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(The comments contain spoilers. Read at your own risk. Carry on.)
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Okay, I must admit, there are a few of them. Troubles. Annoyances. Frustrations.
Now before all you Stephenie Meyer fans organize a protest outisde my front yard, let me clarify that they are MY problems, not hers. Although she indirectly contributes to them, I will assume full responsibility. I admit, I am only 314 pages into Twilight, but I am concerned about my reaction to this book. I’m talking, fear-for-my-sanity concern about this novel, this fictionalized story about two imagined characters who ARE. NOT. REAL.
My first trouble with Twilight is, it’s a really good story. I mean, REALLY good. I have a love-hate relationship with REALLY good books, because I get pulled into them so easily. (After I finished the Harry Potter series– I had to go back and re-read books 1-6, to prolong the inevitable ending of the series with book 7– I walked around in a semi-depressed state for weeks. I was happy with how it ended, but completely devastated that it HAD ended, if that makes any sense. I had a hard time reading a new book, because I felt so connected to Harry. I guess I had to mourn the fact that the story was over and I wasn’t going to get to read anything new about his journey. Okay, I am a FREAK!) In spite of knowing this, having heard nothing but praise for the trilogy, I asked Santa to bring them to me. The three black books have been sitting on my fireplace hearth for the past four months, and I just couldn’t bring myself to read them, because I knew that once I started, eventually they would come to an end. Finally, I ran out of excuses (okay, so the 18 books I checked out of the library were ridiculously unsatisfying and expensively overdue), so Tuessday night I picked up the first book and read half of the first chapter. (Reading anything at 12:25 PM is an exercise in futility.) Wednesday night I read another two or three pages, trying to convince myself that it was slow and would certainly never live up to its rave reviews. Yesterday, I picked it up while the kids were napping, but I kept getting distracted, so I put it aside until everyone went to bed. After all, Kenny was supposed to be home from the dealership at 9:00 PM, so that gave me a limited time to read. I would remain “safe” from my obsessive tendencies.
He didn’t get home until 11:30. I was in SERIOUS trouble.
When I woke up this morning, it was overcast and drizzly, just like the setting of the book. I sent the kids to school, cleared the breakfast dishes (didn’t wash them, mind you), set the kids up with a movie, and tucked myself under a blanket to continue my story. (BTW, having to read by a gray and cloud-filled window, with the lamp on, is the perfect way to read a vampire story.) And that brings me to my next troubles:
Vampires scare the crap out of me. C-R-A-P. I’ve always hated them, even the Count from Sesame Street ; and
I am very nearly verbally shouting my encouragement for a (fictional) seventeen-year-old girl to let-the-dad-bite-her-already-so-she-can-turn-into-a-vampire-so-they-can-love-each-other-without-harm.
Oh, I need help. However, I’m not sure there IS help for my special sort of crazy.
So here I am, rooting for a VAMPIRE (*shudder*) to get the girl he so desperately wants to kill and consume, because of this special (fictional! Have I mentioned this? It’s a STORY, for crying out loud!) love they have for each other. I had to ask myself why I was rooting for the enemy, and I decided it was mostly because of the way their blossoming relationship was written. I am a sucker for a good romance. I always have been. I have always had the little-girl dreams of love at first sight, blissfully perfect romance, and happily ever after. The fact that he spent the night in her bedroom, unbeknownst to her father, even if it was sitting in a chair in the corner, makes me squirm uncomfortably, but it’s just so darn… sweet. Loving. Tender. Romantic.
I think that’s why I am so upset. The writing is good, the imagery is superb, the characters are well-developed and the storyline is riveting, and I am having problems with all of those things because I am jealous of a (fictional!) teenage girl her relationship with a (fictional!) (sexy!) vampire.
Heaven help me… I am a mess.
Thanks to those little-girl ideals of fantasy and fairy-tales, a very real, very grown-up (albeit immature) part of me wishes that someone loved me enough to follow me around and keep me safe. Or that someone wanted to be with me so badly, he would suppress every harmful instinct he had. To ache for me when we weren’t together. To surrender video games and/or television for an hour for the chance to cuddle up and talk to me. To share secrets and dreams. To want to feel beautiful, or desirable, or… wanted… *sigh* I would love to know how that feels. Or to remember if my marriage was ever like that.
So that’s the trouble with Twilight… or maybe the trouble with me: reading the book is stirring up a whole bunch of things I’m not sure I want to think about. When your fantasy is so far removed from your actual reality, and you’re the only one who thinks they should could come a little closer together, what steps do you take to make it happen? How long do you fight a one-sided battle? At what point should you admit defeat and give in to “reality”, which is sorely lacking in romance and excitement? Do you just give yourself a good mental shake and tell yourself to grow up?
Come and tap me on the shoulder when you have it figured out, mmmkay? I’m going to read my book…