Tragically Seeking a Perfect Fantasy

Sharing your weirdness is one thing. Not excepting the weirdness of others is another. One of Howard’s main faults was that he had a set-in-stone idea of what his life would be like with his two women. It would be his fantasy, exactly as he had planned it out. There would be set roles. There would be jobs and duties for all three of them. 

Howard was also extremely rigid about money (cheap beyond cheap), food (more weirdness), and, well, he always did things the same way, and that was the way he liked things. That is the way he insisted on things. 

Yes, despite the weirdness, people liked Howard. And because of his weirdness he was the last person they’d want to fix up their female friends with. 

Howard went on a quest to find two women to share his life and bed with. Since he didn’t go to bars, clubs, or any event where he’d have to spend money his options were limited. He also didn’t tell most of his friends about his plan.

This was back before the days of the Internet, so he started looking for ads in newspapers and magazines. 

To make a long sad story short, Howard was conned more than once. He wrote women. They wrote back and sent photos. They told him everything he wanted to know. They took his money and he never heard from them again. It happened again, and again, and again.

Jump to 2021. I have a friend, Phil, who says he is engaged to a woman he met online. He has never met her in person. She is extraordinarily attractive – far more attractive than he is. She is young. She isn’t real. Everyone knows she isn’t real. She has no footprint. No online friends. There is no record of her anywhere on the Internet. Yet, Phil says he will marry her soon, in London. He tells everyone that if they say anything about her that is not in his fantasy then he will no longer be their friend. Like Howard, this is a man who has been single forever and allows himself to be preyed upon by con artists, who know there is a certain type of man who thinks he can attract perfection. Perfection for him might be a woman who lives in his own town, who isn’t beautiful, but is pretty in her own way, and will talk for hours about anything. She might not be perfect but she is kind and people like her. She is real.

I also have a few female friends who cry over the fact that they have never found true love. The problem is that they were never looking for true love. They were looking for their ideal of a perfect man. They were looking for money. They were looking for status. They were looking for someone to take care of them. They were looking for Doris Day and Rock Hudson tied up in a pretty bow. 

Life is messy. Life is hard. Life is unpredictable. Relationships take work. Relationships that work take a lot of give and take. Relationships take flexibility. People change as relationships change. If you don’t want to be alone you have to build a dream with someone. Dreams don’t work in a vacuum.

So many men are looking for a swimsuit model and miss their match who is working in the bakery at the local supermarket. Women are looking for a doctor. Go to medical school and BE a doctor yourself. Then look for someone who makes you laugh. He might be a mechanic, or a high school English teacher, or the owner of a frame shop. 

And like anything… if it is too good to be true it probably is. Or I’ll just be blunt and say “DON’T BE STUPID.” You’re a smart adult. If you’re going to be weird, and selfish, and immature, and needy don’t expect your friends and family to feel sorry for you after they’ve emotionally bailed you out for the 23rd time. 

Then again, some people never learn from their mistakes. The pull of the fantasy is too strong. Unfortunately for some there is no cure.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

25 Burning Questions I can’t, don’t want to answer, or will not answer.

I’ve been seriously thinking about starting up the ever so popular Burning Questions series on this blog again. For those of you who are new here, it is where I ask a question and YOU answer.

In the meantime here are Twenty Five Burning Questions I can’t answer, don’t want to answer, or will not answer.

Why would anyone marry someone with children who don’t like them?

Why would anyone marry something with children they don’t like?

Why would anyone marry someone with children who don’t like them?

Why would you marry someone who doesn’t like your kids?

Why won’t you turn me into a vampire? 

Why would anyone who wants children marry someone who doesn’t?

Why would someone who doesn’t want children marry someone who wants children?

Why do people adopt animals with no intention on keeping them forever?

Why do people treat children badly just because the parents are assholes?

What Hogwarts house do you belong to?

What would your Superpower be?

Batman or Superman?

Why don’t your socks match?

Where do socks go after you put them in the dryer?

What is the deal with middle aged men and their leaf blowers?

What is it with some politician’s wives and daughters and the obsessions with wearing 7-8 inch hooker heels?

Don’t men realize how stupid and pathetic they look with their much younger trophy wives?

Don’t trophy wives realize how stupid and pathetic everyone thinks they are?

Why do dogs beg to out to pee in the middle of the night in the rain then refuse to pee?

Why are cats such assholes?

Why are some people afraid to talk to their children?

Why does the media think precocious brats are cute? 

What the fuck is wrong with people who say, “everything happens for a reason?”

Why do you blog about Vampires?

Why do you capitalize Vampire on this blog?

What if your child was gay?

As you can tell some of these questions have answers. Think about it, especially if you’ve been reading my blog for a while. I take parenting seriously. If your kids don’t come first then why did you have them in the first place? Everyone has to be selfish but not at the expense of your children. If you want to fuck up your kids it isn’t your business – it is their business and they will hate you forever for it. They might not tell you but they will. That’s all. Yes, I’m an old judgmental Vampire, but this is my blog and my kids turned out great and so I can write what I want.

Stay safe. Wear your mask. Be kind. Help and check in on those who are elderly or might need extra help. Talk to your kids. Hug your dog. Let your cat in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out. And most important of all…kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Short Story Sunday: Stumped

Stumped

I just got done removing a stump from the back yard and I’m sitting down to a beer and the game when the doorbell rings.

My wife is out shopping and the kids are off with friends. I’m enjoying a little quiet time, just me and the TV.

I answer the door, and there is a guy about my age standing there. He looks like he just came out of GQ Magazine with a jacket, perfect jeans, wearing shoes that costs as much as my house payment. His features are like an Italian Model or a Movie star, that sort of pretty but manly look that women go nuts over. His hair is perfect, thick and silver. He’s wearing a Rolex Submariner. Nice.

He gave me a pretty serious look then said, “I’m sleeping with your wife.”

All right, I wasn’t expecting that one. He then looked me up and down like he was waiting for me to beat the shit out of him. I’m a big guy. Not big and fat, but 6’4″ with a lot of gym time. I used to play football. This guy wasn’t small but I had a good five inches on him and maybe sixty pounds. He looked like a runner or one of those freaking guys who rides a bike in neon colored spandex shorts.

Honestly I should have beat the shit out of him, but that isn’t my style. I just went numb. Heather and I had been together for 20 years, married 17 of those years. We have two kids and a house and friends and … we were one of those perfect couples. You know, we laugh a lot and say the same thing at the same time. That sort of perfect. We hold hands and … I thought things were fine.

Sure she’d put on some weight and had a hard time dealing with her body image. Sure she was over worked with her job and the kids and with me. Sure she was stressed, but who isn’t? But… this handsome, obviously wealthy guy was standing here telling me that MY WIFE was sleeping with him.

He started talking about passion… her passion. Sure we had passion. That morning I’d almost been late for work because of her passion, our passion. But he got into details of fetish stuff he’d do with her and how he made her scream the way I never could. I had no idea she ever wanted any of that stuff. I sure didn’t want it.

Then, as I stood stunned, he talked about her beauty and how smart she was and how I could never ever appreciate her. He said the kids didn’t need her as much anymore, he said she loved him.

I could feel my body start to shake. My world was imploding around me. My throat was tight. I thought I was going to vomit on his expensive shoes. Finally I said something. “Does she know you’re here?”

Mr. GQ glared at me and said, “I’m taking her away to live the life she deserves.”

“Do you love Heather?” I asked. I had to know. I knew the answer but I wanted him to tell me.

His eyes opened as big as dinner plates. “Heather?”

“My wife,” I said.

“Your wife isn’t Allison?”

“Heather.” I grabbed the wedding photo off of the hutch in the front entryway and put it in his face. “Allison lives next door.”

“Uh, sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t go next door. He just got in his car and drove away. About 20 minutes later the front door opened and I heard a familiar voice, “Honey, I’m home. Did I miss anything?”

“No, just got the stump out and I’m watching the game. Hey, Heather, did I tell you that I think you’re beautiful?”

“Sure. Thanks for getting that stump out. Will you help me with the groceries?”

I follow her outside and she gives me a little smile, the kind she always does when she has something smart to say. “You know, you’re the only man I ever loved.”

I grab a couple of bags. “Good to know. Love you too.”

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Nailed to the Floor

We had seen her wearing a veil to cover a bruised face. We could smell blood where her skin has split open from his blows. We had seen her wince from cracked ribs that hid underneath a tightly laced corset.

On a winter night when I was small, my brothers Aaron, Val and I walked down a dark muddy street for no reason other than to get out of the house. I was six, Val was seven, Aaron was a mature eleven (almost twelve.)

At the time the Civil War was over, Lincoln had died, and Andrew Johnson was president. That year the first Civil Rights bill would be passed, the ASPCA was founded, and the James Gang committed their first train robbery.

Closer to home, both Mark Twain and Bret Harte were writing for the Sacramento Union Newspaper. Construction was everywhere due to flood control efforts. Reuben Clark, designer of the state capitol, died in the Stockton Insane Asylum. And three Vampire children saved a life.

We didn’t go out thinking we’d rescue someone. Our parents had gone to a fancy party. Even in those days, in the winter of 1866, there were parties put on by those in society.

One night, for a few hours we were no longer under the watch of our parents or two elder brothers. We were free to roam the streets as we wished.

We came upon a new house built in the Italianate style. We knew who lived here. It was the woman with the veil, who smelled of tears and blood.

Aaron lifted me to the window so I could see in. On the floor a woman was crouched. I could see the moonlight reflecting off of the silk of her dress. Folds and ribbons swirled around her. She moved her head and cried out for help in a small weak voice.

The back door was open. It was after midnight so not a soul was awake except the woman on the floor. Silently we made our way to the front of the house and found the room she was in.

Aaron grabbed a candelabra on a table and the candles lit. My brother showed early talents for creating fire out of nowhere. Not all Vampires can do that but family caries that trait. It comes in handy.

On the floor in a dress of burgundy and gold crouched a woman. She looked to be in her mid twenties. Her brown hair was still up in complicated curls set with ruby and pearl clips. She looked up at us with fearful eyes, then realized we were just children. Bruises were forming around her eyes. Then we looked down to her hands.

Her hands were nailed to the floor.

“My feet,” she whispered.

Aaron pushed her large skirts aside to see that her feet had also been nailed to the floor.

“My husband did this to me. Help me.”

Aaron started to pry away the nails. He told Val and I told help hold her so she wouldn’t fall. I remember getting blood on my hand. I couldn’t help but taste it. I was only six so the temptation was too much.

Aaron held her face in his hands and sent healing cold through. Then he asked, “Where is he? Where is your husband?”

“You are Samantha’s children. Your parents were at the party. They suspected. I should have…” she said, then trailed off, looking at us with tears running down her  face.

“Why did he do this to you?” That would be Val asking. He was only seven but I could feel the anger growing in him.

“I told him that I was going to leave him. He demanded to know if I had a lover. I told him no. Then…then he said he would never let me leave, and he nailed me to the floor.”

Aaron went upstairs to find the husband. Val stayed by the woman with his skinny little boy arm around her. I followed Aaron.

A man lay on the bed. His handsome face was calm without guilt or shame. Aaron blew a cold breath over him.

The man opened his eyes to find two children standing over him. We’d made our eyes go black and our fangs were out. He screamed and then we tasted blood.

No, of course we didn’t kill him. But he did go insane. Maybe because of us. Maybe not. His wife was able to get a divorce. She had the floor refinished and a few years later married a man who was filled with joy and happiness. He was a man who loved her rather than owned her.

Aaron watched her and looked out for her for the rest of her life. She lived until 1941. It was a long and happy life with her second husband and children. The scars on her hands and feet eventually faded, but her beauty and the joy she brought to the world did not.

Our parents never scolded us for our behavior. They were too appalled by what had been done to the young wife. They’d suspected something was wrong. A lot of people had suspected but had never reached out. It wasn’t polite. Plus we were Vampires so we were always cautious when dealing with people of the warm-blooded variety.

It is always easy to look the other way. That is the beauty of children is that they don’t. They look. Children LOOK and listen. They also learn from what they see – much more than any grown up can imagine. It is sad that so many people forget those feelings they had as children and the memories of an unexperienced mind.

I drove by that house yesterday. It had been beautifully restored. Looking through it in the rain made me think of cozy reading in a window seat. It also reminded me of that night and the young woman who’d been nailed to the floor.

There are all sorts of nails both physically and mentally that people use to hurt others.

I don’t know what else to say. She married my future husband’s younger uncle. We are still in touch with a few of their descendants. They’re cool about having Vampires in the family. We’re cool. No puns intended.

If you know someone who might be in an abusive relationship please reach out. Vampires are rare, so you can’t always count on us to be there to help.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Ask Juliette: Unsolicited Advice and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

I am a big fan of advice columns. I always have been. I’m sure there is some deep seated reason for that, or maybe not. Advice columns are nothing new. The first ones came out in the late 1600’s. I’m sure there were earlier versions etched in stone or drawn on hunks of prehistoric leather somewhere.

The biggest advice I can give to anyone is: LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. That means learn, figure out what you did or did not do, figure out what when wrong, and do not do it again. Look at people who are doing it right and figure out why that works. Keep an open mind. Don’t listen to advice from people who have crappy kids, horrible marriages, and train wreck lives – unless it is so you can learn what NOT to do.

Alright, lets get this roller coaster started.

My partner/boyfriend/girlfriend does not want children and I do. I love them so much that I’m going to give up on my dreams of a family.

If you want children DO NOT marry someone who does NOT want children. Period. Don’t do it. I’ve seen too many people look longingly at other people’s kids, or worse, resent their friends or family members who do have children.

I’ve wanted to scream at people not to hate me because I’m a mom. I made sure I was with someone who also wanted children. You could have done the same. YOU COULD HAVE DONE THE SAME. It was your choice.

But I love them so much. Do you realize how stupid that sounds? That isn’t a reason to marry someone. That is not a good reason to hitch your star to the goat cart of someone who does not want the same things out of life that you do. Kids are a BIG DEAL. Don’t give up on any of your dreams because you’re feeling desperate or besotted with someone who doesn’t want the same thing. Why would you do that? Why? WHY?

In turn don’t feel forced to have children if you don’t want them. Please do not have kids if you don’t feel it is your choice. That is unfair to everyone – especially you.

Kids or no kids it is YOUR CHOICE. Don’t let someone else make the biggest decision in your life for you.

What Hogworts house do you belong to?

I don’t do Hogworts.

Who is your favorite superhero?

I don’t do superheroes. I don’t understand the obsession with them. I might mention them in a short story but I’m really not into the whole Marvel and DC thing. The artwork is cool. The stories are fun. It just isn’t my thing. If you like them then by all means enjoy and have fun. Just be careful that you don’t get runs in your tights. Good tights are expensive. My daughter was in skating. I know how much tights cost.

But seriously let us all think about the real superheroes – the first responders in the Covid-19 Crisis, the teachers, the parents helping with online schooling, the polices, the fire fighters, people who run food banks, online art docents, people who run animal shelters, and everyone who works to make this sad old world a better place.

I love comics and memes. I’m just not into the kind with tights and capes.

I’m tired of my boring life. Can you turn me into a Vampire?

Can I turn you into a Vampire? Yes. Will I turn you into a Vampire? No. Absolutely not.

Changing into a Vampire, or anything else that you’re not will not change your boring life. You need to ask yourself why your life is boring. Is it your situation? Is it your friends? Is it the pandemic? Are you depressed? Are you just a boring person?

Broaden your horizons. Try something new that isn’t drastic. Take an art class. Do an online dance class. Listen to some TED talks. Make a list of things you’d like to try – no matter how crazy that list is. Do not put being a Vampire, a Werewolf, or a Ghost on that list. Please do not put ZOMBIE on that list.

Vampires are driven by the forces of evil, without souls or love. Their blood lust drives them to do unspeakable acts. They live in the darkness…

Well, aren’t we feeling weird and rudely entitled today.

I am a cis man dating a cis woman. My girlfriend and I both have good jobs and support ourselves. My girlfriend thinks because I am the guy that I should pay for everything. What do you think?

Dump her. This is 2021. You aren’t living in a Rock Hudson / Doris Day movie. Healthy relationships are built on friendship and trust, not on money or outdated role models.

My boyfriend is extremely jealous. He questions everything I do. He checks my phone messages and my email. He doesn’t like it when I talk to other guys. He doesn’t like my friends. Other than that he is a great guy, and I really love him. What should I do.

He isn’t a great guy. Dump him. Get out – the sooner the better.

Jealousy is not a healthy or normal part of any relationship. A jealous partner isn’t doing out of love – he/she is doing it for control. I recommend “The Jealousy Game” by Mandy White, for all parents and teens and anyone (of any age) who might be at risk for staying in unhealthy relationships.

Please read: The Jealousy Game, an Ebook by Mandy White

www.smashwords.com

This book is always free for download on Amazon.com as well.

Is your boyfriend or husband unreasonably jealous? Women often mistake jealousy for an endearing display of affection without realizing that it can be a sign of something much more sinister. How can you tell when a man’s jealousy crosses the line from simple affection to unhealthy behavior? Can you fix it before it’s too late?

Some people think jealousy is just a natural part of being in love, and that jealous behavior is just a man’s way of showing that he cares. But when a man displays jealous, suspicious behavior to such an extreme that it becomes downright ridiculous it crosses the line from a simple expression of affection to unhealthy obsession and mental abuse. It may even escalate into physical abuse.

How can you tell if your relationship has reached the dangerous point? Knowing how to recognize the signs can save you from a great deal of mental anguish and possibly physical injury. In fact, it could even save your life. Learn how to recognize unhealthy patterns of jealousy early in a relationship and take steps to prevent it from becoming dangerous.

The Jealousy Game outlines a relationship with a jealous man from the beginning, when his jealousy is seen as cute and affectionate, through to the end of the relationship, where it has escalated into violence and even life-threatening behavior. It… (Read more)

Rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages. Parents you know what your kids can handle. Honestly – I’d let my Middle School daughter read this with me. It is so important that all kids know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship.

Thank you everyone for dropping by today. I’m trying to get Vlad to share some more of his thoughts this week, as well as catching you up on thought about my grown up kids, my cats, my dog, the pandemic, and other assorted blogable topics.

Stay safe. Wear a mask. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Check in on those who might need extra help or who are alone. Talk to your kids. Check out online museum tours. Make a fun playlist. And kiss a Vampire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Ring of Fire, and The Circle of Love

Ring of Fire, and The Circle of Love

First posted here in 2019

I sat listening to my brothers, two of them, singing Ring of Fire in a low slow sort way that sounded like it belonged in a horror movie. Andy is a professional singer. Val is a numbers guy. Together they create weird and wonderful music.

When I was small I’d envy the way they’d sing together, anywhere and everywhere.

“Her ex-husband showed up.”

“Had you met him before?” I had to ask.

“No. Never. He came in the house with Cameron, Shawna’s son, and started to bark at her about me. I wasn’t even in the room, but I could hear it from the bedroom. I wasn’t even quite awake yet, but it woke me up for sure. He was telling her that she was making a fool out of herself by seeking someone so much younger than herself. I was ready to go out and tell him that I’m 168-years old but honestly I wanted to see his justification.”

“So what happened?” Val asked.

Shawna ripped him a new one. She reminded him that he’d left her for FeeFee. He reminded her that FeeFee’s real name was Ashley. No matter what her name, the woman was almost twenty years younger than Eric. That is the husband. Eric. Anyway Eric said that it had been different with Ashley. Shawna called him all kinds of names including a fucking self centered misogynistic bastard who spent most of his life thinking with his dick. He didn’t take too kindly to that.”

Andy picked up a cup. “Does anyone want more coffee?”

“Sure, I’ll make a French Press. Tell us what happened,” I said. Andy often starts stories and doesn’t finish them.

I went into the kitchen to make coffee. Val hearded Andy after me and sat him down at the kitchen table.

“How old is Shawna?” Val asked.

Andy continued his story. “Almost sixty. She turns sixty in a few months. She looks a lot younger. She’s stunning.”

“I have to agree with you. She is lovely,” said Val. “But you look thirty five on a bad day, twenty something on a good day.”

“What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I love her.”

“It shouldn’t matter,” I said, “especially since her ex is the same age as her and with a woman who is, what, in her early forties now?” Shawna had told me how her husband had left her years before for a much younger woman who needed him.

I glanced out my window. The usual Friday morning leaf blower assault had begun at my neighbor’s house. The neighbor on the other side has a five hour leaf blower marathon every Thursday. I hate leaf blowers. Seriously, everyone hates Vampires. They should put their energy into hating leaf blowers.

“There is always someone using a leaf blower in this neighborhood,” said Val.

“I hate leaf blowers. I HATE them,” I said. “So, Andy, then what happened? Did you tell Eric that you’re a lot older than he is. He obviously doesn’t know you’re a Vampire.”

Andy smiled and flipped his hair behind his shoulder. “No. Obviously not. It’s none of his business. He wouldn’t believe it anyway. Let him think I’m thirty-five or whatever. Let him steam in his own juices. Let him be angry about a younger man being attracted to the woman he dumped. Let him be jealous that I have a relationship not only with Shawna but with his son Cameron as well.”

I looked at my tall long haired brother and knew he turned heads. I could imagine Eric having fits in his mind about this guy who was in love with the woman he discarded.

Val poured a cup of coffee. “How did it end up Andy?”

“Eric left. The only reason he’d been there was to drop off Cameron. He said something about me only being a few years older than Cameron and about Shawna having no shame. We all had a fine laugh about that one later on. Val, pour me a cup too.”

By our second cup of coffee (Vampires drink a lot of coffee) we’d moved on to other subjects. Val was glad he was single. I was glad I was happily married. Andy was in love with a middle aged woman who was still somewhat confused that she’d fall in love with a Vampire. Her son thought Andy was exceptionally cool. Andy is exceptionally cool.

I put two cups of coffee out on the back deck. As my brothers and I talked inside I could see the Ghosts, Nigel and Mary sitting down at the outdoor table and putting their hands around the mugs. They inhaled the coffee they could not drink, savoring the beautiful aroma.

I guess the moral of this story is that we all make choices. We also make choices on how to react to the consequences. Don’t be like Eric.

That’s all.

I worry about Andy, but then again, I worry about everyone. At least it gets my mind off of worrying about my kids. More coffee please.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Sorry I haven’t have many new posts lately, and I haven’t been reading other blogs or commenting much either. This past year sort of put me in a tail spin, but I’m flying out of it as fast as I can. On maybe a good note I have a new computer. But today, even today, was one of those one step forward, two steps back sort of days. I need to listen to Ring of Fire again. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Talk to your kids. Pet your cat. Hug your dog. Check in on those who might be alone or need extra help. Don’t be a dick. Be kind. Don’t post political crap on FaceBook. Kiss a Vampire. And yes I can see Folsom Prison from the end of my street. Thank you Johnny Cash. xoxox Juliette Kings