Wednesday, April 7, 2010


My thoughts on Twilight...

I have never seen the movies. I read the first book a couple of years ago. At the time, it seemed like the type of story I would have liked at that age and that made it kind of comforting. I read the second book more recently. Now, that the storyline is coming back to me, I'm having mixed feelings.

Romanticizing vampires is nothing new. They have always been an outlet for humans' psychosexual issues. Especially in more sexually repressive times (like the one Dracula was written in).

Humanizing vampires and making them sympathetic is a little newer. I remember it as far back as Anne Rice and FCC's Dracula. It makes for an interesting story, but I can also understand the criticisms that Twilight promotes some very unhealthy relationship dynamics. It does worry me a little to see that marketed toward teenage girls (and some adults) who are still figuring these things out.

Girls, if he tells you you're not safe with him, believe him and run screaming. Don't just bat your doe eyes and say, "I trust you." I know women tend to be raised to give unconditionally, but trusting him will not automatically transform him into someone worthy of that trust. At best, you will just enable him.

I-love-you-but-I-want-to-kill-you is not my relationship ideal.

But, on the other hand, I can also understand the reasons why vampire stories remain so popular.

When you have intense passion for someone, there is that feeling like you want to completely consume their essence. And at the same time, there's the need to surrender to the other person, to give up everything...even if it's life and death. The best (and sometimes worst) feeling is when it seems like you really just couldn't help yourself. Who would want to tame passion, anyway?

When you turn it into an actual life or death situation, that raises the stakes and gives a greater emotional carthasis. While most of us wouldn't want these things to literally come true, a story is a safe place to live it out.

And yes. For teens, everything is melodrama. Roll your eyes about it if you want, but we've all been there. Everything does feel like a life or death situation. So, it's understandable that they would like fiction that allows them to process those feelings.

Which is why I remain on the fence.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Random Confession

This happened...oh, about a year or two ago.

The waiter had just brought us drinks. As I sipped a Cosmopolitan, I felt the need to confess something.

I lean in and say, "I have to admit I really did start drinking these when Carrie Bradshaw made them popular."

He says, "Should we say, 'Baaa...'?"

I say, "But, I have an excuse. I was just out of college, at the time, and it was my first grown-up drink."

I explained that that night we were at a former-gay-club-turned-straight. On their Goth Night, no less. True to stereotype, they were the best dance club in town. There was also something that was a novelty for a Lansing bar, a martini list. It was actually one of my friends who got the first Cosmopolitan. I tried a sip of hers and soon, we were drinking them all the time.

He listened and nodded with understanding. Then, he motioned to me and said, "Come closer. I need to tell you something."

So, I did and he whispers, "Your cleavage looks nice, right now."

I protest, "I just bared my soul to you!"

He just innocently shrugs and says, "Well, I had to whisper that. I didn't want every guy in here to casually stroll by to check."

Oh well. What can you do?