Posted by: Hannah | 03/04/2015

in which i read Twilight and hate myself

It’s March 4th. We’ve had two snowstorms already in March.

Fuck you, March. You’re drunk. I expected better from you, March.

My sister came up with this yesterday re: March. I think it's apt.

My sister came up with this re: March. I think it’s apt.

And so this morning before breakfast or even before coffee I was shoveling the driveway. Again. I was shoveling because Halifax is in a three-week snow/rain/freeze cycle, and my garage door is firmly embedded in a couple inches of ice. Everything inside the garage is trapped there, including my snowblower.

My arm muscles are getting pretty ropy, mind you.

As the winter has dragged on, I’ve had to make some decisions for my own peace of mind; namely, I’ve informed the school council that I will be resigning as chair at the end of June – not 2017, as they wanted, can you imagine?? – and I’ve also quite firmly told the PTA that no, I will not be joining despite all their flattery and cajoling.

This means I only have three more meetings to get through as school council chair, and then I’m done done DONE FOREVER and this makes me so happy. I read all those articles and blog posts about how to keep your sanity while a stay-at-home mom and keeping your resumé relevant when out of the workforce and how to find your bliss and without fail, they all mention volunteer work.

To which I say, bullshit. Volunteer work is fine until you factor in the people. The people who never actually put any work or effort in beyond attending a meeting once in a while, but feel fully-qualified to offer their two cents’ worth in a belligerent and argumentative fashion. The people who sit quietly during meetings, never saying a word, and then email you afterwards with pages of vitriol and anger about how Person A monopolized everything.

I have worked for three non-profits in my life, all staffed by volunteer boards, and now I’ve spent five years on this volunteer school council. I’ve run into the same shit every time. Unless I can find a way to volunteer in a silent vacuum, I think my volunteering days are done for a while.

***

After years of ranting, raving, complaining, and snarking, I finally broke down and read Twilight. I’m far enough behind the cultural zeitgeist with this that there were no holds on the ebooks at the library, go me! Also, I recently read The Kite Runner and We Need To Talk About Kevin and the one-two combo upset me so much that I’ve sworn off pretty much everything that my peer group is recommending I read.

So! Twilight! Brief thoughts on it and then we will never speak of it again:

  1. The writing is not terrible. There are some problems, but I’ve read worse *coughELJamescough*.
  2. I said all along that I would not be comfortable with my tween daughter reading them without my guidance, based solely on what I’d read and heard about the story. I stand by that. Edward is domineering, controlling, and weird. It’s all red flags for later abuse. Breaking into your house to watch you sleep, kissing you and then blaming you for getting him aroused, flying into dark brooding rages because you talk to your male friend… none of this is romantic and all of it is worrisome.
  3. Team Jacob.
  4. Stephanie Meyer needs to actually explain what makes Bella so Unique and Special and Different and Attractive. All I’m getting is that she’s self-involved, whiny, self-absorbed, broody like a hen, entertains suicidal thoughts regularly, and is convinced no one in the history of the universe has ever felt the feelings that she is feeling with her feeling-heart RIGHT NOW. In other words, she’s a completely normal teenage girl.
  5. Stephanie Meyer is very in love with the “hole in my heart” metaphor, and should have had someone nip that shit in the bud. You broke up with your boyfriend, Bella. You shouldn’t need to literally wrap your arms around yourself for months to pull the edges of the hole together. If you do, see a doctor.
  6. If I were Stephanie Meyer, I would sue the ugly pleather pants right off of EL James, because not only did she plagiarize the story and make a frillion dollars of it, but she actually made it so, so much worse in every possible way.
  7. Vampires shouldn’t sparkle. Or walk around in daylight. Or go to high school. Or swear off human blood. Sorry, that’s just how I feel. If you’re going to have vampires, HAVE THEM. Otherwise Edward is really just a very attractive dickhead with a credit card.
  8. Bella clearly has some kind of heart condition. Her heart stops a lot, for no real reason. Also she forgets to breathe, which is physically impossible because breathing is an involuntary reaction. Meyer doesn’t know how to science. At all. I blame Mormons.
  9. Bella is in the hospital getting stitches ALL THE TIME. Secret stitches that she doesn’t want her father to know about. Who is paying for all of these hospital visits? I thought all US medical care came with a bill? And before she turns 18, isn’t she a minor who can’t give consent to receive any medical care? I realize this is probably a minor point in a book about sparkly teenage vampires but honestly it is bugging the hell out of me.
  10. None of this makes me want to see the movies, even a little bit. I keep picturing KPatz in the lead roles and I just laugh helplessly because the pair of them have about as much charisma as my left and right socks.

I truly, truly hope spring comes soon. Or at least that winter backs off for a little while and gives us a break. When I start writing lists about Twilight, we can officially say that winter needs to end.

 

 

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Responses

  1. Hehe I love your summary of Twilight. I only made it through the first two chapters before giving up in despair so you’re a braver woman than I. Also, CONGRATULATIONS on kicking that volunteering lark to the curb. There’s volunteering and then there’s masochism.

  2. I have decided that I am much more comfortable with occasional volunteer activities that are very, very different than my nonprofit day job. Need someone to help decorate for an event? Unload boxes for the food pantry? Set up a craft station? I’m your girl. Sit on a board or fundraising committee that meets every week from now until eternity to deal with paperwork? NO. NO. NO NO NO NO. (Okay, I’m still on one of those because it’s important but I’ve dropped everything else.)

    I never read Twilight but I watched the first movie when I was trapped in a vacation rental with two sleeping children and that was the only entertainment option. It was more terrible than you can imagine, which makes it sound vaguely enjoyable, but no. It wasn’t. There are all the problems of the book PLUS the added vision of Kristen Stewart mouth-breathing for two hours straight. Gah. Awful.

  3. I won’t volunteer because, like you said…people. (Also, I can recommend any number of not Twilight books-just go look at my Goodreads so you can stop the insanity I beg of you!)

    and fuck winter in it’s stupid furry butthole.

  4. Volunteer work is a waste of time unless it’s something you like and are willing to put up with. I stick with stuff that doesn’t involve councils, committees or the need to be 100% social the whole time.

  5. Oh my stars, can we even be friends still….because I fell for those books big style!! But I’m urging you to read the rest of the trilogy for your reasons why you hate it!! I read the books a zillion years before the book was cast. In my opinion no one in the film was beautiful enough. No where near.

    *Disclaimer – I only read those books because at the time my Teenage Daughter was devouring them and I needed to know why. I needed to vet them for s*x! I was gla d it was only the yearning. ( TILL THE LAST BOOK!!! ) ….

    I did the PTA for ten years. It wasn’t called the PTA. IT WAS CALLED THE FRIENDS. THE FREIBDS? My arse!

  6. Ugh bloody typo – I am commenting before 7am.

  7. Eep, I just re blogged it by pressing a button up there. What even is that?? I’m a Blogspot girl…

  8. I liked the Twilight books. I thought they had good narrative energy and witty banter and they were entertaining. I was already primed to be receptive to good vampires by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The movies were terrible – I saw the first one before I’d read the books because my friend dragged me and I kept bursting out laughing at inappropriate times. Stewart and Pattinson had ZERO chemistry and the pasty white makeup was hilariously overdone. Good point about the hospital thing, though – although the pasty dad vampire probably just made the bill go away. The thing that always gets me with these stories (even when I like them) is the off-the-charts creepiness of a hundred-year-old guy falling in love with a teen-age girl. There’s no other way to do it for the optics, but just because he still LOOKS seventeen doesn’t make it any less skeevy.

  9. Frig. Forgot to change my login.

  10. I have one more year on the PTA at Youngest’s school and one more year on the Foundation Board at Oldest’s school and then I swear by all that is holy I am DONE with regular meeting-based volunteering for at least a year or two. I’m only still committed to those two things because in both instances the parents that were taking over my positions ended up sending their kids to private schools at literally the last minute so I stepped up. I’m over stepping up. No more stepping up because I’m starting to have a really bad attitude and that’s not helping anyone.

    So, I think I’ve been pretty forthcoming about my nearly life-long love of all things fantasy/sci fi/vampires/zombies/etc. Suffice it to say I read Salem’s Lot at about 14 and was hooked. If the first vampire novel I’d read had been Twilight I’m fairly certain I would never have picked up another book on the subject ever again. Sparkly vampires? No going poof in the sun? Giving up blood? No! I want my vampires scary, depraved, and carnivorous.

    Also as I get older I find ever more creepy the story line where someone who is 100+ years old has a 16 YO as the love of his life. I am only 45 and the thought of falling for a 16 year old makes me feel incredibly gross and/or bored to tears and the thought of the endless conversations about video gaming or Instagram or the prom or some other tiresome BS I’d be having with a 16 YO. I love BtVS but the more I think about the fact that Angel was like 200 years old and deeply in love with 16 YO Buffy, the more squicked out I get. I didn’t love Twilight nearly as much as BtVS so I’m just grossed out.

  11. Minor correction. I hold that the writing IS terrible. Just because you have read worse doesn’t improve the quality!

    Never caught the bit on the stitches before. Maybe it’s because her boyfriend’s daddy is always the one stitching her?


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