“The good news is, my husband said you can see me for the weekend,” she told me. “We can rent a hotel, have wild sex, cuddle, anything you like. But there’s one condition.”
“You have to see the new Twilight movie with me.”
(Cue Darth Vader-style NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)
The running gag was that seeing Breaking Dawn, Part 1 with her was proof of my devotion. Certainly I’m no Twilight fan. So we got good and drunk beforehand – I felt like a teenager, smuggling in little airplane bottles of vodka to covertly dump into my Sprite – and held hands, and watched the merriment of big dumb sparklepires.
And I liked it.
Not the movie – which, like most things society holds in poor esteem, wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone’s scorn but certainly wasn’t good either – but rather, her excitement. Watching her bounce in her seat before the movie, the way she squeezed my hand when things got exciting, the way she kept leaning over to explain who this werewolf was and why he was important.
And I realize: I get off on other people’s enthusiasm.
I’ve listened for hours to folks going on and on about hobbies that I have zero interest in. Manga, football, accounting, Battlestar Galactica, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, BBS communities I’ll never log into, you name it. But if they’re willing to share that enthusiasm with me, then I’ll match it, because what I like is seeing people’s faces light up as they share their world with me.
Now, there’s a fine difference, because there are a lot of people who aren’t there to share their world with me. There’s any number of yammerers who are there to show me how very smart they are, bombarding me with facts on bocci ball to demonstrate their mastery of the subject. And there’s the stereotypically breathless fan who, annoyingly, cannot even fathom that the world does not share her love of Yaoi, and so keeps quietly assuming that I’m intensely familiar with the fine differences between yaoi and gei comi.
Yet I love that moment of connection, where someone takes me by the hand and escorts me into their world and says, “This may be silly, but this is something I adore and I want to show you every bit of it.” Because it is an act of trust, and a form of love, and a whole bunch of new things to learn about. And so in those three hours, and over the rest of the weekend, I learned of the Twilight mythology, and how vampires breed in Stephenie Meyers’ world, and what scenes they left out of the movie – and maybe it wasn’t high literature or high cinema, but it was full of things I didn’t know that were critical to her.
We’re no longer dating, and I wouldn’t go see Breaking Dawn, Part 2 on my own. Oh, I could go with Gini, who’s read the books… but that’s a very different thing than going on opening day with a dear friend who’s trembling with excitement, burning to know how they adapted the rather boring second and not particularly satisfying last half of the book, so enthused to be there that they’re radiating a glow that suffuses me.
She’s gone. So’s that world. And there are other people with their new hobbies – there always are – but that doesn’t mean that when the new Twilight comes out I won’t be a little sad that no, that particular happiness is something I’m no longer connected with.
A strange thing, missing a movie I didn’t particularly enjoy, in a series I barely know. But as with most things, it’s all about the people you’re with.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.