I have a good excuse for not having written in a long time.
My teenaged girl has forced me, kicking and screaming, into reading the Twilight series. For those of you with no connection to all things adolescent (or perhaps, to anything involving popular culture), Twilight is the immensely popular vampire saga that has overtaken the teen literary world.
First, let me explain myself: I have not a gothic bone in my body except for a penchant to dress in black. Being a practical sort, I am mostly uninterested in vampires, werewolves, aliens and ghosts. Most of the stories bore me to tears. How many times can you read the cliches about the undead without thinking, I would rather be rearranging my sock drawer than taking in this drivel?
So, imagine my surprise when I became instantly hooked. I am on book four of four lengthy novels and I started the series a couple of weeks ago. Prosewise, the writing is fairly lame...and full of repetitious cliches that inspire a lit crit major to want to flee screaming into the dark (whether it's full of blood sucking creatures or not).
However, the author has a true talent constructing witty dialogue and engaging suspense. Plus, it reminds me of that long dormant part of me that witnessed unbridled passion, heartbreak and romantic redemption. It's pleasurable to feel those dangerous passions again without having to actually go through the heartbreak.
Claire, of course, is thrilled that I am addicted. I have been delighted to discuss plot, theme and characters with my daughter as well as the real life issues of sexuality, self esteem and true love. These themes are tricky now in her life and will continue to amp up in severity as she enters high school. I am thankful that we have a "safe" place to discuss them. Her finely calibrated "this is a teaching moment" radar doesn't engage while discussing hot vampires and werewolves.
Many of our discussions boil down to the age old question for women of all ages: Would you rather give yourself to the safe, dependable guy who allows you to be yourself or the exciting, "perfect", mysterious one who tempts you to change the essence of who you are? Can you have both?
Hmmmm. I wonder. Can you have the best of both worlds: human and eternal? Can you be simultaneously safe and passionate? Can you love both states of being equally and not ultimately have to make a choice between them? A part of me would like to think that it is possible to continuously live in that magical period between day and night...
What do you think?