Which ~ Witch is Normal?

Today I am a spinner of webs, so let me weave you a tale of the Wyrd and the Wicked.

c.1959

The little girl in the photo looks like your average, normal kid, right? Well, don’t be fooled by that toothy grin and mop of disheveled hair (Must’ve been mom’s handiwork there.). What you’re looking at is someone who was (and still is) anything BUT normal. “But what IS ‘normal’?”

I ran across this question in a blog post weeks ago and it gave me pause. I commented that I was a weird kid who grew up to be a strange woman people are uncomfortable being around. I was never what one would consider “normal.” Got a couple of replies back from young ladies who felt similarly – except they were obviously uncomfortable with being odd. That gave me even greater pause. Why does one person revel in their quirkiness while others feel like shunned outsiders? Does it have something to do with their upbringing, or does it speak more to our societal norms and the pressure put on us to conform to them? Hell if I know! But I promised to spin you a tale and a tale you will get…

This next photo should give you a clue to just how different I was from other girls my age. No frilly frocks for me!

c. 1960

I even had a “horse” to ride and (fake) pistol! I can’t show you those pictures because I had a towel wrapped around my waist and was naked from the waist up. (My secret desire to be an Indian was starting to sneak out of the teepee…)

Don’t get me wrong, I loved wearing cute ensembles and had dolls that I played with. I really didn’t even think I was different because I was a girl. I never even gave it much thought. I just knew what I liked to do and DID IT; but I didn’t have any close friends growing up. I’ve written about how we moved a lot, which always seemed to put me in a new school, so it was hard to make friends. I learned to entertain myself. I was comfortable being by myself and left to my own devices. (You know how kids get sent to their rooms as punishment? Never worked for me. I loved my room. Still do.)

It was around the early 1960s that things changed for me:

For me, it all began during the 1960’s. Saturday afternoon monster movies (Accompanied by bowls of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. These two would remain inextricably linked.) I had begun collecting Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines and had pictures of horror films plastered all over my bedroom (Which my Mom refused to enter at that point. Guess she was “squeamish”.), followed by Creepy and Eerie.

My Dad was not so squeamish and helped me assemble and paint Monster Model kits by Aurora. I had Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

I was around 10 at the time and although I loved playing dress-up, it was safe to say I was no ordinary little girl. Only the neighborhood boys were interested in “monsters” and horror films so I happily traded Monster bubble gum cards with them. One Christmas I remember getting paint-by-number kits featuring Universal monsters.

1964 ushered in two horror-themed sitcoms: The Addams Family and The Munsters. Of the two, I preferred The Addams Family and Morticia became one of my Archetypes early on.

I became totally immersed in the supernatural and monsters and vampires and werewolves and…well you get the picture. Today, that whole goth/vamp thing is “a thing” but not when I was growing up. With the exception of trading Monster Bubble Gum Cards with neighborhood boys, NO ONE ELSE WAS INTO THAT STUFF. Again, I was oblivious to the fact that I was so different from everyone around me. I was happy just being me.

I will continue spinning this tale for you but before I go, there’s one little tidbit I will share with you (Because my bestie said she’d kill me if I didn’t…This one’s for you, J.)

Every year we took an Aptitude Test. These tests were supposed to show your IQ level and what your natural abilities were. I always scored high and the school district kept wanting to place me in accelerated classes. Only one thing held me back. When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I answered with “A vampire.” Yep, that’s right folks. I WANTED TO BE A VAMPIRE. For real. I was totally serious.

Today kids would be prescribed drugs for that but, thankfully, my folks let me be myself. I never knew what they told the school board. (Once I hit Junior High I was put into High-School level classes.)

To be continued…

c. 1963

ℳ –

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