It takes a vampire, doesn’t it? It takes a vampire to open our eyes to the fact that a little restraint is not a bad or outmoded commodity? I can’t comment on the literary merit of the series that chronicles the live and times of a human/vampire romance amid the towering firs of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Nor would it be fair to critique the quality of Stephenie Meyer’s writing, since I’ve never broken the spine on one of her now iconic novels; though, as a teacher who loves seeing her students read anything, I send the woman blessings on behalf of all those girls she has beckoned forth to the written word.
In the theater today, as I viewed “Eclipse”, I watched breathlessly as a nubile young female and an eternally hot (or cold, depending on your perspective) yet youthful vampire wrestled romantically on a silken bed, held each other’s faces in tender caress, pulled shirts from jeans, fumbled at buttons and fastenings, and then,…and then, …didn’t get it on! Perhaps because I hadn’t read the whole saga, I was stunned. No peek at a silken mammary gland, no exposed haunch clothed only in a thong. Instead, the couple stood, repaired the rumples, and got engaged.
Naturally, Bella is too young and Edward a century too old to make this a marriage of like minds, but at least one of them has a head on his shoulders. Edward Cullen’s circumspection in their moment of passion arises out of a wisdom refined over more than a century as one of the undead. It is he who wants to wait, he who declares an intention to honor Bella with a legal bonding, he who considers her longer term interests. All hail Edward! As a mother and teacher, I can only applaud the promulgation of such ideals across thousands of movie screens on hot summer nights.
We might wonder, if a vampire, whose lust for human blood and for his lady-love can be tempered by will and patience, why can’t human males likewise exhibit restraint. To be fair, Bella was the initiator in that scene, wanting to experience “it” before she receives loves first bite from Edward. Bella, it must be said, like high school girls the world over, is very young, and, as my psych-major cousin would say, “self-referenced”. Yet in the maddening manner of those same teenagers, Bella often sounds almost reasonable. That is, until you listen closely, ” I want to be like you, Edward,” meaning, “I want to be a vampire.”
Edward, again and always the more mature of the pair, has tried every means of persuasion to change Bella’s mind. “No one chooses this life, Bella,” he points out. He urges time, restraint, and rational thought. More and more, Edward is looking like great son-in-law material. He has most of the essentials:
a. a world and millenium view
b. a protective nature
c. proven loyalty
d. a specific plan of action for any situation
e. a willingness to wait and to know that waiting adds value to the goal
The debate about whether pre-marital sex is moral or immoral, good or bad, a sin or sinless can be argued until Edward himself is an old man. The issue brought out so surprisingly in “Eclipse” is that sex should always involve a decision based on choice for both partners. Edward has demonstrated that sometimes, perhaps always, a young man or woman is fine with just saying, “No, thank you.”
Thank you, Edward