*Note there are major Twilight saga spoilers below!
Help me. I have succumbed to the Twilight phenomenon.
It happened sometime between my fourth viewing of the film (to make fun of it, of course) and halfway through reading the first novel. I had hated Twilight for some time, but as a vampire columnist for Examiner.com, found myself in the perilous position of having to write about it at some point. How could I not? Ever since the first movie came out, Twilight has had perhaps the broadest and most devoted following of any piece of vampire fiction in recent history. To ignore it altogether simply because I hated it was not an option. So for awhile, my writing consisted of making fun of it.
It was no secret that I loathed Twilight, loved Anne Rice and True Blood and thought that Edward was a nancy pansy. One day my column even received over 50 comments from teenage twilight fans saying things like “die stooopid twilight hater!” because I had shared about my numerous unsuccessful attempts to get in to the novel but, because the stench of teenage angst had reeked so strong on every page, I'd barely been able to stomach it. I was a rebel. I was a non-conformist. Screw team Edward. I was team Bill. I was team any-other-vampire-who-doesn’t-sparkle/actually-sleeps-in-the-ground/has-fangs-like-a-REAL-vampire.
Then the camping trip happened. It was with my husband and his family. A beautiful, little-known spot in Central Oregon where a high desert marsh is discretely nestled amongst mountains, Ponderosa pines and a lake so blue it would hurt your eyes to stare at it. We love the place and go there every year. I always bring a pile of books to read, but never read any of them as I am far too busy fishing, swimming, exploring and sleeping. This trip was different. This trip was kind of a bummer.
No sun, no heat, no urge to swim in the lake, dusty, buggy and cold. I spent those four days bundled up and reading in my sleeping bag. Four books in four days I read, including Twilight. With nowhere to go and nothing else to do, I read and suppressed the vomit that continually rose in the back of my throat with each page I turned.
About 300 pages in, the unthinkable happened. I got totally and completely sucked in to the story line.
I was disgusted with myself. I was like a fine food critic who had just discovered they liked Twinkies. I finished the book and spent the remainder of the trip wondering what would happen next. I suppressed these feelings and tried to move on with my life. But New Moon called to me like a bag of Cheetos at midnight…
After the trip I watched the movie again - “to make fun of it” - as I justified to myself. But this fourth time, with my dear friend Gillian, I was not bored – to my chagrin I was completely enraptured. So many thoughts ran through my head. It was mental torment! Bella. Edward. She so sad by herself. He so lonely. Such pathetic people…fit so well together…so misunderstood…NO FANGS! What kind of stupid vampire has NO FANGS? What kind of stupid vampire SPARKLES??? Ooooh look at his face! He so sad! He need Bella! She so clumsy! Bella fall all the time without Edward. She no scared of big bad vampire. He love her, but he want to eat her for dinner. Awww…so sweet! And on and on.
I totally got it; Edward as the ultimate protector, the one who could defend Bella against all predators. Oh but his darkness! How he struggled with his shadow side! So Bella can rescue him too! They rescue each other! She sees him for who he really is and loves him anyway! And even though it’s totally corny and Stephenie Meyer seriously twisted the vampire myth in ways that are completely inexcusable, isn’t the Bella/Edward love story representative of some of our own heart’s most fervent desires? The desire for a love that is all-consuming, constant and enduring but still dangerous and thrilling? It represents our own deep-seated need to find another person who will know us completely, in all our darkness and light, but still accept us and want us anyway? So lame, but I totally got it. It was upon that realization that I gave in and just let myself fall dorkishly in love with Twilight.
…In love, but I still kind of hated it. I hated it because I realized then I had become a slave to this completely moronic storyline that, as I previously stated, is not even true to traditional vampire lore. I felt like such a traitor my vampire nerd people. But I had to find out what happened next…
So I read New Moon and, after nearly going mad from reading 300+ of Bella’s inability to function without Edward, my sanity was saved by some hot-ish werewolf moments and a totally predictable reunion in Italy (I couldn’t believe they left right away! How nice it would have been to enjoy the Italian countryside…)
Luckily the movie cut down Bella’s emo-fest to a mere two minute montage where she sat in a chair staring off into space blankly (as she often does), the camera circling around her showing no change in her dead eyes but the seasons changing from fall to winter to spring, etc. Thank God.
The came Eclipse, where basically nothing happened except more of Bella bitching and Edward asserting his dominance a tad bit more. I say nothing happened because New Moon ended with Bella wishing to be made vampire and choosing Edward over Jacob – and that’s still where we were in Eclipse, too.
On to “Breaking Dawn” – finally, some sex! All that tension building book after book and………………..they wake up the next morning surrounded by feathers? Kill me now. Then Bella becomes a vampire, has half-human half-vampire perfect baby who is (big shocker) imprinted upon by Jacob. Surprise surprise.Finishing the saga was completely gratifying and couldn’t have come soon enough. I was like a junkie who will forever hold in their head the sweet, sick memories of that first amazing high, while also completely contented to swear off the stuff forever – until the Eclipse and Breaking Dawn movies come out, that is. And while my scars may not be as obvious as the meth addict’s face that is forever contorted into a used and abused version of its former self, Twilight has scarred me just the same. I’m a grown woman with a New Moon poster hanging in my office. I don’t even know myself anymore.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem..
My name is Devon and I'm a Twilight addict.