A few days ago Kyle and I were purchasing items at our local Target. There in the checkout line, a magazine beckoned to me from across the way. On the cover, the headline "26 Exclusive Photos From the Set of New Moon" screamed at me like shiny new shoes at Dillard's... "Please look at me! Pick me up and bask in your shameful indulgence!!!"
I quietly slipped away from the three people that represent all that is correct and age-appropriate in my life and gave in. As the Twilight Gods would have it, the magazine automatically flipped open to the glorious 2 page spread. Like an involuntary reflex, I squealed out loud. Yes, squealed- like a 13 year old stuffing her training bra for the first time or a piglet searching for a teet- you choose the analogy. I held the magazine up high like a trophy, intending only for Kyle to see. Apparently, I forgot about the 16 other people very close by. A young Target employee laughed at me, as did the woman she was checking out. In all of about two seconds, I assessed that this woman was probably around my age and now looking at me with harshly judgemental eyes. I immediately went into defense mode, using humor as my chosen weapon.
"Oh" I laughed nervously. "I'm really only 15... I just look old for my age. It's actually a medical condition, you know, like Benjamin Button." She managed a quick pity smile. I put the magazine away, ducked my head and joined my family.
This little incident, unlike many others I have encountered, has prompted me to provide further explanation of why Twilight has taken such a hold on me.
So if I may...
1) Inspiration: I have always been a writer, but lately not a very active one. And any true writer will tell you, to be a good writer, you have to read alot. To be a great writer, you have to read every day. For the past few years, it has been difficult for me to immerse myself into anything; much less a teenage fantasy about vampires and werewolves. I have quite a few books on my nightstand, but they have all taken a backseat to childrens bedtime stories and the always coveted sleep. I wanted to read. I wanted to write. But I just couldn't get there. So when my sister-in-law Emily insisted that I begin reading the Twilight series, I was hesitant. I already knew that it was geared more towards young adults and I just wasn't sure I should waste my time. But she swore that I would fall in love. So I borrowed her book and before I knew it chapters began to fly by and I was reading into the wee hours of the morning. One book made way for the other and so on and so on. I read all four 500 plus page books in two weeks.
After finishing the series, I wanted more. Of course the movie was the obvious next step but I was really interested in the author. I learned that Stephanie Meyer was my age, the mother to three boys and before this whirlwind hit, led a very simple life in Arizona. She majored in English in college but never had any intentions of writing a book. The idea for Twilight actually came to her in a dream and it grew from there. All I could think was... "Wow, I could have done that." And the inspiration was born. I am reading more, thus writing more and ultimately, I have her to thank for it. Obviously this blog isn't the beginning of a best selling novel, but at least it's providing a creative outlet for me. And if I drag a few of you along for the ride... even better.
2) Escape: Look, I love my life but these books entered it at a time when I needed them the most. I'll spare you the details but to say that my hands are in poo all day is only a slight exaggeration. I am the mother to two children who have not yet mastered the art of um...self-cleaning. So is it so bad that I need a little something to take my mind away? This is a tried and true love story, complete with "the dreamy guy falls for the awkward, average girl' plot. I was that girl- and Edward Cullen is certainly that guy. What female doesn't need a good shot of romance in her life every now and then? Perhaps one of the biggest reasons it has resonated with me so much is that I actually LOVED my later teenage years. And although many people would not choose to revisit this time in their life, I have to say, yeah, I probably would. Even if for a brief moment, Twilight has allowed me to do that.
3) Robert Pattinson: This explanation wouldn't be complete without at least touching on the phenom now known as Rpattz. Yes I am a fan but not in the way that you might think. I'll be the first to admit that all the hoopla even gets on my nerves. So I can only imagine what those who are not TwiHards think about this poor guy. Please allow me to offer my 32 year old perspective...
First, the character of Edward Cullen is written in a way that makes it very difficult for most females to not fall in love with. He is powerful yet passionate, strong yet sensitive, protective and patient and stunningly beautiful to top it off. He is by all accounts, perfection. For most young females differentiating between fantasy and reality is not typically one of their strong suits. All this hysteria is for Edward. Robert is the unassuming, extremely talented actor that just happens to be caught in the middle of it all. He hates the attention. It is debilitating for him. From everything that I have read, Robert is quite shy and admittedly awkward. He is not Edward nor does he wish to be type casted as such. He continues his acting career by taking on projects that are a far cry from his breakout role as Edward and critics are praising his choices. He is also an extremely gifted musician in both composing and performing. *Sigh*...This certainly sealed the deal for me.
So there you go... Hopefully you now have a better understanding of why I am so smitten. Now please, leave me and my vampires and my bumper sticker alone... and go buy the books. I'll be sure to save you seat on November 20th.