Ok, let me just stop right here to say that if you haven't read the series, you should. Don't pull the "just for kids" crap - I know plenty of grown women who confess to liking them. Loads.
I'm sitting here, thinking about the premiere of the movie version of Twilight tomorrow night. Excitement has been rampant at school - it's a middle school, for pity's sake. All the girls have their copies with them, reading surreptitiously when they should be studying, holing up in corners of the playground, hiding from the bitter wind between the pages.
I've been rereading, too. I finished Twilight and New Moon again over the weekend, sans children. I was looking forward to doing the same this weekend with Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, but I (oh so selflessly) loaned them to our middle school counselor, a kindly fiftysomething woman who has taken an interest, too.
As I sat around after school today, talking Twilight with some of my eighth graders, they expressed surprise that *I* had read all the books and enjoyed them. They know I'm into a lot of the same things that they are, or at least conversant with a lot of the same things. One of them asked me if I was "attracted" to Edward, and that set me off thinking - why do I like this series so much?
It's certainly not the high-quality writing. As one of my more astute ladies pointed out, it's not exactly Shakespeare. It's teenage fluff in its purest incarnation. And yet, I am strangely attracted to the books, to the characters. I want to know more about them. I want to *be* them (you know, in that silly "wish I was a character in a book" way that we all get).
It's not the perfection. Of course, Meyer describes Edward as "perfect" at every turn, with enough similes to gag a maggot. That's not it. It's a combination of two things, for me.
1. The sexual tension. Sure, it's all fairly chaste, on the surface, but if you read the thirst that Edward feels for Bella's blood as a metaphor for the sexual tension between the two... I had to go take a cold shower after the third novel. It's incredible. I've felt that type of friction, the lure of the denied intimacy, many times, and on many different levels, over the last 15 years. But the desire, the longing, the basic animal need these two seem to feel? I am way envious. It's incredibly intense. I can only wish I had something like that, which leads me to...
2. Love. These two are so incredibly in love, and not just lust, but really, in love, that it defies all knowing. I've been in love once or twice or three times before, but what they have? It's an entirely different brand. I think, on some level, I'm really incredibly jealous of Bella, that she has someone who loves her so intensely, without pretense, condition, question, regard to anything else. Most of us* never feel that kind of love, and frankly, I am a little envious. He loves her in spite of the fact that it can never work out. She loves him more than she loves herself, more than life, more than breath. It's just all so - intense. I wish that someone loved me that way. I would totally face death and destruction and dismemberment and complete annihilation for the chance at a love like that.
And now, to reason out why I can't go see the movie with my students tomorrow night. After all, I'm a grown woman. I don't want to be the pathetic single lady in a theater full of kids so young they had to bring their moms to get in...
*Maybe it's just me? Maybe the rest of you have someone who loves you like that? Don't tell me, if you do.