To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
(The Byrds via Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
okay – y’all are just going to have to roll with my Crazy today, okay? I’ll do a GIVEAWAY! to soften the blow of madness. Okay? Just hang with me while I air out my tiny little mind.
I’ve been diagnosed with a form of PTSD, following the Great El O Era, with the comparison of having lived in a bombed-out war zone for 12 years and now I live in a nice split-level in Orange County. [note from March — this is an analogy, Anita’s still in Hooterville lol.] The whole OC thing is fabbo but! my psyche is still at Defcon2 every other minute because 12-year war zone – and every minute it isn’t I find myself wondering why it isn’t and why I feel weird without it. Despite studying Warriors at Ease and learning the signs of PTSD in combat vets I failed to recognize it in myself. I attribute that to some vague feelings of shame, as if I have no right to experience PTSD, since I wasn’t in combat. Except. I was. For 12 years. Not as immediately life-threatening as, say, doing a tour in Afghanistan or living in Syria or amongst Sinaloa, but still pretty damaging.
What has this got to do with Angel up there in the bathtub? Well. How I got the diagnosis revolves around reading materials. For over a year I’d been unable to focus on my normal, heavier reading – just couldn’t do it. And it was freaking me out (hence the therapist convos). The unexpected rabbit hole of Romance (via Shondaland) gave me respite, allowing my eyes to move left to right without having to think overmuch. Okay! So when my bfffe suggested I read one of her favorite writers, Molly Harper, I popped on over.
(this is NOT a book review, btw – it’s about Choices. So hang in there)
Harper writes several series focusing on paranormal/supernatural creatures and, for the most part, they are delightful, funny, sexy, goofbally reads . Actually, ‘for the most part’ isn’t on Harper – it’s on me. The weirdest thing happened with the vampire books; as I delved into the charming Half-Moon Hollow (vampire-heavy) series I began to experience a bit of …. stress.. yes, stress! It seemed out of place – after all these are darling, funny, well-written books about sexy-assed predator vamps falling for regular ol’ humans (usually male vamps/female humans, with a few notable exceptions), experiencing bad/funny interpersonal dynamics (dysfunctional families and bureaucracy factor heavily), having hot sex, solving mysteries, scary conflict, snarky dialogue, declaring their True Love Forever as the human is turned (because no sexy 500 yr old 30 Forever wants someone who is going to prune up and need a walker). What’s not to like, right? … and that’s when it hit me: P.T.S.D. must still be around – because! despite all the fabbo writing, the HEA here (eternal life with Hot Vampire), the idea of being in a relationship with anybody (yes, even Idris) for EVAH! FOREVAH!?!! squeezed my sternum.
Forever. Yikes! Obvs I am not a romantic. Or else I am just a human who’s stomped around that True Love tune a few too many times. Is there a One? And could I do Forever with him? Yikes! Yes, Harper addresses this, somewhat adjacent, but without any empirical evidence in the books (these are all First Time Forevers) we’re left to imagine. Forever. For. Ev. Er. E.ter.ni.teeee.
It’s actually not a comforting thought.
Now. Just stop and think about that for a minute. Oh, wait. Before you do that I need to explain the plot device. Harper’s vamps are now Out (due to a ‘turned’ accountant, Arnie Frink, who sues bigly under the ADA to be allowed nighttime hours). The deliberately hysterical banality of the Great Outing carries through the entire series, with vampires being (mostly) Just Like Us (mostly – they are still apex predators, which is definitely A Thing to Remember if you prefer not being destroyed). They lobby for (and win) equal status as citizens, etc, they go to Walmart for vampire groceries (this is a town in KY, there’s a Walmart), they can marry, etc, they live in houses/townhouses/apartments…. and their marriages mirror humans’ with the expected HEA.
and… omg. Something about all that skipped over the hysterical and just gave me hives. Not ‘bad writing’ hives(they really are well done). Just ‘omg. the notion’ hives. And it reminds me how much I love Maurice Chevalier’s song (in ‘Gigi’) “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore”.
‘and even if Love comes through the door
The kind that goes on forevermore
Forevermore’s much shorter than before’
(I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore – Lerner & Lowe)
Is it PTSD? Or is it just Life? that the idea of living, especially living A Regular Life, with anybody, even if it’s your Own True Love (or even just a Deep and Abiding Affection), for freaking EVAH! is horrifying? It makes my spine twist. In the Harper books, these vamps are ‘people’, albeit with the whole Apex Predator thing, the fangs and supernatural powers; how can they, living the ‘people’ life, possibly expect to Keep Life or Love Fresh (and Alive) for eternity? I love Life and I love the idea of Love – but an actual eternity of either (or both) just doesn’t seem all that appealing. Add to that the men I’ve cleaved unto have about a 10yr limit on fidelity – and I’m probably not much better – but even if one can go the whole enchilada the idea of ….omg… eternity? And not even The Sex – which must be said because it looms large in these books- don’t forget, you get turned when you’re 29, you stay 29 forevah!! I mean, there are only so many Kama Sutra positions… just sayin’… and now you’re only gonna be knockin’ boots with The One for ETERNITY). Just… omg. The. Same. Person. (and you know folks’s habits don’t change – the guy who cracks his knuckles in Year One will be cracking his knuckles in Year One Thousand – just remember that). Can they really sustain that ‘can’t live without her’ feeling when they literally are not going to be living without her… for effin’ … eternity. What on earth could you possibly have to say to anyone 1000 (yes, ONE THOUSAND) years into the relationship? How are they going to keep that bookstore (there’s a bookstore) going through 3015? (assuming we haven’t immolated everything on the planet by then – Cletus (Greek- short for ‘Anacletus’ it means ‘illustrious’, not ‘hillbilly’) – he’s nearly 1000 years old and still hotAF because vampire) explains our human evolution, which only really leapt about 100 years ago – and he’s not sure we have another thousand years in us) Will Vampire Dick still be watching ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ marathons? Will his newly-vamped wife still be escaping to the bookstore (there’s a bookstore*) to avoid that marathon? All the questions.
500 years of Dukes of Hazzard…
1000 years of Walmart.
Annnd… the sternum squeezes.
I suspect there’s a reason vamps are all so damb gorgeously BROODING! Probably trying to figure out how to avoid that 250th Hazzard Marathon (though, in some households, that could just be next Tuesday).
“How do you keep the music playing
How do you make it last?
How do you keep the song from fading too fast?”
(“How Do You Keep The Music Playing” M. Legrand/M. Bergman/A. Bergman)
Hmmm… it’s a great, funny, sexy series – but maybe not the best series for a Relationship-PTSD victim with a skittery mind. Or maybe I just need to stfu and get with the Vampire Forever program. I know, I know… I’m overthinking it. Perhaps I’ll go back to her funny/charming Werewolf series – all the power, all the sexy, alllll the power (I know, I already said that, deal with it. I love me some Apex Predator)… but her werewolves live out their lifespans much as humans do. (however, beware: once you commit you’re locked in a ‘mated’ situation, so choose your werewolf wisely – there are no do-overs). I know he’s not a werewolf (he’s a Wolverine) but if he were a werewolf, I’d choose This One – it’s a no-brainer, don’t you think?)
stolen: Men’s Health (menshealth.com)
Jeebus! This mindset of mine sounds depressing, doesn’t it? Sorry! It just popped up in my skittery mind! I don’t have anything against True Love. Honestly, I don’t ( though I have no idea what that even means, it does have a nice ring to it) … and I tend to suspend disbelief when reading fiction of any sort (and especially paranormal fiction because… hello!?! Pa.ra.nor.mal.). But Harper’s placing this Paranormal series smack-dab in the middle of Normal sort of forced the issue for my PTSD ass. See, maybe that’s why I need to go back to the non-paranormal 1800s romances! LOL! Suspending disbelief means I can watch the MCs embrace carpe diem and need never think about them shuffling off their mortal coil at 50. What’s the point of carpe diem, though, when you are facing 300,000 diems! Or more. All. those. diems. Yikes!
What’s your take? Would you choose Forever – and since it’s HEA, it’s FOREVER WITH THE SAME HOTALICIOUS VAMPIRE FOREVER (yeah, I’m kinda stuck on that ‘forever’ thing – sorry). Or would you choose a (somewhat) mortal life HEA, aging with that Furry Sex Bomb up there?
Give me your thoughts and I’ll have TGirl poke for TWO winners! Because this? This is a totally bonkers post!!! And… well, it’s bonkers.
You all still love me, right? You’re not going to declare me completely insane – yet – right?
Oh, yeah! WINNER from ‘Flaming Hot’: KATHLEEN!
gmail your evilauntieanita and I’ll get some fun stuff out to you!