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February 22, 2014

COLUMN: Sparkly vampires and middle age? OK

It wasn't until I came across a post by some person somewhere who OBVIOUSLY hadn't read the books and who OBVIOUSLY didn't know the story line and I found myself enraged that someone would dare to put such an inaccurate post online that I realized that I must now admit...I am a die-hard Twilight fan.

I have all of the books. I have seen all of the movies. I know the directors have yelled cut and the books are sitting idly on shelves everywhere. It’s kind of a “done” phase.

But why the reluctance in admitting that I am a fan? Well...let's just say I don't fit the description of the author's intended demographic. The books are labeled "young  adult," and have certainly found an audience among teenage girls that rivals the hordes of geeks that call themselves Pott-heads...fans of the Harry Potter books and movies. (Which I love also, by the way.)

I suppose I've always been a little uncomfortable with the prospect of standing up and declaring whether I'm an "Edward" or a "Jacob," simply because most of those making declarations alongside me would be somewhere between the ages of 12 and 17. I don't enjoy looking foolish.

So I've been content to hide my love of all things Twilight. I have declined to purchase Twilight items, and have hidden the fact that I've even looked at the website for the town of Forks, Washington, the real place that is the fictional home for all things sparkly and vampiric.

But I have found my voice...for I have found women to stand alongside me...who are middle-aged, hard-core Twilight fans.

I read that nearly 40 percent of the female fan base for Twilight is over the age of 20. That made me feel better. I found a website for moms who love the series...www.twilightmoms.com. I found a book called "Confessions of a Twilight Mom." Okay...I'm feeling pretty darn confident...there are other people over the age of 35 who like this stuff. And who don't live in their mother's basement.

After this realization, I began to ponder the appeal of the Twilight saga to women my age. The most obvious answer is that it's the romance. I mean, come on, forbidden love? A never-ending love...? A powerful love connection between two people who aren't supposed to be together? What woman wouldn't love that?

A good romance has the power to just sweep us away from our everyday lives. The reality of adult life is that we must take care of our homes, our families, our careers, pay the bills...it never ends. The story that is Twilight is a great escape from all of that...for women of all ages.

Then there's that whole thing about vampire bites stopping aging in its tracks...women everywhere would clamor for such a product. Oil of Olay it ain't...but it would work and could be desirable...aside from that whole undead thing. And come on, who doesn't love a sparkly vampire or a lovesick puppy...I mean, werewolf?

So...I stand proudly and say, "Edward Cullen...you complete me."

To those who would criticize or refuse to understand...I say simply, bite me.

You may reach Angye Morrison at angye.morrison@gaflnews.com.

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