Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cast of Characters

The other day, when I was searching the Menopausal Stoners archives for a reference to Velvet's old buddy Hawkeye, I noticed that I posted my first post in the fall of 2007.  That's five years of Menopausal Stoners which just goes to show you that time flies whether you're having fun or not.  For the most part, it's been fun.  Velvet makes my head explode sometimes, but that's just kids.

Here are three posts from that illustrate how Velvet keeps me on my toes as a mother:
Mom's Hand-Me-Down Weed Facilitates World Peace (Stonerdate 04.12.08)
 The Drunk Girl in the Bathroom (Stonerdate 08.20.08), and The Militia of Love (Stonerdate 04.05.10) which included this infamous shot:

The reason I had trouble finding references to Hawkeye, which I knew were there, is because for a time I called him Big Bear.  Big Bear is fitting because he really is a big bear of a fellow in that he's a large young man who seems tough but is really a softie.  Hawkeye suits him better, though.  He and Velvet met at Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp the summer after our dishwasher spontaneously combusted - the incident which led to my divorce from Buzz Kill.

I mentioned Gigi in an addendum to the same post, and Ellen Abbot, who writes Stuff from Ellen's Head, asked in the comments if Velvet had a sister - since I often refer to Gigi as Velvet's sister even though it's not a bit true.  Velvet started calling her his sister when she was going to grad school in Chicago and stayed at our place when she was in town -- about five years ago, as a matter of fact. Velvet says that Gigi is the one who started the sister story.  Frankly, I can't remember.  Shortly thereafter, however, when we were out together, people started asking if I was her mother.  It started at the nail salon, but waiters and waitresses, the porters at Gigi's building and miscellaneous others often ask the same question.

At first, it bothered me that I must look old enough to have a daughter as old as Gigi, but then I started to enjoy calling her my daughter the pole dancing quadroon since she's mixed race and studied pole dancing as part of her thesis project on dance and women's sexuality.  She's abandoned that topic in favor of dance therapy as treatment for eating disorders, so I don't call her a pole dancing quadroon anymore.  She's more into yoga these days anyway.

Gigi's most notable early appearance on the blog involved the mystery of the pink thong:  Are These Your Panties? or What is it with Underwear in my House? (Stonerdate 10.15.08).  She was part of my life long before the inception of the blog, however.  She around for the episode with Gayle the Hillbilly Hustler (Gayle's Panties, Stonerdate 02.16.08), and she met The Narcissist once or twice.  Gigi and I worked together the summer I got thrown off the horse, too.

Here's Velvet and Gigi at Cafe Luxembourg about 18 months ago:

They really do resemble each other.  Here they are at Velvet's graduation from high school in 2009:

At that graduation, my father enthusiastically embraced the story that Gigi was his granddaughter.  He didn't corroborate any details, but we could tell that Buzz Kill was wondering if it could possibly be true.  Velvet and Gigi like to say that The Man from San Antone is Gigi's father, which leads to the question of whose family has the black blood - mine or The Man's.

For the record, my father's family has an entire black side up in the middle of NoFuckingWhere, East Texas.  I'm sorry to say that my great-great-great grandfather really was known as Big Daddy.  When he died, he left land to all his offspring - black and white alike.  It's just that the white ones kept control of the mineral rights because that's what white people do.  A couple of years ago, the family was making a bit of money off of natural gas leases - or at least the white side of the family in Beaumont was making money.

That brings us to my Uncle Jenifer:

Years ago, not long after my MeeMee (the pitbull in pink) died, word came from the family in Beaumont that Jenifer had a website devoted to being a Transperson.  It's gone now, but on that website, Jenifer said something about being a female inside ever since he was a little boy.  I never believed that for an instant.  I still believe he became a woman because in his mind, it erased all the shit he pulled as a man.  He was never prosecuted for anything, although his mother left him in jail overnight once when his girlfriend called the cops after he'd beaten her up.  I reckon he's stopped molesting children now that he's a woman, but from the stories coming out of Houston, s/he's still crazy as hell.

These things will happen down in the Sabine River Valley.  Crazy shit happens everywhere.  Just look at this outfit Vagina Dentata used to wear all the time:

Vagina Dentata is the name I chose for Buzz Kill's mother because for all practical purposes, she ruined her son.  Buzz Kill was about the age Velvet is now when Vagina Dentata asked him to move home from Ohio, where he was happily working in a sporting goods store since quitting school - although no one can say for sure whether Buzz Kill left college voluntarily or not.  Nevertheless, he was climbing frozen waterfalls and following parts of Lewis & Clark's trail across Wyoming in the winter.  Buzz Kill was totally into winter sports.

Buzz Kill was 13 when his dad went into the hospital with ALS, and 15 when he finally died.  Initially, Vagina Dentata fell back on her theatrical skills to make money.  She was a chanteuse in the Poconos when she met her husband - a career military man - and before that she had been on a TV show much like Dialing for Dollars.  After her husband died, she went on the soaps.  Eventually, she wound up importing straw bags from Kenya which was a good business for a while. But there were unscrupulous business partners and other reversals, so she asked Buzz Kill to move home and take care of her.  His sister told him not to because she knew that Vagina Dentata would always land on her feet.  Sadly, Buzz Kill moved home and the rest is history.

There were many reasons for our divorce, but his relationship with Vagina Dentata was a key component.  They were business partners, and she was irresponsible and intrusive, so he hid all the money from her as part of their ongoing dysfunction.  I think our marriage was collateral damage - but he was a fully grown man when he made the choice to nurture his dysfunction instead of our marriage.

Throughout the marriage, Vagina Dentata was taking car services while I was digging in the sofa for bus change - but what's done is done.  These days, she's in assisted living, and Buzz Kill's younger sister the robber baron is footing the bill.  Buzz Kill has the rent stabilized Classic Six on Central Park West with the view of the reservoir, and I'm happily settled in Harlem.  No matter what, though, Vagina Dentata loves Velvet to pieces and Velvet loves her just as much.  As it happens, she's in the hospital right now with a perforated colon.  Yesterday, they thought she might die, but she didn't.  Her own mother lived to be 101, and Vagina Dentata is just about 86.  This could go on for years, or she could die next week.

The same could be said of us all, I suppose.

To be continued . . . 


Life As I Know It Now said...

My family drives me crazy sometimes and I think that must be the way it is for everybody. My sister and I do not talk and haven't for years. The reason for this is because she left me to foot a bill for her that I in a moment of family type weakness agreed to take on (stupid, stupid, stupid I know) and then she is a teabagger and a two faced lying bitch. And that's just for starters!!! Well, you have your son, your daughter and your nice new place and a great sense of your place in the greater scheme of things and that is all for the best. Peace to you!

Mr. Charleston said...

I gave up trying to analyze my relationships and whatever influences that caused them to be what they were. People change. The wheel spins 'round. And we're just along for the ride.
Brings to mind that old Peggy Lee song, Is That All There Is.

Patricia said...

Oh lord. Thanks for bringing up all the family dirt. Lol

Anonymous said...

"Vagina Dentata"?

Fi Madam!
That has been my name of endearment - sans the traditional diminutive suffix - for, like, ever!

The Tutor, aka "Bilious C. Pudenda", and yours truly, "Vagina Dentata", (together known as "Sterculian Rhetoric"), have been terrorising the Internet since at least 2006!

You will be hearing from my Solicitors.

Anonymous said...

"......pole dancing quadroon......"

During the halcyon days of my youth, I would eugenically amuse myself by 'mating' a pole-dancing quadroon with a lounge-lizard quadroon. I did this, ostensibly, with the not altogether unreasonable expectation of creating a reproductively viable barfly hexadecaroon who would buy me drinks in my dotage.

I failed.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to us.

PENolan said...

I love solicitors. I wish somebody would solicit me right this very minute.

I first heard the term Vagina Dentata when I took an art history class at New School. The instructor used it to describe some painting by DeKooning at the Whitney.
Great idea about pole dancers with Lounge Lizards

PENolan said...

@Mr C - I've loved that song since grade school. Sort of defines the whole American Experience.

@Patricia, One of these days, I'll bring it all up and throw the mud around. I love families!

@LAIKIN - it's great to have a daughter of my own. I'm betting she gets married within a year because she's met a very nice fellow. A very solid character who is a school teacher by day and a writer by night. Before you know it, I might even be a grandma.
Too bad about your sister. Money is bad enough, but tea bagging?!

Cali said...

OMG! Vagina Dentata has NO EYES!!! Arrrgh! That, right there, is why she needed the car service! Sheesh! (jk)

Thanks for this, I feel like I'm a lot more clear on your personal cast of characters.

It's amazing how much Velvet changed in just two years time! Most girls are pretty much what they are going to be (physically) when they graduate from high school-- sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less-- but boys? They look like entirely different people at 17 and at 21! I've always considered it some sort of personal defect that I don't recognize most of the guys with whom I went to high school. Not so! It's because they aren't the same people, at all!

Sorry I'm so late to the party, but I've been letting all sorts of things slip lately. I got stressed out by some family bullshit and I just now feel like I can slowly get back to being myself.

Plus, we got a Basset hound wife for Mr. Basset-- just in time for her to come into heat. The problem is that her last owners didn't take good care of her and build her up enough after her first litter for her to be bred again. I prefer to skip a heat between litters anyway, but this time it was truly necessary. Needless to say, this threw my home into absolute chaos having a new dog, having to keep at least one door between her and both the male basset hound AND the male chihuahua, who she thinks is cute. The last thing on this earth we wanted was half-breed bassa-huahua abominations.

Poor little Jethro will be losing his family jewels before Mrs. Basset gets that loving feeling again. It just might keep Mr. Basset from snapping his pointy-eared, little head off, too. I don't think Jethro will actually mind much. When he was going crazy last week I could see in his eyes that he was just as mortified by his temporary insanity and loss of appetite as the rest of us.

I can see I'll be playing catch-up this weekend. Comments will come as needed.

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