I’m sure some of you have come across this book and the attendant web site, but if you haven’t then I certainly recommend it, especially for all you lovely Baby Bats.
Alright for the very few that aren’t aware of this site it’s called “Gothic Charm School” and the Mistress of Ceremonies and well known Lady of Manners is Mistress Jillian Venters.
She wrote the book “Gothic Charm School: An essential guide for Goths and those who love them” I believe you can still purchase it at Amazon.com.
For Halloween etiquette check out this page www.gothic-charm-school.com/charm/?p=21 for the rules for Halloween, so very important my Darklings, so very important.
Now if the above link doesn't work I'll post the web site on my links page.
But a book like this can help young Baby Bats to begin to negotiate the Goth life and can help parents understand some of the difficulties that young people are going through and parents cannot say they didn’t go through it, they did but back then there were other stresses, other pressures.
I’d have to say that I was lucky in many respects, having positive support and re-enforcement from my family, but once in a while my Mother or Granny would come up with a “zinger” about something, and their remark would catch me completely off guard but also remind me how really “with it” they were.
Prime example----a number of years ago when my Mother was still alive, we went the City, I think we were hunting for a wedding present and finally decided it would be easier to get a gift certificate for the future couple at a nearby store where they were registered, trust me Darklings, so much easier than trying to guess if they have a toaster or not.
As we sat on a bench to rest in old Union Square park surrounded by so many wonderful stores to give a shopaholic an overload, and come to a final decision, Mother looked up and saw a young man dressed in a dark blue shirt and tan jeans that had a red patch right were the zipper goes, Mother turned to me and asked “Is that a stain or is he advertising?”
I have to admit her remark did catch me off guard but I did take a look and said to her “It’s not a stain,” and she replied very straight faced “Well he doesn’t have much to advertise either”. When she said that I whooped with laughter and did my best to get it under control, but it was hard Darklings, trust me it was hard.
When we got home I had to share this with my younger sister, and we both were rolling around in laughter, sweet but straight laced Mother making a remark like that, of course Dad had to ask why we were laughing so much and we told him, he looked at us and also began to laugh but he got himself under control very quickly and said “You have to be careful with Mother, she can be ‘deadly’”. When our younger brother came home from playing with his friends, he couldn’t understand why we looked so silly and shrugged it off as “girl stuff”, and went into the Kitchen looking for something to eat.
Which brings me to my sister, brief bio on her, I adore her, her verve and nerve, she married soon after she graduated from college and worked part time, had two lovely children now adults, one child is married with one child her own and another on the way, the other is engaged. But my sister did divorce when she found out that her husband of 15 years was cheating on her--- with another man--- so they had a quiet divorce and set things up so the children would not be a financial burden, and surprisingly are still friends at the insistence of her ex-husbands’ boy friend. When the children were grown enough for her to work full time she found a job that is the best of many world, something she enjoys doing and gets paid for it and travels a fair amount.
My sister called me Monday evening, I’m glad and relieved that she is safe from the storm on the East Coast and we had a wonderful talk, she’ll be coming into the area from just before Thanksgiving to just after New Years, usually she looks for a very short term rental or one of those Hotels for business visitors, but she asked me if I didn’t mind putting her up for the 6 weeks or so that she’d be here.
I asked her why was she switching from her usual pattern and she replied that one of the places she’d stay at is undergoing extensive renovation, one other had increased its rates, but she’d heard from colleagues that the service was not up to par, and at one other place that she stayed at she felt unsafe as the neighborhood had changed quiet a bit. There were others but she just didn’t have the time to check them out.
I told her she could stay with me and we’d agreed that she’d pay me the increase difference in the utilities usage and also for any food should she eat at home, this is something that I know she would do anyway, because she’d write it off as a business expense and other arrangements, since she knew that I had a very crazy schedule especially around the holidays. And I felt it would be good to see her when we could between her assignments while she was here.
As a matter of fact I suggested to her that it might be good for her to use my home as her home base of operations from now on, since I had plenty of bed rooms, that way she didn’t have to worry about putting things into storage or finding a short term rental all the time. One of the bedrooms that I have is empty and she can set up her “housekeeping” there.
She liked the idea and said we could work the details out when she arrives; I’ve noticed with her over the last few years that she had become more and more Goth in outlook as well, cultivating the darker side and darker nature of life, perhaps its her work, but I do know that when she learned I had inherited our Great Aunt’s house she was thrilled beyond belief.
During our phone conversation she reminded me of the time we spent over at Grandma’s house when our family home was being fumigated for termites and that motel that was next door to Granny’s.
Oh that was an uproarious adventure.
I had just started college taking a summer class and my sister just completed her 2nd year of high school, our brother was in the 8th grade and looking forward to starting high school the next year. Dad had gone into the basement one day because of a hot water heater problem and noticed sawdust, and not the kind from sawing wood. Upon closer inspection by a professional it was pronounced that we had been invaded by termites, and on one side of the house it was bad.
The only way to get rid of them was to “tent” the house and do a serious fumigation, what a nightmare that was, every spare minute that we had when not doing homework was spent in moving things out and over to grandma’s, as much clothing as possible, towels, bedding, food and personal toiletries, boxes of things. We were glad that my sister and brother just started their Summer break and I was only taking one college course for the Summer.
What could not be moved was going to be washed so we were to be evicted until at such time it was safe to return.
It was for almost a month, so for us children we were camping on the floor of the living room, my doing homework on the dinning room table and Mother keeping peace so our brother would not pester us as younger brothers like to do. There were times he could be such an annoyance. But in a way my sister and I enjoyed it, it was sort of a long term “sleep-over”, we only wished we didn’t have annoying little brother around, how many times he came close to being drowned in Grandma’s ornamental fish pond he’ll never know. My sister and I would think of “fiendish” ways to get rid of him, which we never carried out, but it was fun thinking about it.
It was sort of seeing “Wednesday Addams” with her brother “Pugsley” just before she was going to pull the lever on the electric chair, but never carried out, it was a scene that we both could relate to.
Next door to Grandma’s house was a motel, it had off street parking as well as parking under the building, so instead of it being a 2 story building it pushed it up to being 3 story, the only saving grace was the fact that there was also a parking lot that was wide enough to have a lot of space between the motel and the house, but it could be an annoyance.
During the month we were there a pimp in his fancy convertible pimp-mobile would drop off several of his “girls” then after a few hours would come by, pull into the parking lot and honk the horn of his car so they’d come out either at 11 p.m. or Midnight, it was getting very annoying.
It being a Saturday night my Sister, Mother, Granny and I were doing our “beauty routine”, our hair was up in pink sponge rollers so we could sleep on them, our faces covered in beauty masks to tighten up our pores, the masks were made of a blue mud like substance slowly drying on our faces, painting our nails and dressed in our night gowns. I remember I was dressed in a dark blue filmy baby doll night gown with a short filmy matching robe. We were having fun while Dad and my brother stayed out of the way, Friday and Saturday were the two evenings my brother could stay up late and they were watching “Creature Features” that night.
We were upstairs in Granny’s bedroom, her windows overlooked the roof to her laundry room, and we could have an excellent view of her back yard and the parking lot to the motel. As a matter of fact more than once we’d climb out of those windows to pick the fruit off of the apple tree that grew on the other side of her house, but we had to be careful because the roof on the laundry room sloped slightly downward.
And that evening, once again the Pimp in his pimp-mobile showed up and started honking his horn, after dealing with this for several weeks and I knew Granny had been dealing with it for months, I grabbed Grandpa’s old double barrel shot gun that Granny had mounted on a rack on the wall in the hall, the shotgun didn’t work any more as the firing pins were very worn down.
Here was I just mad as hell about this annoyance, in my dark blue baby doll night gown and robe, wearing pink sponge rollers in my hair, a blue mud pack on my face and pink fuzzy-wuzzy slippers on my feet (I had not done my pedicure yet).
I went to the windows climbed out and slowly walked on the roof to the edge that overlooked the parking lot, I could hear Mother saying to me “What are you going to do?” and my sister saying “Be careful.”
I could see very clearly the pimp and his car with the convertible rag top down so you could clearly see them in the car; two of his girls were getting in with the third lagging behind.
I yelled out “Get your Ass and your cheap girl’s asses out of here and don’t come back!! Otherwise I’m gonna put a extra hole in Your Ass!!!”, I shouldered the non-working shot-gun to my shoulder as if I knew how to use it and the Pimp and his girls looked up and they all screamed at what must have been the sight from hell with a shot-gun.
The pimp gunned his car back wards and hit a concrete pole doing some serious back end damage, his third girl was running to the car losing her high heeled platform shoes and yelling at him “Don’ leave me!!!” she jumped in the back seat of the convertible head first and as the pimp spun his car around and hit the front end of his car on the same pole, her legs were waggling in the air and one could see she was not wearing any underwear, the car left rubber tire tread marks on the road as he took off with the girls ducking down fearful that I might shoot at them. (which I couldn’t shoot anyway)
The temporary tenants of the motel and the motel manager came out and saw what was causing the commotion. I heard some laughter as they took in the scene.
After the pimp and his girls took off down the road, I carefully went back to the windows and climbed back in while Dad and my brother came running up the stairs to see what had started the ruckus and saw me calmly putting the old shotgun back on the rack in the hall. Mother and Granny explained to Dad what I had done while my sister was laughing so hard she fell backwards onto Granny’s bed.
Dad looked at me, then at the shot gun, looked at me again, then back to the shot gun, finally he turned to me and said “I think that Pimp was more afraid of what you looked like instead of the shotgun.” And he and my brother who was laughing and saying “wait till I tell my buddies about you!” went back down stairs to finish “Creature Features.”
At first I was puzzled by Dad’s calm remark until I took a look in the mirror and saw what Jeff Foxworthy calls “The Creature From the Cold Cream Lagoon”, and found myself laughing along with everyone else.
That Pimp and his girls never did come back.
There were some other adventures which I’ll tell about another time.