I’ve been painting my house this week, because I have strong masochistic tendencies and evidently didn’t want to, you know, rest between completing my course work and welcoming new dayhome clients. Which means that my promises to catch up on my blog reading and turn out some fiction writing have so far come to naught.
I suck. I know.
But, anyway, here’s the thing: I was out a book club the other night with a couple of foxes, having unbelievably-delicious-but-heart-attack-inducing desserts. And I had a martini. (Because evidently, along with exhaustion comes poor judgement. I fell asleep on the floor in my daughter’s room about ten minutes after arriving home. She was thrilled that she got to read ME to sleep, for once! Next time, I’ll have coffee.) Anyway, we were talking about YA Lit and trashy romance novels and Twilight and 50 Shades and how addictive, for some, they’ve become. All three of us are intelligent, educated, open-minded women. We’ve all got degrees and jobs and kids. And while I celebrate amazing fiction like Life of Pi, and Little Bee, and Memoirs of a Geisha, and so many others, I’ll probably read the Twilight saga for the third time before the end of this month.
It is nice to know I’m not alone :-)
So, at the pool this morning, doing math with one of my extra kids and flipping through my media feeds while my kiddos were in swimming lessons, I saw a Facebook post from one of my friends with a quote from Ray Bradbury:
“Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything.”
That’s IT! I know that’s it! That’s why I’m addicted to Twilight and will likely read 50 Shades again. That’s why I like the sweet love stories in politically charged YA lit. Because it happens, sometimes, that you meet someone that you absolutely should not fall in love with, but then you find yourself building a life together over months and decades. It happens that one of you is a little (or a lot) damaged and one of you is very naive, and your families don’t know what to make of your relationship, and your friends think you’ve finally lost your mind for good… Yet you cannot stay apart. It happens that you meet someone around whom you orient your existence like twin planets or stars. It happens, this love that makes it hard to breathe sometimes yet remains the only reason to keep on breathing.
It also happens that we forget. Not the love, of course, but that glorious experience of falling too close to the stars.
So, I think one of the reasons that moms read Twilight, and that the ladies at the office talk behind their hands about 50 Shades and pray that their mothers won’t mention it over breakfast on Sunday, is because we so cherish that reminder, you know? Once upon a time, falling in love was the most terrifying, exhilarating, exultant and defining experience of our lives. And being in love, staying in love, growing in love….
All of those are so much sweeter, when we remember.
I wonder if there has been any peer-reviewed research on this yet…. *snort*