I love the Twilight series. And I am not ashamed. OK, so I’m a little ashamed. Alright, when I think back to waiting in line with the teeny boppers for the midnight showing of the first movie I’m more than a little ashamed, but then I remember I waited for opening day at a reasonable hour to see the second and third movies and a feel a smidge better. Hmm, I’m not helping things here.
Yes, I acknowledge the books contain some of the worst writing I have encountered in my entire life. None the less, Stephanie Meyer is a genius. She has captured the longing and desire for romantic love in almost every teenage girl’s heart perfectly. As we all know being a teenager really sucks. It is also completely amazing. I’m guessing my feeling were pretty much in line with all of yours, and those feeling were larger than life and I was sure that no one had ever experienced anything like them before. As someone who was completely uncool as a young woman (the term they used to describe us at our high school was “drama fag”. Go Rams!) I was especially sure that the perfect cool kids would never be able to understand my depth of longing for…something, I don’t know love or acceptance or success or popularity. But looking back on it now I’m pretty sure we all were feeling the same stuff. Or at least the vast majority of us who weren’t popular.
Meyer has tapped into that longing perfectly and created the ultimate fulfillment of it with her vampire boyfriend. She then managed the impossible by creating another God among teens who also pined for my, um I mean Bella’s affections. Bella really is an empty shell that we can project our own “unique” desires on to. By adding the Edward vs. Jacob storyline Meyer was able to stretch the series to four books without losing a fraction of the excitement until half way through the last book when Jacob doesn’t want her anymore and she becomes Edward’s equal. Writing that last sentence drives the feminist in me crazy, but it is true. The story really drags from that point on. But that is a whole other can of worms.
The thing is, I’m a feminist. It look a long time for me to be able to embrace that because feminist is such a dirty word especially now as the “girl power” of the 90s has somehow unraveled into the shocking sexualization of young girls. Think I’m an alarmist? Please, visit the girls Halloween costume section of Target. Or take a gander at this which was sold just this past spring in the UK.
In a dichotomy that I can’t reconcile I also long for someone to take care of me. I try not to let that longing pop up to the surface much, but it is as strong as it was in 1994. I want someone who recognizes how special I am and who’s life’s desire is to make me feel loved and to satisfy my every need. You know what? Forget about need, to satisfy my every whim. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s the truth. There is a needy teenager who is praying she is someone special inside me.
I want that need fulfilled and I want to be an independent woman who is in control of my own destiny and happiness. I try and concentrate on the independent woman part of myself as much as possible, but my visceral reaction to Ms. Meyer’s work has made me aware that I haven’t left behind the other part of myself, even though I have a husband who I love more every day, as corny as that sounds.
As uncomfortable as this realization is I’m also grateful for it. Because now I understand my behavior in my marriage a little better. Yesterday I told Z that my tires had spun out several times in the rain and I was worried they needed air because the treads still looked good. And I asked him to fix it. And he told me to fix it myself. I am 33 and 3/4ths years old and I have never checked the air pressure in tires. He was flabbergasted when I told him that. He told me he’d show me and if I needed air I could go figure that out because I was a grown up. And I brought up division of labor in our relationship and pointed out that I pay all the bills so I think he should be in charge of air pressure in tires. That made him pretty angry. Which made me pretty angry. I believe I said something along the lines of, “It’s too bad you don’t care if the car that drives your son around is safe.” Which wasn’t very helpful You will not be surprised to hear that made him even more angry.
Later we were able to talk about it a little and Z pointed out he has a lot on his plate right now and there is no reason I can’t learn how to take care of my tires. In fact, it would be safer for everyone if I did know. His argument was completely reasonable. I couldn’t say to him, “But I want you to coddle me and take care of me.” I wanted to, though. That was the counter argument in my head. And I was ashamed. So I just said fine, and asked him to show me how to use the pressure gage tomorrow. Then I told the teenage part of myself to grow the hell up. I don’t think she listened. She’s very stubborn and she still thinks no one has needed anything in the history of the world with the intensity that she does. What a drama queen.
T knows he is not supposed to be fooling with these rocks. He throws them in our yard and it’s a pain in my ass to pick them out of the grass to put them back. This is his “you caught me” look.