Sunday, April 11, 2010

Travel and Luggage for an Elder Goth

Luggage for a Goth—

I know that most Goths don’t even think about how to pack things, if it fits the backpack or duffel bag fine, seems to be the answer, although most that are into business will get the basic black suitcases. That’s fine.

But for an Elder Goth like me I have a desire just to go a little edgy and it happened at T.J. Max I saw a 4 piece Diane Von Furstenberg Mariella luggage set, 28, 25, 21 inch expandable luggage with wheels and pull up handles and the matching fashion tote, what made it edgy, the exterior was black with triangle chrome studs and the interior was a hot India orange lining. As they describe it one part classic style, one part flash appeal. The Mariella collection combines sophisticated design with hip styling and practical functionality. The studded textural trim adds shimmering points of interest to the solid twill fabric. Easy rolling in-line skate wheels and push button locking telescoping handles keep these pieces moving smoothly trip after trip.
Smooth in-line skate wheels, telescoping handle locks in place and fully recesses when not in use. Each upright expands 2 1/2” for increased packing capacity

The Interiors are fully lined and feature valet straps to keep clothes securely in
Place, Plus Multiple organizational pockets including shoe pockets, a mesh lid pocket and a removable toiletry pouch. The Large main compartment with full length inside zip pocket .10 Year Limited Warranty

28" Expandable Suitcase - Dimensions: 28" x 20.5" x 10" - 14 lbs.
25" Expandable Suitcase - Dimensions: 25" x 18" x 9" - 12 lbs.
21" Expandable Carry-on - Dimensions: 21" x 14" x 8" - 10 lbs.
17" Tote - Dimensions: 17" x 13" x 5" - 3 lbs.

Had to have it, went into debt for it, worth it, those 4 pieces cost me nearly $400. And I’m going to purchase the Diane von Furstenberg Mariella 20 inch Wheeled Carry on Duffle for another $100.

I can nest one inside the other for storage or I can use the luggage to store my off-season clothes with some cedar moth repellant, so I’m ready and when these puppies roll off the luggage carousel I can’t miss it.

The only other set is a samsonite retro set in black from 2 seasons back although I loved it in the red fuchsia combination but it was out of my price range. But keep hunting Elder Goths, keep hunting.

I’ve included the pix for these two styles.


If you fly a lot then you have to keep it to one piece of luggage but it should be something that stands out, is durable and “screams” You!!

Personally I do not like to fly, if I can get there by Limo that would be best, but such is not the case, and if I don’t feel like driving myself and a Limo is out, there is the Train.

There is nothing so romantic and so Elder/Retro/Corporate Goth-like than the train, this is where you can get out your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s suits---think Marlene Dietrich, if you can get a roomette all the better, you can darken your roomette and avoid as much sun as possible, sleep if you wish, read or listen to music or do your own writing without the worry of the person next to you peeking or the person in front or in back banging on your knees or back. And you avoid the screaming annoying kiddies.

This is a fun time to be a bit mysterious, make people think you are a Countess incognito.

The rhythm of the wheels over the tracks can be hypnotic and lull you to sleep also you Really, REALLY get to see the U.S. of A., something that you miss on the plane.

But if time is of the essence, and its part of you work to be there in the shortest amount of time, then you have no choice but to take the plane.

If money is tight and your car is not in the best of shape, your only other choice is Greyhound Bus, in that case limit yourself to only one large piece of luggage and a carry-on tote, the tote should have your medications, your laptop and at least a change of underwear and toothbrush and tooth paste. This is in case your luggage is left at the bus terminal. Again make sure your luggage stands out and can’t be missed.

Bottom line---always keeps important stuff with you at all times.

Nail Polish for the Elder Goth

I love having my nails done, give me a mani-pedi any day, there is something so wickedly indulgent about having it done.

For my pedi’s health sake I have it done once a month, and the place I go to the staff makes sure everything is totally sanitary; during the winter I have the pedi’s done but without nail polish, I want to wear my socks and keep the feet warm, but when things start warming up, then the polish goes on, from March to November, as long as it’s warm.

I do not like flip-flops, or thronged sandals they are very painful to the skin between the toes, why anyone wants to torture themselves that way must be a masochist.

But one thing I’ve noticed is the dark, dark nail polish, the brighter reds don’t seem to be all that good, but the extreme darks like black, blue, green even deep purple just seem out of place for an Elder Goth, it’s like we’re playing dress up or are extremely eccentric, if you are an elder Goth doing business you have to chose your nail polish carefully.

How your hands and nails look can cause the other person to subconsciously judge you without them realizing it.

You don’t want that.

I’ve found that the deep “Hollywood Reds” from the 40’s and 50’s (I sometimes call them Revlon Reds because that’s the only company that seems to continue to make them) as deep and dark as they can be without them appearing too silly seems to work, but my Elder Goth Darklings, you have to remember how your aged hands appear as well. These same reds also work for those ladies in the Corporate Goth mode.

If you wash dishes, do gardening or house cleaning always wear gloves, as a matter of fact if you go outside at all to shop or run errands always wear gloves, especially during the coldest of weathers.

All of that takes a toll on the skin, which as one gets older becomes more fragile, and can bruise easily. Always use hand lotions to keep the skin soft and supple, but eventually you can no longer use the Dark, Dark nail colors, that is when your hands cannot hide the wrinkles, the knottiness of the joints, and the age spots and subsurface bruising.

When that happens, continue to use your hand lotions and wear gloves but switch to the light colors, you can have fun with the OPI colors such as “Nomad’s Dream” or “Oh So Glam!” There are web sites that offer these colors if you can’t find them in your favorite drug store or beauty supply house.

You can also provide your nail polish color from home when you have your mani-pedi especially if the salon no longer carries it.

The idea behind going towards the lighter colors is to lessen the aged look of your hands and provide a more elegant longer looking hand without drawing attention to its deficits.

The minute you think that your favorite dark, dark color doesn’t look good on your hands is the time to switch to the lighter colors, they don’t have to be pink, and remember as one ages so do the ridge lines on your nails appear, so you’ll want to avoid designs and add on’s, and no acrylic nails or silk wraps, you’ll be inviting a nail fungus which is not appealing at all.

One item of jewelry that is always appealing for Elder Goths, is a ring, I’m not talking about a silver thumb ring or with skulls or a cross but one piece of expensive jewelry in yellow gold or white gold, I have several in 14kt gold; one is a large piece of cabochon coral, another is a 7 carat weight brown topaz, another is lavender jade, another is a very large oval of black jet, one holds a 5 dollar gold piece and my final piece in yellow gold in a large piece that is just in a banded design.

These are in yellow gold; you can do the same with white gold and avoid the silver route entirely because there is nothing like a valuable piece of jewelry on one’s finger to set things off nicely. And only wear just one and not on the thumb, wearing a ring on the thumb is so tacky.

Eventually you will settle on one that will become a signature piece.

Part of the problem with wearing a ring or rings and gloves is that it’s impossible to wear both, what do you do? Well if you are outside, continue to wear gloves, but if it’s an evening function or you’re indoors then wear the rings.

Now I have seen black lace fingerless gloves which are very nice and that can be paired with rings, but remember as an Elder or Elderly Goth don’t go overboard, being understated without being plain is ideal.

Cosmetics for the Elder/Elderly Goth

O.K. Elder Darklings, so what should your cosmetic style be?

You have to first look at what the youngsters are doing and avoid that, Why?

Because it’s not you.

The white or nearly white vampire makeup would be clownish on an Elderly Goth, but if you look at the makeup styles from the 40’s and 50’s especially from the Noir Films you can get an idea, avoid the pencil thin brows, and the heavy ones as well.

You can use a natural base, perhaps ½ tone to 1 tone lighter, but not so much that someone looking at you can see a difference.

Then follow with powder. Many Goths prefer the old-fashion Coty loose powder, which is fine, as long as you wear your Goth bathrobe because it can be messy. And always have a compact and lipstick of the same color in your purse for touch ups.

Blush usually is avoided, but sometimes a hint of pink doesn’t hurt, but only if it is not clownish, lightly brush it upwards to give the face a hint of a lift, remember LIGHTLY.

A Goth always uses Sunscreen, but because we tend to avoid the sun it doesn’t hurt to take vitamin D supplements, and always follow the recommended dose on the bottle.

An Elder/Elderly Goth female can get away with Red lipstick, but be sure that again you avoid the clown look, bright red can look fine but after a while, the older one gets then it seems that the darker reds look better. And it should never be a slash on you lips.

Cosmetic companies have come out with lipsticks that have a long lip life, but always check to make sure none of it has stuck to your teeth, it can be a bear to remove.


Since I suffer from naturally dark circles around my eyes, I have to use a concealer under my eyes, but apply it sparingly, too much and it will find the wrinkles that you have.

On the upper lid I go with a neutral powder or liquid to lighten my eyes then carefully select a shadow that goes with my outfit, I apply it lightly to the center of my lid and carefully blend it out, nothing dramatic but enough to complement the eye.

With the eye liner, some Elder/Elderly Goths go for the dramatic 60’s cats eye look---not a good choice---our lids sag and droop and therefore that style will emphasize the droopiness of our lids.

I apply a thin eye liner that will bring out my eyes and naturally shape them, I avoid applying a liner to the lower lid, especially if your eyes are tiny, and it only makes it look smaller.

And if you have dark circles it will make it appear worse.

A good concealer is worth its weight in gold, I have used Clinque because the eye area is very delicate and sensitive, but again sparingly.

I know that a lot of you Goth Elderlings are wondering why I say use it sparingly, the reason is obvious---WRINKLES ---it use to be thought that the more you use, the more you conceal, but with the newer cosmetics, the less you use the better you conceal, much of the concealers, liquid makeup and powers have a tendency to collect in the wrinkles crevasses emphasizing them, which is something an Elderly Goth wants to avoid. So applying them sparingly and lightly is always the best approach.

An Elderly Goth has to always remember they are not 20 something anymore, what looked good on a 20-30 something will look horrible and horrifying on a 50 or 60 something.

The idea of the Elderly Goth is to look dignified, even in great age, and smile at the silliness that the youngerlings are doing, because the Elderly Goth knows that this too shall pass.

Now that is not to say that they can’t have fun say at a Vampire’s Ball, in that case all bets are off, because one can be dramatic and a bit over the top.

But it is a wise Elderly Goth to avoid the “geisha look”, except at a Costume ball.

But in the every day world, dignified is best.

Home Decorating for the Elder/Elderly Goth

Well here we have a problem; if you are able to get around very well then decorating your abode should not be a problem.

Some Elder/Elderly Goths prefer to go Victorian, the reasoning is that sometimes if they are my age, they get a lot of old, old goodies from the Grandparents---I did, there is something wonderful about dinning off of a turn of the century (19th -20th) dinning table and chairs and having a wonderful side board from the same period in dark oak.

So you have a choice which for many Elderly Goths work very well and is not looked upon as strange until one looks at the little quirky things.

Another Style is Art Noveau and Art Deco. Each has their own brand of style depending upon what is the preference of the Elder Goth.

If one wants Edgar Allen Poe then the Victorian furniture is the best way to go, you can find beautiful reproductions from Victorian Trading Company and from antique stores, sometimes you can find even modern gothic type things from the Spirit Store just check on line, this is where you can find quirky things as well such as plates, spider web table cloths, curtains, valances. But if you want to go with Black Lace, wait until Halloween, by then there is a lot of black lace stuff to make into curtains, table cloths, to go over lamp shades, using roses and patterns and such.

Just remember that when the black lace is exposed to sunlight for a period of time it will fade to brown, so you will be forced to re-dye it at least once every two years.

One of the better things that is happening is you can get sheer curtain panels in deep maroon, dark blue or black as well and can use that as the first defense against fading with the lace on the inside facing your room.

Deep reds, or red maroons go well in the Victorian style and during the winter time can be warm and cozy without losing your Goth feeling.

You can paint or wall paper, but remember if your room is small, then dark colors will make it smaller, but if you want that shut in, buried alive feeling that Poe would write about, that would be perfect.

So what about dish and glass wear?

Glass ware is becoming more fun, I have a pair of goblets that are pressed glass that I bought new from Target during one Christmas period, they were red with clear glass stems, just perfect for that selection of Vampire wine.

But I have been seeing more and more color glass selections available from blue to purple to green, and occasionally black, although red seems to be the preferred color.

With dishware that is another story, again if you are going with Victorian look around, and see what you can find at the discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart, sometimes the Halloween specialty shops will come out with spiders and skulls for your dishware, but if it gets chipped or broken it will be hard to replace, I would be more inclined to save those for special occasions and use the ones you find at the discount store for everyday wear.

Sometimes you can go with a solid color for IKEA. Like all Black or all Red, or mix the two. This is fine for the Art Deco, Art Modern look or Corporate Goth look.

You can go to a thrift store, estate sales, or yard sales and find mis-matched old sets and use them for your Victorian look.

If you are going for the Adams Family or Munsters look you can have a lot of fun, there are some people who have taken it to the nth degree. Such as one family building a house to resemble 1313 Mockingbird Lane, with painted cracks in the walls.

There are those who if you have the money, will find an old Victorian and if it is not on a historic register, will restore it to its Gothic Glory. But that’s for another post.

If you are into Art Deco or Art Moderne you have a lot of options, it can give you an edgier look, all angles and such, anywhere from flea markets, estate sales, antique shops, and new.

One of the best Gothy films was Karloff’s and Lugosi’s 1930’s film “The Black Cat” the interior design was inspired, Art Deco Modern and sinister at the same time. Much of it will work if you have a large warehouse living arrangement, if not you can still do it on a smaller scale. The spareness is what makes it sinister.

If you want to buy new then check out Thomasville furniture for the Bogart Luxe collection, if they have discontinued it, check E-Bay, sometimes you will find pieces there.

The Art Deco Look is really geared for the Corporate Goth or one into metal, but you have to avoid grunge and the Great Gatsby/Daisy look.

Another place for Art Deco furniture is Fund Raiser “White Elephant Sales”, such places like the Oakland Museum have them annually, you can get great finds there for both Art Deco and Victorian furniture.

With both you really need to research first what you feel the most comfortable with, what will fit into your abode, and your budget.

Some Elder/Elderly Goths get lucky and find a wonderful Craftsman style house, with the entire mission or craftsman style furniture you will not have to Goth it up much as it lends itself naturally to a Goth style by simply being itself. Again research your subject and gauge your pocket book.

Some Elder/Elderly Goths love to go for the Halloween look all year round, which is fine but watch out for real spider webs, it can mean that you will develop respiratory problems.


If you are an Elderly Goth that is developing disability problems you will have to modify your abode to accommodate your condition. That doesn’t mean you can’t be Goth, you still can, but with deference to your limitations.

If you live in an apartment it may mean moving to a ground floor arrangement, which means totally having your former apartment fixed up to normalcy.

If you own your own home then it will mean remodeling; a single level house is not too bad, you can have a ramp installed on the front or back steps, and still have it look appropriate, and you may have to remodel the bathroom as well, unless your home has an old-fashioned claw and ball bathtub, the low slung down to the floor bathtub is the hardest to get out of, however the easiest to slide from a wheel chair onto a bath seat, but also the easiest to trip and fall out of. It would almost be best to convert to a wide shower.

If your home is two story then you are looking at converting the lower half to a bedroom and if you have an area for a bathroom remodeling that as well.

Sometimes an area that is called now a days “The Family Room” is best, one thing I strongly recommend is laying down linoleum flooring because if your elderly Goth becomes bedridden they will need to be bathed in bed, or you will need a Hoyer Lift to move them out of the bed onto a wheel chair for bathing, this is a wet and messy process, so linoleum flooring is a very good idea.

By having the Elderly Goth family member located in the Family Room they can still be part of the family experience. One needs to do things that will keep them connected and this helps them mentally and emotionally.

With my arrangement for my elderly parent, we lived and visited in the Kitchen/Family room (it was two rooms together), the linoleum flooring helped, and there was a big window that looked out into the garden, so my elderly parent didn’t miss out on all the outdoor activities or seeing the changing seasons. To add a bit of interest I put a humming bird feeder as well as a bird feeder for seed and bread crumbs, sometimes a squirrel would show up so I also placed walnuts for them.

This arrangement made them feel that they were still part of the family, and this is very important. Sometimes this is the area where you do not want things to be Gothiky at all, because of the importance of maintaining a positive mental outlook for the very elderly Goth member.

Remember even if you are an Elder/Elderly Goth growing old is not for sissies.


Isn’t this the most wicked picture you’ve ever seen? It’s right up there with Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

Although the character that Meryle Streep plays is nasty, it is this image that an Elder Goth projects, in style and dress, but the Elder or Elderly Goth does not have to be nasty, just business-like, but also understanding and compassionate, and will make a poor under-performing employee understand that they need to come up to higher standards, and work with them to see that they do.

If the under-performing employee doesn’t do the work, then it’s either ship them to another department or inform them that their services are no longer needed.

O.K. I’ve digress here but this image is one of a number that the Elder/Elderly Goth should remember at all times.

With each post I will put up an image of a woman that I feel shows the style that is needed for the Retro/Corporate Goth Look, you can have your choice of what to look for and emulate.

Dressing for the Elder Goth~~~~

I just went to the Dress Barn this last weekend and it was “a good thing.”

The Dress Barn is for middle class but upwardly mobile working women, their clothing is not too old fashion and not too girly but can be something in between, and it can be for 20 something’s or oldsters like me from size 4 to 24.

But what I like about Dress Barn is that they can have pieces that are perfect for the type of Goth look that I want without looking ridiculous.

For example I found on their clearance rack (60 to 70 percent off) 4 mock turtle neck pull over sweaters, in a deep dark teal color in a jewel tone, and most importantly in my size, so I got all four---I say if it looks good and the price is right, then stock up.

I also found a necklace and matching earrings that went with those sweater tops and would go with anything else that I had without it being crosses or anything like that.

And shoes, on sale (even better) in 30’s 40’s retro style, in my size and comfortable (absolutely the best of all worlds) and would go with the rest of my wardrobe (perfect).

So for Elderly/Retro Goths like me, don’t discount the Dress Barn or TJMAX, just keep hunting and know what you want.

One Fashion style of Goth irregardless of music taste is the Corporate Goth look, which looks very good on an Elderly Goth who is into retro styles; you can get away with so much and encourage the yearlings to improve their looks as well, unless they really are too much in love with the grunge look or over the top piercings.

One has to remember budget, budget, budget, but to me the best Corporate/Business Goth look is Merle Streep in the “Devil Wore Prada”, not all the looks on her in the movie are good, but you can ascertain what the best of the best is.

The hair style Streep wore is not for everyone, you have to have the right face for it, but something that is suitable for your face with that type of impact, the long straight tresses or bed head look is not for an Elder Goth, she must be ‘deadly’ and maleficent when she has been ‘crossed’.

Sometimes the hair styles from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are excellent especially if you are into wearing hats, but forget the beehive look which even at it’s best was silly. I do sort of draw the line at the Betty Page hairstyle, for some reason those straight across bangs can suddenly date you, but sometimes there is a way to modify it, so experiment if you really want bangs.

By carefully searching you can find retro styles that are modern made, and can give that edgy Elder Goth or Corporate Goth look.

Have fun Darklings.

10 steps for Elder Goth Living~~~











Lots of Thoughts~~~

I am going to be posting a lot of posts today Darklings, only because I've had so many ideas.

So just bear with me and enjoy the reading

Growing up Goth~~~Early Years

Well now Darklings, what is growing up Goth for an Elder/Elderly Goth.?

That is sort of hard to describe because I wasn’t taught, I sort of learned.

Mother said that I am a “transitional child”, growing up learning the old world traditions from grandparents, the frugality of the depression from parents, and dealing with late 20th and early 21st century things and problems---oh yes, and I do mean problems.

As a child, my clothing was simple, cotton, denim, hardly any polyester until the late 60’s, so it was blouses and jumpers, usually plaid, my hair in pigtails ala Wednesday, although I was not full of “woe”.

I remember having red leather sandals for summer until I outgrew them, then there were those awful stiff nylon party dresses, that itched, until one day I finally told mother why I didn’t like to wear that dress, she understood. I never wore that dress again, and not only because that it itched but because of a tragedy. (more on that later)

My favorite dress was very dark blue velvet, it was a soft velvet that you don’t find anymore, and so dark blue, Maxfield Parrish Blue is the only way to describe it. Even today I look for anything in that color blue.

When I was little I wore the pastels for Easter, and the red plaid jumpers and dresses, but as I got older, my Capri pants were either black or dark blue, and my shoes were black, except when I had those saddle shoes for school, those shoes held up against anything, wore like iron.

Slowly my blouses were either white or dark red or dark blue, sometimes a dark pink would creep in or a lovely royal purple. And my skirts were dark blue, black or brown, I was in love with my Red winter wool coat, had to have it. And my raincoat was red with my plaid red umbrella.

Every Summer right at the end of the school year my Mom would take me to the Vogue Beauty Salon, it was run by a woman named Gracie, she and her husband lived in the back and the salon was in the front, I remember it had two wash bowls for hair, and 5 dryers, it was painted Pink with light grey trim inside, and the smell of hair dye, chemical perms, shampoo.

I think back in those days Pink with light gray was considered High Class, I still think so.

At the end of School that Saturday after school was out for the Summer and just when Summer was going to begin, Mom and I would have our hair done, Gracie would trim and perm and style Mom’s hair and her assistant would do mine, every beginning of Summer it was cut short and permed so I was always in tight ringlets for the Summer an early wash and go style.

I remember the assistant always telling me to be sure to let her know if my scalp was tingling too much, between her and Gracie they were always watching the perm checking my scalp and the perm, I never had a bad perm or a burned scalp. Then Mom would let my hair grow out through the summer, fall and winter and spring then again at the end of school year, did it all over again.

It wasn’t until I started High School that I wasn’t sure about that doing that routine anymore; I saw all the other girls letting their hair grow, so I wanted my hair a bit different, so the perm was done differently. Then eventually long straight hair became the fashion.

It wasn’t until high school that I began to allow my darkness to creep out, my hair was long, and it was dark brown, but Mom allowed for two of my hair locks to be lightened, so I had two red streaks like wings ala Lily Munster, my Teachers weren’t too happy about it, but it wasn’t like dying my hair green or blue like the kids do now a days, and I wore the traditional school wear, not that we had uniforms, we didn’t. But I never was outlandish in my clothing, sensible really, if it was more on the dark side, I did buy the school jacket which was a gold color and made out of wool, because I saw more sense in that than in a class ring, although I did find one at an estate sale that was the year I graduated for only a dollar.

All the girls were interested in the latest movie star or singer, the Beatles were barely on the horizon, it was still the Beach Boys, of course the boys were all jocks or nerds, although in the nerd case they had runny noses, bad breath and serious Mama boys, and the jocks---well some of them were nice enough but jocks, not a serious thought in their heads.

But in between there were a couple of us that wondered about ghosts and hauntings and vampires, we became the outcasts, but for me it didn’t matter, I seldom hung around the “Debs” and after school I usually went straight home, I always felt better being at home, did my home work right away, Mom set it up so that the breakfast area was were I could do my homework, and be right there if she needed anything. It was company for the both of us, and she’d casually ask me about school, she knew about the “fearless ghost hunters”. They would come around to the house to see if I was free after doing my chores, most of the time Mom would invite them in and we’d talk in the breakfast room, as Mom went about washing dishes, or sewing she had the knack of not appearing to listen but she did, she just didn’t respond if she heard anything outlandish.

Not until I would ask her opinion, of course I repeated what was talked about to give the appearance that she wasn’t listening, and she would give her thoughts, and it would almost always lead to having her included in our conversations or joining us as a chaperone on our excursions. Some years later I asked one of my High School friends if they thought that my Mom was “butting-in” on our fun and he replied “No” he was grateful that she was always there.

Mom and I would go to the movies when we could if we could get Grandma to watch my younger brother, one evening Mom really wanted to get out of the house, Dad was off from work so he told Mom to go he would watch my brother, so we went to an early evening showing of a double feature, I don’t remember the one movie but the second one was “The Blob” with Steve McQueen, we didn’t stay long after the movie started, when the old farmer broke open the meteor rock and that blob thing was crawling down the stick everyone in the theatre started screaming, Mom just grabbed my hand and said “We’re going home.” And we left didn’t even ask for a partial refund. We only lived 2 blocks away from the theatre but did she walk fast, I had to ask Mom to slow down I couldn’t keep up with her.

She looked at me and stopped so I could catch my breath and said “I’m sorry, but they just scared me in there.” Well I was a little scared too, so we finished walking home a bit more slowly, it was dark, but not late, I guess about 6 p.m. Dad was surprised to see us so early, but Mom told him that the second movie was a bit too scary.

In the 1970’s they had a T.V. program called “Creature Features” and they were showing “The Blob” Mom and I watched and she said “I have no idea why I was so scared of that movie when they first showed it, it seems so silly now” I said to her “Different times, different worries we know more now.” And she agreed.

When I was going to college I work mostly dark turtle neck pullover sweaters, and a black or dark grey skirt, I loved my very dark olive green trench coat, at a time when most girls were wearing short mini-skirts I looked like a trench coated Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle, and the Beatles were at their height, it was transcendental meditation, and Church of Satan.

Most of the college kids avoided me, although some of the boys would come over and talk to me, I found out that it was on a dare, “Hey, see if she’s a witch” They would be surprised when I said it was much easier to maintain my wardrobe by having a limited choice and being on a budget. Nor was I an “arty” type of girl, just studying to get a job.

But when I told them of my interest in horror films and old cemeteries that is when I encountered my first serious ghost hunting group, and my first Satanist.

I remember one day my Uncle and Grandmother came to pick me up at the college because it was a long weekend and I was going to stay over at Grandma’s house for the weekend, my Satanist walked with me to the car, he was very surprised to see a black shiny 1940 Buick picking me up and my Uncle dressed like he was out of the 1930’s.

Granny was sitting in the back seat like she was a Queen, my Uncle offered to give him a lift to the nearest bus stop, as I sat in the back seat with Granny, he asked and was asked a few questions, I think Granny’s replies shocked him because he gave her such a strange, frightened look and Granny said “You young people think you know or have discovered something new, you Haven’t. By the way are you hungry you’re welcome to come have dinner with us my son can take you home afterwards, we rarely have guests. It’s just a basic family meal.”

He accepted but more out extreme curiosity, and a touch of fear. During that dinner he discovered that we were more than just an old-fashioned family and he ceased being a Satanist after Granny straightened him out.

She introduced him to a real Satanist----one of the nicest men you’d ever want to meet, but a Satanist none the less. Granny felt it was time I knew about such things as well, so with her chaperoning and my young Friend calling his folks and letting them know where he was, we went to my Granny’s neighbor. I won’t go into it, my college friend realized he was just a poser after he met the real thing and he didn’t have the heart for it.

I knew it too, then later that evening we took my college friend home, and we remained friends and ghost hunters for a long time. He became a cop, eventually made detective grade and dealt in homicides. He told me he credited my Grandmother with showing him true evil it helped him with his life path. Even---he jokingly said---we were a bit like “the Adams Family” with a touch of “Al Capone”. He even restored a 1940’s Cadillac and found an old 1950’s police car that he restored as well.

He’s retired now but works as a private investigator, his son and grandson became cops and his daughter became a forensic investigator. They are a bit Goth as well. But their job makes them that way.

Because of my Granny, my parents and relatives I was always interested in the paranormal, and that became useful for me---I’ll continue that at another time

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My First Funeral Ritual~~~

I know Darklings, what a peculiar subject, but it's true.

I was almost 5 years old, my Grandfather was in his very late 70's this was early 1950's so almost anyone surviving that long was considered a miracle.

Grandpa had a stroke, he recovered partially from it, I was there when he had it, it was a very strong memory in my mind. Perhaps I'll talk about it another time.

But after a year Grandpa was going down hill, his heart was giving out, pneumonia finally was bringing about his end.

I remember that most of the women folk were in the kitchen, cooking food, making coffee, occasionally going into the bed room to see if Grandma or my Mother wanted anything. My Grandparents bedroom was off the dinning room, the men folk were in the garage which was a converted barn, talking about who would take care of grandma, and paying for the funeral, even about repairs.

I remember my two aunts carried trays of coffee, cream and sugar to the men.

It seemed to me that the business of dying is really women's work.

I had wandered into the living room because I was fascinated by the single candle that was burning there.

The front of the house living room, entrance hall, dinning room was dark no lights, the bedroom that my Grandpa was in was dimly lit, it was night.

But in the living room on a table right up next to the windows facing the street was a window high table, it had on it one single large candle, this candle was in a tall clear glass jar that had raised crosses on it, I have it to this vary day.

The candle was lit and the curtains and drapes were pulled back away from the window so that anyone passing by could see it from the street.

Being barely 5 years old I thought this was strange, it wasn't Halloween or Christmas or any Holiday religious or otherwise for a candle to be burning, I remember staring at it and then one of my aunts came and got me and took me into the kitchen where I had some ice cream, then she distracted me by playing a card game.

I wanted to go and see my Mother and grandmother but I was told they were busy with Grandpa, they didn't tell me he was dying, I remember my younger cousins were asleep in the other bedroom so I had no one to play with, but everyone was somber and very quiet, even I couldn't raise my voice. I thought Why? It wasn't Good Friday, which would have made perfect sense, but I did as I was told.

After a bit the door bell rang and my aunt picked me up and carried me to the entrance Hall, there I saw Mother open the door and she had a lit candle in one hand, a priest entered and Mother said something that I couldn't quiet hear, the priest blessed her and also made the sign of the cross in the entrance hall as if he was blessing the whole house.

Mother with the lit candle led the way into Grandpa's bed room with the priest right behind her, she then lit two candles that were opposite either side of a crucifix. Then my Aunt took me into the kitchen, I didn't know what was happening but later as I was older I realized that the Priest was doing the last rites or what they call the rites for the sick, Extreme Unction it is properly called.

Then after a bit I heard a cry come from my Grandpa's bedroom and Mother and the Priest brought Grandma into the kitchen she was crying, my aunts distracted made tea for her and the other went to get the men folk, but little me not know what had happened went into Grandpas' bedroom, he was lying on his back his hands on his chest he looked asleep, then I began to feel sleepy, I climbed upon the chair next to his bed and laid down next to him, he felt warm and like the scent of lavender, I knew he used lavender aftershave and I fell asleep.

When I woke the next day I was in my bed in my parents house, Mother and Dad were very serious that I thought I had done something wrong, but we went back to my Grandparents house and Grandma smiled and hugged me and said she loved me very much.

It was like there was nothing I could do wrong that day, Grandma and I went into the garden that I loved, we played with the baby chicks (she raised chickens in her yard), I teased the cat with string, and she tossed ball with me. It was like she was focusing all her thoughts on me. That night I stayed overnight with her and slept in her bed, but I saw that Grandpa wasn't there anymore I asked Grandma where he was and she said that he went with the priest to the Cemetery and he was going to stay there for a while.

I thought at that time a Cemetery was like a hospital knowing that Grandpa was ill, it wasn't until they took me to the funeral parlor that evening that I saw Grandpa in his coffin in his good blue suit. It was then I began to understand death, because more than once we had buried a pet gold fish and a pet canary, but this time it was to an adult.

The next day I had a lot of questions and Mother answered them as best as she could to a young child. I was very quiet that day, Dad had gone a bought a new coloring book for me and it was like it was O.K. for me to play with that, so I colored pictures all that day, then it was back to the funeral parlor, in my Sunday dress, hat and coat, that was my first Rosary, afterwards we went to Grandma's house and many people came by and were saying they would see us the next day.

That day it was in my other Sunday Dress, back to the funeral parlor, where we just sat and then went pass grandpa's coffin, then we waited outside, my Uncles on either side of Grandma who looked very sad, then we went to the Church were I heard my first funeral mass, all the incense, the blessing of the coffin, the black draperies, then back out to the cars, the men with black arm bands and white gloves, the cars being carefully lined up, lights on then the funeral stickers on the front windshield, then the slow drive to the cemetery, we were permitted to go through red lights, I looked out the car window and everyone was looking solemn, some even crossed themselves.

I thought was a strange parade that we were in. Then we entered the cemetery, such a beautiful, green and peaceful place, and all the cars moving so slowly, we stopped near a green area that had all these flowers next to an open grave, there we gathered, the priest said more prayers, the coffin bearers left their gloves on the coffin, and each of us put a flower on the coffin then we walked away.

I remember asking Mother why were we leaving Grandpa, and she said because he had come home here and this is where he needs to stay but we could come and visit any time we wanted. I remember turning my head and looking back at his coffin and the flowers and I saw a man standing next to the coffin looking at me and waived, I almost thought it was Grandpa, but even today I'm not sure.

Everyone gathered back and grandma's house, my aunts and mother making sure the food and drink was there, grandma wanted me sitting next to her on the couch, which was fine, I felt sleepy again, it had been a long morning and we were up early.

After that Grandma's dresses were darker, when her good wool beige coat wore out she stayed with her black ones. I rarely saw her in lighter colors after that day.

She was like Queen Victoria in perpetual mourning.

But after that I grew up fasinated with the funeral rituals, I always made sure I could go to one, unless I had to be in school that day. I slowly built up a collection of prayer and Momento Moi cards.

I didn't realize it but Grandpa's funeral was my first steps into the dark side.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Further Thoughts

Well Darklings,

I've decided that I'm going to post a picture of what I think an Elder Goth of the Art Deco, Corporate Goth type should look like with my posts. This won't happen all the time, but when I find a pix or image I like I'll put it up here.

I'll also include websites in the "My Favorites" section as well.

I'll be posting movies both old and new that I think are right.

I'll list music, books, television programs etc as well.

Even things that I enjoy. Sometimes it will be about my moods or my frustrations.

Just relax, enjoy the thoughts, sometimes dark, sometimes light, sometimes maudlin, remember Darklings I am over 60 years old, I've already got one foot in the grave and the other on the banana peel, but watch out I just might out live you all.

A New Style of Goth?~~~~

First off there is something that a lot of young people in the Goth scene seem to disagree on---- They disagree on who is Goth and who is not.

Of course there are the Posers, those who dress in black, with black nail polish, black lipstick, dyed hair and say they are into a certain band or bands.

But there are a number of older Goths who really define Goth as just understanding that nothing in life is a certainty----we do die, but like the “Days of the Dead” we laugh at it, and also understand it.

We celebrate it in a way, we embrace the night side of life, therefore it is important to enjoy life, but embrace the finiteness of it and its dark side, without going into the abyss.

When I was a “Baby Bat” or “Baby Goth” in the late 1950’s I and my Mother enjoyed going to cemeteries and looking at tombstones, as a matter of fact, when we were putting flowers on the graves of our loved ones, we’d look at the nearby graves of our ‘neighbors’, sometimes even clearing away old dead flowers, noticing what graves were being taken care of and which one’s weren’t, we’d even notice if their was a new date of death or a new name.

More than once my Mother would say “Oh, Oh they lost their (son, mother, husband, daughter) and she would look the grave over and say a prayer. Going to the cemetery was visiting our “dead neighbors”, we may not know them, but sometimes it felt like family and yes, if we were there for a long time cleaning graves and such, we packed picnic lunches and eat there, of course it was a long walk to the bathrooms for the adults if we had to use them, sometimes several of the family members would use the car to get there and then come back.

I didn’t realize it but my Grandmother, who was born in 1890, was Goth, living a Goth life style but she and many like her didn’t flaunt it, they lived it differently. She never wore bright colors, especially after Grandpa died, it was always dark colored dresses, either dark blue or black with a dark print, she had three hats, two were straw, one was a black straw with dark purple flowers the other was a beige straw with lavender flowers, mourning and half mourning. The remaining hat was black wool with a wide brim.

She had two coats, the very good black coat for formal occasions, and the other good black coat for everyday use. Even her sweaters were black or dark blue. And always black shoes with lace ups.

The rooms were always dark, except for the kitchen; she’d always say “We need the light to see if the meat is done.” And her stove was an old Buck Stove, that you would see in a Victorian home, she used it until 10 years before she died, then my know it all Uncle had it replaced, the kitchen never felt the same again.

Nothing was ever replaced unless it had to be replaced. It was hard to get anything new into her house unless it was a mattress, sheets or towels, the one break through was the Television set, and it was years before it was replaced and only because the picture tube finally burnt out.

Music only the classical music stations or the Catholic Hour, especially the Rosary Hour, every evening at Sundown, 6 p.m. on the dot.

But that’s not to say we didn’t have fun, we did, playing board games, card games, dominos, puzzles, the puzzles were the best because we could talk about things.

Going to the Funerals was an occasion, there was always someone dying or dead as the case maybe, I got to be a connoisseur of funeral parlors, flower arrangements, churches funerals services, cemeteries, headstones, prayer cards, etiquette for funerals, all of that.

Then back to my Grandmother’s place to critic the funeral service from casket to final prayer.

In a way we were like that Adams Family, but we looked normal but just had this “dark side” outlook on life. And if that is not being Goth then I don’t know what is.

It’s more than music; it is a life outlook, which a lot of young people simply don’t know. Or think they know but really they don’t.

There is one style of Goth that I have not seen, maybe I’m the first to create it or maybe they are out there and thought they had to be Victorian or romantic.

This style Goth is what I call in reference to the furniture style either Art Deco or Art Modern. Some people may refer to them as Corporate Goth, but it goes beyond that.

The films they like are horror films, spy films, Hitchcock or the German noir films of the silent era, and the same genre from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, especially the film noir and Val Luton films---eventually I’ll create a list.

The music they like can be jazz, blues from the 20’s to early 50’s, some big band, classical as well, Gregorian chant eventually I’ll put together a list.

They will attend art galleries, museums, opera, ballet, concerts, and film revivals, explore antique shops, historical locations and homes, auctions, and for fun Flea Markets; they will pretty much shun the extreme modern artists, and love Tamara De Lempika.

They will read spy novels, murder mysteries, history, literature, be familiar with the era of the 20’ through the 1950’s in history, literature, art, fashion etc. even old funeral practices.

Be well educated, dress classy, with makeup and hair from the time frame of the 20’s to the 50’s without looking overdone, always look well put together without it looking fussy, always courteous, refrain from using obscenities, and look neat even at Burger King.

They maybe members of a local Art Deco Society, or Film Society, perhaps a Historic Preservation Society or members of a Tatofile society

In terms of etiquette they will follow Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt but knowing the 21st century mores, but will honor the laws, especially in cell phone and black burry usage.
Be friendly, not aloof but reticent.

The idea is by their presence and example to make and encourage people of all ages to come up to your level not you go down to theirs, this will wake up young people to start dressing better, it may take time but one needs to be a good example.

They will not be flustered by anything, nor allow anything to irritate them, it simply is not done.

They distain extreme vulgarity and tasteless jokes, but are aware that not everyone is at their level, they will have the good manners to not look down upon those with no taste but simply not comment on it.

They can have fun and enjoy fun; they know how to laugh, sometimes to even delight in the very simple pleasures of watching butterflies, cutting out snow flakes, enjoying the expression of children who discover something for the first time.

For the Elderly Goth They KNOW that life is fleeting, that all blossomings are the beginnings of decay.

So I will continue to Explore this Style of Goth, incorporating the fact that they are aging and Elderly, but it will be something for the yearlings aka Baby Bats to learn from.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I was Born~~~~

Hello Everybody (as she says that snidely),

I'm Vampire Rose, an aging Goth.

What do I mean by aging?

It means I'm not 20, 30, or even 40 something years old, I'm over 60 years old, and I was a Goth (but that description wasn't around when I was growing up) when all of you were not even gleams in your Daddy's eye.

As a matter of fact many of your Daddy's were most likely gleams in their Daddy's eyes.

I was born when those pesky UFO's crashed into Roswell, New Mexico, and if that isn't an interesting beginning to my life well then I don't know what is. That year the sound barrier was broken for the first time as well, and I've been screaming ever since.

I grew up with a lot of traditions and customs that many of you would not know about in terms of mourning, dying, cemeteries, I was taught respect and manners and etiquette something that a lot of young people don't seem to have, they have no idea that "revenge is a dish best eaten cold."

In the rest of my posts of my blog diary I'll be talking about events and things that I experienced and grew up with. I'll talk about being strange without being strange, and then finally discovering that all along I was a goth, during the time Buddy Holly and Bill Hailey was "Rocking around the clock" and Elvis was swiveling his hips to "Hound Dog" and me, I was into Bach's "Toccata and Fugue" and enjoying visits to cemeteries and graveyards.

While growing up I got to be quite a connoisseur of Mortuaries and funeral rites.

So all you late comers you can enjoy reading my open diary and discover what you've been doing ain't new.