My Twilight Experience.
Last night, three good friends and myself settled into our seats at the theater to watch the last movie in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn Part 2. Yes, at 10:00pm. The earliest release time.
Now before you go judging me, I need to explain what led me to that theater seat. Maybe you’ll understand, maybe you won’t. Either way, I’m not ashamed.
My “Twilight” story started about five 1/2 years ago. I was working at a Honda dealership as a service cashier with my best friend in the whole world, K. One night, a customer came to pick up her car and I noticed that she had Confessions of a Shopaholic with her. I had heard about it, and wanted to read it, so I asked her about it.
“It’s okay.” She sighed, “But, there’s a better book, if you want to read it. It’s called Twilight.”
“Twilight?” I questioned. The title sounded odd. Nothing along the lines of a Sophie Kinsella book.
“Twilight. That’s all I’ll say. Just read it. The next time I come here, you better have read it!”
I laughed and agreed, knowing full well that I’d probably forget about it. Little did I know that just a year later it would have completely blown up in the media and in retail, that hardly anyone would be immune to hearing it’s name, and that I would be obsessed.
A few months later while at work, my bestie (K) started to talk about books. She stopped what she was doing to explain the latest one. “So, I’m reading this book…” She paused, attempting to wipe an embarrassed smile from her face and failing miserably. “And it’s about vampires…BUT IT’S REALLY GOOD, I SWEAR! You should read it.”
“What’s it called?” I instantly started getting visions of Anne Rice novels.
“Twilight.” Ahhh. The book the customer made me promise to read a few months earlier, I did remember. Vaguely.
“Twilight?” I still asked.
“Yes. And it sounds weird, but I promise. But it gets good. You just have to read it. And it’s set in Washington!”
I love books and movies set here, so my ears perked up. When she mentioned it took place in a town I was very familiar with, having spent summers there with an aunt, I was even more interested.
What originally grabbed my attention was finding the connections of the town I knew, and digging out the anomalies. After that I slowly started to get caught up in the somewhat creepy vibe of the book. Eventually, I was totally hooked on this story and ate every little bit of it up. I read the first three books, cumulatively within 24 hours, I’m sure.
K mentioned that her friend R was into it, too. R’s best friend H got her hooked on it. A few weeks later I was getting introduced to both R and H as fellow Twilight lovers. We talked about it constantly. I never knew that a group of four girls could talk about one book in such detail for so long, but we did. And as it turned out, H’s grandmother had a cabin close to Forks. The word was that Forks was taking this book and running with it, making the town as much of a tourist spot as it could. Being as crazy about the book as we were, we decided to spend a weekend out there, naturally.
They were friends of K’s, but I didn’t know R and H very well, only meeting them a few times before spending the weekend together. Despite our common interest, I was a little nervous to be spending an entire weekend with two girls I didn’t know well and didn’t like when I first met them (they didn’t like me much, either). My worry ended up being for naught. That one weekend was so memorable and fun in so many other ways (even BESIDES the Twilight aspect) that none of us will ever forget it.
We were big fans. We spent that entire summer (into the fall and winter, too) being completely enveloped in everything that was Twilight. We went to the midnight release of the last book, and the midnight release of the first movie. Gushing through every bit.
Four years after the first movie release, sitting in that theater, I knew that a lot had changed. We’ve grown up, we’ve gone through a lot, and our lives are in completely different directions than they were when we went on that first weekend trip to Forks. Yet, we’re all still friends.
R & H went from two girls I didn’t know/didn’t like to being two of my closest friends whom I love dearly. And of course, K is still my very best bestie. I would have not had the pleasure of being their friend if Twilight never existed. To me, Twilight is not just about a sub-par book/movie with bad acting and effects full of overly melodramatic lines and hot men; it’s about the friends that I gained from it. What made this last movie important was that it was the only movie since the very first one that we were able to all be together for. Full circle. We may not have been nearly as excited to see this movie as we were the first one, and we may have laughed a little more at “serious” parts than we should have, but we were all together doing those things. In the same row, in the same room, in the same time zone.
We can now spend our years as more “mature” adults laughing at our times together surrounding this book. And as embarrassing as our obsession was, I’m glad that it came with amazing memories and even better friendships that will last so much longer than the craze of Twilight did.