Oh. Dear. God.
It’s really starting again. I was hoping it wouldn’t. By some miracle of the universe, I was hoping we would all be spared.
But it seems that not only it’s starting again, but that in the couple of months since the release of the first movie, the insanity has gathered momentum, its embers waiting for but a waft of teenage female obsession before being fanned into yet another roaring fire.
Ladies and gentlemen, Edward Cullen is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
And with it is coming along the hordes of Edward adoring pre-teens, teens… and mothers? Yes, mothers and even grandmothers are joining in on the curiously fascinating phenomenon that is Edward-obsession. Twilight-fever has only the males of the continent left to conquer, it seems.
So this time, as my own obsession with Edward-obsession was rekindled, I decided to talk to a couple of older friends whose Facebook profiles feature prominently the Vampire of the Day.
Let’s start off this string of Edward & Twilight related posts with something a 43 year-old friend of mine shared with me. We met at a local bookstore and had been having a blast talking about Edward-obsession – and even spotted a couple of older women leaving the bookstore with a copy of New Moon tucked in their purses! Our conversation paused, as comfortable conversations between friends often do, when her voice suddenly dropped. In the most pensive tone I have seen her adopt in a long time, she mused on how the Twilight-obsession of women aged 20 and over could be seen as a love-hate relationship.
On the one hand, these women love the story; it grabs at their insides and doesn’t let go. But on the other hand, many of these same women hate the fact that they love Twilight so much; after all, how could they, modern, emancipated 21st century women who need not a man to prove themselves worthy, be in such a state over a teen-flick?
She stopped for a few moments, as if collecting her thoughts; after a few moments, during which I clearly saw her struggling with something, she continued: perhaps this love-hate relationship these women have with Twilight is due to the fact that while they say they don’t believe in the love that Edward and Bella share, deep down, they want to believe in it. They want to believe that, despite what life’s harsh lessons might demonstrate, somehow, somewhere, a love story as powerful as that of Edward and Bella’s, however improbable, impossible, slightly creepy and badly written it might be, exists.
That’s when I saw it; this woman, who seems like the happiest person in the world, who is married to a great man and has the most amazing children, who has a successful career, many friends and all the other great things in life you can think of, envied Bella Swan, a fictional character in love with a vampire.
It was mind-boggling, to say the least. I left the bookstore feeling more than a little rattled, and it took me over a week to process it all. I realised that there is more to my friend’s musings; because in a society where independent, 21st century women are not allowed anymore to want a prince charming (be he a vampire), it takes even more courage to be able to admit to liking Twilight and wanting an Edward.
So perhaps kudos ought also to be given to Stephanie Meyer not only for creating what can be considered a little Twilight-empire, but also for having the guts to imagine such a story, for putting it down on paper and for sharing it with the world, however terrible the consequences (including deafening teen fangirl squeals) might be. And kudos should be given to women of all ages for admitting they want something they, as 21st century women, shouldn’t want.
Now if they are nuts for wanting it and how unhealthy it is to want such a thing is a topic for a whole other post!
Until then, cover your ears well…
Note: some details about my friend have been changed so that those of you who know her will never guess who it is. And don’t ask – I won’t tell!