A Memoir by Lisa Vaughn

Lisa was conservatively raised in a Catholic family in no-where middle America, where excitement is scarce and dreams are for sleeping. Little did she know, at age thirteen, she would suddenly find herself on a totally different path.

Through an unlikely chance meeting of a fellow classmate, she's surprisingly mesmerized, almost consumed, to befriend a girl who is obviously from the other side of the tracks...the cool side. Lisa does whatever she has to just to be accepted into this small club of coolness. Little did she realize, she was signing up for a lot more than social status. The two best friends find themselves innocently taking their relationship to a foreign level neither had experienced or saw coming.

A rollercoaster ride littered with choices and challenges Lisa never fathomed facing, especially in no-where middle America. She will find out what she is made of as she faces the consequences and struggles that come along with going against the grain.

Throughout their six year relationship, you will witness a touching story of human nature at its best...and at its worst. Showing just how far the human spirit can be challenged and pushed to a point where your “fight or flight” instincts naturally kick in. Struggling just to survive in a world where you are not like everyone else, but at the same time you really are. The daily struggles - both internal and external - are exhausting, yet necessary in their quest for one simple human need....love.

Finally breaking through all constraints that hold them back, reaching levels of one-ness that few actually obtain in a lifetime with their partner...only to find once they've reached that special place, it's not quite the right fit...for one of them, at least.

This contemporary story, told in the voice of the teen that lived it, will lead the reader through highs and lows, giving insight to the everyday challenges of the socially unaccepted, which will no doubt leave them rooting for the underdog. A true story of human resilience and the power of love...plain and simple.

*Please be advised, this memoir is real, honest, and raw. If you're looking for your typical 'sterilized' read, I'm not your girl - but if you're looking for a read that is written from the heart, certain to impact you on a human level, follow me! Have I got a story for you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

MondaysMindset of a Hippie-Chick: Halloween-Are We Too PC Nowadays?

If you are familiar with me at all, you know I love Halloween. In fact, I'm dubbed 'THE Queen of Halloween' within my social circles. The love for this holiday is deep-rooted from my childhood of the seventies. Ah those carefree days when we were free to be ghouls, goblins, and monsters if we chose,walking up to any house in the neighborhood that had that welcoming front porch light on to receive 'full' sized candy bars and sweets, or perhaps nickels and dimes from the 'richer' houses on the block. The days when you wore your costume to school and goofed off all afternoon attending the Halloween parade, showing off your scary alter-ego...and you know what?  No one was offended! 

That's right...no one was offended.  Unlike today. No one accused us of devil-worshipping or witchcraft. No one demanded that children only be allowed to dress in cheery outfits resembling story-book characters, only to be marched around the mall to receive the most dreadful candy of all - hard candy - from less than enthusiastic teen mall employees! Where's the fun in that? Where did it all go? Why did it change? I think it all changed when everyone started getting a little carried away with this 'PC' thing. 

And I only bring this up on this particular Halloween because two strange things happened over the weekend that made me realize I am NOT living in my 1975 Halloween-World any longer. 

For the past thirteen years we have put on quite the extensive scary display for our neighborhood, consisting of a graveyard, our stuffed monsters, lit up pumpkins and hanging skeletons - you know, the typical haunted house on the block. (See Friday's post in archive) We do this every year, and every year we are overwhelmed with praise and high fives for our contribution to the neighborhood. Many of the local children have grown up with us, looking forward to each year's display. So imagine our surprise when we woke Saturday morning to find our graveyard had been robbed! Yes, modern day grave-robbers! But these thieves stole more than just property, they stole two of our long-term monsters - Devil Man and Ghouly Guy.  And also did what damage they could within the time constraints they apparently had, strewing plastic pumpkins all over the yard, and smashing ceramic gargoyles. I have to admit, my heart sank when I saw the damage done, but also a sadness filled my soul - who would get pleasure in doing such a thing? We've never had problems in the past. In fact, I thought we were immune to teenage pranks because everyone seemed to have a certain respect for our efforts every year.  Well it didn't take long to get a sneaking suspicion of the culprit. 

As I was painstakingly re-doing our setup, a car idled by with a voice singing praises out the window of her gratefulness for our yearly effort. I nodded, thanking her for the kind words - words we were accustomed to hearing time after time. Five minutes later another car pulled around the corner. It took a minute for me to comprehend her words, for they were words I was not accustomed to, completely taking me off guard. She was spewing words of hatred for our display of Halloween art, calling it 'Awful', 'Horrible', and a 'Disgrace'. WHAT? I stood dumbfounded as my friendly neighbor smile turned into a confused scowl. Did I hear her right?  Was she actually OFFENDED? I helplessly stood there, confused...but then heard myself defending my holiday as she drove away..."It's HALLOWEEN! Lighten up!", are the words I believe I used. Had I had more time, I'm sure I would of added a few more in there that I would come to regret...but maybe not. What was her deal? Why was she so 'offended'? Our depiction of the afterlife? Our light-hearted version of a graveyard? Our theme this year involved Oprah...was she offended because we made her black? But she IS black! Was it a racial thing? A religious thing? Who knows. But it did make me think, has this world become TOO Politically Correct? Too uptight?

But I already knew the answer - long before this incident. Of course we have. I don't know when it happened, but it did. And believe me, I know we need a certain level of compassion when it comes to the PC thing...I get that. But there is a point where it just gets ridiculous. I don't believe in Christmas, but you don't see me tearing up nativity scenes or ripping down colorful lights signaling Santa is coming! Or smashing all the Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday, calling it a 'disgrace'. I don't even make a scene when they come to MY door 'hell-bent' on converting me to their religion of choice. Why? Because I live by one simple mantra: Live and Let Live. 

By contrast, I've heard that Halloween is the second money making holiday for retailers, coming in just under Christmas itself. Categorizing  it more of an 'adult holiday' now more than ever. So what does that tell you? That there are more Devil-worshipers now? Of course not. It tells me there is a great need for adults to let their hair down one night a year and 'be' whatever they want to be! (And yes, it allows that seemingly 'shy' receptionist in your office to dress in the sluttiest attire she can muster up the guts to wear!) Fantasy...Fun...A magical night! Just like in the seventies! We need that as a society. To be free to choose, not worrying if we'll be dubbed as an evil person for partaking in a fun ritual that, for now, has stood the test of time. I'd hate to think my future grandchildren will never know the magical thrill of Halloween, in all its gory-ness, because some over-excited groups have banned it, or at the very least taken all the fun out of it. The world is one giant melting-pot with many beliefs and customs. Why would one person even fathom putting down something I am doing (in my own yard, I might add) or believed in? Who gave her that right? If you don't believe in a certain holiday, then don't partake - just like I do.  But there's no need to inflict your opinions on me via car window, my dear neighbor, whoever you are.  I'm not saying you had anything to do with the recent shenanigans, you are obviously new around here, so I'll cut you some slack...this time.  But in the future, remember - Do not, I repeat, DO NOT mess with the QUEEN OF HALLOWEEN!  Just let me have this ONE holiday and we'll get along just fine. 

Lighten up people, it's just Halloween! :)  

Live and Let Live! 


  1. Bravo! I have a personal thing about PC. It was the rant on my blog today. Whatever your Holiday,belief, religion,etc. etc.etc. I thought in the US There was freedom of speech. Apparently,not for all.

  2. I don't get people being anti-Halloween. It's such a fun holiday. What sad people. And that's horrible about your graveyard and ghouls. It's a sad day indeed when folks are against fun.


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