Tag Archives: culture

No Wonder Vampires Live Forever.


Bella and Edward, human and vampire

 

 

Bella and Edward, human and vampire

 

 

You really have to have eternity stretching before you, and not much to fill the empty days and sleepless nights with (vampires, it turns out, don’t sleep), if you want to have the kind of disposable time on your hands to read a series of books like Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.

It starts out with a kicky kind of narrative drive. The first-person narrator is in Penelope Pitstop peril for her life. Promising, for sure. How does she get out of this one?

That she gets out, I assumed, since my 12-year-old was panting down my neck with the other three weighty tomes at the ready for me to digest once I’d swallowed the first – although I supposed there was always the possibility, given the supernatural nature of the theme, that she didn’t.

 

But right after that kick-start beginning, things slow to a crawl. Okay, I thought, perhaps Meyers is doing this to give us a sense of how crawlingly boring it is in the town Our Hero Bella has found herself in: Forks, Washington, land of perpetual cloud cover, Smallville to secret superheroes.

Nope. Just plain crawling after that.

Like the diaries of turn-of-the-century housewives, we are thereafter treated not only to every single thought in Bella’s head – something her lucky telepathic vampire boyfriend can’t do – as well as every single detail of Bella’s existence. We learn exactly what Bella wears every day, what she cooks her father for dinner, every time she cleans the house, how her car sounds when it starts, what the weather is like EVERY SINGLE DAY, and what she has for every single meal.

Every frustratingly innocent stroke of the cheek is painstakingly narrated between Bella and Edward, the teenaged lovers.

Well, technically Edward is not a teenager, although the book insists he is. Turned vamp at 17, he is referred to as perpetually 17, but he was born in 1901, making him 107 years old. Call me a stickler, but your age is your age, no matter how well-preserved you are. I mean, my mom looks awesome for being in her 60s, and is often mistaken for being far younger than her years.

Doesn’t make her actually 50. Although don’t tell HER that.

So it’s really sort of a May-December romance. Or, January-December romance. Either way, the age difference is nominal, because they’re both extremely immature, which is fine, because it’s sweet to see two people – er, one people and a supernatural creature – so well-suited for each other.

They’re suited for each other, because as one newspaper review so aptly put it: “They want each other so badly because they want each other so badly.”

That’s about it. There’s no deep, getting-to-know-you period. There’s no real reason these two fall in love – unless you count the fact that Ed really digs the way Bella smells, and wants more than anything, especially in the beginning, to literally eat her up.

They just really, really, crush hard on each other, and decide, “that’s it, we’re done” with the familiar old teenage intensity, which just goes to show how very little one can learn in 100 years if one tries very hard to avoid maturity.

Most amazing of all?

There is, apparently, some deep cultural thirst – if you’ll excuse the pun – for this uncritical, “I love you because I love you, now let’s gaze into each other’s eyes soulfully for the next 7,000 pages” in American life.

Cause everybody’s reading it.

Theaters are packed.

Are you Team Edward? Team Jacob? Team Switzerland?

Are you?

Have you caught Twilight Fever? Or are you going to go ahead and live a life of your own? However short?

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Naked! Naked! Naked! (Made ya look.)


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the many faces of me I have no problem being naked.

Not that I’m EAGER to be naked, don’t get me wrong; it’s not as if I’m winking, one hand pulling down the shoulder of my shirt, frantically elbowing passers-by, whispering: “Dare me? Dare me?”

I’m no modern-day Lady Godiva.

(Why DID she take off all her clothes and ride a horse through town? Wasn’t she protesting something her jackass husband did? My – if that worked…)

It’s just that at I’m finally comfy in this skin. And with all the little fat cells that may be – or may not be – floating around underneath it. For instance, after two C-sections, no matter how much weight I might ever lose, or how many sit-ups I might do…

(…Hang on, I can’t type, I’m laughing so hard at the idea of ME doing even one sit-up….)

..I’ll always have a little kangaroo pouch, thanks to my Little Joeys having popped out like toast, instead of, well… the other way. (Yikes.)

I never DID do the bikini thing. I preferred my grandmother’s advice: Let ’em wonder. It’s what you DON’T show that drives ’em crazier. She was right.

A woman is ten times more sexy in a high-necked, backless gown, if you ask me. After all, I always wanted a guy that wanted not only to whisk me up the stairs like that famous scene in Gone With the Wind – but who also wanted to buy me the staircase. (I didn’t have to want the staircase, mind you. He just has to want to give it to me. <<insert evil laughter.>>)

And the surrounding mansion. Don’t forget the mansion and a yacht. (The stairs by themselves would be, well, stupid.)

I’m currently working on a project for pre-teen girls about body image. It’s in the embryonic stage right now, and it’s inspired by my own pre-teen girl, who IS NOT FAT, (can you hear me?), NOT FAT BY ANY STRETCH, but like every other woman in the universe, is tortured by her self-image.

The pictures you see on the left are of me. I took the top two; my daughters’ dad, award-winning photojournalist Tom Bushey, took the bottom one, shortly after our first daughter Emily was born.

Yikes, right?

[NOTE: I went, clad in a baggy sweatshirt, no makeup, to rent a car during this period. No big deal. They gave me a plain-Jane model. Radio, no CD player. Got me where I needed to go. I returned it. More on this later.]

Although outside of the postpartum depression period, I was never really overweight, I DID develop early, growing biggish breasts early on, and since I AM tiny – and all my height is in my legs, making me very short-waisted – at 11 and 12, I felt like a potato with toothpicks. A freak. A fat freak. Fatty McFat-Fat.

A self-image I projected onto the whole world.

It wasn’t until college, really, when — oh yay! I roomed with – dig this: three of the most beautiful women on campus. No kidding, in all seriousness, THE most gorgeous, including an International Vogue model. As nice as they were beautiful, too, and friends to this day. (Did I mention smart? The model is now a doctor at Sloan-Kettering.)

When you’re plunged into that kind of over-the-top fabulousness, there is no question of competition. It’s like being a Sumo wrestler hanging out with racehorse jockeys, or a mermaid hanging out with Iraqui burqa-wearing babes. Just doesn’t enter your mind.

What blew my mind was that none of these smart, incredibly nice, incredibly beautiful women ever did anything on a Friday or Saturday night except go out with each other, while I had date after date.

Turns out there IS such a thing as too, intimidatingly beautiful. (Also, I learned there really IS such a thing as too thin – boys like soft, not bony.)

How cool was that?

I also learned from a former actress and model, later on, when I appealed to her for makeover assistance for a high school reunion (“Is there anyway you can make me look like an International Vogue model? Um… no reason…”) that “beauty” could be achieved with a few tricks of the lip and eyeliner brush. Ah! How easy, especially for an artist like myself.

Or anyone with about an hour to kill at the Esteé Lauder makeup counter.

Confidence + a few hidden grooming tricks? I had this thing licked.

I went back to the car rental place where I had rented a clunker a couple of years back. Same circumstances: I needed to rent a simple car.

This time, I had learned “how to be beautiful.”

They handed me the keys to a fully-loaded sports car.

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Filed under confidence, family, humor, life, satire, self-image