There is nothing quite like a week in Disney World. It isn't as much a 'vacation' as an endurance test. You wake up early, stand in interminable lines, walk ten miles through the day, stress out about the one ride you couldn't cram in, run around with your three-year-old seeking autographs from Mickey and Minnie and Donald and assorted other characters who are (you daren't break it to said daughter) essentially minimum-wage workers in exceedingly hot costumes ... you stagger over the finish line at the end of the day, fall dead onto your tacky Disney-themed bed, wake up early the next day, rinse and repeat. A week of that. Have fun, or else!
All of which means of course that Disney vacations aren't made for a lot of quiet reading time. And when you do get the few snatched minutes to yourself, you want to go light with your reading. All of which is a long and sorry excuse for this - I came perilously close this last week to starting to read the Twilight series.
Every few years, a book, or a series of books, take popular culture by such a storm that no serious reader can stay away from it - whatever their own tastes might be. I last felt such a pull with Harry Potter. I did not read the first two books when they were published. But by the time the third book was written, the series was such a big part of pop culture that I had to try it, with all the intention of sneering at the book and its fans. As it happened, I loved the books! Soon enough, I was part of the mob standing in lines at midnight waiting for the next book to be released, Potter parties and all.
So far, I have avoided a similar pull of the Twilight series. But it is getting more and more difficult. A good friend pushes the series on me every time I meet her. The movie trailers look inviting, in an over-slick, money-is-no-object, cheesy Hollywood kind of way. The Washington Post is writing front page stories talking about literary readers falling to the vampire romance, with too-close-to-home titles like Twilight - the love that dare not speak its name.
So, as I was saying, I came perilously close to giving in this last week. I went to the local Barnes and Noble, walked the aisles, and somehow found myself standing in front of the ridiculously large stack of Twilight books. Just a quick browse, I told myself. Surely that doesn't count as reading. Ten minutes later, I was in the parking lot, with a hardbound. A gift to sis-in-law, I told myself. She loves romance. I bought it for her. Sure I did.
I hand her the book at the first opportunity, but the spell doesn't end. I am standing in line (again) at my favorite ride in Disney, the Tower of Terror (also called, I kid you not, The Twilight Zone). The guy standing in front of me has a Twilight T-Shirt on that says 'Team Jacob'. I am guessing that means something to the vampire fans.
Sister-in-law called yesterday. I finished the book by the time I got back home, she says breathlessly. Can barely control her voice. She is off to buy the rest of the series. This Twilight-abstinence isn't working for me.
There is a belief in Romanian tradition, I am told, that garlic, used in excess, drives vampires away. So what are we waiting for? Bring the garlic on. This might be my last stand before I give in.