While trying unsuccessfully to get my child to sleep and to get some homework done, I watched a few of the Twilight movies. I could watch them over and over and will still enjoy them. Yes, I admit it. I love Twilight…and New Moon…and Eclipse…and Breaking Dawn. I love the books and the movies. I love the characters, the settings, the story lines, even the idea of the existence of an impossibly beautiful, sparkly vampire. Yes, I am an adult who loves Twilight.
I had initially resisted the series. I was living near Tacoma, Washington, and the hype there was rather large given the close proximity to the real town of Forks, where the majority of the novels take place. I kept hearing about them, seeing them at the bookstore, and reading the status updates of friends on Facebook who could not wait to see the movie and later buy it. I was consumed with two children, soon to be three, another deployment, and trying to finish up my bachelor’s degree. I actually love all things vampire, but I thought this sounded too young for me. Then, I took a few months off of school before and after Addie was born to recuperate. I was bored and needed some stimulation after the kids went to bed. About a week before her birth, I saw the first book, Twilight, was on sale at Target. I figured that since it was on sale and I was looking for something to do, I would read the book. Why not, right?
Oh, boy – I did not know what I was getting myself into. Within the first chapter, I was hooked. I literally could not put the book down. I was carrying it with me everywhere, even while cooking and to the bathroom (TMI?). I read very fast, especially when I like what I am reading, so I had that book finished in three days. I went right back to the bookstore and bought the second book, New Moon. Childbirth kind of slowed down the reading of that one, but I was captivated again. I soon finished that one, then finished Eclipse and Breaking Dawn in record speed. I read all four books in less than a month! I was reading them at every possible chance, including midnight baby feedings. I knew I had to watch the movies (for comparison, of course), and I have been one of those crazy Twilight fans chomping at the bit for the next movie ever since.
Why was I so obsessed with these books and movies? They are well written, but many people believe the stories to be childish or setting a bad example. If you think about it, it’s the story of a teenage girl who falls madly in love with a vampire, a fantasy being who she should not be with, and is willing to do anything, including die, for this person. They know each other all of a few years before they are married at eighteen. Don’t even mention the elements of vampire/werewolf fighting and killing, or the ever present danger and possibility of death. It was meant to be a young adult series, yet here I am in my late twenties loving it (and there are plenty of people older than me who are bigger fans!). The acting in the movies is okay but nothing Oscar-worthy. Even though I love the movies, I myself point of some of the cheesier elements. So what is it about Twilight?
After watching Breaking Dawn part 1 again last night (I did see it by myself in the theater here – a lovely two hours with me, vampires, and a big order of nachos), I realized that there are two elements of these books that keep me coming back: first, it is the idea of a perfect being such as a vampire. Yes, they drink blood, a fact I might get hung up on. But they are perfect – beautiful, intelligent, strong, and unable to die. This might get tedious after hundreds of years alive, but I have a great fear of death, so this attracts me. I would love to be all these things. The second element is the romantic story. Yes, it is an all-encompassing love that is reckless, dangerous, and downright mushy. It is the story of two people so intertwined that they cannot live without one another. And it is a fictional story. But don’t we all wish for a love a little like that? A love so strong and so powerful that we are willing to die for another person? A love so large that it even hurts?
When I read the books, I find myself yearning for my husband, who is strong and takes care of me, even when I do not need it. I feel safe with him. I love him so much, and I would be willing to do anything for him. When he is gone, I miss him so much that I literally hurt. He makes me feel like the most beautiful creature in the world, even when I know I am not. He is tender and loving, and I feel exactly the kind of love that people dream about. Much like the characters of this book, I met him when I was sixteen and fell hard. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be with this man, no matter what people thought or how foolish it may have seemed. He became my world and a person that I could not live without.
So I guess I have my own version of this love that I read about and watch on screen, minus the immortality and constant fighting with other vampires. For us, real life and military life sometimes get in the way of our love story – deployments, TDYs, kids, bills, responsibilities, etc. We deal with a lot of time apart and inconveniences when together. But when I open up a Twilight book or turn on a movie, I get a little dose of romance and a reminder of how lucky I am to have something like this in my own life. And while he is gone, I can lust over some rock-hard abs, dreamy romantics, and gushy love while I count down the days until my own love gets back.
On the other hand, do you have a problem when you’re searching YouTube at 1:00 am looking for a sneak peak for Breaking Dawn part two?