Well … time for another reflection on my Twilight-detox, and how it’s going.
After some consideration (of whether there are “twelve steps” in the detox program), I decided that indeed, there are some phases or steps—whether (only) twelve or not, it’s too early to tell … So, let me write now about step two, and look back on what I miss and don’t miss about the Twidom (Twilight fandom and/or Twilight universe). But let me first explain the picture here
Recently I got together with some of my former co-bloggers and other fan girls in Bulgaria, and we had a good laugh about my detox. Ok, their hearts were bleeding while I was slashing Rob’s face with the knife—but let me tell you, it was very therapeutic for me … (LOL). We even joked about what the next step would be next time I am in Bulgaria (e.g. joining them for Eclipse but watching it blindfolded?) and I had a really, really good time with them. I was a bit apprehensive about the meeting, I must admit—cause I really didn’t know if we’d still “click” … if we’ll be able to keep/transform the former fan girl experience into a normal contact, so it was nice to know that at least for some of them, it was possible.
The virtual contact with some of the other girls from the fan base has been a strange personal experience, though. One-on-one conversations on Skype are/were fine (I think)—but when it comes to group discussions, or group dynamic, things have changed SO much, we’re not “on the same wave length” anymore.
I found that even though I was repeating old jokes or was teasing my Twi-hard circle with my new “outsider perspective”, my words either came out wrong or people had become so sensitive and encapsulated in their world, that they felt I was judging them—even when I wasn’t. On several occasions, I felt so out of place in the (virtual) conversation—a bit like arriving at a party where everyone’s been partying and drinking for hours, and you’re the designated driver, so you can’t really join much in the festivities anyway. It’s a really weird realization. Because one of the most time-consuming activities (apart from the blogging) about being a Twilight fan for me was the “female bonding” part. Well, for me it was mostly joking about each other’s tastes and weak spots, rather than discussing personal issues (and I didn’t like it when people started sharing TMI or unloading personal problems) but there used to be a rhythm to the public discussions—either in forums or on blogs, and a good vibe about it, and now I don’t feel it. And I’m not the only one—recently I chatted with one of the former co-bloggers about how weird internet communication can be sometimes, and she said she didn’t dare write much lately (in a forum/on the blog) because it might come out wrong. It then hit me that I knew exactly what she meant, and that I’m in the same boat now: I don’t know what to write, how to write it, and how to have this “group conversation” anymore.
When I quit two months ago, I thought I would miss this part—just as I thought I might miss the blogging part, but, I don’t. I really don’t. Not blogging “on schedule” or about things I don’t like but “have to” has released so much free time—for my family, and for this blog instead. As for the female bonding—it’s been nice “going back” to my “old friends” (who thought I was crazy for being hooked on Twilight anyway LOL) or making new contacts (with non-Twilight related people), as well as keeping some of my Twilight-connections. I still enjoy the virtual one-on-one female jokes and teasing (also about Twilight), and I sure hope they continue for years, and we’re able to keep the contact. Like, today we were joking on Skype with one of my former co-bloggers Vesselinka, whom I absolutely adore both in person and online, about how she would cause a traffic accident if she appeared in the sun (a Twilight/vampire joke, LOL). Or, I am so happy to still be in touch with last Twilight-connection I made before I went to detox—Jessica, who runs a big Twilight blog —I always smile now when I get a mental picture of her face (even though I have no idea how she looks!) when she sees new Twilight/Rob pictures. I swear, I can hear her chirping from Stockholm every now and then!
She was SO cute after I told her that I’ll quit and she was begging me on Skype to see the leaked Edward and Bella bedroom shots from Eclipse and then I could quit afterwards. And I love it, how even now, when she sends me files and links, I need to make sure—or she points out—that they are not Twilight/Rob-related because I know for sure, that if I ever relapse or decide to go back to the Twidom, she would be the first to welcome me back and supply me with Twi-crack.
So, that part I like—and I am really grateful to have met people like that through the Twilight experience- also the others I am in touch with and hopefully see also in the summer.
But the writing-in-forums, blogging, or group conversations about Twilight—nah.. I don’t think I miss that. I could be wrong- I’ve taken times “off” in the past (from forum discussions), and I do tend occasionally to switch my preferences between internet communication versus real-life one, and back—but as things stand now, if I have to be honest, I don’t think I fit in, or that the fandom is what it used to be. But maybe it’s a normal part of the cycle—and not necessarily a unique experience for the group of fans that I personally know. Or maybe it’s just me.
Since I haven’t read the Twilight blogs in the last two months, I could be wrong in my generalization, but … the Twidom seems to be drifting away from the mainstream audience/attitude and is now very closed-in and gets all defensive. I mean, whereas before we joked in between that we all need therapy, and we’ll gladly provide new fans with shoulder to cry on and we’re all “partners in crime” or “RPattz wing-women”, at least we had some self-irony and humor about it. I remember that I loved reading blogs like The Twilight Widower or the two girls from Twitarded when they joked about their addiction or the PRattz universal appeal (though in the months before I quit, they had abandoned the self-reflection and gone the RPattz-revelling way). I remember the days when a mainstream/legitimate journalistic article like the recent one in The Wall Street Journal about the objectification of Rob by female fans (with which I agree completely) would have been a cause for self-reflection instead of counter-attack. From what I can see is the response from Robsessed which were mentioned in the article as “the” blog (older) female fans go to after putting their kids and husbands to sleep (LOL). Ok, I haven’t read Robsessed’s post, just the lines that come up in the Google search result list (when I was looking for WSJ’s link), so I might be taking their response out of context. But I can imagine that they or other big blogs like ToR that “specialize” in dismembering Rob (“Ah, his eyes”, “Oh, his hair”, “Look at his fingers”) would not be happy if someone pointed it out to them. And yet, I remember the good old days, when Robsessed would begin their posts with photos that focused on different parts of RPattz’ body with the apologetic “It’s wrong to objectify people, but …” I wonder if that self-awareness is gone now—or maybe they still feel conflicted about it? This is/was one of the good things about being a fan, at least for me.
Make what you want of why I ordered a cake with Rob, and then maimed his pretty face (LOL) but … uhm, that’s my Twilight experience: not taking ourselves too seriously and having a conflicted attitude as to why the hell we like Edward Cullen/Robert Pattinson and the rest of the Twilight universe.
And that’s the other funny part about my detox—even though I thought I would miss seeing pictures of the cast, or that I would feel like watching New Moon or Twilight again, as I considered myself to be more a fan of the film franchise than the saga, it’s not them I miss, it’s the books. I don’t know why but there were several weeks where I kept replaying some of the Bella-Edward dialogues or “Midnight Sun” in my head and wanted so much to read the books again—like you want to play a piece of old melody you miss. But I resisted, and like a true recovering addict am rather proud of myself (cause I know very well it starts the whole cycle, and I didn’t want to slip).
I was considering watching New Moon again now that the DVD version came out (since I’d only seen the film once in the cinema—and liked it, unlike other fans, so I wanted to check again later and see if the first impression still holds) but still haven’t come around to that and probably won’t anytime soon. No rush.
As for the cast, and their other projects—I saw Up in the Air some months ago (and didn’t understand what the fuss was about) but have no intention on watching The Runnaways, Welcome to the Riley’s , or Remember Me. At least not on the big screen. Now and then, I do come across some pics of Rob, Kristen, and Taylor here and there on gossip sites/ in the mainstream media—but often with a delay or weeks or a month after an appearance/shooting. Rob, as usual, looks sometimes horrible/worrying/unpretty, but sometimes cleans up nice—but that’s his trademark, nothing new. I still have my doubts whether he’ll break in Hollywood after Twilight but I’m positive he’ll do fine as Edward in Eclipse … and I admit, I am looking forward to seeing the film—though not in the OMG, OMG, OMG way and with serious doubts how the film will turn out. Jessica also asked me recently how would watching Eclipse be part of detox, and I told her that ”as long as I can massacre the experience, and not let it be like a true fan experience”, then it is part of detox.
Or at least, I keep telling myself that ( LOL). I don’t know.
Since nobody gives certificates—as I said last time, I don’t really know how would I know if I’m “in” or “out”. I mean, even when I was “in” people accused me that I wasn’t a (true) fan, that I didn’t understand the saga since I wasn’t romantic, that I was over-analyzing and doing under-cover social study on the rest of the fans (LOL) or any other version of “You’re a pain in the neck” feedback you can think of, since I tended to criticize more than to praise anything Twilight and/or I insisted—sometimes harshly and resulting in personal conflicts—that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, or dwell on what we do/what our “achievements” in the Twidom are, cause none of it is as big as it sounds in our heads.
So … we’ll see how it goes.