There are two kinds of people in this world: those who want to eradicate everything associated with Twilight from the face of the earth and those responsible for polluting the public consciousness with its blood-sucking adolescent melodrama. It is pretty much the definition of the it thing, but people either love it or they hate it. There simply is no middle ground.
No matter how much you might hate it, even if you’re Kristin Stewart herself, I guarantee you don’t hate Twilight as much as I do. You don’t. And if you love it, you can’t possibly love it as much as I hate it. I know this because my wife loves Twilight as much as anyone I’ve ever met or read about, and, I swear, I loathe those stupid books 100 times more than she loves them.
That might have something to do with why the Twilight saga almost cost me my marriage . . . and my life. Read all about it after the jump.
Worst. Christmas. Ever.
On December 25, 2007, I gave my wife the weapon of my own destruction. Twilight. I hadn’t read it. I didn’t plan on reading it. I had the vague understanding that it was about a vampire in Washington who vowed never to drink blood, Suckless in Seattle. Whatever. All I really knew was that a few of the ladies in my office loved it, and they swore my wife would love it, too.
They were right, but I was wrong to take their advice. The gift was a throw-in, a stocking-stuffer, a last minute pickup from Walgreens, I kid you not. I had bought my wife a sweater, diamond earrings, slippers (which she returned), and a Dyson. I know, a vacuum cleaner is, literally, a sucky present, but she specifically asked for it and loves it to this day, which is more than she might say about me.
But the biggest reaction that Christmas morning was over Twilight. My wife isn’t much of a reader, but this turned out to be the book she had been wanting to read. I’m more of a Harry Potter fan (read: a total Potter geek), which my wife just couldn’t get into. She didn’t understand how a grown man could spend an hour or more a day discussing Horcrux theories, and she thought Twilight would be her turn to really get into something. I had my doubts, so I just bought the first book.
But my wife was really grateful. You know what kind of grateful I’m talking about, right? The “oh, yeah, you’re gonna get some . . . twice” kind of grateful. At that point, Twilight and me were all kinds of copasetic. Then she started reading.
My Wife’s Unholy Vow
Apparently, Edward doesn’t just abstain from drinking blood—he abstains from other things, too. Now, we’re coming up on the outskirts of my knowledge of Twilight. There’s Bella. There’s Edward and Jacob, and both of them have teams. None of them have sex. For three books, no sex. There’s only one other thing I know that happens in the Twilight series, and I’ll unleash that spoiler when I’m good and ready.
But back to my story. On Christmas Day, my wife dove into that book, and I couldn’t have been happier. I got an Xbox and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. My wife didn’t tell me to stop playing the whole day. Didn’t hear two peeps from her. We were actually an hour late to her parents’ house for dinner because we both got so independently engrossed in our favorite Christmas presents. We didn’t even have time to . . . be grateful to each other.
I figured I’d enjoy a couple thank-you’s at the end of the night, which was enough to keep me going through the dry turkey and awkwardly personal conversations about when we were planning to have kids. I wanted to tell my mother-in-law I’d be working on that as soon as possible, but my wife somehow kept linking every bit of dialog back to Twilight. I probably should have been a bit more interested in that theme, but I had no idea how emotionally connected my wife had become to that story. On the drive home, I found out.
“I don’t want to have sex until Bella does.” After I managed to regain control of the car and swerve back onto the roaI asked my wife to repeat herself. Yup, sounded the same the second time. She wanted to take a vow of chastity, something along the lines of how Edward . . . I don’t know the details. I just know that she was telling me Edward and Bella weren’t doing it, and neither were we until that story arc got resolved. I was so not grateful.
The next day I bought her the second book. And the third. Just in case.
New Moon Resolution
It only took a couple of days for my wife to plow through Twilight, and a few more to make it through the next two installments. I spent most of that time getting really good at Call of Duty, which, if you haven’t tried it, can pretty much quell a man’s desire for sex for a shockingly long time; you just have to shed a lot of imaginary, wi-fi-powered, teenage blood, but it can be done.
Still, I thought it would be a good idea to find out when this vow would end, so I did some Googling. I was not happy to learn that Edward’s chastity could not be compromised through three books of Bella’s longing, nor would Bella succumb to the sexual advances of the werewolf kid. And the fourth book wasn’t even out yet. What the hell? The literary world had failed me, so my only hope was to remind my wife that neither she nor I were vampires. Or werewolves. Or single.
That conversation didn’t go well. She went on and on about me not respecting her boundaries and trying to take away her identity. She made me regret ever having her dress up as Hermione Granger. She brought that one up several times over the months that followed. If I so much as crossed second base she’d just say, “Hermione,” and turn away in a huff.
The ironic thing, though, was that she would get really turned on by these books. It was my understanding all along, and still is, that this was a romance. Call me a caveman, but I thought romance was supposed to lead to sex . . . isn’t that the point?
Apparently not. I mean, we could do stuff. Kissing was okay. Pulling each other close (there was a lot of that) and even getting a little . . . rough was okay. At one point near the end of January, it literally almost killed me.
The teases were obscene. For the first couple weeks, it was fine, kinda hot every now and then, but by the end of January I was ready to start up a relationship with the Dyson. The worst part was that my wife was developing a kind of . . . glass fetish.
It started with throwing wine glasses into the fireplace, no big deal. After the second round of that, I realized A) she wasn’t “accidentally” pricking her fingers on the pieces, B) watching your wife lick her own blood off her fingers is not at all sexy. It was then that I decided it was a good idea never to make out near a mirror, china cabinet, or anything with glass. I only wish I had stayed away from the glass coffee table.
She says it was an accident. I had no choice to believer her—really, she made me swear I believed her before she called 911—but there seemed to be the slightest bit of sharpness in her “okay” when I said I didn’t give a shit about Edward or Jacob. Seventeen stitches, a collapsed coffee table, and a transfusion or two later, I had forgiven her. But I let her know in no uncertain terms that the Twilight-inspired make-out sessions were over.
August 2, 2008
It was the first week of February when I found out that the fourth installment would be released in August, which was fitting because every day that followed felt like Groundhog Day. I’d go to work, start rumors about the two morons who recommended Twilight, come home, and play Call of Duty. Because, seriously, my wife and I didn’t talk a whole lot during that time. She kept reading and re-reading that trilogy of terror, I kept playing the dumb video game, and we kept living our separate lives.
About a week before the release I had unlocked the 37th and final achievement badge on COD 4, and I started to allow myself the excitement of anticipating having actual two-person sex again. I happened to come across a news article about the book and a major spoiler revealed from the lips of the author herself! I use an exclamation point because of the nature of the revelation.
And here I say “SPOILER ALERT!!!” in all its all-cap glory, because I learned the very hard, hard, excruciatingly hard way that you don’t under any condition spoil a significant plot point for a Twilight fanatic. I know this because of what I did with the information I picked up from Entertainment effing Weekly.
I called my wife in the middle of the work day. A Tuesday, no less. I figured it would be a good idea to establish some kind of connection before the big day, and what better way than to show an interest in Twilight. “You’ll never guess what I found out today,” I told her.
Here I was sure that I was about to transport her into the same level of enraptured glee she felt when I first gave her that bloody book. This was going to bring me back from the island of celibacy. This was the nugget of truth that would make my wife . . . grateful.
Again, SPOILER ALERT . . . I wish I had told my wife that before blurting out, “Bella and Edward get married.”
Dead silence. It felt like five minutes of absolute silence. And then, in the weakest whimper I’ve ever heard my wife utter, “Wh . . . what?”
“Yeah, Stephenie Meyer gave an interview, and she said they definitely get . . .” but I never finished that sentence. I was interrupted by a blood-curdling scream of intermingled wrath and horror. As it turns out, my wife had instituted a total media ban to prevent being subject to even the slightest spoiler. I was the least likely person in the world to violate that ban, or so she thought. And then . . . click. She hung up.
We didn’t talk for several days. She bought the book. She read the book. I asked if she wanted to talk about it. She did, but not to me. If she had been on Team Jacob, I’m pretty confident she would have killed me. Instead she was just angry, but not violently so.
Six nights later, my wife lifted her ban of chastity. No glass was broken. I was grateful. What I didn’t appreciate (and still don’t) was that, whether out of spite or out of fantasy, my wife didn’t thank me during grateful time. Oh no, she called out to Edward. Still does.
I hate you, Twilight. With every ounce of loathing I can summon, I hate you to death.