Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

The trouble with “Twilight”… May 2, 2008

    

***Public Service Announcement***

(The comments contain spoilers.  Read at your own risk.  Carry on.)

 

—–     —–     —–

     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…

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27 Responses to “The trouble with “Twilight”…”

  1. ybtolerant Says:

    WOW. I loved each and every moment of those books. I share your frustrations. I share the jealousy. I have an Edward and a jacob in my life. I compare everything to my life. The difference the two of us is that I LOVE vampires. I am so into that. The whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer thing, and I fell in love with Edward at first read.
    I know the whole wish life was like the book feeling. Not wanting to compare it but can’t help yourself. Gah. If only we could control our reading habits.
    i was so obsessed and delved into that book I finished all 3 in less than four days and couldn’t stop talking about it. In fact i ended up writing a story that surrounded the characters.
    I.LOVE.THOSE.BOOKS!!

    Question one: How far into the book are you? IF futher – which book?
    Question two: What do you think of Edwards family?
    Question three: depends on how far you are – about a character & relationship (wouldn’t want to ruin it for you just yet)

    🙂 write me back, you can go to my blog & leave a comment…. You’ve inspired me to tell the world about my book love/hate relationship as well

    *Amber or *Ybtolerant

  2. […] 5 boring minutes just to go blog surfing find the site find someones blog read the recent post (good one by the way about Twilight oh – and she’s funny too!) and take the […]

  3. ybtolerant Says:

    Ok – So you are actually on Eclipse then right? There is ‘Twilight’ then ‘New Moon’ and ‘Eclipse’ (in that order) And New moon is the second one with an in depth look on Jacob and Bella’s relationship and who Jacob really is. So you know WHAT he is then right? Well – see …. I HATE & LOATHE Jacob. I seriously do not like his character. I personally think he screwed up everything for Bella. I hate to say it – but I feel like he is just a character that needs to die. Sorry if you like him though – don’t hate me! I will explan my reasoning after you read the second book – or if you ask ( but I would hate to ruin anything for you).

    I love the Cullens too. Rosalie is a brat, but I think you might find yourself falling for her character a little more as you get into the book. I mean come on, Edwards kind of a total jerk but he has nice qualities. Just be sure to give everyone a chance. They are too good to be true. You said it yourself – the story line is COMPLETELY too good. I think this is the best series of books I have ever read. And if you like that then I recommend you go back to my blog and look at the post about Brian Davis and the Dragons in our Midst series (http://www.dragonsinourmidst.com/) They are just as good. – If not better. However there are more books – Since you like Harry Potter though I can imagine that you don’t mind a lot of books though. You are at a good point I might say. I enjoy these books more than any I have ever read – and I think you will find yourself maybe obsessing but no more than just adoring an amazing author’s work. ^_^

    The cool thing about it is that the new book is coming out August 10, 2008 if I am correct, titled ‘Breaking Dawn’ and without spoiling it for you – it is in the perspective of another character so it gets even more interesting –
    And then you have a movie being released soon too. AMAZING isn’t it? You and I will be the people in the front screaming the flaws and yelling at the screen saying whats gonna happen and point out the differences from book and movie – Aren’t we??

    The whole um … “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.” Thing … well I feel THE EXACT SAME.

    🙂 Anyways … feel free to ask me anything or try and get me to spoil the suspense for you… (even thought I won’t … ??)

    I will check your blog – Your funny, So I have you bookmarked

    *Amber

  4. Rachel Says:

    And alas…I have still not read them….still not been sucked in…still not had those feelings…though, I am sure the second I start reading I will! 🙂

    IF I start reading…

    I’m still hung up over the whole VAMPIRE plot…sounds kind of creepy to me…

    But everyone tells me the same things…”these are books about vampires…kind of…”

    Don’t know how it can only be KIND OF…

    Sigh…someday….someday….someday. 🙂 And then I will know what the heck the hype is all about! 🙂

  5. ybtolerant Says:

    Ok – sorry I got all confused there for a minute. I had to go back to remember which chapter that was, and recap again. I loved Twilight – but I think Eclipse is my favorite so far. Yeah I just have a thing for meddlers.

    New Moon will explain more for you about my issues with Jacob. You might be a person who falls for him – or you might hate him. I don’t find too many neutral people about him.
    Laundry? Food? Sleep? What chores? Books are life right? My family won’t die if I hide my nose in a book for 3 days straight. I survived.

    No – actually you will understand better when you finish Eclipse. The next one is supposed to be from Jacob’s perspective – which should be interesting. I don’t know if it changes in timeline and goes off from where Eclipse ends or if it picks up from his perspective at a certain time and we know what’s happened with the other side (meaning the vampire + Bella clan). I still don’t like him – but I can give it a chance since its Steph and well it’s bound to still be good!!!

    I am so excited to hear your perspective about the series. Keep me posted where you are – and what you think about what’s happened. I’d love to share thoughts and well frustrations with you. It’s fun!

    🙂 *Amber

  6. pppj Says:

    I’ve never read them, but I will now!

    As far as romance, etc…. I think if you try harder it works. I don’t mean the ‘I cleaned the whole house’ thing either, but if you try to be more romantic with your husband by touching him, carressing him, then he in turn becomes more romantic towards you.

  7. kspin Says:

    My friends kept trying to get me to read this series, and I almost bought them once at Borders until I heard they were in the TEEN section! Yeah right. But, months later I did read them (Jan and Feb to be exact), and now I am seriously hooked! I think the third was my favorite and now I’m anxiously awaiting the new one. btw, I took the ‘quiz’ online and it says that I am Edward. Don’t really know what that means, but ok.

    Enjoy the books! I can’t wait to hear what you think when you finish. (and I’m all with you on the wish someone could love me like that part!) 😉 We’re a sad bunch huh?

  8. ybtolerant Says:

    Yes very much so we are a sad bunch – but hey atleast it’s book and not drugs. I loved the third on myself and I think it ended waaaay too early and there wasn’t enough chapters. I am *grits teeth* patiently waiting for the next one to come out. Hummm I don’t know if being Edward is a good thing or not – but I find it nice to find one in life. I have an Edward – cept he’s more of a jerk than he needs to be. Us women tender out the toughest of guys don’t we?

    Bella- what a girl. She got the perfect romance, and seemingly soon to be perfect family. I personally was jealous of her – but now I find myself grateful for my life. I mean yeah we can want that – but if we don’t have it, it just gives us something to work for and enjoy later on in life right?

    Anyways – I’m going to keep telling people to read this. I had probably a good 20 people tell me to read this series and now I wish I had picked it up sooner!!

    *Amber

    p.s. KEMI!! Sooooo – give us the details – where are you now???

  9. Kemi Says:

    I’m mostly finished with “New Moon”– Harry Clearwater just died and Alice came to visit.

    WHY can’t my kids leave me alone so I can finish it? Don’t they know how much I NEED to read this?
    (just kidding)

  10. ybtolerant Says:

    OMG!!! So – how much do you like this book? See – I want to know what you think about this certain book and what you think about Jacob.
    Yay! You are getting to some amazing parts.

    Kids – well as soon as they grow up and read them – they willanwhy mommy didn’t feed them real food (pb&j’s don’t count) and sat reading 3 books for almost a week.

    *Amber

  11. ybtolerant Says:

    they will understand* why

  12. ybtolerant Says:

    Kemi!! Where are you in the books? (don’t pay too much attention to me, this is a girl who goes to school has no life and assumes that a mom and wife just might drop everything to read these books LOL)

    anyways – do give me an update when you can. Feel free to just send me an email too if you want – if you can – i think

    😉
    Amber

  13. Kemi Says:

    I finished the last two chapters of New Moon yesterday morning, and I’m 2/3 of the way through Eclipse.

    (We had thunderstorms yesterday, so it was perfect “Twilight”-reading weather.)

    The last thing I remember reading- and I’ll admit, it was late and I kept nodding off, so I’ll probably have to go back a few pages- is the scene in the baseball field where the Cullens are teaching the Quileutes how to hunt newborn vampires.

    And, can I just say, I LOVED reading everyone’s vampire-transformation stories. Very cool. And insightful.

    Amber, I would LOVE to e-mail, if that is really okay with you. I’m even considering a new blog post where we can all discuss the books, without fear of ruining anything for future readers.

    But not until I finish Eclipse. And do some (okay, a LOT!!!) laundry. 😉

  14. ybtolerant Says:

    Oh wow. Even reading about wht you’ve read makes me all excited!! I loved reading about everyone’s transformation. Makes the anticipation for Bella even more stronger doesn’t it?

    Same here – I definitly want to email! So I will leave you my email somewhere on your blog – gonna look around and if I can’t get it to you through here I have another idea. LOL Because I hate ruining books for other people too.

    ugh. laundry. reminds me of the work I have to do.

    Anyways – catch you soon –
    *Amber

  15. ybtolerant Says:

    Kemi – in my email box where I get your comments, I also have your aol email address along with the comment. I wanted to ok it with you before I sent you anything to that account (because I know there are people who keep mutlitple accounts) – so just tell me if that is ok for me to send email to you through that address when you can 🙂

    *Amber

  16. Kemi Says:

    It’s good. Send it to that address. 😉

    Almost through– just about 30 pages to finish, but I have a church leadership meeting tonight. 😦

    At least I know what I’ll be doing after the meeting!!! 😀

  17. Kemi Says:

    I just finished “Eclipse”. Waaaaaaahh! 😦

  18. kspin Says:

    Only a few short months before the 4th one! 🙂 and the movie in December!! I can’t wait!

  19. Kemi Says:

    I know!!! Me too! (I have turned into a Twilight FREAK!– just ask my husband.) 😀

    We’re doing a joint book club group for Enrichment next month: the Relief Society with the Young Women. Guess which book I picked? 😉

    FINALLY… the cute teen-aged girls in our ward will think I’m COOL! 8) ROFL

    And now I’m off to read “The Host”. I picked it up at Sam’s Club on Tuesday. It’s even thicker than the “Twilight” books…

  20. ybtolerant Says:

    Just a quick note to any one out there, if you loved the ‘Twilight’ series I SERIOUSLY RECOMMEND Bryan Davis books. He writes ‘Dragons in our Midst’ that is a four part series, with ‘Oracles of Fire’ as a prequel series containing 3 so far. Absolutely amazing – incorporated God and Love and great things. Very inspirational books and directed towards pre-teens to adults of any age.

    – I’m emailing you by the way Kemi – just so you know. Now that it’s Friday I have more time!! 😉

  21. Nina Says:

    I realize that I am several months past your blog about Twilight however, I feel like I myself could have written every word you wrote above.

    It has taken me this long to read the books, my Harry Potter friends kept assuring me would assist me in my post Harry Potter depression (caused by the reading of the last book.) I finally gave in and read the first book after seeing the movie and then couldn’t wait to read the second and absolutely shut the world out in order to finish the remaining two. Now I find I am once again mourning for a book, for crying out loud it is a book/story not real and then I find your blog and the world is right once again because I am not the only one who mourns the end of a series.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and if you ever find a way to get past your obsession, which does not include beginning a new obsession, send your secret my way, I fear it may not happen for me.

  22. K. Trainor Says:

    Oh yeah, the Twilight books sucked me in as well. (No vampire pun intended.) I wasn’t as fond of books 2 and 3, but the first and last were amazing. Did you see the movie? It’s kind of Twilight Lite, but it was a pretty good rendering!

  23. Stevie Says:

    Ok, I am not sure of the age group responding to this blog, but I am probably the oldest Twilighter here. As an English teacher, I have read lots of classics (even Bram Stoker’s Dracula). And when I started Twilight (the first time I read it) I kept asking myself what intelligent 17-year old would willing go out with a vampire. However, I was dazzled by the story and ready New Moon and Eclipse in less than a week. then I had to wait ten agonizing days until Breaking Dawn was released. I forced myself to wait a week before I started it. I still finished it in just under two days – I had to take a break to be with my grandchildren. Yep! That’s me, the Nana Twilighter. I did get my 13-year old granddaughter to start reading them. I’ve read all four books a total of three times through; I think my granddaughter has me beat. And we love the movie. I agree with #22; it is Twilight Lite, but still very good. I have seen it six times. Ok, enough confessions. I am 50 pages into my fourth reading of Twilight — again.

  24. Herbie (Alias) Says:

    Hi there,

    I was just reading your post on twilight and I was wondering how long it took you to get over the “angst” that the story inevitably causes. Though I hate to admit this, I’ve drowned in the romance and find myself depressed with my own life, marriage…etc. This is very hard to get over. Can you help?

    • Kemi Says:

      You ask a hard question. A good one, but a hard one.

      The short answer is, I think it took about three months to get over my Edward-envy, but truthfully, in some ways I’m still not over it. It’s not that I’m still drowned in romance; rather, it’s that for the short period I was, I realized what was missing in my marriage. What is still missing, especially when compared to Bella and Edward.

      I had to tell myself that my marriage was never going to compare to a fictional one, and it would be ridiculous to give up what I had for the lure of a fantasy. I had to be careful not to hold my husband to the Edward-standard, both because it was an unfair comparison and because he had no idea what that standard entailed.

      It wasn’t easy. I’m embarrassed to admit that we fought. A lot.

      It helped that my husband read the books after a few months of my not-so-subtle suggestions. He commented how our love was so much like theirs, and after I stopped laughing, I told him I didn’t feel the same way. AT ALL. It gave us the chance to talk about what we felt was missing, and what we could work toward.

      It also helped when I started showering him with affection. (I resented doing all the work at the beginning, but in time he picked up on it and started returning the favors.) I’d leave little notes in his lunch, call him to say hello while he was at work, pick up his favorite candy when I went to the store, rub his feet, etc.

      Every day I made myself write down one really sweet, romantic gesture he made, and one I did in return. (Some days it was that he went to work all day, and I loaded the dishwasher. Usually I could come up with something better, though.) It helped me see how we were each being romantic, in our own ways. On the days I felt really down about myself in general, I’d write down five things I was grateful for, or five things I was good at, or five things I liked to do.

      Oh, and I haven’t picked up the series again. I don’t know if reading the books once has immunized me from the problems it caused the first time, and I’m a little hesitant to find out.

      I hope that helps. You have my personal e-mail address now, and if you’d like to communicate further, you’re welcome to use it.

      Good luck!

  25. Mel Says:

    I know this is an old post but I just wanted to chime in that I’m glad someone wrote about this phenomenon…it helps to not feel so alone. I know several women, adult women…married…otherwise very normal, mature women, who have the same issues…from the obsessive reading and mourning the end of a series to the marriage questions and intense longing for something we all know is far too unrealistic. This includes me of course!

    I have read the entire series 2x now (including the part of Midnight Sun Stephanie has on her website…it’s amazing by the way and will make you love Edward even more) and watched the movie about 5x… I’m in my 30’s, happily married for almost 13 years to a good and rather sexy man…and yet these books and the movie raised all kinds of questions about my relationship with said man…and caused problems in my marriage, I’m ashamed to admit.

    I have to get some distance from the books to feel better, to feel normal again…even though I’m sure the books have changed me irrevocably…but with the New Moon movie coming out, it’s difficult to get the distance.

    I’ve considered the option of becoming a cougar and stalking poor young Rob Pattinson (who plays a wonderful Edward even though I was initially not convinced…and this young man studied for this role and took it seriously, what a promising young actor) just to have a little bit of Edward’s devastating beauty closer to my world. LOL!

    It all brings up that intense longing most women (most people) have for that complete, unconditional love we’ve heard about for years in movies and song…and it’s from an intensely sexy, beautiful, moral, mysterious and powerful vampire to boot. Wow! No man could EVER live up to that…husbands of this world don’t stand a chance.

    What’s the solution? I haven’t found one…other than to get that distance and try to keep your feet on the ground…keep Edward in your pocket to bring out when you feel lonely or sad or unloved, but keep that husband or boyfriend right there in your arms to love and cherish…he’s bound to have SOME of Edward’s qualities…focus on those and nurture them, encourage them. Meanwhile, know that you have Twilight sisters of all ages all over the world, that totally get you.

  26. […] vampire dreams while I read it, so I can honestly say I have experienced a little bit of the spooky pull of her “story” (Sorry, I have to do that. “Twilight” doesn’t have […]


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