It all started on a long-haul flight from Tokyo to New York city. I already had plenty of sleep from Singapore to Tokyo so I was wired. After watching Gran Torino and Benjamin Button, and even a stupid Jim Carrey movie called the “Yes Man.” I was left with either watching a LOT of Clint Eastwood oldies or the teen vampire flick Twilight. Don’t get me wrong, I love Clint Eastwood in his early days, before he got all wrinkly and grey, but I wasn’t in the mood for a dirty Harry marathon, so Twilight it was.
And THAT is how I became a fan.
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it was that grabbed me so forcibly, despite the postage-stamp sized monitor. It was as if I could physically feel the pain and torture that Edward and Bella were going through, never mind vampires don’t exist in real world and I’d never had the slightest interest in any vampire-related subject before.
When I reached NYC, I brought up the subject with my friend C, who happened to be a Twilight fan. She said she read all four books in four days, and went back to read them again the minute she finished. My interest was piqued and I contemplated reading the books as well.
A few days later, I met up with two other friends J and M, who are familiar with Twilight (maybe familiar is to put it mildly). J was so engrossed in the books that she spent an entire weekend in Bali, at a nice resort, doing nothing but reading the books one after another, completely ignoring everything else. She even confessed to pulling into an empty parking space once she was back in Singapore, in order to finish the last book before she went home, where she couldn’t ignore her duties as a mother.
By this point I had already bought the first two books and was waiting to finish another book before embarking on this surely to be addictive and all-consuming journey. Sure enough, once I started reading I simply couldn’t stop. It wreaked havoc on my biological clock, having just gotten over the jetlag from the trip to New York, I now voluntarily turned my schedule upside down again, for Edward.
It took me longer to read the books than my friends said it would, mainly because the story line was so gripping that I found myself skipping ahead, just a few paragraphs down the page, to find out what happened, before returning to the earlier part and read through the whole thing again. So in essence, I was reading the book twice as I go along.
A week later, I emerged from the fantasy world of vampires and werewolves, but I wanted more. So I read Midnight Sun as well, on Stephenie Myere’s website. After that, I went back and read the four books again, slower this time. Then I read Midnight Sun for the second time, along with Twilight (this would be the third reading now) so I could cross reference and find out exactly what Edward and Bella were thinking at the same time.
If all of this sounds a little bit obsessed, let me come out to say that I am perhaps the person who’s astonished by this the most, because before this, I had never been a fan of anyone or anything. I don’t have a favorite actor or actress, no favorite sports team, composer, band, or even a fashion brand. I don't swoon, ever! I used to wonder if there was anything wrong with me. The funny thing is, I didn’t like Robert Pattinson as Cedric at all in Harry Potter. I thought he wasn’t handsome enough for the role. Then when twilight came out, his pictures were all over the place, on the red carpet, at awards ceremonies. I still didn’t think he was good looking at all. But when I saw him as the brooding, pale vampire, everything changed. In interviews, he’s funny and self-deprecating, which is always attractive in a guy. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also musically talented. He plays the piano and guitar beautifully, and has a really soulful singing voice. AND he wrote and sang two of the songs in the movie. Now that is HOT. I never used to understand the screaming fans or the people who wait for hours just to get a glimpse of their favorite star. Now I can sort of see it. I’m absolutely positive that I’ll still be too mortified to join the throngs of teenagers to wait for Rob Pattinson on location, but I am pretty sure I’d be tempted to enter a silent auction to win a chance to be serenaded by him on the piano. If only I could get that as a birthday present, hmmm
For the record, I am not the only mature, intelligent woman to be swoon by Edward. In fact, all my friends who are already Twilight fans are all medical professionals, almost all happily married. Of course the husbands don’t understand how we could be so wrapped up in the make-believe world of vampires and werewolves, and the books are meant for teens for crying out loud! But my friend C summed it nicely when she said that it was like crack, you just can’t help yourself. And she is exactly right.