Against my better judgment, I just finished reading the book Twilight.
An avid reader in my ward advised against it. Her main argument is that the book is targeted at teenage girls, and although nothing immoral happens in the book, it still might give the idea that other things (like letting a boy stay in your room during the night, etc.) are harmless. I also didn’t like the fact that the main character, Bella, lied to her dad about where she was going the day she spent with Edward.
I decided I’d better read it for a couple of reasons. First, it seems that almost everyone around me has read it, and anytime I tell someone that I haven’t read it, they are shocked, and tell me I should. That includes people who read my blog responding to my Halloween photo post. Last weekend on facebook, the status of my female high school friends (so, all in their mid-30’s) said things like:
Mary is setting off to see Twilight at midnight! Mary is needing a nap. Too much movie, not enough sleep. yawn.
Brandi is excited for movie night! Brandi loved Twilight. It's not the book - but it was GREAT! Brandi is going to Twilight again tonight. Brandi loved Twilight even more the 2nd time!
Heidi is in love with Edward Cullen! He is so sexy in the movie!
I finally posted my status as
“Sarah is thinking everyone needs to get a life and stop thinking about Twilight”,to which I then commented:
“Okay, I admit I haven't read the books, but I'm not sure I want to if they are like a drug that everyone is addicted to!”
Another friend's status read last week:
Jane is finally reading Twilight to see what all the fuss is about.And then the next day:
Jane is finished with Twilight - the fuss is warranted.
So, I decided maybe I should do the same.
So, first, there’s all the fuss, and then second (and probably the main reason) being that our 12 year old daughter also decided she needed to read them to find out what the fuss was about. We have never been the type of parents to restrict our children’s agency on a decision like this, so based on the warning of the lady in my ward, I chose to start reading so that I could discuss them with my daughter.
Now today, I posted the following to facebook:
Sarah is spending the day reading twilight. It disgusts me that I don't want to put it down.Jane’s comment:
You fell for the trap too, eh?My response:
Hook, line and sinker. Before reading, I compared its affect on my friends to a drug. Now that I have finished reading, the drug has definitely pulled me in. Whatever happened to my resolve to say no to drugs? :-)And then to another comment:
I'm afraid that I have now officially succumbed to the addiction. I just finished the first book, and I'm still in my pjs at 3 in the afternoon!(and I am shaking because I forgot to eat lunch!...at least, that's mostly why I'm shaking...)
Lately, every time I read a book, I tend to relate it to my own life. For a while, I was on a Joseph and Emma kick. We saw the movie about Joseph at the legacy theater. We watched the new Emma movie on DVD. I started reading the book Emma by Anita Stansfield. Of course our lessons in Relief Society are all from Joseph’s life and teachings. I know it seems crazy to compare my life to that of a prophet’s wife, but some of Emma’s portrayed feelings about love and persecution and trials and the unique purpose of each person’s life really got me thinking and relating it to my own new circumstance with being married to a gay man, my feelings on the prop 8 thing, and the trials I seemed to be going through. Even little things, like Joseph’s nervousness to tell Emma about things like his vision, or later polygamy, helped me have a greater understanding of how hard and yet how necessary it was for Scott to come out to me. Also, it helped give me the determination and courage to fulfill the calling that Scott and I feel the Lord has given us (to spread understanding of what it means to be a gay Mormon) no matter how hard it may seem sometimes.
Anyway, back to Twilight and relating it to my own life. Even though Scott and my relationship is much different than Edward and Bella for obvious reasons (the main one being that he is actually attracted to her ;-), I couldn’t help but hear Scott’s voice and things he has said to me over the past couple of months in Edwards words, but relating to something completely different. Edward is amazed that Bella loves him and accepts him for who he is. And he keeps questioning why and how she could continue to love and support him, a vampire. In my world, Scott has been similarly amazed at my acceptance of him, that I love him just as much, and maybe even more, now that I understand what he is and that being gay contributes a lot to who he is.
Here are some of the passages that caught my attention:
“And you’re worried, not because you’re headed to meet a houseful of vampires, but because you think those vampires won’t approve of you, correct?”
He shook his head. “You’re incredible.”
“I was prepared to feel...relieved. Having you know about everything, not needing to keep secrets from you. But I didn’t expect to feel more than that. I like it. It makes me...happy.”
He sighed, “I keep waiting for it to happen.”
“For what to happen?”
“I know that at some point, something you see is going to be too much. And then you’ll run away from me, screaming as you go.”
“I’m not running anywhere, I promise.”
Lastly, like Bella, I beg Scott to stay and never leave me.
One day a month or so ago when I was going through a really tough time with my anxiety, I was on the phone with Scott, thanking him for his support through everything. I told him that someday, if he felt like he needed to find a more fulfilling relationship, that we could divorce if needed so that he could do so. But that I wouldn’t let him go, ever. He and his partner would just have to live with me, and that is it. :)
And I still mean it.
Do you think I have time to start reading the next book? :)
February 2009 Addendum: Kengo posted this regarding the second book, New Moon, when he was reading them recently for the first time. I had similar thoughts to his and was going to blog about it but never did. He had additional insight as well and wrote it out better than I would have, so I am just linking to it instead. :) He also has this other post about the 4th book, Breaking dawn. Interesting stuff!