Middle-aged women are infatuated with teen vampire romance
Don’t assume that the normal-looking mother buying a poster of vampire Edward Cullen is getting it for her teenage daughter. There is a good chance she’s keeping it for herself.
“Twilight Moms” is a demographic of adult women who are enthralled by Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT series and the vampires that inhabit it. Most of them have a husband, kids and an active fantasy life that centers around a world of immortal love.
What are these women like? And what do their husbands, children and a professional therapist think of their passion for the undead? UVU REVIEW identifies four subgroups of Twilight Moms and, perhaps, the source of all this madness.
Name: Jami Hunt, age 39
Kids: One daughter, age 16 months
Confession: “I re-read the book about four times a year.”
Why she loves TWILIGHT: “I like the fantasy … aspect that also has just enough reality to make you think, ‘Well, maybe…’ “
Her kid thinks: “She doesn’t care, unless I want to read when she wants to play.”
Her husband says: “We all need outlets,” said James. “She’s not as obsessed about TWILIGHT as she was about LORD OF THE RINGS.”
The family affair
Name: Wendi Myrup, age 36
Kids: Three kids, ages four, six and nine
Confession: “[Me and] my friends who are all TWILIGHT obsessed love to talk about the books. We see the movies over and over, play the TWILIGHT game [and] buy TWILIGHT everything.”
Why she loves TWILIGHT: ” [I] love the story, the intrigue.”
Hers kid think: “My whole family loves the TWILIGHT series. All my kids have decided who they are in the books and my son even wanted to be Edward for Halloween!”
Her husband says: “I wouldn’t say [she’s] too obsessed, since I am too,” says Jeff. “She opened my eyes to reading. Now we share books and are always wanting to read the same thing so we can talk about them together. [TWILIGHT] has brought us closer.”
The empty nester
Name: Janet Martindale, age 55
Kids: One son, age 30
Confession: “[I spend] several hours a day reading TWILIGHT Web sites, rereading the books or watching the DVD.”
Why she loves TWILIGHT: “The Edward and Bella love story definitely takes one back to [one’s] first profound love.”
Her kid thinks: “[My son] thinks my obsession is hilarious … ‘Isn’t that for teenagers, Mom?’ “
Her husband says: “She can do whatever she likes; it’s odd, but she enjoys it,” says Lee. “I have friends who spend more time and money on sports than she does on TWILIGHT.”
Unfortunately, it appears that the moms in this category are all too busy obsessing to answer questions. So the following is a sketch of what this type of fan is like, taken from statements made on TwilightMoms.com.
Confession: “I don’t want to do anything unless it involves TWILIGHT.” Also, “I can honestly say that I could eat, sleep and breath[e] TWILIGHT for the rest of my life!”
Why she loves TWILIGHT: “You BECOME the story.”
Her kids think: “My five-year-old son tells me that I have ‘serious issues’! [If] my 20-month-old … sees me reading one of the books, he walks over and tries to shut it and says, ‘No no!’ “
Her husband says: “My husband has said he’s a TWILIGHT widower.”
(Note: A TWILIGHT widower is a man whose wife has abandoned him because she’s more interested in the world of vampires.)
Perspective from a pro
Apparently, TWILIGHT-style obsession is nothing new. It does, in fact, have ancient roots.
“TWILIGHT is an old theme turned on its head,” says William Erb, senior director of Student Health Services and a licensed professional counselor. “The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis … depicts the destruction of the subordinate male in the grip of the eternal and all-dominating female through whom resurrection and new life may be attained.
“These stories have endured because they are captivating. I don’t see this as odd in a historical sense,” says Erb. “These stories seem to seize our desire to be loved by someone who is more perfect than anyone else. Edward, in a sense, was designed to be ultimately attractive to all women, as Aphrodite was for men.”
And for those who might be neglecting their domestic duties in order to fantasize about the Cullen clan, it could always be worse.
“Certainly locking yourself away from family in a bathroom to get some good reading time can be criticized on a parenting level,” says Erb. “But it is a far cry from a three month pilgrimage to the temple of Aphrodite.”