Sorry for the terrible play on words. Nah! Suck it up.
Christmas was approaching, Mini-Me was 11 going on 12 years old and I was looking for advice on stocking fillers from friends with daughters who read, avidly. The big craze that year was dah, dah, dah – no surpises – Twilight. The movie had just come out but no one in my household was rushing to see it. The books had been out for a while but when you live in the arse-end of the world (BIG disclaimer – Melbourne is still officially the world’s most liveable city!) – it is easy to miss the big trends, just through general apathy. Besides, Slug Boy had skipped from Harry Potter straight to Stephen King by this stage and Mini Me looked on track to do a similar thing. She was already reading Jodi Picoult. In my naive brain I thought this Twilight thing will never last.
So I go to the discount book store – this is how long the books had been out – and bought the first two books. I looked at the size of them and in my head went…’good economics, this should take her through the summer break’. Gentle reminder for Northern Hemisphere readers that Xmas is in the summer here and sits firmly in the middle of the 5 week school holiday. It is less about eggnog and turkey and more about beer and prawns. No we don’t actually ‘throw shrimps on the barbie’, we do however, bbq the very large prawns. I like to suck the juices out of something long and firm.
Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the books lasting her a few weeks. She finished the first book on Boxing Day – didn’t come up from the swing seat in the back garden. Then devoured the second book in time to beg us to take her out to the January sales to buy the third book with her xmas money. I remember standing inside the house with my mother as we peered out at her lying in her chair flipping pages. “Do you think she will want to eat any time soon.” says Mum. “Mmm…I wouldn’t want to get my head bitten off asking her.” says I.
We sent her grandfather out to bother her instead. It only took three days for the bruises to fade and the swelling to go down.
Less than 24 hours after she had finished book 3 the begging and whining started. “Pleeeease…..can I pleeeeease have the last book. I’ll clean my room, I’ll feed the dog, I’ll mow the lawns….pretty please Mummy, I love you!!” In my wisdom as a mother I did the sensible thing, I made her wait three weeks. Three whole weeks. Interminably long,hot, whingey, whiny weeks!!!
Eventually I caved and we went off to Borders to get the next book which was, surprise, surprise, devoured within a couple of days. Book vampire, that is what she had become.
What was all the fuss about! I got concerned as she went into a second reading of all four books. So I started to read….and read…..and read. I have no idea what my life would have been like if these books had existed when I was her age. I would never have gotten out of bed. Oh, hang on a minute, I didn’t. And once I began reading about the sparkly vampire and his bumbling mate I wasn’t getting up for anyone. Cos that is the kind of hard core chick I am. Disney princess movies have nothing on me. I cry at every sad and sappy ending (including when Leah gets thrown down the cracked abyss in the Breaking Dawn II fight sequence). These books spoke to my eternal happy ending monster.
I just want to qualify the whole happy endings thing here by saying I believe in soul mates as being people (men or women) who you just connect with immediately on a deep level and know you want them to be in your life forever. That is not the same thing as waiting for the perfect Prince Charming or Sparkly Bloodsucker to sweep you off your feet. If you want to get swept off your feet you need to give a guy a hand. After 20+ years of marriage to my best friend I can honestly say that you have to put effort into happily ever afters and be prepared to love and fight fairly but passionately. Make up sex is definitely worth it! Read More