Confessions of a Mom Who Loves Twilight
Why this cougar, puma or whatever you want to call her (insert adjective for a woman over the age of 25) can’t wait for ‘New Moon’ to come out this week.
If all goes as planned, I will have seen the film version of New Moon, the second book in Stephenie Meyer’s teenage-vampire romance series, twice by 3 p.m. on the movie’s November 20 opening day. After attending the midnight premiere with hoards of screaming teenage girls and young women, and several of my friends (mostly moms like me), I’ll join another pal at the first daytime show, which, since we’re both underemployed and job hunting, we’ll attend while our children and most teens are at school. Like other Twilight devoteés, I bought my tickets weeks in advance.
In the 12 months since I was clued into the Twilight phenomenon (yes, I was a latecomer), I’ve determined that Twilight’s older readers — call ‘em the post-pubescent crowd — fall into two camps beyond the typical Team Edward and Team Jacob divisions.
In the first camp are the women who are not just smitten, but consumed by Edward and Bella’s romance. (And they likely have a deep crush on Edward Cullen, especially as depicted by actor Robert Pattinson, 23, which they can justify as being non-creepy because the forever 17-year-old Edward is actually more than 100 years old.) These “pumas” and “cougars” read all four books in a matter of days. They’ve seen Twilight, the first movie, multiple times. They’ve downloaded the PDF of Midnight Sun, Meyer’s partial manuscript of Twilight from Edward’s point of view, and they’re likely furious about the author’s decision to not finish the book because her artistic integrity was violated when someone she trusted leaked the draft. (Oh, pu-leeze, Stephenie, get over yourself already. Finish Midnight Sun and then retell the three other books in Edward’s voice. He’s so much more interesting than Bella!) Once all official Twilight paths have been traveled, these seemingly mature women join Twilight chat rooms, watch Twilight trailers and fan-made films on YouTube, and search the Internet for articles like this one about mothers who are obsessed with all things Twilight.
In the other camp are the women who, even though they read at least the first book or saw the first movie, remain unmoved by the stories and are actually getting on with their lives.
Teenagers and other young women who have crushes on Edward (or Jacob, or the actors who play them) are enthralled by the fantasy, and the possibility of themselves finding true love. Their enthusiasm isn’t hard to understand. But my mom-friend Darlene has a theory about why some grown women are, as Bella declares about herself, “unconditionally and irrevocably in love with” Edward Cullen, and why others don’t succumb to his charms.