My thirteen year old daughter has become enthralled with Twilight, the novel by Stephenie Meyers. She adores the movie, too, and thinks Robert Pattinson in the character of Edward the hunky vampire, is a dish. (She wouldn't use or understand that word, but I like it).
So... in the interest of understanding my darling daughter's infatuation with the series of novels and the movie and the character, I read Twilight, and watched the movie with her. I recently finished the second book in the series, New Moon, and am on the waiting list at the library for the third book. So I didn't hate it, or think it was stupid or ridiculous.
(Please note that if I had hated the book, or was bored by it, I would not have finished it, and certainly wouldn't have read the sequel.) I did find it engaging. I understand why young girls find it so appealing. I would have loved it when I was a teenager. The writing is not great, but the story is rich with romance and danger and heroism and melodrama.
The most interesting thing to me about the story, is the portrayal of Edward. Okay, so he's a vampire - this is not an new idea, there are plenty of novels featuring vampires. But Edward is a vampire with a romantic heart. (Huge sigh.)
He is immensely concerned about not hurting this fragile human girl, Bella. (Huge sigh.) He loves her, but he can't have his cake and eat her too. (If he eats her, he will kill her.) What to do , what to do....
So Edward is torn. He is a tender, loving, adoring, protective, beautiful (Meyer makes sure we understand how beautiful Edward is by having Bella point this out to the reader about a bazillion times), dangerous, mysterious, communicative, silent vampire. And the most believable part of that description is: vampire.
Girlfriends, I wasted a lot of my life and hurt a lot of people, including some perfectly nice men, with my foolish desires to fall in love with a man who was tender, loving, adoring, protective, beautiful, dangerous, mysterious, communicative, and silent all at the same time. And like, Bella, I wanted to be entirely consumed by the love of this man. Heck, why not expect him to be a bloodsucking Superman too?
I don't know at what point I got fantasy confused with reality in my little head.
It took me until the "twilight" of my own life, or late afternoon at least, to learn the difference. I want my daughter to enjoy her fantasy novels, but I hope she knows that they are just fantasies, and while fantasy is fun, it can't compare to the joy of real life and real love with a real person.
Here's a joke: Why is it difficult to find men who are sensitive, caring and good- looking?
They already have boyfriends.