Glassy Eyed Wonder

My kids and I talk a lot about the people they go to school with. This includes political clubs. There is now a Young Democrat club at the high school as well as the old Young Republican Club. My daughter still helps run the Horror Club (a favorite among teachers.) My son is involved with a group of young artists. They aren’t all art majors but they enjoy sharing the creative process over coffee and long walks on the beach.

It reminded me of a spring day in 1979. I was walking across the quad of a well-known and honored university and happened to meet a young woman who was a Young Spartan. That would be a communist. It just seemed so bazaar to me. She was so happy with that glassy eyed look that usually belongs to someone who belonged to a cult. I immediately wondered if she was sleeping the one of the charismatic young male leaders. I couldn’t imagine why she’d be soliciting for such a group. It was so random and at the time a little disturbing.

I’ve wondered a couple of times over the years what happened to her. Is she still politically active? Does she think back about her experience and feel stupid? Did she marry a domineering idealistic man and follow him to the ends of the earth only to be left alone with nothing but regret of what could have been? Is she Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager?  I’ve never been one to join groups so I have no idea. Did her parents know she was involved in the group and soliciting for new members/followers? Wouldn’t it be odd if she read this blog? Are you there pretty brown haired girl with the lovely smile? You know who you are.

My daughter tells me of kids in her high school who target others they feel are “at risk” for indoctrination into different religious groups. My son tells me of groups on his college campus that go after the lonely and lost and naive. Where do you think terrorists get their minions and slaves? They know their targets.

Yes, I am a cynical one when it comes to groups and movements. Groups and clubs are fine. It is when those in charge want to control the movements and thoughts of the members so completely that the group becomes the most important thing – more important than the individual.

I tell my kids to turn away from anyone or any group that counsels them to reject their family, friends, school, or personal beliefs.

One of my brothers is the kind that gets targeted by recruiters of shady organizations. Andy is so sweet and loving most of the time. He has that hint of vulnerability that draws women and cult leaders alike. But like the rest of my family he is pretty good at taking care of himself. Alright, I admit we’ve had to bail him out a few times and I do worry about him. I worry more about others who don’t always have that strong support that my brother does.

From the start, as a mom, I preached the idea of independent thinking. I intentionally raised my kids not to be followers. Kids don’t have to be leaders but they should never be followers.

I’ve also tried to raise them not to be those glassy-eyed innocents that end up in the clutches of people who only have two goals: to use other and to control others.

When I was young I asked my father what made people join cults and extremist groups. He said it was because it was easier not to have to make any decisions about their own lives. By giving up their own choices they didn’t have to take responsibility. They didn’t have to think.

When you don’t have to think for yourself life is easy. Maybe not good but it is easy.

Remember kids, nobody ever said it was going to be easy. That isn’t a bad thing.

Inspirational speakers (and other such con-artists) give me the creeps. You know, the kind who talk about living up to your potential and success. If you want to learn about success go talk to someone who is a real success. Talk to a teacher or a small business owner or the director of the local zoo or museum or the CEO of the high-tech company your neighbor works for. Talk to someone with a real job.

Save the glassy-eyed wonder for the next time you go to Yosemite. Save it for the next time the moon looks so big you think it will collide with the earth. Save it for the quiet sounds of a baby breathing or the faint heartbeat of a ghost.

Or just save it for a Vampire (believe me, it will be well worth it.)

And remember talk with your kids and always LISTEN to what they have to say. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Never blindly follow anyone or anything - especially a cat.

Never blindly follow anyone or anything – especially a cat.

Five things you need to know if you’re a Vampire, or an Adult.

This morning my young friend Cody stopped by. I call Cody my new Vampire. It has been four years since he became like us, a Vampire. All in all he has adjusted beautifully to his situation. Consider that remarkable considering he didn’t want to become a Vampire in the first place. He took an alien situation and made it his own.

This morning there was something different about him. Cody was agitated. I have to admit that I was sort of distracted by his new look. He’d always been a sharp dresser but today he’d gone out full-blown hipster. Like my brother Max, Cody had grown a beard this year. Thank goodness it was short and enhancing rather than distracting. He also had grown out of hair and had a man-bun thing going. The rest of him was covered in black jeans, a black vest and a white shirt. His ears were pierced but no gauges. I swear his eyelashes looked longer.

“I like the look Cody.”

“Tell me the truth. Why was I turned into a Vampire?”

“Are you having problems?”

“Not really but that isn’t the point. Do you know what it is like going out with friends and spending the entire time wondering what their blood tastes like?”

“Of course I do, but that isn’t your problem Cody,” I said calmly, keeping my voice low and steady.

“Can you even imagine…”

I cut off my 35-year-old friend. “It was that or death. You would have died Cody.”

“I did die.”

“And now you’re alive.”

“I’m not human anymore.”

“You’re better than human,” I told him. He gave me one of those looks I get from my own teenage children.  “Don’t play the poor me card Cody. You’re lucky to be here. More than lucky.”

“Where is she?”

Sooner or later I knew that would come up. Raise its ugly head is more like it. His ex-girlfriend Jen had staged a car accident while seeing friends she knew were Vampires. Off the cliff they went only to be rescued by well-meaning Vampires. It was a complete cluster F. Besides that Jen had got to be the most annoying creature I’d ever met. I have no idea what Cody ever saw in her. Anyway, Cody was given to me to train and look after. Jen, well, nobody talks about Jen.

“I don’t know where she is Cody. Maybe she’s in Russia with that Snowden guy. Maybe she went to Disneyland. I don’t know.”

He curled his lip about to show some fangs to me then he stopped. Yes indeed my little Vampire was growing up.

“It is all Jen’s fault. She used me.”

“That was four years ago Cody. Get over it. You’ve done great. You’ve moved on.”

We went on for a while about Jen and what had happened and the future. This was the first time he’d ever shown such uncertainty in his situation. It was almost as if he’d gone a step or two back. It was like having another son.

It made me think about being a Vampire and even about being an adult. Change happens. Sometimes those changes are huge. There comes a time when everyone has to grow up, accept who they are and take responsibility for their own existence.

Rule #1: You are responsible for yourself.

There is nobody to blame but yourself. Or nobody thinks a victim is attractive. After the age of 24 you can’t blame anything on your parents. You’re grown. Everything is on you.

Rule #2: Manners.

Use them. No self-respecting Vampire wants to spend their existence around the uncouth trash of the world. If you don’t know about good manners then learn about them. Ask a friend to teach you. Google it. Good manners will open doors faster than anything I know. Good manners will kept you fed.

Rule #3: Learn how to dress.

Are you really going to wear that? Learn how to dress and groom yourself like an adult. You’re a Vampire but Halloween is only once a year. Now is not time to let your freak flag fly. Tight black dresses at the drug store, red lined capes before midnight and blood stains are not acceptable. You’re a Vampire not a political statement or even an expression of your own self. Show some class. You can be unique but tacky is NEVER an option for all adults (Vampire or not.)

Rule #4: Look Forward

Look back occasionally but always look forward and always know where you are right now. I was at a party a few years back that a lot of people in their 80’s and 90’s were attending. One of my more human friends asked me if the old folks all talked of the good old days. I told her that they talked about the future. They talked about environmental issues, politics and their own plans for the future. Many of them were on the edge of one hundred years. The reason they were still glowing and thriving is because they looked forward – not back.

So warm blood used to run through your veins. Now it doesn’t. Get over it. Move on. Look forward.

Rule #5: Own it.

Whatever you do – Own it. Be in charge. Grab your chances and opportunities without doubt or fear. There are always set-backs. You’ll have centuries of set-backs but you’ll have centuries of even more triumphs. Own your space. Own yourself. Own your path. If someone says you can’t do something it is your job to prove them wrong. If you don’t own it you might as well just crawl into a crypt.

 

Cody calmed down and helped me finish up a job. Sure he is 120 years my junior but we’ve become fast friends. I’ve watched him grow up and from what I see he’ll do fine. He’ll do more than fine.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

vm_rick

REAL MEN don’t pressure women…

My friend Kelly (a regular human) and I saw a bumper sticker that read:

Real Men Don’t Pressure Women to Have Abortions

She said “I’m pro-choice but I want to put a note on that car and tell the owner that I agree with them 100%.”

When Kelly (who is now 50 with two lovely kids) was in her 20’s a lot of women she knew had terminated pregnancies.  It was never an easy choice but it was a choice. More often than not it was because the guy (the one with the sperm) was a jerk.  That was Kelly’s experience.

“I never want that choice to be taken away from any woman for any reason. That said when I turned 30 I had two boyfriends who told me “If you get pregnant you’re having an abortion.” It was such a mean thing to say. They  more or less said “I don’t value you. I don’t value a future with you. I won’t be there for you if anything goes wrong. I don’t value your needs. And worst of all it said I don’t love you.”  And it wasn’t like we were poor kids. We were successful young professionals with good jobs and good credit ratings. What they said really hurt. When I met Derrick he wanted kids. He wanted MY kids. One of the old boyfriends  wanted me to get back together with him but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to marry Peter Pan. I needed a real man.”

I’m pro-choice but that choice is a choice of having a baby or not. It is deeply personal and no woman makes those choices lightly.

Girls – you’re responsible for your children. Before you get pregnant or even think about getting pregnant, think about who the father will be.

Ask yourself the following:

  1. Will he be there for you if you accidentally get pregnant?
  2. Will he respect your choice (to continue the pregnancy or not)?
  3. Will he be there for your child?
  4. Is he really an adult man or just a large boy?
  5. Will he love you and your child forever?
  6. Will he support the child financially?
  7. Does he respect you?
  8. If something happened to you would you want him to raise your child?
  9. Do YOU want this baby?
  10. Will this child be my FIRST priority (ahead of ANY man or needs or urges) for the next 18 years.

If the answer to any of those questions is NO then think again about your relationship and double up on birth control – or better yet, don’t have sex with him at all.

With Vampires it is a little different in how we pick our mates and who we have children with.  But so many regular humans take it so lightly and never think twice about having sex without birth control or a thought in their heads about having a child. Most people put more thought into what breed of dog they’ll get than having a baby.

Parents of ALL KINDS: Talk to your teens about BIRTH CONTROL and PREGNANCY, RELATIONSHIPS and SEX. Don’t judge your kids – just talk to them openly and honestly. Be the kind of parent you want your teens to grow up and be.

  • But the thought of the day is that REAL MEN Don’t Pressure Women Into Doing ANYTHING They Don’t Want To Do. Not Sex. Not Abortions. Not Diets. Not Plastic Surgery. Not ANYTHING that woman doesn’t want to do. Period

 

  • And that goes for girls too – Real Women don’t pressure MEN into doing anything they don’t want to do. Period. And honey, you aren’t going to keep any man by accidentally-on-purpose-getting-pregnant. It will just cause a lot of resentment and pain for everyone in the future and it will be SO UNFAIR for that poor child! So DON’T DO IT !
  • And remember “Friends don’t let friends date jerks”.

Also, any comments made with a lot of knee jerk hostility or whatever will be removed. Just bite your tongue and keep it to yourself or write our own blog.

Let’s forget about people we don’t really like and be politically incorrect and concentrate on our kids

Let’s forget about people we don’t really like and be politically incorrect and concentrate on our kids.

I’m worried about having my children grow up in a world where the following doesn’t matter:

Education.

We might say it matters but then I see articles on the Internet on major news sites saying that High School graduates are below the poverty line so obviously it doesn’t matter if anyone graduates from high school. College is also at risk, especially those who graduate in liberal arts.

Listen up folks, it isn’t all just about jobs, a lot of education is related to the quality of life. If your mind and spirit stop being active then your mind and spirit will die – that includes the continuous education (be it school, reading, exploring, discovering, trying new things…).

College isn’t for all kids. So where are the vocational programs and trade schools of the past? We need those programs BACK. Not lame bandages but real programs for real kids.

Parenting:

Kids need two parents. If one or more of said parents are selfish asswipes I’ll make an exception. Kids don’t need to be forced to be with horrible people just because said horrible person wants to get child support or control or just want to be a shit head. 

If you don’t plan to be involved with the lives of your kids don’t have children (as in use birth control and self control).

Don’t have kids as an excuse not to work (hey, forget the dream of being a stay at home mom because if he dies or loses his job or leaves you for a more attractive coworker you’re screwed).

ALL CHILDREN need INVOLVED parents.

 

  • Talk to your kids.
  • Know what they’re doing
  • Don’t bring your drama into their lives. If you have kids you don’t have the luxury of having your own petty drama.
  • Make them feel safe.
  • Listen to them.
  • Listen to them.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN. You need to hear what they have to say and not pass judgment.
  • Let them fly – as in don’t smother them.
  • Love them. Hug them. Tell them you love them.
  • Tell them that you’re proud of them.
  • And let them know when they’re going the wrong direction (but in an adult way – remember YOU are the adult)
  • Put your kids FIRST (not your own selfish need to always have a boyfriend, a girlfriend, your abusive spouse, a beer, your party friends, your drugs or whatever your current self-centered addiction is).

 

Now I’m sure I’ve pissed off a few people with my comments but those folks can go read the politically correct beige and sugar cookie blog.

Having a child is a HUGE responsibility yet people give more thought about what kind of dog they’re going to get or what movie they’re going to see on Friday. Excuse me, talk about caring about human life?!?!?!?! These folks don’t give a crap about it.

And don’t think parenting means having matching DNA. Parents are the FOREVER people in a child’s life.  Family means people who love you – blood does not matter – it’s all about love and caring. It just pisses me off when kids have to spend time with parents who don’t give a crap about them when they should be with the people who DO love them and care about them.

Success:

Never apologize for success. Never apologize for having great kids. Never apologize for having a great job. Never apologize for having a nice home. Never apologize for being responsible. Never apologize for being good at anything. Never apologize for loving your husband because he is so good with your kids.

And success isn’t about money. It is about being good at something. It is about working hard. Success is about being proud of what you do and how you live your life.

You can be a success at taking care of stray cats. You can work at a sport. You can have a hobby, even if it just drawing with a pencil on paper or growing marigolds in a big pot every summer (that actually bloom).  You can be the best teacher because your students go on to succeed. You can be the best supervisor because your employees go on to get their dream jobs and that makes you happy because you gave them the self-confidence and skills it took to do it.

If you’re happy for the success of others than that makes you a success.

Never apologize for hard work.

  • Education Matters
  • Good Parenting Matters
  • Success Matters
  • Hard Work Matters

And last of all:

Giving back matters.

A friend of mine recently said “I’m doing ok, but I want to be insanely wealthy so I can give most of it away.” He wants to start a scholarship program for foster kids.  What is your cause? My friend is taking small steps right now. We all can take small steps to help others and by doing that one day we’ll all be on top of that mountain.