My mother fears lots of things but as I recently found out, her most prevailing fear is of the occult. Not so much devils and pitchforks per-se but more like abnormal people especially if they wear black clothing and makeup. I grew up with a school full of kids whose idea of rebelling was playing dress up or wearing too much makeup. It doesn’t phase me and I never think “Oh god look at the lip piercing and fingerless gloves, he’ll kill us all” In other words, fishnet tights and rock music have never been enough to fuck with me mentally.
We actually had a huge swearing and door slamming argument that started because the little neighbor boy has decided to be Goth. He was wandering up the street with his black nail polish and eyeliner and I think she just snapped. She was all in a panic about it and she had attempted to tell me about it no less than three separate times that day. I was hoping not to have to go there with her, but she wouldn’t leave it be.
You could tell that she was just distraught and fucked up behind it. In the back of my mind I knew she was having some sort of mental issue, but I chose to ignore it. Looking back on it now I should have just drawn my face in mock panic when she attempted to tell me how awful and terrible his look was. I should have recoiled in horror when she surmised that he would someday shoot up his school complete with trench coat...but I didn't. It was a stupid move on my part.
I tried unsuccessfully to explain that Goth is just another form of expression for today’s youth. Much like our baggy jeans, ripped jeans, tie dye, and punk rock pink hair. It really isn't the occult its more like dress up. But there is no talking to her about what she thinks is devil based. So this evening while watching the International Ballroom Competition (yes I watch PBS) there was one couple that did a sort of Goth-like tango complete with dreaded black eyeliner. She tried to freak out and almost couldn't watch. She just sat there with her mouth hanging open in disbelief. I couldn’t believe she was having the same reaction she had to the neighbor boy. It’s a dance for gods love.
In fact a Revlon commercial for their new Midnight Swirl lip-gloss which is a black cherry-deep red-almost black that when viewed on the seemingly normal model she made a horrified gasp. She said it looked like her mouth was dripping blood. I guess the whole look is just too much for her but frankly I am just confused by her reaction. Its dress up so what is the damn big deal a little black eyeliner doesn’t make the devil go jumping into a person’s body. She isn’t even all that religious which makes this even stranger.
I have tried to chalk it up to her age group and what their particular comfort level is with things that aren’t completely normal, but seriously its just too much even for me to comprehend or apparently discuss with her. The fact that I may have to spend another hour convincing her that kids like that don’t turn into terrorists or that kids who spend time alone don’t suddenly go Goth is more than I want to have to deal with. I think I am going to start slipping her anti-anxiety medication, because her behavior is just getting out of hand.