There are spoilers, so if you don’t wanna know, don’t read ahead. The Twilight Saga. I was so late to the game on the “Twilight” books that the first movie had already been made, released, and was out on DVD by the time I read the first book. I had been so resistant to reading the books and getting caught in the madness that I was actually very proud of myself for refusing to bow to the pressure. One reason my resistance was so strong was my hatred of vampires. A mythical creature that sucks blood, turns into a bat, and sleeps in a coffin? No thanks.
Although, I will admit to having a love affair with the vampire Lestat in the mid-1990’s, but I was in college, so it’s entirely forgivable. Plus, Lestat was created by Anne Rice and if you’re going to love a vampire, an Anne Rice vampire it should be. Stephanie Meyer who? No thanks. That is until my good friend T. Curtis finally convinced me that these vampire books “weren’t really vampire books,” but they may as well have been crack because you just had to have them, and you couldn’t put them down. Okay, okay, I’ll try the crack. Once again, if I’m going to be a lover of pop culture, I better immerse myself in what the popular culture is doing. So, while shopping at TJ Maxx one day I happened to find a $6.99 paperback copy of “Twilight.” For $6.99, I’m in.
And in I was. Deep. Lestat who? Edward Cullen you have my heart and you can drink my blood anytime. I read the book in three days flat and ran back to TJ Maxx where I picked up my $6.99 paperback copy of “New Moon,” which came with a mini-poster. Said poster is now displayed in my closet. Yes, I know I’m 40, shut up. I then read “New Moon” in two days and ran back to TJ Maxx for “Eclipse.” What was my then three-year-old doing while I read about vampires, werewolves and Bella Swan all day? Heck, I don’t know but it probably involved a lot of television. And she is now a well-adjusted four-and-a-half-year-old, so it obviously had no effect on her. The point is that after spending a year and a half as a stay-at-home mom, (not my choice at first, but given the economic downturn and a move to another state where finding a job was near impossible for me, it became the smartest option) I found something besides Sesame Street, Mary Poppins and princesses that held my attention and got me interested in reading and writing again.
Two days later I finished “Eclipse,” but my amazing TJ Maxx did not have “Breaking Dawn.” Should I keep checking and wait for a copy to show up or do I head over to Barnes & Noble and bite the bullet on the $24.99 hard cover copy of “Breaking Dawn?” Well, of course I did the later. I walked around, checked the fiction display, looked in every nook and cranny, and finally had to ask, “Do you have “Breaking Dawn?”” B & N worker replied, “I believe it’s in the teen section.” Did that deter me, a near 39-year-old woman heading to the teen section to pick up the finale in a four-part series of high school vampire novels? Not one bit. However, I was slightly embarrassed when I made it to the check-out. But, I look young for my age, maybe they would just think I was in my early 20’s or something.
Five days later, I finished “Breaking Dawn” and it is my least favorite book of the series. I can get behind a group of vampires living amongst and going to high school with humans. I can get behind a love triangle between a lonely teen, vampire and werewolf. I can get behind now not lonely teenager wanting to convert herself to a vampire to live for all eternity with her true love. I can’t get behind a half vampire/half human baby. My brain has limits and this was too much for me. Almost worse than the baby herself, was her awful name, Renesmee. I get that Bella wanted to use both of their mother’s names, but really? There are better options.
Now that I read the books, it was off to watch the movies. “Twilight” the movie was so bad; I was embarrassed to be watching it. Not embarrassed for myself, but embarrassed for anyone who was involved in making the film. I get Catherine Hardwicke, but she may not have been the best choice to direct this fine novel and bring it to the screen. The blue tone throughout the film was just creepy and what they did to Edward, making him look more like a monkey than a mythical creature. Ugh.
Not to mention the rest of the vampire clan, who not only seemed like aliens instead of vampires, but for some reason were unable to turn their heads by moving their necks. They even had Edward’s car wrong. A Volvo sports car was not what the super-safe Edward would drive. That’s why he was driving a Volvo in the first place. I always pictured his car as a Volvo SUV. Thankfully, they got this little detail correct in “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” I was so glad my “Twilight” experience started with the book and not this film.
I saw “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” in the theater, near the end of its run when all the teeny boppers had seen it a few times and were onto something else. This is the Forks, WA I imagined in my mind, not some strange blue-tinted town full of vampires with broken necks. Edward’s character was more on target with the books, Jacob Black cut his hair, Dakota Fanning appeared, and life was good. My favorite of the films and books was “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” The ongoing banter between Jacob and Edward was hilarious.
I really wanted to see “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” in the theater, but it didn’t happen. So, last night I embarked my “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” journey. I wasn’t sure what to expect given my dislike for the book so much, and the movie was pretty much what I thought it would be. No surprises, and after being warned by my babysitter – it was gross. Watching Bella drink her blood shakes and give birth to a creature who ate itself out of her abdomen, not my thing. I fast forwarded through most of that nonsense. I will say, I am looking forward to “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” because Edward and Bella, and Jacob and Renesmee can go on into eternity happily ever after. By the way, I’m Team Edward. And I know Lestat would kick his a** any day.
My advice is for each of us moms to find something we enjoy doing, and taking the time to do it. Reading, watching movies, writing, painting, whatever. Even if it is a series of teenage vampire novels we thought we would hate. If we are enjoying our lives, our kids are enjoying theirs, and that’s really all that matters.