Happy May, everyone! And Happy (almost) Mothers’ Day! This coming Sunday is supposed to be reserved for showing moms how much they are loved- and, if we’re mothers ourselves, receive an extra shot of love from our children. It’s a great idea to stop and appreciate those who mean a lot to us, although that’s true even, or maybe especially, if there isn’t a big label on the relationship: Mother, Father, Grandparent, Aunt, etc. Friends totally count, too, for example. Pets. Cars (if you’re Rhage.)
As someone who now actually has a small, carbon-based life form who depends on me and his dad for sustenance and protection, I find myself thinking of Mothers’ Day in a new light. Then again, I didn’t really think about the holiday at all- or maybe it was more a case of my trying not to think about it. My own mother died in childbirth, and given that I grew up in the foster care system, and then in an orphanage, there was no mother figure for me. Therefore, there was no Mothers’ Day for me.
Back when I was in high school, I could remember my friends getting dragged to brunches on this Sunday every year. For most of them, it was an obligation, exactly the kind of thing that teenagers hate: family everywhere, a maiden aunt thrown in the mix, pansies and posies, sappy cards and having to get up earlier than noon. At the orphanage, we did not celebrate the occasion at all, although I’m not sure whether that was because the administrators were trying to be sensitive, or because funding was always tight so any excuse not to do anything more expensive than three meals and a snack was preferred (although on that theory, with brunch being both breakfast and lunch, you’d think they would have been on that train and then some.)
But yes, I recall wanting to kick my friends’ asses for their lackadaisical attitude toward Mothers’ Day. I would have loved to have had a mom to come home to. Do my homework next to. Talk over the day with. I would have liked to participate in the holiday as one of the great mass of people who were considered “normal.” That’s the thing about growing up as I did: I had a very clear sense that there was a whole way of living going on parallel to my own. I saw it depicted in sitcoms and books and movies, and in the lives of my friends. But it was like I was on one set of train tracks, they were on another, and there was no crossover capability between the two.
By the time I got through college and out the other side into “adult” life, I put Mothers’ Day firmly out of my mind. I just refused to think about it. After all those years of wishing I could be on another set of tracks, I got to a point of accepting where I was and who I was. Which is a sign of maturity, I suppose. But yeah, after college, I just kept on with whatever I was doing on every other Sunday, no doubt as a way of insulating myself from a sadness about which I could do nothing.
And then I met Wrath. And learned what I really was.
You want to talk about different tracks? Holy crap. Finding out I was a vampire put all other identity struggles in the shade. And it’s weird as I think about it now. It was only through mating a vampire, and giving birth to one, that I found what my human life had lacked in so many ways. I still don’t have a mother, it’s true. But I have a whole family now, and not just in the nuclear sense. All of Wrath’s Brothers are like my own. And their shellans are my sisters. And this household is my community.
And with L.W., I am a mother.
I won’t lie. I still get sad sometimes thinking that neither my sire, Darius, nor my birth mom, made it to meet their grandson. And I wish I could have my mother to turn to for advice when L.W. gets fussy (or eats something that doesn’t settle well, hello, sh*t ton of blueberries.) But my life is full and so wonderful that the echoes of pain are mostly eclipsed by all the love.
Which brings me to my point.
As someone who doesn’t have a mom, and now cannot have anymore children, I find myself being extra sensitive to other people who may not experience Mothers’ Day in the traditional sense. I try to remember that not everybody has the brunch-with-flowers-and-card thing going on, and that there are a lot of different reasons for this. Maybe, like me, they lost their mom at birth. Or maybe they were given up for adoption. Or maybe they’re estranged from their mother. Or maybe they can’t have children. Or maybe they don’t want children. Or maybe they’re a mom to children who have paws, or hooves, or wings. I think making an effort to meet folks where they are matters a lot- and it doesn’t take away from my joy at having my son or being a mom on a mom’s special day. It just means I care enough to take into account that “most” doesn’t mean “all,” and “normal” is a more narrow playing field than sometimes we think.
And along these lines, I’m going to field the Ask A Brother question this month- on behalf of some of the other couples in the house. A lot of folks what to know if (when) V and Jane will have a kid. Or Phury and Cormia. Or Butch and Marissa. Or Xhex and John. Or any of the other folks under this roof. It is a totally fair question in a lot of ways. Most couples at least try to have kids. Many couples are excited by the prospect of that. A lot of couples can’t wait to bring new life into the world. So it’s a natural thing for two people to do together. And the other thing is, it’s pretty obvious that the questions come from a place of love and well-wishes. In asking such a thing, it’s clear that the person putting a question mark at the end of those words just wants the two people to have the full experience of husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and husband, and that’s a wonderful thing. So there’s no reason to feel bad, at all, for wondering when (if) it will happen.
But I think it can be hard on the couple. I understand that V and Jane don’t want to have kids, and I totally support their decision (even though she can’t carry a child, they could still adopt.) After all, just because you don’t have a child, doesn’t mean you don’t have a family. Two people can live an entire true love romance and never reproduce because kids do not equate to validity and depth in a relationship. And as for the others in the house? I believe that Butch and Marissa are thinking about it, but haven’t decided. And Cormia has made it very clear she wants a baby. I haven’t spoken with Xhex about this topic, so I’m not sure where they stand.
But wherever a couple is on the spectrum, between no-way all the way to right-now-if-we-could, I think it’s good to meet them where they are. Just like it’s good to meet people where they are about holidays like this Sunday.
For so long, there has been only one right way to do things, be together, settle down- and that is true on the vampire side of things as well. It’s nice that society is finally getting way from all those strictures, and days like this coming Sunday are a reminder of how life is too variable to fit into one box or another.
Which is not to say that I’m not totally excited for the Mothers’ Day brunch that is going to be served at the mansion on this Sunday. Fritz is going to merge First Meal with the lunch-like smaller repast that usually happens around one or two a.m. (Does that mean it’s Frunch?) And I can’t wait to sit with L.W. in my lap, and chat with Layla, and laugh with Mary, and commiserate about diapers with Blay and Qhuinn. But I’m also going to be mindful of the others at the table who are in different places.
I never expected to be a mom. And I never expected to live with thirty other people. But it’s so wonderful when we’re all together, in all the different shapes, sizes, colors and combinations we form, sharing a good meal, cooked with loving hands.
To those who celebrate it, Happy Mothers’ Day! To those who do not, hugs on Sunday and every other day of the month and year!
Until next month, lots of love, Beth
OMG Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there! This kind of occasion is worth celebrating, and it got me thinking of the ways humans mark special days. Of course, Pandora (.https://us.pandora.net/)! How did you know I was going there? Yes, it’s bracelet time, folks- see below for the charm that reflects the alignment of your stars for this month!
Love you! xxx Your Favorite Fallen Angel**
Aries (March 21-April 19)
If there is any sign who understands the importance of dancing like no one else can see you, it’s an Aries! Your charm is the Pink Headphones dangle. This month, let loose, get down, shake what your momma gave you- and not just on the dance floor. You are really good at enjoying life and you need to let that energy out into the world, leading by example as you usually do!
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Taurus, someone in your life needs your trademark patience this month. People born under your sign are very loyal, and someone around you is struggling- and it’s getting on your nerves. Your charm is the Labrador Puppy dangle! It’s a reminder that this is just a stage for them. Whether they need your gentle guidance, or a rolled up newspaper on their behind, your support to them will come back to you tenfold when you really need something similar for yourself.
Gemini (May 21- June 20)
This is a lucky month for you, Gemini! Get ready for things to fall into place. Your charm is the Horseshoe, Clover & Ladybird dangle. You’ve been struggling in some parts of your life since the new year, so it’s about frickin’ time. Enjoy Lady Luck being on your side and reap the benefits you deserve!
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Get out into the world, Cancer! I know, I kind of said this last month, but your horoscope says that you still prefer your safety zone this May. Your charm is the Brilliant Bicycle dangle. You need to get out and stretch yourself. Enjoy this better weather and seek the sunshine. Next month, you’ll find it makes a difference in an unexpected way.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Love is in the air for you, Leo! This month is all about your heart. Whether you’re established in a relationship, or looking for one, the focus is on romance. Your charm is the Disney Minnie & Mickey With Love Charm. Find that HEA or make the one you have even stronger!
Virgo (August 23- September 22)
Even though you are usually committed to your work, Virgo, and hardly the type to sit around and relax, I see a vacation coming in your future. Your charm is the Eiffel Tower dangle, and I urge you to take advantage of a break that is on your horizon. Whether it is a trip you are invited to join, or a couple of days that you have off, get out of your routine and allow yourself to breathe, breathe, breathe!
Libra (September 23- October 22)
Libra’s like to have harmony in their relationships, and this month, your family is more important than ever before to you. Whether it is a challenge you are struggling with, or a question you are seeking an answer to, your family, both those you have chosen and those you have blood ties to, will be there for you. Your charm is the Family Heritage dangle!
Scorpio (October 23- November 21)
A fierce and determined sign, Scorpio, you always know where you are. Your charm is the Compass Rose dangle. Using your keen insight and self-protective instincts, you are on the verge of getting yourself out of a difficult situation. You will triumph in the end as long as you believe in your own sense of direction and fairness!
Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)
Travel is in your stars this month, Sagittarius! Your charm is the Suitcase dangle. I see a trip in your future, if not in May, then over the summer. You love exploring so this is your chance to see some new things and learn more about yourself. Adventure does a soul good!
Capricorn (December 22- January 19)
What I love about you, Capricorn, is that you’re always setting and obtaining goals. Your charm is the Seeds of the Future dangle. This month, more than usual, you are looking to the future and assessing where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. Start laying the foundation for your future success, whether it is in your chosen field or in a new one!
Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
Aquarius, you are unconventional and creative, and this leads to you finding all kinds of new and exciting opportunities for interpersonal growth and connection! Your charm is the Disney Magic Carpet Ride dangle. Follow your whims this month to horizons you never dreamed of visiting and learning from! Now is your time to fly!
Pisces (February 19- March 20)
Your charm this month is Mr. Wise! Your intuition never fails you, and you need to share this wealth with someone close to you. Step up to the plate, and help guide a person who is lost in their life with your incredible ability to gut-check situations. In return, you will receive the satisfaction that comes when we support those we love through difficult times!
**Although really, how many of us do you know? And PS, this is just for sh*ts and giggles, entertainment, blah, blah, blah.
I am twenty-seven years old and about to marry my very best friend in June. Bobby (let’s call him) and I have been together since graduate school (about two years,) and we get along great. We moved in together last year, and after some initial growing pains, we’ve successfully transitioned into a two person household. Bobby asked me to marry him over the Christmas holidays, and of course, I said yes. I have no doubt he’s the one and I’m excited to call him my husband and start a family with him.
The problem is his mother. She’s absolutely impossible. I suspected this before, but the wedding preparations have sealed the nightmare on the woman. The thing is, we only had six months to plan the wedding because Bobby and I didn’t want to wait, and June is the best month weather-wise for where we live. Unless we got down to it fast, we were going to be engaged for a year and a half, and that just felt like too long.
Anyway, Bobby’s mother second guesses me about everything: the band, the cake, the dinner, the schedule, the start time, the end time, the bridesmaid dresses, the groomsmen’s clothes, the musical choice for the service, the flowers. It’s like she doesn’t approve of anything I’m doing on purpose, and I’m sick of it. Bobby’s let me plan everything, in part because he works longer hours than I do, but also because I have an opinion on how I want things to be and he’s more laid back. But the result is that he doesn’t get involved enough when his mother gets on me.
Do you have any advice for my handling this woman? At this point, I’m so ready to scream at her, it’s overshadowing the whole day.
Vishous: Fed Up, I have two things to tell you: 1) Did you know that duct tape works well on pieholes? It’s cheap, too; and 2) Both you and that mother-in-law of yours need to slap a strip on right this f*cking minute-
Mary: *shakes her head* Oh, dear God.
V: What? I’m serious. If Fed Up knows what she wants her wedding to be like, why is she talking to Bobby’s mother about any part of it? She should just stop with the chitchat and not give the other woman a chance to say squat about the event.
Mary: *blinks* Well, Fed Up, V actually does have a point. It does sound as though you are running everything by your future mother-in-law; otherwise, how would she have expressed opinions on so many aspects of your wedding? I wish we had a little more detail to go on. Are you including her at that level because you want to make her feel involved? Or is it because of some expectation on Bobby’s part?
V: Or is it a money thing? Who’s paying for this, anyway? I mean, if you and Bobby are cutting the check or swiping the card, there’s even less of a reason for you to solicit any other opinions. Unless the MIL is ponying up money, there’s no reason to talk to her at all.
Mary: I have to agree. Sometimes, in an effort to build bridges, we forget about our own boundaries. It makes total sense that you would want to ingratiate yourself with your new relations, especially if she can be difficult. But perhaps what you saw as a way to develop the relationship was for her an opportunity, or even an imperative, to comment.
V: The other thing is, if you want rubber stamp approval, sit in front of a mirror and tell yourself how awesome all your choices are. Otherwise, shut it, do your thing, and be polite to the woman at the event. And if you knew she was tough to deal with beforehand? You never should have gone down this road in the first place.
Mary: Um, yes. And I would add that there are so many other levels on which to engage Bobby’s mother. After the wedding and honeymoon, perhaps try to restart the relationship with an invitation to dinner. Maybe you’ll be less stressed and so will she. You mention that you only had six months to plan the wedding so I imagine you’re under even more pressure than most brides. Please let us know how it goes? We wish you all the best!
V: And when in doubt, Home Depot has duct tape. Later.
So given that May the 4th just passed us, I thought about movies with dates in them, and of course, I decided I had to go with the ultimate classic, the grand daddy of slashers, the old school gore GOAT, of Friday the 13th! (Plus, hello, there’s a Mothers’ Day angle to the film, isn’t there lol, and besides, with an original release date of 5/9/80, the movie is thirty-nine years old in just two days.) I forgot how much I love this film, although it only got a 63% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer and an Audience Score of 60% on that site? WTF. Kevin Bacon gets it in the throat and that’s the best people can do? I think they’re jaded.
Anyway, if you’ve been living under a rock, Friday the 13th is about seven camp counselors who convene at Camp Crystal Lake. The facility is being reopened for the summer in spite of the fact that there have been waves of murders there, following the death of a camper named Jason Voorhees some time before. Not to spoil anything, but the bodies stack up quick, and the surprising twist at the end, well, it just brings a warm spot to the heart, doesn’t it.
This movie started an entire franchise of twelve other films as well as spinoffs in television, books, comics and video games. Jason, like Freddie Krueger and Michael Myers, is synonymous with Halloween, horror movies, and things that go bump in the night. Even though we don’t really see the icon in this film, I’m including a picture of him here, just ‘cuz he’s awesome.
I love this movie so much. It gets two fangs up and a dagger for respect!
:28 The crickets and the loons, right? Then the singing around the campfire. CLASSIC 1:11 Killer cam and the chchchch-ahahahah. I am stoopid excited right now, btw. 2:20 Vacuous young humans singing with the head tilt- but WAIT fornication is coming. 4:29 Am I the only one who laughs about the two sets of super white socks? Someone is doing good laundry at this camp. 4:50 One dead, one to go annnnnnnd we have SLOMO, people. 5:17 I love the logo rushing up and breaking the glass. 6:37 Bucolic small town, lulling us into false sense of security. 7:07 DOG! 8:11 I miss hometown shops like this, with paperbacks on shelves, and cellophane wrapped danishes, and old school, manual cash registers. Man, I’m hungry. 9:24 Is that truck really an OMG 5000? BEST BRANDING EVER (fine, it says GMC, but still) 12:50 “Is sex all you think about?” The kid’s 18 and it’s summer. #DUH 13:05 KEVIN BACON ALERT. Six degrees starts here. 13:40 Okay, so the camp director with that mop of hair and the rimless glasses looks like he belongs in a Jurassic Park movie as “young scientist number 1.” 14:23 Alice totally has the Dorothy Hamill bowl cut. Remember those?
15:55 “You’re very talented.” Is that like, “Come up and see my etchings?” 16:25 ALICE DO NOT GIVE HIM ANOTHER CHANCE. HE IS A DOUCHE. GET YOUR ASS TO CALI. 17:21 Suspenders. Bare chest. I am praying Lassiter never sees this movie. 19:19 Okay, so I’m tensing up now. I do not want the cook to get in the green Jeep. 20:25 Uh-oh. (PS, shades of Jaws theme with the dum-dumm.) 21:40 Actress is gonna need a tick check after this scene. S’all I’m saying. 22:10 Sh*t. And what’s with the whiteout on the screen? 22:48 I hope Kevin got paid a little extra to wear that frickin’ tightie whitie-like bathing suit. 23:04 Wait. I want ice cream now. Totally triggered.
*gets gallon of mint chocolate chip*
25:18 Killer Cam. Or could be Old Fogey Cam, we’re not sure. 25:48 I love how the filmmakers are doing side item spooks at this point: the “drowning” and now the snake. Getting us primed for the big show. 26:36 Okay, so I’m being a little judgy right now with the humans all banding together and screaming as they flail at the snake. But to be fair, I would probably do the same. Indiana Jones and I have that phobia. 28:05 Wow. Street cred with the vernacular on the weed, Mr. Policeman. Slow down, hot pants. 30:21 The old guy is a little weird, but he’s right. They’re totally f*cked if they stay. And as for him stepping out of the pantry, I have to wonder if he came out of one of those cans on the shelves: Old Fart, the best canned geriatric on the market. Fortified with extra mothballs and Depends.
32:16 Great. Now I want a hamburger. 35:11 Uh-oh. Prescient dream about the rain turning into blood. I’m getting creeped out. 36:12 OMG storm in a movie! Remember Death Becomes Her??? Love storms in movies. 37:17 I’m blushing here.
*Butch and V come in*
38:56 Ohhhh strip Monopoly, they’re so badass. 39:29 I think they both get it through the torso? Or am I misremembering? 40:04 DEAD GUY ALERT. 40:24 Old school Budweiser glass bottles with the weird shape and the screw top. Love this! 40:56 “Peeing is a good idea. It flushes the urinary system after sex and reduces the chance of UTI.” -V (Okay, thanks Dr. Oz. The brother just has to throw in useless medical trivia.) 42:06 “FYI, lotta plaid button downs in this movie.” -Butch 42:44 Okay, so I was wrong about the double stab through the torso. I could have sworn I saw that, but clearly wrong movie. 44:22 B*tch, it ain’t Jack!!!!!! Save yourself!!!!!! (“Worst death ever if you get stabbed while you’re on the bowl.” -V) 46:31 Axe shadow! F*ck!!! (“Right in the kisser.” -V) 47:38 “That slicker is the color of romaine lettuce.” -Butch 48:14 Great. Now I want a danish. 48:38 (“Waitress looks like Tootsie.” -V) (“No, Mrs. Doubtfire.” -Butch) 50:57 For some reason, I am obsessed with figuring out what kind of toothpaste she is using. Is it Pepsodent? 52:34 I swear I’m getting Jurassic flashbacks with the yellow slicker, the rain and the Jeep. 55:22 “Hello! Hello!” No, do not listen to that child’s voice! 56:16 I love flashlights in the dark. 56:38 V and Butch are both yelling “Fenway!” right now. I think because of the lights coming on at the archery range? 57:10 Oh, you know, I’m just going to sit here and strum a little ditty. (“In my late seventies era Laura Ingalls Wilder prairie shirt.” -Butch) 58:57 At this point, I feel like everyone in this movie is either dead or wearing a slicker. (“Awww, look. The killer tucked his axe in for night-nights.” -V) 1:01:10 Of course the damn vehicle doesn’t work- and oh, we better add some dialogue about how far away the camp is from everything else. 10 miles! Humans are so screwed with travel. 1:03:51 Who’s that? Well, in your case, it’s the Grim Reaper, son. 1:08:10 I love the old coffee cans. I’m trying to read the labels. 1:09:14 *Alice opens pantry door* “Hmm I think we’ve run out of cans of Old Fart? Better add that to the grocery list.” 1:10:28 I’m pretty confidence we’re moving into Finding The Dead Body mode- YUP. Called it. In a horror movie like this, Phase II is always when the Last Survivor finds all the people who have holes in them. 1:14:20 “Did they match her slicker to the drapes on purpose here?” -Butch
1:15:09 Green Jeep alert! (“I’m sorry, but that sweater Mrs. Voorhees is wearing looks itchy.” -Butch) 1:16:07 Yeah, no sh*t you’re not afraid, Mrs. Voorhees. 1:16:35 THE COUNSELORS WEREN’T PAYING ANY ATTENTION. THEY WERE MAKING LOVE WHILE HE DROWNED! Is it me or is this a classic line on the level of, NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!! 1:17:24 Okay, so when do you start thinking, if you’re Alice, that this b*tch be cray. 1:18:22 Mrs. V has just gotten on the crazy train. Switch has been flipped. 1:19:37 “Kill her, Mommy, kill her... don’t let her get away, don’t let her live.” WOW lot going
on with Mrs. V right now. Wonder if that voice says the wrong thing if she tries to ground it? How would that work? 1:21:50 Alice, you’re going to have to throw something more substantial at Mrs. V. Jus’ sayin’ 1:22:09 Hard to keep a good killer down, ain’t it. 1:22:55 Full moon with creepy clouds. Love it! 1:25:31 “Gee, I wish there was a can of Whoop Ass in this pantry. Better add that to the grocery list, too.” -Alice 1:26:04 I hate when in horror movies the survivor has to walk around the body of the killer. Freaks me out every single time. 1:27:03 Mrs. V is baaaaaaaaaaaaack.
1:27:33 “Every fight always becomes a ground game.” -V 1:28:01 We are cheering at this point lolololol follow through! Or, in a nod to M. Night Shyamalan: Swing away, swing away! 1:28:33 Do NOT buy into the sweet music here. Nope. Classic rooky move to buy the “everything is okay.” 1:29:15 Hate the stupid fingertips in that water. God, she’s asking for it... I need to eat something from stress.
1:30:23 And best ending EVER!
Until next month, watch well my people! Watch well!