Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,
I’m writing to you to ask if I should be concerned over something going on with my kid. My 12-year-old daughter is obsessed with vampires. She got hooked after reading the Twilight series and now only wants to wear black, pretend her bed is a coffin, and sneaks my bright red lipstick and face powder so she looks more “vamp” (her words, not mine). I know girls go through phases, but this is getting out of hand. What do you think about this, and what should I do?
Mom of the Living Dead
Dear Mom of the Living Dead (that’s funny, btw),
I could throw a bunch of psychobabble in your direction, marrying together classic developmental physiological milestones with psychological stage theory – and throw in a bit of Jungian archetypal symbolism as an amuse bouche just to keep it interesting. But kitten, the short answer here is this: don’t worry about it. It’s a phase. Don’t ignore her or get your knickers all in a twist over it. The bigger deal you make of this, the more you fan the flames of drama.
She’s in the first throws of adolescence (lucky you) so imagine you get to live a version of Halloween everyday, meaning, she’s going to be trying on different identities to see what feels right. All normal, by the way. She’s also testing you, to see if you’re going to love and accept her no matter what. Underneath the way-too-thick black eyeliner and smeared red lipstick (we can all thank Robert Smith from The Cure for that priceless combination), she wants to know if you’re going to still be there for her, even as she abandons the little girl she used to be.
Also, the whole vampire thing is nothing new…in my day, everyone was going ape-shit over Anne Rice novels and listening to Bauhaus on a constant loop. Most people, including your daughter, will merely dip their toe into the whole goth scene (short for “Gothic”) – be viewed as posers by the die-hards – and find some other costume to wear shortly after. If her vampiric fixation begins to interfere with her school work or if she becomes increasingly isolated, then it’s time to worry and you may need to seek counseling at that time. And even then, the issue is not vampires or wearing all black or listening to maudlin music – it’s classic depression, which teenage girls are especially susceptible. Write back if it gets to that point, and I’ll help you find some resources.
So that’s that scaredy cat. Enjoy the ride. Oy.
Oh, and here’s a mix to get you up to speed…
Old School Selections
10. “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song),” (Concrete Blonde) Bloodletting.
09. “Bela Lugosi’ Dead,” (Bauhaus) Bauhaus Singles.
08. “Taste of Blood,” (Mazzy Star) She Hangs Brightly.
07. “We Hunger,” (Siouxsie and the Banshees) Hyaena.
06. “If I was Your Vampire,” (Marilyn Manson) Eat Me, Drink Me.
05. “Burn,” (The Cure) Join the Dots: B-Sides and Rarities, 1978-2001.
Stuff Your Daughter Probably Likes
04. “Supermassive Black Hole,” (Muse) Twilight , Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
03. “My Immortal,” (Evanescence) Fallen.
02. “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” (My Chemical Romance) I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.
01. “Satin in a Coffin,” (Modest Mouse) Good News for People Who Love Bad News.