The day after Christmas. I hovered over a roasting pan on top of my stove, picking out bones, skin and other non-edible sundries from the turkey carcass I’d simmered all day. A gift from my neighbor, Heidi, after our holiday dinner last night was now going to become food for the next few days and possibly longer, knowing my penchant for freezing meals. As I combed through the broth, I thought heavily on the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer that I was reading. I had seen the movie and decided to read the books.
My first attendance at the film was a mistake. I went on opening day and landed a seat on the edge of the second row. The screen was blurry and the 50 foot faces did nothing for me. Also, I didn’t hear much of the movie, since the audience contained screaming teenage girls at the rate of about 75%. I had no clue this was such a cult thing; I just the thought the movie looked interesting. The last vampire movie I’d seen was Van Helsing, and I thought this one looked tame enough. Well, the movie was tame, at least, tamer than the audience.
I then took my daughter to see it a couple of times. I loved the mood of the film, the gray drabble of the Olympic Peninsula that I had visited so often. I’d been in love with the terrain since I’d spent four days at the Makah Reservation in November of 1996. I mentioned this to my 17 year old daughter and she responded in her know it all fashion, “You’ve never even been to Forks!” Wrong, my dear, I was in Forks a few years ago and stayed at this great little motel with a huge garden. I got some great Chinese food there, too! I took my dog with me and we drove to La Push and spent all of 30 minutes on the beach. And, last summer I passed through with a friend on our loop around the peninsula. We’d been to the Quinault and Hoh Rainforests and came back on the north loop, through Port Angeles, and took the Kingston Ferry back to the east side of Puget Sound. I was actually in the Olympic Rain Forest on July 4 hiking with a singles group down to Third Beach in La Push. It rained like crazy and was freezing! And yes, I’ve eaten at that great restaurant on the Quileute Reservation.
I remember hearing something about someone filming a movie in Forks, but didn’t much matter, since when people are filming movies the best thing to do is stay out of their way. Of course, I didn’t really care, since I was there to take pictures of hanging moss, hug trees and talk with my friend about nerdy things. Forks is like many other small towns on the peninsula, it just happens to be really close to several really cool places and in between Port Angeles and Aberdeen.
So, I read the books after I saw the movie, wanting to know more about the characters and their decisions. I didn’t know author Stephenie Meyer was a Latter-day Saint like me. (That was fun. It’s always pleasant to see a sister be successful. Go Girl!) I’m a plot driven reader and I burned through them in a couple of weeks around Thanksgiving. Since I’ve been snowed in the last week in Woodinville, I’ve been reading them again, this time slower with more focus on the characters.
When Edward Cullen first tells Bella Swan to stay away from him, I heard loud dings and saw red flags. When I was chasing my ex-husband (whom I affectionately call my X-Man) he told me some similar things…on our very first date! Should I have listened? Maybe. Why didn’t I? Well, probably for the same reason that Bella didn’t listen, she was hopeful, curious, passionate and decisive. What could go wrong? Well, for Bella, it seemed to be one life threatening situation after another, the addiction she felt for Edward and her inability to move forward without him. I, on the other hand, was ready to move forward without my fiancé when he kept changing the marriage date, but because I was so hopeful…well, you guessed it, I stuck with him. Would I make the same decisions Bella made knowing what I know now? No. But Bella would, because that’s who she is. We all make the best decisions we can with the knowledge we have and live with the consequences, me included.
I’m definitely a wolf girl, my favorite character being Jacob Black. I could hang in a garage and live on the beach…no problem. He’s intelligent, funny, determined and comes from a close –knit community and people. He treats Bella with a familial kindness and intimacy that is so uncommon among boy-girl relationships. One of my very best friends through school was male, and though we had no romantic feelings for each other, the comfortable relationship I had with him was always something I hoped for in a marriage. Also, the idea of my boyfriend transforming frequently into a giant wolf that I can pet, well, that idea is very attractive. I adore the way he is completely honest and passionate about Bella, though, I would add, I highly disapprove of the force he uses with her on a few occasions. And he’s like me…not a quitter.
Some mixed vegetables, wild rice and a few spices added to the broth—smell that? But I digress.
I’ve heard in interviews that many people consider Edward Cullen “the perfect man.” Well, he may be pretty, but if you read intently, he’s far from perfect. He’s nervous, uncertain, controlling and very vulnerable emotionally. Remember, he’s stuck at age 17. Consider what you were like when you were 17 and I doubt seriously that you’d feel your soul was complete. He may have aged in vampire years, but he still sees things from a teenager’s perspective, hence the self doubt and the longing he feels for Bella. I remember those doubts, don’t you? Many of us still have them in one form or another, no matter how old we get. But I also remember the longing, the passion bottled inside waiting to explode. (And yes, I still have that, too.)
Reading the books also inspired me to write two short stories from the first person perspective. I’d only done that a few times, several years ago, but I liked the way I could absorb myself into the characters. I’m still working on them, but I’m pleased with the ideas that flowed, one even from a dream. And no, they aren’t even remotely “fan fiction” or anything related to Twilight-that’s Stephenie’s ball game.
And speaking of ball games, that baseball scene was the absolute best in the movie! The music provided by Muse completely pumped me and reminded me of how much I loved baseball when I was 17. I’ve been toying with an idea for a while, and now its driving me nuts. I want to go to the batting range about a mile from my house. I’ve wanted to for years, now I almost can’t stand it. I’m kind of embarrassed to go, though. What will they think when an 47 year old fat girl drops in and says, “How slow can these things pitch? I’m not it great shape, but you already knew that.”
I’ll let you know how it turns out. “Batter up!”