So I guess the Twilight DVD comes out tomorrow. I have one teen in my house, at least, who’s dreading it.
Well, because he’s a boy. And if Twilight has done nothing else, it’s ruined life for boys. At least according to my son.
Now if you ask your daughters, they will say that Twilight is the greatest thing since Cover Girl Lash Blast. Every girl I know under the age of 15 has read the book at least four times, and most have read the entire series at least twice. They pine for Edward; they sigh over Jacob; they psychoanalyze the “sparkly” scene and bend their heads to deconstruct the conversation in the biology lab. They have pens, calendars, posters, folders, purses, buttons and necklaces. They proclaim their allegiance to “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” with rhinestone-studded T-shirts.
But where does this leave the boys?
Well, according to my 15-year-old, it leaves them in the dust.
While the girls swoon and clutch their books to their chest and say the series has “revived romance,” my boy, for one, will quibble with semantics. He will not say that it’s “revived romance.” In fact, he’d say it’s “ruined any chance of it.”
Here’s his thought process:
Edward, according to my son, is outrageously unrealistic. He represents an absolute impossible standard to which all boys will be held, but that no boy has a chance of achieving.
With his perfectly-chiseled chin and daringly-quirked eyebrow, he sets girls’ hearts a-pounding in a way that’s wonderfully powerful but … well … woefully practiced (not to mention written for him, and set under ambient lighting, and rehearsed seven times. …). If girls believe boys like Edward exist, surmises my son, how can average, everyday boys like him (those who haven’t perfected their eyebrow quirks and cannot run up pine trees) possibly live up to this standard?
Now, as a mother of both a son and a daughter, I’m a bit torn. The mother of the son does feel a bit bad for him. Because young girls can have romantic notions that are hard to live up to. They already expect elaborate proposals to Homecoming and prom. (You can’t just ask anymore – you must now spell the girls’ name in skywriting or write your proposal in cupcakes.) So the idea that boys must now step it up a notch and use phrases like “and so the lion fell in love with the lamb” – well, it’s all just a bit much, say the boys.
But the mother of the daughter … well, I must admit: That mother is secretly a little glad for the high standard. That mother is pleased to think her daughter might, now, demand that boys be polite and gallant and attentive. The eyebrow quirk is just a bonus, of course, but what moms really appreciate about Edward is that he has a strangely Victorian standard of politeness (he was born hundreds of years ago, you see). He doesn’t pressure Bella to have sex or even be around him much because he has an old-fashioned sense of propriety (not to mention that pesky blood-sucking problem). He’s attentive to her, respects her, and protects her body and heart. What’s a mother not to love? That mother is pleased to think that this ridiculously high standard might trickle into an expectation for her daughter that she might, now, bypass the rude boy in P.E. and believe that a lad who opens doors for her and looks her straight in the eye will come along. And that mother is a little pleased that boys will be forced to step up to the occasion.
So how about you? Do you think high school boys are right to despise Edward? Or are you on the side of the young girls today, who might have slightly unrealistic expectations (but might possibly deserve them)?