One year ago I was fairly obnoxious in sharing my love for a particular series of young adult books written by a thirty-something housewife from Arizona.
One year ago I spent hours reiterating, to naysayers, "It's not a book about vampires. It's not a 'teenage' novel!"
One year ago I wrote many blog posts begging y'all to read what I deemed the greatest love story of our generation.
One year ago I flew to California to view the big screen version of said love story, with two ladies I'd met in early 2008. Women I'd befriended because of our shared love of a particular book, which, at that time, was still rather obscure. We bonded over a sparkly vampire and an ordinary, yet spunky girl. (Heather & Tiffany, I love y'all. Deeply. V4&After.)
One year ago I was proud to to identify myself as a "loud and proud fan" of four books in a Saga too fantastic for words.
What a difference a year makes!
Have you ever had a favorite cosmetic? Let's say...a lip gloss. This particular lip gloss is fan-freakin'-tabulous. It glides on perfectly, shines like the top of the Chrysler building (name that movie!), and never ever traps stray strands of hair on your perfect pout. I mean, this is the lacquer to end all lip lacquers.
So you tell the world about it. "You MUST buy this product--it will change your life and add so much delight to your existence!"
The world heeds your advice and soon this lip gloss enrobes the pucker of every other mouth you see. Fantastic!
Alas...one fine day...some unfortunate gal decides to paint on the gloss with a heavy hand. Oh, woe the sloppiness! Or perhaps you see a well-intended woman wearing frosted pink eyeshadow, along with the gloss to end all glosses.
Frosted. Pink. Eyeshadow.
Your gloss has been ruined. It's intended effect is cheapened. Cheapened like a working gal at a truck stop.
"Hey baby, you lookin' for date?"
This, my friends, is how I feel about the fandom that encompasses The Twilight Saga.
The fiending (a phrase coined by the genius Kristen Stewart in last week's Entertainment Weekly) have taken my beloved love story and frosted it with tacky, sparkly, really offensive pink eyeshadow.
Countless merchandising fails too numerous to mention (I refuse to enter a Hot Topic, on principle alone), a bojillion websites* devoted to the movie and its cast, and seemingly every magazine cover of the past 52 weeks. One cannot escape the phenomenon that is Stephenie Meyer's tale of Bella and Edward.
It's too much. For me. To say I'm over it is putting it mildly.
Cheapened. Heather described it thusly, many months ago. It's truly the best description. And it deeply saddens me.
When sweet Fran inquired earlier in the week, "Are you so excited for New Moon in a few days?" I hung my head. Sighed heavily. And admitted to myself...
Will I see New Moon this weekend? Sure! I've heard it's remarkably better than the first film. This makes me happy. Maybe this means all the fasting and praying has paid off. Maybe Chris Weitz reads Lulaville. He is a down dude, after all.
So while the embarrassingly overwrought fandom ("My life is complete because I've been in Robert Pattinson's presence!" Really? Um...OK. No wonder the poor dude is afraid to walk around without 43 bodyguards.) has stolen a bit of my Twilight joy over the past year, I am resolute in my refusal to hand it over completely. Because in the end, my love for this story is remains intact. It's still Edward and Bella. The Edward and Bella I fell in love with almost three years ago. And no one can take that brilliance from me. Even if its shine is slightly murky, I'm able to peer past the fandom flaws and continue to appreciate the love story dreamt by one Stephenie Meyer. I'll even appreciate it for not being well-written literature. 'Cause...uh...it's not.
Yeah. This is hot. I don't care who you are. It is delicious.
Well, if we rid Rob of a bit of that grease paint.
If you see New Moon on the big screen this weekend, please let me know what you thought of it. If you are not seeing New Moon, I won't judge you. Promise!
*Before someone feels as if their Cornflakes have been peed upon...I am not knocking any Twilight-related fansite. I've met some of my most favorite people in the world because of a few, very special websites devoted to The Twilight Saga. Sites run by "normal" people. Ahem.
However...I have, and will continue to judge any website run by grown women who attend "Twi-conventions" dressed in vampire capes. Capes bought at Party City for $9.99.