I was sort of afraid that I was the only grown woman who was into the Bella/Edward vampire love story. But, I did some research and I found out that there are LOTS and LOTS of us.
But, it got me thinking. Why am I, a fifty year old woman, so enamored with a teenage story of a vampire who falls in love with a human? Was I stuck in my high school years? And if I was, was I nuts? I mean, I wasn't one of those pimply angst ridden teens but I wasn't Miley Cyrus either. My high school years were spent in a small town Catholic girl's school. My graduating class was all of 28. I was not valedictorian. I was, however, homecoming princess. But, hey...achieving that status out of a class of 28 was not all that difficult. My high school years were okay. I don't remember crying into my pillow over some boy, but then, hey...I was a very in the closet lesbian, so boys weren't high up on my list. For this reason, I suppose, I
never lacked for a boyfriend. I think it was my lack of interest that did it. It was like honey drawing ants. All I had to do was show up and have no interest and suddenly I had several boys who really, really wanted me to get into cars with them.
What I always had, though? I loved the edge. I loved pushing boundaries, ached to try new things, be the one who took the dares. And growing up in a tightly bound Irish Catholic family of all girls, going to a small private girl's school, well...there was not a lot of free love and commune trippin' dancing in my life.
In fact, there was none.
I smoked cigarettes. And felt deliciously wicked as I lit my Marlboros up in my bedroom, with my window cranked open, letting the freezing cold Iowa winter air in while I shivered violently and learned to blow smoke rings.
I read Lolita. Peyton Place. The Bell Jar. Catcher in the Rye. I inhaled books, felt like maybe they were the only place where I felt touched, like someone understood the real me.
"It was that kind of crazy afternoon, terrifically cold and no sun out or anything and you felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road." Haulden Caulfield, J.D Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye.
"I felt like a race horse in a world without racetracks or a champion college footballer suddenly confronted by Wall Street and a business suit, his days of glory shrunk to a little gold cup on his mantel with a date engraved on it like a date on a tombstone." Sylvia Plath. The Bell Jar.
I became a Shakespeare nut. I read Romeo and Juliet with such an ache in my heart. I wanted to be either Juliet or Romeo, I didn't care which. Or maybe Mercutio suited me better:
Romeo: I dreamt a dream tonight.
Mercutio: And so did I.
Romeo: And what was yours?
Mercutio: That dreamers often lie.
I just knew that there was a world out there, that there were chances to be taken and risks to be attempted and I felt stuck in my little town. I wanted out and I wanted to be really, really bad.
Which, of course, for a girl like me, meant that I smoked a little weed.
No heroin, no wild nights, just...yeah...I smoked a little weed.
When I got into college, I slept around a little.
Okay, for maybe a few months, it was a lot. And not just with women. I was open to any and all experiences. Well...no pets.
But, men or women? Both, please. In large quantities.
The women I sashayed around with were less excited about me sleeping with men than the men were about me sleeping with women. In fact, the men were basically fine with my bisexuality.
I ached all through my twenties and into my thirties. I wanted to be the girl who got the best grades but who also knew how to slam down whiskey sours at the parties.
I excelled at both.
Bing swears that this is why I didn't fall for her until I was in my forties.
"I was way too tame for you. You liked your dates to be bad boys or bad girls. Or at least to look as if they could be. You wanted to be a female Jack Kerouac. No room in your life for me, although you liked the musician bent. I just wasn't quite twisted enough for you, not enough of a wild hair."
And she was right. She didn't appeal to me. Not then. Well, I always loved her, just not the way she wanted me to. I wasn't really interested in a grown up relationship. I wanted a female Kurt Cobain.
I still sometimes do.
There. I said it.
I fessed up.
I admit that there is always a part of me that seeks the vampire. The not so good boy. The not so good girl.
Super heroes bore me. Give me Jack Sparrow. Don't give me limpid eyed Jack on Lost. Nope. I want Sawyer. Kate. Even Juliet is fine. Just give me someone with a bit of a past, a bit of mystery and I am intrigued.
Well, I finally came around. Finally fell in love with Bing.
And she is hardly staid.
But, she is not by any means...wild eyed.
She is steady and even tempered and cool and easy and....
Always there. Always supportive. Always in my corner, rubbing my back and whispering encouragement.
I am old enough to love that about her now. Appreciate it in a way that I never could before. And she is what I want now. I don't feel that I have settled. I feel that I have mellowed. Plus, I have a daughter now. That colors every single decision that I make. Every. Single. One. I may crave a little dangerous excitement in my life, but I don't believe for a second that my daughter needs that. I protect her from just that sort of thing now. I would never allow anyone into our lives who even had a whiff of danger to them. I want Liv's life to be a safe, secure, warm nest. Jeopardize that for a few thrills for myself? Never.
But that doesn't mean that I don't crave this kind of excitement.
Because he doesn't scare me either....
Not that I am going to leave Bing for a teenage boy vampire.
Let's just say that I understand the need.
How about you?