Recently I took my teenage daughter Lyndsay and my niece Najah to see the latest installment of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. They were beside themselves with excitement about the romantic union of Bella and Edward and the happy ending they would surely have. Lyndsay has read all of the books and can't understand why I don't share her enthusiasm. Before the movie began, I explained to them that although the books are well written, I cut my teeth on Anne Rice, so I'm used to vampires that do something. At any rate, the girls were nearly swooning, so caught up in the rapturous love of these two characters on the big screen that they tuned me out. When the movie was over Lyndsay turned to me and asked, "Mom, wasn't that the best?"
Maybe I read too much into things, but I couldn't get past the fact that Bella was destined for a life of heartache and misery with Edward and here's my evidence:
1. In order to love Edward, she has to give up everything-including her soul.
Yes, it may seem exciting to be so enthralled in a relationship that you forget about your family and friends for a while, but eventually that gets old. Why should a beautiful, young woman have to turn her back on everything she is and everything she knows in order to get the guy? Healthy relationships are about compromise, but the only one I saw giving in was Bella.
2. When things got rough, Bella had to go through it alone.
Okay, Edward did finally come around, but at first when Bella began to have complications Edward emotionally abandoned her. She was forced to make sense of a world spinning out of control all by herself. I've been married long enough to know that sometimes the only thing holding you to your spouse are the promises you made before God on your wedding day. For richer and poorer, through sickness and in health, for better or for worse...Marriage is hard work and if the woman has to do the heavy lifting all by herself she can get resentful. If a woman can only count on her man to be there when the rose petals are falling and the frame on the bed is being broken, then there are some definite problems on the horizon.
3. Edward was non-communicative.
He was the freakin' mind reader, not her! Imagine how frustrating life would be with your man if he never, ever told you what he felt. Admittedly, Edward did have some romantic one liners, but occasionally I would imagine that Bella would need for him to talk to her during the difficult times and help her to process the horrible things that were happening in her life.
4. Ex-boyfriend drama.
5.The possibility of a strained relationship with her daughter because her ex has 'imprinted' on her.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't want any of my exes to be doing anything with my daughter. Ever!
I know. I know. This is only a movie, but it did prove to be a teachable moment. I need my daughter and niece to understand that they don't have to make foolish choices because they think they are in love and that true love doesn't consume a woman so there is nothing of her original self to recognize. I also want them to know that they need to graduate high school, get an education, take care of themselves for a while before they even consider running off to get married to someone like Edward. And maybe, I'm just way too serious, but I want them to avoid any man that makes them give up on an eternity with God in order to spend some time with him.
I guess you can imagine that after this lecture, Najah and Lyndsay jokingly vowed never to go to the movies with me again!