks with that time and those experiences as who they are forever. Just listen to Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” or “1985” by SR-71. You can love or hate either or both songs, but the message is clear. Don’t be that person who is stuck in a time warp. Vampires tend to do that and become ridiculous parodies of their own lack of vision. Yes, I had a great time in 1885 but I’m living in the 21st Century. Stay relevant.

Yes, stay relevant. That is one message you can’t say enough to your adult Vampire child.

My brother Aaron was always resisted technology. Sure Aaron, you were born in the 1850’s but you don’t still have to act like you are living in the 1950’s. Finally our dad who was born in the 1650’s pulled him aside and told him to get with it and stay relevant.

Sure I loved bustle dresses, but I don’t wear them anymore than I still wear huge shoulder pads.

Garrett: Why is everything so expensive?

Me: I don’t know.

I try to explain fluctuations in fuel prices, international politics, weather changes, and other factors that go into inflation. Sometimes things are just expensive for no reason. I never took any economics classes and those things make my head spin. That is when I say, “go ask your dad.”

Garrett: Why do they take so much out of my paycheck?

Me: Hell, I don’t know. Vote.

The paycheck message is brutal. Unfortunately our representatives in government believe they are leaders. They are not leaders. They were elected to represent us. They’re doing a piss poor job of it (all parties, all sides.) They always have done a piss poor job. Vote. Get involved. Vote.

Garrett: Do you think there will ever be a time when we, you know Vampires, can come out in the open about who we are?

Me: No.

Garrett: Why?

Me: Because they’ll kill us?

Garrett: Why?

Me: Because we drink their blood.

Garrett: I get it but…it isn’t right.

Me: People are always afraid of what they don’t understand or can’t comprehend.

This conversation has been going on for years. We went on in-depth about Vampire Hunters and all sorts of assholes out there who are going to try to knock us down. You just have to be true to yourself, do what is right, and move on.

Just imagine being a Werewolf. They have no control over what happens on a full moon night.

Anyway, I guess the whole point of this chat over my first morning cup of coffee is that no matter how old your kids are you have to be there for them. They will have those burning questions. They’ll always have questions, even after they’re grown. You won’t always have the answers but that is ok. Sometimes they just need someone to talk to. And sometimes you just need to listen.

If you don’t have an answer you can look for it together.

Featured Image -- 18965

A bit of business: This is week 51. The 50 Burning Questions ended last week. Yes, for 50 weeks I posted Burning Questions for YOU to answer and discuss. It was super fun. Thank you everyone for participating. I’ll have more fun in the future along those lines. In the meantime I need a break. I also need to get back to writing more parenting and Vampireing posts. Click here to see all of the Burning Questions.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman