smothered logo.jpg

Mother: Brittany (Age 46)
Daughter: Vanna (Age 21)

Daughter: Lena (Age 23)

Tampa, Florida

Tampa Gardens

This all-female family unit feels untouched in time. Almost as though they weren’t meant for this century, Brittany, Vanna and Lena are obsessed with anything vintage. The seamstress of the group, Vanna, painstakingly sews elaborate period costumes, they dawn old-timey makeup and hairdos and spend hours rehearsing authentic songs of the 1920’s-1960’s. With a soft spot for seniors and veterans, they love to travel to USO gatherings, senior homes, and VFW halls performing their incredible numbers. Their creativity, talent and over-the-top flair is unmistakable and chillingly unforgettable.

Raised in rural Georgia, Brittany (mom) homeschooled her two daughters, Brittany and Vanna. They never had cell phones, computers or social media; their only experience of the outside world was curated by their mother. On one hand it made the girls incredibly close, connected and creative, however, the isolation made it so that the girls became overly dependent on one another and not entirely equipped to deal with what comes with a normal life. Dating, friends, jobs, are all areas in their lives that they are struggling with.

Brittany always wanted to be a mom from a very young age. So when her boyfriend at the time said that he wasn’t ready to be a father, she said, “that’s fine, as long as you give me children.” As unorthodox as it may seem, the father (Peter) conceded and gave Brittany two daughters. Brittany proceeded to be married twice in her life, neither marriage worked. The latest marriage was to a man named Jason who adopted Brittany and Vanna, but when the girls started reaching out to their biological father their family dynamic shifted and Jason became cold, distant and mean-spirited. That marriage dissolved and left Brittany, Vanna and Lena together as one another’s only family. There really aren’t any other relatives, just the three of them.

Although mom is loving she rules her daughters in a strict, militant way. She likens it to the military with her in the highest rank as mother, and her daughters must obey and fall in rank behind her. Growing up dating was all done through mom’s watchful eye. Even to this day, Mom is highly involved in Vanna’s dating and social life. In fact, Vanna has a driver’s license but is uncomfortable driving, so Brittany takes her literally everywhere she goes. Even if Vanna is at a friend’s house Brittany is there watching over her daughter. The idea of privacy is essentially non-existent.

Because Vanna is younger and more passive, the unusual dynamic has worked for her, but Lena is a different story. Lena, like her mother is rebellious, wild and spirited. She would constantly fight with her mother and rebel against her many rules. Lena ultimately met a man, and after two dates decided to move in with him, much to the dismay of her mother and sister. Now, Brittany and Vanna are on their own and trying to make a life for themselves. That means, finding men, starting a business and creating a social life. Brittany really wants Vanna to date and find a man to take care of her, so she helps her daughter online-date. Also, because Vanna doesn’t drive mom drives her to all of her dates. Naturally, it’s awkward to pull up to a date and explain why mom is dropping her off! They generally lie and say mom is the Uber driver. Additionally, mom wants to find a man for herself as well. In their opinion, they want men to take care of them as opposed to getting traditional jobs. Brittany admits that even if she finds someone she still wants to live with her daughter, and even sleep in the same bed with her several nights a week.

In the meantime, Brittany and Vanna want to start a sewing business of their own, creating costumes, dresses and clothing on commission. Vanna has the talent, but neither really have the know how to get a business up and running. It’s a passion project and a way for them to make some money and make life for themselves.

Brittany and Vanna think that Lena is in a bad situation with a controlling boyfriend and she needs to get out and come home. Lena, however, thinks that Brittany and Vanna are the ones in a too close situation; they are unhealthily enmeshed and need to have lives of their own. Lena thinks that Vanna especially will never be happy if she only follows in her mother’s footsteps the rest of her life. It’s a major rift in the family unit, and something needs to give.

Additionally, their biological father Peter is expressing interest in meeting the girls. Although he met them when there were infants, he has not met them as adults. The women are excited and curious who their father is. Naturally, they have plenty of questions. Peter is excited, but he isn’t entirely convinced that Lena is his biological daughter. Additionally, Brittany wants to her daughters to meet their father, but is protective and doesn’t want anyone to interfere in their relationship or dynamic. Interestingly enough, Peter’s mother is very protective and smothering over him as well. The future is entirely uncertain for this family struggling to make their way in a world that is by all accounts foreign and unfamiliar.


·      Vanna massages Brittany every-night before bed

·      They have mommy/baby time where they cuddle and spend time together

·      The sleep in the same bed, often times naked together

·      The rehearse songs, sew and sing together

·      They are germaphobes who can’t touch the ground with their bare feet

·      They open door handles with the tips of their fingers and if Vanna doesn’t open a door correctly Brittany make her redo it


Because Lena refuses to live under the grasp of her smothering mother, she moved in with a man she barely knows. Vanna and Brittany are worried that Lena is in a bad situation with a man who is taking advantage of her naïveté. They want her to move home, back to the safety of her family. Lena, on the other hand believes that Vanna and Brittany are unhealthily enmeshed and they are enabling each other’s insular ways that are prohibiting them from living a normal life.