Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wife Rule #36: She's Probably in the Twilight Zone

I'm reading the teenage girly vampire books.

I still remember the first time I ever heard of these books. One of the teenage girls in our neighborhood was over for babysitting, and she had a copy of Twilight with her. My wife asked her about it, and I remember her blushing a little as she sheepishly described a plot about a teenage girl who falls in love with a very handsome vampire who goes to her high school.

Like trying to describe a vivid dream--you know the one, in which you are sprinting after the mail truck, only to realize that you left your pants back at the mail box, when suddenly the truck turns into a pteradactyl and then you are eating pudding--it was obvious that no matter how much sense it seemed to make in her mind, our babysitter felt a silly saying the words out loud. She sounded a little like the female version of the chess-club Trekkies you knew back in high school, but with enough sense to feel self-conscious about it.

I do give her credit for having the honesty to admit that although it sounds dumb, she really liked the book so far. Besides, as far as I'm concerned, she gets a Free Pass, because after all, in our Free Land, rich with traditions like Free Speech and Freedom to Depress, teenage girly vampire books should be able to be openly enjoyed by teenage girls.

However, I've seen a disturbing trend develop as I've watched several full-grown women get sucked into the Twilight Zone. They each go through this same, identical pattern: first, curiosity is piqued by a hearing another female gushing (while blushing) about a bizzare story concept that, quite frankly, makes the person describing it sound like a giddy, love-sick, teenage girl ("Oh, Edward is so dreamy! He has such brooding, penetrating eyes!")

Next, more and more witnesses repeat to her the same story, each with mounting enthusiasm, until the ridiculousness of it all starts to fade and the story begins to sound feebly plausible, kind of like the absurd idea that Ralph Nader doesn't take orders from a space alien via a secret implant in his nose.

The next step in the pattern is that the victim breaks down and borrows a copy of the book, or checks it out from the library, determined to know for herself what all the hoopla is about. This is the first real sign of danger, kind of like when a guy first announces that maybe it would be fun to attend a Star Trek convention, just so he could go mock the people speaking in Klingon. Though you're too polite to say it, you know that if he goes, he'll probably be mocking them in Klingon. He insists that he's not like them--it just sounds like innocent fun. Never mind the "I Grock Spock" t-shirt he has on while protesting his innocence.

But we're talking about vampires here, not vulcans. The disturbing next step in the pattern is that, evidencing the tell-tale signs of being completely sucked into the Twilight Zone, the woman goes out and buys her own copy so that she can put lip-shaped kiss marks on the pages about Edward that she finds particularly appealing. About every other page will end up with a lipstick smear on it, usually combined with droplets containing runny mascara.

At this point, she's completely gone, beyond recall. You will then not be surprised when she goes out and buys all the other books, and reads each of them about a hundred times, which leads to the inevitable final step in the pattern, in which Stephenie Meyer goes out and buys another Hummer.

If you don't know who Stephenie Meyer is, then try sticking your head out of your horse-drawn carriage and embrace the new world where vampires and werewolves play nicely together and girls with absurd names like "Bella Swan" roam the streets freely. Honestly.

So I'd heard so much about Bella and Edward, including being compared to Edward about a dozen different random times (and I'm not sure I always came out on top, either), that I decided to enter the Twilight Zone myself, and see exactly where Edward lived so I could go beat him up. I mean, what's the big deal with beloved, stupid "Eddie" (sorry, ladies; I meant beloved, stupid Edward)?

I could learn to eat my steak rare.

So, in order to set right the wrong in the universe, I wilfully and consciously have entered the Twilight pattern myself. And so far, I... I... HACHOOADMITTHATITSPRETTYGOOD. Sorry, I sneezed there. What I meant to say is that I... I... I... HACHOOADMITTHATITSPRETTYGOOD! Wow, another sneeze. Unfortunately, I don't remember what I was trying to say. Oh well.

So far, the story line is...okay, and the writing style is easy and relaxing, and I've been able to kind of hold my nose and not inhale during the overtly teenage girl parts of the book. I do have to say, for the record, that Edward is kind of feminine: the annoying pretty-boy type that spends as much time futzing with his hair in the bathroom mirror as a typical teenage girl does. No wonder the women all go gaga over him. Big Sissy.

But really, I'm going on far too long here. Duty and the Greater Good calls me back to my book. I just read a part where some young dude named Jacob told Bella some very interesting folklore while on a trip to the beach. I've just got to see whether this affects her relationship with Edward. My interest, I assure you, is purely academic.

Stop looking at me that way. I'm not blushing. I've just been pumping some serious iron and my face is a little flushed, that's all.

And please don't tell the guys, okay?


Lindsay said...

This is hilarious, Matt. My uncle read only the dialogue in the books but still got a pretty good overview. He also wanted to see what the hoopla was about.

These books are ones that land on my best and worst lists. They are ridiculously far-fetched and not very well written. I'm totally embarrassed to admit I liked them and yet anxiously await the 4th.

RainSplats said...

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) (Hardcover)
by Stephenie Meyer (You forgot to mention that she's a BYU grad)

To be released on August 2, 2008. (Just in case you require further research.)

Amy said...

Thanks Na. . . um, I mean Rainsplats, for that info--good to know! I also, regrettably, am interested to read the fourth book. Mainly because I was so disappointed with the end of the third book that I need some better closure.

Matt, you had me laughing out loud!

LuckyMatt said...

I can't deny that the story is engaging. I'm still only about 200 pages into the first book, and I have to admit that there was a chapter that was completely boring girl-emotive stuff, where Bella thinks a lot about Edward, and is frustrated that he isn't at school, and goes on a walk in the woods, and takes a nap on the lawn, and plans a shopping trip with her friends, and I was about to rescind my approval of the book, but luckily things got more interesting in the next chapter during the actual shopping trip because it involved mortal danger. So, I'm intrigued again.

Janice said...

Glad you finally joined the club. When I see you next, I want to hear all your FEELINGS about Bella and Edward. We'll have a lot to share.

Julie said...

Glad to see you thought you'd give it a try! :) My little brother spent all day and night reading them all in a row. I think he actually DID like them! But I didn't tell Lane....