Sunday, September 16, 2007

Werewolves and Adoration

[Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read New Moon, beware. If you've read it but not Eclipse, you're OK.]

I just finished Eclipse, the third book in Stephanie Meyer’s vampire series. I have to say that the books keep getting better, in my opinion. The writing is better, and I am definitely more engaged each time. I was downright depressed when I finished this book: I wanted more, more, more! I read that some people are upset because they don’t think the book upholds Deseret Book values, etc., etc. I guess there’s always someone getting upset about something or other. I wasn’t bugged by the book (although it was definitely more mature than the other two).

I really like the character of Jacob Black. He’s the one I’d fall in love with. I’ve been trying to analyze why that is—what is it that’s attractive about him? (Especially in the last book, in which he acts pretty adolescent.) And I think it’s the werewolf thing. There’s something really sexy about a man who has a wild side—“wild” meaning “potential for great power.” It makes a woman feel protected. It gives her something to wonder about, lends a sense of mystery.

All this has something to do with why I’m glad my husband isn’t much interested in my writing. Stay with me here—I’ll try to explain how it relates.

When I was dating, sometimes I became involved with guys who adored me. It was a nice feeling, being adored. I liked being around those guys (and still do). But I found myself unable to have much of a relationship with them. Because they liked me too much. It seemed like whatever I was interested in, they became interested in. My favorite music became theirs. They wanted to study me and be there with me in everything. I found myself feeling lonely in the relationship because, really, there was only one of us in the relationship--he guy had disappeared. The sense of OTHER that is necessary to me in a relationship was missing.

Bella is adored by two guys. She would have the same problem as I did EXCEPT that these two guys happen to have more to them than she can ever fathom. They have another side (a wild side) that she will forever be outside of (well, unless she goes to extremes and becomes a vampire herself, in which case I can’t imagine her being as satisfied after all with Edward). Because of their, um, differences, these two guys will always be OTHER. I think that is why they are so attractive to Bella, and to millions of young girls everywhere. The relationship feels so much more valuable when the person adoring you is somewhat separate and mysterious.

So I’m glad that my husband isn’t like me. He actually really does treat me with adoration--I feel very cherished. But I kind of like that there are some parts of me that he tolerates and supports without truly understanding. Because that means that there are two of us in this relationship. There are things about him that are different from me, and I like finding more.
Which leads me to question some of my previously-professed beliefs. I’ve always been critical of the Mr. Darcy theory of romance: that we need some sort of a sense of mystery in order for real romance to remain. As you recall, I wrote a post about it, and about how I didn’t think that was the basis of a lasting relationship. How can you become one if you don’t truly understand each other? Mystery would get in the way of that one-ness, wouldn’t it? But maybe I need to re-think that. Being one shouldn’t require being THE SAME.

While we’re on this subject, I will tell you that I find it extremely sexy when my husband gets really angry (when the werewolf comes out). Now, if you know my husband, you know that he is the farthest thing there is from a werewolf. I can only say this (that I like it when he’s angry) because he hasn’t gotten that way with ME. But one time he got that way with a person he thought was threatening my safety and I REALLY LIKED IT. So there you go. I like Jacob Black. I like my husband. I like men who can be werewolves when necessary, to protect their women.

Something just occurred to me. I wonder if this appreciation for the other-ness of my spouse contributes somehow to the easy acceptance I have always felt for the fact that he holds the priesthood and I don’t. Hmmm. I’ll ponder that one and get back to you.

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