I delight in reading mommy blogs because most of the children written about are pre-adolescent. While young children can, give you problems and worries, they are really minor compared to children in puberty and beyond. When the mommy bloggers start to whine about Little Johnny not sleeping through the night or Little Betsy falling behind at her Montessori school because she’s can’t count to 11 in Swahili, I giggle and guffaw with total abandon. I also have another beer because I’m so freakin’ happy I’ll never, ever have to go through raising children again. What these unaware mothers don’t know is that when Little Johnny and Betsy get to around age 13, they are going to transform into something unrecognizable as human. Some weird chemical reaction between sprouting pubes and the brain causes your cute little boy or girl to become a monster.
It was when my daughter turned 13 and then eight years later when my son turned 13, that my love of horror novels formed a seed of an idea in my head. It had been slowing growing then when I discovered “mommy” blogs and began reading the “Twilight” series, the seed really grew. Are you ready for this, readers? Bram Stoker had a teenager. Yup, the father of all vampires had a teenager. His son’s name was Irving... Bram knew the agony of adolescence and turned it into a book. The man made money off of his son. I knew he was brilliant but never realized how brilliant. It’s a rare parent that can make money off a teenager. Anyone who has or had a teenager knows they are actually a black hole into which you throw money. Irving was born in 1879. Bram published "Dracula" in 1897; Irving was turning 18 that year. Father Stoker had survived through almost all his son's teenage years and used that information to write a book that although fiction was based in fact. Brilliant!
They are hungry. No, they are RAVENOUS! If it’s not moving quickly, it gets eaten. Having a full working farm and/or owning a grocery store helps if you have a teenager. They can eat 24/7 and not gain an ounce. Of course, my readers, we know THAT won’t last but it brings me to my next point – They are omniscient. They know absolutely EVERYTHING! They have no shame and will point out at every available instance how pitiful your life experience is to theirs. You have absolutely no idea what it’s like out in the world. Their incredible brainpower can’t comprehend how you actually made it to adulthood and are incredulous at the fact that two such disappointing specimens managed to create such a marvel as them. They can make you bat-shit crazy, over and over and over until you start to feel like Renfield.
They are creatures of the night. Like vampires, teenagers seem to come to life after the sun goes down. They prowl about in the dark looking for food or entertainment. Many times the two things can be the same. They also sleep like the dead when the sun is up. Don’t believe me? Try waking a teenager up for school. When they do venture out of their coffin-like rooms while the sun is up, they look pale and red-eyed. Probably from being up all night eating and staring at computer screens. Bram's kid didn't have a computer so his vampire look would come from trying to read Victorian porn by candlelight I'm guessing.
Bram Stoker observed all this and realized that teenagers and the mythical vampire were almost identical. He wrote it down added some embellishment, smoothed out the rough edges and Bob’s your uncle – had himself a bestseller! Well, that’s my theory, anyway.
Bram’s Dracula wasn’t particularly romantic. He certainly didn't "sparkle". Parents of teenagers know that they NEVER "sparkle". Bram was spot on with his interpretation of the teenager/vampire. Dark, brooding, moody, mercurial, life-sucking. The more modern versions are sexy, romantic, have feelings and are all young. I’m thinking that’s because the authors don’t have teenagers.
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