The Twilight post has generated enough discussion that a follow-up is definitely in order. Over the past few days I have learned a great deal about why so many women have fallen head over heels for Edward from Twilight. (Just to clarify, I'm referring to head over heels in love, not in the literal "Clumsy Bella just fell down again" sort of way). I have also learned that a significant number of the female readership of this blog have unhealthy, semi-disturbing attractions to every male Lost character not named Hurley. Since so many of you are Lost fans, most of you will get the following reference.
When Charlie is locked in the hatch of the flooding underwater communication station, he learns that the rescue boat they are trying to contact does not belong to Desmond's girlfriend, Penny. As the hatch fills with water and he knows that he is going to drown, Charlie writes a warning message to Desmond on the palm of his hand. In dramatic fashion, Charlie presses his hand against the window so that Desmond can read the warning from the other side. Charlie has simply written, "Not Penny's Boat".
Ladies, I hate to do this to you, but you need to know something that is critically important:
(I thought the frowny emoticon was necessary or else many of you would have wrongfully concluded that Edward was fooling you in a good way, such as by humbly concealing additional desirable qualities that will be revealed in future books.)
I will explain in detail why you need to be warned about Edward in just a moment. But before doing so, it is important to discuss what it is about Edward that women find so attractive. One very astute NMH blog reader left the following insightful comment that helped to shed a lot of light on the subject:
"Excellent blog, but you missed one very important point--you ignored what it is about Edward that actually makes us swoon. Please stay with me here. When you consider Edward's perfections, I suspect that you think we're all ga-ga over his beautiful looks, mega-strength, speed, and infinite wealth. I concede these are compelling qualities, but every comic book has heroes that meet that measure, and I have no interest in any of them. What makes Edward different? (Here's where you and all the other intimidated husbands can take heart.) We love Edward, because: 1) When he takes Bella to a restaurant, he doesn't look at any other woman (not even the hot server who's flirting with him.) 2) He speaks with a soft, low voice; occasionally, he growls. (Why I like that, I have no idea.) 3) He actually WANTS to know what she's thinking. 4) He cares that her seat belt is on. (I know . . . I'm a disgrace to my feminist academic heritage.) 5) He plays with her hair. Am I right, girls?? So, the good news is: theoretically, Edward's greatest moments can be replicated by mere mortal men. (Or maybe that's bad news; we kind of expect it.)"
Right now I'm shaking my head in sorrow for you women who have been duped by Bella's flawed perception of Edward. He is not perfect. In fact, he is actually a con artist who happened to find a really gullible girlfriend. (Uh-oh, wait, knowing that Edward is a con man might make all of you Sawyer fans out there even more attracted to him.) You must remember that the Twilight stories are told from Bella's first-person perspective and what you read is not reality, only her perception of reality. As I began reading Twilight, I quickly realized Edward had simply mastered the art of deception and Bella (and many of you female readers) fell for some of the oldest tricks in the book. Allow me to take the five points from the comment mentioned above (What Women Believe) and explain how you have been deceived (The Cold, Hard Truth - an obvious ode to Edward's physical makeup).
What Women Believe: "When Edward takes Bella to a restaurant, he doesn't look at any other woman (not even the hot server who's flirting with him.)
The Cold, Hard Truth: All guys, including Edward, love food. I mean, really, really love food. Edward has seemingly managed to convince Bella that he has no reason or desire to eat, but it's a sham. I am pretty sure that he keeps a supply of Tater Tots in his fanny pack (as most of us now do after seeing Napoleon Dynamite) and snaps into a Slim Jim every time Bella loses consciousness from some freak accident. While Bella was overjoyed that Edward paid no attention to the flirtatious waitress, the only reason he never acknowledged her was due to the fact that he was completely lost in thought about the Denny's breakfast slam he had ordered. When a man is thinking about eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, and pancakes at the same time, there is no available brain capacity to think about anything else, even a flirtatious waitress.
What Women Believe: He speaks with a soft, low voice; occasionally, he growls.
The Cold, Hard Truth: As a man who lives in Washington, Edward is a huge Seattle Seahawks fan. While he was watching the Seahawks lose to the Rams, he did what most guys do when their team is stinking it up - he yelled at his television for three straight hours. The next day, he had to speak in a soft, low voice because he had damaged his vocal cords berating Shawn Alexander for hitting the line of scrimmage like a pansy. The occasional growl is also easily explainable. Edward plays fantasy sports and very deftly checks box scores on his Black Berry under the table to see how his players are doing. When he sees that Tayshawn Prince scored 6 points on 3-12 shooting and committed four turnovers, a soft growl is the only appropriate response.
What Women Believe: He actually WANTS to know what she's thinking.
The Cold, Hard Truth: While Bella is pouring out her deepest emotions, Edward is actually thinking about funny Simpsons episodes from his Season Six DVD.
What Women Believe: He cares that her seat belt is on.
The Cold, Hard Truth: Edward was indeed generally concerned that Bella wore her seatbelt. This emotion was not faked. However, most women do not understand why he cared so much. The main reason is because drivers in Washington can be ticketed if passengers in their vehicles are not wearing their seat belts. Edward already has two moving violations on his record for speeding and a third citation will result in traffic school and the loss of his insurance. Edward would prefer to avoid having to spend his Saturday afternoons at "Dangerous Dave's Driving Academy" and putting up with the hassle of signing up with Geico.
What Women Believe: He plays with her hair.
The Cold, Hard Truth: Oldest trick in the book. Most guys know that playing with the hair is much easier than rubbing the feet of your wife or girlfriend, but it scores just as many points.
One last Edward quality that I know many women dig is his incredible ability to play the piano. When he performed Bella's song for her, Edward must have melted the hearts of millions of female readers. While Edward may be a good pianist, you women need to remember that it is only one instrument and he has had 100 years to practice. Having a husband or boyfriend who has mastered all three Rock Band instruments (guitar, drums, and microphone) in six months is much more impressive.
Hopefully this sets the record straight and you now see that Edward is just as flawed as the rest of us guys out there. Ladies, you can look all you want and will never find perfection in a man. In the February 2008 Ensign there is a great article called, "Dating and the Eternal Perspective" which perfectly sums up my thoughts, "You will likely not find [a] perfect person, and if you did, there would certainly be no interest in you. How wise is the [person] who does not expect perfection, but looks for potential." So in the meantime, ladies, just be happy with your man who happens to take it personally when his NFL team loses, loves his pancakes, and wants you to be proud of him when he passes "Next to You" on Rock Band. Afterall, he is thinking of you while he plays it.
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